Hello there! Here's an prequel "Aida" fic for you. I hope you enjoy it. I really didn't know the age difference between Radames and Mereb, so Radames is 17, and Mereb is 10. Enjoy!


A Friendship To Last A Hundred Lifetimes

"You can't keep me locked up in this place forever!" seventeen-year old Radames bellowed at his father. "I want to see faraway places, and travel the world. How can you expect me to stay cooped up in the palace for the rest of my life?"

"Quite easily, actually," Prime Minister Zoser retorted back at his teenage son. "You are still a boy, and no boy of mine will be traipsing around the Nile, cavorting with those uncivilized barbarians!" He dismissed his son and turned to go, but Radames insisted on continuing the conversation.

"This is my life!" he burst out.

"I can't take the chance of having you suffering from any injuries in battle," Zoser casually answered. "If you want to be the Pharaoh of all Egypt someday…"

"I never said I wanted to be Pharaoh…" Radames mumbled, ignoring the speech Zoser had repeated to Radames many times over the years, but it was obvious his father didn't hear him.

"Uh-huh. Now run along. I've important matters to attend to." Without another word, Zoser left his son standing in one of the extravagant halls of the palace. Defeated for the moment, Radames decided to resign to his quarters and practice his sword fighting techniques.

"When I'm eighteen, no one is going to stop from me discovering new lands," he vowed to himself. "I'll-"

"Oops!" The surprised exclamation, followed by a loud crash, startled Radames out of his thoughts. "No please… I didn't mean… Ow! I'm sorry, please!" The sound of a whip cracking through the air was head by Radames. Then again. And again.

Intrigued by the noise, Radames turned the corner to go investigate. The situation that met Radames was one that he was all too familiar with. A slave, probably Nubian, was getting beaten by some of the palace guards. It was nothing new, but Radames couldn't shake the feeling of sympathy that swept over him. After all, the slave was so young to be taking such a beating.

"Stop!" The command escaped Radames's lips before he could silence it, but honestly, he wasn't sure if he had really wanted to keep quiet. To his surprise, Radames's order went unheeded, or possibly unheard, not that he cared which. The result was the same, and it was unacceptable.

"I'll teach you a lesson you'll never forget!" a guard threatened vehemently, increasing the strength he hit the now-whimpering boy with.

"I said 'stop'," Radames repeated with more conviction, finally getting the attention of the two guards there, now staring at the young man. The guard with the bloody whip in his hand straightened and let go of the youth, allowing his wounded body to drop to the floor. Before his brown eyes fluttered closed, they flickered up to meet Radames's gaze.

"Sir," the other guard greeted, lowering slightly to show his respect. The older guard remained still.

"What crime has he committed?" Radames inquired, trying to sound as official and important as his father did when he discussed business matters.

The guard, clearly upset at Radames for disturbing his disciplinary acts, gestured at the broken glass that was scattered across the floor. "This clumsy little slave dropped the glass vase intended to be a gift for Princess Amneris's sixteenth birthday next week," he informed with distaste. "I was merely reprimanding the boy for his-"

"Accident," Radames curtly finished for the man. "I hardly think death is the punishment for an understandable mistake. "Besides," he remarked. "A simple vase is not anything desired by the Princess. In fact, I doubt 'simple' is in her vocabulary," smiled Radames, whose thoughts strayed to his future wife. Once his eyes lay on the child again, the smile disappeared. "Get a broom and sweep this mess up," he ordered. "Broken glass can be dangerous around here, you know."

"Of course," the same guard replied, clenching his teeth. "I'll alert a handmaiden about this right away." He began to exit.

"I said to clean this up, and I meant now," Radames annunciated threateningly.

"Sir, I hardly believe sweeping a man's work!" the guard protested with an inconceivable expression on his face.

"I agree," Radames responded. "Now do as I order."

The two guards begrudgingly did as Radames commanded. Satisfied that his will was being carried out, Radames walked over to the Nubian boy and hoisted his across his shoulders. He was alarmed, but not totally surprised, at how light the slave was.

"He was down working in the copper mines," the aggressive guard told Radames. "I'm sure he's expected back there."

"The boy is no good to us dead," retorted Radames. "I'll do with him as I see fit. That's my job. You do yours." With that, Radames turned his heel and headed back to his quarters, trying to hide the smile on his lips that came from asserting his authority for the first time.

"Yes, sir," the guards simultaneously spit out.

Without another word, Radames left the two men to their task, and started down the hall towards his quarters with the child still on his back.

*****


That's the first chapter! Did you like it? Please review, and let me know what you thought! Reviews just make my day! See you next chapter, and as always, thanks for reading!