|Hide and Seek
Author: Striped Neko PM
Greta is lost in the castle, and who is able to find her? The infamous spy, Yozak, of Shin Makoku, that's who! No pairings in this one, just a short one-shot that is oriented toward friendship.Rated: Fiction K - English - Friendship/Family - Words: 2,500 - Reviews: 7 - Favs: 9 - Follows: 1 - Published: 08-05-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4451564
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I have no idea, really, where this idea was hiding in my head. There are no pairings in this, really, because it's just a nice little innocent story about Greta and how she gets lost in the castle. So, it's a bit different from me, but it was bugging me so I had to write it. Thanks for reading it, and I'm sure I'll be back to my CONYUU ways very soon!
It was a hectic morning in Blood Pledge Castle. Greta, the king's adopted daughter, dodged another soldier as he hurried through the corridor, running on some errand for Gisela. The little girl could still hear The Sergeant's shouts—sometimes the woman was positively scary! Greta knew, of course, that the big party to welcome representatives from Caloria was that night. She had promised both her fathers she would be a very good girl for the entire day. Being good meant, in order, not disturbing Uncle Gwendal in his office—no matter how tempting it was. It meant not asking Gunter-sama to teach her any new word games. It meant not going to Anissina's laboratory, because she was working on a new invention. It meant no shoulder rides from Uncle Conrad. It meant no cookie-baking with Doria. It meant no secret-agents-on-the-case games with Yozak—which were her particular favorite. It meant no to…just about everything.
The little girl sighed again, and turned the corner, this time running into Stoffel-sama. She bounced off his legs and landed on her bottom. The jolt caused Stoffel-sama to drop the glass bottle he was carrying. Greta cringed, but bravely told herself that "spies don't cry…much"—just like Yozak was always saying. Stoffel-sama looked very angry for a moment, then he smiled, a tight, thin-lipped smile.
"Princess, are you injured?"
"N—No." Greta said, wondering when he would yell.
"Princess." The tall, quiet man who was always with Stoffel-sama kneeled down and helped her to her feet. "Please be a little more careful. Stoffel-sama and I would be so sad if you were hurt. Perhaps you could find a quieter place to play?"
Greta smiled at the dark-haired man with the kind eyes. "Ok!"
As she hurried away she heard Stoffel-sama mutter. "That child is always in the way—quick, Raven, we must think of another gift for Yuri-heika!"
Greta wandered the halls until the people thinned out, following the twists and turns until she didn't see anyone else. She stopped and looked around carefully. This part of the castle was dusty. She could see her footprints on the floor. She decided that no one must come here very often, and nothing seemed familiar. But, she thought as she grinned, this is home and there's nothing ever too scary about home.
Deciding to explore, because a good spy rec—rec—reconnoiters every location very, very carefully, Greta discovered that one of the rooms in the hall was not locked. She stepped inside and saw that the chamber was bare except for an old sofa with a broken leg, and as it was an interior chamber, there were no windows, so it was darker than the corridor. All the corridors in Blood Pledge Castle had wall sconces that were kept lit by mujutsu, so she wasn't afraid. She just left the door open and some light spilled in.
Sitting on the sofa, Greta yawned a little. She had been up extra-early, excited about the party, and now that she'd walked all that way, she was feeling a little tired. The sofa was shabby, but comfortable, so she stretched out, wiggling her toes and giggling to herself. Yozak always said that a spy had to be prepared to sleep under any conditions, because you never knew what might happen next.
She repeated The Rules to herself.
A good spy is silent, creeping like a shadow, seeing but never seen.
A good spy eats whenever food is available, but never gorges because you have to be able to move fast.
A good spy is prepared—never leave for an assignment without all your gear.
A good spy is suspicious of everyone—to earn a spy's loyalty is a rare gift.
A good spy performs his duties with bravery, and skill.
A good spy eats when he can, sleeps when he can, laughs when he can, and runs when he has to—because you never know what might happen next.
A good spy leaves his tears on his pillow—never let the enemy see you cry.
Greta repeated The Rules over and over to herself until she drifted off to sleep.
