Title: Games that People Play - Ch. 3: The Dating Game
Pairing(s): Seto + Yami, Yugi + Anzu, Mai + Jou, Malik + Bakura
Spoilers: none… post-Orichalcos Doom arc
Disclaimer: Yu-Gi-Oh! is the creation of Kazuki Takahashi. This is a not-for-profit fanwork and I do not own any of these characters.
Summary: Direct sequel to "The Boys of Summer." Next stop on the quadruple date, and everyone brushes up on their French.
Status: 3 / 5
Archived at: http://www.phenixsol.com/Miko/FF/
This is a SHONEN-AI fic (male + male romantic relationship). If you are offended by homosexual relationships, please do not read this. Flames will be disregarded.
Setup for this fic:
* * *
Games that People Play
Ch. 3: The Dating Game
* * *
No one said a word out loud about the fact that the interior of the limo smelled strongly of air freshener, nor did anyone comment about the fact that Seto was busy redoing Yami's tie while the Mercedes rumbled back to life and began moving once again. But sometimes, imagination is far worse than reality.
"So… uh… dinner's next, right?" Jou asked, sitting gingerly at the edge of his seat. He tried to not think about the fact that his friend and… well, whatever Seto was to him… had been going at it like rabbits while the other three couples were enjoying a movie. Going to a movie… that's a normal date activity. Gettin' into a limo afterwards where two guys were screwing all over the seats… not a normal date activity. And why does Rich Boy carry around leather wipes anyw… ewwwwwww!!! The blonde teen couldn't help but shudder as Yami kissed Seto in thanks for fixing his tie again and an unwanted mental image of the pair naked and in the throes of passion suddenly sprang to mind. "Oh God, just shoot me now!" Jou whimpered, tugging at his hair.
Mai raised an eyebrow and wondered about her date's sanity. "Katsuya, what?"
"I… I… they, we… seat wipes," Jou stammered. Think of boobs. Think of Mai's boobs.
Seto stared at Jou for a long moment, then narrowed his eyes at Yugi. "You TOLD him?"
Yugi gave the young CEO his most innocent, wide-eyed look. If it worked for Mokuba, maybe it would work for him as well. "Kaiba, it was pretty obvious what you two were up to."
"Obvious to everyone except Jou," Malik pointed out, sniggering.
Seto glared at Malik. "Shut the fuck up, and I don't know what you're all talking about, so can it. I knew I should have left you in the handcuffs longer, Yugi. Or maybe duct taped your mouth shut." Sensing his boyfriend's displeasure at the remark, Seto grabbed Yami's right wrist before the crimson-eyed teen was able lift it up to hit him. So Yami simply smacked him with his left hand instead.
"You are not going to tape Yugi's mouth shut," Yami ground out.
"Yeah, fine, whatever." I'll just whip out the handy gag in my briefca… ow! Stop that!
You are definitely NOT going to gag him!
Why? Maybe he'd like it. OW! Frustrated, Seto grabbed both of Yami's wrists and wrestled them behind his back. Don't make me get out the cuffs again.
Yami chuckled aloud. Go ahead, Kai-baby. This time, you're the one who's going to…
The beeping of the intercom caught everyone's attention. Seto released Yami to activate it. "Yes?"
"Mr. Kaiba, we've arrived at the restaurant."
"All right." Turning off the com, the brunette billionaire addressed the others in the car. "I'm sure I don't have to say this, but behave yourselves. This isn't Burger World or whatever. So don't scratch at your fleas or hump anyone's leg, Mutt. And Malik, dump the hat. It's ridiculous."
Malik pouted and Jou snarled wordlessly at Seto as a valet approached and opened the door. Anzu was the first one out, followed closely by Yugi, Mai, Jou, a now hatless Malik, Bakura, Yami and Seto.
"Well, looks like I guessed correctly," Mai said triumphantly as they looked up at the brass marquee over the doors of the restaurant. It proudly read "Boulud."
Seto approached her with Yami at his side. "Please tell me you haven't eaten here already. It just opened a week and a half ago."
"No, no I haven't. But I've read the reviews… it sounds wonderful."
Seto smirked. "I hope it doesn't disappoint me then," he said, and headed for the front doors, his hand on the small of Yami's back.
Mai turned to Jou, who was wondering how the hell he was going to pay for a fancy dinner. Maybe I can just drink water, unless they charge me $10 for a bottle of imported water or some crap like that.
