The Cornfield Caper
By Lucky_Ladybug

Notes: As always, the Yu-Gi-Oh! characters do not belong to me; only the plot idea does! ^^ And, also as always, this is NOT slash ^_~

"So, Tristan . . . Yaaaaa!" Joey screamed and recoiled as a huge, ugly, hairy spider was dangled in front of his face.

Tristan cracked up, revealing that the spider was only rubber. "I never thought you'd be scared of a little spider, Joey!"

"Oh man . . . that wasn't funny!" Joey yelled, glaring daggers at his friend.

"Alright, cool it, you two," Tea ordered.

Yugi chuckled. "It's hard to believe it's only a week till Halloween," he said.

"You said it, man," Joey agreed, leaning back and seeming fairly docile again. "And I still say we should do something scary."

"No thank you," Tea shuddered. "That earthquake the other night was plenty scary enough for me. It almost took Kaiba's life!"

Joey grinned evilly, turning to face the wall. "Aw, I don't mean scary like that—I mean scary like . . . THIS!" He turned back around, wearing a hideous-looking mask. "Payback time!"

Not only Tristan freaked out, but Yugi, Tea, and Bakura as well. Joey removed the mask, cracking up.

He stopped abruptly when he realized someone else was laughing too.

"It figures that you'd pull a stunt like that, Wheeler," a familiar voice remarked. "So childish!"

Everyone turned to see Seto Kaiba standing a few feet away, smirking.

"Kaiba! How long have you been standing there?!" Joey demanded.

"Long enough," the blue-eyed boy replied.

"Kaiba," Yugi smiled, "how are you feeling?"

"You mean after being pinned down by that bookcase?" Seto asked with a wry smile. "I'm alright, Yugi. You know they can't keep me down for long." He decided, as he had before, not to mention anything about Kasumi, or the possibility that he had been dead. He wasn't about to sound absolutely nuts in front of Yugi and his friends. Joey did that enough for everyone, he thought wryly.

"So, no more ghost sightings?" Joey asked with a grin.

"No, Wheeler—no more ghost sightings," Seto replied. "And let's just keep it that way." He turned to leave.
When Seto went outside to his limo, he found Mokuba waiting.

"Hi, big brother!" the young boy chirped, giving Seto a hug as he climbed inside.

"Hey, Mokuba," Seto smiled, ruffling his brother's hair. "How was your day?"

"It was good," Mokuba replied. He was about to pose the same question to Seto when he gasped suddenly. "Big brother! What's that?!"

"What's what, Mokuba?" Seto asked, then started when he saw what Mokuba was pointing at. In a nearby yard, a scarecrow was climbing off its pole and walking off the property, an evil sneer on its painted face. Seto groaned. "Tell me I didn't see what I thought I saw," he grumbled.

"What does it mean, Seto?" Mokuba's blue-gray eyes were wide.

"I don't know, Mokuba," Seto said grimly, "but I don't like it. Not one bit."
"A scarecrow walking?! You're kidding!" Tea exclaimed. She had been surprised enough that Kaiba had turned up at Yugi's place without him telling this strange tale.

"I couldn't be more serious," Seto replied.

"Eh, are you sure you're feelin' okay, Kaiba?" Joey asked, raising an eyebrow.

"You *were* almost creamed by that bookcase," Tristan added.

"I'm fine," Seto insisted. "Mokuba and my chauffeur saw it as well."

"Mokuba got hit on the head too," Joey remembered. "Maybe you were both hallucinating."

Seto's eyes narrowed in irritation. "We were not hallucinating."

"And the chauffeur saw it too, Joey," Yugi reminded him. "I believe you really saw it, Kaiba," the violet-eyed boy said kindly.

Seto nodded in acknowledgment.

"Hey, look!" Bakura gasped, pointing at the TV screen. "There's the director of the local funeral home, and he's talking about some kind of a break-in!"

