I'M NOT DEAD!

I have no excuse for my long absence other than the fact that I lost interest in the show for a while. With the new DVD releases, I've been watching the show again, and I think I'm getting me interest back.

I'm starting with this story first, and I have ideas for some other stories. I'll work on my other three, but I'm going to have to go back and re-read them so that I can remember what I wrote in the first place and hope I can remember what I planned to do in the first place.

Anyway, I'm back and I'll try to stay back. I do have other fandoms I write for, so bear with me if I get lost in those fandoms, too.

Disclaimer: As always, I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh! or any characters associated with the show.


Chapter 4- Outing

Atemu walked down the hall toward his father's office. As he walked, he thought about his fiancé. He had realized that he was already in love with him, which meant that there was no objection to the marriage now. He was also curious about what else he could learn about his fiancé. Of course, he knew that he had only met Yugi for one day, so he was going to have to get to know Yugi better before he told Yugi how he felt, but he was looking forward to spending as much time with Yugi as possible.

As Atemu walked, he acknowledged all of the servants who were bowing in respect to their Prince as he walked by. It was one of the things that annoyed him to no end, but Atemu always hid it because he didn't want the servants to think that he wasn't thankful for what they did.

Once at his father's office, he knocked.

"Come in!"

Atemu opened the door and walked in. He froze when he saw his mother sitting on his father's lap.

"Come on in, son." Aknankanon told him.

"Um, are you sure I'm not interrupting something?" Atemu could feel his face heat up as he blushed. That was the kind of position that no child wanted to find their parents in.

Amara laughed as she got out of her husband's lap. "No, son. We weren't doing anything. Trust me. Come on in."

Atemu walked on into the office and shut the door. He then walked over and sat across from his father.

"Now, there was something that I wanted to talk to you about, Atemu. I'm glad that you have already started spending time with Prince Yugi. It's good that the two of you are taking the time to get to know each other before the wedding." Aknankanon started.

"Yes, Father. I would rather get to know him before we're married." Atemu replied.

"Well, I want you to continue doing that. That is why I'm asking Shimon to lighten the load of studying that you have to do. I'm also asking him to not keep you as long for the time being." Aknankanon told him.

"Really?" Atemu asked. He felt hopeful about that. He didn't mind the lessons, but Shimon could be a slave driver at times, and he wouldn't mind a lightened load.

"This is only temporary." Amara reminded him.

"I know, Mother."

"There is one other thing. I don't want anything happening between the two of you." Aknankanon told him.

Atemu blinked in confusion. He didn't understand. He thought that his father wanted him to get to know Yugi before they were married.

Amara noticed her son's confusion. "He wants you to get to know Prince Yugi, Atemu. What we're asking is that you don't consummate the relationship until after you're married."

Atemu hated the idea of discussing sex with his parents. "Okay! I just met him today! What makes you think that I'm going to want to jump into bed with him?"

Amara laughed. "Just reminding you of that fact, Atemu. Besides, your father and I already know that you've fallen in love with him."

"Wh-how-when-" Atemu couldn't form a complete sentence.

Amara chuckled. "You can't hide anything from me. You used to make fun of the idea of love at first sight, but now, you've fallen into that category."

"Oh. I didn't think you noticed." Atemu muttered.

Amara walked over and rubbed her son's back. "A mother knows everything, Atemu. I noticed how you looked at him when you first met him." She chuckled. "And your father also noticed."

"Okay. I get it. I'm not going to try anything anyway." Atemu stated.

"Good." Aknankanon replied.

Atemu then remembered why he had wanted to come. "By the way, why didn't you tell me that Japanese males can have children, Father?"

Aknankanon blinked, surprised. "I thought that you knew."

"No! Until I was talking to Yugi, I had no idea. He was telling me about his family and mentioned his papa. That's why I know. He told me." Atemu replied.

Aknankanon scratched the back of his head sheepishly. "Well, I suppose I took it for granted that you knew. I guess I should have made sure that you knew."

Amara looked down at her son curiously. "What did you think was going to happen about an heir? There does need to be one."

"I honestly hadn't thought about that because until a week ago, I thought I was marrying a girl. When I found out I was marrying a guy, I was so relieved that I didn't think about it." Atemu admitted.

Amara smiled. "Well, you can understand why we don't want anything to happen before the marriage."

"Yeah. It wouldn't look too great to others if Yugi ended up pregnant before we were married." Atemu stated, understanding.

"Good. Anything else?" Aknankanon asked.

"No." Atemu replied.

"Then you can go." Aknankanon told him.

