A/N: I love these Egypt-era AU fics, and I've been meaning to write one for a while now. This particular storyline I've been fiddling with on and off for a few months, but I wanted to come up with a few twists in the usual formula and finish a couple of my other stories before I started posting it. To be honest, I haven't actually finished any, but I wanted to start posting anyway, so remember: reviews = story. I tend to work on them according to a combination of their popularity and the helpfulness of their fans.

Like most of these fics, this WILL contain yaoi (and possibly yuri as well), possible lemon, and violence, depending on how things go. Also, I know just enough about ancient Egypt to know that I know absolutely nothing at all, so that is why this is an AU. There will be certain Egyptian customs and gods mentioned or used, but a great deal of such things will be completely made- up, so don't try to do your next history report off any of the following. ^_~

"To Make It Great"

"I hate my job," the boy muttered.

"I hate your job too," the priest sitting at his side agreed with a slightly amused smirk. "And I do not envy you it for a moment, my pharaoh."

The pharaoh gave him a reproachful look that wound up coming out more like a pout. "Seto, you're awful," he accused. "It's bad enough that I have to oversee this horrible auction; why do you have to try to make it even more difficult?"

"I am your advisor, sire. It's what I do," Seto replied blithely, crossing his legs and folding his hands in his lap. Had anyone else struck it, the pose might've appeared demure, but on his lanky frame it was a blatant challenge.

The young pharaoh rolled his eyes and returned his attention to the crowded courtyard below their balcony. He was a boy, or little more than one, with a slight frame, intense eyes, and spiked hair. His bangs hung in his eyes, a brilliant blond, though the rest of his hair was black and highlighted by a color that could've easily been either purple or magenta or something else altogether. His name was Yuugi; he was the pharaoh of Egypt and a possessor of great power, both political and magical.

And he was also clearly not a very happy pharaoh at the moment, although his people would not have understood why. After all, before him stretched the spoils of what had been a long and violent battle for his right to continue his rule. The enemy soldiers' supplies, the loot taken from their camps, and most importantly the soldiers themselves, now being sold as slaves- all were there for him to admire. Surely that was something that would please any ruler.

Yet it disgusted him. It always had, to be honest, though to his people it was simply a part of everyday life. The losing side in any battle was enslaved by the victorious, and there was simply no other option, save execution. It was the way things were. The way they had always been.

But that didn't mean that he had to like it.

"Calm yourself, my pharaoh," Seto said with a faint, insincere smile. "This is only what those who would attack us deserve. Perhaps you could pick out a little pet from among them. It's time you had one."

The other was far from persuaded, and he made that fact clear through his tense silence. Yuugi did not think like normal people. He was one of those dangerous sorts that might be defined as a "revolutionary"- the sort of person who'd gladly screw up your life, everyone else's, and the whole damn world if you gave him half the chance just because there might be a chance to have the end result be slightly better than it used to be.

But though Seto knew all this, he just smiled again, and again it was empty and meaningless, as was everything he did.

The Pharaoh Yuugi closed his eyes and sighed, looking suddenly very old despite his youthful face. "No one deserves to lose his or her freedom," he said sorrowfully, and in a way that suggested he understood too well the meaning of imprisonment. And he did, even though his own cage was a gilded one, hung with pretty ornaments and fancy names.

"But it IS what they deserve," Seto repeated calmly with all the disturbingly unshakable conviction of someone who has never been allowed to be wrong, never been allowed to be less than perfect.

"But it's no way to live," Yuugi countered harshly, his voice uncharacteristically sharp and enough to cut a lesser man to the bone. Yet, when he looked up at Seto, his eyes were lonely and pleading. "Tell me, Seto . . . Have you ever found anything that made it great to be alive?" he asked.

"I am afraid not, my pharaoh," the priest replied with perfect honesty and no particular distress. "Why; have you?"

"Never," the pharaoh whispered hoarsely, and he closed his eyes once again.

* tbc . . . *

. : review, just 'cause : .