AN: So, I decided that while I was updating Dark Myst I would try and update this as well. I'll try to get back to the other two—Yami no Bakura and Resident Heroes—soon. I just need to read over everything and try to remember what I was planning. Or find the notes. I know at least one of those had notes.

Hey, I promised I would finish, so it's time to start hittin' it again!

I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh, nope, no sirree Bob.

oO000Oo

Yuugi felt like his dragon guardians had abandoned him as he strolled across the courtyard, a guard on either side of him. It was time for the first half of the ceremony, and his nervousness was back, worse than ever. It had gone from butterflies to birds, and now to some sort of heavy, clawing monster trying to do backflips.

This part was supposed to be private—or as private as it could get for the royal family, so three reporters, his guards, his father and older sister, and a representative of all six noble houses. It made him want to puke, trying to connect with a dragon in front of all those people, but he didn't have a choice; cutting the reports apparently would start a bunch of conspiracies, according to his father; he couldn't go without protection; his family was fine, he knew they would love him no matter what; and cutting any of the representatives was inviting a war.

He wondered what color he would get. The brood dragon belonged to a cousin of his, and the sire belonged to his father; an interesting combination, was sky blue and emerald. He would probably end up with some bright yellow, wiggly little thing.

He stepped into a small room, barely more than a closet, and changed into a ceremonial white robe with purple knot work. He folded his clothes neatly, setting his locket and seal ring on top. At the door, he froze, inhaling deeply.

There was no going back after this. He was sixteen and about to have his fate decided. Maybe he should have asked his sister, Yukiko, how it had felt. Had she been this scared? She had not showed it, if she was.

Then he pushed the door open and stepped through, startling a guard who had been about to knock. Hurriedly, the guard bowed and led him into the room where the pups were awaiting their new handlers.

Yuugi was not the only one choosing his companion today; Mokuba Kaiba would be in right after him, as he belonged to one of the crown's biggest supporters, plus a couple of other children, who he did not know but their families had earned the right to choose from a royal clutch.

Yuugi was actually considered late in choosing; dragons could mate every other year in the wild, raising their clutch to adulthood before choosing their next mate—who was almost always the one who fathered the last clutch. In captivity, many were forced to mate with dragons they had never met before, so they often spent two or three years getting used to the other's presence. Added to the extra time delay was that Yuugi could only choose from a clutch Ari, his father's dragon, had sired.

Inside, the pups paused at the sight of him, tasting the air curiously. Then a big red male—identifiable by the tiny bumps on his forehead that would eventually grow into ram-like horns—tackled his brother, a pale pink. The rest continued their game, ignoring the princeling.

He sighed; just his luck. He had hoped one would wander up immediately so he could get this over with, but that was clearly not going to happen. Carefully, he sat, arranging his robe to keep his crossed legs covered and waited. Settling into a meditative state, he closed his eyes and counted his heartbeats.

He was startled to full consciousness 2,487 beats later by a gentle nudge.

Yuugi opened his eyes to a coal black dragon pup trying to climb in his lap. He gently rubbed a finger between its eyes and over its brow ridge, frowning when he didn't feel the horn nubs. It—she—purred, pushing her head under his hand, demanding.

She could very well spill everything to the public, and he just wasn't ready for that. He gently pushed her away.

She squawked indignantly, digging her claws into his thigh and hissing when he tried to disentangle her. She gave him the most reproachful look she could muster—it looked so funny on her little face, he fought not to laugh. He maintained his silence, though, when he sealed his fate.

He looked her straight in the eye, and recognized her.

oO000Oo

Atem: I think I know where this is going…

Me: *punches shoulder* Don't ruin it!

Atem: Was that supposed to hurt?

Bakura: *snickers*

Me: -.- Please review.