Title: Birthday Blues
Genre: Romance/ Adventure
Disclaimer: I no own!
Note: This is an AU fic and also is a Yaoi.
Warning: Unbeta'd so beware the errors!!!
Chapter 1: Princess
Toboe sighed softly as he looked over at his parents. Queen Cheza merely smiled at her son while King Kiba glanced the other way. Their son was coming of age soon, and he'd have to be married off.
Toboe pouted at them, his hazel eyes giving his parents a half glare. He was a very beautiful young man, too beautiful that it was easy to fool people into thinking he was a princess instead of a prince. The boy was cursed with the lovely looks of a woman and neither the king nor queen bothered to correct anyone who mistook the boy as a girl. Instead they encouraged it, since they didn't want their son to marry the princess to the West, and she was the only female eligible.
The prince looked over at the other people that were present at the table. There was his cousin Hige and his fiancé Blue. There was his tutor Cher and her husband, head of the royal guard, Hubb. There was Blue's father, the King Quent. And, finally, there was Toboe's betrothed, King Darcia. Toboe would be his second wife, his first having died in childbirth ten years ago. The people had thought it best if their king remarried, and Toboe's parents only whole heartedly agreed.
Darcia seemed like a nice man, though he was older then Kiba by about ten years. But he was kind, wise, smart, and enjoyed all of the same books that Toboe did. It made the boy sick to his stomach that his parents would take advantage of such a kind man by marrying off their son to him.
Hige hid a smirk that was aimed at his younger cousin, knowing exactly what the other was thinking and then some. But Toboe was a sweet girl, even if Darcia was older than her father he was a good man. He used to think that age was a big deal as well, until he met Blue. She was five years older then he and he didn't mind at all. Although being with her meant war against King Orkham since he had planned on getting engaged to Blue first despite the fact that she had turned down his proposal numerous amounts of time.
It's because she's beautiful, Hige thought happily.
"What does the princess enjoying doing on her free time?" Darcia asked Toboe politely.
The younger of the two lowered his lashes and could feel his face heat up from the sudden attention he was receiving, "I enjoy reading, very much so." And it was the truth, reading got him away from the palace; it took him to far off places. Places where dragons slept, mermaids swam, and fairies had elegant balls.
"Indeed?" Darcia asked, a bit surprised, not many princesses enjoyed a good book. Most thought that reading was beneath them.
"The princess has her own library as well," Hige interjected, he gave Toboe an amused look, which his cousin returned with a scornful one.
"Does she now?" Darcia asked, seeming to be extremely interested, he was about to ask if he could see it after dinner but one of his servants came into the room. She bowed deeply before going up to Darcia and whispered something to him in hushed tones. Darcia sat up straight once she was done and took in a deep breath, "I would have loved to have seen it, however I'm afraid it must wait until the next time for I must be going."
"So soon?" Kiba asked, slightly surprised.
Darcia nodded, "unfortunately. King Orkham is trying to cross my borders, but that is not proper dinner conversation."
Kiba stood up when Darcia did, "I shall see you off," he said, an apprehensive look on his face.
"As will I," Hige nodded, standing up too. King Quent and Lt. Hubb stood as well; they knew when an impromptu military meeting was needed.
"Very well then," Darcia bowed to the women of the room, "this dinner has been very pleasant and I wish there to be many others in the near future." He gave Toboe one of his rare smiles which caused the teenager to blush hotly.
Once the men left Cheza looked over at her son, "King Darcia is such a good man. He will be the perfect husband for you."
"He does seem too good to be true," Cher nodded in agreement with the Queen.
"Too good indeed," Toboe mumbled, stabbing his fork into his potatoes.
Princess Blue chewed on her food thoughtfully before saying, "sixteen is too young to marry in my opinion, even if it is mandatory for a girl to be betrothed at that age, the fact is that she is still a child."
Cheza frowned at Blue but said nothing as some servants came into the room, taking away the dinner plates and putting down the dessert. As soon as they left the Queen decided to speak.
"If Toboe were a boy then he'd have to be married of to Princess Jagara, would you rather have that?" She asked in a prim voice.
Cher cut in before an argument could ensue, she gave Toboe a pointed look to stay silent, "if that were the case you would be taking away his childhood either way. And this way he won't be able to be King, if you were posing him as a girl that is. Do you understand that? If she was a he, and he does marry Darcia, what would happen on their wedding night? When the King finds out his bride isn't a bride at all?"
Cheza gave Cher a look to be silent and the woman knew better than to say anymore of her opinion. The room went silent as the women gathered their thoughts; they could hear the men talking through the door as they walked down the hallway back to the dinning quarters.
"Perhaps it should be best to have a change of subject?" Toboe suggested, picking at dessert.
Blue nodded, "that would be most wise."
The men then reentered the room, retaking their seats in a stilted and gruff manner.
"Darcia is a good man," Hige managed to smile, ignoring the fact that his half-eaten dinner was replaced by sweets. He tucked into his food either way.
"Oh?" Blue asked him, eyes warming at the sight of her fiancé.
Hige nodded, "since he is also going to be at war with Orkham we agreed to have an alliance with our kingdoms to take that old cod fish down."
