I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh, Stargate SG-1, Charmed, their characters, or Jo-Jo the Dancing Monkey Boy. I really wish I owned Jo-Jo. Anyway, I do own the idea of Brian Matthews. Anyone who resembles him is a complete and udder coincidence. This is a prequel of sorts to Duelist of the Roses. If you haven't read DotR, I highly suggest you do or this won't make very much sense. If you have read it, then you will understand Yami's message at the end after reading this. This will be a one-shot unless I decide to add more later, which, right now, is highly unlikely. Unlike DotR, this will take on more of a third person perspective while still following certain characters around, mostly Téa. It will start in the past then jump into the future and go quickly through the first couple chapters of DotR. And yes, I know that Anzu and Téa are the same person, and that's the point. I'm using "Anzu" for the past version because it sounds more Egyptiany. I also didn't mean for it to be this long, it just sort of happened.

Speech Key:

"regular speech"
thoughts in one person's mind
'telepathic communication' (this may not be used but I'll put it here just in case)

Chapter 1

(Egypt, 3000 B.C.)

"Out of my way, fools!" the sorcerer yelled angrily at the guards, waving the Millennium Rod at them menacingly. The four guards that stood outside the Pharaoh's throne room quickly moved aside. The sorcerer, rival of the Pharaoh, walked briskly past them into the room.

He stopped halfway across the room and looked upon King Yami and his soon-to-be queen, Anzu. To their right side, stood a tall guard with short brown hair and light blue eyes. It was Skarra, the Pharaoh's general and right hand man. From Yami's neck hung the symbol of his power, the Millennium Puzzle. He also wore the Millennium Eye, which was implanted into his forehead, and a gold ceremonial crown. The future queen wore the Millennium Necklace on her neck and the Millennium Bracelet on her right wrist. The two of them were dressed in traditional royal garb, white cloth seemed together with golden thread. Skarra, however, was dressed in a dark robe with very few bright things that would catch the light, what better way to hide in the shadows.

"What is the meaning of this?" Yami demanded. Anzu glanced at him then turned her attention to the intruder. Skarra stood unflinching and unwavering. "How dare you intrude in my throne room!"

"My apologies, my lord," the sorcerer said with a grin, which he hid while he bowed to Yami. "I have been sent to give a message to your new queen."

"What message is that?" Anzu asked curiously.

"Farewell…" he replied ominously. Anzu and Yami's eyes went wide as he reached behind his back and pulled a dagger from his belt. The sorcerer quickly threw it at Anzu's face without hesitation.

She let out a sharp scream and closed her sapphire eyes. Mere feet from striking its target, a body dove from the right and stopped the dagger in its tracks.

"Lady Anzu!" Skarra cried out as he jumped out and took the hit in his right shoulder, just missing the protective armor he wore underneath his robes.

"Guards!" Yami called out as he stood up. A second later several men in bright gold armor equipped with golden spears as well as the Celtic Guardian stepped out of the shadows that shrouded the corners and sides of the room. This was Yami's personal guard. Yami pointed at the would-be assassin. "Take him!"

"Don't bother," he said angrily. "Next time you won't be so lucky!" And with that, he used the power of the Millennium Rod to transport himself out of the chamber.

Anzu knelt down before the wounded Skarra. Thank you, my love. Then she turned to Yami. "He's wounded badly. He needs help."

Yami also knelt to his friend and examined the wound. He then gave an order to the Celtic Guardian. "Summon Mystical Elf to Skarra's chambers right away." His captain threw an arm across his chest and bowed before vanishing back to the Shadow Realm. A moment later, four of Yami's priests walked into the room. They were ordered to take Skarra to his chambers. Yami stood and walked down the short flight of stairs that led to the thrones and headed outside.

"Where are you going, my lord?" Anzu asked.

"I need some answers," He replied flatly. "Make sure Skarra recovers."

