THIS CHAPTER HAS BEEN REVISED!! Okay, sorry guys, I was in a rush the first time so the summary turned out too long and the update was really messed up cuz special fonts and bars just chose not to appear at random occasions. I caught two big typos that were bugging everyone, including me. And is SO screwing up my uploads! WHY!?!
Thank you to all that reviewed and I apologize for the horrible messiness! I don't have the time to reply to everyone personally right now, but to the two that this would apply to; I just finished French III and I dance ballet too. And thanks to thoser telling me about 'the heart of the sea' cuz I didn't bother to look up 'ocean'. Sorry! And to the reviewer that mentioned Norrington; yeah, I didn't like him that much either until... now, which was about a year after the movie. :-p But he's got a killer accent and he's the only one that can pull off the dorky tri-corner-hat and white-wig thing in the movie right. Plus he really is cute, but you just have to get used to him. And he is a VERY good actor... Most people just don't notice it because he's not the most important character in the story. And someone else mentioned being my beta reader; sure! I'll get back to you soon!

Le Coeur de la Mer

Authoress: Lomelindi

Rating: PG-13/R or NC-17 (depends where I'm posting)

Pairing: Seto/Yami (get out right now if you don't approve if this in any way or form)

Spoilers: None (I don't know squat about Duelist of Roses either)

Warnings: none except for guys in tights ()

Disclaimer: I do not own any recognizable characters/ideas/plots from the Pirates of the Caribbean, the Three Musketeers, the Lord of the Rings, the Mummy, Duelist of Roses, or Yu-Gi-Oh!

Summary: Being English, Seto hated the French... that is, until he met their prince, a troubled boy native to Egypt. Predictably, their courtship (if you could call it that) was riddled with trouble, but with vengeful musketeers and scheming pirates, how could it not be? Seto/Yami

Status: Incomplete (1/?)



GAH, I can sense people wanting to strangle me already. I know I know I KNOW that Dreamcatcher should be updated, but by all means, I'm stuck and I just had to vent my ranting authoress powers on a different story. Plus I have a feeling this story is going to be so dreadfully fun to write (mainly cuz I'm making up everything). And to anyone that might care, I got TOTALLY re-obsessed with Commodore Norrington from Pirates of the Caribbean simply because I was doing some background fanfic surfing on how to write Seto and stuff for this story.

I DID NOT DO ANY HISTORICAL RESEARCH WHILE MAKING THIS STORY!! I'm only doing this out of an idea sparked by watching Pirates of the Caribbean (and listening to the soundtrack) one too many times and always hearing about the English/French thing in Duelist of Roses, which I've never played, seen or even remotely understood. Plus I suck at any history except that of ancient civilizations, and I'm especially ignorant in the time from the Middle Ages to now. Therefore, I don't have any clue whether musketeers existed during the time of British white-wig-and-red-coat era, nor do I have any clue if Egypt was actually under English or French rule (I know Egypt gained independence from Britain in the twentieth century and was shortly ruled by Napoleon at some point, but Ra damn me if I know anything beyond that). I realize Egypt is now mainly Islamic, but I also know (I think) that it was Christian for a while after the fall of the Roman Empire and Cleopatra and that big mess. If I'm wrong about any of this (which is possible cuz I'm making it up and nabbing info from POTC) I'm very terribly sorry and I hope I don't upset any history teacher/student/fan. Most of the history in this story is either highly romanticized from Pirates of the Caribbean or what my poor memory remembers of the Three Musketeers. THIS STORY IS PURELY FICTION AND IS SUPPOSED TO BE HISTORICALLY ACCURATE IN ANY WAY OR FORM!!

I've only taken four years of school French (actually five but the first year all you learn is 'Bonjour!') and I SUCK at spelling, grammar, vocab and just about everything in the language. I'm trying my best to use accurate and interesting phrases, but I apologize if they're wrong in any way. (The title of this story means 'The Heart of the Ocean/Sea', which is NOT related to Titanic; I was thinking more in terms of Seto, his job and his eye color. :-p) By the way, my computer is incompetent and CANNOT, for its LIFE, upload accents correctly on; therefore, if the accents in the French don't upload right, don't blame me.

