Finally got this chapter done. I've been working as a sub so I've been kind of tired and not in the mood to write. Then I had to redo the end of the chapter because I did not like how it turned out the first time.
But I finished it, and here's the next chapter!
Disclaimer: I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh! or any of its associated characters!
Chapter 6- The Gift part 1
Atemu raced down the halls of the palace as fast as he could. He was vaguely aware of others following him, but he really didn't care about that at the moment. He swore that if Kamila harmed his Yugi in any way, he was going to kill the damned tiger himself!
Ahead at the gate where Kamila was kept, Atemu could see that Mana was standing at the gate, looking in. Immediately, Atemu wanted to know why Mana was just standing there and not using her magic to help Yugi already! He would worry about Mana after he knew that Yugi was all right. Then he'd kill her!
Mana heard footsteps and looked back. She was surprised to see the royal family running toward her. She started to say something.
However, Atemu simply ran right by her and out into the gated garden.
"Atemu! Wait!" Amara called, worried that Kamila might attack her son.
Atemu turned the corner and stopped dead in his tracks, shocked.
Yugi was sitting on the ground with Kamila's head in his lap. He was stroking her head, and Kamila was purring loudly, clearly enjoying the attention that she was being given. One of the tiger cubs was sitting on Yugi's shoulder, rubbing Yugi in the face. Two others were playing with Kamila's tail, which was flicking every which way. The last tiger cub was lying at Yugi's feet, pawing lightly at Yugi's feet.
At hearing a sound, Yugi looked up and smiled when he saw his fiancé standing there. "Hi, Atemu. What are you doing here?"
Atemu had expected to find that Kamila had backed Yugi into a corner or about to attack him. He hadn't expected Yugi to be petting her or for Kamila to be purring like a kitten.
Amara, Aknankanon, Kenshin, and Mahado had come in behind Atemu and were also staring, rather shocked.
Yugi looked confused. "What's going on?" He then realized that maybe he not ought to have entered this area without asking. "Was this area off limits? I didn't realize it if it was."
Amara smiled. "No, it's not off limits. At least, not officially." She walked by her shocked son and walked over to where Yugi was before he knelt down and scratched Kamila behind the ears. "Kamila, is, well, she's known for acting like she's going to attack someone most of the time. She's a pet tiger that Aknankanon gave me not long ago, but she doesn't really like anyone except me." She looked down at her tiger, who appeared to be rather content lying with Yugi. "And you, apparently."
Yugi glanced down. "Really? She seems pretty tame. I mean, she did growl at me, but I think that's more because I was at her cubs."
Atemu shook his head. "Why would she be so tame now?" He walked forward a few steps.
Kamila raised her head and released a warning growl.
Atemu instantly backed up, worried that Kamila might decide to attack him.
Yugi shook his head. "Calm down, girl. He's not going to hurt anyone."
Kamila looked up at Yugi before laying her head back down in Yugi's lap.
Kenshin burst out laughing at the sight. "What can I say? Yugi is the animal whisperer. He hasn't met an animal yet that hasn't liked him."
Yugi blushed at the comment.
Aknankanon put a hand to his head. "First Azzira, and now Kamila." He looked at his future son-in-law. "Yugi, if you keep this up, you'll have every animal around the palace as your best friend."
Kenshin clapped a hand on Aknankanon's shoulder. "Aknankanon, my friend, I guarantee you that that will happen."
Mahado sighed. "Well, since it appears that all is well, I believe I will return to my duties." He turned and left, grabbing Mana in his way out.
"Master!" Mana whined.
"Don't argue, Mana! You have your studies to attend to!" Mahado retorted.
Yugi hadn't even noticed the brunette girl before now. He made a mental note to ask Atemu about her later.
"Well, since all is well, I believe that we have issues to discuss, do we not?" Kenshin asked, looking at Aknankanon.
"Yes, of course." Aknankanon looked at his wife. "Amara, are you coming?"
"Of course." Amara stood up. "And since we know that Kamila likes you, Yugi, you can come in here and see her and the cubs any time."
"Do the cubs have names?" Yugi asked.
"Not yet. I can't decide, actually." Amara chuckled. "Feel free to name them, though."
Amara then turned to leave.
Atemu was the only who remained. "Yugi, you surprise me more and more every day."
