Heh… Time to post this chappy now… I actually had it written about half a week ago. *smiles innocently* But this time, I actually have a good reason for not posting this earlier. *nod nod* This time, it's not just 'cause I want to wait for people to review, 'cause I know no one's gonna read this anyway. The main reason is that Sage left for a few days and I want to wait until she returns. ^_^ 'Cause it IS dedicated to her…

Ahem, anyway… Onto the disclaimer… Today, our disclaimer-saying person will be… KENSHIN!

Kenshin: Oro? @_@

Ari: Hai, hai, you…

Kenshin: -_-; Ari doesn't own Yu-Gi-Oh or any of its characters. She doesn't own me either, although she does own a pin of me… She also owns a few copies of the Dark Magician card (she has 3, and her brother has 2), and several posters and wallscrolls…

Ari: Hai… You don't have to give them a list of everything I have…

Kenshin: Oro… This fanfic contains yaoi, as said on the last chapter, between Dark Magician and Chaos Mage (Magician of Black Chaos).

Ari: Arigatou! Oh, and I forgot to mention in the last chappy… The little italicized words at the beginning of the chappy are bits of lyrics to the song Scarlet (Sukaretto) from the anime Ayashi no Ceres. ^_^ So, go look up the lyrics if you're wondering what I'm planning next.

^_^ Anyway! As said before, this story is dedicated to the amazing, wonderful Sage. ^_^ Sage-Chan, you're the BEST! ^_^

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Chapter Two

         Passion of My Heart

~Mune ni afurete tsunoru omoi nemuri wasurete jounetsu no iro~

~When one forgets to put the emotions that overflow in her [his] heart to rest, they burn the colour of passion.~

   "Why can we not enjoy life, enjoy these fleeting moments?"

   He was thinking, carefully considering my question. Yet… he would not answer me. I did not expect him to answer. In fact, I would have been very surprised, had he a plausible reason for this.

   I considered reading his mind. I did that quite frequently and freely. Was it wrong? Perhaps. But he had never truly protested. Yet now… My mind touched his… and I withdrew. I was… scared. Terrified of what I might find.

   "We… exist to protect." That was not what he originally intended to say, I could tell. His eyes were still dazed, his lips half-open and panting. I smirked lightly. He was still in my arms. Beautiful Mahado… Mine…

   He sensed someone approaching at the same time as me, and quickly pushed me away, blushing deeply and earning another smirk. Cute. Adorable. He acted so tough, yet he would still blush so cutely at the first sign of discovery.

   When the messenger came running towards us, out of breath and distressed, Dark was fixing his flowing robes and straightening the large golden relic hanging around his neck, as if reminding me of his position. Priest of the Pharaoh. Holder of the Sennen Ring. He seemed to be reminding me that he was far above my reach, whether he liked it or not. I grinned inwardly. We shall see…

   However, a stray thought from the messenger wiped the smile from my face, from my mind. I shook my head frantically while trying not to let Dark see. This news would either strengthen him… or break him. I feared the latter. My beloved little Mahado was still so innocent, holding onto noble ideals that seemed almost childish.

   It was then that I noticed who the messenger was, and I groaned inwardly. Mana. Dark's apprentice. It was not that I actually disliked her – she was very nice and cheerful, managing to brighten any situation, -- but she had an unnatural attraction to Mahado. My Mahado. But he saw her only as a child to protect. Or so I hoped.

   "What news, Mana?" And why are you shaking your head, Chaos?

   I jumped. So, smart little Mahado learned to project his thoughts to me willingly. Good. That would make things a lot easier. Unless he were to read my mind… That would be disastrous.

   She hesitated, sensing my unease. She knew as well as I that her message would upset him greatly. But I knew she would tell. The Pharaoh sent her. He must have, or she would not have come. Neither of us wanted Mahado to be hurt. In that, we were alike. For both of us loved him so much…

   "Pharaoh Akunamkanon's tomb was robbed. It… It was the thief, Bakura. He desecrated the tomb, but took no money. Only one thing…"

   Mahado paled. Tears filled his eyes, though he was too strong to let them fall. He knew… "The body?"