She bowed her head slightly. "Yes, my lord." After he left, she hurried down the hall toward the general's living quarters. Why am I still holding on to this charade? I must come clean before the wedding. She arrived at her destination to see the Mystical Elf, Yami's healer, standing over Anzu's true love performing her healing magic. The dagger had been removed and was resting on a table next to Skarra's bed. As far as she could tell, he was sedated but still breathing. "Please, leave us," she said to the healer.

"But his wound-" she started.

"Will heal," Anzu said, cutting her off. The Mystical Elf vanished without a second protest and Anzu called upon her own healer, Fairy's Gift. The fairy hovered above Skarra and used her magic to instantly heal him. It was much faster than what the Mystical Elf could do. Skarra opened his eyes a few moments later, much to the relief of Anzu. "I was worried about you."

"You should not be here," Skarra protested. "If King Yami finds out…"

"I must tell him. I can't live like this anymore," she continued, gazing into his aquamarine eyes. "I just can't marry him when I'm in love with you." She moved her head closer to his and gently kissed his lips.

Little did they know there was another pair of eyes watching them from a secret location. Yami watched from his window in the Shadow Realm as the scene unfolded. He smiled to himself and turned to leave. I always suspected something, but it was that she was using me to get power. Now that I see it was to get to him…well, things are going to be different. As he approached the exit portal, he dropped the smile and put on the hardened expression of a ruler. He stepped out of the portal into his throne room and walked down a side passage toward Skarra's chambers.

With a stern look, Yami walked into the room that his guard and fiancé were in. Anzu quickly stood and glided over to his side. Skarra stood and bowed his head to his king. "I saw everything that went on in here," Yami told them. He stepped away from Anzu so he could see both of them.

Skarra dropped to his knee and kept his head down. "I'm sorry, my king. I know the penalty for treason," he said. "I accept full responsibility."

"No. I am as much to blame as he is. If he is to die, than I must also," Anzu stated bravely.

Yami closed his eyes and smiled, then began to laugh. "Skarra, rise," he said happily. He obeyed and both he and Anzu wore confused looks. "Neither of you will be punished. I'm actually glad about what happened."

"How so?" Anzu asked curiously.

"I noticed that you were hiding something from me. I saw it with the Millennium Eye," he explained. "When we kissed, I felt that you held back. I thought that it was because you were after the position, but then when I saw you two together everything changed. Needless to say, Anzu, our wedding is off, but I will do everything I can to make your wedding the best it can be. The two of you now have the blessing of a Pharaoh."

"Thank you, my liege," Skarra and Anzu said together. They bowed as Yami left the room.

Three days later, the sorcerer gathered his forces and launched an attack against Yami. Skarra and Yami fought to the very end and managed to repel the attack and recover the Millennium Rod by combining the power of their two most faithful servants, Dark Magician and Buster Blader. The victory, however, came at a great cost. More than half of Yami's kingdom was destroyed, along with most of his forces. They returned to find the palace in shambles and the dead bodies of most of its inhabitants, including Anzu. Yami, not wanting another tragedy like this, created a plan to use the Millennium Items to erase the memories of most of the population and seal himself in the Millennium Puzzle, which would then be taken apart and stored in a safe spot. Skarra's memories of the power of the items was erased and he was entrusted with guarding the Temple of Abydos and the Millennium Bracelet in the Shadow Realm until he was needed once again. All other knowledge of the bracelet was erased from everyone so that the full power of the items would never be obtained. The other seven items were given to Shadi, who would make sure they were given to the proper recipients.

(Domino City, Thursday, March 20, 2001)

Fifteen year old Téa Gardner was sitting in the same seat she always had during the past school year, doodling in her diary like she did most mornings. She drew little hearts and stars around Yugi's name, which she had written as neatly as she could in cursive. She had known Yugi for two years now. He had saved her from a kidnapping and near rape when she was thirteen and, because of that, she had become infatuated with the boy, just a little. She refused to tell anyone about it because she was afraid it would break up their friendship if he felt differently. Satisfied with her drawings, she smiled to herself and closed the diary. I'll ask him out soon, when I can work up the courage.

