this is a yaoi. for those of you who dont like male/male. obviously dont read it. and to those of you who are...

Prince's Gift: Chapter 1

As laughing and talking filled the room, created for one of the most special occasions in the castle, Seiji sit utterly bored. A huge wonderfully decorated room, with green sparkling ribbons hanging from the walls and assortments of food prepared on oak tables, fit most of the guests. There must have been at least one royal from every land dressed in their finest. Seiji felt nearly shocked at the party of people, it was an important day for any young man, but this?

First day of his manhood, seventeen winters have passed. Personally he disliked people constantly congratulating him, offering fake compliments. Despite being prince he didn't take on the normal snotty attitude. His father neither, still ruling with a firm hand. He scanned around the room waving to people who waved at him. Another woman, perhaps a princess, strode over to him her hips swinging back in forth in hope of luring the prince.

She appeared to be from Aijura, her black hair was well past her waist and her slanted eyes marked her as Aijuran. A gold headband wrapped around her forehead was proved Seiji's observations correct, she was a princess. Most likely charmed by his father to see whether she posed any interest in his son, for a husband. A beautiful woman, he couldn't deny that, but he took no interest in her. Seiji forced a smile repeating the etiquette he learned years ago. However too much sent people in blushes and looking around nervously in hopes of no one watching.

It was unimaginable letting the prince of Taiem bow to you. With a few words of "She was proud to be in the grace and it was wonderful to finally meet him" She left leaving an almost too friendly gesture.

"This is getting quite mundane." He muttered to himself picking at the delicate silk threads in his chair.

The man gripped the chains and jerked them harshly warning the filthy slave behind him to increase his pace. The slave stumbled and fell forward his arm hitting the stone roughly. He scampered up quickly as the slaver came toward him.

"Filthy maggot! Is that the way you're going to present yourself?" And to add he kicked boy in the side causing it to cough as breath suddenly left its lungs. However he couldn't injure him too much. That may anger the king in giving his son a rag. It was decently dressed to impress the prince. Though the rags still hanged loosely on it, they were clean. Something it didn't even deserve. Slaves do not wear clothes; they wear rags, dirty rags. This one by far didn't even deserve rags.

Seiji opened one eye as he felt something cool pressed against his lips. He looked down at a goblet of wine and rolled his eyes.

"Thirsty, my lord?" The brunette smiled down at the pitiful looking prince. His chin rested on his hand as his other tapped the arm of his chair.

"Call me 'my lord' again master Shin and I'll slit your throat." He said coldly.

"Call me master Shin again and I'll poison your food."

Seiji smirked. "It's a habit."

Shin scoffed as Seiji took the wine. "And calling you my lord isn't? Do you know what servants hear all day? Were supposed to show respect." And he added, "My lord,"

Seiji eyes shot up as Shin grinned evily, noticing the handles of other assortment of large jugs hanging from his slim fingers. It was amazing how Shin did that without spilling anything. He wore normal servant clothes seeing no point in getting dressed up when he practically grew up with the prince.

Shin wasn't very much older than him, maybe a year at the most but Seiji still looked up to him as if he was older. Shin in return treated Seiji like a four year old, though knowing which times to do so. When Seiji would take on his role as prince trying to make the right decisions and thinking with intelligence rarely given to some, Shin stood in the background helping the young prince whenever he asked for an opinion.

"My lord," Seiji blinked surprised at the guard suddenly appearing in front of him. Obviously he was too involved in their insults and death threats. He saw the uncomfortable look on the man's face as he picked up parts of their conversation. Seiji hoped he wouldn't actually hang master Shin for 'Shoving gale fruit down his throat and watch him slowly dieing while he laughs.' Most of the castle has come accustomed to it. Other servants look at master Shin like he's mad. As long as they didn't fuss over him, or try to dress him, he could put up with it. Shin did that just to piss Seiji off.

"Yes?" he said as Shin stepped aside.

"Someone awaits your presence, my lord."

"Do I go to them? Or are they coming to me?" he asked.

"He is coming to you, my lord."

Shin looked around curiously for whoever was coming to meet his blonde friend. Seiji actually looked interested and when a green haired man entered the room he walked over to greet him. Despite his looks Seiji was still courteous. He doubted Shin would give the man anything he was determined he only served Seiji, which he did little of that. Bowing and congratulating him on his manhood he motioned to another man with white wavy hair.