FOR THOSE THAT ARE MANGA-DEPRIVED: Mahado is, for those of you that don't know, the High Priest of the Millennium Ring (there were six, each a guardian of a M. Item) who was killed by Bakura in ancient Egypt and turned into the Dark Magician. He's cute as anything and he could be (possibly) Pharaoh's closest friend. I love him to bits. But just in case you're terribly confused, the whole deal with Pharaoh and the High Priests is not going to be included in this. At least, I don't think so... I could change my mind later.

Oh, one last thing.; if you're French, British, Islamic, Christian or Egyptian, PLEASE don't get upset with this story! I mean no harm (I'm ignorant, I swear!) and if I say anything insulting, its for the sake of the story!

ABSOLUTELY NO FLAMES!! EVER!! Unlike others, I don't find them amusing in any way or form, and they really do hurt so be considerate and don't say a word if you hate this story. Kindly just leave and go flame someone else. And, before anyone even gets started, I don't understand why you would be here if you a, don't like Seto/Yami, b, don't like yaoi/slash, c, don't like Yu-Gi-Oh!, d, don't like fanfiction in general, or e, you plain don't like the story (if that's the case, stop reading! Not too hard to do!) Suggestions, requests, ideas and advice are, however, always welcome!

... = very loosely translated French

"..." = English (occasionally w/ un-translated words from other languages)

/.../ = translated ancient Egyptian

'...' = private thoughts

italics = words/terms/pronunciations NOT in the language being currently spoken or in the English narration

bold = song lyrics

[?] = footnotes

AN = author's note

CHAPTER ONE: The Crown Jewel

The French called her "le nénuphar blanc"; the White Lotus. The Egyptians called her Meretseger, 'she who loves silence'. [1]

But to Yami, she was just one simple thing; mother.

He remembered her quite well. An exotic and beautiful woman, she was slender and delicate in form, her hair a thick, silky ebony, her skin a smooth golden-bronze. Her face was sweet and forever youthful, with pearly lips and soulful eyes darker than the darkest of nights. She had a twinkling laugh and a voice that flowed like silk, her soft words often lulling her young son to sleep and bringing comfort to those that desired it.

Yami missed her terribly. Many times he would toss and turn in bed, dreaming of the nights when gentle arms cradled him to a warm bosom and a soft voice hummed to him from above, whispering of love and song. Sometimes he would almost feel the gentle flapping of ostrich feathers keeping gnats at bay and the cool wind of a starry Egyptian night, carrying away his mother's singing for the gods to hear.

...But that had all been a long, long time ago.

His mother was long dead, and now he lived in a strange land thousands of miles away from his native home, laying in a bed far too soft for his liking, hidden far from the open sky that he loved so much. And despite how much food and wealth and power he had at his very fingertips, he felt like... like a prisoner.

Tears came now, as they often did. Yami doesn't even try to fight them anymore. They burned their way from his eyes down his cheeks, soaking into the white linen that servants no doubt took great pains to sew.

He hated this. He hated crying. He hated missing her mother. He hated everything in this blasted palace, everything from the gold ceiling down to every last stitch in his sheets. It was all elaborate and beautiful, yes, but overwhelmingly so. Suffocating so. There was too much of everything.... Too much and not enough simplicity... Too much detail, too much perfume, too much of this and too much of that... He almost couldn't breath. And the styles were far too different then the ones he was used too; too exaggerated. Flowers were far too elaborate to be real, and paintings were far too romantic to be true.

It was all fake.

And he hated every last bit of it.

Yami was a son of Egypt. He was born and raised on her lands, and he knew her ways like he knew the back of his hand. This, however, was one those things that not even he could figure out.

