This is a funny one. Don't worry, Johan isn't going to wear a dress, but it is mainly in his P.O.V. This came to me courtesy of Cinderella, spiritshipping, and nostalgia. Juudai is taller than Johan (ZOMFG) and...yeah. Oh! Rei is Juudai's cousin. I just made up Mayella, Alexandra, and Elizabeth. No offense to anyone who has those names. I just pulled Mayella out of "To Kill a Mockingbird", and Elizabeth and Alexandra are the most common names in my school. I don't own anything. Oh, and if something is in parenthesis, it means Johan has something funny to add that's just more of his opinion. He's also about sixteen or seventeen years old in this.
I roll over. "Morning, Ruby."
I sigh. "Five more minutes..." But apparently, Ruby is not going to allow me that luxury. She steps lightly across my worn quilt over to my head and sits on my face. I giggle. "Okay, you win. I'm up." Carefully, I pry Ruby off my face and sit up. Ruby, if you're wondering, is my cat, Ruby Carbuncle, and I am Johan Andersen. I found Ruby out in the rain one evening. She was limping, so I took her in, and she just grew on me.
"Meow." She looks at me expectantly, and I sigh. "I know. Today's no day to sleep in." I run a hand through my thick teal hair and sigh. "Well, at least I'm up before they are."
Ding ding ding ding! "JOHAAAN!" I chuckle. "Or not." I look over at the large silver bell ringing. "Good morning, 'Auntie' Mayella." Before I go on, however, I should give you a little background about me.
My family and I lived in a large house in a good-sized kingdom. My dad was a rich merchant or something. Anyway, my mom died when I was about two or three years old, so I don't remember her very well. But by looking at the pictures of her, I have her eye color, her face shape, and my dad said I had her laugh. But enough of that. When I turned five or six, my dad got remarried to a woman named Mayella, who had two daughters from a previous marriage, Alexandra and Elizabeth. My new stepsisters were about my age, and they all seemed nice enough.
But then my dad died. I was about thirteen, and I cried like a baby at his funeral. After all, he was the only family I ever had. Except for my stepmother and her daughters. I distanced myself when I became a servant in my own home. I was basically a one-man cleaning team. I was to call Mayella "Auntie", and Elizabeth and Alexandra "my dearest sisters". I work from sunup to sundown, and sometimes I don't eat until midnight. (And you thought YOUR life was difficult.) The reason the bell system is there is because they got tired of yelling for me all the time. "Auntie" Mayella's bell is an old, silver one. Next to it are Elizabeth and Alexandra's, because Elizabeth, I've been told, is the older. It helps me remember, because their bells are identical.
"JOHAAAN!" "I'm coming!" Quickly, I pull on my boots and run down the stairs out of my attic room and into the kitchen. I pull out three trays and start putting teacups and teapots down. I also grab three plates and fill them with food. Now, all three bells are ringing. They're impatient, but I'm going as fast as possible. I make sure all three trays are full, then I prepare to take them up. Now, this takes practice and skill:
I take Alexandra's and Elizabeth's trays and put them on my right and left hands. Then I take "Auntie" Mayella's tray and balance it on my right arm. There! And it only took me two months to perfect that!
I sigh and take the trays up to the rooms. First stop is Elizabeth's room. I knock on the door, then open it after I get the go-ahead. (See? It takes practice! I open the door with no hands or arms! GENIUS!)
"Good morning, dear sister Elizabeth! How are you?" I try to be cheerful as I set down her breakfast tray.
Elizabeth is the uglier of my two stepsisters. She has stringy black hair and wide dark eyes. Her mouth opens and closes in a way that makes her look like a goldfish. "The gall of you to ask me that! You treat your dear sister with respect, boy!" She spits out the last word like it's a curse word. Even though I know Elizabeth is only about a year older than I am, she looks like she's in her seventies.
"Yes. My mistake." She points to a wicker basket at the foot of her bed. "I want my blue dress washed before we go out!" I sigh. The three of them usually go out for something or other, and leave me alone.
With tons of chores.
Aren't they cruel?
I nod. "Yes, dear sister." I balance the basket under one arm and shift "Auntie" Mayella's tray to where Elizabeth's was. But as soon as I leave the room, I put the basket down. Even though I have mastered balancing two trays on my hands and one on my arm and still being able to open doors, I have not yet mastered balancing trays and wicker baskets full of clothes.
