"Spoils of War"

"These are my quarters," Rishid murmured. "You are to remain here whenever I am not with you. Do you understand?"

Eyes as bright and lifeless as jewels stared forward unfocused. Blond lashes fluttered open and close. A soft sigh fell to the stone floor. "Master." The sound drifted in the air like dust.

Rishid placed gentle fingers under the chin of the other and forced him to look up. "Do you understand? You will stay here when I am not with you."

"Yes. Master."

"No. I am not your master. Please, look at me."

Blank jewels looked though and past him.

"Who am I?"

"Master."

Sorrowful eyes darkened to onyx. "I am Rishid. I am not your master."

"Pharaoh..."

"What of him?"

"...gave me to you."

Rishid took his charge by the wrist and lead him gently into the room. Stone blocks sealed the domicile into a crypt. A threadbare rug struggled to bring some sense of warmth. Two cooling plates sat on a table in a corner.

"Come here. Sit," Rishid said, gesturing towards one of the two rough hewn chairs.

The other sat with boneless grace. He gazed in no particular direction with the intensity of a dead cat. The plate of food sat in front of him untouched.

"Eat," the tattooed man said.

A slow blink. He picked up a fork. The tines pierced half-cooked vegetables. It wavered uncertainly in his hands as he lifted it to his mouth. He watched with unconcerned interest when it clattered to the floor. He trembled.

Dark brown fingers wrapped around the utensil and placed it aside. Rishid kneeled next to his charge. "It is not your fault." He brushed a fringe of blond bangs away from blank eyes. "None of this is your fault, Jounouchi."

The blond tensed, as he always did, when his name was spoken. His pupils focused and for a moment he seemed ready to say something. The moment passed.

Rishid stabbed at his own meal. He offered a bite of food to his charge. The blond ate the bland vegetables without protest or enthusiasm. As trusting as a flower, he accepted every fork full. Rishid offered him a small smile. "You are progressing; soon you will be able to feed yourself again."

The other offered no reply.

"I will do what I can, Jounouchi, to help you regain your soul and your honor as a Duelist." Rishid clasped the blond's limp hand in his own. "Master Marik is not a cruel pharaoh," he said gently. "He will release you one day."

Silence.

Rishid sat back. He pushed his plate away; he'd lost his appetite.