Disclaimer: I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh nor do I make any money from this piece of fanfiction.

Challenge Name and Number: #051, Dragons
Drabble Title: Prize
Word Count: 600
Warnings: AU.
Pairings: None, but the potential is there for Puzzleshipping.
Summary: He was promised a unique treasure in exchange for his help. He had every intention of claiming it.
AN: I know I don't actually give the name of our wonderful dragon here, but I'm sure you all know who it is based on the description in my opening paragraph. Also an attempt on my part to write Atem with less emotional dependence on Yuugi and more Season 0-ish in character.

The colossal creature landed in the courtyard; its body a mountain of dull scales and purple-black shadows. Semi-transparent wings larger than a ship's sail folded back as it closed its glowing red eyes in concentration. The creature shrank, scales pulling back to reveal a tanned face framed with golden bangs and a lithe body wrapped in black clothes. He could have passed for a human, if not for the wisps of shadows leisurely rising from his body, his shoulder length red tipped black hair floating up in time to the waves of power. His blood red eyes opened, and he commanded the nearest guard, "Take me to your king."

The guard quavered, but manage to utter a, "He's – he's indisposed at the moment." A pause, and then, "sir."

He laughed, long and cruel and mocking. "He'll see me. After all, he made a deal with me to help him with his little war. I'm merely here to collect my prize." He raised a hand, manipulating the shadows in a moment of feigned boredom, and the guard instantly straightened – shadow dragons had a reputation for being fickle and temperamental at the best of times.

"I-I'll lead the way."

"Of course," he murmured in reply, dispelling the cantrip with a smirk. The guard led him to the throne room with its large vaulted ceiling. It was impressive by human standards, but it held little interest to the dragon – his own underground chambers were far more impressive than this.

The king entered, fear evident as he trembled on his throne. "I-I hope your journey was a safe one."

"Cut the small talk, you promised me a prize, a unique treasure in exchange for helping you with your petty little war, and I," he grinned, feral, draconic, and predatory, "am here to claim it."

The king hung his head as he waved his hand to the nearest guard. A girl, attractively dressed in a floor-length baby blue gown walked in – his daughter, the dragon noted – turning one last time to wave goodbye to a boy in the hallway. She approached, her steps quiet and graceful, her eyes never leaving the floor. He circled her once, his crimson eyes taking note of her figure and features but he was hardly interested. He looked up once more, boredom dripping off of his features.

"Is she not to your liking?"

He scoffed. He had no use for yet another girl; the villages closest to his den offered him a new one every decade. "Pretty maidens are a copper a dozen. Perhaps I shall destroy your kingdom instead," he mused, releasing his power.

"Wait!" a voice rang out from the door where the princess had entered. "Take me instead!"

The princess turned her head to the boy at the door, her composure crumbling, "Yuugi, no, you can't! You're the crown prince, you're not expendable!"

The dragon approached the boy, ignoring the girl's words. Innocent wide eyes the color of the purest amethysts sparkled with determination, not a trace of fear lurking underneath. Smooth unmarred skin met his tanned fingertips as he traced a finger down the prince's cheek. Now this, this had all the makings of a fun new toy. "So, are you offering yourself up to me, little one?" he murmured into the boy's ear.

The crown princeling looked straight into the dragon's eyes."If it will save my kingdom, yes."

The feral grin returned as the dragon turned back to the throne. "Very well. I accept."