Atemu then left the room. He was still thinking about how he could manage to woe Yugi.


Ryou had left the room after getting Yugi's bath ready. He was going to ask another servant where there were some clean towels at.

Unfortunately, he didn't find a servant.

"Ryou!"

Ryou jumped before he whirled around to find Bakura approaching him. That was the last thing that Ryou needed. He wasn't thrilled with how forward Bakura had been with him, and it scared him. The guy just screamed out insane, and Ryou didn't want anyone like that.

"What are you doing out here?" Bakura asked with a confident smirk on his face.

Ryou hated that smirk already. It just said that Bakura was certain Ryou would fall for him soon. It irked Ryou to no end. "If you must know, I was looking for a servant to help me."

Bakura raised an eyebrow. "With what?"

"Clean towels." Ryou answered.

"No worries. I know where that is. I can take you to where all of the linens, towels, and such are." Bakura told him. He knew that this was a great chance to be alone with him.

Ryou didn't like this one bit. In fact, he hated it. He wasn't fond of Bakura, and the thought of being alone with him just made him upset.

As Bakura walked, he quickly slipped his arm around Ryou's waist.

"Could you move your hand?" Ryou asked through gritted teeth.

"Now why would I do that?" Bakura asked, smirking.

"Because I don't appreciate it." Ryou retorted.

"You'll learn to love it." Bakura told him.

"Not likely." Ryou muttered. He made a note to never be alone with Bakura no matter what the circumstance were.


The following morning, Atemu had gotten up at his customary time. He had taken his bath and gotten ready before he headed out. He went across the hall and knocked on the door.

Ryou opened the door. "Yes, Prince Atemu?"

"Good morning. Is Yugi up?"

"Yes. He's getting ready now." Ryou answered.

"I was going to escort him to the dining room for breakfast." Atemu told him. He wasn't sure why he told Ryou, but he felt like he needed to let Ryou know why he wanted to talk to Yugi.

"I'm ready, Atemu." Yugi told him.

Yugi and Atemu then headed for the dining room.

"How did you sleep?" Atemu asked.

"It was fine, actually. I'm just going to have to get used to the weather here. It's a lot different than it is back in Japan." Yugi stated.

"Father has mentioned that. I've never gone to Japan, so I really don't know." Atemu admitted.

Yugi smiled. "Maybe you'll be able to see it one day."

"Maybe." Atemu agreed.

The two entered the dining room and found that no one was there. They sat down, and servants soon brought their breakfast to them.

"Is there anything going on today?" Yugi asked.

"No. Father will do his normal things. I sit in on the court sessions from time to time so that I will know what I need to do for when I become Pharaoh. I don't have to today, though." Atemu answered.

Yugi nodded.

Atemu thought a moment before he thought of something. He loved to go horseback riding. He didn't know if Yugi did, but he figured that this would be a good way for the two of them to spend time together. "Yugi?"

Yugi turned his attention to Atemu. "Yes?"

"Have you ever gone horseback riding?"

Yugi's amethyst eyes brightened at this. "Yes! I love it. My brothers and I would go horseback riding a lot. I haven't been a while, actually."

Perfect! This meant that they had something in common.

"Well, I could ask Father if we can go horseback riding then. It's been a while since I've gone." Atemu stated.

"I'd love that." Yugi said.

Atemu smiled. He hoped that his father would let them go. He really wanted to spend some time alone with his future husband so that he could get to know him, and this seemed like the perfect time to.


Ryou had changed the linen on Yugi's bed and had gathered them up so that he could put fresh linen on. He left the chambers and headed to get some fresh linen. He found the room that housed it and got out a fresh set.

"Hey there, beautiful."

Ryou gave a cry of shock before he jumped practically ten feet in the air, dropping the linen in the process. He whirled around to find a rather shocked Bakura standing behind him.

"Geez. You're a real pansy, you know that." Bakura remarked.

Ryou glared at him. "You shouldn't sneak up on people like that." He bent down and picked up the linens he had dropped.

This gave Bakura a perfect view of Ryou's ass, which he found to be a rather appealing sigh. "Nice ass."

Ryou snapped his head up. "Stop watching me like that!"

"Well, when you bend over like that-" Bakura trialed off.

Ryou glared at him. "Shut up! And stop stalking me already!" He snatched up the linen and stormed out of the room.

Bakura simply followed. "You have a fiery temper. I like that in a person."

"Well, I'm not here for you to like. I'm here to serve Prince Yugi for the time being!" Ryou snapped. He was getting tired of having to deal with Bakura. And he hadn't been joking about the stalking bit. Bakura seemed to show up everywhere he did, which felt a bit like stalking to him.

