Disclaimer – I am not being paid for this, nor am I going to make any money out of it. I do not own the characters, except for the original ones. They're mine. You can't have any.

Flashback

"Speaking"

/Thinking/

Enjoy!

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"Remus, stop pestering, your food's over there." The boy smiled slightly. He had to be the luckiest slave in the whole of Egypt, getting to tend to the cats at Bastets' temple. Actually, he had probably the second best job in the whole of Egypt, at least in his view.) The best job was to be one of the Pharaoh's personal slaves. Then they would get to see the mighty Pharaoh Yugioh every day! The boy had never seen his leader, never even caught a glimpse of him through the cheering crowds that always followed the royal carriage.

He shook his head, clearing the thoughts and focused his attention back on the four adult cats and the eleven kittens that were milling round his pale ankles. "You can't have eaten all your food already!" The remark was accompanied with a laugh, as it usually was. The ritual was so familiar to all the cats that they set up a chorus of meowing, and set the boy laughing again. "All right, all right, I'll get you some more. That is, if Afra moves out the way…?" The cat obediently moved to one side, and the child walked confidently through the throng.

So focused was he on not treading on the cats that the single pair of footsteps went unnoticed, as did the quiet click of the door as it was shut, and the harsh, quick breathing that followed both.

What did catch his attention was the clatter of the armour and footsteps that belonged to the palace guards. He jumped, and whipped his head round to stare at the cloaked figure bent double round the other side of the altar.

"Who are you? Why were you running from the guards? What did you do?" The barrage of questions was fired so quickly that the figure didn't have time to identify where it came from.

The boy stepped out from behind the altar. "Sorry. Don't you speak 'gyptian?"

"No, I speak Egyptian fine." The deep voice startled the boy-child, as the figure could be barely two years older than him. "My name is…Yami. You are…?"

"Me? Oh, I'm Yugi. What did you do?" Yugi repeated the question. You didn't want to be caught with a thief, or a criminal of any kind."

"I escaped from the palace."

Yugi started – this boy was a criminal! "I should call the guards back"

"No! Please! Don't!" The taller boy went pale. "I'll be in such trouble!"

"Tell me why I shouldn't." Now Yugi was on safe grounds. 'Yami' was a thief, and even slaves were higher ranking than thieves!

"Because…" The boy faltered. His whole body twitched, and he cried out in pain. Yugi jumped forwards and caught him as the other boy started to fall to the ground. He leant Yami's torso over his shoulders, bending his knees to take the weight.

"What's wrong?" Yugi was concerned. Even though Yami had told him he was a criminal, he was still human!

The boy didn't speak for a few moments, then continued his earlier answer "You shouldn't because I'm-"

A squad of guards burst through the doors, and immediately trained their spears on the two boys standing by the altar. The leader shouted, "What have you done to the pharaoh? Step away from him!"

Yugi was only too happy to oblige. Pharaoh? And he had looked the boy in the eyes, and spoken to him, and touched him, and hadn't bowed, and… "Oh Bastet, please help me!" he whispered in a fervid prayer. He fell to his knees, and dropped his forehead to the ground in the sign of complete subservience.

The second in command walked over to the kneeling boy as the chief officer lifted the pharaoh in his arms. "How dare you harm the pharaoh? For your insolence you shall die!" He lifted his spear over his head, to bring the end of it crashing down on Yugi's neck, when a faint voice came from the other guards.

"No! Please, Sangath, don't!" The pharaoh spoke in a whisper. Sangath was obviously unused to having the pharaoh plead with him, and hesitated for a second, but he still didn't obey the boy. In criminal matters, the guards were in charge.

By now, Yugi was trembling violently, utterly confused by what was happening. He tried to suppress a tear, but it fell anyway, staining his beautiful ivory coloured skin. "Bastet, please goddess, help me…" more tears fell as he whispered the words. He felt a furry presence touch his arm, and turned his tear-blurred eyes to his favourite cat in Bastet's Temple, Damia. His best friend, his confidante. She climbed up his back carefully, then curled up on the soft bare skin round his neck.

The guard stopped the descent of his spear, annoyed. He couldn't kill a cat, not for any reason. That would be punishable with his own death. He lifted his spear again; to hit the boy in the back, but found that place, too, covered in a furry cat body.

Yugi's tears increased in relief – his cat friends were protecting him! Damia on his neck, Afra and Remus on his back, Lariane and three of the kittens around his legs. The remaining kittens were curled up round various other parts of his body; all the cats were calm, and that helped Yugi calm down as well.

"Thank you Bastet, great goddess, thank you," Yugi whispered, incredulous that his life had been saved.

The guard stepped back, scowling. "Very well. Bastet has decided you shall live for today."

Yugi sighed in relief, still prostrate, then as the day's shocks caught up with his mind his eyes shut and his body sagged to lie flat on the ground, in a dead faint.

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How was that? I have writer's block and wanted to end the chapter really quickly. Oh well. Never mind. I don't actually know what's going to happen, but hey, that's what improvisation is for!

Catch ya next time, chaps and chapesses!

Kazuki!