Disclaimer: I do not own Akazukin Chacha.

Loving from Afar

By: Enigmatic Ice

Chapter 5

"Oh teacher Seravi he's so adorable!" Chacha exclaimed. Today the two of them are visiting their teacher in Mochi-mochi mountain.

Hearing this, Shiine looked back to Chacha and Seravi who are busy cooing the baby. Then, he quickly averted his eyes to the baby boy, Koyuu, on Chacha's arms. The little bundle of joy was gaping up at the princess, making curious expressions as the blonde princess smiles down at him.

"Teacher Seravi and teacher Dorothy is so lucky to have an angel like him." Chacha looked up at her teacher who only grinned at him. "Would you like to hold her, Shiine?" asked Chacha thoughtfully, smiling brightly as Koyuu stretch out his little hands in front of him. She lifted her gaze to Shiine, "Would you?"

Taking a step back, Shiine neither said nor did anything, his face is a mixture of something that wanted to but can't.

"Go on Shiine", Dorothy chided softly.

"But…"

"Don't tell me that after all this time, you don't know how to handle a baby" Seravi teased.

"Uhhh…"

"Or maybe, you do…" he added, sarcasm evident in his voice.

"Seravi, Shiine here can't possibly know on how to handle Koyuu, although he has a younger sister; he is still currently staying with me at that time."

Understanding dawned on to the princess. Slowly, she came near him.

"Ahhh… But Chacha, I don't…"

"Now, fold your arms," the princess instructed, knowing exactly what Shiine was going to say. Seravi and Dorothy just watched in the background, amused at the situation as they see the young sorcerer obliged, though a little awkward.

"Relax Shiine, he won't bite…" when shine looked ready, the princess handed the baby carefully, setting Koyuu cautiously in Shiine's arms. "Now don't handle him to tight and relax a little. She might get uncomfortable" the princess instructed amusement quite evident in her voice.

"Look Shiine, our son seems to like you", Dorothy pointed, a motherly smile grazing her features.

Shiine's face looked nervously around the people around him. Then, he tore his eyes to the baby. Koyuu did seem to like him and doesn't look uncomfortable in his hold. Knowing this, he let out a sigh of relief, but his eyes widened however when Chacha came in front of him and began playing with the baby. He held his breath, beginning to be aware of her scent. Shiine can feel his heart beat faster and he felt a shiver in his spine when the princess came in close proximity.

But Shiine didn't say anything though; whatever he felt at the moment in the presence of the golden haired princess mustn't show. But he gulped and his Adam's apple move down as Chacha's hair brushed against his nose. Being too close to Chacha sure feels like some sweet torture.

"I would love to have a baby as cute as you…" she cooed the little baby while feeling its little hands. The statement made Shiine blush as he began to imagine on how her babies might look like.

"Then why don't you make one?" Seravi interjected as he smiled mischievously toward his apprentice.

"Yeah darling, I'm sure your babies would look really cute," supported Dorothy, but put a finger under her chin, mulling about something, "But I wonder who the father will be?" she asked but then she looked at Shiine sharply, making him look down, his face beet red.

"Oh! I don't mean it like that teacher Dorothy. You see I am just too young to have babies and…"

"Shiine here would be a nice candidate," Seravi answered his wife as he calmly sip his tea. This statement earned him a grin from his wife but an embarrassed and blushing faces from both the young adults. Both can't look at each other's eyes.

"Yes, I know that they will produce some cute little munchkins…" he said as if he knew it would happen.

"Teacher Seravi, stop it…" Shiine reproached the green haired magician, his face still flushed from all the teasing. "You must not joke about stuff like that, and besides, it's making both of us… well, ummm… uncomfortable", he said as he looked toward the princess through the side of his eyes. The baby in Shiine's seems to enjoy his discomfort a little more as Koyuu laughed softly, as if the little baby understood the situation.

"Why?" Seravi asked, "Both of you are of legal age to marry. Surely, there is no harm there as far as I could see…" he pressed a little further.

"You know Seravi; I think that Shiine here is not yet ready to have a family. He is probably too busy, because of his job and all… being too busy won't make a happy family, remember that Shiine", his wife interjected, already lecturing her young apprentice.