Next stop is Alexandra's room. Once again, I knock on the door before I get the go-ahead. Alexandra may be the younger of my two stepsisters, but she's smarter, and actually calls me by my name, 'Johan'. Unlike Elizabeth, she actually looks her age. Maybe because she's prettier. I don't know.
But just because she's prettier doesn't mean she's not terrible. I smile and put down the tray. "Good morning, dear sister Alexandra! How are you?" She favors me with a sneer. "I'm fine, thank-you. But I have a job for you." I swallow. Alexandra notices my nervousness and smiles grimly. She has thick red hair and narrow, dark eyes that always make her look like she's squinting.
She points to a wicker basket by my feet. "I have a skirt in there I want washed. Do it! I want to wear it when we go out." I nod. "Yes, dear sister." I pick up the basket and when I leave, I place it next to Elizabeth's. And that's when I realize that Alexandra probably put about five skirts in there, and she actually didn't tell me which skirt she wanted me to wash. (Crap! She's good!)
And last but not least...the dragon's den.
"Auntie" Mayella's room.
She's the most difficult to make happy.
Which means I really have to try. I swallow and walk slowly over to her door and knock. "Come in, boy." Careful not to upset her, I open the door and walk in. "Good morning, Auntie Mayella. How are you?" I walk over to her and place the tray down. "Auntie" Mayella has dark gray hair piled on her head and steely dark eyes, just like her daughters.
She frowns at me. "I've been better. Now, I have a list for you." She pulls out a piece of paper and hands it to me. I read it in the dim light:
Polish the silver.
Scrub the terrace.
Sweep the floors.
Mend the drapes.
Wash the clothes.
Scrub the balcony tiles.
Pick the apples from the tree in the backyard. The ripe ones.
I read the last one, and I wince. She's not making this easy for me.
When the apples are ripe, they fall on my head.
I manage to get the clothes clean before they leave, and once they're gone, I get to work. You may be asking why I put up with them. Well, for one thing, my dad raised me to be a gentleman, and I have to respect that. For another thing, I don't want to get hit if I'm disobedient.
Scrubbing the tiles on the balcony floor is something I like to do, believe it or not. I can see the whole kingdom from the balcony. It's fun!
But all good things must come to an end. I'm done scrubbing the tiles quick as lightning, and now I have to pick the apples, which is the last thing to do. What's really cool about our-actually my-house, is that it's surrounded by a high stone wall that I can jump over if I get a good running start. But on the other side of the wall is another stone wall, and they are both separated by a stretch of road leading out of the kingdom. And do you know what's on the other side of the other stone wall?
The royal palace and its' gardens. Now that is amazing. But unfortunately, I don't know the royal family. At least, not personally. So I have to sit and sigh about never going over to meet the prince.
Yes, I am on that side of the fence, but I've never told anyone. Just think! I'd be kicked out of my own home! Out of the kingdom! (ACK! -spazzes-)
But enough about that. I stride into the garden, swinging a bucket and whistling. I can also jump the wall if I climb the tree.
Speaking of which...I pick up the apple that fell on my head and put it in the bucket. They don't hurt when I expect them to fall.
I don't expect that one. Rubbing my head, I put the apple in the bucket, when I hear a voice.
"Hello there! Why did you cry out?" Curious, I put the bucket down and climb the tree.
Sitting on the palace wall is a dark-haired, dark-eyed girl wearing a pretty red dress and a small crown. She's from the royal family. I swallow. "I'm Johan Andersen. An apple fell on my head."
She smiles. "It's nice to meet you, Johan Andersen. My name is Rei, but in the palace court, they call me Lady Saotome." I freeze, realizing that I'm talking to Prince Juudai-sama's cousin! "L-Lady Rei! Forgive me, I did not know-"
But she holds up a finger. "Don't call me Lady Rei. Just Rei, please." I nod. "I will."
Rei giggles and swings her legs back and forth. "You are quite the gentleman, Johan Andersen. Are you coming to the ball?" I raise an eyebrow. "Ball? When?" Rei frowns. "There is a ball tonight. Every citizen is to attend. Will you come?" I frown. "Probably not." Rei shakes her head. "No, that will not do! I will go tell my cousin to extend a special invitation to you. I will see you tonight!" With a wave, she hops off the wall and out of sight.