"Well, shall we?" the blonde woman asked, holding out her hand.
Jou blinked at her. Aw, shit. I'm gettin' all distracted when I should be paying attention to Mai. Let's see… a gentleman should offer his arm to the lady, right? Okay, here goes… He held his left elbow out towards her, hoping he was doing it correctly. To his relief, Mai smiled and looped her arm through his. Yes!!
Yugi was quick to follow his friend's example, leading Anzu by the arm through the double doors held open by a pair of doormen, and Malik grabbed Bakura's hand as they brought up the rear.
"Oh wow," Anzu said softly once all eight of them were in the lobby. The interior was positively opulent… decorated in cream and gold, burgundy and midnight blue, full of lush velvets and brocades. Seto and Yami strolled up to the maitre d' like they owned the place while the others took a quick look around.
"This place looks really, really expensive. How much money did ya bring?" Jou whispered to Yugi, while the girls wandered off a short distance to check their hair and makeup in a mirror.
"Uh… probably not enough? I was hoping Kaiba would loan us some, or maybe offer to pay." Yami?
Jou and I didn't bring a lot of money with…
Don't worry, I'm sure Seto will pay for everyone. And if he doesn't volunteer, then I will. Which is the same thing essentially.
Thanks, Yami! "Yami said he'd pay if Kaiba doesn't."
"Thank goodness. Cause I was beginning to think that…"
"AHEM." Both teens looked up as Seto cleared his throat, grabbing everyone's attention as the maitre d' gestured in the direction of the main dining hall.
Regrouping, the four couples walked through a set of bronze studded mahogany doors and were led to a round table in the far corner enclosed by gold and cream striped curtains, giving them quite a bit of privacy. Seto and Yami decided to sit down in the back corner. Jou and Yugi both pulled the chairs out for their dates before seating themselves, and Malik even pulled out Bakura's chair with a bow before he sat himself down.
After the menus were distributed and the curtains were drawn around their table, Yami leaned his head against Seto's shoulder while they all considered what they wanted to eat.
Jou stared at the menu and scratched his head. "Uhh… I don't get this. There's like, no prices listed."
"Why does it matter? I'm paying," Seto answered dismissively, a slight frown forming on his face. "You choose by number of courses. I would suggest three since the vegetarian menu only offers a three course prix fixe. But if you want to make a pig of yourself, there are four, five and eight course options as well."
While a small part of Jou wanted to blow Seto's cash just to do it, the rest of him didn't want to act like a glutton in front of Mai. "Three's fine." Damn smug bastard. Stupid French menu… I don't even know what half this stuff is! "So… Yug. What looks good to you?"
Yugi was also struggling to figure out what some of the items were exactly, then coughed when he spied some of the supplemental prices on the appetizers menu. "I know the $650 caviar doesn't."
"$650?!" Jou squeaked. "I know caviar is supposed ta be expensive, but… is that for a whole bucket or somethin'?"
Yugi looked it up on the menu. "50 grams of Iranian 000 Beluga caviar. That would be one serving, I think."
Yami perked up. If it was seafood and was exotic or expensive, he wanted to try it. "Kai-baby…"
"Yeah, yeah, I already know."
Jou smiled smugly when he realized that at least one person at the table had no qualms about spending Seto's big bucks. But then again, they were a couple. A couple who liked to have sex in the li… No no no… don't think about it!
Anzu looked over at Yugi, then at Seto and Yami. Well, since no one else is going to ask… "So does anyone know what porchetta, paupiette, and clafoutis mean? Or vacherin? Chibouste?" she queried, stumbling over the words slightly.
"They sound French," Malik sneered, ignoring the fact that they were indeed in a French restaurant. He glanced again at the vegetarian menu. "How about mesclun? Coulis?"
"Mesclun are mixed greens. Coulis means puree, I believe" Bakura answered after a moment's thought.
Malik grinned at his boyfriend. "Awww, Ryou, you're so smart!" Bakura simply blushed at the compliment. "Hmm… the Swiss chard and herb cannelloni sounds pretty good…"
Jou stared at the pale-haired couple, then scrunched his face up at the menu. "Geez. Okay… let's see. Like 'mesclun salad with roasted bell peppers and tomato confit, seasonal crudités, black olives, lemon vinaigrette and lovage oil' - is that a single item? What's a confit? What's a crudité? What's a lovage? Where's the normal food?"