She didn't know how long she had been asleep, but when she woke up, the room was nearly pitch-black. Creeping toward the grey glow of the door, Greta saw that more than half the wall sconces were out, only a little light coming from the ones left burning. For the first time, she was afraid. She groped her way back into the room and squeezed herself into the space between the sofa and the wall.
She tried really, really hard not to, but she cried anyway. She knew she had broken one of the rules, but it was cold and dark and scary and she just wanted to see her papa and her daddy and even if Uncle Gwendal scowled, that would be ok, because she would be with people—but they were probably all at the party.
A sudden thought struck her that made her tears stop—what if they forgot her? What if no one ever came looking for her? What if she was lost forever? Now Greta was even too scared to cry. She scrunched down against the wall, shaking. "A good spy per—per—performs his duties with bravery and skill." Saying the words out loud didn't stop her from being scared. She heard something scurry—yes, scurry—across the floor. That was it—she scrambled out from behind the sofa and bolted to the door. It was too dark to see well, but she was not staying in any room that held a scampering something in it. She dashed down the hall, trying to follow the lights, but, soon lost herself again. Finally, out of breath, and sore from stumbling, she slid down a wall and hugged her knees to her chest. The hall was in deep shadow, but at least there were no scary scampering noises.
She took a deep breath, and tried to be brave. She remembered asking Yozak how he knew so many songs one time, and he'd told her that he liked to sing when he got scared. "Being brave doesn't mean you never get scared," he'd told her. "When I am scared, I like to sing. It makes me feel better."
Maybe she could try it.
She held up her thumbs, shadowy in the darkness, and began to sing the song she had learned from her Papa Yuri, to help her learn some English words.
"Where is thumbkin? Where is thumbkin? Here I am! Here I am! How are you today, sir? Very well, I thank you. Run away. Run away."
After singing the song through, she couldn't think of any other tunes, even though she knew many. So, she started to change the words, to occupy herself.
She held up her thumbs again. "Where is Papa? Where is Daddy? Here I am! Here I am! Yuri, you are wimpy! Wolfram, please don't hit me. Run away! Run away!"
She held up her Index fingers. "Where is Conrad? Where is Conrad? Here I am! Here I am! I'm a brave, strong soldier. I protect our Heika. That's what I say! That's what I say!"
She held up her middle fingers. "Where is Gwendal? Where is Gwendal? Here I am! Here I am! I can look real scary. But I can knit a Bearbee. My hair is grey. My hair is grey."
She held up her ring fingers. "Where is Gunter? Where is Gunter? Here I am! Here I am! I am very pretty. Even when my nose bleeds. Heika, stay! Heika, stay!"
She held up her pinky fingers. "Where is Yozak? Where is Yozak? Here I am! Here I am! I'm a super spy. I'll never let you cry. I'll save the day! I'll save the day!"
"Greta! Greta is that you?"
The little girl heard a shout in the distance. She held her breath, wondering if she'd just imagined it, or was that really Yozak's voice?
"Greta? Little Gumdrop? I thought I heard you—can you shout to me? If you shout I can follow your voice!"
She breathed a sigh of relief—it did sound like Yozak. Greta tried to shout, but all that came out was a little squeak. What if he couldn't find her?
"It's ok, Greta, don't worry. Do you think you can sing for me…sing your song for me, little Gumdrop. You sing to me and I'll sing to you."
Greta took a breath. "Where is Yozak? Where is Yozak?"
"Here I am! Here I am!" He answered.
"Hurry please, it's scary. It's dark and very creepy."
"I'm on my way! I'm on my way!"
Greta smiled, for the first time since that morning.
"Where is Greta? Where is Greta?" He sang out.
"Here I am! Here I am!"
"You sound a little closer. Sing a little louder."
"I'm just this way! I'm just this way!"
Greta waited a few beats, then started the song one more time. "Where is Yozak? Where is Yozak?" Suddenly, shadows danced on the wall and she saw the torchlight first.
"Here I am! Here I am!"
Greta pulled herself from the wall and launched herself at Yozak's legs, attaching herself like a tick.
