Title: Twisting Fate
Pairing: Adorable; Atobe Keigo and Akutagawa Jirou
Summary: Keigo stumbles into a alternate universe where he becomes the slave to one depressed English prince.
Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing.
Out of all the odd things that had happened to the young Hyoutei buchou, this was the strangest. One moment he was walking into school, the next he had blacked-out only to awake and find himself covered in brush. For one, Atobe's do NOT black out. For two, they do NOT arbitrarily lay in brush, it was bad for the skin. Now the main question, where was he? This was definitely not Hyoutei, possibly not even Japan.
Walking through the entrance of the large stone walls Atobe found himself in a marketplace straight out of 16th century England. Now there was one of two options. He was dreaming or someone was playing a very elaborate prank on him. Ahead laid a grand castle, once again fitting for the Renaissances. He made his way through the crowds, no one paying him much heed.
The gates of the wall surrounding the palace opened, omitting a party of four into the marketplace. Among them a very familiar face. Perhaps this was merely an elaborate prank. "Oi, Jirou. Is someone playing a prank on ore-sama? If so it is not funny," he called to the blonde. The response was instantaneous. People around him screamed in terror, while two men rushed to protect the blonde--moving him away with his head ducked. Atobe cringed as pain as three guards were upon him, grabbing his arms and shackling them together. "You dare harm ore-sama."
The guard on his right raised a hand slapping the heir hard across the face. "To speak rebel tongue so boldly."
Rebel language? This was no dream. Dreams did not allow you to feel pain let alone bleed. Yet, this was starting to become to real to be a prank. Only someone with his money could pull this off.
"Gallows, I think. Until we get permission to execute."
"Wait," Jirou's voice called out. The blonde came forward, dressed completely in attire suited to an English prince. Also, when did Jirou learn to speak perfect English?
"Prince Christo, please stay back. He could be an assassin for all we know."
"I wish to keep him."
"Your father will not allow it. This has the appearance of him."
"I am aware, but I am in need of a new slave considering….."
"Slave? Ore-sama is no one's….ah…"
"You will not speak," the guard gritted out, gripping Atobe's hair and pulling brutally.
"Take him to the dungeons while I obtain father's permission."
"Yes, Prince Christo," they bowed. Once the prince had returned to the safety of his palace the guards snapped to action, dragging Atobe through the grounds and into the palace. No one seem to care how horribly he was being treated. Every time he stumbled in the least they kicked him and then proceeded to drag. With his wrists bound so tightly he was practically helpless. A feeling he did not enjoy in the least. By the time they entered the damp darkness that was his keepings, he legs were battered and bleeding. His ribs ached and blood bored from multiple wounds. The guard grabbed his hair pushing him into a trough of water until his lungs burned with the need for oxygen.
They unshackled him, throwing him into a cell like trash. Atobe laid there in pure shock of the predicament. Never had he been thrown about in such a way. His body was so weakened he couldn't even raise his arm to brush his, now flat hair, out of his face.
"Oi, get up. It gives them pleasure to see us abused," another familiar voice called out. The guards laughed as they left the dungeons with a slam of the heavy wooden door. Atobe opened his eyes, vision meeting the dirtied face of Shishido Ryou.
"Japanese. I assume you're Japanese,"
Shishido said, helping Atobe into a sitting position against the wall. Atobe nodded. "Hm, you almost look like….never mind it's impossible."
"Might ore-sama ask what is going on here? Where am I?"
"Did they hit your head or something? You got amnesia? We are in Tokyo, Japan."
"And we are being persecuted for being Japanese?"
Shishido gave a laugh. "Yeah, considering the English have pretty much full control of Japan. Save for a few safe havens like Nagoya, Osaka, and Yokohama."
The English? Control of Japan? What was going on?
"Prince Christo, what are you doing down here?"
"I have come to relieve you of your duties for the night. Please hand your keys over."
"Yes, your highness," the guard relented with little to no protest. Light flooded into the room as the boy Atobe knew as Jirou entered.
"Here to enslave more of your own,"
"You haven't forgotten the 'rebel tongue',"
"Enough, I am here for him."
"Why? Because he looks like him. Planning to let this one die needlessly for your spoiled ass?"
Shishido bit out. He ignored the comment walking over to kneel in front of Atobe. Raising a delicate hand he swept silver bangs from Atobe's face. "Hello?" Shishido tried. "I heard you, I just chose to ignore you."Shishido said with a mock gasp. "Does daddy know?"
Fierce blue eyes turned on the brunette. "You know nothing of which you speak. So I suggest you shut up."
Shishido rolled his eyes. "Charming." Atobe's insight could not be fooled by such a lie. He saw the truth easily. "You loved him."
Christo stood. "Death, it is."