"Well-" Bakura started.

"Just leave me alone already!" Ryou then went into Yugi's room and slammed the door.

Bakura smirked. He loved seeing Ryou angry and figured that he was going to have try to make him angry more often.


Aknankanon was in a brief recess from the meeting. He leaned back in his throne. He was already tired, and the morning wasn't even close to being over.

Amara placed a hand on Aknankanon's shoulder. "Don't worry, dear. It will be time for the midday meal before you know it."

"I hope so." Aknankanon replied.

The throne room doors opened.

Since it wasn't time for the session to continue, Aknankanon looked toward the door and was glad to see that it was his son. "What is it, Atemu? I didn't think that you were doing to come to court today."

"I'm not. I just wanted to ask you a question. I was wondering if Yugi and I could go horseback riding." Atemu explained.

Aknankanon raised an eyebrow. He knew that his son had a love of horseback riding, but he wasn't sure about Yugi. "Does he want to go?"

"Yes. He seemed excited at the thought." Atemu answered.

"Then go. Just be careful. And don't wander far from the palace." Aknankanon answered.

"I won't." Atemu answered before leaving the throne room.

Amara smiled. "He seemed to be happy by this. I believe that Atemu is more than in love. I think he would move heaven and earth for Yugi if he wanted it."

Aknankanon laughed. "Yes. I know the feeling."

"I'm glad that they're getting along." Amara stated.


Yugi had wandered down to the stables. He figured that Atemu would come and tell him if they could go to horseback riding. He was looking over the different horses that were in the stables. He then came across a horse with a beautiful tan hide. The coat was shining, and the horse looked over at him. On the horse's forehead looked like a white star. "Hello there." Yugi reached out and petted the horse's head.

The horse leaned down and allowed Yugi to continue petting her.

Yugi continued petting her. "Aren't you just a sweet thing?" Yugi loved animals, and this horse was no exception.

"Hey! Get away from there."

Yugi turned to find that a stable boy was running up to him. "Is there a problem?"

The stable boy looked a little shocked. "Well, uh, that horse is usually volatile. There have been a lot of riders who got hurt because she threw them off."

Yugi looked surprised. He had trouble believing that such a beautiful and tame horse could be the way the stable boy had described her. She seemed to be as calm as could be now. "Are you sure?"

"Very."

Atemu walked into the stables then. "Yugi, Father said-" He trailed off when he saw what horse Yugi was standing by. He was shocked that the horse was allowing Yugi to pet her. She had never done that before! In fact, she had never seemed this calm to anyone before.

"What?" Yugi asked.

"It's just that that horse is usually volatile. No one has ever managed to ride her without being thrown off and severely injured." He watched as Yugi continued to pet the calm animal's head. "For that matter, no one has ever been able to pet her."

"What's her name?" Yugi asked.

"Azzira." Atemu answered.

Yugi smiled. "Well, I think I want to ride her."

"NO!" Atemu and the stable boy protested at the same time.

"Why not? She doesn't seem dangerous to me. She hasn't done anything to make think that she'd hurt me." Yugi told them.

Atemu wasn't sure what to say. He had to admit that Azzira hadn't done anything yet. In fact, this was the calmest that he had ever seen the horse. He just wasn't sure what to do.

"I'll be fine. I've handled dangerous horses before. I'll be fine." Yugi assured them.

Atemu sighed. He was starting to get the feeling that his future husband was rather stubborn. "All right."

The stable boy looked unsure, but said nothing. Who was he to argue with the Prince of Egypt, his future Pharaoh?

"Go get the harness." Atemu told him.

The stable boy went and got it.

"I can do it." Yugi said. He went into the stall and easily saddled the horse up.

Atemu was shocked. He didn't think that anyone had gotten a saddle on Azzira without a fight. He was starting to find that his future husband was full of surprises.

The stable boy looked just as surprised.

Atemu then got his own horse, a solid black stallion, and saddled him up.

Yugi mounted Azzira with no trouble.

"Well, let's go." Atemu said.

The two then headed out of the stables.

The stable boy watched in shock. He had never seen Azzira as calm as she was then. He didn't know how, but the Japanese prince had easily tamed her without doing much at all.


Atemu was officially in shock. He had never seen anyone ride Azzira with such ease before. Most others had been tossed before they could even get her to go, but Yugi had ridden her with no problem at all.

It seemed that there was a great deal about the Japanese prince that he would have to learn.

Once the two came to an oasis, they stopped and got off their horses, allowing the horses to lay down and rest.

