A/N I don't own anything here. I really have no clue if Anzu is a reincarnation, but, for the sake of the story she is . All references to Egyptian religion, ceremonial practices or people, I have tried to research and correct, but, some are totally made up, so don't take it for facts.
"I, Pharaoh Atemu, in the endless wisdom of the Gods, now succeed my father, Akunumkanon. In adding 'Amun' to my name, I both honor my godly father, Ra and am above him in this earthly sphere. As is custom, I take thee, Teana, as my first wife. In adding 'Amun' to thy name, I claim thee as mine. First and primary wife to Atemu-Amun, Great Pharaoh of the lands of the Nile." Inwardly, he sighed with relief. At least that part was over, and he'd gotten all the words right. He sneaked a look at his new wife. Her face was hidden behind many layers of complicated veils. As well, flowing robes obscured the form of her body. Atemu had yet to know anything about her, other then her name, Teana, daughter of Imhotep. Reaching for her hand, now that the formal ceremony was finished, he lead her to her new chambers that she would use until the time she died. "The servants will help you make ready for bed, I will await you in the furthest room." He thought she nodded, but with all the veils, it was hard to tell.
"Yes, my Lord." Atemu proceeded to the room to await her. It looked bare, with the minimum of furnishings; she hadn't been able to bring anything from her old life. Atemu thought she'd probably been plucked from her home and dropped here, and now he would have to add to her fear. He wasn't looking forward to what he knew must come. His priests had taught him what act must pass between a man and his wife in order to produce an heir. Any wife's first duty was to bear a son for her husband. But, he'd just met the girl, and he suspected that she was scared to death of him.
Before he could continue his mental contemplations, a figure appeared in the doorway. Without ceremonial robes, he could see his wife clearly. She was about his height, delicate features that could be perceived as pretty, and dark brown hair, cropped short to aid in the heat of the summer.
He beckoned her forward, and she knelt at his feet. Surprised, he reached his hand to raise her.
"No need for that, we are both of royal..." He stopped, as she rose, he looked at her. "Great Ra above! You're nothing more then a child! How could they send a child into matrimony? You can't be more then...12 summers!" Teana looked up briefly, and shook her head.
"It grieves me to correct you, my Lord and Pharaoh, but you are mistaken. This past summer has been my 15th." He shook his head.
"It is still young..."
"And how old are you, my Lord?" She looked shocked that she had questioned him, but nonetheless stood her ground.
"...16 summers...I concede to your point. Very well Teana-Amun, I assume that you are aware of what we must do in order to produce an heir?" She looked at the ground, and he was no longer able to see her eyes. "Look at me girl, it's only polite when someone's talking to you." Normally, Atemu was patient, but the girl seemed to have no backbone of her own. He met her eyes; they were like a trapped animal, with no escape route. "You're positively scared to death! Why haven't you said anything?"
"It is not my place." She looked away again.
"Fine, we'll save that for later. Tell me about yourself. Though you are my wife, I know nothing beyond your name." He hoped that leading her into conversation would cause her to be less...submissive.
"I am from the northern borders, near the old city of Akhetaten. I am the first daughter granted by my father to his first wife, Yeliz." Atemu looked up, curious at the unusual name. "She is from Cyprus, a peace gift to my father. She died in childbirth, along with a younger brother, nameless as a still born." Atemu nodded sympathetically; unfortunately it was common for woman. "As the first daughter, I was granted permission to marry higher then my rank allowed..." Atemu stopped her.
"Permission? To be shipped of to a person you knew nothing of, instead a childhood friend?" She looked up at him and said, firmly,
"It is an honour to serve the reincarnation of Ra in this humble sphere." Maybe she had more of a backbone then Atemu had first given her credit for.
"You say you serve me, but you are my wife, not some slave that I order around."
"A females first duty is to her Lord. As a child, my Lord was my father. As a wife, it is you, my husband and Pharaoh. I owe you loyalty and obedience." Now Atemu was thoroughly confused. Were all females taught this? It seemed an awful way to live. When he'd thought of his upcoming marriage, he'd imagined a steady partnership, friends, if they could not learn to love. Not this relationship between a slave and her master.
"But, look at the females in this palace! Isis bows to no one save the Gods, and Mana will soon have the same privileges!" He was trying to make arguments against her, make her see the way he felt things should be done. She shook her head.
"My lady Isis and Mana go against the natural order of things. They risk upsetting the Great Balance." Now Atemu was just frustrated.
"No, they live their own lives. If Ra, in his wisdom, believed what you are telling me, then he would not have allowed Isis to become a priestess or and advisor, nor would he allow Mana to take an apprenticeship."
"Your first duty lies in serving yourself, am I clear?"
"Yes my Lord."
"And stop calling me that. My name is Atemu, please use that instead."
"Yes...Atemu." Atemu looked at his complacent, completely obedient wife, he couldn't bring himself to do anything that custom dictated he should.
"You must've had a long journey here, and are tired. I will leave you to rest."
"My quarters are down the hall and to the left, please make it known if you need anything." He left
2 weeks and a couple of chats with a bemused Isis later, Atemu realized juts how little he knew of females. Apparently, many were brought of to believe that they had little use, other then breeding.