He fingered the pendant that hung around his neck, rolling it around his fingers with slow, purposeful motions. A strange shaped thing, it was, an irregular flat piece of gold that roughly resembled a rectangle. On the front of it was an inlaid eye, clearly the Egyptian Eye of Ra, a feared symbol of revenge and justice once bestowed by Ra himself. No sane Egyptian would ever wear such a symbol unless they had a death wish, but Yami had very little choice.

The pendant had belonged to his mother, after all.

She had given it to him the moment they were separated, Yami about to be taken away to France to be their Crown Prince. She called it 'the key', and told him to never, ever lose it. It was strange, really. He kept hearing her words over and over again at night, and he kept seeing that damned symbol. Always that damned symbol... He was sure it meant something far greater than what it seemed to be, but Ra-damn, he couldn't figure it out.

Still, he kept the pendant nevertheless, for the sake of his mother.

It was the only thing he had left of her.

The Prince rubbed at the pendant with unconscious familiarity, surprised that it had not dulled under this constant habit of his. Despite all these years, the gold was still brilliant and bright, with nearly no sign of wear.

Like the memory of his mother.

/You miss her./

Yami sighed, gently tucking the pendant under his collar. He hated this damn French collar; it was too thick and too high. It always made him so itchy and sometimes he felt like it was slowly but surely choking him to death. Irritably, he tugged on the frills rubbing against his throat. /Aye,/ he replied softly, without looking up. /I miss her./

A strong, gloved hand settled on his shoulder, squeezing reassuringly. /She rests well, my friend. Judgment came swiftly and easily for her./ [2]

Yami's eyes flashed briefly, growing distant. /Sometimes... sometimes I wish I went with her.../

In a flash, that once-gentle hand on his shoulder flew to his chin, wrenching it up with bone-twisting speed. Yami's scarlet eyes met with piercing, blue-green ones. /Do not dare to say that in my face, Yami./ The voice that had once been so smooth suddenly turned ice cold. /Do not say it./

/Aye, my friend, you worry far too much.../ murmured Yami passively, gently dislodging the hand from his chin. /I am not suicidal, if that's what you mean./

/Somehow you fail to convince me,/ the other youth stated quietly, dryly, pulling back but still with worry in his gaze.

Yami's brilliant eyes twinkled with mirth. /Ah, Mahado, when will you ever learn?/ He batted his eyes teasingly. /I am a very hard man to read./

/You needn't remind me,/ shot back the blond, rolling his eyes to the heavens with a self-pitying look.

Yami sighed and shot him a withering look, smoothing out his robes and waving away a pair of servants that were moving to do so for him. The clothing was rather modest for a member of royalty, mainly comprised of a simple scarlet over-cloak with intricate gold markings characteristic of the House of Lancaster. They were decent enough robes for a prince, he supposed, but they did not suit Yami's tastes; they were far too French in fashion and too uncomfortable to compare the flowing Egyptian garb he preferred to wear. He was not a tall man after all, and his tiny frame was all but overwhelmingly swamped within these thick, French-style layers. Which brought up another annoyance considering he did not take fondly to tripping over these blasted robes.

Mahado, on the other hand, had it much easier. He was a well-built man of near perfect medium stature, fluid strength hidden in his lean muscles. His skin was rather dark, like Yami's, though his other features were far less conspicuous than his tri-colored-haired companion; he was bright-eyed and youthful-faced, his long golden hair flowing in waves over his shoulders, the locks light and free but with every strand annoyingly neat. His handsome, sharp eyes were of the strange mix of blue, green, and a hint of amber, the dominating color usually depending on his mood. His clothes were that of a high-ranking musketeer, consisting of a gold-lined crimson overflap, a flamboyantly frilled white shirt and a gold-red stash around his waist that tied up his dark beeches. He proudly donned leather black gloves and matching large, knee-high boots that looked both terribly big and comfortable. And of course, the infamous musketeer hat rested upon his head; wide-brimmed, lopsided, and supporting a gold brim with a mass of fluffy-white feathers sticking out behind him. [3]