"Orkham has been trying so hard for so long to invade neighboring lands, it would be good to finally be rid of him," Cheza smiled down at her plate.
Toboe frowned down at his food.
Kiba nodded, "and having Darcia as an ally can help our kingdoms very much, he is a very powerful man."
Toboe listened to the politics of how wonderful it would be to use Darcia in such a way. He listened until he could stand it no more and excused himself from the table, weaving the lie that he felt ill and faint. He took in a deep breath of relief once he was out in the hallway and began to make his way towards his hallway.
Toboe yawned, rubbing his eyes tiredly as he placed a bookmark on the fifth chapter of the currant book he was reading. It was well passed midnight and he had just realized how tired he was. Stretching a bit, he curled up in his window seat to stare at the moon for a bit before retiring for the night… or maybe after the sixth chapter he would go to bed. Worrying his bottom lip he reopened his book. Yes, once he was done with the sixth chapter he'd go to bed.
Golden eyes narrowed as they watched the palace lights go out slowly. It was almost time.
The owner of said eyes looked behind him, searching for the group of bandits that were all hidden somewhere in the darkness. There were only a few of them, but they did their job well. And this heist was going to be a big one.
"Is it almost time Tsume?" a girl with long black hair and skin as tanned as Tsume's own asked.
The man named Tsume nodded, "tell the group to get ready Leara."
Leara smiled at her boss before turning around and running off into the night. Blending perfectly into the darkness.
Tsume smirked as he looked back over at the palace, their plan was flawed and that's what made it perfect. They were ballsy, that was for sure, sneaking into the palace to steal some rare items or two, maybe even knock out some royal guards and have a good ol' time. For his group and him it was a game, a very dangerous on, and this one was their first deadly job; but the rules were the same just like for all of the others. Don't get caught.
"It's too bad we can't see that princess, I heard she's quite a looker," Cole, another one in Tsume's group, stated as she melted out of the shadows.
Tsume cocked an eyebrow at the woman, "last I checked you were taken. And into men."
Cole gave Tsume a breath taking smile, "I just want to check out the competition. She's probably not that pretty anyway."
Her leaders smirk expanded, "well, if we run into the wench then we'll get to see."
It's so quiet, it's almost eerie, Toboe thought while feeling his way through the dark hallway that connected his room to his library. Sometimes he felt as if his quarters were a bit too large for late night wandering.
"Talk about a lax security," he mumbled, noticing how he ran into no guards or servants along the way. He shivered as he passed yet another hallway of empty armored suits; it felt as if they were staring at him with their hollowed eyes.
Where is everyone? He asked himself, stopping at an arc window and staring up at the heavy full moon, it illuminated the room and made Toboe look like an angel from afar. He sighed and put a hand up against the glass, watching the clouds move before looking down at the ground below.
Something seemed to sprint across the well maintained courtyard. He rubbed his eyes and stared again at the same spot, "did something just move down there?" he asked himself before shaking his head, I must be too tired.
He moved away from the window and continued his trek to his room. Maybe it was because it was the dead of night, but it felt like a journey instead of just a simple walk from one room to another.
Tsume watched the young woman that was at the window. It was amazing that she was so visible, and he was thankful for the moon for providing him a look at her.
Leara looked over at Tsume before looking up at the window and what she saw made her gasp, "That's the princess?" She asked in awe. The girl on the other side of the window was beautiful, and Leara could only imagine how lovely she was in the daylight.
Cole ran up to the two of them, "let's go, there's no point in standing here like morons and gawking at her royal highness."
"I think Cole's jealous," Leara grinned, waiting for Tsume to make the first move before following behind him.
Surprisingly they managed to sneak into the palace easily, separating shortly after entering and promising to meet back up at the arranged meeting place within the next half hour.
Tsume looked around the corridor he wandered into. Where's the security here? He asked himself, it's like they're begging to be robbed.
Nonetheless he continued to scope out the rooms, for their may be guards anywhere and he needed to keep his eyes peeled. Because one never knew who was where in a palace.
Toboe went silent; did something just fall off the wall at the foot of the stairs? His breathing lowered as he, as quietly as possible, headed for the noise. It was funny that people tended to do that, investigate what was occurring, heading towards the danger. He supposed it was just some type of human instinct.
He watched from the shadows on the top of the staircase as a man took a coat of arms from the wall and then run off towards his library.
The fifteen year olds eyes widened as he thought of his precious books and what the strange man might do to them. He practically flew down the stairs and hallway after the man, rational thoughts flying out of the window. Whoever the man was, he had a nice, lithe, body and could run rather quickly.
But I guess that's to be expected from a thief, the Prince thought, who's insane enough to try and break into a palace? Taking in a deep breath he sped up his pace.
Tsume looked around the library in awe, who knew that royalty actually read? He figured that most thought themselves too high and mighty to put their noses in a book. After all, why read when you can dictate?
The large, beautiful, library proved him wrong, though it wasn't the first time that Tsume was wrong.
He froze when he heard the door to the room open, hiding himself behind a bookcase. Who the hell is up this damn late? Shouldn't they be getting their beauty sleep?