Yugi laughed. "We've only known each other a few days, Atemu. Of course we're going to surprise each other." He looked down at a rather content looking Kamila. "Come on over and sit down."
Atemu stared at him as if he had grown a second head. "Are you out of your mind? She might be tame as a kitten with you, but she'd probably bite my hand off."
Yugi laughed. "And have you really spent much time around her?"
Atemu considered that. "No." He wasn't about to lie to his fiancé.
Yugi waved him. "Just come easy. She's not really going to hurt you. I honestly don't think she'd hurt anyone." He looked up. "Or has she attacked someone before?"
Atemu thought about that a moment and frowned. "You know, I honestly don't remember her ever attacking anyone. She would growl and tense like she was going to attack. It's why Father placed her here so that she wouldn't hurt anyone."
Yugi nodded. "I bet she wouldn't hurt anyone." He chuckled. "She's just misunderstood, like Azzira."
Atemu watched Yugi. He could tell that his fiancé loved the large cat already. He suspected that Yugi was going to be a collector of animals if he could manage it. He was hesitant to get near Kamila, but decided that he would trust Yugi. He walked forward warily.
Kamila raised her head and growled.
"Kamila, stop that!" Yugi ordered.
The large tiger looked up at Yugi.
"He's not a threat to anyone. Now enough!" Yugi told her.
Kamila looked back at Atemu for a moment before she decided to lay her head back down. Besides, she liked the attention way too much.
Atemu continued over until he reached Yugi and then sat down by his fiancé.
"See. Nothing to worry about." Yugi scratched Kamila behind the ears. "Isn't that right, girl? You're just a great big pussycat."
Kamila let off a small sound.
Atemu shook his head. "I never thought that I would see the day that Kamila would actually be this tame around anyone but my mother."
Yugi giggled. "Well, life is full of surprises."
One of the tiger cubs crawled up into Atemu's lap and started pawing at the medallion the Egyptian prince wore around his neck.
"Well, someone likes me, apparently." Atemu stated, starting to pet the cub.
Yugi smiled. "See. If you would just try to get near her instead of acting scared, you'd see that she's not a threat."
Atemu supposed that his fiancé was right.
Yugi looked down at the cubs and then sighed wistfully.
Atemu looked at Yugi, concerned. "Are you all right?"
Yugi glanced at him. "Oh. I'm fine. I guess being around them makes me miss Yoshi."
Atemu remembered Yugi talking about his pet back in Japan. "Oh. Your pet in Japan."
Yugi nodded. "I really miss him. He was just a cub, so he was really playful. And his fur was really soft." He then laughed. "And Yoshi had beautiful blue eyes, though they might change in color."
Atemu blinked. "Hold on. What kind of animal is Yoshi?"
"A tiger." Yugi replied.
"A tiger? You didn't mention that." Atemu remarked.
Yugi blushed. "Sorry. I tend to forget to elaborate on things at time." He laughed lightly. "It's one of the things that Ryou gets on to me about."
Atemu had picked up a stick and was idly playing with the tiger cub in his lab. 'So, Yugi's pet was a tiger. Explains why he likes them so much.' He glanced over to see Yugi still stroking Kamila's head at the same time he was playing with the cub that was still perched on his shoulder. It was then that Atemu had a stroke of genius. 'I wonder if Mother and Father will approve. I hope so.' He thought he knew what he could give to Yugi as a welcome gift.
Kenshin laughed. "I told you that that son of mine was the animal whisperer, Aknankanon. Every animal he comes into contact with will fall in love with him." He smirked mischievously. "And I'm sure that if you offered to let him have all four of those cubs, I guarantee you he would take you up on that offer." The Japanese Emperor chuckled. "In fact, he treats those animals like they were his babies, so I know he'd pamper them."
Aknankanon shook his head. "I just don't understand how that boy could tame Kamila, who has to be the fiercest tiger I have ever met."
Amara rolled her eyes. "Other than her cubs, Kamila IS the only tiger you have ever met."
Aknankanon looked sheepishly at his wife.
Kenshin laughed. "If Yugi has his way, and I get the feeling Atemu will try to fulfil every wish my son has, then he'll have quite a few pets roaming around the palace since he will be living here now."
Aknankanon looked at his friend warily. "And just how many of these pets are we talking?"