"Normal food?" Mai echoed, laughing merrily. "Oh, Katsuya…"
"French fries don't count as French food, you dumb dog." Seto began pinching at the bridge of his nose. Maybe it was a mistake to bring everyone else along… I can stomach Yugi and Mai and Bakura, and that's it. They can leave their dates at home next time.
Yami placed his hand at the base of his lover's neck and began rubbing it gently while tapping their link to leech away some of Seto's bad mood. It's okay… it's kind of amusing that that they're all asking these things. Honestly… it's never really bothered me. Half the time I don’t know what I'm ordering and it always comes out all right.
Mm. Food was less complicated in ancient Egypt, I'm sure. And it's not like you or Noa or Mokuba regularly demand "seasonal crudités"…
Hn. Guess you have a point. "Okay, start over from the top. Anzu first."
"Um…" the brunette dancer quickly glanced over the menu again. "Porchetta, paupiette, clafoutis, vacherin, chibouste? And I'm sure I butchered the pronunciation on most of those quite badly."
"Porchetta is roasted pork, paupiette is a filet wrapped around a filling, clafoutis is a sort of cake I think, vacherin is some other dessert thing… meringue related, and chibouste is a custard-like cream."
Even Jou couldn't help but be impressed. "Wow, you're like a walking dictionary. So what's confit, crudité and lovage?"
Yami smiled and took over for his boyfriend. "Confit is a method of cooking involving the preservation of the item in oil or fat, crudités are simply raw veggie sticks, and lovage is just an herb." Jou gawked at him. "What? I do cook you know."
"So why don't they just say 'green salad with bell peppers, tomato, veggies sticks, olives, and tons of oil?'"
"Probably because it sounds gross," said Mai. "Would you eat that?"
"Uh… I'd rather have a plate of curry and rice, thanks."
* * *
Despite the difficulties with the menu, everyone eventually decided on their orders. The food that was served was flavorful as well as artistically pleasing, but Jounouchi couldn't help but wonder how much each bite cost considering that the food, especially the main course, seemed to be really tiny compared to the size of the plate. It seemed that presentation was more important than quantity. No wonder Kaiba's so skinny if he eats like this all the time. Not that Seto was even eating everything set in front of him; Yami was snagging bits of seared rib eye and morel off Seto's plate which were apparently reserved for his consumption, since the taller duelist was actively pushing them towards his lover. The ex-spirit was reciprocating but on a smaller scale, hand feeding Seto a few bites of roasted sea bass when the older teen was too distracted to object.
Jou was a bit surprised when he came to the realization that he was actually jealous of Seto and Yami, or more precisely, the relationship they managed to build despite their differences and past rivalry. Currently, the pair had completely withdrawn from the quiet conversation at the table and were apparently chatting via their mind link, if he was reading the expressions on their faces correctly. Maybe their weirdly perverse sex life was a scary thing to ponder, but it was obvious how closely they were connected and how well they complimented one another. Heck, if they got any closer, they ought to be considered a single entity and call themselves Kaimi. Or Yamba. Look at 'em makin' googly eyes at each other. Okay, scratch that… Kaiba looks wrong with that expression on his face. Wait, why am I watching Yami and Kaiba feed each other?
Swinging his gaze back to Mai, Jou sighed inwardly. Oh yeah, that's why. Man, what can I offer Mai? She belongs in a place like this, with people like this, eatin' this kind of food, most of which I can't even pronounce! Mai was mature; a lady of refinement. Not the kind of woman who should be stuck with a teenager who was attending community college most of the year and working part-time in a gaming shop to supplement dwindling savings from his glory days as a globetrotting duelist. Glory days… ha! Who am I kidding? I was always the runner-up or the guy who finished in third. Though Jou was proud of what he had managed to accomplish, he was afraid it wasn't enough for the woman he was lusting after.
"Something on your mind?" the object of Jou's affections asked softly, breaking into his reverie.
"Huh? Oh… it's nothing."
"Really? Because you've been pushing that same piece of chicken back and forth for the last few minutes," she pointed out in amusement.
"Yeah? Sorry." Jou put his fork and knife down. "So, Mai… you probably eat at places like this a lot, huh?"
"I wouldn't say a lot. Why do you ask? You didn't like what you ordered?"
