Title: Bauble
Fandom: Yuugiou
Characters: Mahaado, Mana
Rating: PG
Warnings: Implied mature themes.
Disclaimer: Yuugiou is copyright Kazuki Takahashi and all related affiliates.
Challenge: Written for 24hour themes at LiveJournal. 9 AM; Assistance for others, focusing on concrete matters.

Mahaado never imagined that he would be the first of the six high priests to take on an apprentice, let alone one who was orphaned, uneducated, and caught with one hand in a minor lord's unburied sarcophagus. And yet when he saw her—bare feet, darting eyes, torn clothes and a fist clutching a pair of jewel-studded funerary earrings—his heart knew that the gods had sent her to him.

Maybe she realized it as well, for she did not struggle terribly when he seized her emaciated forearm, instead glancing up, frightened, at his face. Behind her, a pyramid prodded the nine 'o clock sun, still tinged pink with the afterglow of morning. A group of tomb guards, unseeing, continued their business.

"You have heka in you," he spoke first.

Confusion. She squirmed. "What will you do to me?"

"I won't hurt you."

"I know how guards punish girls." Her voice quivered.

Eyes softening with sadness, he released her, saying, "I am not a guard." She hesitated but did not bolt. "I am one who wishes to help you. To teach you."

The girl glanced at him, eyes questioning but not wanting to question, hoping but not wanting to hope. "…I can't read." she finally responded.

"Then that will be our first lesson."

"What else?"

"Magic. You'll have food."

She toed the earth and bit her lip, grimy fingers gripping her stolen treasures a bit more tightly as she considered.

Mahaado sighed. "And you'll get to keep those earrings."

Eyes widening, she allowed a huge grin to bloom on her face, and the deal was done as the Priest returned it.

"Come, then." he said, offering his hand. "We'll get you some new clothes."