Well, here I am once again everyone! Apologies for not updating last week, but I took the extra time to ensure that this chapter was as good as I felt it needed to be - perhaps not perfect, but certainly deserving of its place in this ficcie.
Review reply time!

To TheVampyre-Atropos: Thanks! And yeah, that would suck, rather harshly!
To blueraydragon: You like violence? Man, you'll love this chapter for that!
To Crystalline Entity: Fave authors? Gee, thanx! I have active author alerts if you prefer that - that way you ain't gotta check on me every however often it is! And you need a gerbil, definitely ^_^
To ShadowSpecter: Well, here's the update ^_^ *accepts motivational gifts happily* Hope you enjoy this!
To ObiWanGirl: Evil little bugger? Me? *halo appears* Never! Heh, you so have so much faith in me ^_^
To Hikari-neko: Thanks for the kind words ^_^ Here's more for ya!
To silver-fox20: Better not kill Yugi? What do you take me for? Well anyhoo, now you get to find out what happens!
To Tasan15: I stopped it there coz it was a good place to stop ^_^ Here's more!
To Demon Wolf: *blink* You actually WANT Yugi to die? Sheesh, evilness...
To Yuki KIKI: Hehe, here's your update ^_^ Don't you jus love when dads do that?
To 'Darkwolf193': Here's the update, and it has even more action!
To rox-the-chaotic-one: Here ya go!
To Nek0-chan: Liked the birthday fic? My dear, I adored it! Keep your eyes out for a fic called 'Shattered Path' which'll be updated by me soon, coz you're getting a special tribute there! Hope this chapter lives up to expectations ^_^
To Kiawna: Here's the next chap ^_^
To animeman-13: Glad you're enjoying it ^_^ Here's the update!
To Chaotic Bystander: Here's more brutality for ya then ^_^ As for poor Yugi... heh, that's what this chappie's for!
To Serendipity84: Heh... yeah, course 'Kura kept his promise! And I agree, they'll be bloody hard to stop!
To Emriko: You were that happy??? *huggle* Yay! I'm glad someone got that deeply held by it ^_^ As for Set dying... jus wait and see ^_^
To 'rebelphoenix': Heh... I guess no constructive criticism is a good thing really ^_^ Means I'm doing my job, ne? Hope you find something this time around though!
To 'Karen Trujillo': Glad you like my work ^_^ Here's the next chappie ^_^
To Hijiri Hitokiri Battousai: You really want Yugi to die??? Pah, evil thing you *huggles Yugi tightly*
To Shiva3000: One of the best? *small blush* Thanks! I hope this chapter lives up to the rest of it!
To AnimeObssesed: Yeah, I like a good rescue scene ^_^ Here's more ^_^
To Nanashii no Miko: Yeah, glad you picked up on that ^_^ Love can be so powerful... And yes, my mother really IS like that!
To 'Murasaki': *blink* Again, people go with the authoress thing... I am a dude! But anyways... ya want less violence? *looks down at chappie* Heh... not this chapter there ain't...
To Shade25: Here's the update! Glad you've taken to reading my rather odd little notes too - can be important sometimes!

Now for the fic... enjoy!


"People of Egypt!"

A mighty roar came from the crowd as the High Priest began to speak. Set had let it be known that a heretical traitor to the empire was to be executed in the middle of the city that day, and the word had spread fast. Fiercely loyal to their Gods, Pharaoh and Empire, thousands had gathered from seemingly impossible distances to witness the death of the heinous criminal. Curious, outraged or simply looking for a good day out, people had packed themselves into the city temple's courtyard, where an elevated wooden platform stood surrounded by guards. On the platform was the High Priest Set Nebkheprure, and behind him was a large wooden block. Chained to the block was Yugi, each limb attached by a chain to a thick post on each corner.

"I stand before you today not just as your High Priest, but also as a divine avenger!"

Again the crowd cheered, and Set smirked. He'd barely gotten started, and the people were already practically eating out of the palm of his hand. Revelling in his sense of power, filling his lungs, he continued.

"Today, you people shall witness the execution of this slave, who dared to defy everything we have ever held sacred!" A low rumble went round the crowd at this, as they all told eachother exactly what they thought of the slave and speculated as to exactly what he could have done. Holding up a hand for silence and receiving it, Set pressed on, his voice using dramatic effect to hold the crowd in his grasp. "This slave was found with broken statues of the Gods in his hands, unattended, in none other than your Pharaoh's very own bedroom!" A collective shocked gasp came from the crowd. "A slave DARED to defy the most sacred laws of our land! To violate the sleeping chambers of *our* Pharaoh, and destroy his shrines to the Gods!"

