Pairings: 1x2, other
Disclaimer: Don't own nothin' but these words
Warnings: Angst, yaoi, lemon, language, violence, blood feud, forbidden love, tragedy
A/N: Welcome, welcome back! This is a new story, obviously. Comments, observations, critiques all welcome!
When We Met
Endina was a country in turmoil, so the royal family decided to make an attempt to ease tension by throwing a masquerade ball. They invited every noble family in the country, and to make sure the evening couldn't end in bloodshed, they told everyone they could not remove their masks while at the ball.
The reason was simple. The two wealthiest, influential families in the noble circle were families with a long, long blood feud between them. Constantly at each other's throats, they made everyone—including the royal family—uneasy. They were both big enough and rich enough that they could technically go to war with each other, and even the monarchy wouldn't be able to stop them.
The Yuys were contractors of the country's arms and offensive technology. With a long line of brilliant engineers, they controlled all the mass-produced weapons in the land. They sold not only to private buyers but to the monarchs, as well.
The Maxwells, conversely, were contractors of the country's defensive technology. They monopolized the market for energy shields and force-fields that protected all the important government facilities and any private home wealthy enough to purchase such.
And the two families had been at each other's throats for so long, none even remembered how it had begun. They could destroy the country with their money and power, so it was a well-founded fear. The royal family hoped that they could end it peacefully before things got too far out of hand to rectify. That was the reasoning behind the masquerade.
- - - - - - - -
"How are we supposed to pick up the lookers when we can't remove our masks?"
Heero Yuy, the only son of Lord Takashi Yuy and thus heir to the entire vast Yuy estate and fortune, cast his cousin, Hilde, a glance. Hilde had attached herself to him, claiming him as her escort for the night as they entered the royal palace. Rolling his eyes, he looked out over the glittering, fluttering, and billowing dancers.
"I think that's the point," he said. "We cast aside our superficiality for the night."
Behind her peacock mask she rolled her eyes. "Yeah right. It's to keep us from leaping at the Maxwells with teeth bared."
Snorting softly, Heero led her into the hall. "Look, there's a group of males over there. Why don't you go charm them into dancing with you?"
Flashing him a bright smile, Hilde let go of his arm and drifted over to them. Heero, never much for gay and colorful parties, headed for the refreshment table for a drink. There were members of his family that he recognized simply by their costumes. He decided to go visit them in a moment, opting for a sip of flaming punch in the meantime.
"Not much for these affairs, either?" came a low voice.
Not quite starting, Heero swallowed his punch to look at his new companion. Though the frame was slim and willowy, the obvious lack of bosom told of his sex. He was several inches shorter than Heero, his skin was deliciously pale and unmarked, and that was about all Heero could tell. He wore a glimmering black mask, and the rest of him was draped in floating, jet black. In his free hand he held a scythe.
Heero's lips quirked in a grin. "Interesting choice of costume," he said. "This is supposed to be a hopeful party, and you choose to come as Death."
That won him a sweet giggle. "I know. I have a morbid sense of humor. What about you? What, exactly, are you supposed to be?"
"Less morbid, and definitely much less creative," Heero replied. He bowed. "I am simply a knight."
Those full lips curved in a smile. "Well, sir knight, would you save me from this excruciating boredom and ask me to dance? It doesn't bother me that we're both boys before you ask, and yes I prefer the company of boys to girls. If it bothers you, I apologize."
This time Heero didn't fight the grin. "It's the chivalrous thing to do to be as honest with you as you have been with me. I, too, prefer the company of boys so no, it doesn't bother me. I would love to dance with you, although might I be tempting fate to dance with Death?"
His companion burst into bright laughter. "I like you. Tempt fate all you want tonight, Sir Knight. It's my night off from condemning hapless souls."
Chuckling, Heero swept the boy into his arms and led him to the dance floor.
"To tell you the truth," the boy said, "I don't like dancing. I can never find someone who dances the way I want. Most men are too aggressive dancing with another man. It's not about grace, it's about . . . I don't know. Domination? Sex?" He giggled.
Heero found himself completely mesmerized. He didn't know the identity of his black-clad companion. Truthfully it didn't matter much. All he knew was he wanted to get to know this boy.
"What about me?" he inquired, reminding himself the boy had spoken.
Those dark eyes landed on his with a soft smile. "You're the first, actually, who suits me about perfectly."
Heero smiled. "I'm glad. I enjoyed your company far more than I thought I would. I didn't once recall that you could take my soul at any time."
More of that incredibly sweet laughter. "I really like your sense of humor. Do you have an e-space account?"
"Yes," Heero replied. "Give me your username and I will contact you."
"Don't have paper," the boy said, lips frowning. "Do you?"
He did. Heero always carried a little pocketbook around with him. Digging out his small pen he handed both to his new friend. The boy wrote it down and tore off another sheet. "Write yours down for me, too."
Heero accepted his notebook and smiled. "Shinigami?" he said. "It fits. The God of Death. All right, Shinigami, here's mine. I'm usually online for a few hours every day, chatting with friends and family."
"Me, too," the boy said, taking the slip Heero handed him. "WingZero? I like it. All right, Wing. I'll most likely chat with you tomorrow." He folded it and stuck it in his robe, smiling again. "And for now, it's really late. Bye! It was really fun dancing with you!"
Smiling, waving, Heero watched the black robes flutter as the boy ran back inside. Well, normally he didn't like these affairs. He took it as a good omen that such an important one as this turned out to be the best one of his life.