Authour: Icka! M. Chif
"Once upon a time, there lived a lovely Princess by the name of Horse White, or Hakuba for short. Why was he called 'Horse White'? Because his skin was the smoothest and palest in all the land and his father had been hung like a... well, that's not important.
Now, the princess' mother had passed away a long time ago and eventually Hakuba's father remarried to the most beautiful woman in all the land, the fair and lovely sorceress Akako.
Now Akako had a magic mirror that she would check every so often, not every day because she wasn't -vain- about her looks or anything and she would ask the Mirror: "Aoko, Aoko on the Wall, Who's the Prettiest of them All?"
And usually the mirror, who's name was Aoko, would tell her that duh, she was the fairest. Except for one day when Aoko looked apologetic cause she had to give the witch bad news.
"Sorry. Princess Hakuba's prettier than you." Aoko apologized with a shrug.
"Well, bugger." Akako sulked. Prettily of course. "Well, screw that then. I'M the prettiest, dammit! Guess we'll just have to kill him off then."
"Right-o." Aoko agreed. "I'll just change into a huntsman for the next part then. You want his heart or anything morbid like that for a souvenir?"
"Nah. No one around here knows how to cook fresh beating hearts properly." The Sorceress waved it off, changing the topic. "So, we still on for tonight?"
"Strip poker, your place, around 8?" Aoko grinned cheerfully. "I'll bring the piña colada."
"Excellent!" Akako brightened for a moment, then her expression fell, becoming serious.
Aoko picked up on it, delaying her departure. "Something wrong?"
"It's this name business. If Hakuba's a 'he', shouldn't we be calling him 'Prince' instead of 'Princess'?"
"Search me." Aoko shrugged, dismissing it. "Someone's crapped out sense of humour. Well, I'm off!"
Meanwhile, Princess Hakuba had some troubles of his own that he was dealing with.
"WHY THE HELL AM I WEARING A DRESS!" The irate princess wanted to know.
Unfortunately for him, no answer was forth coming. So the princess sulked in his big flouncy dress, looking marvelously ravishing as he did so.
Fortunately a distraction was heading his way. It was Aoko, the huntsman who didn't resemble anyone at all who hung about in mirrors except for the fact that they looked exactly alike. "Yo, Princess!" The huntsman waved cheerfully.
"Yo, Aoko." The Princess waved back. "What's up?"
"The sorceress wants some forest flowers to decorate the palace. You wanna come?"
"Might as well." Hakuba sighed, picking up his large voluptuous skirts and following the huntsman out side the castle. If nothing else, it'd be nice to get out of the castle for a while. Even if he was stuck wearing stupid dresses.
So Aoko and Hakuba wandered out into the forest to pick wild flowers. Which is not an easy task, especially in a big flouncy skirt, which Hakuba kept getting tangled up in the various brambles and branches that littered the area. Although it did mean that he didn't have to worry about his legs getting pricked by thorns quite as much.
So while he was wrestling to get the stupid skirts untangled, Aoko gave him the slip, figuring that her job here was done and she really had to hurry back if she wanted to pick up the piña colada makings in time for poker night at Akako's.
By the time that Hakuba was finally free of the annoying foliage, he found himself alone and quite thoroughly confused as to where he was. So he stubbornly picked a direction and headed that way, figuring he'd find someone eventually.
Which he did, finding a small cottage in the middle of a clearing. Rather confused as to what the cottage was doing there but grateful it was there at all, he knocked on the door.
Which was promptly opened by a small man wearing a grey suit and smoking a pipe. "Yeah?" The annoyed looking man demanded.
"Uh... I'm lost."
He'd really just been hoping for some directions back towards the castle, so was highly surprised to find himself dragged into the small cottage -which was bigger on the inside than it appeared- and ushered to a desk and told to sit down. "Right." The little man grumbled. "You'll need to fill out forms 27-9J and 64B/8. You have any identification on you?"
"No?" He was a princess. Since when did a princess need identification? Usually he just flashed the birthmark that looked like a rearing horse on his... well, that's not important...
