Disclaimer: Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles does not belong to this humble author. Neither does the original plot for The Princess Bride. The OCs: Metaru, Nihaka, Kin, and Amaya were created with my roommate, Kataiko-chan. The insanity that spawned from it belongs to me.
Author's Note: This is all for Kataiko-chan! I decided to write fluff just for you! To the sane readers: This is obviously not Harry Potter or Naruto. This is insanity just for my roommate, although you're welcome to read it as well. All you need to know is Metaru and Nihaka are OCs who have married Kurogane and Fai respectively by about five years in the future. Amaya and Kin are their kids, and Syaoran and Sakura are about eighteen or nineteen years old. And you can safely disregard anything that happened after the Celes arc.
The Princess Bride
"Okaa-san, tell us a story," Amaya crawled onto Metaru's lap and wrapped her tiny arms around Metaru's neck.
"You and Kin-chan need your sleep," Metaru soothed, stroking her daughter's hair. "You may be feeling better now, but we don't want you to relapse. And Kin-chan still has a bit of a fever."
Kin glared at Amaya and pushed herself up onto her elbows. "Amaya-chan shared her cold with me," she growled.
Amaya abandoned her mother and flung her arms around Kin in heartfelt apology. Kin tried to maintain the glare, but failed. She grumpily hugged Amaya back and crawled under the covers again. Amaya scrambled after her, but then peeked out over them at her mother.
"Amaya-chan," Metaru began warningly.
Kin added her mismatched puppy-dog eyes to the power of cuteness. "Please? I really do feel better than yesterday and you tell the best stories."
Metaru sighed and tucked the blankets around them more securely. "Says who? You two never listen to anyone else."
"Syaoran-kun and Sakura-chan say so," Kin chimed. "Tell a story!
"A story! A story!" Amaya gave a little bounce and snuggled next to Kin. "A story for Kin-chan and Amaya-chan."
"Alright, I will tell one story . . . and then you two will go to sleep." She made herself comfortable and lifted her hands to begin.
Once upon a time there was a thief named Nihaka. Her favorite things to do were to play with magic and to torment the apprentice mage who worked for her thief-lord. His name was Yuui, but no one ever called him that. They jokingly called him Fai because of his strange resemblance to the Dread Pirate Fai of Dimensions. But Nihaka didn't even call him by that name. She preferred to call him Mage and challenged him to keep up with her in her magic games.
Despite the potential that the thief-lord, Ashura, saw in the young mage, Nihaka never saw Fai work any impressive magic. Whenever she challenged him, Fai would smile, bow, and utter the same words: "As you wish." Yet he never met, let alone exceeded the power that Nihaka spilled into her spells.
It was not until Nihaka challenged him to place all the colors of the rainbow in a glass sphere for her necklace, that Nihaka realized the hidden meaning behind the mage's words and smiles. Instead of putting the rainbow into the sphere as Nihaka had demonstrated, Fai only captured the color purple and bestowed the necklace upon her with a little bow and smile. "As you wish."
It was then that Nihaka realized that Fai was truly saying "I love you." And once she realized that, she also realized that she truly loved the strange man in return. So she devised a magical test for the mage.
"Mage . . . fetch me the Obsidian Stone found within the highest Volcano of this world," Nihaka tossed over her shoulder on her way through the hide-out one night. Her last job had been made more difficult than necessary by lack of sufficient light, and Obsidian Stones guaranteed light only to their holder. Such a tool was priceless to a Master-Thief, and if Nihaka gained one before even earning the rank of Journeyman, then she would become legendary.
"I can't do that."
Nihaka spun around in shock, eyes wide. Besides the fact that he had denied her something for the first time ever, she had never heard Fai use any words besides his infamous line. "Why not?"
Fai raised his head, tilting it with a smile. "I have some work to do for Ashura-ou." He slid his current work into his satchel and stood, grasping his staff in one hand. "Don't worry so," he teased over his shoulder as he shrugged into his coat one arm at a time. "It will always be exactly as you wish it again . . . once you learn the magic word."
He kissed her forehead and disappeared into Ashura's chambers, leaving her staring after him in confusion. Nihaka had mastered many magic words, but none seemed applicable for this situation.
The mage's strange and uncharacteristic behavior plagued her night and day for two weeks, and Nihaka began having difficulty sleeping when her mind was occupied with such an unusual puzzle. A good thief must never succumb to exhaustion while on the job, so Nihaka spent these sleepless nights searching for a solution to Fai's riddle.
