Stained Beauty

Disclaimer: I do not own Kingdom Hearts, no matter how many times I try to blackmail Tatsuya Nomura.

Warning: Yaoi and character death

Abbandon's Note: I wrote this story based off of a story that I read in either the 5th or 6th grade. I was sitting there, watching the hockey game with my grandparents and all of a sudden, BOOM! It just popped into my head and I remembered the story quite clearly. It was strange because I had only read it once and now six or seven years later, I remembering it with unbelievable clarity. It's kind of a dark fairy tale thing. Brothers Grimm style but not. I hope that you enjoy.

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There was once a kingdom far away, farther than the kingdoms of fairy tales that we heard about as children. This kingdom wasn't particularly rich nor particularly big, maybe that's why we never heard of it in the stories that our mothers and grandmothers told is a children. But it existed nevertheless. And like all good kingdoms, it was ruled by a King and a Queen. The King and Queen were kind, lovely people, loved by all of their subjects. So when the news spread that the Queen had conceived a child, joyous shouts could be heard from all over the land and parties were held nearly every night in celebration. The prophets of this small kingdom ordained that the Queen was to give birth to a daughter, which in that country was still cause for celebration, since women were given the same rights as men. The day that the announcement that the Queen was in labor was sounded, all of the denizens of the small country gathered around the palace gates, waiting with bated breath for any kind of news. The Queen's labor was harsh and long causing her great pain and unfortunately, the wonderful Queen died in childbirth. But lo and behold, in her last moments, the Queen cheated fate and gave birth to a baby boy.

"Name him Riku and tell him that his mother loves him always." Were her last words before her heart ceased to beat, her skin grew pale and death's pallor spread over her. The King, overcome with sadness, wept for the loss of his beloved wife and handed his child over to a nursemaid, unable to care for his own son; unable to look at him for fear that he would too much like his dearly departed wife. And young Prince Riku grew up, much like any other human being would do. He was born a beautiful child and grew to be a lovely youth. He had skin the color of milk, eyes the color of the ocean, and hair the color of the moon reflected on water, an elegant silver. But Prince Riku's looks was where his problems lied. The Prince was so beautiful that anyone who looked upon him was struck blind. Although, this did nothing to stop the long line of suitors asking for his hand in marriage, but it did stop them from approaching him directly, for fear of being struck blind of course. So the Prince's only friends were the beautiful flowers in the gardens where he spent almost all of his time. Despite the fact that the kingdom wasn't rich, it had some of the largest and most beautiful flower gardens in the world. It was while the Prince was wandering around the rose gardens that the King looked out the stained glass window of his throne room and was amazed to find that he could look at his son without going blind. Soon an announcement was sent through the land, that a solution to the Prince's problem had been discovered. The amount of suitors asking for his hand in marriage almost tripled in number, princesses and princes alike, all armed with pieces of stained glass came to the castle, all with the same dream. That they would leave with the Prince at their side as their beloved spouse. And day after day, the Prince met with them all, watching them, observing them through his smart aquamarine eyes. But strangely, he sent them away one by one, never specifying why he sent them away. One day, while meeting with a rather beautiful fair-haired princess, the Prince asked a question.

"Do you love me?" He asked her. She proclaimed her love for him louder that she had said anything in her entire life; that she loved him with all her heart, more than the sun, the moon, the stars and the earth combined. The smiled brightly. "Then will you do me a good turn?"

"Whatever you wish of me, my Prince, I will do!" She declared, hoping that he would say those fated words to her, the words that every princess, every prince had wanted to hear since they stepped foot in that castle; "Will you marry me?"

"Then will you… remove the stained glass from your eyes?" The Prince asked, his voice filled with hope. The Princess was shocked; she had not been expecting such a request.

"But, your Highness, if I do that I will go blind." She said, wondering if he didn't quite understand his own predicament. Maybe his father didn't explain it fully; her parents did that, like when they wanted her to do something, like her lessons. That's why she never got anything done. The Prince looked at her with sad eyes and nodded.

