IllustrationCredit: Here are my OCs Joan and Marc from emilythesmelly on DeviantArt.
Disclaimer: This is a work of fan fiction from the Yu-Gi-Oh! world, which is trademarked by the venerable Kazuki Takahashi. I do not claim any ownership over it. This story is for entertainment and is not part of the official story line. I am not making any money from the creation of this story. However, this work of fiction is blended with many of my original ideas. Names, characters, apps, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of my imagination or used in a fictitious manner.
Seto Kaiba is 27, Mokuba Kaiba is 22, and Joan Saunders is 25.
Chapter Song: First of May by Jonathan Coulton.
Chapter 1: Introductions
Joan strained to hear the announcer's garbled words over the clatter of the moving train. Nearly two hours ago, she had boarded BART in her hometown on the other side of San Francisco Bay. She'd transferred to Caltrain in Millbrae, continuing to her boyfriend Marc's city to spend the weekend with him. Given their busy schedules and commitments to other partners, they hadn't seen each other since Marc came to stay at her place and met her husband Michael along with some of her friends three weeks ago.
This Friday afternoon, Marc had invited Joan to meet him at work, telling her to wear something cute. Not one for frills and ruffles, Joan opted for a knee-length navy blue dress with a white floral pattern. The neckline plunged low enough to attract attention without being dangerous.
She glanced at her phone and saw that, unless the train was running behind schedule, her stop was next. She donned her green backpack and slung her purse over one shoulder before making her way to the lower level and waiting by the door. Joan stepped off Caltrain and touched her wallet to a sensor on the platform. Sensing her Clipper card inside, it beeped to record her stop, charging her account for the distance she'd traveled.
Joan tucked her wallet back into her purse and looked up to see Marc. The muscular, broad-jawed Filipino strode towards her on the platform: a king of this urban jungle. Although a mere fraction of a centimeter shorter than him, Joan fell into his arms a quivering lump of woman, the excitement and tension from the past three weeks of not seeing him overtaking her. Her head pressed against his firm shoulder as she steadied herself.
"Calm down. I'm here now. We'll have the whole weekend together," Marc said as he stroked Joan's arms.
After the trembling subsided, she lifted her head and kissed him for as long as he would allow. He laughed, pushed her off himself gently, and escorted her through the downtown area as she fretted about office etiquette.
"We're having a May Day party," Marc explained as if this was all she needed to know. The simple T-shirt he wore with the name of the video game he worked on put her somewhat at ease, but she'd had bad experiences with offices in the past and continued to worry silently.
They entered a recessed door at the base of a three-story Victorian building and ascended a dark, narrow staircase. After passing a room with six casually attired adults playing on their phones around a boardroom table, they entered a gigantic office with an open floor plan. Six rows of white desks with white computer monitors gave Joan a pang of agoraphobia, recalling an internship she'd endured five years ago. She took a deep breath and reassured herself that she could leave at any time. She worked from home now and called her own shots.
Still, what if she said something to get Marc in trouble? Marc had previously told her that he didn't keep secrets about his personal life from his coworkers, but Joan wondered if that meant he'd told all of them about her and their polyamorous arrangement or just some of them. Should she introduce herself as Marc's girlfriend or simply by her name alone? Would they already know her on sight anyway?
Marc led Joan through the maze of desks to the only other familiar face in the room: his wife Laura, the narrative designer for the game company. Laura's middle-aged features were smoothed by flawless makeup, and an impeccably clean-cut Italian man stood beside her chair. Joan tried to get a good look without staring too hard, wondering if he was Laura's boyfriend but afraid to ask.
Marc kissed Laura, and Joan exchanged nods with her. "Matteo has a theory on Dark Magician Girl," Laura said.
"She's a serial monogamist," the Italian explained. "She grows stronger with every Dark Magician or Magician of Black Chaos in the graveyard. Shame they have to be in the graveyard and not on the field."
"Ouch!" Marc commented.
"I know, right?" Laura added, shooting a wide smile at Joan.
"OK, well I'm going to show Joan around a bit," Marc said before guiding her to a different aisle of desks.
A huge touch-screen monitor set at a forty-five degree angle dominated Marc's desk. As the company's art director, his workspace took up more square footage than the surrounding ones but still felt exposed in Joan's opinion.
Marc gestured to some images tacked to the wall. "Those are the skins we haven't released yet. The animators are still working on them."
Joan looked from a big red devil on the wall to a dull training blade on Marc's desk. He picked it up and handed it to her, a knowing twinkle in his eye. Joan admired the dents and scratches, wondering how many hours he had spent with the thing. She bit her lower lip as she thought of what a fun prop it would make in bed.
"Hungry?" Marc asked.
"A little," Joan admitted. She put down the blade and followed him.
As they passed another desk, Marc spotted one of his 3D artists manipulating Flame Wingman's crotch. "Don't flatten it!" Marc exclaimed.
"I wasn't. That was just for . . ." they passed a few technical phrases back and forth. It all went over Joan's head.
"All right," Marc patted the artist on the shoulder and proceeded to a lounge with a buffet table and a huge banner of a man with brown hair in a billowing trench coat brandishing a smartphone like some sort of sword. "Arrogant prick," Marc whispered. "I told my boss here that an Amazoness or something would attract more attention, but the CEO back in Japan wants his face on everything. Seriously, that ensemble would hinder him in a real fight."
Joan nodded and picked a few morsels off the buffet table. She glanced around for a place to sit, but Marc had other ideas. He led her over to a Japanese man with shaggy black hair and deep violet eyes. "What do you think of the banner?" the man asked.
Joan swallowed. "It makes it look like you're developing an otome game, which is something I'd play, but you've got a . . . what's it called again?"
"A MOBA based on Duel Monsters," the man stated.
"OK, so yeah, if you're trying to get a bunch of girls to play the game, he's hot and all, just . . ." Joan trailed off.
The Japanese man sighed. "That's my brother for you."
Joan froze. "Brother?"
"She has a brother fetish," Marc supplied.
Joan nodded, thankful for Marc's keen memory over their discussions on the topic as well as his support.
"I see. Kaiba, Mokuba Kaiba," he stuck out his hand for Joan to shake. "You'll probably want to steer clear of my brother. He only fucks prostitutes and won't get a real girlfriend because he's afraid of gold diggers."
"Well, Joan only fucks married men," Marc said with a grin.
Joan's eyes widened. She could talk freely here after all. "One of my Michaels isn't married," Joan corrected. "I steer clear of divorced men, though. Too much baggage."
"My brother has never been married, but he does have a lot of baggage." Mokuba's phone buzzed. "Speak of the devil. I'll get back to you later, OK?"
"Later," Marc said. He then led Joan over to a friendly Dutch lady proudly explaining the history of May Day to anyone who would listen.