In her cell under the palace, waiting for Seto to whom she owns her life twice, Kisara gets visited by a stranger who, by all means of logic, should be out fighting the pharaoh.
Disclaimer: This is written only for greater glory of Yu-Gi-Oh! (which I don't own), and no profit is made with it. As if anyone would pay for it.
Ancient Egypt arc spoiler - or rather, the story's probably rather incomprehensible if you haven't seen it.
The timeline isn't entirely respected.
I'm not a native speaker; I apologise in forward for possible language mistakes.
/W/e're tools, he tells her.
She tries not to listen, but his low, whispered voice is to human to ignore.
The cell is damp and cold, but she's given a warm carpet and feed with good food, and she doesn't suffer.
She hates his laughter.
And still laughing, he says: you're lying,. You suffer from those cold walls that surround you. You miss the sky above you, the light of the sun and the stars, the freedom to fly, /dragon/.
She doesn't ask how he knows.
She misses the night too; the yellow-red, unreal light of the torches is always there. Her sleep is always dreamless, and she feels as if she could never close her eyes.
We're tools, he tells her. They speak of rightness and justice until they believe their own lies and they use us to fulfil their crimes.
She tries to close her ears to his voice. She knows who he is, and doesn't know how he found her. He's always gone when they come and bring her food and check on her health. She never sees him come when they're gone.
His eyes seem made of stone, grey and hard, and she cannot read in them. She can only imagine greed and malice and sincerity.
And when she tries to find them nonetheless, he looks back at her until she drops her gaze, and she is sure he can see the white dragon behind.
You must rebel or they will manipulate you in their hands until you break.
She waits for Seto to come and she trembles every minute for him. He's away fighting the one who mysteriously appears in her cell almost every day or every night.
They'll rip your soul apart and seal it into stone and enslave it.
We are only two more sacrifices, he says. But you can escape as I have.
He wants the dragon, she thinks. She's scared, scared of being forgotten here far under the earth, scared of the thief who's found a way to break into her prison, scared of the priest to whom she owes her life a second time, and whom she misses.
You owe him nothing, he says, because she speaks of Seto, because she has to speak of Seto, since she cannot see him. He's seen your power, and he'll rip it away. That's why you're here. He'll come soon enough, and he'll kill you.
She almost falls into the trap, but she catches herself just before she succumbs to the temptation to contradict him.
Her life belongs to the high priest, she explains. He has saved her, a stranger, and his village has been destroyed because of her. If he wishes to take her power, he can.
He was a child, he answers. Would he have done the same if he'd been aware of the danger in which he puts himself and his village?
This is not for her to judge, she says softly.
She doesn't want to die. She's afraid of the priest's return. But she won't flee.
She's too afraid to act, he says, and he can erase that fear easily. He has done so for himself. He inspires fear, by now.
But she doesn't want to become like him. She'd rather be sacrificed by the priest... And she has nothing to avenge.
He doesn't answer to that: his disbelieving smile says enough.
She's judging him, yet she's speaking lightly about throwing her life away. How can she pretend to have any more respect for life? It's a poor start.
He tells her of the village of thieves he's coming from. For the first time, there is fire in the cold grey eyes, when he describes its end.
If she wishes so deeply to repay the priest, how could he not want the same?
He twists her words around;
repeats them without changing a single one, yet makes them sound so different she can't figure out her own thoughts.
She tries to ignore him when he's there, but she misses him when he's gone. She doesn't know how he manages to enter. She's never told her caretakers that he comes. She's never tried to call the guards that may still be outside when he's there. But she would tell Seto, and he knows.
They're losing, he tells her, and there are dark marks on his red coat that night. You're not safe in this cell under the palace. They lose a bit more every day, and soon they'll throw you between themselves and the danger to gain a little time.
You're the one they're fighting, she reminds him softly, as she has before. You could flee and save us both.
He tells her of the creation of those items of which he's holding one already. He tells her of the sacrifice of an entire village; he tells her how they have been forged in blood, and she backs away from the so peaceful looking gold of the ring.
They know, he says. They know of the source of their power, yet they continue to use it without remorse. They destroy and destroy and destroy, and he's the only survivor of Kuru Eruna: those items belong to him. And he will take them.
