Charming Pharaoh



Please note: I've never been to Central Park, so I don't know where exactly Belvedere Castle is, and I was too lazy to look it up. ^_^

Read, enjoy, and then review!





Yugi yawned as he ran his hands along his coach horse, Terrance's, side. It had been another long and boring day with the usual turn out of elderly couples reminiscing about the old days and young men trying to show their sweethearts that they were sincere. If he himself had not been scorned by love more times than he could count, he would have found it all romantic, but he was just so tired of driving around people who had something he more than likely would never get the chance to have. Sometimes - just sometimes, though - he was sorely tempted to take Bakura up on his offer of a threesome, if only for one brief cheap thrill.

Yugi took Terrance by the reigns, and was about to lead the horse back to the coach station, when someone called out, "Fair princess!" Frowning to himself, he turned around to see what had to be the strangest people in the world. The taller of the two was in what looked like a dress, with a weird turban decorated with a golden snake covering up most of his hair. However, the person running up along side him...

~~"Don't let it get to you so much, Yugi. There's someone out there for everyone, even if they just happen to look alike."~~

He gulped as he remembered Ryou's words from last night. It had to be a coincidence, though it was hard to write it off as such; how many other people had tri-colored hair, after all? Even in America, his spiky hairstyle was not exactly common. This other man was... handsome, though; what Yugi would picture himself as if he were taller and stronger... and not gay.

Yugi frowned at the two of them as they stopped before him, out of breath. "Do I look like a princess to you?" he asked, a bit annoyed. Honestly, just because he wore leather like it was going out of fashion that was no reason for people to automatically assume he was gay; never mind that it was true.

"Well, if you don't mind my saying so..." the taller one with the turban began. Yugi fixed him with a frustrated look. "I-I-I mean..." he continued, a bit intimidated.

"Are you not Yugi?" the shorter one asked.

Yugi gave a start. Not only did this guy look like him, but he knew his name too? "Have we met?"

The look-a-like shrugged casually. "I just thought that I might have seen you before."

~~Maybe in a mirror,~~ Yugi thought, but did not say aloud. "Well," he began instead. "What do you two want?"

"We require your services to find a fair maiden that his highness so graciously lost," the taller one answered, glaring a bit at the smaller.

"Seto...!" the other snarled, returning the glare. Yugi tried not to show his shock at the name. This person could not be the same Seto he knew; he would not be caught dead in a dress.

"Look, guys," he said, before a fight could break out, "I can't help. I'm about to get off my shift -"

"We'll certainly make it worth your while," Seto cut in before he could finish. "And it's not far. His highness lost her in the forest."

He waved toward the park, and Yugi raised an eyebrow. "RIGHT..." he muttered. "Central Forest..."

He sighed then; it was against his better judgment, but, hey, if he was going to get paid...

"All right," he consented. "But it's fifty-seven bucks an hour."

He climbed back in the driver's seat of the carriage, when the look-a-like asked his companion, "Bucks?"

"Must be the name of the currency, your highness," Seto replied, before hauling himself up into the passenger seat. The shorter young man shrugged, before following him in.

Yugi had to admit; those two were the strangest passengers he had ever had. They were wearing what he had been able to determine was Egyptian styled clothing, yet they spoke with English accents. Not only that, but they kept pointing out things that were so ridiculously common and exclaiming about them as if the two quacks had never heard of them before. He was sorely tempted to whip out his cell phone, call the local insanity ward, and ask them if any of their patients had run away recently.

"So," he began, after the two of them pointed out a street lamp, "what's the deal with this 'fair maiden' you two are trying to find? Why are you looking for her?"

"We're looking for her to marry," the shorter one replied, tearing his focus away from the lamp and looking at a group of women that passed on roller blades.

Yugi smirked, amused. "One maiden for the both of you?"

"Yes," they replied at the same time.

Yugi frowned.

"Well, in marrying me, she will save us both," the shorter one clarified.

Yugi just shook his head, exasperated. "I think that's a little more information than I needed to know."

"Is there a maiden in your life, good sir?" Seto asked.

