What Is Forever?

By: Neko-chan

A/N: Ummm... ^_^ Well, usually I don't write dark stories (and I've NEVER written a SERIOUSLY dark story), but I've been in "that type of mood" lately. So, this is my first attempt at an ongoing dark fic! (And don't worry, I'll still be regularly updating "Bakura's Guide To Fighting...Dirty" and still find time to also write all of the sequels that you want; and I also promise to update "Youth of the Nation" regularly. Like I said before, I can only read [and write] dark fics for a certain amount of time until I finally have to go and read something nice to cheer me up. So...I will _not_ be dumping "Youth of the Nation." *pinkie promises*) Anyway, this story will be taking place in Ancient Egypt. BUT, hopefully, this will not be your typical Ancient Egyptian fic. (There's a lot out there and I want to try my own hand at it. Hopefully, it'll be at least somewhat unique.) Also, I don't know whether or not this is going to be a yaoi story or not. If you want it to be, then tell me. If not, then tell me anyway.

Disclaimer: I'm lazy, so this is probably going to be the only chapter that I write this in. I DO NOT OWN YU-GI-OH!. It'd be nice to, but I don't. Yu-Gi-Oh! is owned and copyrighted by its respected owners. Sadly, I'm not one of them.

~*What Is Forever?*~

What is forever?

What lasts forever?

Everything is gone in a blink...

of an eye.

Nothing lasts.

Nothing stands the

test of time.

Tell me,

what is forever?

Can you

tell me?

Can you

answer me?

Everything crumbles.

Everything wears down.

Everything shows the

test of time.

_Nothing_ lasts forever.

The only thing that lasts forever...

is Death.

What Is Forever?

Chapter One

"My lord! Oh, please, my lord! PLEASE!! I didn't mean to, please let me go! My family needs me! Please show me mercy!"

Yami leaned back in his throne and rested his chin on his folded hands. A bored tone; a tone that he reserved for court functions. A tone that did not bode well for the man about to be judged. "What has he done?"

The guard bowed to the Pharaoh, prostrating himself on the ground. "My Morning Star, this man was caught stealing bread in the bazaar. He claims to have a starving family. It is his explanation for his thievery."

A raised eyebrow. "Do you believe him?"

The guard paused. "No, my lord. He has been caught several times before. This is his tenth time. Each time he was caught, he was stealing some food. He's been stealing from different parts of town so it would be harder for us to catch him. ... We also believe that he may be behind the recent thieving acts of the young noblewomen that come to the market. Each time they return to the palace, they discover that some bauble or such is missing. And we found _this_ on the little rat."

The guard frowned and tossed a golden necklace to the ground. One of Yami's personal guards left his side and bent down, picking up the necklace so that it glittered in the sun's bright light. An ankh--something only nobility were allowed to wear--dangled from the chain, proclaiming that whoever owned the necklace would have a long life. This time, the symbol was wrong. So very, very wrong.

Yami smiled and all who saw his smile shuddered in fear. They each knew what was about to happen--and each didn't feel sorry for the thief, only relieved that it was not them that _that_ smile was directed at. The young Pharaoh leaned forward in his golden throne and raised his other eyebrow, smiling congenially at the sobbing man on the palace floor.

"Do not fear, my friend," Yami spoke softly, his smile becoming even friendlier. The man stopped sobbing and turned his tear-stained face up to the Pharaoh, his Morning Star. Slowly, ever so slowly, an emotion that he hadn't allowed himself to feel bubbled up in his chest: Hope. "Do not fear, my friend," Yami continued. "You will come to no harm in my palace. No one shall lay a harsh hand against you while you're in my home--my palace. You are safe here."

"M-My lord?" the thief whispered, staring up at the Pharaoh. "My lord, you believe me? Thank you so much, my lord! Oh, thank you! Thank you! I swear that I will earn my food honestly from now on, though my wife and my children will have to work even harder for it." He bow, prostrating himself on the floor before the throne. "Thank you, my lord!"

Yami's smile deepened. He gestured to the man on the floor and yet another of his guards stepped away from the throne. Cat-quiet, the man made his way down the marble steps, finally stopping in front of the grateful man.

"Take him outside and cut off his hands. That way, he will have _no_ way to thieve ever again." The thief suddenly quieted and looked up at his Pharaoh, his black eyes wide with shock. Yami gentle smile turned sinister. "What? You thought that I would let you go by without any punishment? I told you that you would come to no harm in my _palace_. I never said anything about what would happen to you _outside_ the palace." A chuckle. "Now, you'll never be able to thieve ever again. And so, Pharaoh commands it to be done."

The guards bowed and left their master to surround the middle-aged thief. Together, they herded the kicking and screaming man outside into the courtyard...and to the blood-stained cutting block. When the man saw where the guards were taking him, his struggles increased. But it was no use.

"Morning Star?"

Yami turned his head slightly and looked at his priest out of the corner of his eyes. "Yes, Kaiba? I know that you had wanted to see me earlier, but I have been busy with the justice and law courts all this morning. That was my last case. What did you wish to speak to me about?"

Seto Kaiba sat by his Pharaoh's feet, watching with distant eyes as the guards enforced Yami's decision. A scream pierced the air--and then there were only sobs. "The caravan has arrived. It's the first trade caravan for the new season. And I had several questions to ask you about tonight's banquet."

"Yes, Kaiba?"

"You and I both know that there has been a famine in the south. The signs have told me that the gods are angry with the people there. What type of sacrifice should we do in order to appease them? Anubis is particularly angry with us, my lord."

A long pause. "You and I both know what type of sacrifice that Anubis requires. Don't try and play around the point. He requires a blood sacrifice--a human sacrifice. You just said that the first caravan has arrived. Go down to the slave market and see if there are any fit to be tonight's sacrifice. If so, then buy them and bring them here for my inspection."

Kaiba looked down at the floor, then sighed and stood, bowing to his Morning Star. "Yes, Pharaoh. Your wish is my command. I shall return shortly."

Yami watched Kaiba leave and cocked his head to the side, for all the world looking like an inquisitive bird. "Interesting..." he said to no one in particular.