: . Royal Tricks . :

Authors Notes: This story contains Yaoi/Slash. If you don't like or approve then don't read or flame. I'm a person not something to sworn at, insulted or yelled at so if you have nothing nice to say- aside from constructive criticism- then keep it to yourself please.

Yugi leaned up against the window pulling the curtains back with royal porcelain hands. The velvet fabric had not felt smooth since his grandfather had left to settle the disputes in the east. Everyday Yugi would go to the balcony after breakfast and watch the horizon for the triumphant return of his nation's army. Every day he would wish for their return, except this morning Yugi did not go to the balcony but parted the curtains in his bedroom. His breath hot against the cold morning air that had pressed itself into the castles clear and stained glass windows fogged slightly, the young prince couldn't help but sigh happily as he watched his grandfather's men align ever so precisely in the courtyard, their armor glimmering hints of gold in the crimson sunrise and their weapons sheathed after their first taste of blood. They held their heads high as they poured in through the front gates. Yugi could hear the sound of their marching from where he stood and feeling as excited as newborn taking its first steps, he ran from the window, around his bed posts swinging from the wood as he laughed and reached out to his closet door. Yugi grabbed his sandal shoes and headed for the steps.

His bedroom doors burst forth and he darted into the hallway almost knocking over his assigned porter and very good friend Joseph. The young prince was very rambunctious sometimes and Joseph always prepared for those moments when Yugi would come pelting down the corridor at the return of his victorious grandfather. As Yugi missed knocking him over by an inch Joseph tipped the tray he was holding away from Yugi as to not have the contents spill onto the prince, instead Joseph was splashed with warm water used to prepare the prince's tea. Yugi could hear the clattering of pottery and winced at it as Joseph called down after him

"Good morning your highness-"

"Morning Joey," he called after playfully "Sorry!"

Joseph watched Yugi turn the corner and smiled gently "Be careful"

Yugi smiled as he burst through yet another set of doors into a small sitting room, adjacent to the main polished marble staircase. Outside however his grandfather was being welcomed home a hero and in a flashing hesitation he wasn't quite sure why. He wasn't a good king; wars upon wars seemed to become more frequent since he had to retake the throne. His son would have been a much better king and so will Yugi, when the time comes. Solomon was almost quite different in personalities then his grandson, he was known for his traditional, serious, some thought austere rulings. Of course Yugi only knew his grandfather to be kind hearted, peaceful and strict in his teachings since the responsibilities of parenthood were doted upon Solomon. King Solomon had prepared to give up the throne to Yugi's Father, if he had not died on the night of his anniversary. Yugi was never told what happened because they had found Solomon's son on an acreage seven miles away from the castle, buried shallowly in the garden, naked and beaten. Seeing as how Yugi at the time only five years young, he never came to know this truth. To the young prince, his father died of an illness while on their celebratory vacation.

"Grandfather!" Yugi called out as he appeared on the steps that graced the front courtyard.

The sunshine hit Yugi right in the eyes and he squinted for a moment as his eyes adjusted to the twinge in his forehead. Seconds later he could see his Grandfather standing with his closest guards only a step behind him. Before Yugi could fully regain his sense of sight from the morning sun he pranced down the steps as gaily as springtime. He had felt so lonesome without his grandfather at home, the chambermaids seemed always busy and between music lessons, history lessons, horseback lessons and etiquette lessons Yugi couldn't find the time to even wish Joseph well during the daily hours. Yugi hit the loose cobblestone path and ran towards his grandfather, painted like a portrait by Monet he stood with the sun beaming off his armor and the pastel color of his face as pale as moonlight.

Solomon opened his arms as the young Prince ran joyfully to him "Yugi, my boy."

Yugi jumped up, his arms wrapping around his grandfather's neck "Thank god" he cried "I was beginning to think you'd never come home."

Grandpa placed his grandson back on his feet "Not even death could keep me away from my grandson's seventeenth birthday."

Yugi beamed "Grandpa my birthday isn't for three days, although I knew you would remember."

"Of course I would." Solomon smiled as he brought Yugi close and turned towards his army "I welcome you all to my home tonight for a celebration banquet for the glory of our victory- to honor Yugi's birthday, our valiant foes and the bravest soldier in the land-" Solomon said as he raised his sword high into the air "Tonight we feast!"

The cheer from the army echoed against the stone walls like thunder and they dispersed to their homes and wives in the city. As the men started to leave Solomon turned to Yugi and entered his castle. The drafty smell of his home was comforting; he had forgotten his marbled floor and decorative antique walls. His home was perfection, but nothing could replace the company inside. Solomon unclipped his armor chest plate and handed it to the personal guards at his side.

"I am so happy grandpa" Yugi said stepping away "I was really starting to worry."