Set turned to glare at Yugi, a finger pointed accusingly, and Yugi looked away, tears in his eyes. He didn't fear death any more. If Yami didn't love him - and he'd never said he did, Yugi remembered with a grimace - then life wasn't worth living anyway. No, Yugi cried because of what Set said. Yugi had done no wrong - save for loving a Pharaoh - and because of Set's lies, he was now instantly the most hated figure in Egypt. No-one would believe his defence. Now, even if he somehow survived today, he and Yami could never be together. And that was the worst punishment of all. He cried for Yami, his lost love. He'd wanted to at least see him once more before he died, to touch him one last time. Most importantly of all, to say goodbye. No matter what Yami felt, Yugi still loved him. He'd wanted to tell him just one last time, to let Yami know how deeply he meant it. To take one last chance to see if Yami would say those three treasured words to him too.

"This slave, caught red-handed, has already been found guilty of his crime, and now shall face his punishment!" An expectant murmur rippled through the crowd, and Set could almost feel them clamouring forward, eager to hear.

'How simple these people are' he told himself. 'Give them what they want, and they'll come to you like starving dogs, eager to please. How pathetic.'

"This slave…" Again, Set paused for effect. "Is to be executed here and now. By my hand, this slave shall lose his heart!"

Once again, rapturous applause came from the crowd, though Set noted it was a little quieter than before. There seemed to be a few pockets, particularly at the back, who weren't quite so keen on the idea. Having the heart removed was especially symbolic, and it seemed a few people had realised that and were having second thoughts. No matter.

Holding up a hand for silence once more, Set pulled one side of his robe back. There in his belt hung a knife, brightly polished and keenly fashioned. The blade curved slightly and glinted wickedly as he took hold of the ornate handle and removed it from its wraps. Turning, he loomed over Yugi, the knife held high. Grinning sadistically, he held the pose for a second, watching the fear build in the slave's eyes. The crowd was deathly silent, everyone holding their breaths in anticipation. "I'll enjoy this, Yugi," Set sneered. "Almost as much as the Pharaoh doubtless enjoyed using you." Set laughed quietly. "What made you ever think he loved you?" Yugi flinched at Set's harsh words.

"Set, STOP!!!"

The voice rang out across the square, echoing all round, and the crowd turned as one to the source. Gasp after gasp was heard, and murmur after murmur began as the crowd parted to let three figures through, the Pharaoh at the front. "I have heard enough of your lies Set!" his mighty voice boomed, fuelled by anger and passion as never before. "It is you that is the traitor right now. You are the one acting against me."

A stunned silence slammed down on the crowd at this accusation, people sharing bewildered looks as everything they'd heard was thrown back at them. Who could they possibly believe?

"Set, Yugi did no wrong and you know it! What right have you to carry out this execution?"

Set simply glared at the Pharaoh. How dare he interrupt? Set could have finished by now, and that'd be the last of the disgusting little affair. The Pharaoh could have even gone on to marry someone *normal* and covered up this unfortunate chapter. But he had made his choice. "So be it," Set murmured, his face hard as stone.

At Set's word, his personal retinue of guards rushed forward to attack, and the three would-be heroes pulled their weapons out, Malik launching a metal blade into a guard's shoulder as Bakura struck two with rocks, Yami readying himself to receive the first impact. With a powerful yell, his eyes set on the attackers, Yami ordered the crowds back. He didn't want any more hurt than necessary.

Jumping to one side, Yami buried his axe into the stomach of the first guard, kicking him in the back of the knee to help him on his way down. If it meant freeing Yugi, he was prepared to go through it all again. He didn't want to kill; Yugi had shown him compassion, and he didn't ever want to lose it. But he couldn't let Yugi be killed, and so he had to fight.

Bloodlust coursing through their veins, the three fought back, each with their own personal score to settle.


At first, the guards had underestimated Malik. They didn't recognise him, and so decided he wasn't as much of a threat as the other two, throwing their numbers at Bakura and Yami.

While it was true that Bakura had taught Malik, it was also true that Malik knew more than just that. He'd sought special tuition on the human body, and refined his fighting style to suit it. With a deft twisting motion, Malik avoided his attacker's clumsy onslaught and stuck his arm out, crossing his opponent's neck. Not even able to scream, the man fell to his knees, his blood showering everywhere as a flap of flesh hung from his neck, the cut severing tendon, windpipe, vocal cords and jugular as one. Popping the blade he'd used up into the air, Malik caught it by the tip and slammed it through a gap and into one unfortunate guard's kidneys.

Bakura had always fought with no special aim - hurt or kill; it was always the same to him. Malik, however, preferred to try for a kill with every attack. As soon as the guards realised this, he found he had his fair share of attention too.


Growling in annoyance, Bakura ducked another blade. Usually by now he'd have three or four kills, but as soon as he was ready to strike, he had to dodge again. Somehow, he had to reduce the numbers.

A daring plan came to mind. Stepping back from another swing, Bakura feigned stumbling and fell to the floor. The guards reacted swiftly and eagerly, and Bakura readied himself. He had to time this just right...

As the first sword swung down at him, Bakura flicked himself to one side, allowing the blade to bury into the dirt. Grabbing the guard's arm, Bakura pulled him across into the arc of the next attack, the sword biting deeply into his shoulder. The tombrobber grimaced as a small trickle of blood landed on his face, and pushed the screaming man away with his feet. Quick as a flash, he pulled a metal shard from his belt and drove it into the second guard's gut, twisting it slightly to ensure his removal. Flicking his feet over his head, Bakura did a backward roll and hopped up onto his feet... landing in the vice-like grip of yet another guard.