"Well then fill out the forms to the best of your ability. Someone will be along shortly." With that, the smoking man stormed off shouting for someone named 'Chiaki' who was not going to catch the blasted thief before he was.
Hakuba stared, watching him go.
"Don't worry about him." A pleasant voice informed the startled princess. A tiny woman with a short hair cut smiled at him, a puppy-ish looking man standing behind her. "He's usually like that."
"Uh... thanks." Hakuba bowed his head towards the lady. "I'm Princess Hakuba. Seem to have gotten a little mixed up."
"Welcome to the House of the Seven Shrunken Police Officers." The woman grinned back. "I'm Sato and this is Takagi. Shiratori's the grumpy face behind him. Chiba's around here somewhere, so's Megure. And that was Nakamori who opened the door and was shouting for Chiaki. They're both a little high strung."
Both Shiratori and Takagi seemed to find the last comment an understatement.
"Oh." The Princess nodded. "Nice to meet you all."
Takagi waved back, smiling cheerfully. "Nakamori gave you all the proper paperwork to fill out? You're lost, right?"
Hakuba waved the forms that had been set down in front of him. "Yeah."
"Great. Just holler if you need help or when you finish." Takagi waved, wandering off in hopes of finishing his own paperwork.
"There should be donuts soon." Sato offered helpfully before heading back to her own desk, Shiratori following after.
"... Thanks." Fortified by the promises of food, Hakuba settled down to complete the paper work he'd been assigned.
Time passed. Eventually, as he'd been promised, he found a donut resting on a napkin next to his elbow. Hungry, since he hadn't eaten anything since long before he'd left the castle, he picked up the donut and took a bite of it.
Just in time for Megure, who was hurriedly walking past, to bump the chair and jostle Hakuba, causing the bit of donut to get stuck in Hakuba's throat. The princess turned a faint shade of blue, waved his arm enthusiastically, the other around his neck in the classic gesture of 'Help! I'm Choking!' and gracefully passed out, falling on the ground in a heap of frothy petticoats and embroidery.
"Oops." Megure looked at the fallen body at his feet with worry. He hadn't meant to cause any harm.
"Well, there's more paperwork for us to do if Nakamori or Chiaki find out." Shiratori sighed.
The officers looked at each other.
"The Evidence Locker." Chiba suggested. "No one ever looks there."
"Right." The officers quickly bopped the princess over the head to make sure that he'd remain unconscious, picked up the limp body and hastily dragged him off, hiding him in the evidence locker and swearing to themselves never to talk of it again.
Several hours later that night, a thief broke into the House of the Seven Shrunken Police Officers' Evidence Room and was poking around for any evidence of himself that he might have accidentally left behind, uh, any interesting things that they might have acquired since his last visit. To the thief's surprise, he found Princess Hakuba laying there, apparently fast asleep and looking very very pale.
He leaned over to get a closer look at the person laying there when the Princess woke up and opened his eyes. And promptly screamed at finding some stranger looming so close to his face. This caused the piece of donut that was lodged in his throat to come loose and restoring full oxygen flow back into the princess' lungs.
Said oxygen which was then used to shout and chase the thief around the room until they both collapsed on the floor breathing hard from their excursions. Once they were both calmed down and were able to breathe again, the thief invited the princess back to the castle for Queen Akako's Poker Night and free piña coladas.
To which Hakuba agreed to and proceeded to beat the pants off of everyone in strip poker because wearing that many big flouncy skirts had to come in handy some time.
And they all lived happily ever after. The end."
Kaito grinned at his classmates, his story at a finish. Aoko and Akako gave each other thoughtful looks, plots and schemes silently passing between the two girls.
"Poker?" Aoko finally commented.
"My place?" Akako smirked.
"Sounds good." Aoko agreed. "I'll bring the piña colada."
Grinning madly, the girls bounced off, chattering excitedly about what other munchies they should have for poker night.
Behind Kaito, Hakuba cleared his throat, expression stormy. Kaito's grin didn't falter. "Can I help you, Hakuba-kun? Cough drop, perhaps?"
"No, thank you." Hakuba glowered at the magician. "But in the future, I would prefer it if you would kindly refrain from putting me in your stories."