Kenshin chuckled. "As many as Yugi can manage to convince Atemu let him have."
Amara smiled. "Well, I'm glad to see that animals seem to like Yugi so much." She covered her mouth as she laughed. "You know, at least when we have wild horses that seem untamable, we can always give them to Yugi."
"Indeed. He'll have them eating out of the palm of his hand." Kenshin stated. He smirked. "Literally."
Aknankanon shook his head. He knew that his son was in trouble because he knew how smitten Atemu already was with the Japanese prince. Which meant that the palace would be crawling with all types of animals.
"In any case, we do have business that we need to get back to." Kenshin stated.
"Indeed." Aknankanon agreed.
Atemu wasn't sure how he had managed it, but he finally gotten Yugi to leave the tigers and go back into the palace.
"Sorry, Atemu." Yugi told him, blushing lightly. "I tend to get attached to animals quickly. I also have problems leaving them alone."
Atemu looked at Yugi. "So, was it difficult to leave Yoshi behind?"
Yugi smiled sadly. "Very, but I knew I had to. My brothers will take care of him, but it doesn't change the fact that I miss him."
Atemu reached over and took Yugi's hand in his own. "I'm sorry, Yugi."
"Don't be, Atemu. It's not your fault." Yugi assured him.
Atemu still felt guilty and only felt more resolve to ask his parents about his idea. He thought that it was the least that he could do for Yugi.
"Will you stop following me everywhere! You're like a damned stalker, and I am sick of it!"
"I am not a stalker! And why did you slap me?!"
"Because you were coming on to me, and I didn't like it!"
"That's Ryou." Yugi was shocked because Ryou never raised his voice, and Ryou definitely didn't swear.
"And Bakura." Atemu groaned, knowing that Bakura had finally pushed Ryou to the limits of what he could stand.
The two hurried to where they could hear them arguing and found Bakura holding his cheek while glaring at Ryou, who was glaring right back at Bakura and looking really pissed.
"You didn't have to slap me!" Bakura snapped.
"You wouldn't back off!" Ryou retorted.
"You'd think that you would be flattered that you had someone like me coming on to you!"
"Flattered?! I'm not flattered that you follow me everywhere looking for any chance you get to come onto me! It's not flattering! It's creepy!"
Neither of the white-haired teens had taken notice of the fact that the two princes were there watching as they argued.
"You know what?! You're really not worth my time!"
"Well, good! You can find someone else to stalk because I'm sick of it!"
With that, the two turned away from each other and stalked away in opposite directions.
"Bakura's not through trying to seduce Ryou, is he?" Yugi asked.
"Nope." Atemu sighed and rubbed his temples. "If anything, he's just getting warmed up." The tanned Egyptian looked over at Yugi. "Any chance that Ryou might decide to give in to Bakura?"
"Not likely." Yugi laughed. "Though I may have to congratulate Bakura."
"Because Bakura's done what no one else has managed. He's gotten Ryou to yell and to curse. I've never heard Ryou do either." Yugi explained.
"Leave it to Bakura to bring out the worst in people." Atemu muttered.
"So," Marik drawled, looking over at where Seth was reading a scroll and Joey was tending to a plant in the lunge, "I heard that Bakura and his Japanese look-a-like are competing with you two for the crown of loudest and longest argument."
Seth snorted. "Please. There is no one that's going to manage that." He would never admit it, but he was proud of the fierceness of his early arguments with Joey. Those had been the highlight of his day for quite a few months.
"I don't know." Malik stated from his perch in Marik's lap. "They got pretty fierce." He smirked. "And I think that Ryou's ability to stand up to him has caught Bakura's attention."
Seth shrugged. "Doesn't really matter as it is. Bakura's love life is not our concern." He read over some more of the scroll. "Besides, once Prince Yugi is married, Ryou will probably go back to Japan."
"Aww! Poor Bakura's going to be heartbroken." Marik said in a fake concerned tone.
Joey rolled his eyes. "Man, you really are broken over that thought."
"I'll try to contain my tears when it happens." Marik snickered.
Malik shook his head. Sometimes, he wondered if his husband was a complete sociopath. Then again, many would say that Malik himself was a sociopath.