"I have a most spectacular gift for you, your majesty. From Farlon." It was his father's half brother, Naaza. Just looking at the man made him sick. He was like poison to people around him. Naaza was jealous of Seiji, even though he didn't act like it. A mere boy who just reached manhood training to be King. When he himself had far more experience, and had a brother who was already King. He thought he should be the one next to be on the throne. Seiji didn't recognize the other man though, maybe another tainted friend of Naaza's.

Seiji grinded his teeth as he saw the white haired man enter the room thick heavy chains wrapped securely around his writs dragging behind him a raven haired young boy. Smooth tan skin was decorated with bruises and a larger one forming itself on the boy's cheek. His head was lowered as his body took the composure of a slave. Never meeting their master's eyes unless allowed, submissive composure waiting for the common abuse.

"Bow to your master slave!" He jerked the chains down forcing the slave to his knees.

Seiji heard Shin mutter curses under his breath, as he felt the disgust radiating off of the brunette.

"For you, my lord. It's very obedient won't mutter a complaint, even if you hit him." And to support his statement he lifted a fist to deliver a punch to the slave's side sending him once again to his knees.

It? Obedient? A slave? He was far too angry to think clearly. Though he didn't show this as he was trained to stay composed. He didn't allow people to see him angry.

"Take the chains off of him." He ordered softly.

"Of course." The man said quickly. "It's use to chains however, they shouldn't bother it."

Seiji didn't notice the silence filling the room his eyes were locked on the raven-haired boy. Shin was whispering something to him that he couldn't hear. How could someone be treated so badly? How could a human be treated like this by another human? Why wasn't he taught more about slavery? He was afraid though of what they would do to the slave if he rejected their gift.

"I don't own humans Naaza!" he spoke angrily watching as the boy flinched as if he was struck.

"But my lord, you are not satisfied? I can beat him if you aren't satisfied. You can do whatever you want with it. Kill it if you wish." And he rambled on unaware of the rage burning in the Prince as every word sent him closer to death.

"Satisfied? What kind of gift is this? You should be glad father isn't here. I can't believe you're doing this!" He didn't know what he was saying the words he wanted to say were impossible to get out all at the same time. All the while the young boy was trembling. Finally the guards dragged the two mean out of the castle.

Seiji glared angrily at the space once filled by the two men till his attention fell on the young boy. The boy jerked as he felt his new master's eyes settle on him. His mother had shooed all the guests away along with apologies and now Seiji was alone with the slave and Shin who stood at his side waiting loyally to see what Seiji was going to do.

He walked over to the boy and kneeled down so he could see his face, but only to meet the side of his head as the slave quickly turned his head.

"I am not going to hurt you." He said softly cupping the boy's chin in his hand and turning his head so he could see his face clearer. He could easily sense the fear and tension from the boy, so much it almost made him sick or even cry. This ability he had, was sometimes useful… though if the emotion was bad and strong enough it could keep him in bed.

Shin had to carry him back to his tent once when he went with his father to view the results of a war between them and Resun. Death was so strong in the air it drained him of all energy. He didn't even want to think of the sorrow… pain… it was too much… Shin knew of his ability before even he did and told his father he needed to return home, that he was too young to view such things.

He was grateful to have such a friend, a friend he could trust with his life. And if anyone as much as laid a hand on his brunette friend they can see just how scary the Prince of Taiem can get.

He looked over the slim frame stretching his ability to check for any more injuries. Just bruises. Finally the boy looked up and Seiji was gifted with beautiful tiger blue eyes. Filled with sorrow…

Mmm… it's too strong… he thought but didn't look away. They were beautiful, if he tried to ignore the emotions that burned inside of them. Noticing his own sudden stir of emotions he looked away and raised up. He might as well do something, he couldn't just leave the boy here.

"Are you all right?" Shin whispered so the young boy wouldn't hear.

Seiji nodded, feeling like a child who was given a sword, not knowing what to do. He knew the boy was human… it was just… well he was a slave… Servants were different! They were paid, they chose the job, he could handle that.

"Come with me." He said and helping the boy up he guided him to his room, Shin taking his normal position beside him asking Seiji what he wanted him to do. Telling him to get a hot pack and something to eat and drink, Shin turned into the cook's quarters.