Finally, Nihaka decided that she needed a sleeping spell. Sleeping spells were Fai's specialty and only he could place the thief-lord into restful slumber for an entire night whenever bad news reached their hide-out.
Since orders had gotten her nowhere, she decided that she would ask this time. Fai was an apprentice-mage after all, and his rank was higher than an apprentice-thief's simply for having the control and power to study the fine art of magic. Nihaka lacked the control, but usually ignored the class system since she preferred the thief's line of work anyway. However, Fai always followed the rules. Perhaps respect was the key to Fai's riddle and Nihaka would finally have an answer along with the sleep spell to soothe her rest.
"Mage?" Nihaka slipped into the library, searching for the ladder. Wherever the bottom rungs rested, the mage was sure to be at the top, thoroughly lost in whatever book had captured his interest. He never seemed to notice his precarious balance, being drawn to heights the way Nihaka was to shiny things.
She found him in the section on animals, researching phoenixes of all things. "Mage? May I ask you a favor?"
"Of course, Haka-chan," he chirped, leaping off the ladder and landing lightly beside her. "You may always ask," he teased, with a glint of mischief in his eyes.
Nihaka's eyes narrowed instinctively, but she simply offered him the book that contained the sleeping spell she wanted and took a seat in the comfy armchair at the end of the aisle. "I've been having trouble sleeping. Would you cast this for me? I know you're the best at sleeping spells."
Fai smiled at her, closed the book, and tucked it into his satchel along with the one on phoenixes. "I'm afraid not," he chuckled, as he leaned over to kiss her forehead. "Now I have an errand to run for Ashura-ou, but I'll be back by tonight. Learn quickly, Haya-chan!"
Nihaka stared back at him in disbelief. "You baka!" she finally shouted. "It's your fault that I can't sleep and you won't even help me when I ask you nicely and show deference for your rank!"
Fai smiled, widely. "That's not what I want, Haka-chan!"
"Then what do you want?" she yelped in outrage, reaching towards him with one hand before thinking better of strangling the thief-lord's personal apprentice and love of her life.
Fai patted her on the head. "It will always be exactly as you wish it again . . . once you learn the magic word."
Nihaka glared at him darkly. "Give me back my book."
Fai chuckled and disappeared in a swirl of magic, leaving Nihaka to fume and plot his untimely demise.
Nihaka was at wit's end. She appeared to be no closer to solving Fai's riddle than ever and her exhaustion was causing her to doze off practically in her stew. And to make things ten times more difficult, the infuriating man had taken her book, so she couldn't even ask someone else to perform the spell for her.
Nihaka didn't understand why Fai was playing these games anyway, when he only half-heartedly played hers. Denying her the Obsidian Stone-which had been a cocky request to begin with-was one thing. Refusing to help her with a sleep spell was quite another. Fai did love her, of that Nihaka was certain. There was something in his eyes that softened just for her. And so help her, Nihaka loved that insane man too.
So what was she supposed to do about his unsolvable riddle?
"Nihaka-san?" a cheerful voice questioned from beside her, and Nihaka raised her head to stare blearily at the young girl who had taken a seat across from her. "Nihaka-san, are you alright?"
"I'm fine, Sakura-chan. Just tired . . . and confused. How many magic words do you know?"
"Eh?" Sakura looked surprised, then jerked to attention and began listing off the words as if it was a pop quiz. Unfortunately, there was no way that a mere child of Sakura's age and talents (usually called street rats, but Nihaka avoided the term since she had been there once too) knew more magic words than Nihaka.
"Calm down," Nihaka muttered, patting the girl on the head. "It was a rhetorical question." Sakura heaved a sigh of relief. Nihaka pushed her bowl in the younger girl's direction. She wasn't going to eat anymore and having it in front of her when she couldn't stay awake or asleep was just asking for embarrassment.
"Arigatou," Sakura chirped, sounding somewhat like Fai as she whispered the polite word of eating before reaching for chopsticks. "Ne, Nihaka-san? What are you working on that has to do with lots of magic words?"
"It's nothing," Nihaka waved dismissively. "It's just a riddle for the mage. I think he's making it up as he goes along."
"Oh, Fai-san is very good at riddles," Sakura nodded emphatically. "He told me a rhyming one yesterday that had three parts, and I don't remember how it goes exactly, but it was quite splendid and the answer was 'courtship,' although I had to have Tomoyo-chan help me figure it out."