"Hi, my name is Brian Matthews. It's nice to meet you all," came a voice that broke her thoughts. It was nervous but at the same time, melodic. Téa couldn't help but look up to see who had said the greeting. When she saw the person, her breath left her. Standing right in front of her was a boy with dark brown hair, the same color as hers, and the most beautiful pair of aquamarine eyes she had ever seen. He was wearing the same dark blue uniform that the other boys wore, but something about him made it seem better than the rest.She snapped out of her daze as he walked to the closest empty chair to him, which just happened to be next to her.

She watched him sit down and take out his books for the class. She observed him out of the corner of her eye for awhile, until he turned and looked back at her. Don't just sit there, stupid, do something! She turned her head at him and gave him a sweet smile. He started to blush and turned away. Oh jeez, Téa. Why did you do that? Of all the things you could have done, you did that She turned her attention back to the teacher giving the lesson, taking a note or two here and there.

They had started a new chapter in the book and this was a class she didn't like that much. She never had an interest in science. The new guy apparently was gifted in it. He had neat, extensive notes and he even corrected the instructor every now and then. Okay, so he's shy and smart. Yugi is, too. Then, Brian spoke up again when their teacher asked a question with a laugh. The question was supposed to be something no one would know the answer to, but he stood and explained the entire thing perfectly. Well, okay, Yugi's not that smart.

The rest of the morning went on like that, as well. She had a hard time concentrating on her lessons. The thought of how cute he was never left her mind for long. She breathed a sigh of relief when the bell rang for lunch. Téa always beat Yugi, Tristan, and Joey to the lunch room and saved their seats at the same table they sat at. Lunch was the only time she got to talk with them during school. Her grade was separated into two classes with Yugi being the first name in the second class. She waited anxiously for them to show up so she could tell them about the new prodigy. That's when a voice jolted her from her thoughts.

"Hi there. Do you mind if I sit here with you?" a familiar voice rang out. She was surprised to see Brian standing over her.

"Uh…yeah, sure…go ahead," she stuttered nervously. Me? Out of all the girls here, why me? "I'm waiting for my friends, but you can join us." she said more calmly. She glanced around to see who was looking at them and to see where Yugi and the others were. She wouldn't be so nervous with them there, too.

"Okay, cool. I'm new in town and I don't know anyone," he explained. "I'd really like to make some new friends."

Téa hadn't really heard him. She just looked at him and smiled. Yugi, Joey, and Tristan joined them a few minutes later and Téa felt a little less nervous. After all around introductions, Brian and her friends started talking about a bunch of things, mostly Duel Monsters. She secretly looked over the new comer and discovered something strange. He looks kinda familiar. I know I've never met him before, but there's something about him that I recognize. But what is it?

She thought about it for the rest of the day, but came up with nothing. At the end of the day, she saw him again. He looked kinda depressed. "Um, Brian? Yugi's grandpa has his own game shop and we were going to hang out there later. I was wondering if you would like to come?"

"Yeah, sure," he replied. Her invitation seemed to brighten his face and he trotted off toward the door. He stopped before he got there and turned and waved. Téa unknowingly waved back.

Téa followed after a few seconds, but headed to Yugi's place instead of whatever direction he went. Should I have asked him to come? Maybe I should have asked Yugi if it was alright first…

"Hey, Téa," Yugi said from behind her. "You okay? You seem troubled."

"Oh, no, I'm fine," she replied with a forced smile. "I asked the new guy to come hang out with us today. Is that alright with you?"

"Yeah, of course. The more the merrier!" Yugi said happily. The two of them stepped into the game shop a few minutes later, followed by Tristan and Joey.

