To many, the sight of two teenage boys in admittedly foolish outfits would be quite the shocking sight, albeit quite derisory. What would make the bystander quite pleasantly surprised as well would be the fact that the younger and more feminine of the two, by the name of Tadase Hotori, would have a scepter of what looked like gold, and from it would come a golden barrier that the other, Ikuto Tskuyomi, would be unable to pierce.
Now hopefully, the one who would be reading this would realize this to not be a mere hypothetical question, and that said event was happening right now, in a quite absent street. The late hour of seven in the afternoon was a disincentive to roam the streets, and the day's end had begun. The sky was in a state of warm reds and oranges, and only the faintest of clouds still mingled in it.
A rather loud explosion ricocheted off the cool pavement as the elder of the two, Ikuto, leapt at Tadase with his single set of claws out, shining in the setting sun. The sweet honey-colored barrier had exploded in a loud clamor, and Tadase looked around, feeling slightly worried that an inhabitant would notice. Not many people lived in this section of the town, mostly businesses, but some could still linger.
"So, kiddy-king, I see your little toy scepter is not match for me," Ikuto drawled, lazily stretching across a fence as the opposing blond shot out once more, light cascading from the rod he held. A look of hate crossed the younger boy's face.
"Tskuyomi Ikuto, I won't let you get the Embryo!" He spat venomously, and Ikuto raised a single dark eyebrow at the boy's words. A small chuckle rolled out of his mouth, silkily transforming into a deep purr of amusement.
"Who said I was after the Embryo today? Perhaps I just wanted to speak with my old friend," He droned, and Tadase closed his claret gaze, hiding it under flaxen bangs. Ikuto cocked his head curiously, and he leaned forward, elegantly landing on the street without even the faint echo of footsteps; a trait of his cattish would-be-self.
"We were never friends."
"Don't deny it, Tadase," Ikuto narrowed his eyes, catching Tadase in their dark depths. "You know just as well as I that Betty wasn't my fault."
"Don't you dare say her name," Tadase snapped, swinging his scepter out as a beam of light shot out, barely skimming over Ikuto's evading form. The cat smirked a mocking smile, but both were stopped as they heard… a rather disturbing sound.
It echoed throughout the entire street, and rose into the sky, booming loudly and surrounding both of them. Tadase felt his character change slip away, and his partner, Kiseki, let out an enraged noise. He could hear from Ikuto's sigh that his, Yoru, had done the same. Both sets of eyes turned to the source.
He stood with an ethereal beauty beyond a human's, with a relaxed stance that shone of arrogance. The wind whipped his silvery locks around playfully over his red dress-coat, and his topaz gaze glittered with mirth. Another booming chuckle made the two stare, and the stranger exclaimed, "What wonderfully beautiful people you are! I surely can assist in that beauty with my amazing sense of fashion! Allow me to bring your inner essence into the world!"
Ikuto and Tadase sent incredulous looks, daring him to come closer, yet he seemed oblivious or eerily immortal to their death-glares, and he grabbed Tadase's hand, making the boy take a step back, "Eh?"
"You, young lady, are a fine specimen! My assistant, Mine, would love to take a look at you!" The man exclaimed as his eyes glowed in excitement. Tadase's expression would have made Ikuto laugh, if not for the sudden burden upon his shoulders from a frill-laden woman.
"Oh yes, I can certainly make this boy glorious! A darker red would be good, wouldn't it, boss?" She questioned, the glasses perched on her nose magnifying the creepy stare that cornered him. The man nodded, and she laughed brightly, "Come, great haste is needed!"
Ikuto could only stare as he was dragged into a nearby store, into the pit of darkness. Tadase was wrenched after him, and he asked frightfully, "Who are you people?"
"Do not worry, young lass, for I, the great Ayame Sohma, shall never bring harm to you!" This 'Ayame' seemed more eccentric, in Tadase's opinion, and it only grew worse when he realized what surrounded them.
Now, he would have preferred this store to sell pitchforks and butcher knives, because this was just utterly terrifying. All around him, beauteous and frilly outfits dangled from hangers, even more feminine than his Platinum Royal form, which had a fair number of frills in itself. What made it worse was that Tadase was being led to a small cubicle in the corner, where the fated words were; dressing room.
Ayame smiled brightly, pulling Tadase's frail form to face him. The blond looked down uncertainly, and he whispered softly, "What are you trying to make me do?"
"Why, I want to reconstruct your appearance! Such an innocent face as your own, sweet damsel… it will fit any of my masterpieces perfectly!" Tadase winced as he realized Ayame's words. It wasn't the first time he'd been stared at by those of the male gender, and he admittedly knew his features were less masculine than many, but to be mistaken as a young girl by some creepy stranger?
"So take this and beautify yourself! Delve into the unknown!" His heart missed a beat, and he swallowed.
"Wear… this?" A trickle of fear ran through his veins, and Tadase turned to Ayame, "But… I'm not a girl! Please, don't…"
However, Ayame was not listening, and he shoved Tadase into the changing room, which conveniently had a lock on the outside as well. Letting out a small sigh, he turned to face the cream wall that held his torture.
Meanwhile, Ikuto was having some troubles as well, holding himself back from transforming and clawing the woman's eyes out. It didn't help that Yoru hovered nearby, giggling in amusement. Shooting a furious glare in his direction, Ikuto cursed under his breath and turned to face Mine, who held a large maid outfit in front of her, shaking his head.
"Aww, but your hair would go so nicely with it! It's made of the finest cotton in Japan…" She pouted, and Ikuto shook his head. The only thing keeping him from getting too pissed was the memory of Tadase's ensnarement, and the expression on his face. "At least this one?"