"Someone broke into a morgue? You've gotta be kidding," Joey said. "What did they want to steal? Dead bodies?"

"Mr. Graves, did you see what the intruder looked like?" the reporter was asking.

"I most certainly did," Mr. Graves said grimly. "You'll probably say I'm crazy, but he was dressed like a scarecrow. In fact, I'll go so far as to say that it *was* a scarecrow!"

Everyone was floored.

"No way!" Joey gasped.

Seto raised an eyebrow. "Believe me now, Wheeler?"

"Good heavens, what is this nonsense you kids are watching?!" Grampa Muto exclaimed, coming into the living room.

"Kaiba here saw a scarecrow get up and walk," Yugi explained, "and now it looks like its gone and broken into the funeral home!"

"Well, of all the ridiculous . . ." Grampa Muto shook his head in disbelief.

"Perhaps we should go talk to Mr. Graves at the morgue about the scarecrow," Bakura suggested.

"Would that be alright, Grampa?" Yugi asked.

Grampa Muto paused, thinking, then slowly nodded. "Just be very careful," he warned. "Something tells me this could be another very dangerous mystery that you kids are getting involved in."

"Hey, don't worry, Gramps, we'll be careful," Joey grinned. "What's the worst that could happen?"

"Wheeler, haven't you learned by now that that's a very unwise thing to say?" Seto asked.

"Hey, maybe someday my infamous question will have the answer I keep hopin' for," Joey said with a shrug.

"Oh? And what would that answer be, Joseph?" Grampa Muto wondered curiously.

Joey grinned. "'Nothing,' of course."

"Fat chance of that ever happening," Tristan remarked as they went out the door.
"So the funeral director is really named 'Graves'?" Joey remarked, raising an eyebrow. "Too freaky!"

Seto smirked. "I've heard stranger." He didn't elaborate.

Yugi knocked on the door, which he'd discovered was locked. "Hello? Mr. Graves, are you there? We want to help."

The door opened slowly. "I won't speak to any more reporters!" a man the teens recognized as Mr. Graves said hotly. He blinked suddenly, noticing exactly who was standing at his door. "Quite young for journalists, aren't you?" he commented.

"We aren't journalists, Mr. Graves," Tea smiled.

"No? Then who are you?" Mr. Graves asked grouchily.

"We heard about the break-in, Mr. Graves, and we wanted to help," Yugi said. "I'm Yugi Muto, and these are my friends." He gestured at the other teens gathered around him.

"Joey Wheeler, master detective, at your service," Joey grinned.

"And Tristan Taylor, the Dr. Watson to Joey's Sherlock Holmes," Tristan grinned.

"Tea Gardner," Tea introduced simply, shaking her head at the boys' goofy introductions.

"And I'm Bakura," the silver-haired boy spoke up shyly.

"And I don't know them," Seto smirked, indicating Joey and Tristan.

Mr. Graves looked as though he wasn't sure what to make of this unusual crowd. "Well, come in," he finally said reluctantly.

"So, Mr. Graves, did this scarecrow take anything?" Joey asked, jumping right into things.

"Er . . . no, he, it . . . whatever it was did not take anything," Mr. Graves replied stiffly.

"You'll have to excuse Joey here, Mr. Graves," Tea said. "He just loves playing detective."

"Heeey . . . remember, we solved that big mystery back at the ski lodge just fine!" Joey said defensively.

"As I remember, it was mostly Yugi who solved it," Tea returned.

Yugi blushed. "We all worked together to solve it," he smiled.

Seto raised an eyebrow. "To return to the matter at hand, I believe I saw the same scarecrow that you did, Mr. Graves," he said.

"Well, if it was moving around and sneering, it definitely was the same one," Mr. Graves said sarcastically.

"Mr. Graves, we'd honestly like to help you figure out what happened here," Yugi said, summoning his Yami.

Mr. Graves relaxed a little. "Well, I suppose I could use some help . . . the police think it was either a stupid Halloween prank or even just my imagination, since I was the only one who saw it."

