I whipped this out in one day, so please excuse the inevitable typos and occasional incoherence. :sweatdrop:
Title: Desert Rose
Email: Status: One-shot, complete
Spoilers: entire series (anime and manga)
Disclaimer: (Full Disclaimers at the end) Yu-Gi-Oh! is the copyright and property of its creator and legally associated parties. Used without permission. Not for profit.
A Yu-Gi-Oh! ficlet by Madamhydra
I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in pain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand
I dream of fire
Those dreams are tied to a horse that will never tire
And in the flames
Her shadows play in the shape of a man's desire
This desert rose
Each of her veils, a secret promise
This desert flower
No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this
And now she turns
This way she moves in the logic of all my dreams
This fire burns
I realize that nothing's as it seems
I dream of rain
I lift my gaze to empty skies above
I close my eyes, this rare perfume
Is the sweet intoxication of her love
- "Desert Rose" by Sting (w/ Cheb Mami)
The horse beneath him rose and fell, its long legs driving it forward across the warm sands. A silvery crescent moon hung in the night sky and he was alone in the great expanse of the desert. The slippery sands could easily bury both man and beast, but his steed raced effortlessly over the shifting dunes as it had been bred to do.
And yet it did not bother him that he was wholly unattended, unguarded and vulnerable. In his soul, he knew that no harm would come to him, just as he knew that there was a place amid the seemingly trackless desert where he hungered to be. Where that location was and its name, he did not know and did not care. The only thing that mattered was that something inside him knew the way. His hands and legs conveyed that surety to his mount, who carried him unerringly toward his heart's desire.
As that thought crossed his mind, his horse snorted, shook its mane and bridle, and seemed to redouble its efforts. Then, without warning, they crested one final dune and saw a large white tent sitting in solitary splendor on a barren plain of sand.
And even as he wondered at the strangeness of a tent in the middle of nowhere, his mount galloped toward it, then skidded to a stop directly in front of its entrance. A stray gust of wind tugged at the tent flaps, pulling them open as if inviting him to enter its shadowy depths.
It would have been reasonable to be cautious and wary. However, despite the uncanniness of his surroundings, he did not hesitate to dismount and enter the tent.
To his surprise, it wasn't as dark as he expected. The walls of the tent were like gauze, and translucent enough to allow the dim moonlight of the crescent moon to illuminate the tent's interior.
It was completely empty, except for a single chair. He walked around it once, then ran his hand over the smoothly polished wood and the intricate pattern of lotus blossoms and falcons embossed in gold on the chair back.
Finally, he sat down and found that it fit perfectly, as if it had been made for him. But before he could consider the ramifications of that idea, a tremendous blast of wind struck the tent. He only had time to raise his hand to shield his face from flying fabric as the tent was torn from its moorings.
Blinking, he lowered his hand and stared around in astonishment at the expansive paved courtyard that now stretched before him. Tent and horse had both utterly vanished. The chair he sat in no longer rested on flat sand, but now rested like a throne on a low stone platform. At each corner a brazier burned, throwing wildly flickering shadows everywhere. The crescent moon provided the only other illumination.
In the middle of the courtyard stood a lithe male figure. In the dim light, he saw mostly bare skin and for an instant thought that the other was nude. But he quickly realized that he was mistaken when a gentle wind swept over the courtyard. Streamers of silken translucent fabric billowed in the wind, one second obscuring and the next second revealing the sleekly muscled form of their wearer.
The other began to move, slowly, gracefully, with a stately deliberation more suited to a high temple ritual than a private dance under moonlight. Although there was nothing overtly provocative or erotic about the motions of the dance, the dancer mesmerized with the smoothness and suppleness of his body as each movement flowed seamlessly into the next.
As he sat, entranced, he became dimly aware of music, soft and sourceless, filled with an almost dreamy poignancy. Step by step, the dance gradually brought the dancer closer to him But even though every gesture and move of the dancer's body could clearly seen, the veils and the shadows conspired to obscure the other's features.
The music shifted and intensified into a compellingly evocative mixture of rhythms and voices that swirled and intertwined in an intricate dance of their own. Surely the dancer heard the music as well, his body following its flow effortlessly.
Poignant longing had become active desire, and far more. He could sense the passion, hunger, and need in every move the dancer made. And yet the dance remained devoid of blatant eroticism. Expression of self, not arousal of others, was the dancer's focus. Yet that very emotional honesty, without a single spoken word, was infinitely more seductive than any crude waggling of hips or flagrant come-ons could ever be.
And throughout the dance, the swirling silk veils continued to tease and tantalize, alternately flowing over and clinging to the dancer's body like stroking, caressing hands.
He wanted to do the exact same thing.
Rising abruptly to his feet, he stepped down onto the courtyard, gently snagged a handful of silk, and tugged the dancer to him.
And standing under the midnight sky, in the light of the silvery crescent moon, he placed his hand on sweat-sheened skin and stared up into the dancer's brilliant blue eyes and smiled as the night breeze ruffled the dancer's brown hair...
Yami's eyes snapped open and he sat bolt upright... or at least, attempted to do so. His head collided hard enough with the transparent canopy of the virtual reality pod to make him briefly see stars. Wincing, he waited for the canopy finish opening, then looked up to see Seto Kaiba sitting in a chair directly in front of him, arms folded and a singularly inscrutable expression on his face.
The two of them stared silently at each other, then most uncharacteristically, Kaiba was the one who broke the staring contest, abruptly looking away and rising to his feet.
Yami scrambled out of the VR pod, still breathing heavily, and sputtered, "That was one HELL of a Valentine Day's present!"
Kaiba remained silent and continued to stare fixedly at a perfectly innocent spot on the wall.
Recovering his composure, Yami walked over to Kaiba and said softly, "Thank you, for showing me. And for wanting me to know."
Kaiba uttered a snorting sound that managed to convey impatience, self-contempt, and acute embarrassment all at once. And he continued to avoid meeting Yami's eyes even as a faint flush appeared on his face.
Yami smiled slowly, reached out and gently grabbed a handful of trenchcoat, and tugged Kaiba to him.
"How about we continue where your Valentine present left off?" he purred.
Kaiba finally looked directly at him. His lips twitched upward in a semi-smile and he opened his mouth to say something, probably sarcastic. But Yami firmly silenced him by pulling his head down for a long, slow kiss.
Sweet desert rose
This memory of Eden haunts us all
This desert flower, this rare perfume
Is the sweet intoxication of the fall
The Full Disclaimer
All names, likenesses, and rights of Yu-Gi-Oh! are trademarks, copyright, and property of Kazuki Takahashi and legally associated parties. The characters and associated materials of these works are used WITHOUT permission for the purpose of entertainment only. This work of fiction is not meant for sale or profit.
Original portion of the fiction included here is considered to be the sole property and copyrighted to the author.