Title: The Return
Fandom: Yuugiou
Characters: Mahaado/Aishizu, mention of others
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: None, really. Blood
Disclaimer: Yuugiou is copyright Kazuki Takahashi and all related affiliates.
Challenge: Written for flyingpinkbunny/24hourthemes at LiveJournal.

He returned to the palace early that morning—or late at night, whichever one considered 4 AM to be. His left foot dragged just a little, skin split where a knife had cleaved it in a last, desperate swipe at survival. The headdress he habitually wore, currently nonexistent, had fallen into the darkness of the tomb, and his hair swept pale as sand over his broad shoulders and brow.

He did not look her way at first. His eyes, gray and flickering, were trained on the Pharaoh, who seemed less a king than the priest now did in his slow trek to the front of the throne. It was no task for Mahaado to fall to one knee before him. Aishizu's heart nearly cried out at the pained exhaustion on his face, yet sang when she saw it was mixed with a keen sense of joy and triumph.

Mahaado, however, knew no such eloquence. His poetry was in his simplicity, his steady words and actions which so endeared him to her. "Great Pharaoh, it is done," was all he said, before his breath hitched, and he collapsed.

She did not care that she shouted his name, did not care that Set snorted at her as she ran to catch him before he struck the earth. The Pharaoh soon followed her, as Shadah and Kalim; they crowded them, joyous and proud as they helped her steady Mahaado's frame. But the smile he gave was for her alone, and it reached his gray eyes and filled them— the crux of an emotion Aishizu dared hope could be love.