Disclaimer: If Yugioh was mine, all the characters would be gay.

Read and Review Please!

Chapter 1 (Stuart Adamson – Big Country)

"And what happens next Ebe?" Yugi asked, leaning forward to hear over the chattering in the concubine's quarters.

"Just as the robber was about to enter the tomb," Ebe continued "the spirit of the pharaoh Amenhotep III appeared unto him and said…"

"Yugi! Yugi where are you!"

Yugi groaned. 'Not again,' he thought 'and just as it was getting good.'

"There you are Yugi." said Heqet "It's time for your lesson. Come with me."

Yugi stood and padded after Heqet. He had to move very quickly to keep up with her. Heqet's tall stature made him look and feel like a child, no matter how many summers had passed since his birth. Heqet was a strong woman, and no amount of carefully applied makeup or fluttery clothes could quite disguise the fact that under her skin lay muscles that could break Yugi's small arms. Heqet was the overseer of the pharaoh's concubines. While she commanded respect, she also had a kindness and steadiness that was equal to any emergency.

Ebe, on the other hand, was new to the palace. She was a gift from the king of Cyprus to try to bring the pharaoh's favor. She hadn't been successful so far, as the pharaoh hadn't yet selected her to keep his company for the night. Yugi liked spending time with her to listen to the many new stories that she had brought. Heqet thought he spent too much time listening to Ebe and not enough time preparing for his lessons.

"What am I to learn today, Heqet?" Yugi asked when they arrived at the sleeping mat Heqet had set aside for teaching.

"Therapeutic oils and fragrances." Heqet replied "Keep in mind your massage lessons from the past week and think about which fragrance would go best with which situation."

Yugi nodded. It was important that all of the pharaoh's concubines have extensive knowledge of how to please the pharaoh in any situation. Massage and oils were just part of it. There was also lessons in music, dance, writing, ritual greetings, dress, decorum, body movement, and how to correctly assist the pharaoh in dressing, bathing, and relaxing. Heqet said that his education in these matters was more important than any of the pharaoh's other concubines because…

"Now smell each of these and tell me which one would be more appropriate in a relaxed situation as opposed to a sexual one." Heqet said.

"Ummm…" Yugi took a quick sniff of each "the one on the right."

"Correct, which is truly amazing given that you weren't paying attention. You can't rely on luck when the pharaoh has had a bad day. Now let's go over this again…"

Yugi sighed. One of his earliest lessons had been to serve the pharaoh with all of his being. Nothing was more important. Yugi had absorbed that lesson easily and dedicated his life to being the best he possibly could in the hopes that one day he would be honored by the pharaoh and help his friends, the other concubines. But he also knew that there wasn't much of a chance of this ever happening. The garden work that the guards gave him to do "to occupy his time" kept him in a constant state of tangled hair, dirty skin, broken nails, and stained clothing. The occasional bruises and cuts from work and punishment didn't help either. And the girls who were called by the pharaoh said that he seemed to be either exhausted or irritable most of the time anyway.

"Now tell me why this oil is the best choice if the pharaoh is having trouble sleeping." Heqet demanded.

Yugi responded quickly and Heqet smiled at him. He had been paying attention this time. Heqet and the other girls seemed to believe that his best chance to win the pharaoh's favor was by his talent, because any attempts at keeping him clean for even an hour had long ago failed. Yugi sighed. It wasn't as if he wanted to stay dirty…

Heqet abruptly stopped talking and looked up as one of the pharaoh's more requested concubines approached their corner. Mesi was a slim girl who had been a favorite of the pharaoh ever since her arrival three summers ago. Her dark hair and deep blue eyes disguised her rather cynical nature and made her seem younger than she really was. Even Heqet respected the success she had with the pharaoh.

"What is it Mesi?" Heqet asked.

"The guards are asking for a lineup. The pharaoh desires a lovely companion to serve him at tomorrow's banquet with the embassy from Greece. His selection must be prepared to impress the nobles." Mesi said.

"Very well." Heqet said "I'll pick out some likely girls; you dip this one in a tub."

"Awwww, Heqet, can't I just stay back this time. I'm not at all likely to impress the embassy." Yugi said.

"Quit whining, Yugi." snapped Heqet "The one time you stay back will be the time the guards are too sleepy to notice you. I know you won't get picked for this job but you might just catch the pharaoh's eye. Now go with Mesi."

Yugi sighed and ran after Mesi. He didn't mind a bath; he just didn't want one from Mesi. She was often rough with him because of all the attention he received from Heqet. Trying to sneak into another lineup would also mean he would be kicked by another guard for his troubles. He thought that there must be a less painful way of catching the pharaoh's eye.

"You know, I almost wish you would get this job Yugi." Mesi said as she pulled his shirt and kilt off and dumped a bucket of water onto his head "Then maybe a Grecian lord will take you away."

"Mesi, if I wasn't here another boy would take my place and Heqet would have to train him from the beginning. It would take up even more of her time." Yugi said.

"Humph! Well maybe a new boy would be better at sneaking past the guards." Mesi started roughly scrubbing his hair with soap.

"If the new boy was any smaller than me he'd – burlurbulul." Yugi sputtered as Mesi pushed him under the water and rinsed out the soap.

"Mesi!" Ebe shouted "Stop trying to drown him and get ready. Heqet wants all three of us in the lineup. He can dress himself."

Yugi quickly climbed out of the tub and away from Mesi. He grabbed a towel and tried to dry off and brush his hair at the same time. His hair never seemed to want to cooperate, although Heqet said it might look quite nice if she could find the time to style it. For now it was just stuck up everywhere. He pulled on a clean outfit, a few bronze anklets, and his good sandals and moved over to where the chosen girls were standing.

"Kesi, get in front of Ebe. Mesi, not so far forward!" Heqet commanded "Yugi, get behind Rehema. Zesiro, you're in the back. Oh what have you forgotten now, Kesi?"

Yugi moved in quickly behind Rehema. Rehema was a gift from a Grecian lord who had been here for six seasons. She was a patient and motherly woman, and was usually put into the lineup when the pharaoh was in a particularly foul mood. She was a very good misuse and knew just how to calm him down. Although the pharaoh did not find her sexually attractive, she was the Grecian epitome of beauty, and a very likely candidate to impress the Grecian embassy.

"Ready to go, gem?" she asked "You know the pharaoh is waiting for you."

"No, the guards are waiting to kick me out of the line again." Yugi said sadly "I don't think the pharaoh even knows that he has a male concubine."

"Don't worry about that." Rehema said "The guards can't keep a treasure like you locked up forever. One day the light from the pharaoh's eyes will shine into yours and they'll sparkle like the amethyst gems they are. He'll be so stunned he won't have eyes for any other concubine."

Yugi laughed. Somehow Rehema could always cheer him up. "Thanks, Rehema, but I would be selfish to deprive him of your superior care."

Rehema smiled softly before turning back to the doorway where Heqet was leading the line between two guards.