"Huh? Where did these bruises come from?" Zen asked, taking hold of Shirayuki's arm and examining it closely.
Glancing down at it herself, Shirayuki was surprised to see several small bruises on her arm. "I don't know, I never noticed it before…"
She thought back on all of the things she had been doing lately. "Nothing dangerous or out of the ordinary… Maybe I bumped into something and didn't see?"
Sighing, he release Shirayuki's arm and scolded, "You really need to be more careful! How am I ever supposed to leave you alone if you don't even know where your injuries came from?"
"Oh, I'm sorry. I'll try to pay more attention, so just try to forget about it, okay?" If there was anything that Shirayuki hated more than making Zen worry, it was the fact that she often distracted him from other things he needed to do.
"Okay, but seriously, be careful," Zen repeated, giving her a quick kiss on the forehead before leaving.
Zen rubbed his eyes, glancing at the large grandfather clock in the corner of his study. It told him that it was already 12:30. In the morning.
Although this fact made him just a bit more tired and irritated, the second prince couldn't help but have a sense of pride and accomplishment. He had spent the last five hours clearing his desk of all of the neglected paperwork, now signed and prepared to send off.
"I'm still in my clothes from yesterday," He thought, looking down at himself. "Should probably sleep now… Can I even make it to my room without passing out?"
Deciding to risk it, Zen pushed his chair back from the large wooden desk and left through the double-doors.
BANG! There came a loud noise from the stairwell a few paces away. Worried that there may be an intruder, Zen placed a hand on the handle of his sword and ran over.
Good News: There was no intruder, no sword necessary.
Bad News: Shirayuki was lying at the bottom of the stairs in her night clothes, unconscious.
He raced down the stairs to her side and shook her awake. Her eyes fluttered open as she muttered, "Zen?"
"Are you okay?" Zen asked alarmed. He propped her up against a wall and examined her, making sure that she wasn't bleeding or anything.
Shirayuki, however, was confused. "What do you mean am I okay? I'm fine… wait, what am I doing in a hallway?"
"I found you lying at the bottom of the stairs. Did you hit your head?" He pulled her head towards him and tried to see if there were any bruises underneath her apple-red hair.
"I don't know how I got here… I was in bed, really Zen. I know you don't like it when I wander by myself at night." She slowly began to doze off again, and soon Shirayuki had fallen asleep in the second prince's arms.
"Guess I'll have to carry her back to her room…" Zen placed one hand on her back and one under her knees and began the trek to Shirayuki's bedroom.
As soon as he pulled the sheets up to her chin, Zen closed the thick door behind him and started walking back to his own quarters. No less than ten paces later, he heard the door creak open.
"Go to bed, Shirayuki." He ordered, turning to face her. She was headed his direction, a dazed look on her face. "Did you hear me?"
Shirayuki kept going, ignoring him as though he was invisible.
"Hey!" He reached out and grabbed her by the shoulders, shaking her. Her eyes snapped further open, as they were almost closed before.
"Eh? What am I doing… I thought I was going back to my room?" Shirayuki wondered sleepily, glancing around. "Last thing I remember was standing in the hallway… and you told me to go back to my room."
"On the contrary, you just left your room. After I carried you there," Zen explained. "Have you been sleepwalking?"
Shirayuki shook her head. "I think I would know if I've been sleepwalking, Zen."
Sighing, Zen walked her back to her room, where she got back into bed and slept soundly the rest of the night.
The morning after, Shirayuki got dressed as she normally did and pushed her door open. Rather than swing out like it normally did, it opened about halfway before bumping something.
"Zen? Why are you sleeping on the floor? In the middle of the hall, of all places!" Shirayuki exclaimed, kneeling down to the just-woken prince's level. "You'll catch a cold; it's so drafty in here!"
"Come with me." Zen commanded.
"Magnesium deficiency?" Shirayuki asked, sitting with Zen in the courtyard. "How did you know something was wrong?"
"See these?" Zen grabbed her arm and pointed to the bruises on them. "Those are from sleepwalking. Which is often caused by magnesium deficiency, I guess."
Shirayuki glared at him. "I have not been sleepwalking! How many times do I have to tell you that?"
Zen rolled his eyes at her remark. "You have been sleepwalking. I know, because I had to carry you back to your room last night! So just promise me you'll take the pills?"
"Fine." She paused. "You went into my room? I thought you would never do that."
Zen looked down and blushed, "Well, I wasn't about to leave you lying in the middle of the hallway, was I?" He muttered, covering his face with his hand.
Smiling, Shirayuki stood up and began to walk away. Just a few steps later, she turned back around and asked, "Can you promise me something, too?"
"Don't sleep in the hall anymore, or you'll be going to get medicine too."
Several days later…
"Achoo!" Zen sneezed as he waited for Ryuu to bring him some medicine.
"Here you go," The kid held out a small cup for the prince. "Oh, and Shirayuki-dono told me to tell you 'she told you so'"
So out of character… But this is the best I could do for now… I recently found out that I'm also a sleepwalker, even though mine isn't due to magnesium deficiency. I'll try to update a whole lot sooner next time! But I'm always running out of ideas, so… Please review :) and I'm open to suggestions and constructive criticism.