His temper seemed to have returned to its dormancy as he smiled warmly at the boy behind him holding his hand. Then frowned when he was met with the top of his head. He passed a few servants who had heard the rumors of the prince's event and scurried away some asking if he needed anything. He replied with a wave of his hand. Shin was already waiting in his room as he opened the door. A fire was burning in the brick fireplace greeting them with warmth. He thought he felt the boy relax as if soothed by something.

"You can sit on my bed."

The slave's eyes widened in shock at the sentence, never was he allowed on his master's bed. He slept on the floor or sometimes not sleeping at all. His master looked at him confused and turned to the brunette for help. Perhaps he did something wrong? Was he going to be punished then? But when the blonde started to walk towards him he was nearly breathless by his grace.

The fire cast shadows on the perfectly muscular pale form outlining every curve on the body. He wore fine dark blue trousers that folded in wrinkles over his smooth leather boots. A shirt matching his pants had the golden phoenix on his left breast semblance of him belonging to the Date's royal family. Gold embroidery decorated itself around the end of his sleeve while a gold line traveled down the side of his trousers. His left ear was pierced with a silver tiny hoop, a common costume of Taiem for young men. A single small blonde bang hanged in his right eye making him look all the more intimidating.

Whether he wished to admit it or not, Seiji had the air for a King. He tried to not look into his master's eyes, one of the worse things a slave can do, he was almost beaten to death for that. Violet eyes shifted to an icy blue contrasting with the fiery embers dancing in the fireplace. Then they shifted to a deep hazel. The boy quickly dropped his head, then tensed when he felt something hot press against his darkly bruised cheek. It didn't hurt, it was gentle and hesitant as if afraid he would hurt him. Just that simple act shocked the slave.

'Open your eyes," he said gently and smiled when he was met with those amazing tiger blue eyes.

"Master?" the boy asked meekly.

Seiji almost wanted to scream. "Do not call me master, my name's Seiji. What?"

His eyes widened again at the words but he put it away in his mind. Don't call him master. I'll remember, hopefully. "Why are you doing this?"

Seiji switched the side of the pack seeing it was getting cold and checked the bruise.It was now a yellowish color and still continuing to fade. He was wondering why Shin was so quiet, he was usually nagging at him for about everything. "Because I want to, and I don't like seeing people hurt. And as soon as I'm King I'm banishing slavery because it's disgusting." he saw a faint smile play across the raven haired boy's face, and satisfied that he made his point he handed the boy some juice.

"Pardon me for my rudenesss." he chuckled and the boy nearly dropped the goblet in shock. "What's your name?"

"Most my master's name me what they want. Usually filthy rag, or dirty slave..." he was quieted with two cool fingers pressed against his lips and he instantly shut his mouth. However... the normal reaction to prepare for a blow never came. He allowed a small smile to form.

"You think I will name you? What about what your mother named you?"

"My mother is dead." he said flatly.

Seiji inwardly cursed himself and damned all his careful words. "I'm sorry..."

The boy shook his head as if to wave off the thought. "Not something to be concerned about mast... Seiji." he quickly corrected himself. This was the Prince of Taiem wasn't it? He just couldn't call the Prince by his name! It.. it... it was like... slaves don't do that!

Seiji wanted to make just a little space between him and the boy. One of the few days his ability starts to be more sensitive. The emotions were mixed together and flooding into his mind making it difficult to interpret them then trying to defend himself from them. Making himself sick won't help the boy very much.

"So mate, what's your name?"

Seiji turned his head to find Shin squatted down beside him shoving fresh bread in the raven-haired teens face, who gingerly took it. Shin gave him a knowing glance feeling the uneasiness from Seiji. He really didn't know how bad off this boy was, but he could easily see past the mask Seiji forms to hide what he's sensing from others. He let Seiji rest while he talked.

"I apologize for not answering." he said lowering his head once again only to look back up when he felt Seiji scowl. "Ryo... Sanada."

"Shin Mouri." he pointed a thumb towards his blonde companion. "This is Seiji Date, not very bright since he forgot his last name." he received an elbow in the side for the comment.

"Sanadas?" Seiji wondered thoughtfully, and he appeared to be right when the boy blushed.

"The Sanadas were great samurai that fought to bring peace to the world again when the demon god Arago spread his evil and curropted the land."

