The First Date, First Kiss
it. If you like it please R&R. I don't expect this to be a long story like my other two Yugioh fics, but I think it will be a fun ride as it moves along. There is a lemon addition to chapter eight that I wrote, if you would like to read it you can email me to request it. Just a warning; this story will contain spoilers for Battle City and possibly the Noah's Virtual World saga. This fic has been beta read by Minor Arcana; a big thank you to her for all her help and advice on the story.
Dog Days Chapter Eleven: The First Date, First Kiss
The week passed uneventfully and by the time Friday arrived, Joey had begun to relax as he found a new routine by which to order his life. Duke had really gone out of his way to make Joey feel at home and even though Joey wasn't actually working at the Black Crown yet he enjoyed learning about how things ran. It was exhilarating having the freedom to do as he pleased, whenever he pleased. As he sat in the passenger seat of Duke's car he smiled, looking forward to his evening out with Mai. Being able to sit up late talking to her in the chat room was something Joey was seriously enjoying.
His thoughts went back to last night and how he'd asked her what she wanted to do on their date. Her response had made him shudder.
"/Well what if we went out for a nice dinner and came back to my place? I could model something I finished making. You'll never guess what it is but I know you'll love it, RedEyes." /
He'd figured it had to be a costume of some sorts, his money was on it being some form of Harpy Lady outfit, but if he was wrong he could easily live with that too. Life was so much simpler now for the young teen. He was brought back to reality when Duke turned off the radio and parked his car. Joey reached down to his backpack between his feet and then he got out after Duke. They went inside the Black Crown and were greeted by one of the employees as they made their way upstairs. Joey had some homework he wanted to get out of the way so he and Duke parted ways as they each went to their bedrooms.
A man across the street started up a dashboard camera and sat patiently, watching activity as it went on all around him. He made momentary eye contact with a passing driver who drove past the strip mall. The man behind the wheel of the black sedan then smiled as he pulled a cell phone from his coat pocket. He didn't notice the curtains at a window to a room upstairs in the game shop, part partially revealing a green eyed young man twisting a lock of his long black hair in the fingers of one hand.
'/I know I have seen this guy before. But just who is he working for? I have a feeling it has to be Kaiba. Who else? I know what Yugi told me about his conversation with him about Joey, that he knows about Joey's father, though he has yet to indicate that awareness in any way I've seen.' /
Duke leaned back away from his window and sat down in his desk chair. He'd begun noticing the pattern to this feeling he'd gotten that they were being watched, and with Kaiba acting like nothing worth his while went on in school it was as if Joey and the others had fallen completely off the elite duelist's radar. If anything, that in itself struck him as odd enough, but since he'd begun working with the young man on his game he'd come to recognize a great many qualities he shared with him.
Of course, Duke knew he was no match for Kaiba at Duel Monsters, he just hoped he never had to face him at his own game as facing him would be difficult once he really understood the in's and out's of Dungeon Dice Monsters. It was also a somewhat unspoken agreement between him and the CEO of Kaiba Corp that they went on at school as if there was nothing going on between them business related. He got the feeling that this man parked outside was along those same lines of being par for the course of doing business with Seto Kaiba, the CEO expecting him to safeguard his interests.
If he got the feeling that something was going on that shouldn't be, he knew how to get in touch with Kaiba. In fact, he had a direct line to him, and they did confer at all hours about the game's progression from sketched out ideas to elements of a holographic environment that were to be incorporated into the actual game play. But just to be safe, Duke set up a camera to observe the block from the vantage point of his window. The thought had crossed his mind that Joey's father might come trying to find his son at some point, and if things got violent the camera could help document Joey's case.