I hop off the stone wall, smiling. I must tell my cousin about Johan Andersen! He is such a gentleman! I am sure that Juudai will like him. Humming a light tune, I leave the garden and close the gate.
"Cousin Juudai!" I spot him reading in the library, and run over to him. He sees me and smiles. "Yes, cousin Rei?" His brown eyes twinkle. "Oh my. Are you skipping your lessons again?" I ruffle his brown hair. "But this is so much more important!"
Juudai closes his book and puts it down. "I'm all ears."
I grin. "There's this boy who lives on the other side of the stone wall, and-" But before I can finish my sentence, my teacher grabs my wrist. "Lady Saotome! Please stop sneaking off during your lessons!" She drags me back to the little classroom before I can tell Juudai more about Johan Andersen.
I come in from the garden all smiles. A special invitation to a royal ball tonight! I can't wait! I set the apples on the table and sit. "I'm so excited! Now, what should I wear-" I stop there when it occurs to me that:
I have no clean clothes.
The others will never believe me.
I might never get the invitation.
My heart sinks. I don't want to let Rei down, but those three reasons are hardcore. I sigh. "Sorry, Rei."
Suddenly, the bell rings. Curious, I go investigate it.
It's a royal messenger. "An invitation to the members of this household from the royal palace."
I sigh. "I'll take it." I put the invitation somewhere the others will find it and sit on the stairs.
I'm still sitting on the stairs when they find the letter. They all erupt into shrieks of joy, not noticing me, who never got the special invitation.
"I can't believe it! One of my daughters marrying the prince! Can you believe it, Johan?" I look up to see "Auntie" Mayella smiling at me, for a change. I smile back. "That's fantastic."
Alexandra and Elizabeth rush up to their rooms to get ready, with "Auntie" Mayella close behind. I eventually follow suit, knowing that I'll have to help them. And I do. I need to help Alexandra lace up her dress, I need to help Elizabeth with her necklace, and I need to help "Auntie" Mayella brush her hair out.
I'm no fashion expert, but my step-family seriously needs some help with their wardrobe. "Auntie" Mayella is decked out in some fuscia mess of cloth that looks heavy and dusty with frills like nobody's business. Elizabeth is all done up in a pastel blue dress that has all this lace on it and a high collar. And someone thought it was cool to put a bunch of tiny white bows randomly over a rather revealing black dress that Alexandra is wearing. (AAGH! MY EYES!)
As they are all getting ready to leave, "Auntie" Mayella turns to me. "Be a good boy while we're gone. Maybe you can come with us next time." Alexandra and Elizabeth giggle. "Good-bye, Johan, good-bye." Alexandra sings. I smile feebly and wave as they go out the door.
When they leave, I go out into the garden and sit by the apple tree. "Oh well. What's a royal ball more or less?" I sigh and sit by the tree. I trail my hands through the dirt when suddenly I let it out.
I start crying. Those three years of tears and humiliation build up in my throat and I let it out, crying just like I did at my dad's funeral. I sob and cry until I feel a hand on my head and a soft voice whispering that it's going to be all right.
With a shuddering sigh, I sit up to see a woman with red hair dressed in a long white cloak dotted with blue stars. "There, there. Dry your tears, Johan Andersen." I blink. "Who are you?"
The woman smiles. "I'm your fairy godmother." (EHH? Where did this come from?)
I shake my head. "That's crazy." She smiles again. "It sounds crazy, but it's true. Your mother asked me to look after you before she died. I'm very proud that you held out on your own for this long."
I sigh. "My mother..." The woman bows her head. "Yes. Maria Andersen. You look so much like her, you know. You were her little prince." Her face brightens. "So tonight, you will be a prince!" From the depths of her robe, she pulls out a wand. "Let's see..." She walks around to me and starts measuring me like crazy. "...And it should be something to match your eyes. Ah! I know just the thing!" She waves her wand and a silver light surrounds me. I can feel the years of dirt and grime lifting off me, and my rough hands become smooth. My old blue shirt becomes longer and fancier. I close my eyes, savoring the moment...