Yugi rolled his eyes. They called him "princess" and now they were asking him if there was a girl in his life? Oh BOY were these two screwed up.

"My taste isn't in maidens," he replied. It was hard to miss the barely contained sound of surprise from the look-a-like, followed by a thud as Seto hit him over the head with something.

"Stay focused, your highness," he half-snarled, returning the whatever-it-was - it looked almost like a staff or a rod or something - to a hiding spot behind his back.

"So, does his highness have a name?" Yugi asked, turning around slightly so he could keep one eye on the path before him and another on his passengers. He may as well try to humor these two; they did not seem dangerous, but who knew now a days.

"Oh, I'm sorry. How rude of me," the shorter one said, before taking Yugi's hand and kissing it. "My name is Panseru, prince and heir to the throne of the Upper Kingdom of Egypt."

Yugi tried not to roll his eyes. He was right in his first assessment: these two were quacks. At least Panseru was a polite quack, unlike Seto, who was glaring daggers at the "prince" behind his back.

They continued their ride through central park in silence, passing several groups of women, but none of them caught the attention of either of Yugi's passengers. Hours passed, and it was not until the sun was starting to hang low over the horizon that he brought his carriage to a halt. He hung over the side of his seat, looking at the disappointed Panseru and Seto.

"Hey, sorry we couldn't find your maiden," Yugi said, somewhat comfortingly. "Is there anywhere I can drop you two off?"

"Perhaps the nearest palace or castle?" Panseru suggested.

Yugi tried not to roll his eyes as he faced forward again. These two just did not know when to quit!

"Nearest castle it is, then!" he exclaimed, spurring up a tired Terrance.

He guided the horse through the park, past several of the places they had went by more times than he could count, and up to Belvedere Castle, deep in the heart of the park. His two passengers stared as they approached, awed by the fairly large structure. Yugi could sort of agree with their response; though the castle was still under restoration, it still was quite impressive. He brought the horse to a stop once again on the path that led up to the castle, before turning to his estranged passengers.

"All right, guys, that'll be three hundred and forty-two bucks," he announced. Panseru nodded to Seto, who reached around to a pouch on his golden belt...

"HELP!!! He's stealing my bike!"

Yugi looked up just in time to see a woman in a red jacket pointing to a man riding away on a bicycle. Before he could even blink, Panseru grabbed the rod hidden behind Seto's back and leapt out of the carriage. Seto let out a strangled "Urk!" and tried to follow him, but only succeeded in tripping over his own robes and falling flat on his face out of the carriage. He looked up just in time to see Panseru pull the bottom half of the rod off, revealing a thin blade underneath, and tossing it away as he charged after the man who had made the woman shout.

"Panseru!" he shouted, angrily. "How many times have I told you not to just discard the sheath!?"

Yugi jumped off of the carriage, before going to help Seto get back to his feet. "Is that guy for real?" he asked.

Seto let out a tragic sigh as he fixed his turban. "Very real... unfortunately."

The tall man went over to collect the sheath that Panseru had discarded, while Yugi looked around. Spotting a portly looking police officer next to a hotdog stand, he raced over to the man as he picked up a hotdog from the vendor.

"Excuse me, sir," he began, "but that man just made off with that woman's bike!"

The police officer gave him a look that all but said he could not be any less interested, before touching a button on the radio at his shoulder and reporting the incident. The officer then turned his hungry focus onto his hotdog.

"Aren't you going to do anything?!" Yugi demanded, frustrated, as Seto rejoined him. The officer pointed to the radio, as if to say he did do something, before stuffing the hotdog into his mouth. Grumbling under his breath, Yugi grabbed Seto by the wrist and pulled him along after where Panseru disappeared.


Panseru raced along the path, keeping the culprit in sight as well as maintaining a tight grip on the Millennium Rod. The woman whose "bike"-thing had been stolen was following him close behind, but he took no notice. He was more focused on the trees the man kept weaving in and out of and the stairs the man plowed down on to pay her much attention.

