Umma: Alright guys, so I am just going to let you know that after talking and talking and talking, Tamichan93 has decided to abandon this fanfiction. But do not worry, I will finish this for her and continue on where we left off (Tami has already listed out the plot points for me so I will just write chapters based off of them). Also, after looking over some of the previous chapters I am going to fix some typos that were made (since we started writing this back in high school... and we are kinda in college now... Go easy on us.). Anyhow, I am very sorry about the delay and am going to aim to update once a month. :) If you have forgotten this story, please go ahead and re-read the previous chapters. I will not do a Review Response this time, only because of such a delay and probably most Reviewers have forgotten what they had posted. :/ Again, I am so sorry and hope you will continue reading this fanfiction.

Chapter 17: The Last Night of Dreams

Yuki was stunned seeing the feminine man standing before her. He doesn't match my image of what a prince would look like. He almost looks like a wo-

"My, my, he has gotten lovelier as he's aged." Fai's voice interrupted her thoughts.

Yuki scoffed at his comment. "Well, that isn't appropriate to say about a prince..."

Fai chuckled and pushed his bangs back. "Well, he isn't as lovely as some people in this room." He confessed, looking directly towards Yuki.

She could feel the heat rising in her face, casting a blush on her porcelain skin. She then looked downwards in embarrassment. "S-Shut up..." She mumbled.

Fai chuckled. "Now how do you know I was talking about you? For all you know I could have been referring to Kudan over there..." He said pointing to the the captain of the guard. He then skipped over towards Kudan. "Kudan, you are so lovely and radiant... Oh how I would love to make you mine!" He boasted as he moved his own lips closer to Kudan's.

Kudan had a blank look on his face. He glanced over to Yuki and then stared at the mage who was about to kiss him. He inhaled deeply. "Fai..."

"Yes?" He asked, only mere centimeters away from kissing him. He then felt an impact on his abdomen, thrusting him onto the ground.

"Do something like that again and I will hurt you." Kudan threatened.

Fai clenched his stomach, "I think you already did..." He groaned as the pain throbbed. That will bruise in the morning...

Yuki observed the two as they bantered. She then sighed, I can't believe he thinks that, "... I am in love with that idiot." She finished her thought out loud.

"And who is this idiot, my dear?" A voice popped in.

She turned and saw Prince Ferio staring at her. "P-Prince Ferio!" She shrieked and a blush was spread across her face.

"I'm hoping that I'm this idiot..." He smiled happily. He then leaned into her ear, "I would love to one day have you as my princess..."

Yuki turned away from him, closing her eyes. "No, Prince Ferio. You are not the idiot I was referring to..."

He sighed, "Such a shame..."

"Hmm... Princess Yuki?" Another voice popped in. Yuki opened her eyes and saw the blonde mage standing right next to her. "Such a difficult thing to picture..." He added.

Yuki frowned at his comment. "And why do you say that?"

Fai pondered for a moment. "Well... To be honest... You have more of a persona of a man than a woman... Also, you don't have that regal quality that most nobles have. Furthermore, you fit more the image of a tough knight than a delicate princess." He added. He looked over towards her, and was not surprised at what he saw. Here we go again...

Yuki's eyes were closed as her entire body was shaking with rage. She gripped her Snow Niveus until her knuckles were white. She then looked at the blonde mage with eyes full of rage.

She raised the Snow Niveus up above her head, "DIE!" She screamed, slamming the staff down onto her prey.

The entire castle shook from the impact of her staff. A thick screen of debris covered the room and smoke was blinding everyone that had witnessed the scene. Yuki inhaled and exhaled deeply, letting out all the anger that she once had out of her system. She then looked upwards and saw that the smoke was dissipating. She then saw a figure standing before her.

Blue eyes were staring right at her. "... You missed." The figure spoke.

Looking around, Yuki saw that she created a crater several feet away from Fai's right side. She blinked several times, until she realized that her job was not done. "Next time... I WON'T!" She screamed and whacked her staff towards the mage who stood perfectly still. "STOP MOVING!" She shouted as she continuously thrusted her staff towards Fai.

"I haven't moved at all!" He laughed, enjoying her struggle.

Meanwhile, Prince Ashura and his confidant, Yasha stood there in stunned silence. King Ashura, Kudan, and Prince Ferio sighed as the two apprentices bantered.

"And I just cleaned this from their last one..." One of the servants sighed.

"Father... Is this a common occurrence here?" Prince Ashura asked, having his eyes wide open at the scene before him.

Kudan sighed. "It's so common, it's become a regular routine between the two of them..." He admitted.

Prince Ferio laughed at the display, "Don't worry Prince Ashura, you'll get used to it real soon!" He smiled, patting him on the back.

Yasha glared at Prince Ferio's gesture and firmly pushed him away from Prince Ashura. He didn't say a word, but it was obvious that he was telling Prince Ferio, "Touch him again, and I will kill you."

"Yikes." Prince Ferio commented and then looked back over to Yuki and Fai.

One of the servants walked over towards King Ashura.

"Dinner is ready your majesty." He stated.

King Ashura smiled gently. "Thank you. Fai, Yuki."

Fai and Yuki stopped what they were doing and looked back at King Ashura. His back was turned away from them and the crowd of people followed him to the dinning hall.

Once they entered, they were presented with a large feast. Yuki looked at the spread and was surprised at how different the food looked. "Even though I have been in Celes for a while now, this spread looks so foreign to me." She stated with her mouth gapped.

"Too bad we just recently ate... Will you be all right?" Kudan asked her.

Yuki turned around and reassured him. "I'll probably only eat the first two courses and possibly the dessert..." Yuki said recalling last time she tried eating a Celesian feast.