...And when I open my eyes, I look totally different. My hair is brushed, but still messy-looking as ever. My old blue shirt is gone. Instead, it's a long, fancy white shirt that's almost like a blouse under a clean, sleeveless blue blazer. My torn pants are gone, too. Black slacks are over my legs, and two slippers that are made out of emerald glass are on my feet. (I am NOT dancing in high heels!) And for the finishing touch, on my head is a rainbow jewel, secured with a wire that runs all the way around my head and ties at the back. I examine myself in the small pool. "I look fantastic! Thank-you so much!"
My fairy godmother smiles. "You're welcome, Johan. But all good things must come to an end. When midnight arrives, you must hurry back. That is when the spell will be broken, and everything will stop."
I smile. I don't care! I'll dance my heart out with the prince while everyone watches, wondering: "Who is that?" And no one is going to realize it's me! But then there's one little setback...
"How will I get there?" With a smile, she points over to the stone wall, which has suddenly grown an archway. I poke my head through it, seeing a familiar archway on the other side. (Nice touch.)
"Oh. That's how." And without further words said, I dash through the archways to the ball.
Woooww. The palace is huge! Chrystal chandeliers sparkle from the ceiling, and the floor has been polished to a blinding shine. It's so beautiful, I have to close my eyes for a moment.
I start walking around, careful not to break the slippers or bloody my feet. Everyone stares at me, wondering who I am. I actually wonder if a few of them know I'm a guy. I smile, then round the corner and gasp.
It's him! Prince Juudai-sama! I can feel my breath hitch, I've never seen him this close. His brown hair is in the messy-but-neat style that rather mimicks mine, and his brown eyes have a kind sparkle. Fitting around his torso is a red jacket over a black shirt, and over his legs are black slacks that are similar to mine. Sitting atop his head is a silver crown that shimmers in the light. My legs turn to mush and I can't walk. But I must! For Prince Juudai-sama!
As I'm taking a few steps forward, I feel a hand grab mine. I turn to see a tall man with stringy blonde hair and gleaming green eyes. (AAAAH! RAPIST!)
"You're not going anywhere, princess."
I sigh. I don't see any girls suitable for a bride, and no one in general who I want for a lover. My parents understand that I'm on the other side of the fence, but it's so difficult to choose a bride! Guy or girl!
My mother notices this. "Juudai, I'm sorry that this isn't going your way. But these things take time." I groan. "How much time, mother?" She pauses. "I...I don't know." I get up and walk away and mingle with the crowd, trying to find someone who I at least want to dance with for this one night.
But then I hear a restrained shriek, and my attention is brought to the grand staircase. One of the servants, Sekomaru, has a guest captive-
Oh my. They guest he has in his grip is so absolutely stunning, he looks angelic. He has amazing teal hair sticking everywhere, and shimmering emerald eyes. A blue blazer over his fancy white shirt that is tucked into his black pants and two emerald glass slippers on his delicate feet only make him even more perfect. Wrapped around his head is a silver wire that holds a rainbow jewel on his forehead...
Oh, oh, oh! Who he is or where he came from does not matter! I know for certain that this boy is the one I want to marry.
But I can't do that if Sekomaru has him captive!
I'm struggling with this man now, doing anything and everything to get away from him, hitting him, pushing on his arms, and even kicking, although that could cost me a slipper. (D'uh!)
But it's all futile. He's dragging me over to the far wall, and I shut my eyes. I'm so scared....
"Pardon me, but I believe that I requested a dance with this guest." I sigh as the man lets me go and sulks off. Silently, I bless the soft-spoken young man who saved me. I open my eyes...
It's Prince Juudai-sama.
I think I just died and went to heaven. I turn bright red as he smiles at me. "You're safe now." I bow my head. "Thank-you for saving me, but you didn't have to lie-"
Suddenly, he takes my hand and plants a soft kiss on the back. "It was no lie. Will you dance with me?" My face turns even brighter. "Y-yes, Prince Juudai-sama." He frowns. "No formalities, please." Juudai takes me by the waist and brings me over to the dance floor. That's when I get hit with reality for a moment:
I can't dance.
But I can try! I place one hand on his shoulders and I take his hand in my other. He grips my waist protectively. I blush, and he smiles at me.
And we dance. I can't believe that I'm actually dancing with the prince! It's amazing! I'm actually stunned that I can dance! I think the slippers on my feet did something.
