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Perks of Graduation

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Disclaimer: I own nothing involved in this story unless I invented it myself. This is written for fun, not for profit. All forms of feedback eagerly accepted. Concrit is loved the most, but everything is welcome.
Fandom: Yu-Gi-Oh DM
Title: Perks of Graduation
Pairing: Mana x Mahaado (one-sided); Atemu x Mahaado/Mahaado x Atemu
Word Count: 958||Status: One-shot
Genre: RomanceRated: G
Challenge: Written for the Diversity Writing Challenge, section B33, write about a pairing that is not your OTP; Written for the Pairing Diversity Boot Camp, #6, fleeting; Written for the Dice Gods Challenge, write a random pairing; Written for the Word Count Set Boot Camp, #25, 958 words
Note: This is an AU. Not a general human/non-dueling oriented AU, but a magical school AU. Why? Because I thought it would be amusing for a handful of words.
Summary: She did it. She made it all the way to graduation. Now she was going to tell her dear teacher how much she liked him. That would be all right, wouldn't it?

She'd done it. Graduation had arrived. The actual ceremony wouldn't be until that evening, but Mana considered herself graduated already. She'd completed all the requirements. Getting her official mage's sash would only be a formality. In all the ways that mattered, including being officially eighteen years old, she was now one of the formally trained mages of the empire.

More important than that, to her mind anyway, was that now she wasn't Teacher Mahaado's student anymore. The law decreed that there should be no relationship that wasn't platonic between a teacher and their student. For there to be such a relationship carried the risk of death or worse for both of them.

So for the last three years, she'd kept all of those burgeoning emotions in her heart for the handsome young teacher to herself. She only let them out in her work, training hard so that he wouldn't be mad at her. It went against her usually carefree nature, but she kept telling herself that the day would come when they could have a relationship and that would make it all worthwhile.

And now that day had come.

Mana wasn't silly enough to think that the moment she declared she liked Teacher Mahaado – no, Mage Mahaado, he wasn't her teacher, that was the whole point – that he would immediately return her affections. But perhaps he would at least be willing to take a cup of tea with her. What harm would it do to ask?

Anzu had told her frequently that she didn't think this was going to work out. But Mana refused to give up without at least trying.

Now she made her way to Mage Mahaado's office. She'd been there a handful of times before, mostly in her early years, when she'd done something that he needed to reprimand her for. Later she'd turned up a time or two for other reasons, such as extra assignments – she really just wanted to do better in her studies and she hoped that he hadn't suspected it was anything other than that.

The door was closed. Mana blinked at that; she'd never seen it closed when he was in there, and he was always there this time of day. But maybe he had something to do for the ceremony tonight? She hadn't attended any of the previous graduations, so maybe…

A low, throaty moan came from the other side of the door. Mana's eyes widened; it didn't sound like anything undead and if a zombie had somehow made its way into Mage Mahaado's office, then he could easily incinerate it with a bolt of lightning anyway.

She crept closer, a sudden thought sparking. Perhaps he really was somewhere else and some of her fellow students were trying to make out in there? She'd heard stories about people who did things like that.

But surely he left his office warded somehow? A quick reach of her own magical senses told her that yes, there were wards up and they tasted of his aura. So anyone who was in there had entered because Mage Mahaado wanted them to.

She wouldn't be able to go in unless she knocked. She'd planned on doing so, but now that she knew someone else was in there, Mana hesitated. She wanted to make the best impression she could on him now, hoping he would forget how he'd seen her grow up for the last few years. Barging in certainly wouldn't do that.

“Mahaado...” The same voice that had moaned, she thought, and one that she recognized as well as she would have her teacher's.

And now Mana paled, her fingers digging into her palms. Prince Atemu? She knew that he attended the graduations and that he and Mahaado knew one another. Once or twice he'd even come to visit and Mahaado canceled classes during that time.

She closed her eyes and concentrated, willing herself out of her body. One's spirit could pass where the flesh could not; her soul-self could see what was going on in there.

It was almost like seeing it with her mortal eyes, except for passing through walls and magical barriers as if they weren't there. She didn't know if Mage Mahaado or Prince Atemu would be able to see her or not. Or if they would if they could.

But she needed to know what was going on. The way that moan sounded…

One heartbeat. Her spirit self hovered in one high corner of the room. For the most part all was just as she'd seen it many times before. But Mage Mahaado wasn't in his chair. He lay on the couch and Prince Atemu was with him…

It only took another heartbeat for her to realize what was going on, then her spirit returned to her body, her cheeks scorching red, her shoulders shaking, her mouth dry.

Anzu was right, was all she could think as she gathered her wits about her and hurried down the corridor before they could come out and find her. Anzu was right all along.

There wasn't any doubt about what she'd seen. She almost wished that she could forget it, if only to give them a few moments of privacy in her own mind.

She would have to do something to apologize. Even if Mage Mahaado and Prince Atemu never knew exactly what she was apologizing for.

Well, she'd done enough over the years. They'd probably think of something that she hadn't apologized for and figure that was it. Good enough for her.

And maybe one day she'd be able to look both of them in the eyes and not remember how thoroughly happy they'd looked in that single moment she'd observed.

But that day wouldn't be for some time to come.

The End

Note: Thank you for reading and I hope that you enjoyed the story. Please let me know what you thought of it if at all possible.