A pleasant odor wafted through the air and Tsume sniffed lightly, the smell of jasmine caught his nose. It was a female perfume, a very expensive and wonderful smelling one.
"I know you're in here, and I'm going to tell you that I will not allow you to get away with stealing," the voice was a bit rough for a woman's, but still light and feminine regardless. It was the type of sensual voice that drove men mad. And Tsume was no exception.
He swallowed a grown; the last thing he wanted to be was jailed for molesting a child. He looked over the row of books and forgot how to breathe when his eyes landed on the princess. She stood there in the middle of the room, a sword in hand and the moon shinning down on her. And he was right in his thoughts before, she did, in fact, look like an angel of some sort.
"I'm not gonna steal your precious books, if that's what you're worried 'bout." He found his mouth saying before he was able to stop himself. He felt glad that he did though, because the princess visibly relaxed at the statement.
"Why are you stealing from the palace? Do you not realize what the penalty is for stealing from royalty?" she asked them, walking up towards where she heard Tsume's voice project from.
He arched an eyebrow, was she unafraid? Either the girl was had courage or she was an idiot. Neither mattered however, for Tsume she was attractive either way.
Toboe looked through the rows of books and right at a muscular, dark skinned, chest that made his mouth go dry. He swallowed what little saliva that he had in his mouth before stepping on the balls of his feet and looking right into the eyes of the thief. The cold gold eyes stared right back at him with a mild hint of interest.
"The penalty is to be hanged," Toboe managed a dry, sardonic, smile.
The man continued to stare, "are you going to turn me in your highness?" His mocking of Toboe's title made the teenager want to throw his head back and laugh. Instead he shook his head.
"No. We have too many gaudy accessories as it is. However, if I let you escape than I ask a favor in return," he leaned back onto the heels of his feel.
The man frowned, though Toboe continued to smile, "and what favor would that be? Not kill you?"
"Oh, I have no doubt that if we were to get into a sword fight it would be almost evenly matched," Toboe lied with a shrug, he showed no fear to this man who could very easily end his life, "no, what I want is to be taken with you."
"No," the man answered, "I won't be responsible for the kidnapping of a spoiled rotten brat who seems to have a fun time manipulating people."
The flat out refusal was something that the Prince was not used to. He frowned at the stranger, not knowing why he wanted to go with him so much. There was something about the man which drove Toboe insane with curiosity, it lured him to follow the man and hold a conversation with him despite how dangerous it all was.
"Then I shall call the guard who is down the hall," Toboe fibbed, toying idly with his hair.
"There isn't any guards down the hallway, at least not this one," the man's eyes narrowed.
The Prince once again smiled, he knew he was acting as everyone expected a spoiled princess to act like, but he didn't seem to care at that moment in time. All that mattered was getting the thief to agree, "You think so? You do know what they say about assuming, hm?"
There was an inarticulate growl as a response and Toboe grinned. The man glared daggers at him.
"I knew you would see it my way. After all, is there not a code amongst thieves?"
The golden eyed man nodded.
"Would you mind terribly if we introduced ourselves formally to one another?" Toboe asked. He felt ridiculous, talking to a thief, one crazy enough to break into the palace. Who did that? Yet the Prince was intrigued, this was the type of excitement that only happened in the fantasy books he read for fun.
Tsume glared at the Princess, he didn't need some prissy, complaining, little, girl forcing him to take her with him. It was hard enough to take care of the gang and himself; he didn't need the burden of babying anyone in the process of surviving. But, he chose to obey the girl, and against his better judgment he stepped out from his hiding place.
He gave her royal highness a mocking bow, which she returned with a well practiced curtsy, although it was done with such a flourish that he knew she was mocking him as well. She had a sense of humor, he'd give her that much, but he refused to take her with him.
"Tis a pleasure to make your acquaintance, I am her royal highness, Princess Toboe," she put her hand out so she could shake his. It was a very masculine gesture, something that most women would never do.
"Call me Tsume," He took her hand, wincing at his stupidity of using his real name. And it wasn't as if his name were common either. They shook and he was surprised by her firm grip.
Once their hands separated the door to the room opened once again, this time by a palace guard.
Tsume swore colorfully, instinctively taking the Princess' hand and running towards the window. He had gotten so used to do so with Leara that his mind didn't even think twice when he did it with her, opening the window and grabbing the young girl tightly. Looks like it's too late to turn back now, he huffed.
"But, it is a two floor drop!" Toboe gasped as Tsume picked her up and leaped into what seemed like an abyss.
As Tsume ran with Toboe flung over his shoulder he could hear the alarms in the castle go off, alerting everyone. He knew that he should've just placed the girl down and continued to run, she had her bit of excitement already and there was no need to get himself killed over her, but his arms refused to let her go.
"THE PRINCESS HAS BEEN KIDNAPPED!" They could hear people screaming behind them, the palace long gone from view.
Toboe clung on to Tsume tightly, staring behind them with wide eyes. Finally, he was going to have his own adventure.
Evil Chibi Kitten: There we go, the first chapter redone. Hope you all enjoyed it, I know I did lol. Please review, flames are always welcome. I just love reading what others think.
Originally posted 9/10/04