Yami scowled lightly at his taller friend. /Any particular reason why you're lecturing me this early in the morning?/ he asked in mock annoyance. He would have crossed his arms but the long robes might have ruined the effect. /Better yet, any particular reason why I was forced into this ridiculous attire at this unholy hour?/

Mahado's thin eyebrows rose toward the heavens. /You did not hear, little one?/ He ruffled Yami's hair affectionally. /The Queen's nephew is here. /

/Nephew?/ echoed Yami, batting Mahado's hand away while trying to restraighten his hair. Thank Ra it was always so spiky and unpredictable; any other way and the servants might have been able to fit one of those white, curly-coiled wigs on him. Yami shuddered at the mere thought. /She seems hardly old enough to have a nephew./

Mahado shrugged, murmuring quietly, /My dear prince, it has slipped your mind that I truly don't know a damn thing about English customs./ The words were harsh and strange coming from the normally sweet-tempered Mahado, but they rang as true as a bell. While Yami stuck true to the old Egyptian customs, Mahado had adapted quite quickly to the French way of thinking, the most prominent characteristic of which was a terrible distain for the English.

The prince's eyes grew wide and darted about, suddenly alert. He thanked Ra that they were speaking in the ancient tongue; any other language and the gaurds and servants might have reported them to the King for both treason and rude language.

Of course, no one would be terribly offended if they heard Mahado's comment anyhow. The French didn't like the English any more than the English liked them.

Mahado rolled his eyes. /Aye, little one, what I have been trying to say is that the Queen requests you there to greet this nephew of her's./

Yami frowned. /But Father doesn't usually all--/

/Sophia begged./ Mahado stated flatly, sighing. /Plus this is a congratulation celebration of some sort; the man apparently had just gotten promoted to Commodore./

Yami's frown deepened, his eyes troubled. An English Commodore in the Royal Palace of the French was not usually seen as a good sign.

Mahado sighed a bit, offering a loosely-closed and gloved hand. /Come. We should go. Your father would have my head if we lingered here any longer./

Yami rested his petit hand gingerly upon his friend's without hesitation, though bitterness rose in his throat as Mahado's words soaked in. 'So that's what I am now. A trophy to show off.'

This happened far too often for his liking. He was usually confined to his room or other heavily monitored spaces, but when there were ambassadors and distant officials present, Yami was brought out like some great national treasure, paraded around and then locked away when he wasn't needed. For one, his father needed to keep up appearances; to the outside world, this was just one happy royal family, with a viable heir to inherit the French throne --Yami winced at the mere thought. But politics aside, there was just one simple fact for all this showing-off nonsense; despite all logic, the prince had inherited every one of his traits from his mother... including her infamous beauty. Though the French were unused to such brilliant hair or such dark skin, Yami was every bit as exotic and lovely as his Egyptian-bred mother. The mere sight of him was devastating on the eyes.

All the more reason for him to be paraded around like a rare gem.

Yami was helpless to do anything, of course. His father would kill him if he spoke of anything besides proper greetings, and under the roof of this palace, the king was god.

Yami still hated his guts.

To be expected, the corridors were unnaturally busy. The shuffling of cooks, servants and nobleman echoed through the great halls, occasionally broken by the distinct swagger of a musketeer. The palace air was stuffy and abuzz with spring excitement, thick with the warm, brilliant sunlight pouring through the stained glass high above.

The East Hall was no different, its usually quite mood abuzz with activity. Here and there a short bark of orders ran out, followed by shuffling as whatever poor individual rushed to do the bidding. Stiff, rigid gaurds stood every so often, their gaze blank and bored. A pair of musketeers, complete with their curly mustaches and permanent smirks, laughed loudly from the corner, teasing each other mischievously and waving their swords in great emphasis. A few women in large frilly dresses giggled as they glided past the two, leaving a lingering scent of perfume to trail behind them. Around them, a few servants rushed madly about in the last-minute rush of preparation, some carrying food, others flowers, others some ridiculous load much too big for them. Scattered among them were newcomers to this place; Englishmen it seemed, clad in large coats, frilly sleeves and white tights, complete with the powdered wigs and the tri-corner hats they were so dreadfully fond of.