"Ore-sama's name is Atobe Keigo, I am NOT an object for your use. Ore-sama is an Atobe."
The prince stiffened, turning a glare on the other. "This joke ends. I do not know who told you to speak that name, but I assure you….."
Christo began laughing. "You've done your homework. I almost believed you." Shishido protested. "No one knows your true family name."
Atobe looked at the two. While this prince held the appearance of Jirou, the two seemed to be polar opposites. However, something told him if he answered wrong, he may actually die. That was why he was risking everything on one guess. "Akutagawa Jirou."
The blonde looked as if he had been shot as his eyes widened and he fell to his knees. "How? How could you have possibly known that?"
"To be honest, ore-sama guessed. Ore-sama is not from here, if anything I am from a parallel universe to this one. In the world I know, your name is Akutagawa Jirou."
"Shishido, you are free to leave. Just do not return to Tokyo."
"Don't plan to,"
Shishido said with a mock salute as he left his holdings. Jirou rose to his feet coming to help Atobe stand. "Lean against me and I will take you to get medical assitance."
Though Atobe was not one to accept such a weak looking mannerism, in this case he needed it just to be able to stand. Besides no one he knew would see him.
"Can you speak English?"
"Of course," Atobe answered.
"Then speak it. You will punished again if you are heard speaking Japanese."
"Yet, you are Japanese and you are free to walk around as you choose?"
"Half. My father, the king, had a Japanese slave. He raped her and she became with child. Despite my father being married, his wife had not produced a son, hence why he kept me."
"His bastard half-Japanese son."
"Ah. He took me from my mother and changed my name to Christo--a fair few still know my name to be Jirou," he explained as he led his new slave up the stairs towards the medical wing.
"You are nothing like the Jirou I know," Atobe whispered.
"There is another me?"
"Is this in that parallel universe you spoke of? I would like to hear of it. First, however, we need to get your wounds treated," Jirou said opening the wooden door marked 'medic' in kanji. A black-haired egg head boy jumped to attention with Christo's arrival. Atobe raised an eyebrow. "Oishi Shuichiro?"
Atobe nodded in the positive. "Father does not allow slaves to receive treatment from our doctors, hence Oishi's being here."Oishi fussed, helping Atobe down into a chair and began to examine the damage. "Please tell me he is not to belong to your father or Lady Cassandra." Oishi sighed in relief.
"Oh my those guards thoroughly battered you,"
"He is mine."
"Ore-sama belongs to no one!"
"I will be sending him to Oshitari for etiquette lessons. Just like a horse, a person can be broken."
"To make sure we know our place,"
"Ore-sama surmised that."
"If you'll excuse I must check upon his accommodations,"
"Your quite lucky. Prince Jirou will see that you are well treated. He's the only around here that treats us with some form of humility."
"Really? He seems quite condescending in a very melancholy light."
"Your quite observant,"
Oishi chuckled. "I suggest you try to act less aware. His majesty just may have you killed. But I must tell you something VERY important: NEVER mention the name Atobe Keigo in this castle."
Atobe raised an eyebrow in suspicion. "It is almost a taboo name within these walls. You see his highness was deeply in love with Prince Atobe and when his majesty found out, well…..since that dark day Prince Christo has not smiled, not once. He died the same day his lover did. I would guess the real Prince is still in him somewhere deep, locked away…"
So he too had another self, one that was a prince--one that was long dead.
Atobe stared down at the 'uniform' he had been given in disgust. Plain khaki pants and a loss white shirt? This was acceptable wear. Even for a serf it seemed to be pathetic.
"Now, don't glare at your clothing. It is comfortable if anything," Oshitari tsk'd. This Oshitari, while similar in personality, looked completely different. He was still just as tall, but his hair was cut short, reaching no longer than his nape. Not only that he did not wear his glasses, his nails were bitten and worn, his eyes narrowed from years of slavery, right ear punctured from removed piercing, and his skin was so dirty Atobe couldn't not tell it's true color anymore.
"You will be Prince Christo's personal manservant, as such you will sleep on a cot in the prince's room. You will not sleep before the prince, and the fire is to be burning till the prince falls asleep. You will wake before his highness and place away your cot after which you will draw a bath for him. Awake him and bathe him than dress him in the appropriate outfit for the day….."
"And why can he not do all this himself?"
"He is royalty, of course. You are to do everything as commanded. You will receive five lashes for each count of insubordination and three lashes for every Japanese word spoke. Please keep this in mind. As for meals, you will eat breakfast only after the prince is dressed and gives you leave, lunch is promptly at 11:45, if your chores are not complete you will go without. Dinner is to be eaten when Prince Christo gives you leave to eat it. Again lashes for insubordination will be administer should you break this rules. Your hair is to be no longer than nape length. Your current length should suffice. Well it is now within the evening hours, Prince Christo will be getting ready for bed now," Oshitari said leading him down a hallway. "Tonight, Sakuno is taking care of his dressing. Tomorrow on it will be your responsibility," he informed the newcomer stopping in front of two large wooden doors and knocking.