Just then, a white and black car with the word "Police" stamped on the side pulled up right in the man's path. He skidded to a halt barely in time to avoid colliding with the car, before reversing and speeding back the way he had come before the officers could get out of the car. Panseru was waiting for him, however; he reversed the grip he had on the Millennium Rod and hit the man in the head with the flat of the blade as he tried to pass by him. Caught off guard, the man easily toppled off of the bike, landing on the ground with a thud. Panseru put a foot on the man's chest before he could get back up, pointing the business end of the Rod at him as the officers ran up from the front, and Seto and Yugi ran up from behind.

"We'll take it from here, buddy," one officer said. Panseru backed off and allowed the man to be cuffed by the two lawmen. The other officer stared at him strangely as his partner pulled the culprit up to his feet.

"What do you think you are? Robin Hood?" he asked, frowning down at the Millennium Rod, more specifically the blade portion.

"No, but charming fellow, from what I've heard," Panseru replied as Seto snatched back his Rod. "My name, sir, is Panseru."

The woman in the red jacket, who had been inspecting her bike to make sure it was not damaged, went up to Panseru and gave him a hug, much to his surprise.

"Thank you, Panseru!" she exclaimed, pulling away. "How can I ever repay you?"

Panseru mentally smiled; oh there were many, many ways she could repay him... He stopped himself before he could finish that thought. It was that kind of thinking that had made him spend the past five thousand years as a frog. There was no way he was going to make the same mistake twice, and here was a good place to start.

"Seeing the culprit brought to justice is payment enough," he replied simply, kissing the back of her hand. With that said, he turned his back on an opportunity for a good time, and walked up the path back toward the castle.

Seto, in the meantime, just stared, numbly sheathing the Millennium Rod. Will wonders never cease! His majesty had shown restraint! Maybe there was hope for him yet. He tossed Yugi a brief smile, before following Panseru up the path.

Yugi, for the most part, was totally confused. Most guys he knew of would ask for a date, or at the very least, a phone number. This guy, however, just accepted the fact that he helped someone and just walked away? He shook his head before following the two of them. Quacks they might be, but there was definitely something else that was special about these two.

He followed the two of them as far as the courtyard of Belvedere Castle, before Panseru turned to him.

"Thank you for escorting us about the forest, good sir," he said, taking Yugi's hand again and kissing the back of it. "Until we meet again."

"You... want to do this again sometime?" Yugi asked, still trying to figure out what was up with this guy. Maybe he was gay too - it would explain why he was kissing his hand - but if that were the case, then why was he looking for a wife? He mentally shook his head; way to confusing for his brain to process!

"Of course!" Panseru replied. "We still need to find our maiden after all."

Yugi sighed; he was still a quack. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

"Well, anyway, you guys still owe me three hundred and forty-two bucks," he replied. "I wasn't joking about that."

Panseru turned toward Seto and scoffed, "You didn't PAY him?!"

Seto shot him a scathing look. "I didn't get the chance."

He reached into the pouch at his side again and - much to Yugi's dismay - pulled out a fairly large gold coin and handed it to him. He held it up, looking it over, before glaring at the two of them.

"What is this supposed to be?" he demanded, more than a little annoyed.

Panseru and Seto exchanged confused looks. "Well, it's the royal coin of Egypt."

"And this means what to me?" Yugi shot back, getting more and more frustrated by the minute. He had spent over six hours with these two idiots, and now they were handing him phony money as his payment!

Panseru must have caught onto his thought, for he said, "I assure you, sir, it is very real."

Yugi glared at the two of them, before coming to his conclusion, "Fine, then. I'm going to check this out. But if this is worth one penny less than what I'm owed, I'm coming back for my proper payment."

"We shall be here," Panseru assured him. Yugi frowned again, before spinning around on his heal and stalking off toward his horse and carriage.


Yugi tapped his foot impatiently as the woman behind the counter of the local Fleet Bank inspected the coin Panseru and Seto had given him. She frowned at the coin, turning it over in her hand several times, before handing it back to him.

