Warnings/notes: pseudo-Ancient Egyptian AU, Seto/Joey, Bakura, snippet, slightly silly, ooc.
Disclaimer: I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh.
written at 2nd january 2005, by Misura, in reply to an Anniversary-challenge made by SilverWing147 which offered the legend of St. Valentine as an inspiration.
Captivity, Bakura muses, is not something that agrees with Seto, the Pharaoh's most-favored High Priest, very well. Then again, few people enjoy having their freedom taken away from them.
And, really, it's that fool's own fault, for eating of a stew that had a sleeping draught mixed into it, while in an inn that serves as a look-out for wealthy merchants and their caravans. Bakura truly hadn't expected the place to ever turn in a fatter loot than the occasional royal messenger or traveling nobleman, but who was he, to refuse such an opportunity?
There is, Seto muses sourly, a proverb to describe the situation he finds himself in at the moment. 'From the lion's den into the lion's stomach.' It means, in short, that in getting away from an unpleasant situation, he's somehow managed to get into an even more unpleasant situation.
It means that he's been an idiot, too. Kind of.
Seto knows, with absolute certainty, that he was justified and -right- in his decision to get away from the Palace, or more precisely, from the Pharaoh and his arrogance, as well as from that foreign guard, who Seto seemed to run into far too often and who couldn't seem to pass up on an opportunity to criticize his betters for one reason or another.
He had no reason at all to be suspicious of the inn in which his trip found a rather abrupt end. Upon reflection, perhaps he should have known that a combination of tasty food and cheap food was too good to be true. There's a certain irony in that, Seto thinks: after all of Yami's preaching about the virtues and morals of people in general, against his own cynical attitude, -Seto- is the one to turn out to have been too naive for his own health.
In theory, he supposes, he ought to be afraid. His fate rests in the hands of someone who has made it abundantly clear on several occasions that he hates and despises the Pharaoh and all who are associated with him. The odds of this lunatic, the so-called King of Thieves, letting him go unharmed, are extremely small.
Likely, Seto will never be allowed to walk out of here alive.
That should scare him, but it doesn't. Partially, of course, because he is Seto, the High Priest, who has bonded with the Blue Eyes White Dragon, the most majestic and powerful of all Monsters. He won't give some lowlife the satisfaction of turning him into a gibbering coward.
Partially also because for some unfathomable reason, Seto feels that he's not going to die yet, that he's going to get out of here in one piece. He can't quite explain this feeling and isn't at all sure if he should believe in it -he isn't Ishizu, after all- but in a way, he supposes it doesn't matter.
Whatever will help him preserve his dignity will be welcome.
Though it sure is boring, sitting around here, watching Bakura playing with his knife while making sneering, vaguely threatening remarks.
Seto, Jou muses, is one ungrateful bastard. A dozen guards have risked their lives to save him, and Jou himself barely escaped getting gutted by some white-haired lunatic, but do they get any thanks?
The first thing Seto said to him when Jou burst into his cell was 'What took you so long?'. The second was 'Why did they send -you-?'. Jou didn't stick around to hear the third thing; fights tend to get his blood heated up, and it would look kind of bad if the only wound that the Pharaoh's High Priest shows upon his return to freedom were to be one caused by a captain of the guard.
He doesn't really understand why Seto dislikes him so intensely, or why it bothers him so much. After all, there are plenty of people in the Palace. Jou can get along with most of them pretty well. There's no pressing reason for him to keep trying to win the sympathy -or even a simple 'thank you'- from the only person who doesn't want anything to do with him.
Jou sighs, surprised to find that someone is standing next to him, to lift his head to stare straight into a pair of blue eyes. He wonders how long Seto has been there, and why he didn't hear the High Priest approaching, and why Seto was looking at him in the first place.
"Since your incompetence has allowed the mastermind behind half the crimes of this country to escape, I see no reason to delay our departure," Seto tells him, as if a High Priest has any knowledge of military matters such as these.
For a moment, Jou is tempted to prod a little, to demand if perhaps this place is making Seto uncomfortable because he's been a helpless prisoner here. It might be a cruel thing to do if it's true though, and useless if it's not.
Thus, he merely nods.
"You'll come back with us, of course. The Pharaoh was quite clear about wanting to see you." Jou adds the last as he sees Seto beginning to shake his head, probably because he's too proud to make it seem like he doesn't dare to travel on his own anymore. Which was a stupid thing to do in this first place, in Jou's opinion. High Priests don't set out by themselves. It is, to quote Mahado, simply not done.
Seto murmurs something about lions. Jou decides not to ask.
If he didn't know any better, he'd say that he's captured Seto, rather than freed him. Seto's expression is that of a prisoner who has seen the door of his prison-cell slam closed in his face, instead of that of a hostage who has seen his captor chased off by the guards.
Jou shrugs of the observation as a result of the heat; he's probably just imagining things.
Thus, caught up in his own thoughts, he doesn't notice the person who watches his and Seto's exit from the shadows, nor hears that person's soft chuckle.
Captivity, Bakura muses, is not something that agrees with Seto, the Pharaoh's most-favored High Priest, very well. Not very well at all.