"But of course, all of that will change once he got married, I know because that's what happened to me!" but then he paused, "Forgive me for saying this you two, but if I didn't know better, I would think that you look like a happy family"

Looking uncertain, the princess looked at her teacher, who was wearing a smile. On his side is his wife who rested her face on the palm of her hands while looking at both of them. "Do we really look like parents now?"

"Oh it's not that darling!" Dorothy answered quickly, her hand going up and down. "It's just that… well, ummm…" she looked at her husband for help.

"It's because you both looked nice together"

With this the two flushed once again.

o0o

A smile on the princess's lips, Shiine noted was a strained one. And Shiine too felt embarrassed and if one would look close enough, a giant sweat drop could be seen at the back of his head as the coach took the two of them away from Seravi's cottage to the castle. For as soon as his teacher Dorothy and teacher Seravi's teasing about the two of them mellowed down a little bit, their friends came into the cottage to pay some visit to the couple.

Riiya came first, wearing his normal clothes for a change, he came barging in with a chest, saying that the king and queen requested for him to deliver it to the couple before he go home for some day off. He immediately asked for food after he saw the baby. Next Marin came, almost at the same time as Riiya does, and to Shiine's surprise, his wolf friend doesn't seem to avoid her like a plague now, in fact under his observation, Riiya seems to be very friendly around her now, he figured, maybe it's because she isn't sticking to Riiya like glue now. Then Riiya's grandfather Adon came, which came lifting some chopped logs for the couple.

It was a really nice reunion for the gang. Although in Shiine's opinion it would be nicer if Grandpa Adon wouldn't drop some hints, about him and Chacha, wanting the two of them to be together. Marin also didn't help his situation; instead she supported every teasing they got. Shiine expected it to be a very normal behavior considering it's her, since as far as he remembers; she wants the princess out of her way to make Riiya hers. He just hopes that somehow, the princess wouldn't be offended and he hopes that the princess is still naïve so that she wouldn't understand the things those people are saying.

It is almost a relief on Shiine's part to see the coach that will take them back to the castle. True, the two of them could just poof in some brooms and fly away from the cottage to escape, but, considering the princess' position now, they can't. Besides, leaving the cottage like that is impolite.

But the teasing didn't stop there, even when the carriage is taking them away, he could still hear some hoots and cheer from their friends. Grandpa Adon is worse because of his loud and big voice that seems to tease Chacha and him even if they are far away now.

"Wow! I thought they wouldn't stop teasing us!" the princess exclaimed. Shiine noted that the princess isn't that naïve anymore, but pleased at the fact the she is a good sport.

"Well, I think they just missed having us around. You know them" Shiine said, trying to control his blush (key word, 'tried'). Surely, being alone with the princess inside the carriage make him feel like he's trapped, but now, he doesn't care about that, all he wants to do is not to make a fool of himself and say something stupid in front of her.

"Shiine, are you alright? You seem to be spacing out a lot lately" the princess inquired as she stood up and stand in front of the young advisor, feeling his forehead, "are you sick?"

"N-No Chacha! Well… maybe I'm just stressed ou-…"

Before finishing, the carriage gave a big jolt made by some hollow pit on the ground. This made the princess off her balance.

"Ooff"

"Watch OUT!"

Shiine closed his eyes anticipating a crash from the princess. To his surprise, the princess landed directly in front of him. Chacha ended up sitting in his lap, her hand is place at his nape while the other stays still on his chest, her head also rest in his broad chest with her eyes closed, as if she's also waiting for her fall.

But much to Shiine's surprise, he found both his arms circling around the princess's waist, securing her in their current position. 'I unconsciously saved her', was his only thought. He saw the princess's face closer this time and was awed by what he saw. The princess's face is a look of perfection when seen more closely, she has a very nice pair of eyes, although closed, Shiine could imagine them open, looking at him with adoration. However, his eyes stayed longer in her lips, those luscious pink lips that seem to beg him to kiss and made them red. To make matters simple, Shiine is hypnotized by those pretty pink lips.

"I'm very sorry for the bump your highness, my lord" said the footman as he looked back at his passengers, but ended up speechless at the display he saw.