"Well, it's unlike any kind of currency I've ever seen," she admitted. That did nothing to help brighten Yugi's mood.

"So, it's a fake?" he asked, trying not to let his frustration show.

"Maybe, but you'd have to take it to a coin shop to be sure," the woman replied.

Yugi did not want to have to hear that. Most of the coin shops were closed at this time of day.

"What if it were actual gold?" he asked. "Then how much would it be worth?"

The bank teller shrugged. "I dunno, maybe fifty, maybe a hundred."

Yugi frowned deeply. He knew it; never trust a quack. He gave the woman his thanks before leaving the bank and walking home.

It was late again by the time he made it back. Ryou was sprawled out on the couch, half asleep, watching some program on television. Bakura was in the kitchen, wearing a bright pink apron, flitting about as he tried to make supper. The latter looked up as Yugi entered the apartment, a slight frown on his face.

"That's twice this week you've come home late, Yugi," he said, a bit concerned. "What's going on?"

Yugi let out a groan. "You wouldn't believe the day I had!" he exclaimed, as Bakura reached for drinking glasses. "I was just about to get off my shift when these two nutcases had me drive them around the park for six hours, and then they hand me some kind of phony money as payment."

Ryou stirred from the couch, leaning over the side a bit. "Why didn't you just say no?"

Yugi turned to face him. "'Cause, I thought they were loaded," he answered honestly. "They were wearing a lot of gold: gold belts, gold earrings, gold bracelets." He paused a moment, before he sighed. "I wish I had told them to bug off. They were absolutely loony. Get this: the one insisted that he was the Prince of Upper Egypt."

There came the tinkling of glass, and Yugi spun around in his seat to see that Bakura had dropped the drinking glass he had been holding. There was a flash of a shocked look on his face, but he quickly disguised it, bending down to start picking up the glass with a mumbled, "Sorry". Yugi turned back to Ryou, who had a bit of a concerned look on his face, getting a frown out of him.

Was there something he was missing here...?


Panseru waited impatiently in the main room of Belvedere Castle, drumming his fingers on his knee as he waited for Seto to come back from where ever it was he disappeared to. The former priest-in-training had insisted that he try to perform a spell that would help them in finding Lady Mai, but he sure was taking his sweet time in finding all the ingredients he needed!

Instead of focusing on his frustration, he turned his thoughts inward, and found himself thinking about Yugi. So incredibly beautiful, that boy was. It was a shame he had to marry a maiden; he would have taken that boy over any woman in a heartbeat. Rules were rules however: a maiden had to kiss him, and then he had to marry that maiden before the noon bells on the day of the new moon, otherwise him and Seto would be frogs forever. After five thousand years of putting up with croaking and hopping around, he did not want to have to experience it again.

Just then, Seto rushed back into the castle, carrying an armful of different things. He sat across from Panseru, with a small stone slab serving as a table separating them, a bit excited.

"Luckily, I was able to find everything," he said, before holding up a twig. "Cherry wood branch." He set that down and held up a gnarled looking thing. "Oak root." He set that down and held up a banana peal. "Snake skin, and lastly..."

He set the "snake skin" down and held up a small and red rectangular object with a strange switch at the top. Seto flicked the switch, and a slight burst of flame came out. Panseru blinked, impressed; amazing the kind of hand-held magic people had nowadays.

Seto lit the ingredients he gathered on fire. The blue flames flared up between them, casting a strange glow on the priest's face as he tried to concentrate.

"Well?" Panseru asked after a long moment. "What do you see?"

Seto frowned slightly. "You will... be very lucky."

Panseru raised an eyebrow; that was not the kind of response he had been hoping for. "And?"

Seto squinted, as if he were peering through a fog. "You're lucky color is... green?"

The prince gave him a dull look. "Seto, I think you're magic's a tad bit rusty."

"Really?" Seto replied dryly, giving him a scathing look. "Well, there is one thing I can tell you, your highness."

"What's that?"

He focused a hard look on the prince. "That we have only four days till the noon bells ring on the day of the new moon."

Panseru sighed. They had to find Lady Mai... and fast!