"Enter," Jirou's voice called within. Oshitari pushed the doors open before pushing Atobe inside and sealing the doors. Atobe stumbled, glaring at the doors he had just been pushed through. Quite suddenly he felt a pull on his hand, a small callused hand pulling him towards the standing prince. He immediately turned his glare on the brown haired girl. One that resembled Echizen's fan girl, Ryuuzaki Sakuno, except with much shorter shoulder length hair. Jirou placed his arms out waiting for her to begin.
"Start with his shirt first," she whispered as not to offend. Once his top covering were completely removed she picked up the silk shirt that lay on the bed. Atobe had a suspicion that these fine silk garments were handmade by Asian slaves. Carefully she placed the shirt over his head, helping him thread his arms through the sleeves. "Tie the front, loosely, wrap around and make a small knot. Then remove his boats and pants," she instructed with a blush. Obviously this was not her main job here in the palace. "Start with the right leg than left when placing the pants on. Once again tie loosely with a small knot." After he work was done, she turned down the bed and allowed Jirou to enter before pulling the sheets back up. "Pleasant sleep, your highness," she bowed, rushing from the room the soiled clothes on her arms.
"Your cot is over there," Jirou motioned with a yawn. "I would like lavender in my bath tomorrow."
Atobe looked at the pathetic excuse for a bed and then turned his eyes on the already sleeping royal. To hell with this. He was no slave.
"Do you have a death wish?" a voice asked, foot coming in contact with Atobe's hip. Atobe rolled over on the stiff cot, trying to ignore the numerous shots of sharp pain, not only from his hips, but also cuts and neck. "Wake up!"
"Ore-sama wishes to sleep,"
"You are ignorant, aren't you? That would be 12 lashes for the Japanese and so far 10 more lashes for insubordination. If you would like to avoid being crippled I suggest you get up and draw my bath. For I have to meet with father in an hour."
Atobe reluctantly climbed off the cot feeling disgusting for not getting a change of clothes. He walked to the bathroom and turned on the facets, allowing the water to run. "Lavender," Jirou reminded. Sighing Atobe grabbed the lavender bottle and poured a small amount into the tub. "Undress me."
"Undress yourself," Atobe yawned.
"Wow, your lashes are truly adding up."
Rolling his eyes, Atobe stood in front of the smaller boy to strip him off his night garments. Jirou slipped into the hot water. "Those go into that bin for washing."
Atobe carelessly tossed the clothes in making to go back to bed. "Oh no, you are not to sleep. Do not forget you must bathe me, then dress me--after which you may eat your breakfast. Once breakfast is over I will need my clothes washed, see that it gets done."
"Here's a sponge," Atobe said, throwing the small foam into the tub. "Your hands aren't broken."
"Shall I call the guards now?"
Atobe, once again, sighed in dejection. These threats of his probably held no water, but Atobe would not take the chances of having his perfect skin scarred anymore.
"Tell me about the other me," the prince order as his slave began to wash his body.
"He looks exactly like you. But Jirou is hyper, always a bright ray of sun, treats everyone like there is no evil in the world. He also likes to sleep a lot."
"Sleep? If only. Are you two dating? Lovers, perhaps?"
Atobe scoffed. "No. Nothing close. He is head over heels for Marui Bunta."
"Marui Bunta? Yukimura's mage? Interesting, continue."
"Oshitari looks different. In my world, his hair is longer and he always wears glasses for no particular reason. And he pretty much would do anything for his lover, Mukahi Gakuto."
"That is something our world's have in common then. The only reason Oshitari here is to protect Mukahi. As long as Oshitari has sworn loyalty to father, than Osaka is safe along with Mukahi. What else? I wish to hear more? Oh, I know. Sanada and Yukimura, what are they like in your world?"
"Yukimura is a fierce tennis player that has earned the nickname 'child of god'."
Did he honestly expect to just keep cutting in when Atobe was in the middle of talking?
"Tennis? Ah yes, they play that in France and a little here, but I do not find it that thrilling. Continue."
"Sanada is quite the same, earning himself the title of 'emperor'. Those two are the best of friends on the outside. Anyone with half a brain, however, can see they are far more. Of course, I doubt anyone on their team would say anything. They are all very loyal."