"Despite the fact that many of the great Goddesses played essential parts in our history, we are still regarded as less then men. Property really." Isis had said. Atemu felt sorry for his young wife. She had bean taught that she was basically useless, though he could see that this was far from true. In the past week of so, she had done a wonderful job of re-organizing the household that had been in shambles since his own mother had died, almost 3 years ago. Also, he had seen that she used a gentle nature to settle quarrels between household staff. As well, a warm and vague friendly demeanor made her hard to dislike. She still not to seem to take to heart his words though. She fell silent in his presence, bowed lower then was necessary, and fetched things that could easily have been done by servants.
He had not visited her chambers since the first night. He knew that if he chose to partake in his husbandly rights, she would not resist his advances, and the thought sickened him.
That night, he made his way to her chambers, taking care not to be seen. Not even his high priests knew that he was out of bed. When he reached the room he knew to be hers, he hesitated. He wanted to talk her, but what if she was asleep? Still, just taking a peek wouldn't hurt.
Stepping into her room, he was surprised to find sitting by the window, as if waiting for him.
"I would have thought that you'd come sooner. My father told me that you wouldn't hold out for long" Her voice surprised him; he had meant to surprise her.
"What do you mean?"
"My father told me that a man takes pleasure in the act that he performs with his wife, and yearns, lusts for it." That made Atemu a little angry, not at her, but at whoever had told her to be afraid of him, as she so obviously was.
"No! Just because we take pleasure doesn't mean we lust...but, listen Teana, I just wanted to talk to you. I now know of the cruelty that your gender has endured, and I for one don't agree with it. If you are not ready, then I refuse to force myself on you." She turned to face him, her face a mask of shock. He smiled, trying to show that he truly meant no harm.
"Now come, sit down. I've barely seen you all day. Tell me what you have been up to." He sat down on her pallet, and patted the spot beside him. She sat delicately beside, politely covering a yawn with her hand. She then proceeded to tell him of an argument between a cook and a hunter, over the quality of a bird that they were to eat for the night-meal. When telling the story, she seemed to forget where she was, and who she talking to. Her hands came alive, telling the story with her, and she giggled at foolishness of the argument. Atemu smiled, it seemed his wife was simply a normal person after all, just a shy one. He chuckled when she finished.
"It seems that you do have words in your soul after all." She looked horrified.
"My Lord! I apologize profusely! I hadn't meant to chatter..." She yawned again and her eyes fluttered.
"You're tired, why not get some sleep?"
"Oh no, not with you here! I couldn't." She waved her hand to show that she was fine.
"Teana," he said seriously, painfully aware that she had probably stayed up the past nights, fearing his arrival. "There are very few things that I will ever demand, but, keeping healthy is one of them." She nodded; head bowed again, and obediently lay down on the pallet.
"But my Lord..."
"Atemu." He interrupted, he'd been trying all week to call him by his given name, instead of his titles.
"Atemu...how can I sleep with you so..." she yawned again
"I'm sure that you can, you just refuse. So just try." Her eyes slowly closed, and her body relaxed. Soon, her breathing evened out, she was peacefully asleep. He smiled to himself, and returned to his own room.
The next month and half passed with Teana, convinced that Atemu really meant what he said, opening up more to those around her. She found a close friend in Mana, who was around the same age as she. Though Teana was often shocked by the young magicians pranks and mischievous nature, they were almost inseparable. Isis was happy to teach her the ways in which she was now allowed to behave in the palace. And of course, Atemu always helped when he could. He realized that now that his wife was more open, that she had a very teasing personality, and would not hesitate to poke fun at him, or her friends.
Now, she smiled continuously, and laughed freely. Only Seth didn't like her, but then, Seth hardly liked anyone.
Then, came the ritual family visit, in which her old family came to visit their 'dead' daughter. Teana had died when she had left their house, and now, they hoped that she was doing well.
She greeted her father with her new warm, open personality. He looked surprised at the change in his daughter, but said nothing.
Later, Atemu and his wife were talking with Mana and Mahado. Mana's latest trick involved a bag of sand and mud that she had charmed to be water repellent, so it was impossible to wash off. Mahado was trying to discipline his young charge, but finding it hard to keep a straight face with Atemu and Teana laughing.
Imhotep walked in to see his daughter laughing, in the presence of the pharaoh and another male. He was nearly speechless. Nearly.
"Teana!" She turned
"Yes, father?" She asked innocently
"Have you forgotten all I taught you?" He turned his attention to Atemu "My Pharaoh, I apologize for my daughter's inexcusable..." he stopped at the confused look in Atemu's eyes.
"What are you apologizing for?" Atemu asked, "There is no sin in laughing." Imhotep looked shocked
"Who has been corrupting you with these nonsensical ideas? And my daughter as well!" Teana decided that it was time to step in.
"Father, no one has corrupted me, Atemu..." The slap came before she had time to react. Instantly, old habit took over, and she retreated, head bowed, and silent.