A short while later Brian walked in and Yugi greeted him cheerfully. They instantly started to try to get to know him, which proved to be a little difficult. He lost his parents…that's so sad. It doesn't seem to bother him that much. Either that or he's hiding it. Several other thoughts swirled through Téa's mind. One of them she tried not to listen to. I wonder if he has a girlfriend… No! I like Yugi! Don't I?

Yugi then challenged Brian to a duel and Téa suggested that go to Duke's shop and duel there, just to show that she was paying attention and wasn't lost in thought. She barely watched the duel, which Brian almost won. Most of the time she stared at Brian in wonder. After the duel, they decided it was time to go home. As Téa left she waved at Brian then winked.

She thought about that the entire way home. Great move, Téa. That's two screw ups today, how many tomorrow? Okay, if he didn't think you were crazy before, now he does. But how can I help it? He's hot, smart, a strong duelist…sort of like Kaiba, except he's so much of a jerk I don't know how anyone could like him. And what about Yugi? I still don't know how he feels about me. I don't want to break his heart by asking out this new guy. Oh, dear. What am I going to do?

(Domino City, Friday, March 21, 2001)

The next morning school was delayed for some problem with the water. Téa walked to school silently with Yugi. I need to know…now, before this gets too complicated. "Yugi? I need to ask you something."

"Huh? What is it Téa?" Yugi asked curiously.

"How do you think of me?" she asked.

"With my brain," Yugi replied jokingly. He changed his tone when he saw that his friend was serious. "You're my friend, Téa. Maybe my best friend. And you always will be."

"Thanks," she replied, a little relieved. Yugi asked her why she had asked such a silly question. She took a few moments before answering. "Promise me you won't repeat what I tell you to anyone."

"You have my word," Yugi responded.

"Well, it's about Brian," Téa continued. "I don't know how to say this, but I think I love him."

"That's alright. He seems to be a pretty nice guy," her companion told her. No sooner than he had finished the compliment, Brian came sprinting around the corner and tripped over Yugi. Yugi landed flat on his face and Brian tucked himself into somersault and rolled gently out of the way.

He's athletic, too? God, he's everything a girl could ask for. Téa began to giggle at her last thought, but tried in vain to hide it. After his apologies, Brian joined them on the way to school. Yugi started talking about the duel yesterday. She didn't pay very much attention to the conversation, until she became more curious about who he was and decided to ask him how he learned the game. He explained how he was a champion in America before he moved. He's making it too easy for me to fall for him. I wonder why he's so quiet all of a sudden. Unless he was reminded of…oh, no…I didn't…my question must have reminded him of his parents…

Téa noticed that he was silent and saddened the rest of the day. At lunch she asked him why he was like that, but he refused to reveal anything. She waited for him by the door so she could talk to him alone, but he never came by. Brian seemed a bit happier when he invited us over to his house. Maybe he's just tired.

"Téa? Heading home?" Yugi said as he tugged at her sleeve. She looked down at him and nodded quickly. "I tried to ask you if you were leaving five times. Does this have something to do with Brian?"

"Yes…" she answered quietly. Yugi just gazed at her as they walked. "Did you notice anything strange about him today?"

"Well, I guess he was sort of depressed," Yugi thought out loud. "Look, there's still a little while before he asked us to come. Why don't you go over early and see if he'll talk to you? It would be easier to confide in one person than four."

What am I doing? He probably doesn't want to talk to anyone, let alone me. Téa stood at the end of Brian's sidewalk staring at his front door. There were no cars in the driveway and, for a few seconds, she hoped no one was home. She finally walked up to the door and rang the bell. Brian answered the door and wondered why she was there early. "I was sort of worried about you. You've been distant all day. Yugi noticed it, too. I thought it might make you feel better to talk about it."

"I guess I should," he responded. "Come in, have a seat."