"I can't believe you saved me. You are just the greatest!" she sang.
He lifted her into his arm, holding her close. "We're on our way! We're on our way!"
Greta held onto Yozak's neck, refusing to let go even when he brought her to Gwendal's office. She was thrilled to see her Daddy and her Papa, and was relieved when she learned that everyone had been searching for her—no one had forgotten her at all. She sat on Yozak's lap, eating the sandw—provisions—he'd pinched from the party. A good spy, he'd whispered in her ear, never forgets about his comrades in arms. She listened quietly as her fathers, uncle Conrad, uncle Gwendal, and Gunter-sama discussed the events of the evening. It sounded a little boring. All in all, grown-ups were weird, she decided.
Snuggling against Yozak's chest, she felt a tired, but she stifled a yawn. Gwendal called it strategizing, but no matter what it was called, grown-up talk was boring, as well as weird.
"It seems like Greta is very attached to you," Uncle Conrad said in his quiet voice.
"Yeah, Well, Greta Gumdrop and I are comrades, Taichou." Greta could feel his voice rumble through his chest. It sounded like a buzz under her ear.
"Thank you, Yozak," her Papa Wolfram said. "We were so worried about our little girl, weren't we Yuri?"
"Yes," Papa Yuri agreed. "And I've been thinking…but you don't have to answer right now…because I know it's rather sudden…but…well, Yozak…Greta is our daughter…and I have Conrad…and Wolfram has always had brothers…and right now Greta doesn't have brothers…and even when she does they will be younger brothers…or sisters—"
"You aren't making any sense, Heika." Uncle Gwendal's voice was stern. "Just ask him."
"Ask me what, Heika?"
"Well, we wanted to know—Wolfram and I—if you would stand as Godfather to Greta."
Greta squeezed her eyes shut tight, trying to pretend to be asleep. She was so afraid of what she might hear, but she wished…she wished with all her might…she wished and wished and wished—
"Heika, I would be honored to stand as Greta's godfather. Nothing would make me happier. That is if you don't mind, little gumdrop?"
"She is sleeping, right now," Gunter-sama whispered.
"No, I'm not!" Greta exclaimed, opening her eyes. "Do you mean it, Yozak? Will you really be my godfather? Always?" She looked up at her hero's face, grinning when she saw his happy expression.
After thanking her parents, and saying goodnight to her large, if somewhat unusual family, Greta was ecstatic when Yozak offered to tuck her into her own comfy bed for the night. Her godfather carried her to her room, plunked her down onto the bed, and pulled the sheets up close around her—making a silly show of tucking them in.
"I was really scared tonight," she confessed. "I thought everyone would forget me, but you came and everything was ok."
"It's ok to be scared when things like that happen, Gumdrop. Want to know a secret?"
Her godfather leaned to whisper in her ear. "I was scared, too. When we couldn't find you, I thought someone might have taken you away from us."
"But…if that had happened…you still would have come to save me, right?"
"That's right," he said, very seriously, though his eyes were still smiling. "I would track you anywhere in all the worlds. You are a very special little girl, and Yuri-heika and His Excellency would never rest until you were safe again."
"Pinky swear?" Greta held out her little pinky finger, and her godfather hooked it with his own.
"Pinky swear." He replied, very seriously.
"Where is Yozak? Where is Yozak?" She sang softly.
"Here I am! Here I am!" He sang back, just as softly. "I'll always be beside you. I will never leave you. Now, go to sleep. Go to sleep."
I wrote this, I think, because I just had a random thought about how nice it would be if Greta could have someone she could always depend on, too. Yuuri, of course, is often back on Earth, but he definitely has Conrad to look out for him (and Yozak too, as well as everyone else). I've always had a suspicion that while Gwendal and Gunter look out for each other, Gwendal keeps a weather-eye on his youngest brother, too. So, I thought it might be nice if Yozak had someone to protect--a charge, a god-daughter. Anyway--the song popped into my head, and here are the results. Thanks bunches for reading. Reviews are always nice, of course, but I'm just happy you stopped by!