DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fanfiction produced for entertainment purposes only. Yu-Gi-Oh! and all related characters are the creations of Kazuki Takahashi. The ballet mentioned is Tchaikovsky's 'The Nutcracker'.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This was supposed to be up Christmas Eve, along with some other things, but they've all unfortunately been delayed due to Real Life issues. So this is my belated Christmas present to those who are still reading my stories. New chapters of my two ongoing stories, 'Hearts, Souls and Shadows' and 'The Shadow Tournament', will be coming very soon.

Prima Marik
By Shadow's Mirror

Being the sister of Malik and Marik Ishtar often meant dealing with unusual requests. So, when Isis looked up at a knock on her study door and saw her little brother smiling ever so sweetly at her, she mentally braced herself.

"Yes, Malik?"

"Isis, Marik says he wants ballet lessons for Christmas."

Only the barest arch of one delicate eyebrow revealed Isis's surprise at that statement. "I see."

She considered it for a few moments; as she considered every request Malik, his yami Marik or their other 'brother' Odion made of her. Considering that Marik's last request had been for an iguana so he could train him to jump through a fiery hoop, while the one before that had been for one million rolls of toilet paper so he could build a life-sized paper maché copy of the Pyramid of Giza, this request seemed almost normal.

That alone made Isis very wary.

"While I applaud Marik's wish to broaden his mind with the study of such a cultural art form, I must admit to a certain curiosity over what prompted this decision. Do you know?"

Malik smiled brightly and nodded. "It was the Nutcracker."

"Ah, of course." His sister smiled. Now it all made perfect sense.

Isis had heard the familiar music to the Christmas ballet earlier in the day, coming from the living room where her younger brothers had been watching television. 'The Nutcracker' was a wonderful story, filled with magic, curses, a brave young girl, a valiant nutcracker doll prince and a wicked mouse king and his army. She distinctly recalled the last time she had seen it, at a charity performance for the Domino City Museum, and could still remember the thrill of the final battle between the mouse king and the nutcracker prince.

If the boys had seen a similar performance, it was no wonder that her younger brother's very impressionable darkness had decided that he wished to learn ballet.

"Marik wishes to fight the mouse king and his army and feels that he needs to learn ballet in order to do so." Isis smiled at her younger brother.

It was a completely illogical idea and something no reasonably sane being would ever think of.

Which made it the most likely thing for Yami Marik to have come up with.

Isis barely contained her surprise when Malik shook his head. "That is not the reason?"

"No. The Nutcracker Prince already defeated them, so Marik doesn't think they'd be enough of a challenge." Malik grinned at his big sister, clearly in complete agreement with that thought.

"I see." Isis blinked and hesitated, her instincts suddenly on high alert. "Malik why exactly does Marik wish to learn ballet, then?"

Malik smiled his sweetest smile at his sister again. "Because he really liked the Nutcracker Prince's pants and I said I thought they'd look even better if they were on Marik instead."

"Ah. Of course." Isis nodded. Knowing her brothers and the way their minds worked, that would have been her second guess. She considered for a few more moments before making her decision.

"Malik, I do not believe Marik is quite suited for ballet. It requires many years of strict training and discipline." She smiled gently at her younger brother, who was now pouting and looking more disappointed than Odion when she'd had to tell him the day before that the newspaper shop had been sold out of the Christmas issue of Fluffy Bunny magazine that he'd asked her to buy for him. "However, I will see what I can do about getting him a Nutcracker Prince costume."

Malik's eyes lit up as he beamed at her. "Oh! Thank you, Isis!"

His sister smiled and nodded. "You are most welcome, Malik. But as it would be a Christmas present..." She trailed off, fixing her brother with a stern look that made him pout at her again.

"I know. I won't say a word about it. I promise. I won't even tell Odion." Malik sighed heavily. Keeping this promise would clearly be very hard on him.

Isis smiled gently at Malik. "Thank you, Malik. I am sure that Marik will be even more delighted when he is surprised with it on Christmas day."

The thought of how happy his darkness would be was more than enough to send Malik skipping merrily from the room.

Watching her little brother go off so happily warmed Isis's heart. She smiled to herself as she drew a sheet of paper from its secret location in her desk and added three words to the bottom of the list of items already on it.

The thought of fulfilling this particular request sent a tingle of joyful anticipation up her spine.

She could hardly wait to see Odion's reaction when he saw 'Nutcracker Costume - spandex' written on the bottom of Malik and Marik's Christmas wish list.

The End