Unscheduled Problems


"So, what's on the agenda for today?"

A rustle of papyrus greeted his ears. "You have to dedicate the new temple to Bastet, then oversee the building of a new tomb…"

"But no one's died recently," Pharaoh Atemu objected.

Seto, High Priest to the just-crowned Pharaoh Atemu – better known to his friends as 'that cactus thorn in my side' – sighed and lowered the scroll. "It's for you, Atem," he grumbled. "Your father did the same thing when he was first crowned – you supervise the building of the tomb you will one day inhabit."

Atemu grimaced. "Isn't that rather morbid?"

Seto shrugged. "It's supposed to be good luck and ensure you a long and happy reign."

Atemu blinked. "Well, I suppose I need all the help I can get, considering…"

Sighing, Seto threw the scroll onto a nearby table. He knew they wouldn't get anywhere while this problem still weighed heavily on Atemu's mind. "Atem, you have two choices," he said bluntly.

Atemu blinked. "Two? Really?"

Seto nodded. "Yes. You can either get over the fact that Kisara is getting married to him and stop moping – or have him killed," he said bluntly.

Atemu growled and buried his head in his hands. Thankfully he had taken his spiked crown off earlier in the day or this could have resulted in bloody fingers on his part. "I could never do that – he doesn't deserve it."

Seto shrugged. "Then have the other one killed."

"I can't do that," Atemu said, aghast. "Ryou would never forgive me if I killed his brother."

"But you don't want him to marry your sister," Seth pointed out.

Atemu grimaced. "Falling in love is one thing, but I just don't see why she had to take up with…with…him! It could only be worse if she'd taken up with his brother."

Seto rolled his eyes. His cousin was such a drama queen. "My lord, your theatrics do not impress me."

Atemu huffed and raised his head. "Like you like it any better. Kisara is your sister too; she means just as much to me as she does to you – and she's engaged to the brother of a tomb-robber."

Seto snorted. "Bakura may be a tomb-robber, but Ryou is the palace artist. You can't very well hold the boy's relations against him."

Atemu gave him a look. "Maybe not, but still…"

"You could forbid it," Seto pointed out. "Your word is law. If you forbid her from marrying him, then she can't."

"Yes, but if Kisara isn't married by next season, then my advisors will try to pawn her off on me," Atemu said, aghast. "I love my sister – but no way."

Seto shuddered at the thought. Being forced to marry was bad enough – being forced to marry a close relative?

Their sibling rivalry was bad enough, but if Atemu and Kisara were married…

He'd be dead within a week.

"The only thing that would be worse is if I was forced to marry you," Atemu said laughingly.

Seth sniffed. "I'm not that bad," he grumbled.

"No, you're worse," Jou said, poking his head into the room.

Seto grumbled subvocally. "What are you doing here, mutt?"

Jou frowned at the High Priest's supercilious air – and the nickname the brunet had saddled him with. "It's time for our Morning Star to shine on the lowly barracks," he said haughtily.

Atemu blinked. "Huh?"

Jou chuckled. "Today's the day you appoint the new Captain of the Royal Army, Pharaoh 'Temu."

"That wasn't on the agenda," Atemu scolded his cousin.

Seto twitched. "You never let me finish."

Atemu blushed. "Oh."

Seto shook his head and sighed. "All right, mutt, you've done your job and fetched us." He waved the blonde soldier away. "We're coming. Run along back to your littermates now."

Jou growled at the insults and stalked out of the room, muttering under his breath about a 'conceited ass – with a face like one, too.'

"You should be nicer to him, Seth," Atemu scolded. He rose with a sigh from his throne and grimaced before plopping his hated and heavy crown back on his head.

Seth scoffed as he followed his Pharaoh out of the room. "Why? He's just a common foot soldier."

Atemu raised a brow. "He's also my friend. Just like you."

Seth grumbled, but was unable to reply to that.

Atemu shook his head and headed down the stairs to the barracks. "I do have one question, though," he said when they were almost at the bottom.

"What's that?" Seth asked curiously.

"Who am I appointing as the new Captain of the Guard?" Atemu asked.

Seth groaned and buried his face in his hands. It was just not his day.