Disclaimer: It's Toei's sandbox. I just play here because it's fun!

Author's Note: In the interest of sidetracking… have a little fae glamour.



By Etcetera Kit

He was standing in the back garden, in the flower beds. The flowers were closest to the house. Onii-chan's vegetable patches were further back. He did this several times a week and she watched from her window, wondering when he would appear. The routine never changed. He took off his jacket and laid the garment across a chair on the back porch. His shirt would follow. He never wore shoes or socks.

The moonlight glinting off his pendant, he would walk into the middle of the flower garden, careful to avoid treading on the dying blossoms. Slowly, he would raise his face to the moon, a soft smile tugging at his lips.

She could never hear what he said.

He would turn and she would be given a full view of his bare back. Lean, sinewy muscles, like a runner, were clearly visible under the moon's silver glow. But that was not the first thing she had noticed. The first thing she noticed was the scars.

Long and jagged, the ugly marks ran from his shoulders and disappeared into the waistline of his pants. The scars were not the smooth product of a whip or stick, but the messy business of a dagger or sword, the point of the weapon being the offender. She wondered how he got those marks, how someone subdued him enough to inflict such horror. She had theories. She had spent the first night after seeing the scars sobbing. But she had no facts. She had never spoken to him about the scars. He did not know that she watched him from her window.

He always seemed larger than life, invulnerable and unbreakable. For her, the idea that he had been brutalized was terrifying. If he could be beaten, what about them?

He raised his arms, toes digging into the cool, damp earth. What did he feel, the mud between his toes, anchoring him to the island of their backyard? He looked like he was reaching for something, but she did not know what.

Turning, he lowered his arms and looked directly at her window. He smiled.

Her heart hammered in her chest and her mouth went dry. She ducked to the floor, hoping and wishing that he had just casually looked at the house. But she knew that was not the case. He had seen her. Had he known she watched him each night?

He confused her. She had been the one to kiss him, free him from his cursed form and, yet, he seemed to forget her. She showed her more patience than Houka and gave her casual touches, but his interest was far from romantic. If he wanted romance, she assumed that he would ask her on a date or even… kiss her. What would tasting the silk of his lips be like? She shivered just thinking about a kiss. Would he taste sweet, salty, spicy? She imagined tasting the sunlight on his kisses, being able to feel the element that gave him his strength and his power.

She crept up, peeking out the window. He was still staring at her window. Another smile when he saw her. He gestured at her to join him.

Should she? Go outside barefoot and feel what he felt on these nights? She wanted to so badly. She did not want a comfortable familiarity with him. She wanted him to love her. But how was that possible? She was plain and boring, her life far from interesting. Her older sister was more exotic and alluring. She was a quiet mouse, going about her daily routine with nothing truly extraordinary about her or what she did.

But he had gestured to her. Without a second thought, she stood up and left her bedroom. No time at all passed, yet an eternity passed before she was standing on the back porch. He still stood in the flower garden, his gaze fixed on her.

"Urara," he said softly and held out a hand to her.

No doubts this time. She descended the three stairs to the ground and treaded across the cool grass. His hand was warm as she placed her hand in his. He smiled brilliantly and pulled her into the center of the garden with him.

She blinked. The entire scene had changed. The house and neighborhood had faded away and were replaced by a field, scattered with silver-lit trees. Wild flowers and mushroom rings grew in natural patterns in the tall grass. Tiny lights, like fireflies, lit up and faded amongst the trees and tall grass. The moon seemed to shine more brightly than ever.

And him… he had shifted slightly. He was still the man she knew, but he appeared more beautiful, more feral. He was now wearing a white peasant shirt, laced loosely, and a pair of pants that stopped at the knee. His ears came to a delicate point. And his eyes… they had turned a molten shade of gold.

"Hikaru-sensei," she gasped. "How?"

"The moonlight reveals us for what we are." His fingers gently brushed her cheek. "Look." He gestured to a pool of water next to them… a lake. This side of the field was a lake. She stepped towards the water's glassy surface and bit back a gasp.

She had changed, almost as he had. The dress she wore was light blue with delicate straps that appeared like they would break under the slightest pressure. The bodice was fitted and the skirt was long and flowing. Her own ears came to a delicate point and her hair was longer, cascading down her back. But her eyes… glowing bright blue.

"The moonlight uncovers and unmasks," he said. She turned towards him. "It makes us what we truly are. Exotic, beautiful… magical."

"But…" She shook her head. "Are we seeing the same thing?"

"Yes," he breathed, closing the space between them. He rested his hands on her waist.

"But this… it's so…"

"Unmanly?" When she nodded, he laughed, the sound like a wave of sunlight washing over her. "I've always wanted to be a lover from fairy tales—the types of women who want a fairy tale tend to be the most authentic and the most exotic under the moon."

"Can we stay here?"

He laughed again. "Unfortunately, no. The glamour disappears with the sun, and when there is no moonlight, the magic won't work." He paused. "But we can enjoy this for a few hours."

"Your scars—"

"Are gone here. They don't exist here. This is a glamour… but also reality."

She felt strange, like something that had kept her tethered had broken and she was free to run, to do what she pleased, to be what she wanted. She smiled at him, asking the only question she could think to under the circumstances. "Have you ever wanted to make love here?"

He smiled in return. "Yes… but I was waiting for you."

A warm, soaring sensation enveloped her. Here, she was exotic and beautiful and far more than boring, plain Ozu Urara. He pulled her against his chest. She smiled, feeling safe inside his arms. "We can be lovers here," he whispered, breathe hot against her ear. "The glamour will give us complete privacy—no one else can interrupt."

"How did you get those scars?"

"In time." He picked her up quickly. She smiled, wrapping her arms around his neck.

Later, in the faint afterglow, she realized how beautiful this was—laying out in firelight, their skin feeling the night. She could spend her life traveling the length of his body each night. He gently pressed a kiss to her forehead. She ran a hand down his chest. The night around them was magical, but nothing mattered except him and the sleepy, sensual way he looked at her.

Each night was exotic here, passionate… full of magic.

The others didn't know and didn't suspect. This was their world and theirs alone. Each of them all the things they wanted to be.

She never did find out how he got those scars.

But there was time… outside… in the real world. This world seemed eternal, endless. She knew that their relationship would transcend the glamour eventually.

But that time was not now.

The End
21 April 2007