"You're a decent?" Shin asked amazed.

Ryo shrugged his soldiers and whispered a "maybe."

"Your just going to leave him there? Not bothering to offer him anything?" Shin scolded.

"Your the servant. remember? Who's the one who didn't even bother serving our guests? Hm?"

"I cook." he shot back.

"Little of that." he glared challengingly.

"Well at least I don't sit on my royal ass all day like some blonde stuck up Prince I know."

"Go make yourself useful and jump off a cliff."

"I would drag you with me, so we can die together." he smiled.

"How noble." Seiji rolled his eyes.

"I love you to."

"I can still slit your throat."

"I can still poison your food."

Ryo stared amazed at the two. Never before had he seen a servant threaten a Prince like that. And the Prince! It's like he was lessoned in threats! He regretfully looked down at his empty hand still hungry. He hadn't eaten since two days ago and his stomach had resumed it's normal emptiness not even bother to growl knowing it wouldn't get any food.

He dared not ask for any more, though he looked up at the brunette. His mas... Seiji said he was a cook didn't he? Even servant clothes were better than his., he thought sadly. Shin wore plain white pants, grey boots, and shirt with the golden phoenix on his sleeve. Which symbolized a servant, guard, or caretaker of the Date family. Some royals believed to own their servants and instead made them wear collars.

"Still hungry mate?" Shin smiled as Seiji was busy talking to his mother, who was waiting ever so patiently for their "quarrel" to end.

Ryo nodded his head, smiling shyly and jumped when the brunette suddenly plopped down beside him and reached an arm around him. He fought back waves of fear when he felt the harmless light embrace.

"I can make about anything. What would you like?"

He opened his mouth to say something but didn't know what to say. What he wanted? The best food he's ever had was soup. When he offered that Shin looked at him like he was crazy. Obviously that was food not served here. These people... it was just different. They acted like he was any normal human being, not a slave, not an object owned by man. Like an equal, but he could never be an egual to a Prince, it was just madness! They carried on a conversation like he was a friend, even let him sit down on a bed.

"I'll be back."

Seiji glanced out the window surprised to see it so dark and sensed the exhaustion in Ryo who was trying to hide his yawning. Well he couldn't let Ryo sleep in those clothes, and surely he would appreciate a hot bath. Though that might just send him in shock. Seiji didn't think slaves were given hot water for their baths, maybe not anything. Then it will just be his first. Wonder if father has heard about Ryo, he mused, most likely. He will be absolutely furious. He didn't want Ryo to go away though. His mother just asked him how he was doing and the such, nothing about father. Which could either be a good or bad thing. Why was this so complicating!

But Ryo nodding off then quickly sitting straight again returned him to what he decided on doing. He disappeared into the washroom. Four large barrels of water sit steaming over hot coals that kept the water warm. He studied the room before pouring it himself. Serving ladies seemed to pop out of nowhere infuriated he was pouring his own bath.

"I made you a bath." he said motioning his head towards the washroom and ignoring Ryo's faint expression. Then tossed him some soap wrapped neatly in lavender colored cloth. Seeing that the teen wasn't going to move he went exploring through his closet pulling out clothes that would fit Ryo.

"And," he added, "You can wear these." Mostly new but he refused to let Ryo wear his old clothes whether they fit him or not. Anyway Shin is handy with a neddle, he can fix it.

"But... but... these are yours..."

"Your smart, for a minute I thought you were going to stare at me like a deer." he handed Ryo the clothes and pushed him into the washroom and closed the door.

He was roused from his musing about Ryo when he heard the door shut. He opened his eyes to see Shin carrying a large tray of food in one hand while the other held some sort of drink.

"Where's Ryo?"

Seiji pointed at the door leading to the washroom and closed his eyes again and heard Shin sigh. His steps came closer as he settled on the bed above Seiji's head and raised his hand to gently rub the blonde's temples. He wasn't exactly sure it helps him but Seiji looked more relaxed when he done it. Sometimes too many emotions at once can give him headaches.

"Headache?"

Seiji nodded.

"All of this from one person?"

"I don't know, it shouldn't have bothered me so much even though my ability decides to be more sensitive than usual."

"Tired then?" he offered.

"Something about those men." he said tiredly, somehow Shin always made him sleepy when he does that.