Mahado frowned, first at the English, then at his fellow Frenchmen. He coughed purposely and loudly.

The soft blanket of conversation died instantly as soon as the two--followed by Mahado's usual entourage of musketeers-- came into view. There was a silent moment of stunned embarrassment before all the French within sight fell into deep bows, heads lowered and eyes upon the floor. The English hesitated, unsure of Yami's exact identity, but most caught on rather quickly and give stiff, wary bows.

All was silent.

Dutifully, with an air of pride, Mahado led Yami through the Hall, sending a glare of disapproval at the two musketeers that had been fooling around. Yami, on the other hand, seemed much less observant than usual, his eyes distant and strangely vacant.

Has my father requested my presence long? he asked softly, switching smoothly into fluid French.

Mahado raised an eyebrow, motioning --as he had done thousands of times before-- to the gaurds at the Hall exit to open the doors. His face was emotionless and blank as he stared ahead, watching with dull boredom as the gaurds struggled to open the door. He didn't say, your majesty. He, too, added the formality demanded from him by the French customs. Did you have plans?

The fiery scarlet of Yami's eyes softened. I want to visit the gardens.

Seto had a distinct dislike of the French. Strange they were to him, odd and unfamiliar people. He loathed the wild way they let their hair down and the ungainly clothing they wore that seemed far too large for their limbs. He doubted they followed orders as well as his own men, seeing that the musketeers seemed quite happy to give some attitude to their superiors. And they always seemed so touchy and so flirtatious, drinking rum and wasting money without a care in the world. But most of all, Seto disliked the pointless words of love and babble that flowed so easily from their lips; it made them seem untrustworthy, people of much talk but little wit.

Yet here he stood in this strange and unfamiliar hall, staring at the narrow-eyed face of George Lancaster IV, the King of France. It wasn't hard to tell that the King trusted him just about as much as the Commodore trusted him back, and it wasn't hard to detect venom hidden under the calm and delicate veil of formality.

Seto hid his disgust. This was his just reward for promotion?

He only came here at the request of his aunt, Sophia, who had recently married the French King and had sealed a tentative peace truce between England and France. Sophia had been the Seto's closest --and youngest-- aunt, and despite his self-denial of it, Seto loved her very much. In fact, she was the closest thing he had to a mother.

And she such was a lovely thing, a tender and sweet-faced princess of England. She had long locks the color of spun gold and eyes as clear sapphire as Seto's, a rare and beautiful shade that only she and her nephew had been blessed with. She sat now beside her husband, adorned with the grace and the jewels of a Queen, her slender form encased in the silky layers of a full blue dress, her hair tied up with pearls and gems in tall and elborate locks that fell about her charming face. She winked at him, beaming brilliantly in what seemed to be a mother's pride..

Seto nodded politely at her, grim-faced, his expression falling far short of affectionate.

"Est-ce que votre voyage était long, monsieur?" the king was asking politely, his stout frame jiggling with every word. (Was your voyage long, sir?)

Seto's ocean-hued eyes turned back to Lancaster, sharp and cold. "Non, mon roi," he answered smoothly in fluent French, "Il était bien. La mer était calme et les vents étaient parfaits." (No, my king, it was good. The ocean was calm and the winds were perfect.

The king seemed pleased, then fell silent. He seemed dully curious. "Vous êtes très jeune, Commodore. Quel âge êtes-vous?" (You are very young, Commodore. How old are you?)

"J'ai vingt cinq ans, votre majest." (I am 25 years old, your majesty.)

The king seemed both surprised and pleased, disbelief laced with his next word. "Impressionnant..." He turned to his queen, eyebrows raised into the puffy locks of his wig. (Impressive.)

Seto managed a modest silence.

Sophia laughed a lovely, twinkling giggle. "Oui, mon roi..." Her French still held a slightly accent, but it was understandable. "Il est aussi intelligent que notre fils, n'est pas?" (Yes, my king. He is as smart as our son, no?)

