Fue-chan sighed. She seemed to be doing that a lot lately. Sitiing cross-legged on her bed, she absently wound thread into the needle-point screen, not even paying much attention to her work.
Everything was a little better. A /little/. The fact that she hadnt seen Hazel in a week scared her, and the fact that she hadnt seen Jerome in 2 months made her more miserable than ever. But still, things were a /little/ better. She acted better, at least. Bubbly and genki, a more becoming personality on her. And she had some new people.... Jethro seemed really nice and made great Shirley Temples, and Autumn was a wonderful, fun friend.
Vaguely, she wondered if the Hazel thing was all her fault. Did I lead him on? Let him believe I had romantic feelings for him without realizing it?
/You have Eran. And if you dont have Eran, you have Jerome, or any of the others that chase after you./
Others that chase after me? Fue-chan cocked an eyebrow. Eran and Hazel chase after me. And boy, were they. She put a hand to her forehead tiredly, the short locks of hair falling over her cheeks. Two proposals in the same week! Two /marriage/ proposals!
Im only 16! she exclaimed outloud, frustration thick in her voice. Why do these older men want to marry me?! Eran would wait for an answer as long as it took, but Hazel wouldnt. I dont.... I dont even want to /be/ with anyone right now! She just kept finding it harder and harder to tell that to Eran everytime she saw his handsome face, heard his soft voice.
Shaking her head stiffly, Fue-chan knew she couldnt be with anyone till she talked to Jerome. I /have/ to see him again.... even if I have to leave and go look for him myself, I have to see him again.To never see him again.... Fue-chan felt a lump grow in her throat, the urge to cry. No...I have to see him again.
Decisively, she set the needle-point down next to her on the bed and got to her feet, heading over to her closet. Grabbing one of her sleepover bags, she began pulling certain clothes off the hangers in her closet and folding them up into the bag. Just the stuff I really need...
Fue-chan looked up as there was a knock at her door. Raising her eyebrows a little in question, she called out, Come in.
The door opened, and Fue-chans eyes widened as Hazel walked in. His long hair was done up in its usual ponytail, long and shimmering blue, but he wore intricate clothing, all black. He wore a turtle-neck like shirt with a wrap-around black plate armor, and a large black armored waist-band. Underneth, he wore plain black slacks with a bit of a flare, but around him, clasped by the wrap-around armor, a long black cape billowed a little, ribbons and designs on it. His eyes were a dark ruby and he gazed at her in the dimmness of the room.
The bag fell from Fue-chans hands.
Agh! making a surprised noise, she stumbled back a little, flusteredly catching herself and stammering, Gomen!
The demons eyes softened, Fue.... his voice was gentle, just the way is always had been when he spoke to her, please...
Fue-chan could feel a blush grow in her cheeks, and she shifted her gaze down. Am I blushing because I know how he feels, or am I just embarrassing myself? she wondered miserably.
Are you all right?
She looked up and couldnt help but smile. Hazel had always been so sweet and concerned for her, even when he barely knew her. But it was a weak smile. Hazel-san... she paused, her amber eyes sad in a way, ...it was a mistake, wasnt it?
He knew by the look in her eyes that she already knew it hadnt been. Swallowing a little and taking a catious step forward, Hazel went on, Fue.... all I said was true. I do love you.
Fue-chans face felt so hot, she knew her blush must be bad. The lump grew in her throat and she couldnt look at him. Why me? Im an immature, egotistical, selfish, shallow, slutty little brat. Why choose me when there were so many dozens of beautiful women around the hotel?
Fue.... I want you to be my bride...
She shut her eyes tightly, repeating her thoughts earlier, Im only 16...
Were you planning on marrying that boy with the wings?
Fue-chan glanced up, Which one?
Hazel gave her a look.
Eran, I know, she paused, then closed her eyes again, I...I dont want to be married right now!
There was a silence as the demon watched her. She slowly backed up to sit wearily down on her bed, gazing around at anything but him, Hazel-san....I enjoy being friends with you, talking with you, flirting withyou, she smiled a little at the last, then finally brought her gaze to those ruby eyes, but....
It was painfully obvious he was trying not to look utterly heartbroken, But you dont want to be my bride.
Fue-chan swallowed, thinking more of just a romantic relationship, but couldnt say anymore, her own heart breaking with him.
Another silence filled the room, but this time, it was a sad silence, a terrible, aching silence. Hazel let his gaze drift away from her, his eyelids dropping a little, You have many admirers, I know.