"Welcome back sire," Joseph said from the stairwell "we have missed you, is there anything I can do your majesty?"

Solomon laughed "Tell the cooks we're feeding an army tonight! And that everyone in the castle is invited."

Joseph nodded "Yes your highness"

Yugi ran to the steps, unable to contain his excitement "Shall I go get mother, tell her you have arrived?"

"My goodness sire, the young prince is certainly energetic" One of his guards smiled happily as Solomon handed him other pieces of his equipment.

"Of course he is, just like his father." Solomon replied before he turned his attention to Yugi "Calmness my son, I'm sure your mother will be down shortly, and we must remember she has to organize herself for this evening as well, it will take her eons to get ready if we disrupt a woman's preparation time." Solomon laid his eyes on the guard who had spoken a minute ago "You may go, and prepare for tonight, wear your best, we feast in your honor."

The guard smiled as the other guard turned towards the castle doors "I shall, thank you, your highness."

Just then Yugi had noticed something that had never come to his attention before. That guard, was so familiar, that genuine compassion and his voice, deep and stern, dripping with a type of seduction. Yugi was captured by his presence and for a moment in time, he felt transported. The man was taller than his grandfather, standing at about five foot eight, but the guard was only about an inch or so superior in height. His hair was noticeably uniquely colored, much like his own, streaks of blond, red and black were clearly visible. Just then, the guard placed his eyes on Yugi and smiled to see the young prince so eager and energetic. What Yugi didn't realize was that he blushed at the attention.

"Now enough of all this seriousness, Yugi, my boy tell me everything." Solomon asked him "How are your lessons?"

Yugi watched the two guards exit his home before his stare was broken. He then followed his grandfather as they walked about the castle "Oh they've been fine, except my etiquette classes, Mr. Hawkins has gotten so strict with the way I sit, the way I fold a napkin- absolutely ruthless sometimes"

Solomon laughed "It is good that he is strict, builds character"

"I'd prefer if that daughter of his built the character," Yugi snorted "the little nuisance is always following, pulling on my hands, grasping for attention. The other day she outright grabbed at my arm and I spilt a cup of tea all over Mr. Hawkins. We had to reschedule my next class because of that Rebecca-"

"The Hawkins family has been teaching in this house since before my time. It would be best to remember their loyalty to our family Yugi" Solomon gently reminded. "You shouldn't let his daughter get to you so."

"I know," Yugi started to laugh "I think she assumes that I will one day marry her, she may be a few years younger but due to her father's teachings she has wisdom beyond her years."

"Oh? You best run and hide my son, a girl she may be now but her determination for your affections will grow with her."

Yugi followed Solomon into the main dining hall, telling his tales while Solomon ordered for a glass of cold wine to settle his nerves after Yugi had gotten him so thrilled about being home. As Solomon sipped on his wine Yugi had talked his ear off about his lessons, how he had mastered the piano and that he was now taking up the violin and how he had improved in his jousting despite the last incident. Personally Yugi was hoping to learn the ways of the sword and did not ask this of his grandfather before. They had strolled through the grand hall and into the courtyard at the back of their castle when Yugi's conversation with Solomon had brought about the topic of the army.

"Who were those guards grandfather? I do not recall seeing them before" Yugi asked childishly.

Solomon smiled as he took a seat on the outside brunch table "I guess it has been a while since you have seen Tristan. He has grown and become strong, he is a very honorable man and even I could not believe his improvements."

"And the other?" Yugi questioned hoping not to seem too eager about the man who had paid the slightest attention to him.

"Surely you remember Yami?" Solomon asked "Don't you? I have been training that boy since he was nine. He was the bravest warrior of the battle, fought all the way up to the castle doors. Their king, Gozaburo was so surprised by his strength that he surrendered to us to save his family. "

Yugi smiled, he loved hearing his grandfather's war stories simply because Yugi's naivety had kept him well sheltered from knowledge in the ways of war. "I think I remember now," Yugi said "I was sitting here with mother, watching you train an older boy."

Solomon nodded "That young boy, was Yami- barely identifiable now, he has changed so much over the past three years that I am not at all surprised when you didn't recognize him." Solomon brought his hand up to his chin "Let's see now he completed his training when he was eighteen, the youngest to have ever graduated. It's been three years since we last coroneted him as a royal knight."

Solomon looked over to Yugi, who had his eyes set out on the backyard, the luscious green grass as soft as feathers, the flowers all spreading their petals to absorbs the suns warm rays. His grandson had grown and changed too without Solomon really noticing before. His childlike features subtlety shifting into the face of a man, his wide eyes still reflected his innocence as his body grew tall and changed. Solomon smiled and in that moment felt truly at peace and he rested his body to prepare for the evening festivities to come.