From Days Gone By
written by Atlantis
©2004

This started out as the response to a challenge given by my buddy Tara-hime and morphed into a beast that I cannot control. It's just too much fun working on this fic, particularly because I know exactly where it's going in future chapters. The story itself takes place in Europe between 1700 and 1800 but I am taking bits and pieces from different time periods to fit my needs and wants for this fic. It is not entirely historically accurate so please do not mistake it as such. I'm just having fun throwing stuff together while making sure it's not too radical (meaning that it still makes sense). Please enjoy!

Disclaimer: I of course do not own Yu-Gi-Oh! and hope that you are not daft enough to presume I do. This ficlet is mine however.

Rating: PG-13 (eventually - this chapter, and several after, will probably be closer to PG)
Don't let anyone lead you astray with empty philosophy and high-sounding nonsense that comes from human thinking and from the evil powers of this world, and not from Christ.

Colossians 3:8
PROLOGUE: Amorio Love Affair

Seto shrugged out of his overcoat, handing it over to the doorman as he followed his parents into the foyer. The Kaibas were an elite family but tonight they were not hosting; they were attending. Seto was insanely jealous of his little brother who had come down with the mumps that very day because he got to miss the party. The whole thing was a farce anyway.

The only reason people attended these parties were to stop rumors, start them, or play matchmaker. His parents were doing the third and he was the one to be matched. Tonight he would meet the girl that was to be his. Damn the person who came up with the idea of arranged marriages, Seto thought viciously as he stormed behind his parents who threw casual greetings right and left as they made their way through the crowd.

He nearly bumped into his father when his mother suddenly stopped and turned around to face him, her face alight and eager. She grasped his forearm.

"Dear?" she questioned. "You do know what to say when you meet her right?" Seto fought the urge to roll his eyes. His mother treated him like a toddler sometimes and his gaze strayed to his father, an older and wizened mirror-image of himself, who looked ready to laugh.

"Of course, Mother," he replied through his teeth, grinning handsomely and slightly glaring at the woman who had brought him into this world. He watched her chew her lip for a short moment before she took a strong hold on him and pulled him forward, pushing him to stand in front of a stunning woman. Her brown hair was piled atop her head elegantly, small strands framing her face, or at least framing what he could see because she hid her countenance behind a small fan. He could feel the intense stares on his back from his parents and took a step forward.

Seto swallowed hard as he bowed to the lady before him. "Lady Téa... would you do me the honor... of allowing me to court you?" He smiled weakly at her. Something ticked in the back of his mind and as he watched her begin to giggle, he knew he was missing something. At a closer glance, he realized she was older than he and flushed angrily at being laughed at.

"Young Master Kaiba, I'm afraid you have the wrong woman, though it was an amazing compliment to my age. You are seeking my daughter," the woman before him said airily, removing the fan to show her pretty white teeth. "You'll find her outside on the balcony moping. She dislikes parties and I can't, for the life of me, understand why. Now run along and find her. I'm sure you two will get along just fine." Hiding his shock behind a cool facade, Seto gave the woman another bow and left her, spying an open balcony door in a few short moments. What met his eyes took his breath away.

A young woman, a girl really, a few years younger than he leaned over the balcony, her hair flowing free and dancing on the wind around her head like a halo. Her gloves and fan were lying haphazardly on a stone bench a few feet from her, forgotten. At a second glance, he noticed that her shoes were sitting underneath the bench as well and Seto held a chuckle in. His right eyebrow quirked up in curiosity as he watched the girl lean to her left, lifting her full pale blue skirts and petticoats before righting herself again and stretching an arm back, the other extended in front of her. He heard the sound of rushing air and then a yelp, then watched as the girl covered her mouth in an outright laugh, no giggle by any standards, and duck beneath the railing to hide herself. Seto licked his lips at the sight she made in the outside light; a vision in light blue with off-the-shoulder sleeves that bared fair and unblemished skin. She stopped laughing when her eyes finally spotted him in the yellow light of the doorway.

Surely a demi-god stood before her for no other creature could resemble such perfection in flesh. A young man stood bathed in the golden light that filtered outside from the ballroom, allowing shadows to move and curl about his form as though he controlled them. He was tall, that much was obvious because he was only a short distance from the top of doorway. But he was well-proportioned and had the look of danger about him. Téa found it incredibly forbidden, and therefore irresistible. He wore a suit of black with only hints of the white shirt he wore beneath at the collar where the white was creased over the black and a red kerchief tucked and folded neatly in his breast pocket. His dark hair swayed over his forehead in the light breeze and though his eyes looked black in the night, a glint of light proved them to be cobalt in color. Her laughter ceased.

Seto moved closer and dropped to one knee, tilting his head to look at the nymph before him who dared to wear her hair down in public society and go without her precious gloves. His gaze fell down to the slingshot in her hands and he laughed. His hand reached out and tucked a few errant strands of hair behind her ear and he leaned in close.

"I'm Seto, your intended," he told her informally, inhaling her wild scent.

"Well, shit," was her response. Seto burst out laughing.
Like it? Hate it? Please review and let me know either way! Again, this chapter is dedicated to Tara-hime who inspired this little bugger with her challenge. Look for more chapters soon.