At this the king barked a laugh, one that was both amused and bitter.

Seto was bewildered, his blue eyes narrowing. He simply didn't understand where this conversation was going. Yes, he was smart; all of England knew that. At the age of 10 he had beaten the wisest of the teachers and the wittest of the gamblers, and heck, he had been bored doing it. And yes, he was very young for a Commodore --the youngest in Europe's history, he believed-- but with his brains, was anyone truly surprised? And what was this about a 'son'? As far as he knew, Sophia could not bear children!

Sophia turned to Seto with warmth in her eyes. "Ah, my dear Seto," she giggled, in their native English, "Do not look so surprised. There are many things you do not yet know."

Seto was somewhat miffed by this comment, though he masked his face well with indifference. "Then I will learn," he replied quietly, carefully.

Sophia's smile broadened, but before she could reply, the Throne Room doors were pulled open and the shrieking of the hinges cut sharply through the silence.

" Saluez Le Prince Couronné!" a pair of gaurds called out in unison. (Hail the Crown Prince!)

"Ah, c'est mon fils. En retard, comme d'habitude," sighed Lancaster heavily, as if the world was laid upon his shoulders. (Ah, it is my son. Late, as usual.)

Seto raised an eyebrow and turned, head bowed respectively though somewhat reluctantly. He peered up curiously beyond the rim of his hat and found his throat tightening rather painfully.

It was not hard to sight the Crown Prince. Even if every man in the chamber had been standing and waving their fathered hats like mad, it would have been near impossible to mistake the Prince for anyone but the lovely crown jewel and pride of France.

He was no more than a youth of 16, perhaps, and not nearly as large as the men Seto was accustomed to. The boy's frame was small and delicate, edging almost toward skinny, folds of red and gold almost hiding his slender limbs from view. What little Seto could see of the boy's body was bizarre but exotic; his skin was a milky caramel-chocolate, far too dark to be native to the fair-skinned kingdom of France; bright ebony, crimson and gold adorned his head, his hair wild and spiked; his face was slight but strikingly fair, with a glow of radiance unlike anyone Seto had ever laid eyes upon; and last but certainly not least, the boy's eyes were of a fiery and brilliant scarlet, sparkling and wise beyond their years.

Good Lord, he was beautiful.

Seto shot a quick glance at Sophia, one eyebrow raised, a rare flicker of uncertainly in his eyes.

She gave him a sweet, honey-coated smile back, beaming in pride.

Frowning, Seto's gaze turned warily back to the Crown Prince.

His petit shoulders gracefully straight, the boy was silent and stood there for a long moment, as blinding in his glory as the brilliant sunlight that cascaded over his lithe frame. Seto soaked in the sight with relish. There was something completely unearthly about the boy... Something so ethereal and airy that it seemed he was but a fallen angel reincarnated, far too saintly for the ground that he stood upon.

He was quite an impressive sight.

Then, with what seemed to be a silent sigh, Yami sauntered smoothly down the red carpet path with a regal and elegant sway, his piercing eyes focused on nothing but his father's face. If anything, he ignored the awed gasps and the flirtatious glances shot at him by various admirers, many of them Seto's Englishmen that had never laid eyes on this fair beauty.

On the other hand, the blond musketeer by the Prince's side seemed to be taking it all with great offense. Either that or his nervous twitch was an ever-occurring activity.

"Mon père," greeted the Prince softly once he reached the base of stairs leading up to the throne. He gave a little bow, almost timidly, his ruby lips drawn into a tight, pale line. "Comment allez-vous?" His soft voice was like flowing music to Seto's ears. (My father... How are you?)

"Tu es en retard," stated the king flatly, his tone steely and dangerous. (You are late.)

The Prince's head bowed submissively, his eyes focusing blankly on the ground. He did not seemed terribly sorry, though the slight finch on his face seemed akin to a reproached puppy. "Pardon; je m'est reveillé tard." (I apologize; I woke up late.)

