A/N: Ok, my first ever Half Prince Fanfic. It is a great Manhua and more people should read it. This is supposed to be set AFTER chapter 33. I haven't read any further into it, so please don't tell me if I got something wrong. It's not that I want to be incorrect, I just don't want the story spoiled. There are a lot of spoilers, so please don't read it if you don't want them. It is also mild PrinceXKenshin, but mostly friendship.
Disclaimer: I own nothing to do with Half Prince.
Dedication: FrostyTheRadiator, without whom I would never have found Half Prince.
Being in charge of Infinite City had its bad points, especially how much harder it was to train. Prince was getting a little sick of the band act, all he wanted was to go off and slaughter a ton of mobs. He appreciated that it was partly his fault the city needed Gold though, so he tried his utmost to bear with things.
Three days into things though, Prince had had enough. Fairsky, Phoenix, Wicked and Gui had all been bickering since they logged on, Sunshine would NOT stop asking questions, Feng Yang Min had been annoying over dinner, and, to top it all off, Meatbun was sulking.
"KENSHIN!" Prince practically howled as he seized the alarmed pet by his shirt, "I am going insane! If I don't kill something soon then it's going to end up being the next person who speaks to me, who will most likely be Sunshine. Please, please, PLEASE come with me to find something to fight?"
Kenshin wished Prince wouldn't get himself swept away by emotion like that. It was hard to follow. However, wanting to go and fight, at least, he easily understood. Doing something familiar would help him absorb all the new sights and sounds he'd experienced recently and he was missing having the blood elf as he constant companion. Sharing him with an entire city was difficult and irritating as he could be, Kenshin was sincerely glad that Sunshine was around. Being alone would have been intimidating.
By the time they had tracked a mob, as Meatbun was refusing to use his aroma ability, Prince was being pestered with PMs from his team mates and fellow band members, as Sunshine had blithely informed them that Prince was "out beating up monsters." Sunshine had been happy to stay behind, choosing to satisfy his curiosity by plaguing all of them with questions.
Kenshin wasn't entirely sure Prince was ALLOWED to ignore the PMs, but couldn't engender any enthusiasm for enquiring. He was happily weaving in and out, attacking and feinting as he saw fit, while Prince was indulging in a total blitz. After an hour or so, they finished fighting and moved to a sheltered spot.
"Shouldn't you talk to your team mates?" Kenshin broached, unwillingly.
"Nnn... Don't feel like it yet. Will do in a bit. Next concert's not for a week anyway, and we'll get there in a couple of days." Prince mumbled, closing his eyes. Much to Kenshin's surprise, the elf seemed drained, even lethargic.
"Was the fighting that hard?" Kenshin queried, leaning back slightly in an effort to relax.
"No... Just the travelling from place to place singing all the time instead of training and fighting and stuff... It gets me down. I almost wish we were still in the Eastern Continent. I hated being separated from my team mates, but it was more fun than this..." Prince slumped dejectedly after this confession and Kenshin was forced to rack his brains.
What exactly did Sunshine normally do when people were sad? Kenshin had a feeling that drinking tea wouldn't help. Besides they didn't have any. Decided to follow the one course of action Sunshine had used whenever someone got upset that he could at the time; Kenshin began cautiously patting Prince's shoulder.
Prince looked up in surprise and caught the mix of concentration and nervousness on Kenshin's face. His mouth twitched into a smile. Kenshin was patting slowly and carefully, although the shoulder might bite him. Prince began to chuckle. Kenshin looked up, a slightly injured look on his face and announced:
"Well, it worked when SUNSHINE did it."Prince howled with laughter, collapsing in a heap as he was racked with gasps of mirth. It was several minutes before he attempted to sit up, wiping tears from his eyes and still sniggering slightly.
Kenshin had stared in amazement throughout the entire episode; he'd never seen someone laugh so long, so loud, so irrepressibly. He had been transfixed. Prince was smiling now.
"I better check these PMs." His tone was lighter. Kenshin wondered if laughing had changed his mood so dramatically. If so, maybe that was meant to happen when you patted someone's shoulder? Was that why he'd thought it a somewhat useless gesture? He'd simply needed to laugh at it?
"Ugh, you'd think I got lost every time they took my eyes off me!" Annoucned Prince, ignoring the fact that last time he'd gone off by himself he'd managed to end up on a different continent.
"Hey Lolidragon? Can you let everyone know I'm headed home? Eh, why you? Well... because they'll all go crazy when they see me anyway and I'll be here for hours replying to all of these... Really? Thanks Lolidragon!" Prince concluded the Private Chat.
"We'll have to go. Gui and Zh- I mean Wicked are practically eating the carpet." Prince sighed, before noticing Kenshin's stricken expression.
"If they eat Sunshine's carpet he'll go bezerk! We have to get back before that happens" Yelped Kenshin in a panic. He was a little offended when Prince started to laugh again. But he also felt a little happy. Something about Prince's happiness being caused by him was making him feel both awkward and pleased. He shrugged it off and waited for an explanation.
"It's... An... Expression... Kenshin..." Chuckled Prince.
"Oh." Kenshin felt embarrassed and awkward. Something that multiplied when Prince flung his arms around the demon lord in a brief but heartfelt hug.
"Thanks for cheering me up Kenshin." Prince murmured, feeling a weird impulse to cling on to his ally. They walked back in relative silence, Prince enjoying the calm before the storm that awaited their return and Kenshin pondering about his "owner."
He was surprised to find that the strange emotion he often felt toward the elf had the nostalgic quality which meant it had somehow featured in his background story that the GMs had written him. He dismissed it though, in favour of quietly contemplating all the new impulses he had seen recently. Part of his mind muttered that he was avoiding the issue, but Kenshin was sure there was no issue to avoid.
Prince was literally pounced upon by Gui the moment that they arrived at the small inn the band had been staying at. Sunshine happily skipped over to Kenshin, sharing all the information he'd acquired by questioning the others. Spurred on by the memory of Prince's former laughter, Kenshin decided to test Sunshine's knowledge.
"Did you know, if Prince hadn't arrived when he did, Gui and Wicked were planning to eat your carpet?" Kenshin's face and tone were perfectly solemn and, predictably, Sunshine fell for it.
His joy turned to wrath as he set upon the unfortunate and confused bard and swordsman with a vengeance.
"Kenshin... Why is Sunshine...?" Prince's question trailed off as Kenshin assumed a face of perfect innocence.
"I only mentioned them planning to eat the carpet?" He said, sweetly, deliberately exaggerating things in hope of making Prince laugh again.
He succeeded; even Sunshine's wrath was halted in the intensity of Prince's laughter. And Kenshin felt that nostalgic emotion rise within him as he watched Prince's smiling face.