Disclaimer: I don't own Yugioh or any characters associated with it. The only thing I own is the premise of the fic and Alaine herself.

Punishment

This lifetime was meant for her to pay for past transgressions in full. A clean slate for the next life, if only she would don the red rose.

It says much of her person that she chose to dig herself in deeper instead.

Stranger

Even though it was only their first meeting, Christian could not claim the Rose Duelist was a complete stranger. Rather, the meeting had the air of old friends crossing paths after long years apart.

Betrayal

She could try to justify her actions to them, try to make them understand why she did not come running as they desired, a puppy eager to please her masters.

Instead, Alaine offers nothing, even when some find it in themselves to ask.

Success

His plans proceed smoothly, even with that one bump on the road in the form of Gwyn abducting the Rose Duelist to acquire some of her blood. They are slowly losing their hold in England but she is out there, winning the battles that matter.

If his plans are coming to fruition, why does he find it so hard to look her in the eye?

Dragon

Even without the armor, he reminds her of that mythical beast, his gaze promising many things: power, knowledge, his love and danger, should she disturb the beast slumbering within.

But then, that is always a risk when dealing with dragons.

Book

He always considered himself a person that could not be easily read, a book with difficult cyphers even after the lock keeping it closed had been broken.

So why was it that she could read him so easily?

Penance

The geis compels her to feel knives where she should feel tiles or grass. It's even specific enough to have Alaine hear the slicing of the blades when she steps on them. It's becoming harder to evade his questions regarding the bloody bandages around her feet.

In the end, what they have is worth this pain.

Armor

It seemed to him that she fussed over his bruise more than was necessary. Yes, he had gotten blindsided and it resulted in a neatly melted hole in his armor but he was perfectly fine!

Yet for all of that, he secretly liked the attention.

Mistakes

He had not known what he'd wrought, bringing Arawn into their world but instead of calling him out, Alaine simply steps forward and places her hand on his own gauntlet-covered one.

King of the Underworld or not, they would duel him and win.