Fue-chan shut her eyes, No, I dont. Why did everybody keep saying that??
I want...I want you to be happy.... She looked to him, and he met her eyes sorrowfully, I want you to be happy....and I know I can make you truly happy, Fue....
She watched him miserably, her voice quiet, Maybe some people arent meant to be happy.
The demons eyes widened momentarily, then he frowned, glancing away, No...thats not true.... when she didnt reply, he murmured, I never even got to kiss you....
Yes, you did. Out in the lobby, in front of everyone.
Hazel blinked, hearing the note of annoyance in her voice, and couldnt help but smile a little sheepishly, But that doesnt count.... you didnt kiss me back.
Hazels smile was always contagious for her, and Fue-chan grinned a little, And how could I? I was shocked out of my mind!
Hazel smiled briefly before looking at her seriously, Please...one kiss.
She hesitated, but after reviewing her thoughts, she decided one kiss wouldnt hurt. She nodded with a shaky smile, standing, Hai, okay.
He smiled al ittle warmer, almost in gratitude, and stepped over to her. He was so tall compared to her... probably around Jeromes height. Fue-chan felt the lump again, but swallowed it painfully. Breathing a little nervously, gazing up at him as he watched her longingly, Fue-chan realized vaugely she had wanted to kiss him before... almost as if shed had a movie-star crush on him. One of those crushes that was innocent enough to let you adore them, but made you think twice about being their girlfriend.
It seemed perfect and romantic as he leaned in and met her waiting lips with his own, his own ruby eyes closing peacefully, taking in how warm and soft her mouth was, how she had to stand on her tiptoes a bit to meet him.
A slow wave of drowsiness began to come over Fue-chan. It started at her mouth and crept subtly through the rest of her, making her limbs feel weak and her head dizzy. Before she could ask Hazel or even pull out of the kiss, she found the world growing black, and her body went limp as she passed out.
Hazel was more than ready waiting to catch her when she collapsed. Holding her slender body up, he moved with sad eyes to pick her up and carry her Princess style, her head fallen back, her short hair waving a little with his movements. In a quiet voice, the demon said, It was easier when it was just the two of us, Fue.
He pondered teleporting out of there, but he couldnt teleport very often, as it made him excrusiatingly tired when he traveled long distances, and only really used it in emergancies. The journey there wasnt far, and Fue-chan would be unconsious long after he got there, due to the enchantment. He carried her easily and opened the door with his thoughts, after reaching down and taking also the bag Fue-chan had been packing. He paused, wondering where shed been planning to go, but figured he could ask her another time.
He carried her out to the hall, the door closing quietly behind him. He was about to walk down, but a voice stopped him.
The demon whirled around, and narrowed his eyes a little. It was the elf, the one called Seibrum. He stared shockedly at them, then exclaimed, Let her go!
Hazel gazed at him with a frown, Shes mine now, you can tell that to the winged boy.
Seibrum narrowed his eyes, You psychopath.... she doesnt belong to anyone, let about you!
Hazel ignored him, realizing he had to teleport to escape the hotel. Ill be taking her back to my village now, and our next stop will be to Hell, where well be married. Ja ne.
The elf began forward, No, you--
But all he got was a small smirk from Hazel right before he teleported out with Fue-chan. Seibrum stood there with wide eyes, trembling faintly. There was absolutely nothing he could do. After standing there in shock for awhile, he turned wearily to go to Erans room.
The room was dark when Fue-chan opened her eyes. It was as if waking from a hazy dream, one that was deep and kind of murky, but also dark and beautiful. She still felt a little dizzy, but not in a bad way. She was in a soft bed that seemed vaugely familiar, but not her own. Slowly, she moved a little to gaze down, and was relieved to find herself still in her green dress shed been wearing. It was a common thing for girls in movies and books to wake up somewhere different and find their clothes had been changed, which had always weirded her out, and having woken up in many different places, it was reassuring to know somebody hadnt been undressing her in her sleep.
But where am I? For a moment, she didnt even care. This bed was warm and soft, and she was nestled into a bunch of fluffy down comforters. It would be nice to never get up.
But one can never just stay in an unknown place for too long before curiousity gets the better of them, and she sat up slowly, pushing the comforters down. And the moment she looked around, she knew. She was in Hazels house. She recognized his room, filled with shelves and trunks of his marvelous things.
Hazel loved Earth. Hed told her that, told her he loved to stay here more than anything else. Hed collected the most beautiful things he found from all around the world--lamps, jewelry, shoes, ornaments, statues, purses, books, paintings, armor--everything. And he kept them all in his room. It was a wonderful room filled with all his treasures that he loved so dearly. It almost seemed, at times to Fue-chan, that he was trying to study mankind and foolishly thought he could do it through their possessions.