"No. I'm not wearing anything you're going to force onto me," Ikuto snapped, "Especially around that kiddy-king. So go away and take that monstrosity with you, before I get mad."
Mine hesitated, and she nodded, putting the dress back on a nearby hook. The sound of Ayame's ecstatic yells told Ikuto that his younger companion had given in, and he was rather glad he hadn't, even when Mine held a razor to his neck. It meant that he wouldn't be-"Oh… my… god."
Ikuto fell into a spasm of chuckles, and Tadase's face flushed into a cherry red, eyebrows knitting together angrily, "It's not that funny!"
"Oh yes, it is definitely that funny," Ikuto gasped between chortles, pointing at the younger boy.
He'd been forced into a cream-colored dress that fit his slender body quite well, showing off the curves that no self respecting boy would have, but Tadase possessed. The sleeves ended in a fringed sleeve, and the collar dipped low with ruffles decorating the edges. His hands were covered by what looked like silk gloves, also taupe colored. The dress ended about knee-height, with stylish black boots to match. How Ayame had managed to get the king into this seductive dress was beyond him, but the thing that topped it off was the small barrette in Tadase's golden locks.
"Wow, Queen… nice dress!" Ikuto teased, and Tadase looked away, the blush on his cheeks more prominent than before. He was about to respond, but the sound of bells echoed through the store, and a soft voice rang out.
"Nii-san? You called?" Tadase flushed even worse than before, fearing the encounter with the brother of his captor. Feeling a rush of pity, Ikuto gave Tadase a small smile, which made the blond blink in surprise.
"Yuki!" The singsong tone in Ayame's voice sickened Ikuto, and he let out a gagging noise, and then hissing as Mine tried to throw a lacy jacket over him. Tadase took a seat across from where Ikuto was perched, and he sighed, closing his eyes.
"Please… don't rush at me like that," 'Yuki' murmured as he came into view, and Ikuto narrowed his eyes in challenge as the newcomer looked at the scene with inquisitive violet eyes. He was rather attractive, with silky silver hair and pale skin, but something about his hairstyle reminded him of Tadase, who was shamefully looking away.
"Er… Ayame, who are these people?" He asked, and his eyes narrowed dangerously, making the white-haired torturer laugh nervously.
"Well, they're my guests," He exclaimed. "See, the little princess in the dress is my newest model, and her companion is… uh, someone. He's good-looking though, so we couldn't waste good looks."
At the word princess, the aura of the room seemed to thicken, darkening as a shiny golden crown perched itself on Tadase's head, and he lowered his head, stuttering, "Did… you just call me… princess?"
"Crap," Ikuto muttered, earning confused looks.
Tadase twitched once more, and his head shot up, a new light in his eyes as he leapt up. In a voice that echoed Kiseki's, Tadase demanded, "Don't call me princess! I am Queen! Such a petty title is not fit for one of my status!"
"Wow, so if I call him a princess, he'll think he's queen?" Ikuto wondered, a sly smirk growing on his lips.
Yuki was just watching the scene, shocked that such a quiet young boy would suddenly have such an outburst. He raised a pale hand as a peace gesture, "Please, my brother did not mean any harm, gentlemen."
"Pardon? That lass is no lad!" Ayame looked perturbed, and he put his hands on his hips, pouting at the boy. "Are you not female?"
"Ah, foolish commoner! I am your King!" Tadase responded, and he turned to Ikuto, a sly grin on his face. "Thieving pirate feline, I wish for something to quell my thirst. Fetch me a beverage at once!"
"Hey, I'm not your Jack," Ikuto snapped back, standing up and whacking Tadase on the head. The blond sent the teen a glare, but immediately, his eyes softened and the blush returned.
"I'm sorry," He murmured, looking down. "And… I'm not a girl."
Ayame's scream cracked the windows across the world.
While Mine fanned her fallen boss and Tadase changed back to his school uniform, Ikuto and Yuki discussed the recent event. "So… this brother of yours… you're not like him, are you?" Ikuto questioned.
"No," Yuki responded, a faint smile on his face. "I'm sorry for any trouble my brother gave. He's a tad more eccentric than most, but I guess you understand, with your friend's mood changes."
"He's not my friend. We're mortal enemies because I supposedly killed Betty," Ikuto responded casually, and Yuki blinked owlishly.
"His dead dog," Ikuto explained. He smirked, "Tadase's just slightly insane, and that's all. I guess it comes with being a target of lecherous old men."
"Stop lying about me," Tadase sighed as he headed out of the changing room, back to normal color. He looked at Yuki with a faint smile, "Whatever my companion said… he's lying about it."
Yuki nodded with a carefully cheerful look on his face. Kids weren't his strongest point, and this young boy seemed to be around Kisa and Hiro's age. He didn't know about Tadase's little problems with personality and his quirky other self, who now was ranting.
"Who does that commoner think he is, assaulting a King of our stature? Why, if it were my world now, he'd be beheaded at once!" The small Shugo Chara fumed, and Tadase sent a warning glance at him.
Yuki blinked in confusion, and Ikuto muttered, "Well, I gotta go now. I can't say I really enjoyed this meeting, but sure."
He headed out of the sliding doors, and Tadase sighed, muttering under his breath, "Stupid feline…"
Yuki watched as the strange young boy followed, hair tuft fluttering in the breeze, and he wondered what the last remark was about. A normal human wouldn't hear it, but one who turned into a rat? Always.
This really was one messed up day.
Disclaimer: I don't own Fruits Basket or Shugo Chara. Only in my mind do I have the chance. Though even there, it's little to nothing.