||The Art of Romance||

{.o1} {Infatuation :ღ: Ace}

Infatuation: to inspire or possess with a foolish or unreasoning passion, as of love; to affect with folly; make foolish or fatuous.

The sound of light snoring echoed in the darkness, reverberating in the tiny tent. The young faceless girl slowly turned her head towards the red knight, watching him sleep soundlessly on his side.

How in the world did she get into this awkward position? How did she end up going around with Ace? She herself wasn't sure how this all began.

Lazily attempting once again to fall asleep, her subconscious whispered the answer.

It all started with a chicken.

Vivaldi had sent her to tend to their wide assortment of animals, chickens to be exact. Why would a queen keep a whole coop of chickens, the young maid could not understand. The task itself wasn't exactly very exciting, but it was fairly easy so she couldn't complain.

Once the young maid walked inside the chicken coop, she was greeted by the resonant sound of clucks and squawks. Some of the hens sat imperiously over their straw perches, fluffing their white feathers and nestlings themselves over their fragile eggs. Roosters trotted sporadically around the vicinity, heads darting in all sorts of directions.

With a low sigh, the maid already busied herself, scattering feed around to the scrambling chickens. This was how she thought she was going to spend the rest of her day, doing something so boringly mundane.

Little did she know that surprises surfaced when one least expected them.

Like right now and right above them.

Crack!

"Whoa!"

The maid felt a weight suddenly appear over her, pinning her down onto the ground. With a groggy moan, she struggled to recover her wits and clear her hazy vision.

Everything seemed to become clear when she stared into a pair of startling crimson.

If she had eyes, she would have blinked them.

"A... Ace?"

The knight recollected himself and his lip upturned into its usual cheerful grin. "Oh, hi there! Thanks for softening my fall!"

Rage percolated through her veins, flushing her cheeks a color analogous to her uniform. "Please get off of me, Ace."

"Jeez... A testy maid. Temper, temper!"

"How about this? Get off me now or else I smack you in the face!"

Ace then finally took the hint. With a grin still on his lips, he gracefully eased himself up, wiping his red overcoat of chicken-related debris.

The maid slowly rose to her own feet, scowling at the knight. "Thanks for helping me up!"

"You're welcome!" Ace answered cheerfully, inciting a loud groan.

Out of all those cycles she worked here, she learned to absolutely abhor Ace. She just couldn't seem to stand being near him.

"Well, I was fixing the roof when it suddenly gave way! It's harder than I thought..."

"Then why don't you get back up? Roofs don't fix themselves."

"...you're right! See you!" With that, Ace dashed back outside, leaving the girl to her own devices.

'Good riddence!' The next few moments continued in relative silence. With chickens properly fed and the eggs collected, the maid rushed out the door, she kept her eyes forward, refusing to acknowledge the knight's presence. She didn't care if she offended him by not offering him a proper goodbye. He could fall through the roof again and she wouldn't care one bit!

Crash!

The maid suddenly froze, a cold sensation creeping up the length of her spine at the familiar noise. 'Don't turn around. Don't turn around.'

But the urge was irresistible. She couldn't help, but look back.

A sense of dread slowed her ticking heart when she didn't see even a vestige of the Heart Knight. What happened if he fell through the roof again?

'What happens if Ace fell and landed on the chickens? Vivaldi would have my head if anything happened to them!'

She carefully placed the eggs onto the ground and dashed back inside.

"Ace, what happened? You better not have used the hens to cushion your fall!" She fell completely silent, finding herself just staring at the sight before her.

The brown-haired male lay prostrate on the floor, his expression dazed and confused. Sitting atop his straw infested hair was a white chicken, irritated pecking his head.

The maid tentatively plucked the hen off his head and asked again, "Ace?"

"Oh, hey there! Fancy seeing you here still," replied Ace, agonizingly lifting his sore body off the ground. "Jeez... This will be the last time I fix the roof... It's so dangerous!"

"It's because you're so careless! You could have killed the chickens!" chastised the maid. Her gaze then was attracted to a curious white object on his head. Maybe it was her imagination, but was it...?

Gently massaging his sore muscles, he inquired, "Hey? What's the matter? What's on my head?"

"Don't move." Ace complied, gawking at her with palpable confusion. Then something rustled in his hair, followed by a low cracking noise.

"Hey, what was that?"

The maid promptly shushed him, watching in fervent anticipation as the egg tottered and cracked. Soon it finally broke apart. Underneath the eggshell debris, a fluffy, yellow object emerged, peeking its head out and gazing at the world around them.

"Cheep! Cheep!"

Ace carefully plucked the chick out of his hair and placed it onto his hand. "Hey, look! I'm a father!"

She couldn't hold it in no longer. She broke out into a fitful burst of laughter.

"Hey what's so funny? I don't get it."

"You looked ridiculous with that thing on your head!" she answered, unwittingly falling over the floor.

"Hey, you're just jealous I'm a father!"

"More like a mother to me!" At this statement, Ace couldn't help but laugh as well.

At such a glorious sound, the girl slowly stopped laughing, feeling her heart tick a little faster and butterflies to flutter in her stomach.

"Hey, you're much cooler than I thought! Why not you join me for an errand outside the castle? You look like you could use some time out of the castle."

She hesitated for a singular moment, unsure how she should answer. After all, joining a directionally challenged knight? Was she a fool?

Then again, at that moment, even the most sensible thought didn't make any sense to her.

At that moment, she thought he wasn't as annoying as she once thought. She found herself wanting to learn more about him, understand that incomprehensible man, share this laughter and see that smile again.

Whether she knew it or not, that was the moment when Ace had captured her heart.

With a slight flush to her face, the infatuated maid uttered a single word.


A/N Notes: Jeez, you guys wanted it? FINE. Now you got it! My new drabble series… though I failed the drabble part. Now it's more of a oneshot series since this especially just one is so long. –sigh-

But so you guys know, some of these will be sequels or prequels to existing oneshots and drabbles; some will stand alone by themselves. It was whatever I felt inspired to do. :3

So this is a prequel to my drabble series Wonders of the Heart, more specifically the Lost drabble.

Thanks for reading! Reviews would be lovely.

(New poll's up so vote if you could be so kind.)