The king sighed, then nodded in Seto's general direction, the movement sending ripples through the curls of his wig. He brushed aside some annoying strands with a careless flick of his jeweled fingers. "Ce jeune homme ici est le neveu de votre mère, le Commorode d'Angleterre. L'accueillez-vous correctement, hm?" (This young man here is your mother's nephew, the Commodore from England. Do greet him appropriately, hm?)

The Prince's ruby eyes lifted slowly, fixing Seto with a shy, almost flirtatious glace.

The man was very handsome, Yami had to admit. Terribly handsome.

Even for an Englishman, the Commodore was tall and commanding in stature, with a lean, athletic frame and proud, broad shoulders. He donned the strict military uniform of an English naval officer, comprised of a heavy navy jacket with intricate gold linings, white slacks, white tights, and a silver-gold undercoat with frills lining the wrists of his elegant hands. A powdered wig rested proudly on his head, curling around his pale face and tying back down his neck in a neat braid strapped with a blue ribbon. Balanced on the top of this wig was a gold-framed hat curled into the classic triangular shape, its broad flaps shadowing his face and lined with miniature feathers that bobbed with his every movement, though he held as still as a statue.

Yami could not help but peer closer, fascinated. His mouth went suddenly dry.

The man's face... Dear Ra, it was flawless. Like... like the heavenly Apollo, if there ever was such a being. He bore high cheekbones and pursed, pale lips, his skin a ghostly cream just tanned enough to show plenty of time out in the open. And his eyes...! Yami had never seen anything like them; a gorgeous, stunning shade of blue they were, as deep and arctic as the very depth of the ocean.

Those eyes gazed down at him now from their superior height, cold, piercing and unwavering.

It was all Yami could do to stop his knees from buckling.

"Eh bien?" demanded his father. "Parlez, garçon!" (Well? Speak, boy!)

Yami's mouth worked wordlessly for a moment and he vaguely managed to nod his head respectfully. "Commodore..." he greeted slowly in French-accented English, extending a slender hand from under his long sleeves, "It is a... pleasure meeting you."

"My dear prince, the pleasure is all mine," murmured the young officer without missing a beat, his voice deep and silky. The clear and proud British accent made the French prince shiver in delight. The Commodore took Yami's hand gingerly within his larger own, bowing briefly to kiss it tenderly, almost as if he was afraid it would shatter in his fingers.

Yami quivered at the mere contact. "Uh... Welcome to France," he managed weakly, pulling his hand away quickly and ducking his chin to hide a glowing blush. "I do hope you enjoy the courtesy of this palace."

The man's blue eyes flashed, the edge of his lips twisting upward in a cocky grin. "My heart-felt gratitude, your majesty. I have been feeling most welcomed, thank you."

Sophia coughed, eyes twinkling. She stood carefully, clasping her tiny hands together with delight. "Well then, now that that's finished, I would personally like to escort my beloved nephew to his chambers." With that, she linked her slender arm in with Seto's, pulling at him with flourish. "Come, darling," she chirped, "We have much to catch up on."

Lips pursed and thankfully silent, Seto was nevertheless abashed by her frankness. Perhaps it was the promotion to queen that made her so open, but he had a dull suspicion that the carefree French ways were not a good influence on what had been timid and polite Englishwoman. "Mon bon roi…" He managed a quick bow in the direction of the throne, being ever the noble gentleman. (My good king...)

The king nodded briskly, dismissing him with a rather bored wave of the hand. "À ce soir, bon monsieur. Vous serez notre invité d'honneur." (Until tonight then, good sir. You shall be our honored guest.)

"Je serai vraiment privilégié, votre majesté." (I will be truly privileged, your majesty.)

Seto's eyes met briefly with the ruby ones of the Prince, but their short-lived gaze did not last as Seto was dragged away, his men filing neatly to flank him and therefore blocking the two from view of each other.