As interesting as the riddle sounded, it probably wasn't the same one that was causing a dilemma for Nihaka. 'Courtship' was not a magic word.
"I like Fai-san a lot," Sakura continued on cheerfully. "He's always very nice to Tomoyo-chan and me. We have a whole book of riddles now. Maybe I can help you with the riddle, Nihaka-san. How does it go?"
Nihaka lightly tapped her head against the table in time with her words. Bad habits developed from spending too long in the library on a single sentence of insanity. "It will always be exactly as you wish it again . . . once you learn the magic word."
Sakura bit her lip as she thought it over, repeating it silently. Then her eyes lit up. "By any chance, Nihaka-san, were you asking Fai-san to do something when he gave you the riddle?"
"I asked him for an Obsidian Stone . . . and later for a Sleeping Spell."
Sakura bounced excitedly. "It's not a riddle at all, Nihaka-san! Here's what you need to do . . ." and she leaned forward to whisper into Nihaka's ear.
Fai returned somewhat late and was surprised to find Nihaka still up and waiting for him. He set his satchel down on the table and smiled widely at Nihaka across the table. She smirked back and covered a yawn. Fai tilted his head in curiosity.
"Mage? Fetch me some water . . . please. I'm thirsty."
Fai grinned widely and grabbed the pitcher right in front of her to pour the water. "As you wish," he bowed, presenting her with the glass as if it was wine in a gold chalice and she was a queen.
Nihaka sipped it slowly with a half-hearted scowl for the mage. "It wasn't a riddle," she accused. "You drove me crazy for two weeks and it wasn't even a riddle."
"Haka-chan turned it into a riddle," he replied, knowingly. "And you discovered the correct answer too . . . I suspect that Sakura-chan helped?"
Nihaka's eyes narrowed. "You set me up."
Fai nodded cheerfully.
Nihaka reached over, grabbing his shirtfront and pulled him into a kiss. "Baka mage," she whispered into the kiss.
With that declaration, it became known around the hide-out that Ashura's apprentice was in love with an apprentice-thief. Their love grew, but neither could afford marriage and Fai's appointment as a journeyman-mage loomed over their heads. With the rank, Fai would be sent out on longer missions without a more experienced mage for back up. As Ashura's personal apprentice, his missions would be harder than any other's, and the danger was very real.
When the day finally came for Fai to jump dimensions and accept a mission from the Time/Space Witch, Yuko, Nihaka couldn't bring herself to let him go.
"Haka-chan," Fai teased. "I can't take you with me."
Nihaka tightened her grip around his neck and buried her face firmly in his chest. "Why not?"
Fai sighed and held her closer. "I'll come back for you. I'll always come back for you. Take care of Ashura-ou for me. Watch out for Sakura-chan so she doesn't get into trouble. And stay safe."
Nihaka turned her gaze upward and leaned in for a kiss . . .
"Lovey-dovey lovebirds," Mokona cried, pouncing Metaru. "Fai and Nihaka are lovey-dovey lovebirds! Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!"
"Manji," Metaru sighed, capturing it with her hands to prevent its excited flight around the room. "What are you doing here?"
"Mokona came to sleep with Kin and Amaya, but Mokona heard Metaru telling a story! Mokona likes the story. Mokona wants to listen to more!"
Metaru chuckled and tucked it between the two girls. "Can you stay quiet long enough to listen to the story?"
"Mokona can be very quiet! That's one of Mokona's 108 Secret Skills! Super Quiet Listening!"
"I'd like to see that one a bit more often," Metaru teased with a soft pat to its head. "What about you two? Are you tired yet?"
"Nuh-uh," Kin shook her head. "Tell us more, please!"
"More, okaa-san," Amaya echoed, crimson eyes dancing in amusement.
"Alright, now where was I?"
Fai never made it to Yuko's shop. He was intercepted between dimensions by his namesake, the Dread Pirate Fai of Dimensions . . . the only pirate to leave no one alive, not even fellow thieves. When word of Fai's death reached Nihaka, she locked herself in her room and neither ate nor slept for three days.
But Nihaka could not spend her life mourning. With Fai's death, his last sleeping spell for Ashura became permanent, and the sleeping king needed to be tended to in more ways than Chii could provide. Nihaka became his magical caretaker, slowly earning her journeyman's rank as both a thief and a mage, the first to do so in a decade. She took Sakura on as her apprentice since the younger girl was a magnet for trouble on her own, and she moved on in her own way as five years passed.
But she never loved again.
To Be Continued . . .