The song ends. I'm a little tired, but it feels like I'm on Cloud Nine as Juudai takes my hand and leads me to the balcony. He pulls me into his arms. "You have the most beautiful eyes." I blink. "R-really?" He smiles. "Yes. They are like cut and polished emeralds." I can feel my tongue get stuck in my throat as Juudai leans in and brushes his lips over mine. Suddenly....
Dong! Dong! Dong! Uh-oh. I glance over at the church clock to see it's midnight. But this is the best night of my life! Over so soon!
I bow. "I'm sorry, but I have to go!" I manage to pull away and I run down the stairs. Juudai gasps. "Wait! I don't know your name, how will I find you?"
But I'm all the way out in the garden. The archway is gone. Instead, I jump over the wall, then back over the stone wall leading to my house. I land with a thump, and it's not the most comfortable.
"Owww..." I groan and stand up. I'm back to my normal clothes, except...
On my left foot is one emerald glass slipper. I gasp and pull it off. I can't believe it! A token of the dance! Smiling, I bring the slipper up to my room and put it away in a ceramic box that I've hidden away since my step-family came in. I'm nearly delirious, even when my step-family comes back. It's almost one o' clock in the morning, but I'm not tired at all.
I go to bed with a big smile on my face. "Meow?" I smile and turn to Ruby. "That's right! I danced with the prince!" I whisper loudly, and she purrs.
Ding-dong! "Johan! Get the door!" Things haven't changed much, except that I'm much happier. My step-family doesn't seem to notice. Happily, I run over to the door and open it.
Standing on the front steps are Juudai, Rei, and the royal adviser. In Juudai's hand is the emerald glass slipper. Rei waves. "Hi Johan!" I smile and wave back. "Is there anything I can do to help you?" Juudai's eyes flicker from me to the slipper. "This was found in the palace garden. We are searching the kingdom to find who dropped it. May we come in?" I nod. "Certainly!" I step aside and let them through.
I hurry over to the others to tell them. Immediately, Elizabeth and Alexandra start yelling that it's their slipper. "Auntie" Mayella stares at me. "Go to your room, now." I bow my head. "Yes, Auntie Mayella." As I'm leaving, Juudai grabs my hand. "We need everyone in this household to try on this slipper." My face brightens. "Hold on!" I run to my room and grab the ceramic box with the other slipper. I sit on the stairs as my step-family eyes me with curiosity.
First, it's Elizabeth. The slipper doesn't fit, even when she forces it. Juudai breathes a sigh of relief.
Next is Alexandra. The slipper fits when she forces it, but flies off. The royal adviser grabs it before it hits the ground. Juudai sits down in a chair by the door.
Then, it's "Auntie" Mayella. They don't even try to fit the slipper on her foot.
And last, it's me. Juudai walks over to me and gets down on one knee. Carefully, he slides it onto my foot.
It fits. He looks up at me and smiles. "I was hoping it was you." He whispers. I smile back at him.
"Auntie" Mayella glares at me. "But it could fit anyone! That doesn't prove anything!" I smile and take the box out from behind my back and hand it to Juudai. Curious, he opens it and gasps. "I have the other slipper." I whisper. He looks up at me and slides the other one on my foot.
Suddenly, the change happens again. No longer am I the dirt-covered boy wearing torn pants and a messy shirt, I am the one who danced with Juudai. Same fancy white shirt, blue sleevless blazer, black pants, rainbow jewel held in place on my forehead, and same emerald glass slippers.
Juudai smiles widely and takes my hands. "It is you." He kisses my hand and I blush.
-A few weeks later-
I yawn and sit up. It's been a while since the ball, but I still remember it like it was yesterday. Now I live in the palace with my fiancee, Juudai. (We're engaged! Yippee!) Ruby came with me, and she seems to be getting along quite well with Juudai's cat, Kuriboh.
Speaking of my fiancee... Smiling, I place my hand on the ball of sheets and blankets in the middle of the bed. "Good morning, Juudai." The blankets move, and Juudai pops up to look at me, smiling. "Good morning to you, Johan." He flops down next to me and gives me a light peck on the lips. I smile.
"I'm glad I made the right choice." He whispers before tackling me onto the sheets and kissing me.
Now isn't that a good ending?
Thanks for reading! I have a request for all of you reviewers and readers:
Whoever draws the scene of Johan dancing with Juudai in this fic, that means they have to be wearing the clothes that are described, I will write them a spiritshipping fic of their choice!
This fic took me two days to write. That's pretty darn fast.