Silence and formality still hung in the air like a thick blanket, though those on the ground rose to stand once more. Most still bowed their heads in the presence of the royal couple, but a few raised their eyes to peer curiously at the mini fleet of English marines, all cloaked in blue. The French watched the tall Commodore [4] in particular; the women seemed flattered by his presence, waving their fans at him, but the men were cold and wary, respectful only by the orders of their superiors. The French-British treaty was a fragile one, formed only because both tired of fighting; however, despite the treaty's good intentions, hostility and suspicion still ran strong and true on both sides of the English Channel.

Though he returned their enmity whole-heartedly, Seto calmly and politely dipped his hat at the French passer-byers as he meandered his way through the Throne Room with the queen on his arm. He, too, had orders from his own king; at no cost was the treaty to be broken. 'Even if no one has faith in it,' he snorted to himself. He certainly didn't.

A hush of whispering rose up immediately behind his back, making the Commodore twitch in irritation.

"Oh, il est tellement beau!" a few French girls giggled as he went by. (Oh, he's so handsome!)

Seto wanted to roll his eyes. As if he's never heard that one before.

He passed the blond musketeer and mechanically sent him a curt nod, which the cavalier returned politely.

Their eyes met briefly and narrowed as one.

Then the Commodore was gone, nothing but a faint impression of cool blue eyes.

[1] - Nénuphar (in French) really means water lily, but water lily vs. lotus... same difference! Meretseger is an actual ancient Egyptian name meaning 'she who loves silence', but I have yet to find an ancient Egyptian actually named that. Oo I would have used 'Sheshen', which is the ancient Egyptian name meaning 'lotus', but I could not, for the love of me, find 'white'.

[2] - Judgment is, for those of you that are totally Egypt-incompetent, when the dead spirit goes before the court of the god Osirius, the Judge and King of the Dead. The dead's heart is measured for its purity and innocence, and if it is light enough, Osirius allows the spirit to pass into Aalu, the Egyptian heaven or Afterlife.

[3] - Mahado's uniform is that of an Anglo/French cavalier/musketeer from the 1600's or so (think the Three Musketeers and Louis XIV). Later on, when the 'English' men are introduced, I'm completely going to screw up history and place them in the infamous 'George Washington' type clothing w/ the wig, the coat, and the tights (think the Commodore Norrington from Pirates of the Caribbean; he was so hot!) Er... from what I know, this style of clothing was mainly from the 1700's, so I apologize to any historian I am currently traumatizing by combining these two styles. It just makes it easier for readers to distinguish between the different 'personalities' of the French and English (I'm stereotyping them, sorry) and also understand the Seto-Mahado clashes that are going to come later. :-p Plus I think the musketeer and the Norrington-type uniforms are so awesome. I'm sorry; I love guys in uniform. Even if they're in tights or what not.

[4] - Hm.... Well, this isn't a sure thing, but I found this rumor from surfing Pirates of the Caribbean fanfics (COMMODORE NORRINGTON!). Apparently 'Commodore' is a temporary title given to naval captains that are given momentary command of numerous ships, such as during a time of war or danger. Once the danger passes, a Commodore reverts back to being a Captain. But I agree with most POTC fans; 'Commodore' sounds so much better than 'Admiral', even if Admiral is the highest in rank of the Navy (Commodore is second). And plus 'Captain' is so overused. Still, I HIGHLY doubt that a 20-year old can make Commodore (Norrington was late twenty/30's-ish and even he was stretching it) but I couldn't bring myself to lower his status to captain and I couldn't make Seto ANY older than that. Silly me...

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Hm. That was... er... interesting. I have to admit that this was not my best work ever. Sorry if it bored you out of your mind. But still, the story will get much more interesting (as in Pirates-of-the-Caribbean-interesting) and romantic later on. REVIEW PLEASE! I know this whole idea is really strange (especially w/ Seto and tights; but hey, I dance ballet so I'm used to guys in tights :-p) but suggestions, compliments, complaints and requests are always welcome. NO FLAMES THOUGH!

And by the way, does anyone else have a weakness for guys in these types of uniforms? Especially guys with a British accent?