'/I hope it doesn't come down to that, but I want to be prepared. I know how insane some fathers can be, considering my past. Yugi and his friends didn't care about any of it, they liked me for me. I know they like Kaiba, but he really doesn't seem to feel much for anyone but Mokuba. Which is why seeing this silent observer here day after day tells me maybe he does feel for people, specifically Yugi and Joey. As long as everything stays quiet, that's all I care about.' /
Duke shrugged off the feeling that something bad was looming over the horizon. He didn't want to admit it, but he was glad not to be alone anymore. He had been an only child so his life had been more like Yugi's then Joey's. What he'd seen of Joey's relationship with his younger sister Serenity had warmed his heart. That might have been partially why he'd decided to move Joey in with him, but another reason why was because of the escalating savage nature of the attacks upon the young blonde. He had to force back memories of what he'd seen in the locker room on Joey's back a month ago. Seeing Joey's face bruised last week, Duke had seen enough and knew he had to act now or be ready to accept that he might end up going to Joey's funeral.
Although that was a horrible thought, it too had crossed his mind during the time he'd spent thinking about whether or not this was the right thing to do. Now he knew it had been the right thing to do, but when he'd soul searched on whether or not to ask Joey to leave his dad he'd been deeply touched by the haunting dark memories in his own relationship with his father. Unlike Yugi, it had been his father who had planned out that he would use his own son to avenge himself against a man who'd bested him in a game twenty years ago, none other then Yugi's grandfather, Solomon Motou.
Duke had been relieved when his father had ended up put away in a special hospital for people who could hurt themselves and possibly others. Before he had known how wrong he'd been to let his father try to push him into beating Yugi by any means necessary, Duke hadn't known better as he'd blindly followed his abusive father without question. He'd learned early in his life what the harsh consequences of any defiance would be. He'd thought living for your father under his watchful eye as he had was normal but it wasn't. He knew that now, and he was glad that Joey being here meant he was away from a man who probably didn't know any better then to act out in drunken rages, beating up his son just because he was a convenient target to vent his hatred upon.
Sighing, Duke picked up where he'd left off the night before. Joey was going out with Mai tonight and he didn't expect to see his friend until morning if even that soon. Therefore, he was ready to get a lot done tonight. He turned on his stereo and combed over the plans Kaiba had sent him yesterday. Soon he wasn't thinking about the man in the dark car outside, or the young blonde taking a shower, fighting nerves in the bathroom. If Joey had come to talk to him, Duke wouldn't have thought twice about offering any advice to him about how to treat a lady. He was as comfortable having Joey around now as he was showing off in front of his adoring fan girls, with whom he had a scheduled appearance set for this weekend.
Jim Wheeler grumbled at the doorbell sounding, certain it wouldn't be Joey after he'd seen how he was staying with that dark haired young man. He approached the door slowly and then opened it with the chain still connected, thinking it was probably some Girl Scout selling cookies or something just as annoying. He blinked in confusion at the policeman standing on the porch.
"Are you James Wheeler?" asked the man standing at the door, holding an envelope in his right hand.
Jim furrowed his brows suspiciously before answering, "Yes. Can I help you, officer?"
The man extended his hand reaching the envelope through the crack of the door, "You are expected to appear in court next week. You have been served these papers and you can call the number on the front page here for more information should you require it."
Jim took the envelope and nodded to the man, "Thank you."
The man nodded then turned around, heading back to his police cruiser. Jim grumbled as he closed the door, resisting the urge to crumble up the envelope without even opening it, but he knew he couldn't. Whatever it was at least he hadn't been arrested. It crossed his foggy mind that if he was going to go down that way he could at least have the pleasure of getting one last chance to beat that spoiled brat within an inch of his life.
'/Who the hell does he think he is anyway? Trying to take away my rights as a father like this? I'll show that little bastard that I own his ass, all right. After I get through with him he won't be able to sit for a week, if he's even able to breathe long enough to heal from the ass whooping I've got in store for him, that is.' /
Anger boiled inside the cold-hearted man and he went to the kitchen to get himself another beer. He'd need to get another twelve-pack later, but for the moment he was all right with having eight left. He'd had to call in to work because his back was hurting something fierce. Lately it had been giving him trouble, but he was not the kind of man to ever go to a doctor no matter what was wrong with him so the thought of going to seeing one never entered his mind.