   His voice was soft, just a feeble whisper. It pained me to see him like this, the pain all the greater when I held onto his mind, his thoughts. Why did I? Sometimes, I did not know. I just did not want him to suffer alone. I just wanted to be with him, to support him however I could. Even if the only thing I could do was to share his pain…

   He was torn. He was the priest in charge of protecting the Pharaoh's Tomb, the tomb into which Bakura had broken. He blamed himself, blamed his own incompetence. The feeling swirled inside him, inside me, a maelstrom of hatred. For himself.

   "It's not your fault, love," I murmured, wrapping my arms around his chest and burying my face in his soft hair. For once, he did not protest. It was just as well. He needed the comfort, and I needed to comfort him, to love him, to assure him of my devotion. "It happened while you were on leave. And remember, this is Bakura, not just a normal bandit. He has powers."

   I felt him shake his head, but he did not move away. If anything, he came closer, turning to face me and pressing his cheek against my chest. I was shocked to see tears. Mahado did not cry. He was too strong, too proud to cry. Yet now…

   "I have failed."

   The words were whispered so softly, I almost did not hear. Or perhaps what I heard was an echo of his mind.

   "Shhhhhh," I murmured softly. I did not know what I was doing, what I could do, only that I must make him feel better. "Why don't we… um…" My mind searched for an idea. "Why don't we go to my room? Some rest will do you good. You are too tired."

   Mana understood. We needed to be alone. It was clear now, that Mahado had chosen me over her. She felt no reproach, only sadness. I felt no smugness from this "victory", just relief and joy. But this was only the first step.

   Even as I wondered how to calm down my sweet Dark, Mana was already running towards the palace.

   "I will inform the Pharaoh of your whereabouts!" she called over her shoulder.

   I smiled in gratitude and scooped the object of my affection into my arms, cradling him against my body. He was so warm, so soft, so light… He was like a snow-white feather, borne upon the wind, tasting of honey, of sunlight… and of darkness.

   "P-put me down!" he declared weakly, a pink flush rising to his cheeks. "I can walk!"

   "No you can't." There was no way I would let go of him. Not when he was finally in my arms. My emotions riled in my heart, fierce, passionate, all-consuming. My little mage, Dark, was starting to take over my every thought.

   Of course, he would claim that he was not my little mage, were he to have heard me.

   "What's so funny?" he asked suspiciously, glaring at me reproachfully. I had chuckled out loud.

   "Quit looking at me that way," I reprimanded, effectively changing the topic. "You know you enjoy this. Admit it, dear Mahado. You like being carried by me just as much as I like carrying you."

   We were in the hallways now. In the corridor right outside of my room, as a matter of fact. However, coming to my door, I hesitated. What if I could not control myself? What if passion, lust, instinct took over? Would my love for him be enough to force me to stop? I could only hope. No amount of pleasure was worth his pain. But I could not stay away…

   "Why?" he gasped out. "Why, Chaos? Why are you doing this to me? Why am I feeling like this? Why can't I hate you for surpassing me? Why is my heart following you, even when my mind is dead set against it?"

   I stared at him for a few seconds before answering. "I don't know. All I know is, I must have you, or there would be no point in living. I want you, I need you… I love you…"

   It was not the flashy speech I had prepared. It was neither flowery, nor elegant, but it was true. Perhaps it was too dramatic. Did it matter? My love was dramatic, my feelings intense.

   He nodded, accepting my explanation, thought neither of us understood it. "Let's go in, then."

   As we entered, he took a deep breath, slowly exhaling, as if submerging into an unknown depth and expecting to never come out again. Perhaps he was. Perhaps love held more peril for us than the evil powers threatening to destroy this land. Perhaps our own fires would consume our souls.

   I did not care, as my lips touched his, and we sank into the encompassing softness of our bed. Love, gentleness, pure emotions burst in front of our closed eyes. Eyes shut in bliss…

   "Ai… Love… Aishiteru…"

   I did not know who spoke, or if it was spoken at all. I did not think that he knew either. We were too absorbed with each other, with this feeling raging in our hearts. This feeling called "love"…