Atemu had gone to his father's office, knowing that his mother could be found there most of the time if there was nothing else that the queen needed to be doing at the moment. He knocked on the door to his father's office, hoping that his father wasn't too busy. Or that his parents weren't busy. That thought made him feel a bit nauseous.
"Come in!" Aknankanon called.
Atemu opened the door and was relieved to find that only his father was in the office. It meant that he hadn't interrupted anything.
"What can I do for you, Atemu?" Aknankanon asked, a little surprised to his son. He frowned. "If you're not in your lessons with Shimon, shouldn't you be with Prince Yugi?"
Atemu walked into the office. "Well, this sort of concerns him."
Aknankanon grew worried. "Nothing is wrong, right?"
"Oh, no!" Atemu said quickly. He certainly didn't want his father thinking that there was a reason to call off the marriage. Not when Atemu had found himself caring so much for the Japanese prince. "It's just that since Yugi is going to be living here now, I thought that I could give him a gift as sort of a welcoming gift."
Aknankanon smiled. "That is an excellent idea, Atemu. I'm sure that Prince Yugi will appreciate the gesture."
Atemu rubbed the back of his head. "Well, I actually needed to talk to Mother about it."
"Ah! You want her opinion on the gift that you give him." Aknankanon knew that he would have gone to Amara for help in the area.
"Um, not exactly. I know what I want to give him, but I need Mother's permission." Atemu explained.
Aknankanon wondered what kind of gift his son wanted to give Yugi that would require his mother's permission. "Well, she's actually in the ballroom, getting everything set up for the ball. You could probably find her there."
"Thank you, Father." Atemu then turned and left the room.
Aknankanon watched his son go and chuckled. "He's young and already in love. " He knew that he had given Amara gifts himself at that age.
"That egotistical, self-absorbed, conceited, arrogant bastard!" Ryou seethed as he stalked around Yugi's room, arranging things and then rearranging things.
Yugi watched from his place on the bed. He was hunched over with his elbows resting on his knees and his chin resting on top of his interlaced hands. He shook his head. He knew his friend well enough to know that this was Ryou trying to calm himself down.
"He thinks I'm being unreasonable when he's the one who's following me everywhere I go! I can't get a moment's peace!" Ryou slammed the vase down, and Yugi winced as he heard a crack. "I turn around and there he is! I swear he loves making me uneasy! And he thinks it's flattering! It's not! It's downright creepy!"
Yugi sighed. He knew that Ryou had been ranting on and on like this for quite some time. He wondered how long it would be before Ryou finally got tired of ranting.
"I wish that crazed maniac would just leave me alone! I'd like to do my job without having him around every chance he gets!" Ryou growled.
Yugi sighed. "Ryou."
"That arrogant man thinks that he can just come around and do whatever he wants! He probably thinks that I should fall in love with him instantly and do whatever he wants! How conceited!" Ryou was gathering the dirty clothes and setting them in a pile to do later.
"I just wish he would leave me alone! If he doesn't, I'll go insane!" Ryou continued.
Ryou jumped and whirled around to face his friend. "What?"
Yugi sighed again. "Would you stop already and admit that you have been denying?"
Ryou blinked, confused. "Admit what?"
Yugi rolled his eyes. "That you are attracted to him and that you love the attention you're getting from him."
Ryou's face turned beat red at that statement. "I do not find him attractive! And I can't stand his attention!"
Yugi giggled. "The more you deny it, the more I'm convinced you love it."
"Yugi!" Ryou cried.
Yugi shrugged. "I know you, Ryou. I can see through the masks, and I know you like it. You're as intrigued with him as he is with you." The Japanese prince stood up. "And neither of you want to do anything about it."
"Yugi, I-that's not-I don't-" Ryou stammered.
Yugi smiled at his friend. "I'm going to visit the library and get some reading material. I'll be in the gardens if you need me." He then left the room.
"I do not like him." Ryou muttered, though he knew that he was lying to himself about it.
Atemu had gone to the ballroom and wasn't surprised to see servants running all over the room as they were getting everything set up for the ball. The prince scanned the room and saw his mother and Isis standing in the center of the room looking over several pieces of papyrus.
"Perhaps we should have the food table set up on the other side of the room, Isis. I don't think anyone really wants the food set up near the balcony." Amara said.