Suddenly, there came a loud cracking noise, and the guard's grip slackened before he dropped to the floor. Looking down, Bakura saw his neck was at a VERY wrong angle. He also saw Malik stood just behind him.

"My turn on top tonight," Malik stated with a wink and a cheeky grin. Pulling out a small knife, Malik readied to attack once more, quickly standing at Bakura's side.


Of everyone present, Yami fought the fiercest. Driven by the desire to have Yugi safe in his arms once again, he rained blow after bloodied blow upon all who stood in his way. He didn't care what happened afterwards; he'd abdicate and live as a peasant if need be. Once he had Yugi, he'd be the richest man in the world - he'd never need anything else. With this sole thought in his mind, Yami battled on and on.

With a roar of rage, the Pharaoh's axe fell again, striking a glancing blow to the back of the guard's head. Blood came; it came and it fell like crimson rain. Flecks of bone scattered across the floor like chips of marble; their path a dance of death. Brain showed; the greyish organ pulsing and tinged pink as the blood of the very body it strove to support stained it. And still the guard continued to battle; his actions far more sluggish and clumsy, but fighting nevertheless. Ordinarily this would have disgusted Yami - but today wasn't ordinary. A loud crunch of splintering skull announced that this time, there had been no mistakes. Wrenching his axe free from the messy pulp that had been his victim's crown, Yami turned, a manic, feral gleam in his eye, and launched his next assault.


Slowly but surely, the guards' numbers began to dwindle. A scream here, a choked gargling there, a triumphant growl from one of Yugi's would-be rescuers, and another mortally wounded fighter fell to the dirt. Slowly, the Pharaoh and his allies - his *friends* - began to find their task a little easier with each felled opponent.

"Pharaoh!" Bakura called out as he pulled a blade from the back of his victim. "Go to Yugi! We can handle them now!" Spinning round, he slashed his knife across a guard's bicep, causing him to drop his weapon and scream in agony as the muscle split. "Do it!"

Sending his silent thanks Bakura's way, Yami ducked under a guard's weapon and sprinted to the platform, his eyes fixed on the steps ahead of him, a path forming through the crowd as the people parted for their leader. Taking the steps two at a time, Yami came to a standstill at the top and glowered at the High Priest.

Set, who had stopped to observe the fight, smiled thinly and returned to the wooden block that Yugi was tied to. "Dear me pharaoh," he said almost conversationally. "Aren't you glad that this little slave -" At this, Set gently stroked Yugi's cheek, causing the little one to shy away in fear. " - didn't see that display?" Yami growled a low warning at Set, who continued regardless. "How could one so innocent and pure as this love such a monster?"

"I've heard enough Set!" Yami spat fiercely, his eyes blazing with a fiery hatred he'd never known he had. "There is no law against us loving eachother, Set." At this statement, Set's smile turned into a sneer of disgust, and Yami's eyes widened. That was why Yugi was here - it had nothing to do with anything else. If he hadn't been caught in yami's room, Set would have found another way to take him at some point. "You're sick…" Yami growled.

"No Pharaoh. You're the disgusting one. Behaving in such a way with this… this THING!" Set spat as he spoke, repulsion hanging from every syllable. "It's wrong, and you know it Pharaoh. You -"

"Never!" Yami yelled, cutting Set off. "Never can love this pure be wrong, no matter who it's between!"

Yugi's voice suddenly came from the block, his delight a direct contrast to Set's mood. "Yami! Is it true? Do…" Yugi choked back a happy sob. "Do you really love me?"

Yami - despite the situation - smiled, his voice calm and gentle, loving, each inflection intended to caress Yugi. "Yes, little one. It's true. I love you with all my heart."

"Yami!" Yugi cried out in joy, his broken heart healed in an instant. Suddenly finding something to live for, Yugi struggled against his bonds, quite literally fighting his life. "I love you Yami! I love you too!" Delight rang across the square, the fight over and the crowd silent as the little one sang his heart.

Set looked down at Yugi, then at Yami, and his eyes softened. "I'm sorry Pharaoh…" he whispered, looking like he really meant it. Suddenly, the sorrow disappeared and Set snarled once again, raising his knife high. "But even love can't change the law!"

With that, the blade arced down, piercing Yugi's heart.




O.O So... how many of you are going to kill me? *holds hands up in defence* Hey, you know I love a happy ending as much as any of you... just give it a chance, ne?
Remember, there is a big announcement being made at some point soon, with regard to this story. THIS IS A MUST READ!!! As anyone who's read One Last Breath will be able to confirm for you, I have one strong belief. Death isn't always the end...
Now review... onegai?


Update: The sequel is now up and running! It is entitled 'Forever Dreaming of What Might Be' and is on my profile now. Enjoy! ^_^