But now, all she could do was feel miserable, hopeless, betrayed. Hed kidnapped her away from the hotel and wasnt taking no for an answer. In those moments, laying in the bed in his room, her heart grew bitter and cold to think that a man shed trusted and cared for so much was capable of forcing her into a union which shed already refused.
Hazel walked by the doorway then, but seeing her awake, he stopped, pausing where he was. He wore the same clothes shed last seen him in, and if she hadnt been so mad at him, she might wonder why he was so dressed up.
They stared at each other, and her eyes told him how betrayed and hurt she was, a cold anger lingering in them. But her anger gave way to what she was really feeling, and she felt a lump grow in her throat again. She was frightened. Terrified. All she wanted was to be held in her mothers arms right now, and when you feel that way, youre pretty scared. Her lower lip began to tremble, and tears welled up in her eyes. She burst into tears then, leaning forward to rest her face in her hands, crying into them.
The demons eyes widened, and he rushed forward as quick as he could, moving to sit by her worriedly, pulling his armsa around her, Fue.....Fue, please, dont....
But Fue-chan just kept sobbing, allowing herself to be held, burying her face in his shoulder. He held her closely, stroking her back and closing his own eyes painfully, Fue.... please....dont cry....
His reassurances did make a difference, to know he at least cared if she was scared. He didnt want her to be sad. It counted for something, at least, but she just kept weeping while he kept murmuring reassuring words.
It had been two days. The wedding was planned for the third day--tomorrow. Fue-chan hadnt tried to escape, it hadnt really come to that. Shed been too angry to even try and reason with Hazel at first, but now, after seeing that he wouldnt receed, she just felt discouraged. Her optimism already having been frayed, it felt so hopeless to even try, to fight it anymore. She felt hollow inside, empty. Shed given up.
Standing in Hazels living room on a chair, Fue-chan was surroundd by the villages tailors and seamstresses, who draped cloth around her and fitted different things for her wedding gown. Elaborate was an understatement for it. And it was all black.
This is her wedding gown, senor? the head seamstess had asked Hazel, making the plans, her voice thick with an accent.
Then the white fab---
No, senora, black. We want it all black.
My, what looks the tailors had given him. But Hazel was paying good money, and an elaborate black wedding dress they would have.
Is the bodice too tight, muchacha?
Fue-chan gazed bleakly in front of her, her voice blank, No, Senora.
And this...I think we fit this looser. We dont want to choke the poor child, do we?
She laughed a little, but when Fue-chan gave no response, she cleared her throat and went back to working.
The gown part had a tight fitting bodice, with sleeves of black chiffon that ended in bell-like jagged shapes. The skirt was long and full, many different layers of black material, and attatched to the bodice with jagged pieces like teeth. There were layered shoulderpads attatched to the choker around her neck, and attatched to the back were large, sword-like wings that caught the black veil that fell over her face and behind her. Atop her head was a jeweled crown that held up the top of the veil.
What about all your dreams?? What about everything you love in this life?? Are you just going to give it all up?? a voice screamed to her in her head, and she simply answered in a quiet voice, Ive tried so hard for them, but theres nothing I can do now. It hurts so much to keep pushing.
So youll just give up and die?
Im not dying, Fue-chan answered herself, vaugely wondering if it was her who was debating. Ill live.
And be dead inside?
Fue-chan didnt answer herself this time. She simply quietly tuned the reasoning voice out and continued to stare blankly in front of her.
What about Jerome? What about Eran?
Fue-chan tensed slightly, and the seamstress looked to her questioningly.
I.... the girl furrowed her brow, the first signs of an expression the seamstress had seen out of her. But it passed, and she murmured, nothing.
The seamstress nodded and went about back to her work, but seeing this young bride wasnt a lifeless doll, she thought to start a conversation.
How old are you, muchacha?
My... I was your age when I wed.
...Yes. I have many children. Do you plan to have many as well?
Fue-chan hesitated, and her voice volume dropped lower, I dont know, senora.
The woman raised her eyebrows, but shrugged, Your husbend is a fine man. He will provide for you well.
And you be married tomorrow?
The woman smiled, Well, muchacha, I wish you congradulations and the best of luck.
Fue-chan glanced at the woman, but didnt reply. But, she considered, this village was old fashioned enough to believe in betrothing daughters and sons against their will. Perhaps thats how this woman was married so young. So. Maybe we do have something in common.