After he had cracked open a fresh beer, he sat at the kitchen table, tearing open the envelope. His eyes narrowed as he read over the demands that he appear in court next week. There was no way he would give his son the satisfaction of seeing him in a courtroom. If the sniveling pain in the ass wanted to be on his own then so be it. It would be one less problem for him to worry about and he'd be freed from the responsibility of raising that blasted kid. Besides, the boy was seventeen. When he had been seventeen, he'd left home to make his own way in the world, but he doubted Joey had what it took to do the same.
'/He won't be gone a month before he comes crawling back home, but then he'll get a shock when I won't let him in or even talk to him. Let him find out how cold the world is, like I did. Stupid brat, he'll regret doing this, I'll see to it that he does.' /
Jim took a swig from the cold beer and then put the papers back in the envelope, tossing it carelessly onto the table near the other mail he had received, which consisted mostly of bills and store flyers. He groaned as sharp twinges of pain shot through his lower back, and it felt like he was being knifed from behind. Cursing loudly, Jim stood up and, taking his beer with him, went to the living room to lay in his recliner. He hoped that would help his back relax, but the pain in his back increased. Gripping the beer can in his right hand, Jim tilted it back greedily guzzled down a long draw of the amber colored alcohol.
Fatigue caught up with the older blonde man as he stretched out, trying to keep his thoughts from straying to his life and his resentment of everyone in it. He slammed through five more cans before he passed out for the afternoon; it wasn't until after dark that he ventured out for a walk to dull his senses. It pissed him off terribly to miss days at work, but he'd pulled his back or so he thought and wrote the pain off as. As strange as it was to be alone, the older man didn't feel as good about it as he'd thought he would. He'd always placed a lot of blame onto his son's shoulders about the shortcomings of his life.
Odds were though that he'd spend the rest of his life denying his role in forcing away everyone who had ever loved him. The silence in the Wheeler home since Joey had fled it deafened the drunken man, yet he still held to his stupor. Seeming to think, however arrogantly, that if he succeeded in breaking his son's spirit he would feel avenged for all the pain he felt when his wife had left, taking his daughter with her, leaving the brat here with him to take care of. That Joey had gone behind his back to win that money to pay for Serenity's eye operation really infuriated Jim. If anyone should ever do that for her it was him, and even if he tried to deny it, the cold harsh reality was that he held it against Joey that he'd been able to do something Jim himself could not by saving her eyesight.
Joey fussed with his shirts, trying to decide what to wear. There was a knock on his door and Duke called out to him. Joey opened the door and greeted him warmly. Duke looked over to the bed where Joey had several different shirts spread over top of it. He blushed, wearing just his faded jeans and sneakers, he felt a bit embarrassed with his chest exposed.
"So Joey are you having trouble finding something to wear? I have a shirt I think would look perfect on you. I'll be right back," Duke winked and left Joey standing there.
'/I wonder what he has in mind. I sure hope I don't disappoint Mai tonight. I am almost free from Dad now so there isn't any reason to hold back my feelings for her anymore,'/ Joey thought to himself.
Duke appeared a few moments later with a red short sleeved shirt and a pair of black wristbands. Joey grinned as Duke handed them to him.
"Wow Duke that is a cool shirt, but I don't know, I don't usually wear red. Now red is great on you, so tell me does it look bad on me?" Joey asked his dark haired friend as he put the shirt on.
"Oh yeah Joey. Look in the mirror, it looks really good on you. Go ahead and borrow it for you date tonight. I don't mind," Duke said giving Joey a thumb up.
"Thanks Duke. Maybe I can wear red after all," Joey laughed.
Next he put on the wristbands, then finally his silver dog tag that was inscribed with his old address and phone number. It reminded him that he should order a new one with this address and his new phone number so that if something happened to him he wouldn't have to deal with his father. Once he gained his freedom legally, that would be one of the first things he'd do. Duke walked Joey to the front doors of the Black Crown and held the door open for him.
