Disclaimer: I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh!

Summary: He often thinks she must have been a queen in a past life. Regalshipping.

There's something about Mai. It's a cliché, to be sure, because every woman has some wile or lure that endears her in the eye of her beholder. But the pharaoh decides, there's a touch of something more about the fierce, captivating blonde that sets her apart from her peers, as much if not more than her own stoic independence does by her own volition.

A shade of greatness.

There was no denying that the lady was passionate when roused in the pursuit of a good cause, capable of meting out retribution and reward alike, fair and frank in her dealings with others and she did it all with the grace and self-assurance of one that was born to rule.

She was a ruler of hearts.

Joey fell first to her unvarnished charm, and through him they grew to know the woman behind the duelist. She was blunt, and rarely dishonest, preferring instead to have her motives clear and incontestable, whether she be reviled or revered for them. Often she disappointed them, struck on her own away from them, when they could scarce understand her need for a reprieve from the cloistered existence they led, but she always returned to them when they needed her most.

She was reliable, decisive and blessed with the protective instinct of a lioness with cub.

Mai was free with her thoughts, however cruel they might have seemed to those whom they concerned, and shunned the gentler forms of persuasion in favour of hammering a point home with the vehemence of one who expects their will be heard and heeded. And then the moment passes, she stands aside, and her fiery aura dims slightly to allow another to shine.

A queen in commoners clothing, regal without need of adornment or ceremony, declaring her right to rule, with a kingdom of duelists as her court.

It is said that behind every good man stands a great woman, although just this once, Yami will gladly take that place behind her.