"I know. If you love me enough than you would be willing to do this for me." He replied, standing up from the bench that they were sitting on. He left her sitting there, bewildered and wondering if she had done something wrong, for this princess wasn't particularly bright and didn't quite understand the concept that other people had feelings other than herself. In other words, she was a spoiled and selfish brat. The Prince sent out his own decree, that he would marry no one unless one suitor was willing to look at him without the stained glass covering his or her face and that would be the suitor he would marry. And the oceans of suitors soon slowed to a trickle, leaving only the ones who thought that if they waited long enough that Prince would realize that he would not find a spouse and change his mind. But the Prince did not change his mind about his decision, he held fast to his word. And he too began to think that he would never find love. Until one day…

The Prince was picnicking at his favorite place, the cliffs by the ocean. He was enjoying the sound of birds singing from the trees and the sun shining on his face. After a while, he heard the sounds of soft singing coming from behind him. He turned to see the court jester walking towards him, singing a merry tune, whistling every so often when he forgot the words to the song. The Prince liked this jester in particular; he was always able to make him smile, so he called out to warn him of his presence. The Jester pulled a piece of stained glass out of a pouch that he wore around his waist and held it over his eyes. This Jester was young, born only a year after Prince Riku. He was a beautiful boy, with bright sapphire blue eyes, spiky cinnamon brown hair that stuck up all over, and a smile that could brighten any room. He sat down next to the Prince by cliffs and looked out into the infinite stretch of the sea that led to the sun, his unbelievable smile plastered to his face. The Prince watched the Jester with sad eyes, wishing that he could be so happy and carefree.

"What ails you, Your Majesty?" The Jester asked, not looking away from the vast expanse of the sea. He knew that the Prince was sad, he could feel it. And it was he job to make the royal family feel better. His bright smile faded a little when he saw the Prince unhappy.

"Oh my little fool, you could never truly understand my problem, being as happy and carefree as you are, but I shall tell you anyway." The Prince replied, he too staring out into the sea. "I fear that I will never find love."

"But, Prince Riku, you have many suitors and all of them claim to love deeply. How could you worry about such a thing?" The Jester was genuinely curious. He had seen all of the princesses who had come to see the Prince and could not understand how the Prince could have such a worry.

"Oh, they only proclaim with their mouths and not with their actions, those spoiled princesses, those selfish princes. If they truly loved me, they would do what I asked of them. That's that only way I could believe that anyone could love me." The Prince said bitterly. The Jester now turned away from the sea to look into the saddened eyes of the Prince through his stained glass.

"What is it that you ask of them, milord?" He questioned, though he knew the answer already.

"To look at me. To actually look at me and see me without the stained glass protecting their eyes." The Prince was disheartened. "Nobody loves me enough to do even that. It is my beauty that they love, not me. They could careless that I am an actual person with thoughts and emotions, not some doll that you dress up pretty and look at through a case." The Jester smiled sweetly and tapped the Prince on the hand.

"I love you." He declared, removing the piece of stained glass from his brilliant eyes. The first thing he saw was the full beauty of Prince Riku, with nothing obscuring it and sucked in a deep breath, as his world went dark. But the darkness was too frightening for the little fool who was so used to the world of light and he began to cry. "My Prince, it's so dark. It's frightening! I'm scared. I don't like this at all! Help me, please!" He cried, covering his blank eyes, which only frightened him more. The Prince looked at the little fool and felt his heart breaking. Here was this jester, who didn't mean anything to anybody, an orphan, but who loved him enough not to only proclaim with his mouth but with his actions. He pulled the smaller boy into his arms and held him tightly. The jester clung to him and sobbed uncontrollably. Riku felt wave after wave of guilt pour into him. This boy had done nothing but love him, from afar and now, so very close, had never asked him for anything but he, a Prince, given everything he ever wanted, had selfishly taken away his entire world. And it meant nothing, their love would never be recognized, being that he was a Prince and this boy was a lowly Jester with no standing in the royal court whatsoever. They had two very different parts to play in this tragedy called life. Riku was ashamed of himself. He pressed a kiss to the Jester's lips, briefly and, sadly, pushed him away. He ran to the cliffs and looks back to the young boy, stumbling clumsily, searching blindly for the man who had pushed him away, tears still falling from unseeing eyes.

"My little fool, I am so sorry." The Prince apologized, tears falling from his eyes too. "I love you as well." With those heartfelt words, the Prince dove off the cliff and into the sea that he loved so much. The Jester called out to him but received no answer other than the sound of splashing below the cliffs. He felt his way to the edge and called out the name of the Prince, but still no response. The Jester, with a genuine cry of grief, too pushed himself off of the cliffs, wanting to be with his love even in death, the way he could not be in life. And the sea welcomed him with open arms, welcome a love that world would have shunned.

The servant sent by the King to find the Prince returned home empty handed, unable to find his young charge anywhere. But… if he had looked a bit closer under the cliffs, he would have seem two snow-white roses, their thorny stems intertwined, being tossed about on the waves.

Fin

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Abbandon's Note: Okay, well it's done. Umm… sorry I haven't updated Sinfully Pure in so long… but I have no Internet… right now I'm doing this at school. But as soon as my Internet is back I have new stuff for everyone! So R&R!!