"Mr. Graves, what do you think it was?" Yugi asked seriously.

Mr. Graves threw up his hands in frustration. "I don't know! It just barged in, tramped through the front office, and then went back into the morgue and opened five coffins, as if it was looking for something—or shall we say, someone—and then ran out the back way!"

"Freaky," Joey commented.

"And no one else saw it?" Tea said in surprise.

"No one," Mr. Graves sighed. "The only other person here at the time was my assistant, Bob Fielding, and he claims he never saw anything."

"Is Bob still around?" Yugi wondered.

"Oh yes, he's at his desk," Mr. Graves replied, "but I doubt he'll be of much help."

"We'd like to talk to him anyway, if we could," Yugi said.

"Be my guests," Mr. Graves said with a shrug, leading them down the hall and into an office area.

A frazzled-looking young man in his late twenties was hard at work on his computer. He looked up abruptly when Mr. Graves led Yugi and the others in. "What's going on?" he demanded. "I've already talked to the police."

"We're not the police," Yugi said. "We're just here to help."

"Yeah, well, there's nothing to help us about," the man replied angrily. "It was just a dumb prank."

"Bob, be more congenial," Mr. Graves scolded. "This is Yugi Muto, and he, along with his friends, is going to help us figure out what happened. Even if it was just a prank, I, for one, would like to know."

Bob shrugged. "Knock yourselves out."

Joey took a curious step over to the computer. "Soo, what're you workin' on, Bob?" he asked.

"None of your business!" Bob snapped, setting up a screen saver so Joey couldn't look. "Stay away from me and my computer, wise guy!"

"Ooh, touchy," Joey said, looking miffed.
Tristan sighed as they left the funeral home a half hour later. "Well, that was a big help," he said. "We didn't find anything out, except that you can always count on Joey to take a wrong turn."

"Hey, how was I supposed to know that going in that other door would take us right into the morgue?" Joey said defensively.

"Well, what do we do now, Yugi?" Tea asked.

"A good question, Tea," Yugi sighed. "I'm not sure. We don't have a lot to go on."

"You can say that again," Joey remarked. "Hey, wait a minute! Look, there goes something that looks really freaky!"

Everyone came to attention. "You mean like . . .?" Tea started to say.

"One maniacal scarecrow at twelve o'clock," Joey replied, just as the creature charged right at them. "Everybody scatter!"

The six teens ran in six different directions, and the scarecrow ran on madly straight ahead.

"Not so fast," Seto smirked, reaching out and grabbing the scarecrow by the arm. "Just who are you and what are you doing?!"

The scarecrow sneered and shoved Seto backward forcefully, not bothering to answer the questions. Then it turned and disappeared down an alley.

"Kaiba! Are you alright?" Yugi asked, as he and the others came out from their hiding places.

"I'm fine, Yugi," Seto replied, standing up and dusting himself off. "But I have some news for you—that thing really was made out of straw." He held up several pieces of the stuff for inspection. "When I grabbed its arm, I could feel that it was."

"Holy cow!" Joey gasped. "I figured it was probably just someone in a costume or something!"

"Well, Joey, you wanted something scary to figure out," Tristan remarked.

"Now it looks like you've got something, like it or not," Tea added with a sigh.

Joey shrugged their comments off. "Let's split up and look for that thing!" he called out.

"Alright, but let's be careful," Yugi cautioned. "There's six of us, so let's split up into three groups. Joey, you come with me."

"You got it, Yug," Joey grinned.

"I'll go with Bakura," Tristan volunteered.

Tea looked around. "I guess that puts me with you, Kaiba," she said.

Seto smirked. "I guess it does."

"We'll all meet back at the game shop in two hours," Yugi directed. "If anyone fails to show up, the others will assume that they ran into trouble."

Everyone nodded in agreement and went their separate ways, not knowing what kinds of dangers they might meet up with.