Fai nodded. "Yeah, and if it helps, just eat small bites and chew on it very slowly. That way it won't appear to be rude to some of the guests here." He suggested.

Kudan and Yuki both nodded their heads in agreement and sat in their assigned seats. Yuki and Fai sat next to each other, closer towards his majesty and the prince. Kudan on the other hand, was sitting on the other side, next to Prince Ferio and Yasha.

Yuki felt Yasha giving her a cold intense glare and gazed downwards, moving closer to Fai. Fai looked up towards Yasha, giving him a gentle smile. "One should not gaze at a woman with such intensity." He cautioned.

Yasha closed his eyes and stared at Fai. "This woman is not Celesian. Who is she?"

"She is my apprentice and comes from the land of Ryuskist. That is part of a distant world, similar to how Kudan and Fai were brought here." King Ashura assured him.

"Forgive my rudeness." Yasha stated and then looked towards the prince who broke the tension.

"So Father, I presume that tomorrow you will be having your celebration?" Prince Ashura asked.

King Ashura nodded. "Yes. When I found out that you will be coming by, I decided to have the celebration earlier."

Fai and Yuki smiled at the sight of King Ashura smiling. "It's been awhile since I've last seen him this happy." Fai stated reminiscing in the past.

"Yeah... When I first got here, he seemed to be smiling often." She added happily. Then she realized that his smile has disappeared substantially since. "I wonder if he is alright? If he is battling something within himself?" She asked herself.

"Why do you think that?"

"Well, he hasn't been smiling nearly as much as when I first arrived here..."

Fai smiled in response. "He's always smiling."

"No." She shook her head. "A real and genuine smile. Not one that is placed to mask one's feelings."

"So there is such thing as a real smile and a fake smile?" He asked.

Yuki pondered on this for a moment. "Yes. Since I've spent so much time with you, I have been able to notice two different smiles. One where you smile and there is a warmth to it. Then the other... Where you plaster a smile, but there is sadness still lurking in your eyes." She explained looking directly at Fai. "Do you smile to protect yourself of something?" She asked.

Fai didn't reply, instead her just looked at his glass of liquor.

"You do, don't you?" She asked again.

He sighed and looked back towards her. "We've talked about this before, right?"

"Yes, but you always change the subject." She added looking straight towards him. "I really could care less of the reasoning of why you do that." She then looked downwards. "I just want you to be more honest with yourself." She admitted.

Fai was confused and tilted his head at what she was trying to say.

She sighed and looked up towards the ceiling of the dining hall. The fluorite stone was translucent, revealing the night sky. Snow hit the ceiling, melting instantly as it touched the stone. "If you feel sad, you show that sadness. If you feel lonely, then express your loneliness..." She then looked back towards the mage. "But you know, there will always be people around you to comfort you in one way or another." She then smiled and added, "I'll be there for you, if you need it."

Fai's eyes widened in shock as well as admiration. In his lifetime, he hasn't heard anyone say such things towards him. When he was young, he was alone, surrounded by nothing. When King Ashura came for him, he told him to always smile to make the pain go away from his tortured heart. For many years he had believed in King Ashura. He never doubted his words. However, once Yuki had told him that, a new light shone on him.

"Is it all right?" He asked her softly, not looking at her, but looking at the ceiling. "Can I lean on someone's shoulders and be comforted by them if I am sad or lonely?" He asked.

A smile crept on Yuki's face as she nodded towards him. Fai glanced back at her and gave her a small, but genuine, smile.

Soon course after course was delivered out to them. Yuki and Kudan both chewed slowly on their food, while Fai paid more attention to the liquor. Soon everyone departed from the dining hall and Yuki and Kudan were dragging a drunken Fai back to his chambers.

"Kudan, you have such beautiful eyes~!"

Yuki chuckled at his random babbling. "Sometimes I wonder if Fai has a thing for you, Kudan."

Kudan scoffed. "Don't even joke about that." He stated. "After today's episode of him almost kissing me, while he was sober, I am now taking back what I asked him earlier..."

Yuki's ears perked up. "What did you ask him earlier today?"

Kudan's eyes widened. "Same question I had asked you..." He said.

Yuki frowned a bit. "As I said before, we are just friends..."

Kudan chuckled, "And as I said, you two are like children in love. It's adorable."

Yuki blushed at his comment.

"Wait, who is in love with who?" Fai asked in his drunken state. He looked at Yuki and frowned at her. "Kudan and Yuki are in love with each other?" He asked, and then exclaimed, "Kudan I love you~!"

Kudan removed Fai's arm from Yuki's shoulders and tossed him into the chamber.

"That will bruise tomorrow." Yuki stated.

Kudan shrugged his shoulders. "That's what he gets for becoming that drunk." He stated and then walked inside. He turned back and smiled at Yuki. "Goodnight Yuki. Tomorrow we have a busy day, so please do get proper rest."

"Yes, thank you for the reminder. Tomorrow is the large celebration after all!" Yuki smiled happily.

"Yes..." Kudan smiled and then closed the door, leaving Yuki alone in the hallway.

Yuki turns to go back into her room, but sees Prince Ferio standing in front of her chamber door.

"Hello, my dear." He smiled.

Yuki gulped. "P-Prince Ferio... What are you doing at this hour?"

Prince Ferio smiled, "Picking up my princess of course."

Yuki sighed. "Please stop it with the princess jokes... Even Fai said that it was difficult to imagine." She added with disappointment.

"And who said I was joking?" Prince Ferio said. Before Yuki could blink, his hands were pinning her wrists against the door. "When I said I want you to be my princess... I was dead serious." He said in a cold, harsh voice.

Yuki gulped. "I refuse." She said. "Now, please let go of me."

"I will not." He said. He then leaned into her ear. "If you don't become my bride... I will make sure that something will happen to the one that you care for the most." He threatened.