A/N: Taphoshipping (Father Ishtar x Mother Ishtar) for Season 10 Tier 7 of YGO Fanfiction Contest. So canon it hurts. Also, watch me work around the fact that they are nameless.

Disclaimer: Kazuki Takahashi and all associated companies are the rightful owners of the Yuugiou! franchise and I claim no association with any of them. No copyright infringement intended with this and no money is being made from this. Please support the creator by purchasing the official releases.

Warnings: none.

Fata Morgana

She daydreams of many things. She shares her dreams with the previous generations and will probably share them with the ones still to come; but somewhere there is hope. A burning desire for the coming of the Pharaoh, for it would set them all free. It would have them all walk above the ground where the sunlight is abundant and the world is magnificent and bright. Her mind spins stories of His return, of the re-emergence of her people, of sun and wind and the wide desert, which she has seen only a few times. Their kind has no business mingling with the common folk. They have a mission.

The day she is first brought before her husband, her dreams spin out of control. It is honour, great honour; all of her relatives claim this because he is the only son of their clan leader. Yes, it may be honour for them, but for her it is a break. A step closer to the Pharaoh, to his coming. Because who else if not this man could find him? Who else if not this man is destined to recognise him, risen again after millennia. When she looks at him she sees only hope. Hope for herself, for their clan, for a different life. She thinks herself so close to the overground that she can almost taste the desert air and feel the wind against her robes.

She dreams and hopes, and hopes and dreams. It's closer now, she tirelessly tells herself. It's closer every day. Somehow, someway, the Pharaoh is almost within reach. But her husband doesn't seek him out. He's only worried about not having an heir yet, even after years of marriage. He casts looks of resentment her way, but she doesn't feel their full weight because he is the one who will set them all free again. How can she look at him any differently because of that?

People begin to whisper. If there is no child, if there is no heir, their line ends. He is the only son and none of his sisters' children are eligible to continue their dynasty. She is a good wife, but nothing else. Her dreams begin to fade and she grows wary of their destiny. Who knows how many more generations will come and wither before the Pharaoh comes? She would like to believe in miracles, but miracles are hard to come by. Harder still when you live underground.

When an abandoned child is found and brought to her, she knows. It isn't a miracle as her husband claims. It isn't a blessing. It isn't just a continuation of their line. She knows the truth. She knows the way only a woman can know, for she hears the whispers in the dark which men pay no attention to. The child isn't abandoned. It isn't a cast-off of the overground. It has been left there with purpose. It is a gift. And she knows the giver. And she'll take that secret to her grave.

They raise the child as their own and her dreams change. They whisper her of a brighter future for her child because surely, surely the Pharaoh will come now. Surely, he will… But underneath it all she knows the truth. They are bound to wait forever. They are bound to continue their line. She knows that her daydreams are empty. She never speaks of them to anyone. She knows better. She knows her duty.

By the time a child of her own enters this world, she has almost forgotten her daydreams. They all seem so small and insignificant to her now. The burden her husband bears as the clan leader has settled on her shoulders as well. His worries are her worries. His needs are her needs. She still has stories to tell her children, but they're all about honour and duty and the Pharaoh who is destined to come again. But the Pharaoh hasn't come yet. And her dreams have run aground.

In the eyes of her people, she is a good wife to an honourable husband. And the darkness still whispers, but she has grown deaf to it because it's better to not hear. Those without hope can't find any consolation in it. And she's almost at the end of her rope.