"I am surprised." Atemu stated.

Yugi looked back at the older prince with a surprised look on his face. "What do you mean?"

"No one has ever managed to ride Azzira before. It was virtually impossible. She always threw the rider off, but you ride her as if she was the most gentle of animals." Atemu explained.

Yugi smiled. "You just have to have the right touch with some animals. I just did."

Atemu had a feeling that there was a lot more to it than that, but he decided that he would save that conversation for a later date. "In any case, what do you think of the oasis?"

Yugi looked around.

The oasis had a crystal clear blue pool of water that the horses were drinking from. There were also trees that offered a bit of shade from the scorching Egyptian sun.

"It's beautiful here." Yugi answered with a smile.

Atemu smiled, glad that he had managed to awe Yugi. "I'm glad you like it. I always come here when I want to get away from the palace for a little while." He got down off his horse. "It's just very peaceful. Something that doesn't happen in the palace that often."

Yugi had also gotten down from his horse and smiled. "I can understand that. This place is gorgeous. I wouldn't mind coming here more often."

Atemu smiled at his fiancé. "I'm glad you think so." He figured that this was a good start for getting to know Yugi. He then glanced over at Azzira. "I still don't understand how you are able to ride Azzira with such ease. No one has ever managed it. She always throws them off of her."

Yugi looked at the tan horse. "I don't see how she could be so wild. I don't have a problem." He then blushed slightly. "Then again, Mouri did always say that I had some kind of spell over animals. Even the most wild of animals seemed tame when I was around them. At least that's what he said."

"Really?" Atemu was suspired.

Yugi nodded. "I've always loved animals. I had a few pets back in Japan. I had just recently gotten Yoshi. He was a present from my brother Kenji."

"We do have a few animals around the palace.' Atemu stated.

"I'd like to see them." Yugi said.

Atemu nodded and looked at Azzira. He knew that if the way Azzira was with Yugi was any indication, then it meant that Yugi had a way with animals. He wondered what other surprised he'd learn about his fiancé.


Seth entered the lounge, grumbling under his breath.

"What's up with you, Seth?" Joey asked.

"Atemu got out of being in court today, and it burns me up. Especially since he's off gallivanting." Seth flopped down onto one of the chairs. "Honestly, I'll be glad when he's pharaoh so that he can't get out of these things."

Marik and Malik were too busy making out to notice much of what Seth was saying.

Seth growled. "Would you two knock it off or at least go to your room?!"

Marik finally looked up. "Geez. Someone's in a bad mood."

Seth glared.

"Come on, Seth. Just because you're in a bad mood is no reason to take out on them." Joey walked behind Seth and massaged his shoulders. "So, where is 'Tem gallivanting at?"

"I don't know. He and Prince Yugi went off horseback riding somewhere." Seth replied.

"Horseback riding? He could have invited us." Malik pouted. "I love horseback riding."

Joey rolled his eyes. "This was probably a chance for them to get to know each other. And I'm sure 'Tem doesn't want you around while he's doing that."

Seth snorted. "If those two were there, Prince Yugi would be begging his father to call off the marriage."

"And what's that supposed to mean?" Marik demanded.

Seth smirked. "That you are impossible to deal with. And you'd likely scare Prince Yugi to death if you two were around right now. He doesn't know Atemu well, and he certainly doesn't know you two. You're an acquired taste."

"So are you two." Marik retorted.

Bakura suddenly stormed in and slammed the door. "Damn it! Damn it! Damn it!"

The four looked at each other before looking back at Bakura.

"What crawled up your ass?" Marik asked.

Bakura glared at him. "None of your business!"

Malik smirked from his place in Marik's lap. "Oh, I know exactly what's wrong with him. He's got a crush on Prince Yugi's servant, and he hasn't managed to impress him yet. The gossip is that Ryou wants him to leave him alone."

Bakura growled.

Marik snickered. "Bakura can't get someone to like him. It's so hard to believe."

"Oh, shut up!" Bakura snapped.

Seth rolled his eyes. "Maybe if you'd stop being so aggressive, he might give you the time of day."

"No one asked you, Priest!" Bakura snapped before throwing himself into a chair.

"I'm aware of that, but it's the truth. You're used to being blunt and forceful. With Ryou, you'll have to try new tactics." Seth snickered. "I'd wager that you won't have made any progress with him before he has to return to Japan."

Bakura growled at him.

Joey shook his head, hoping Ra would have mercy on Ryou. Or maybe Bakura. He wasn't sure which one to feel sorry for at the moment.