"Nah, food's good. But um… you… if…" Damn it, pull yourself together man! "If I asked you to go out with me again but we couldn't come to a place like this, what would you say?"
Mai delicately picked up a forkful of baked halibut. "We're in the middle of date number one and you're already asking me out for date number two?"
Is that a no? "Uhh…"
The violet-eyed blonde giggled. "I'm sorry, I'm just teasing you, Pup. Don't be nervous. If I didn't like you, I wouldn't have agreed to go out with you in the first place, know what I mean?"
"But I'm not rich or classy or anything like… hey, you called me Pup again!"
Mai coyly fluttered her long lashes at her date. "I think it's cute, like you, but… if it really bothers you…"
"No, well, yes… uh… grrr. Fine! But only you can use it. And only cause you think I'm... uh, it's cute and all."
"Thanks, Pup." She smiled brightly and then got a little more serious, dropping down to a whisper so that Jou would have to lean in closer to hear her. "Look, Katsuya, I agreed to go out with you because I am fond of you for who you are, despite the age difference. You're a nice guy, and you're open, honest and loyal; a true friend. And… that's really important to me. It means more to me than anything else. I have no regrets about this date. Who cares about money anyways? I'm doing well enough myself."
Jou blushed. "Wow… thanks."
Mai patted his hand, then wrapped her fingers around his. "In response to your earlier question, yes."
"Yes?" Jou asked stupidly, staring at his hand, which just seemed big and clumsy under Mai's refined fingers. The room temperature seemed to have gone up several degrees.
"Second date? Yes. But this time, let's do it without our friends, hmm?"
"You… you mean… alone?"
"That's the idea." She gave his hand a light squeeze and watched him turn positively crimson.
* * *
Yami, for the hundredth time, stop stuffing food into my mouth, Seto complained, swallowing another mouthful of chocolate caramel millefeuille. I'm already full and as a matter of fact, you can have my dessert too. The brunette pushed his half-finished raspberry tart at his boyfriend. The fact that Seto didn't finish eating didn't surprise Yami, but there was an undercurrent of irritation in his mental voice.
Is something wrong? Didn't like the tart? Yami took a bite. Though he preferred the overwhelming sweetness of things like chocolate and vanilla caramel ice cream, it wasn't bad… just a touch too sour for his taste due to the yuzu in the chibouste.
Seto took a sip of his coffee and watched everyone else around their table enjoying their desserts. The Mutt was staring at us earlier, and he's doing it again. I don't like that look on his face. He scowled and blatantly stared back at Jou, who looked away after a moment to fix his attention on Mai instead.
Baby, you don't like him, period, Yami pointed out, thinking privately to himself that their entire rivalry was rather pointless and childish. They really should have outgrown it by this time.
But I'm tolerating him, aren't I?
Yes. Thank you.
Hn. Seto went back to his coffee.
Yami turned to regard Yugi and Anzu, who were sampling each other's desserts. "So… what did you two think of dinner?"
Anzu quickly swallowed a mouthful of poached peach. "Oh, this was some of the best food I've ever had, and I love French food! We should do this more often."
Yami and Yugi just grinned at her while Seto groused to Yami, I guess feeding Yugi-tachi on a weekly basis isn't often enough, hm?
Shh. Drink your coffee, Kai-baby.
"Yeah, this has been really great so far," Yugi said happily. "Except for the handcuff thing, which I guess I'm over." Seto smirked. "So… do we have anything planned after this?"
"Yes, but I'm not telling any of you what it is," Seto replied, putting his coffee cup down on the saucer. "And if you hate it, it was Noa's idea, so blame him for it."
"I'm sure it'll be fun, whatever it is," Anzu said optimistically, back to nibbling on her own chocolate fondant. "Especially since Noa planned it and not you. God, this is good." Seto sneered and rolled his eyes. "I saw that, you know. I'm not as oblivious as you think, Kaiba."
Yami snickered while Seto just huffed and turned his head away. And no, you can't kill her, gag her, or duct tape her mouth shut… that would upset Aibou.
But cuffs are ok? Seto made sure to jog the metal restraints in his pocket as he reached for his wallet.
No. No more handcuffs. At least, not tonight.
Tomorrow then. Seto smirked again and sent his boyfriend a mental image of what he had in mind, which earned him a hand on the thigh and a hearty chuckle.
You drive a hard bargain, Kai-baby. But… all right. You have yourself a deal.
* * *
September 8, 2005