Fue-chan smiled the tiniest bit, Thank you, senora.
Hazel gazed at his wife as she slept, the breath moving peacefully past her dark lips, her eyelids and lashes still dark with powder and creams. Her make-up hadnt been taken off yet, but he would let her attend to that tomorrow, when she woke.
She was still asleep under his spell. Hed put her under a state of enchantment during the ceremony, for it had to take place in Hell, and Hazel didnt want her to have to witness Hell fully awake. There were sights and scenes and things in that place that would tramatize her, make her even more insane than she already was. He didnt want to put her through that, experiencing the place where her darkest fears came to life before her eyes.
The ceremony had been awful for her. Hed hated it, watching as they gave her the wine glass, and she was made to drink his blood, but shed vomitted it right back up and she had to do it over and over again until she could keep it down. Had she not been under his spell, she would have been in hysterics. He hated that she had to go through that, but it was the marriage rite, and there was nothing he could do. The ritualistic ceremony had been over within an Earth hour, and shed passed out quickly afterward. She would remember little of it tomorrow.
Hazel stroked her back gently, watching her in the dim light. She was his now, and she hadnt fought it. He could see something had died in her, but he would do anything to bring it back, make her happy again. Finally now, he had the opportunity. Before, he could never have even tried, but he had taken matters into his own hands, and now he would be able to try his hand.
Kissing his wifes temple lightly, Hazel moved to settle down beside her in the bed, holding her close and closing his own eyes to sleep.
What was your village like, Ka-san?
Fue-chan smiled, It was large, but it was all in one building.
Starlynn watched her with wide eyes, waiting for her to continue.
Fue-chan held up her hands as if to show distance, The building waas as tall as a dragon, and many, many people lived in it.
The two sat on a bench in the village garden, Fue-chan dressed in a long, peasant-like black dress with a low, tight bodice, bell-sleeves, and a full, gathered skirt. He hair was down, but the sides were pulled back and braided with small, dark blue flowers woven into the braids.
Starlynn was a fairy child. She was young, possibly 5 or 6, but she was beautiful with long, pointed ear and short hair that was a pale pink, and glittered. Her face was pale and glittery designs were naturally in her skin around her eyes and cheeks. She had tiny, beautiful little fairy wings, that were much too small and thin to fly, but were a beautiful addition to her pixie appearence. Fue-chan had met her a day or so after the wedding, and for the first time since shed come here, she felt something for the girl, a real kind of love. Starlynn had been abandoned as a baby and was basically raised by the village elders, but Fue-chan had been talking to Hazel about taking her in as their daughter. Starlynn and Hazel liked each other very much, and both seemed very pleased with the idea. Already, Starlynn had started moving her things into their house, and her room was being step up quickly.
What were the people like there? Starlynn asked, completely absorbed in Fue-chans tale.
Oh, they were all very different. Many different species.
Oh, humans, and dragons, and demons, and people with wings; a Cetra and cat people, wolf people, vampires, magicians, elves--- almost anything you could imagine.
Wow! Starlynns eyes sparkled like her hair, ne, Ka-san, whats a Cetra?
A Cetra is a child of the Earth. They speak to the Planet and have many powers, and they love and protect all things good.
Was it a boy or a girl?
A boy. No-- a man, Fue-chan smiled.
Starlynn giggled, Was he handsome?
Oh, yes, very, Fue-chan went on, I once knew a girl who was in love with him. But she also loved one of the winged men.
The young girls eyes widened, What did she do?
Well, first she went out with the man with wings, and then she went out with the Cetra. Eventuallym she wasnt with either of them because it was too painful to choose between them.
Ohhhh....what does she do now?
Fue-chan paused. A light wind swept by them, blowing Fue-chans hair a little, and Starlynns wings quivered.
Well.... Im not real sure, you know, the older girl bit her red lip a little, rubbing the backs of her hands.
Oh.... Starlynn brightened, was she pretty?
Fue-chan laughed, Ah, maybe a little.
Suddenly, Starlynn jerked her head up, her wings raised tensely, but she quickly calmed down, smiling warmly, Jaydrian-sama!
Fue-chan whirled around, eyes wide, to see Jaydrian approaching. Thew woman was dressed in a long, dark blue dress with slits up the sides and her combat boots, and a long, black velvet cape with the hood up. As she walked, the wind picked up and blew around her, her cape flapping and billowing, her long hair blowing under the cape. Her gold eyes bore into Fue-chans, but Fue-chan could read nothing in them as the older woman approached.