Chacha and Shiine heard the footman and realized their current position. But it's too late, the said man saw them and let out a loud gasp, confirming that he saw the two of them thus making the coachman stop the carriage immediately to see what's wrong. However, upon stopping the carriage, before the coachman get down to see his passengers, the advisor and the princess gathered their wits just in time. The coachman only saw that both his passengers are standing up in front of his work buddy.

"Mr. Ciao, I could explain this!" Shiine said, desperately trying to explain to the poor footman what happened while maintaining his composure.

"Oh Mr. Ciao, it's not what you think!" Chacha said worriedly, her eyes looks as if she is about to cry.

In the end, although the coachman learned from the whole explaining about the situation, both the footman and the coachman decided to just let the matter slide.

o0o

That night, on the princess's room, Chacha is still awake, sitting on a chair near the balcony, looking at the stars and the moon, thinking…

After Shiine arrived from Covertia, she doesn't know what to make of him, or maybe what she should think of him. Since he arrived, he had flustered her beyond anything she had ever experience. It wasn't that he was so very handsome now that he had taken her breath away for a moment, when she'd had her first good look at him at his house upon his arrival. She admitted to herself that he became very handsome and not to mention attractive in her eyes after all these years of not seeing him. It wasn't that because if it was, then she must only have been attracted to him physically, however, she also knew that if that is the case, there are many handsome men around the kingdom, but she's sure, that none of them affects her like this except her knight.

Still, there is a small part of what had so rattled her. What had been most disturbing were his deep brown eyes that seemed to talk to her. She could feel the very same eyes looking at her everywhere she goes. That same look that would wrap a warm feeling around her, it made her feel safe and secure, makes her feel that she is not alone… that would… well, at least she knows that she is not attracted to him physically, at least she knows, it wasn't just that. Then her gaze fell into the round bracelet dangling in her arms.

"Chacha, that bracelet looks lovely on you" they are just about to leave when Dorothy noticed the bracelet Shiine gave her.

"Oh thank you very much teacher Dorothy, it sure looks cute isn't it"

"And very stylish too" Dorothy agreed.

"CHACHA! We should get back now, Lord Genus might get really worried!" shouted Shiine outside the house, waiting with Serav and the othersi.

The princess smiled to herself remembering that. The bracelet sure looks cute and everything, she know herself that the little dangling bracelet in her arm is not just an accessory given to her, however, she really felt special whenever she looks at it. If only she could put words on what she is feeling right now…

o0o

On the adjoining room, Shiine closed himself in his study, where he could be assured of no interruptions. He magically sealed his door and made it soundproof so that no one could bother him with incidentals. He stood before the fireplace, a snifter of warm wine in his hand. Normally, Shiine doesn't drink, only on several occasions and this is definitely one of them.

He was staring at the dancing flames as if mesmerized, yet, he wasn't actually seeing the fire. It was a heart-shaped face that he saw, framed with golden locks and lively eyes that put joy in his heart.

He looked at his hands. Remembering what happened inside the carriage, those hands that held the princess securely on him. Then, he remembered her lips, remembering it; he could feel the heat in his face. Those same lips seem to haunt him that night. He was sure, in the incident this afternoon, that the footman and his buddy saw his blush while he was trying desperately to explain about his and Chacha's position, but thankful that they accepted their reason anyway.

He inhaled deeply, then put the glass of wine on the side table then stretched in his chair, trying to relax.

"You both looked nice together"

That sound kept ringing in his ear, bolstering his spirit, hoping that somehow, the two of them could ever be something more.

"But I wonder who the father will be?"

"Shiine here would be a nice candidate"

He smiled at the memory of his teacher's teasing. But his smile looked strained; he looked at his side finding his reflection in the mirror. All of those things would really be nice, if only it will be possible… if only the princess would love him…

For he knows, right from the start, that she likes their best friend, Riiya…

And he also knows that he can't do anything about it but watch…

Authors Notes:

Hi there everyone! After a long time I finally updated. Whew! Sorry for the late update, the long vacation seems to make my imagination go haywire! I think I have to do some damage control and repair in this brain of mine. hehe But all the same, I still hope that you've enjoyed this chapter!

Anyway, I would like to thank I LOVE FLUFF PUFFS! () and animasya18 for their support and reviews.

Oh! And before I forget, I'll be rating this story up a little because of some details in this chapter. I hope its okay with you guys!