Chapter 1: The Pebble that Changed the Course of a River

"You have to go back now?" the young girl asked. He nodded, not wanting to speak just yet, he knew what he had to say, and he hated to lose his new friend. But, his trip with his father was finished and he had to go. And somehow he didn't want to break the spell that lay between them. Thinking I'm a fairy prince made her so happy. I don't want to tell her I'm just an ordinary boy.

"Can I see you again someday?" I wish I could say yes, but even if you knew I was human, America is a long way from Japan. It's better to just end this here. "I can't…meet you again"

Tears began to well up in her eyes and she said frantically, "Then I'll write to you! Where can I send the letter?"

"I'm sorry," She was so devastated. He hated to see it. But he was a fairy prince, and fairy princes don't have mailboxes. "It'simpossible. We live in different worlds, so your letters wouldn't reach me." The girl started crying in earnest and he felt his resolve crumbling. He would love to be able to write to her, but it was impossible. He didn't want to destroy her image of him as "Corn, the fairy prince."

"I don't want that, we just became friends! Corn… don't go…" This was quickly becoming the most difficult thing the young man had ever done. He wanted to stay and be her strength. Her smiles brought him so much joy. He wanted her to be happy. But he had known from the beginning that this was how it would end. He had to say goodbye to her forever. But at least he could give her something to remember him by. He reached into his pocket.

"Kyouko-chan, hold out your hand." She looked up at him, eyes hopeful. He dropped a translucent bluish-purple stone into her hand. She gazed at it in wonder, then looked back up at him. "What is it?"

"That…look through it like this." He help his hand up toward the sun and she mimicked his movement.

"Like this?" She carefully held it up and he watched, smiling, as she forgot her tears, marveling at the beautiful stone. "Ah! The color changed!"

"Just now, that was magic." At least you can remember me, hopefully that will be enough to keep a smile on your face.

She turned to him, eyes sparkling. "It's magic? What about the spell? Don't you need to say a spell? Does it have other kinds of magic?" He laughed. She was such a handful. At least she was smiling now, her tears forgotten. She really believed he was a fairy capable of doing magic. Suddenly a thought struck him and he froze, staring at her with wide eyes, as an idea began to take shape in his mind.

"Corn? What is it? Are you Alright?"

"Kyouko-chan, there might be a way that I could write you, and maybe even see you again!" He looked at her intently, trying to gauge her reaction.

"How? I'll do anything!" Her expression was determined and she looked back at him with hope shining in her eyes.

"No, it's not something you would need to do. I could use my magic and become human." She gasped, and he continued on, spilling out his sudden inspiration. "I might still end up far away from you, and I probably wouldn't remember that I was a fairy prince, but we could write and hopefully I could see you again someday."

Kyouko gazed at him in wonder. "You could do that? But to give up being a fairy…"

He suddenly grabbed her arms. "Kyouko-chan, you would have to promise me. You can't ever tell anyone I was a fairy, not even me. If you did that, the spell might break."

"But Corn, why would you want to do that. You might not even remember me. To give up being a fairy…"

"Kyouko-chan, you are the best friend that I've ever had. I don't think I would forget you. I want to do this! But would you still want to be my friend if I wasn't a fairy?" Maybe this wouldn't work after all. Maybe she only liked him as fairy prince Corn and wouldn't like ordinary Kuon Hizuri.

"Of course!" She looked offended. "You're my friend, you'll always be my friend, no matter what!"

"Then I'm going to try. Stand back for a minute" She stepped back and Kuon closed his eyes for a moment and stretched out his hands in front of him as Kyouko watched him anxiously. Suddenly all the life seemed to flow out of him and he slumped to the ground. "Corn!" Kyoko cried out, rushing toward him.

The young boy opened his eyes and looked at her in confusion. "Kyoko… what happened?"

"You fell, are you alright?" Suddenly she gasped. "You remember me? Does that mean you're still…" She trailed off suddenly remembering "You can't ever tell anyone I was a fairy, not even me."

"Of course I remember you." Kuon said quickly. "You're Kyouko-chan. You promised to become my pen pal since I have to go back to America. I will miss you, Kyouko-chan, but at least we can write." Kuon gave her a warm smile. Kyouko smiled back uncertainly, then happily as an understanding of his words hit her. "We can write, can't we. I'm so happy!" It worked, and he still remembers me! This is wonderful!

"Kyouko, I'm sorry I can't be your fairy prince anymore." What, but I thought he wouldn't remember that anymore. Maybe something went wrong? "Ít was fun to pretend to be one, only if it was during my vacation." Oh, I see! He thinks that was a game! He thinks he pretended to be a fairy prince during his trip.

Kyouko smiled at him, "you will always be my prince Corn, no matter what."

"Thank you, Kyouko." Kuon smiled back at her. "Ah, we need to exchange addresses. Do you have any paper with you?"

"No, gomen." Kyouko looked downcast.

"Me neither." Kuon thought for a minute. "That's alright, let's go ask my Dad!" Kyouko looked up at him suddenly, eyes wide. "Your Dad?"

"Yeah! He used to be a famous actor in Japan," Kuon said proudly, "but we live in America now. I'm sure he has paper." Kuon started along the path and Kyouko trailed after him. It was strange to not think of Kuon as a fairy any more, but she was so glad she wouldn't lose him after all. He had been so kind to her, and was so much fun to be around, she had been so sad at the thought of losing him. At least now we can write each other, and he promised to come see me again someday. I will wait for him.