"Woman! Never announce the Pharaoh by his name!" He turned, angrily to Atemu. "I can see now that this match was inadvisable. I reclaim my daughter. Of course, I will find another wife suitable of..." Atemu stopped him with a wave of his hand as he fought to remain courteous. He would not send Teana back to that household.
"Your daughter is dead, Imhotep. In her place lives my wife. As Pharaoh, living Ra on earth, you would do good to remember that my choices are my own. I choose for Teana to remain here." Furious, and knowing he was dismissed, Imhotep bowed, and retreated. That night, news would reach the Pharaoh that he had left, without signaling when he would return.
Atemu looked behind him, to see Mana treating the bruise that Teana's father had left.
"Teana, are you alright?" She lowered her head.
"My Lord, I apolo..." Atemu nearly growled in frustration, she had reverted back into a shell. His temper was starting to wear thin
"What have I told about that?"
"Yes. Now, I take my leave." He left abruptly for his chambers, he needed to think. As soon as Imhotep had lashed out at Teana, her emotions had halted, and a wall had dropped between them again. Now, he had to find another way to remove it. After discarding countless useless ideas, he was still stuck.
Two figures appeared in his doorway. Mana pushed Teana into his room, then winked and closed the curtains to give them privacy.
"Teana...?" She looked down, then looked straight into his eyes
"I, just wanted to say I'm sorry..." Atemu, still on the edge of temper, interrupted her.
"Teana...." She rushed on
"I mean, that I stopped being myself, I cut myself off from you again..." He realized that she really was sorry that she had upset him. He sighed and stood up.
"Teana, it's alright, I understand." She still seemed ready to burst into tears. He stood beside her, and put his arms awkwardly around her shoulders "Come come, at least you know what to do next time." She nodded and smiled weakly. Suddenly, Atemu heard Mana's voice come from the other side of the curtain.
"Good! Now kiss him! He'll like that!" Teana blushed.
"I...I..." Atemu frowned, Mana should not be listening on, nor giving that kind of advice. Loudly, he said
"Isn't it a shame that it is the Pharaoh's will that all eavesdroppers are condemned to death by water?" an audible 'eep' from the curtain, followed by running told him that Mana had gotten the hint. He turned back to his wife. "Teana, did Mana put you up to that?" She stuttered, and started to babble
"Well, I wanted to say something, but I would've waited until tomorrow, it was Mana's idea to come here and..."
"I meant the kiss." Her head dropped, finding something interesting on the floor to look at
"Oh...you heard that?" he nodded "Well...uh..." Her embarrassed blush and the fact that she wasn't willing to answer spoke for itself. She had wanted the kiss herself; it wasn't some farfetched idea of Mana's.
Well, she was cute when she blushed, and he liked her very much, and it was something that he had been contemplating for a week or so.
"Well, if there's something that you desire, it would be remiss of me to refuse it." Teana looked a little shocked to say the least. She leaned into the arm that was holding her, and gave her husband a quick kiss on the check. A little disappointed that it hadn't been more, Atemu still smiled. Teana looked at him once more.
"Thank you. I will leave you in peace." He nodded.
The next day, Teana was talking to Mana and Isis when she was called to the Pharaoh's chambers for an audience. Wondering as she walked, what could be so important that Atemu wouldn't come and talk to her himself? She knew he had been with his priest all morning, had something come up? She walked in to find him waiting for her.
"Teana, I'm glad you made it. There is something I need to discuss with you." She was confused, never had she seen Atemu looking as...embarrassed as he was now. Sitting beside him, she spoke back.
"You know you have only to ask." He nodded, grateful that she was so easy to talk to.
"You see, it's been a little over 2 months since our marriage. My priests are worried. They perceive a time of great strife ahead, and they need assurance that an heir can come before this time starts. When they asked, I said that we hadn't consummated, well...they weren't very happy to say the least. I really don't want to push you, I know you're comfortable the way we are presently, but..." he knew he was rambling, but couldn't seem to stop himself. Finally, Teana put her hand to his mouth, for him to stop. She giggled, but had the same look in her eyes as when they had first met.
"I understand. They need proof that I am not barren. They need the hope." Atemu sighed gratefully; glad she had understood his garbled message. About to go on, she stopped him again. "The Gods demand an heir, as do the people." She stood to leave. "Tonight my Lord, I will see you then." He didn't even bother to correct her.
When she left, Atemu sighed yet again. He had hoped that things would go differently, that they would have time to court, talk and laugh, and let their relationship grow to the next level. But, his priests were right; she was in the prime of her childbearing years. However, as Pharaoh, his first duty was to his people, and right now, the people would need hope that his dynasty could be carried on.
The day passed slowly. When night came, Teana asked the women who served her to sleep elsewhere. Hiding knowing smiles, they left Teana to prepare for her husband.
Before a fire, a dark figure huddled. Casting a slip of paper in, they mumbled:
"I curse you. In the name of the Goddess to whom I belong and She whom I serve I curse you. Teana-Amun Imhotep-sti, wife of the living Ra, never shall your womb bear a living child. With this fire I curse you."
So...waddaya think? Please R & R!