"Hmm. Perhaps you are right." Isis looked at the diagram of the ballroom and pointed to several places. "I believe that we should have guards set up in these places. In addition, I think having some of the guards mingle with the guests would be a good idea."
"Why more guards?" Amara asked, looking at the priestess. Her eyes trailed down to the Millennium Necklace around Isis's neck. "You have not seen danger, have you?"
Isis laughed. "No, Your Majesty. Nothing of the sort." She then turned serious. "This will be the first ball that Prince Yugi will be attending. I just don't want to run the risk of an attempt on his life. Some are not happy about the arranged marriage."
"Ah. Perhaps that is a good idea." Amara agreed.
"Do you really think someone would try to kill him?"
Amara and Isis turned to find Atemu standing there, looking worried.
"I have not seen anything, Prince Atemu. It's just a precaution." Isis assured him.
Atemu nodded, feeling more at ease since he knew Isis had had no vision. He hadn't even considered that there might be those in Egypt who did not approve of his marrying Yugi and would try to harm him. It was unsettling and meant that the prince would remain close to his fiancé throughout the ball.
Amara rolled her eyes. "Please don't fret about this, Atemu. I am certain that everything will be fine." She could easily see just how concerned her son was for Yugi. "Now, was there a reason that you came here?"
Atemu was startled before he remembered exactly why he was there. "Oh! Yes, there was. Would it be possible for me to speak with you for a few moments, Mother?"
"Of course." Amara then looked over at Isis. "Will you be able to handle things for a few moments?"
"Certainly, Your Majesty." Isis assured her.
Amara and Atemu then walked out to the gardens that were off from the ballroom, where servants were also decorating for the upcoming ball.
"Now, what is on your mind, Atemu?" Amara asked.
"Well, Mother, I was thinking about how Yugi has to leave everything he knew from his homeland behind, and I know that this move will be hard on him. He is a stranger to Egypt, so I thought that I would give him a gift. As a way to welcome him here. I thought he might feel more at home that way." Atemu explained.
Amara's eyes lit up at her son's statements. "Oh, Atemu, that's a wonderful idea!" She threw her arms around her son and hugged him tightly. "That's so thoughtful of you!"
"Mother, please!" Atemu groaned. He was embarrassed enough that his mother was hugging him in public like this, but it was worse since there were servants around who were witnessing this.
Amara laughed as she released her son. "I'm sorry, Atemu, but you've never been especially considerate to anyone other your father and me. And perhaps your cousin and friends." Her eyes took on a mischievous glint. "Meaning Prince Yugi has already become very important to you."
Atemu blushed lightly, though it was barely noticeable against his tanned skin. "Mother."
Amara laughed. "Well, since you came to me, I assume you need my help figuring out what to give him." She knew her son, and she knew that Atemu was horrible with thinking of things to give people; a trait he had inherited from his father.
"Not exactly." Atemu looked at his mother. "I actually know what I want to give Yugi. I just need your permission."
Amara raised an eyebrow, signaling that she needed more information.
"Well, while Yugi and I were with the tiger cubs and Kamila earlier, he told me about a tiger cub his older brother had given him for his past birthday, and Yugi mentioned he missed the tiger. Well, I know it won't replace the one he left behind, but I thought that I could give Yugi one of Kamila's cubs. If you were okay with it, that is." Atemu added the last part quickly.
"Really?" Amara smiled. "I'm sure that Yugi would love to have one of the cubs." She chuckled. "He'd be happy to have all of them."
Atemu groaned. "I know, but I think that one is more than enough."
Amara shook her head. "Of course you can give one of the cubs to Yugi. In fact, let him choose the one he wants." She then turned serious. "But you need to understand that the cubs can't be taken from Kamila just yet."
"I understand, Mother." Atemu smiled and gave his mother a quick hug. "Thank you, Mother. I'm sure that Yugi will love this."
Amara laughed. "I'm sure he will as well. When will you tell him?"
"Soon. Not yet, though." Atemu replied.
Amara nodded. "All right. Now get going. I have to get the ball set up."
"Yes, Mother." Atemu then left, feeling happy that his gift idea had gained his mother's approval.
Amara chuckled as she watched her son leave. "Love at first sight isn't real, he said only a year ago. Now, he's a victim of it himself." She turned and headed back inside, laughing at the irony of it all.
Hope you liked it!
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