Hello, Starlynn, you look well, Jaydrian said, her voice quiet, expressionless.
At coming into contact with someone from the hotel, Fue-chan felt more emotions rush in and struggled to keep them locked away in her ice chamber, but she gaped at them, You two know each other?
Jaydrian turned her gaze to Fue-chan, I grew up here.
Ive missed you, Jaydrian-sama, Starlynn smiled brightly, her eyes twinkling.
Jaydrian didnt reply, but turned to Fue-chan again, who had shrunk back the slightest bit in fear, remembering Jaydians threat. She smiled thinnly, Ive come to take you back, child.
Fue-chan swallowed, staring at Jaydrian with confused eyes, But....I....you.....you hate me!
Dont you see, child? I hate you because Hazel loves you. While you are here, you remain by his side, but if I steal you away, take you back to the people that will keep you away from him, I have no reason to hate you.
But Ka-san is ma-- Starlynn started before Fue-chan grabbed her hand, giving her a stern look. The pixies eyes widened, and she confusedly shut her mouth. Jaydrian took little notice of it.
Yes, and thats why itd be easier for you to just... Fue-chan didnt finish, not wanting to say kill me in front of Starlynn.
The woman shook her head, Whether dead or at the hotel, it doesnt matter to me. I just cant have you with him. I cant have you marrying him, Fue-chan was extremely glad shed stopped Starlynn from continuing her earlier thought, besides, I promised the winged boy Id bring you back.
Fue-chans eyes widened, Eran?
Jaydrian nodded, waiting patiently.
But Ka-san...where are you going? Starlynn looked at Fue-chan with confused eyes.
Why do you call her Ka-san? Jaydrian interrupted them sharply.
Fue-chan glanced down, taking Starlynns hand more gently, She... Ive taken her in as my daughter.
You are but a child yourself.
Im 16, Fue-can said a little indignitly. Jaydrian waved a hand, clearly bored, Be that as it may, I need to take you back.
Fue-chan hesitated, glancing around. It was beautiful and peaceful here. She had a husband who, while she didnt love him, could provide for her and show her lots of love and affection. Shed talked with Hazel, and knew he really never meant to hurt her, he just wanted to try making her happy in the best way he knew how. She couldnt hate him, no matter what he did. Perhaps with time, she could even learn to love him. And Starlynn would be her daughter, who she loved dearly. Maybe those who left hadnt have such a bad idea. Vaugely, she felt like Miaka in the episodes where she stayed with Kaika, considering forgetting everything and starting over.
With no apparent expression, Fue-chan looked back to Jaydrian, saying quietly, What if I dont want to go back?
Jaydrian gazed at her coldly, then in one swift movement, she came forward to grab Fue-chan by the throat, roughly and sharply, her voice icy, I dont have time for your choices.Youre coming back with me.
Starlynn had scrambled to her feet in alarm, crying various things, and Fue-chan winced, not fighting Jaydrian at all, Fine, whatever you want. But Im taking Starlynn with me.
Starlynn stopped, staring at them, and Jaydrian released her, Fine. Just get on, and Ill take you back.
But my clothes.... What a sad day, Fue-chan thought, when my worries have turned to clothing.
Have Starlynn run in and get them, and some for herself.
Starlynn stared at them, turning to Fue-chan with questioning eyes, Ka-san....where are we going?
In a breath, Fue-chan put a hand to her back to push her in the direction of the house, Ill explain later, dear, just go get our clothes, okay? If Daddy asks, tell him I just want to see them.
Starlynn nodded unsurely, turning and running to go into the house. Once she was gone, Jaydrian stepped back and began to morph into a unicorn. She was beautiful, shining white and with a sparkly blue mane and tail. With a shake of her head and a whinny sound, she gestured for Fue-chan to get up on her.
Ill wait for Starlynn, so I can help her... Fue-chan said quietly, gazing over Jaydrian. After a moment, she asked, Are you a shape shifter?
Jaydrian shook her great head a little.
Again, she shook her head. Fue-chan had no more ideas on what she could be, so she kept quiet until Starlynn came back outside with a bag with Fue-chan and her own clothes.
Daddy wasnt inside, she said quietly, still highly confused. Fue-chan nodded absently, lifting her easily and helping her onto Jaydrians back, then having difficulty getting up herself because of her height. Jaydrian eventually had to bend down more to make it easier. Holding Starlynn close, Fue-chan held onto Jaydrians neck as the unicorn sped off, racing away from the village.