"Have a good time."
"You bet, don't work too hard man. I don't know when I'll be back but I got my keys with me so don't worry. So I'll see you later Duke."
"I won't. See you Joey." Duke laughed as he shut the door.
Mai was smiling as she looked Joey's lithe figure from head to toe several times and he was glad Duke had loaned him the red shirt. From her reaction he was sure she thought he looked nice, which made him happy. He reached for the door handle and opened the door.
"You look fantastic, Mai! Do you think I am underdressed? I can change if you want..."
"You look great, Joey, so don't worry about it. Let's get going, eh?" Mai batted her eyes at her young companion as he got in her car.
Joey grinned and closed the door, looking up to Duke through the glass doors, waving back to him Joey waved a final farewell to his friend as Mai put the car in drive. Mai had a CD playing and Joey took the time to admire her outfit. He had always admired her taste in clothes and tonight she had on a black leather halter top and matching leather miniskirt with knee high laced black boots. She also wore a red vest, and as she drove them back to her apartment she smiled over at him.
"So, handsome, mind heading back to my place and sharing the take out I ordered that should arrive in ten minutes?"
Joey choked feeling his face flush, "Uh, sure. That sounds great if you really didn't want to go out at all."
She chuckled, "Joey are you blushing?"
Joey's face was quite scarlet and the shade only darkened as he avoided her gaze. He felt her hand touch his and guide it to her right thigh. He turned to look at her, taking her features in as she removed her hand, putting it back onto the steering wheel. Her perfume hung inside the air of the car and he enjoyed the fragrance. He gently squeezed her leg and blushed again as he looked down before slowly removing his hand. Her hand snapped down to prevent the escape of his so he laughed nervously as she entwined her fingers into his.
"You don't have to take your hand off my leg, Joey, I put it there for a reason. I got you something today when I was shopping. I hope you'll like it, but you'll have to wait until we get to my place before you get it."
He laughed again, "You mean you wearing all that leather wasn't what you got me when shopping today?"
She squeezed his hand roughly, using more force then he'd have given her credit to being able to exert with her right hand, "Watch it, you. I've had this outfit for awhile. What I made for myself and finished you'll have to wait for too, so just relax and enjoy the torture, RedEyes."
Joey groaned, "Whatever you say Mai. You're the one driving."
"Yes I am, so just let your mind wonder what it could be on both counts. Then again we may have more then just a couple of pleasant surprises tonight, eh, Joey?"
"You driving me crazy is surprise enough for me. You didn't have to go to any trouble for me, Mai. I just wanted to be with you tonight. That's all."
Mai nodded and pulled into her apartment complex. The young woman and Joey didn't notice the black sedan sitting in a spot a few rows away from the place Mai parked her car. They went inside holding hands and the driver of the dark car snickered in the near darkness. His dashboard camera was making sure his boss could see what was going on and that he'd been correct yet again in predicting the whereabouts of the young duelists. Even so, he took out a cell phone to report in their arrival.
Joey sat next to Mai on her couch, their dinner long gone. The two were snuggled together watching a movie on television. As a commercial came on, Mai got up and went to her bedroom. She winked at Joey as he moved to allow her up and he blushed at her retreating figure. She chuckled, thinking about how sweet it was that he could blush so easily.
She closed her door behind her and lifted the black leather top off over her shoulders, then she tugged the button open and pulling the zipper down on her leather skirt. Quickly she reached for the light blue tights, thigh high boots and the rest of her costume then sat on her bed. She had everything on in no time and then reached for a feathery boa that she wrapped around her shoulders along with the finishing piece of her outfit that she'd gotten earlier to finish off the look of her ensemble.