"Our Yukimura's are quite alike," Jirou mused, standing up and waiting for his robe. Atobe grabbed the green cotton clothe from its place and help the small boy into it. He followed the other into the main room where clothes were laid out for Jirou to wear. It would take some time, but Atobe was sure he could finagle these clothes onto their owner. "The people are loyal to Yukimura. If anyone will bring down my father it will be him."
"Yukimura? His family rules over the Japanese?"
"Yes. Yukimura Seiichi took the throne when his father became terminally ill. With his passing the kingdom was left to Seiichi, for a woman could not rule alone. How ludicrous would that be?"
"What happened to the Atobe's? Oishi had said they were the rulers?"
"Yes, they were. Past tense. Atobe Keisuke stepped down after his wife committed suicide leaving the throne to the Yukimuras. If Yukimura were to step down it would be the Echizens."
"Would you want to live if your only son was killed and you were now barren?" Jirou asked with ice. That was a major difference. His mother only acknowledged his existence when she deemed it necessary. Atobe seriously doubted that she even realized he was missing. No, she was probably in Fiji getting served martinis by thong wearing 20 year olds. That was what she liked. That, and her money. If he had to guess, he would be on the bottom of her list of things to die for.
"Christo, dear baby brother, father is wondering why you are tardy," a melodic voice called before a person joined it. The girl was petite and blonde, she wore a tight corset dress that pressed her breasts and was embroidered with many jewels. There was no mistake of her princess hood.
"Tell father I am coming. I awoke late, but as you can see I am dressed," he answered.
"Perhaps we should find you a new slave or whip this one into action," she suggested. Jirou held up a hand before Atobe even had a chance to think of a retort. "He is new. All new slaves need a little training, Casey. You are dismissed for breakfast."
Atobe made to leave only to find a finely shaped nail slashed across his cheek. "I missed," she pouted. "I was aiming for that slanted eye of yours," she smiled. "Its seems you forgot to bow," she said, grabbing his hair and forcing him to his knees.
"Casey, enough. Like I said he is new and you know all of them are defiant to begin with."
"I don't like his face, perhaps I should smash it in."
"Lets go," Jirou sighed grabbing her wrist and pulling her out of the room. When the two disappeared Atobe sighed. It was really a godsend that he didn't end up with her. This girl made even Yukimura look like an angel. Racist little bitch, his eyes were not slanted.
"Has father seen your new slave yet?"
"Perhaps he should. That boy resembles the former Prince Atobe, father will not like that."
"Father need not know. Does he still intend to travel to Yokohama?"
"Within the fortnight, I believe. You will be accompanying him, and I am still trying to appeal to him. I think it is necessary for me to meet their king as well. I am the princess after all."
"Mother is not coming…."
"Mother is weak! With her talk of pacifism. If these 'people' would just surrender and give us Japan there would be no need for this war," Casey sighed, flipping her hair back.
"There you two are. Hurry along," their father called, rushing them both inside the large hall normally used for meetings. Both teens froze at the sight of the blue-haired monarch of Japan.
"Yukimura, these are my children, Cassandra and Christo. Christo is, naturally, the heir to the throne."
Cassandra glared at the Japanese teen as she took a seat. "I think it only polite that you speak our language while on our land."
"And I think it only fair that I be allowed to speak the language of my choosing when you are asking me to surrender my people's rights and land."
"I actually agree with him, father."
"Christo!" his father scolded. Yukimura gave a small smile to the English prince that seemed to understand Japanese. He had never met the boy, but had heard quite a few interesting rumors about him. It seemed he did understand Japanese, now the question was: could he also speak it?
"Now Yukimura, the war that continues to wage over Aichi is unnecessary. If you withdraw your men….."
"And allow you to enslave the survivors? That is not an option."
The English King became frustrated that Yukimura would NOT speak English which in turn made this entire negotiation completely pointless.
"Say we do not enslave the survivors. Would you pull out then?"
Yukimura's smile grew. So he could also speak the language.
"No. Death and War is all part of life. England is a fear I intend to rid our country completely of. Your pig of father should be able to understand that. I do not back down. Just like now, I have no intention of speaking English. I am Japanese and proud to be so."
"He refuses to speak English and also to pull out of Aichi."
"Christo, silence yourself. If you will not recede then I will kill as many of your soldiers that come till we have full control….."
"Ah, I see now. Perhaps not all the rumors I have heard are folly. I shall take my leave," he said, standing up and making to leave.
"Matte!"Jirou called. There was something he had noticed that his father and sister had not. "You are pregnant."
Yukimura merely gave the angelic smile he was famous for and pulled his cloak around his body before disappearing from the room. So that was it after all. To protect his child the monarch was seeking some kind of mid-ground for the current battle over land. Maybe, just maybe, Jirou could arrange that--that is as long as his father remained oblivious to the child growing within the Japanese monarch.