You want justice, she understands.
He laughs. His laughter makes her shiver, victorious and joyless, and yet bare of bitterness.
He's wanted justice, long long ago. Now all he wants is revenge.
Justice is implacable and cold instead of warm and thrilling. Like all things stolen, revenge is sweeter than all things owned or due rightfully.
She doesn't answer. She thinks of Seto and his always so confident blue eyes.
He should not be here, he continues. If the priests and the pharaoh had their way, he'd be locked in in a much darker cell than hers, awaiting his execution. If he'd follow his plan, he'd be out there to fight them. Yet he's sitting here and talking. This time he spends with her is stolen time; stolen from her who would not grant it; stolen from them who want him dead; stolen from himself who should not allow it. This is what makes it so delicious.
And she doesn't want to hear him speak of the most intoxicating thievery that is murder and sacrilege, stolen from the gods he's sworn to surpass; and in the end she wants him to be silent. She kisses him.
Their lips barely touch and then she pulls back. He looks surprised for a moment. Then he smiles.
She's never liked his smile.
This is thievery as well, he tells her: she's taken him by surprise. She, as the lady, shouldn't have made the first move anyway. And she wouldn't dare say there is nothing enjoyable in thievery...?
He has made the first move, she protests, by coming to her cell.
But that wasn't the same. He never touched her, not even the tip of her hair.
She looks down and doesn't see his gaze on her; he leaves without her noticing. He's fleeing, but she doesn't know.
He doesn't come for ten whole days after the incident that almost cost her and Seto's life, but eventually, he finds her.
She doesn't ask how. She accepts that he can. There's a second item attached to his neck, a golden pyramid.
She's awake since two days. She has seen Seto, but she has had no chance to talk to him.
He has saved her, once again. He has not watched her die as the other priest wanted. He's risked his life.
What happened to the two other prisoners? he asks.
He laughs at her silence. He caresses over her hair, so lightly she almost doesn't feel it.
I'd be careful, he warns.
What happened to those who do not own a godlike ka, and are neither young nor beautiful?
She doesn't have another debt to the priest.
Whose fault was it she was even there? Who has saved both of them in the end?
He's twisting her tale around. She doesn't know what he wants, she can't figure out if she trusts him to much or to little.
He wants the dragon, she thinks, but she isn't sure anymore.
You could break through those walls if you wanted. You could flee through the sky.
But she can't she hasn't mastered the dragon - and she can't flee. That much at least, she owes Seto.
It angers him, and she wonders what he would gain of her fleeing. Would you come with me, she asks, would you leave the stolen items on the palace's doorstep and save us all?
He doesn't answer. His eyes turn dark when she asks him, and he leaves her alone. He's fleeing, but the thought doesn't cross her mind.
One day, he doesn't come back. She keeps hoping he will, she tries to ignore the whispers that go through the jail's corridors: Bakura, the king of thief has been defeated. And killed.
She keeps hoping; the fight has not stopped and Seto did not come back: he can't be dead.
She notices now that he has always been like an unreal shadow, for him sliding through the walls of her prison that is to light to sleep and to dark to truly see him and peacefully talking to her has been like a dream; that his tempting words, his smooth and unthreatening gestures have had a dreamlike quality.
Maybe this is the secret of stolen time not meant to exist, for now that she's left alone she can recall all of him, and none of her memories are clouded like the reality. She can recall every detail of his face and his body; and the way the blood-red tissue would move with each of his gestures, the exact tone of his voice vibrating to her ears...
It was his revenge, and yet it has not ended with his dead.
We're tools, she thinks. By who has he been used?
He doesn't come back. And there is no more reason for her to stay.
This time she flees.
He's not told the truth, Bakura: the priest refuses, always refuses to sacrifice her (Bakura, she knows, would have found an answer to this as well, had he been there);
and she'll have to chose her sacrifice herself.
In the end the dragon is destroyed before she has been, and she's grateful not to have any time left to think why she's fled and why she comes here to fight alongside with him instead of running; no time to wonder, when she throws herself forward to dead, if she wants to die, and if she still would if the thief would have come back, and to figure out who she's fighting and if she's paying a debt, or more, or less, or being treacherous-