Yugi was rather surprised to find Ryou hiding out in his room when he returned from his outing with Atemu.

"That man has to be the craziest man that ever lived!" Ryou shouted. "I can't do anything without him being there! I step foot out of this room, and there he is. He's stalking me!"

Yugi blinked. "Who?"

"Bakura, that's who! Every time I turn around, he's right there. He's stalking me, and I hate it." Ryou snapped.

Yugi smiled as he sat on his bed. "Well, Ryou, you did always say that you wished someone would pay attention to you."

"But not like this!" Ryou argued as he got out a change of clothes for Yugi.

Yugi laughed. "Be careful what you wish for, Ry."

Ryou groaned.

Yugi shook his head. "Just be patient. Maybe you'll be lucky, and he'll lose interest in you."

"I'm not that lucky." Ryou muttered.


"Azzira?! You let him ride Azzira?!" Aknankanon shouted.

Atemu winced. He should have known that this was coming. After all, his father had given explicit orders that no one try to ride Azzira, and he had let Yugi do just that.

"Atemu, what were you thinking? Prince Yugi could have gotten hurt!" Amara admonished him.

Kenshin frowned. "I'm afraid I don't understand."

"Azzira is a wild, untamable horse. No one rides her because she is uncontrollable. The last person who tried almost died. I ordered no one to ride her." Aknankanon glared at his son. "And I meant it!"

"But Father, nothing happened. In fact, Azzira seemed tame." Atemu said.

"That's insane, Atemu. No horse that wild could be tamed by someone the first time they saw the animal." Aknankanon argued.

Kenshin started laughing. "Don't be so sure, Aknankanon. Yugi is known in my family as the animal whisperer."

"Pardon?" Aknankanon turned to look at his friend. "Animal whisperer?"

Kenshin nodded. "You could get the wildest, most vicious animal you can find, and if you let Yugi near it, that animal will be as harmless as an infant. It would be purring and letting Yugi do whatever. I had the same experience. Only Yugi was five. I nearly had a heart attack when Yugi got near the horse, but then the horse was as calm as could be." Kenshin shook his head. "It's amazing, but true. I believe it."

"That's what happened. Yugi was just petting her and decided he wanted to ride her. Azzira was as calm as could be the entire time we were out. She didn't react well to the stable boy when we returned, but when Yugi started putting her up, she was calm as could be." Atemu stated.

Aknankanon and Amara were shocked and then looked at Kenshin.

Kenshin shrugged. "Animal whisperer. What can I say? My son has a gift."

"I'll be damned." Aknankanon muttered.

Atemu winced at the loud whack that sounded when his father hit Aknankanon on the head.

"Watch your language, Aknankanon!" Amara snapped.

Never use foul language in the presence of the Egyptian queen. It did not end well for anyone.


"What do you think of Prince Atemu, Yugi?" Ryou asked.

Yugi was changing into his night clothes. He came out of the bathing chambers and looked at his friend. "He seems nice. I've only known him a few days." Yugi smiled. "He took me out to this oasis where he said he likes to go when he wants to get away from the chaos of the palace. It was beautiful and quiet there. We talked until we had to come back."

Ryou smiled. "That's good to hear." He snickered. "And I think you're smitten with him."

Yugi blushed at that. "Well, maybe."

Ryou laughed. "You are."

"I suppose, but it's too soon to really know what kind of person he is." Yugi said.

Ryou nodded.

Yugi didn't want to admit it, but he was already falling in love with the prince of Egypt, and he had only known him a few days. He had to admit that Atemu was handsome and strong. He had been very nice to him so far. Those crimson eyes of his were to die for.

But could Atemu fall for him?


Atemu flopped back onto his bed. Ra had already set, and the young prince had just finished doing some work Shimon had left for him. He was tired, but his mind was working too much to let him sleep.

And his thoughts were focused on Yugi.

Atemu knew that he had already fallen in love with the little prince. He got lost every time he stared into Yugi's amethyst eyes. He had also found that Yugi was very sweet and innocent. He also noticed that Yugi was very kind to others. He wondered what else he would learn about his fiancé.

Atemu sat up and looked out his balcony. "I want Yugi to be happy and comfortable here, but I'm not sure how to do it. Egypt is a lot different than Japan, and it'll be a big change for him." Atemu frowned. "What can I do to make him happy here."

Atemu sighed before laying down. "I'll figure it out later." He thought that maybe he could find something to give to Yugi as a welcome gift.

But what?


Leave a review and let me know what you thought!

Again, sorry for being gone for a few years, Hopefully, my writing muse will stay with me a while.