Disclaimer: I do not own Ultra Maniac. If I did, I'd know why it's entitled the way it is. And honestly, I have no clue... so yeah. You guys get the point. -.-; I have only seen the animated TV series and read some of the manga translations. Other than that, I have no clue about this anime.

I want this to be a stress relieving fan fic on my part so I'm not going to worry about writing style.

An AU UM fan fiction. Ever wonder what kind of prince Yuta would make? This element considered, then throw a little Yuta/Nina romance: this is what you get...


By Your Side

Chapter Title: "Boy Meets Girl"

-o-o-

"Your Majesty! Your Majesty!"

The frantic yells were heard throughout the castle as the clanks of heavy metal filled the hallways. It was once again morning in the Magic Kingdom, and as always the distraught scurry-maid had brought the breakfast platter inside the royal chambers only to find the young prince missing... again.

One would think that they had sense enough to take severe precautions, given that the prince did this almost every morning. But the young lad was always one step ahead of them, and he never failed to evade their attempts.

Rumored to be a born genius at magic, the young prince was never gentle in dealing with his captors. In fact, there was even a time when he blew up part of the castle just to express his mild annoyance at their persistence. Seeing that it was futile to try and keep him in custody, they resigned themselves to searching the castle grounds whenever the young prince decided to disappear.

It was more peaceful that way.

Yuta sniggered as he crept by the gigantic guards standing near the gate entrance. With their backs turned to him and an invisible cloak camouflaging his small body, they had no way of knowing that the mischievous prince was about to do his greatest feat ever...

He was going to town.

-o-o-

"Nina! Nina!"

Turning around, the little girl with auburn hair tilted her head and asked. "What is it, Rio-chan?"

Rio cast a wary look at the basket she was carrying. "You going to pick some flowers or something?" he asked, eyeing the sunflower tucked behind her ear.

Nina pouted at this. "No," she answered sternly. Nina continued walking as the small gray cat followed. "If you must know, Rio, I'm going on an errand for Mama. She wanted some fresh vegetables to cook for dinner."

"Why? She'll mess up cooking anyway. Might as well conjure up something to eat."

She cast a disapproving look at her rude pet. "That's not very nice, Rio."

Transforming into his human form, little Rio latched onto Nina's yellow skirt. "Ne... Aren't we going to play, Nina?" he whined.

She sighed and said, "I'll bring the vegetables to Mama first, then we'll play. Is that okay?"

"If you buy me tuna, I'll behave." Rio grinned at her, his big sparkly eyes pleading for her to agree.

Who could resist those cute pitiful eyes?

"Oh, all right. But only one," Nina told him

-o-o-

Yuta threw his head back in laughter. "That was too easy!"

Letting his mirth die down first, he began walking towards town. It was his first time outside the castle and he hadn't really planned on anything once he got outside, but it would be a total waste if he did not make the most out of the situation, right?

He looked around, his curious eyes taking in everything around him. There were a lot of plain-looking people going about their business, not minding the fact that there was a lone little boy wandering on his own. Their houses were nothing much to look at, aside from the fact that they looked exactly like the ones featured in the picture book he had back at the castle.

All in all, everything in town looked so... ordinary.

"Awww," he murmured in open disappointment. Yuta raised both brows, bringing his hands to the back of his head. "Bo-ring!" remarked the uninterested boy.

Although it was his first time seeing the town, he was not really the type to marvel at... well... ordinary things.

Yuta continued trudging along the pavement, looking around, when a loud girlish cry caught his attention. He turned to where it came from.

Nina sighed and looked down at her muddy yellow dress. "And it was a new dress, too..." she complained ruefully.

Rio glared daggers at the offending carriage already a few meters away. "Hey! Watch where you're going, mister!" he yelled furiously, shaking his small fists. "Geez... People nowadays have even worse manners than mine!" He shook his head.

"It doesn't matter..." Nina smiled at him, trying to sound optimistic. "At least the vegetables didn't get dirty. Ne?"

Rio gave her a blank look. "Um... Nina..." He pointed at the basket she was carrying.

She blinked, then shifted her gaze to the basket. "H-Hwaa?" The vegetables were all covered in mud! She turned to Rio with tears in her eyes. "What are we going to do, Rio-chan!" she cried in panic. "I spent most of the money Mama gave me on these!"

A small frown formed on her face when she heard boyish laughter coming from across the street.

There was a young boy with light dirty blonde hair pointing to her direction, laughing so hard his whole body was jerking. "Ahahahah! That was too funny!" he cried in mirth. Seeing the indignant expression on her face, the ill-mannered boy burst into yet another fit of laughter.

Nina marched resolutely towards him as the boy continued to laugh at her. He stopped when she suddenly thrust her mud-stained face at him with her cheeks puffed up, trying in vain to stare him down with her weak glare.

This only made the boy smirk in amusement. "What are you trying to do? Kill me with your ugly face?"

Nina shook with repressed anger, blushing from both embarrassment and fury.

Rio immediately stood to his master's defense. "Who do you think you are, anyway? You some kind of sadist or what?"

The boy raised a brow at the gray haired toddler glaring at him. "And if I am? What are you planning to do about it, eh shortie?"

"This!" With a small poof, Rio transformed into his cat form and bit the ill-mannered youth into submission.

"Ack! Get off me!" the boy yelled, shaking the irritated feline off his sleeve.

Anger dissolving, Nina decided to help. "Don't, Rio-chan!" She took the annoyed kitten into her arms, holding him firmly as he squirmed to get free. "Let me at 'im, Nina! I'm gonna get him good!" the gray cat kept yelling.

Nina stroked his furry head, calming him. "It's okay now, Rio-chan." She turned to face the ill-mannered boy. "What you did wasn't very nice," she told him, earning an indifferent shrug from the boy. She frowned. "Who are you, anyway? I've never seen you around here before."

He regarded her for a moment, then answered. "Yuta."

Nina blinked in surprise. "W-What?"

A bit annoyed, he reiterated. "That's my name. Yuta. Are you stupid or something?"

She pouted at his last remark. "I knew that. I'm not stupid, you know. I was just surprised that someone like you had manners at all!" Rio snickered at this, earning a glare from Yuta.

"Where are you from? Do you live around here?" she asked curiously.

Yuta stared at the girl with tawny brown eyes, intrigued by her sudden change in attitude. One minute she was all cheesed off at me, the next she acts as though she wants to be my friend.

Realizing that she was still expecting an answer from him, he stumbled on his words. "Er... Kind of."

She tilted her head at his response. Her eyes brightened as a look of understanding dawned on her face. "Oh, you mean you're just visiting?"

Yuta thought for a while. "Yeah. You could say that."

"Then I'll show you around! You don't mind, do you?" Without waiting for his answer, Nina took his hand and dragged him along as she ran.

"H-Hey! Where are you taking me!"

A smile appeared on her face. "You'll see," she told him.

-o-o-

Next chapter: Ten Years Later...

-o-o-

There's not much UM fan fictions to go around so I'm also gonna make a Nina/Tsujiai fic. Haha! ;-D 'Sha nga pala. Sa mga Pinoy na nagbabasa dyan - magparamdam naman kayo! hehe.

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