Mai took a moment to freshen her make up before she left her room with the lights off behind her. Joey didn't look up, too fearful of what she possibly would appear in and from behind her back she pulled the prop, a leather whip, which she cracked loudly against the floor. Joey's head snapped around towards her bedroom and his eyes were wide. If the young blonde hadn't looked so startled, Mai might just have laughed, instead, she just licked her lips and cracked the whip again. Joey stood up and started towards her slowly, smiling giddily as he took in her outfit.
"Damn that is hot! You look drop dead gorgeous in that Harpy Lady getup. I had a feeling that was what you'd made and I whole heartedly approve. But I don't think I'd want you to wear it out anywhere. Then again, I have a feeling that this was your way to initiate another kind of challenge, wasn't it, RoseWhip?"
Mai nodded and met him across the room, "May I have this dance, my lady?" Joey asked, imitating a perfect gentleman.
Mai nodded and wrapped her whip loosely around his neck, pulling his face close to hers whispering, "I thought you'd never ask."
She backed Joey into the living room, where she sought more then just the remote that she used to turn on the stereo, turning off the television.
She pushed him down onto the couch and straddled his lap, easing her lips to his painfully slowly to taste their first kiss. Joey closed his eyes as their lips touched softly, leaning his head back against the leather whip in her hands. He moved his hands to her waist, then he reached up her back, her hair tickling his fingers. Her lips parted, deepening their kiss, and she positioned herself against him. His lips pressed lightly against hers at first, just touching, feeling them against his for the very first time.
She gasped from the contact of his tongue as it gently traced the outline of her lips, teasing hers to come out and play. She shivered from the almost electric energy that flew all throughout her body, totally helpless to hold back from expressing her feelings to him physically. Joey moved his tongue between her lips slowly as hers came out to meet it, softly, yet firmly curling against his, waves of longing and heated desire possessing them both. Just when Mai thought she was about to pass out Joey pulled back, but because of actually having gotten quite inflamed from their first kiss she could still feel the echo of him on her lips as she gasped for breath. They stayed in the living room for awhile before Mai turned off the stereo and led him into her room.
Yugi sat at home in his bedroom, wondering what Joey was up to and how his date with Mai was going when Yami appeared next to him in his ethereal form. Yugi smiled at the former pharaoh and nodded to him.
"Hi, Yami. Is something up?"
'/No, nothing is up, I just felt you were thinking about Joey and I wondered if you needed to talk,'/ Yami offered.
"Well, maybe that would be a good thing. I'm just wondering if him and Mai belong together or not, you know? Remember that movie star guy that had proposed to her? I always thought she'd dueled him to try to get out of refusing the proposal for honest reasons. Like her feelings about Joey."
Yami nodded and crossed his arms, thoughtfully considering his response.
'/It does seem that she has been drawn to him for a long time. Remember when we fought with Kaiba against the big five the first time and Mai was there?' /
Yugi nodded and Yami went on/, 'Well, I have always thought that there was the potential for more between them then just friendship. After all, Yugi, during Battle City it became clearly obvious how deep his feelings for her ran.' /
"Yes, that's true. I guess I just hope things get better for him. This crap with his father has been really scary just for me as his friend, I'd hate to think of having to console him after his first heartbreak which is what finding happiness with her and losing it would be to him no doubt." Yugi sighed sadly and Yami reached over to put a semi-transparent arm around his shoulders.
'/Don't worry, Yugi. They knew what they were getting into. I have faith in Mai and Joey both that they won't hurt one another; they've known each other for a long time and I think that there is someone out there for everyone. If they're lucky, they are for one another. If not, then at least they took the chance to find out,'/ Yami smiled wistfully as he looked out the window, hoping his words comforted Yugi somewhat.
"You're right, Yami. I know you are. Well, I should probably be getting to bed. I have to help grandpa in the morning. Thanks for coming out to talk. I feel a lot better now."
Yami nodded and retreated back into his soul room in the puzzle. He then said a silent prayer for the safety and good fortune of his friends. He felt Yugi yawn and get into bed as he got settled in his chambers to meditate for the duration of the evening. If Joey needed their help they would do whatever they had to for him because they were friends no matter what.