Téa sat down on his couch and he sat next to her. The two of them looked into each other's eyes for a moment before Brian looked away from her. His eyes…there was so much emotion…sadness, vulnerability, torment…restrained tears. He's ready to cry. I have to let him know that I'm here for him. She moved closer to him and put a hand on his shoulder. "Brian, tell me what's wrong."

Brian told his story without lifting his gaze from his hands in his lap. When he did, Téa was in tears. The story had gotten to her more than she thought it would. "Thanks for listening, Téa," he said. "I just…needed to tell someone."

That's so awful. I can't believe he had to live through something that traumatic. I thought my experience was bad, but this… Without thinking, Téa put her arms around Brian in a tight hug. Her lips were close to his ear, so she whispered a comforting message to him. "I promise, I won't allow that to happen again."

A few minutes later, the others showed up and life continued as normal as it could be. Tristan and Joey were huddled around Brian's laptop and Brian himself was sitting between Yugi and Téa watching a show claiming that dragons existed. Téa watched but didn't pay a lot of attention to it. She was too busy assessing the situation in her mind. She had caught quick glimpses of Brian looking at her with his bright aquamarine orbs and a gentle smile on his face. He seems really happy now. I guess this is my doing. There was never anyone for him to open up to. He has such a kind, sweet heart. I hope I get to touch it again. What if I ask him out? Right now, before someone else has the chance to.

She was about to voice the question when the doorbell rang for the third time that afternoon. Brian made a joke of tearing the thing down, which made Téa giggle. He returned to his seat next to her a moment later with a package wrapped in brown paper. Joey and Tristan stopped what they were doing to take a look as well. It was from one of his relatives, an archeologist. "It's from my uncle," he explained. He pulled out a brownish tablet inscribed with Egyptian text. "hmm…some sort of artifact, it looks like."

As Brian and Yugi examined the tablet, Téa noticed something in the box that caught the light. "Hey, there's something else in here." She reached in and pulled out the object. It was a piece of gold jewelry. "Wow…it's breath taking."

Brian carefully took the piece from her hands and looked it over, stating that it wasn't old at all but was brand new. His face suddenly went pale. "I don't feel so good all of a sudden," he commented.

"Brian?" came Téa's concerned voice. "Brian!" He teetered back and forth a couple times, then collapsed. Téa quickly caught him in her arms and pulled him close to her. She laid him down on the full length of the couch and knelt by his side on the floor. She stared at his face in fear and held his right hand in both of hers and held it against her heart. She was on the verge of crying her eyes out again. No…please be alright…you have to be alright…I love you. You can't leave me like this.

She stayed in that position for hours, hoping for some sign that her new love would still be alive. A woman came in after awhile, who claimed to be Brian's older sister, Paige. She was horrified to see her little brother unconscious with a bunch of strangers around him. Yugi explained who they were and she calmed down somewhat.

"If I didn't know better, I'd say that Téa has a thing for him," Tristan joked. It drew a laugh from Joey and Paige, even though she had no idea who these guys were. Yugi just gave a scornful look.

"So? What if I do? He's a much better guy than you!" Téa yelled at him with a sharp glare. Her expression of deep concern returned as she turned back to her fallen friend.

"Well, it's good to see my little brother finally has a girlfriend," Paige said with a sincere smile.

Téa blushed at the comment. I'm not his girlfriend…but maybe someday I will be. I hope.

Brian recovered a short time later, to see Téa's blue sapphire eyes gazing into his with more than just a touch of love. Two days later, Téa took Yugi, Tristan, and Joey out to look for the perfect gift for their new friend, something that would welcome him into his new home. They spent the entire morning and half the afternoon shopping before finding it, the same card that Brian had missed out on in the past. Téa gave it to him that very evening and, much to her and everyone else's surprise, showed her true feelings for him with a single, passionate kiss. What happened after that was their destiny.

Well did you like it? Do you understand Yami's message? Please direct all flames to my e-mail so they can be promptly deleted without being read. Stay tuned, Duelist of the Roses 2 is coming soon.