Inspired by "Wax, Glass, Venom", a HP fic by cluegirl.

Disclaimer: Yu-gi-OH! Belongs to Kazuki Takahashi. This non-profit, non-copyright infringing fanfic belongs to me under international copyright law. Don't steal my work!

Pairing: Atemu x Mahaado, one-sided Set x Atemu

Warnings: Somewhat AU in parts, though I do try to stay in canon. Potential for angst, OOCness, character death, and insanity

Rating: PG-13

Title: Venom

Author: Shadow/Phantomness

One would have to be a blind fool not to recognize Priest Set as a proud man. The priest of the Millennium Rod wielded power only second to that of the Pharaoh, his palaces were many, his harems well kept, his Blue Eyes White Dragons the fiercest of all, and he wore his power like a cloak, full and confident.

His eyes were the oceans and the Nile in one, his lands rich and plentiful, and his position enviable – how could they not be? And yet, there was one thing Set wanted more than these all.

Set wished to be Pharaoh.

Oh, Set knew the secret, knew how the venerable Akunadin of the Eye was his father and how, had Akunadin and Akunumkanon not been twins, and Akunumkanon the louder voiced, his father would have been Pharaoh. And he saw, how in the secret, his father burned and cursed the Gods for giving his brother, now deceased, an heir.

And oh, Set desired to be Pharaoh, but there was one other in his way. There was one other whom the Pharaoh trusted without question, one other whom the Pharaoh kept closer than all the other Six Elected Priests.

One whom the Pharaoh chose to favor with his smile and his presence and, if the rumors whispered correctly, his body…

And it was the damnable Priest of the Millennium Ring.

He had to admit, that Mahaado was handsome, long dark hair and eyes dark night, but those favors were in no way unique. His magic was mediocre, perhaps even a failure, his Ka monster a joke, and yet…

And yet the Pharaoh loved him. He saw it in their quiet glances, their covert smiles, and their friendship that hid so much more. He saw it in the laughter they shared when Mana misfired a spell and sent the palace up in smoke, and how Mahaado would scold and Yami would shake his head and laugh softly.

He saw it when the Thief King dragged the Pharaoh's father's mummy – his uncle – into the room, hideous glory that had once been Akunumkanon, Horus on Earth, reduced to dust and ashes.

Afterwards, Mahaado got on his knees and like a pathetic dog begging, claimed the blame that could have befallen them all, and was yet not put to death. The Pharaoh forgave him and he kept his position, and even as he swore on his life, Set laughed.

Mahaado was weak. Too weak to win, too weak to take on Bakura alone, as he no doubt planned to do in an attempt to regain his honor. Foolish. Foolish man.

So he sought out the Thief King, slippery as a snake, and whispered promises and a pouch of gold did wonders, and he kept his Sennen Rod and promised that Bakura would gain the Ring within a time.

And the tomb was rebuilt and Mahaado and his men set off, and Seto watched from his hidden place and laughed.

The whispered hate in Bakura's ears had served so well, Diabound had evolved and such a magnificent, if evil Ka, could not be left wandering. But first, they had a game to play. First….

One cannot deny that Mahaado fought bravely, but the Magician of Illusion and the Priest were no match for Diabound, and so the Priest and the Monster fell into darkness and became one.

They would no longer be able to protect the Pharaoh.

Bakura laughed and took the Ring, bright gold, mother's tears as he slipped it around his neck and Diabound took them through the palace walls.

It was time to finish the job.

He heard the whisperings days before the men arrived. Whispers of power and clash of magic so brilliant it left them crying… but brilliant or not, the dog was dead, and now it was time for the next step.

The tablet stood there in all of its glory, a mage in armor clutching a staff, but it was useless now. It was only a monster. Only a weak monster…

And the Pharaoh cried, though he did not shed tears, and the weak girl cried and Aishizu raised them up but it was all for naught.

The Priest was dead.

It was all for naught, for that night, the Thief King came and defeated the Pharaoh, red serpent of thunder, Sky-God Osiris falling to Diabound, and the Pharaoh fell into shadows, as the Great God Zork took him away, and Set smiled to see his plans take shape. The throne sat there, empty, waiting, calling…

But the messenger-bird spirit returned and the Priestess of the Tauk smiled and they all rode out to Kuru Eruna. For the Pharaoh and his luck had survived, and now they headed for the Thief's lair, intent on rousting him out. Set followed, and gnashed his teeth where none could see, for rage burned in his heart yet, how could this be?

But oh, the Pharaoh was no match for the dead spirits and they laughed and tried to tear his soul from his body, but the Pharaoh was stubborn and would not give. And then darkness flashed in his eyes and in his soul and the monster was reborn and responded to his call…

The Dark Magician stood tall and proud as he faced the Thief King, and though the villager's souls were many and the Pharaoh's numbers few, yet the monsters were defeated and when the others came, they joined their forces and defeated him.

But oh, how Set seethed in secret and burned with hatred, for the plan had failed, and the damned Priest had managed to evade death once again. And so a new plan brewed in his heart, for was not the monster one with its tablet? Was not a soul sealed in rock? And rock was easy to destroy…

So the Magician fell once again into Shadow, but the Pharaoh was stubborn and dead dogs did not lie. For as the world spun to an ending and life ended, there was still a reckoning to be made.

And as the dark light flashed from the Magician's Staff, Seto caught a glimpse of the Pharaoh's triumphant smile, mirrored in those fathomless eyes.


Completed 9/25/05

I had way too much fun writing this!

Mahaado: …

Yami: …

It's mostly canon, until the ending.

I have no idea why I keep calling Mahaado a dog. Really. Shrug