Shin didn't need to confirm that it was the men who brought Ryo, it made it sound like Ryo was a dog. Anyway Seiji and Shin had both agreed to treat him as if he was never a slave, make Ryo comfortable. They really didn't know any other way to treat him.

"What do you sense from him now?"

Seiji's face wrinkled up as if thinking about something. "Loathing, shock, and fear. The strongest."

Ryo stepped out of the room his hair still wet and was given a cheerful smile by Shin. Seiji was sprawled out on the bed looking totally out of it. His nose wrinkled when he smelled food. Very good food. He opened his mouth to say something, but shut it instead. He wondered if Seiji was okay. Which was surprising, he never worried about his master's, in fact he wished... no it was wrong to think about that. About anyone, no matter who they are.

But Seiji wasn't like his other master's, he was... kind. It might be good if he kept his mouth shut for a while, maybe sit in a corner. Seiji has already let him use his washroom...sit on his bed, and he just found out the nasty bruise on his cheek was gone. Most of his masters showed off how much they beat him, talking about him like he wasn't there, then just hitting him to have everyone laugh at him. Maybe Seiji wouldn't notice him, that pleased his masters.

"Food's on the table." Shin said.

"Th... that's for me?" he stuttered eyes wide as he saw the delicate silver plate sitting forgotten on a large table. Two red cushioned chairs were finely polished while the table wore a gold cloth. Candles were scattered around the table in no specific formation and already half burned.

"No it's for the rats." he joked. "Yeah it's for you." he slowly got out of the bed careful to not wake Seiji and walked over to Ryo who sit at the table. He might as well bring up some conversation, no one likes to eat alone.

"So how old are you?" Shin was guessing around fourteen or fifteen. He really didn't look that old. His raven colored hair outlined his face in a childish way while his tiger blue eyes gave the innocence only children can still claim. To be so small he looked to be well built, something Shin was often mistaken for.

Ryo paused his fork loaded with potatoes and carrots to think when exactly he was born and how many summers have passed.

"Sixteen." he replied quietly.

"You're younger than us." Ryo raised his head in question. "I'm about to turn eighteen, Seiji just turned seventeen today."

Ryo's mouth fell open slightly, so that's why he was given to the Prince it was his birthday, no he just reached his manhood too. He was just a gift... An object to hand around then throw away once they were bored of it.

"Don't worry about it, he's spoiled enough probably going to make his head larger than it already is. So when were you born?"

"August seventh." he was some proud he replied faster than last time. He took another forkfull of pork and tried his best to not stuff it all in his mouth. Ryo didn't realize just how hungry he was, and Shin's cooking was amazing.

"Seiji said you were tired. You want a separate room?"

"Whatever you want to give me. I usually sleep in basements or outside."

Shin waved away the thought annoyed, it's winter! He'll freeze to death. "There's plenty of rooms."

So that's where Ryo found himself, in a very large room, not as big as the Prince's but still big. It was decorated with white and gold silk hanging from the walls. Two windows were made beside a white silk bed filled with plush pillows and blankets. The bed post was carved into spirals and ended with a golden bar that hung ivory colored sheets. A fire was burning silently next to the door, like Seiji's and he blinked surprised that there was no extra wood. Perhaps he wasn't worth it. He was sure he wasn't, just had to cope once the fire was gone. Shin had abondoned him once he found him a room. He had no idea how he was going to find his mast... Seiji. Shin wound him through dozens of halls getting further and further away from Seiji.

"Sir."

Ryo spun around startled as he was still trying to take in the room. Thinking maybe he was given the wrong room. Clearly a slave couldn't be gifted with such... finery.

"Sir, do you need something?"

Ryo's mouth only attempted to work as he saw one of the servants right infront of him holding sheets and towels. He should be the one asking that! This woman was older than him. Definetly. Gray and blonde hair was wrapped into a loose bun and bangs fell limply into her face. Her face wrinkled when she smiled. Perhaps she didn't who he was, what he was. Now that he wasn't dressed in rags, but clothes the Prince actually wore she mistaken him just as another guest.

He shook his head furiously and she left saying good-bye and that if he needed anything just call. He gingerly curled into the bed once his mind was made up that it was okay to touch it. Which took ten minutes of uneasiness and looking around not knowing what to do.