i don't understand. the small queen meekly says. breathe—

bring my love to life. that's all i ask. only this. she whispers, voice like velvet, like silk, like honey; she shall poison her with these false promises, if only to see her love rise once more.

i can't.

you can. slippery, her tongue hisses. jaded, her catlike eyes narrow. you will.

xx

her hand (claw like, talon like) flitters to her shoulders, threatening to break her skin with the lightest touch. she can do it (she will).

she can feel her heartbeat beating, beating, beating, like the one in sleep wishes to have.

and if she refuses, the princess shall no longer have hers heart beating like acid, like bleach, disintegrating everything with heartbreak.

if the elf queen willed it, so it would be.

all the princess has to do is say no.

xx

"Alright." Nervously, the Princess licks her lips, concerned at her fallen star — a foreigner — vacant and morose. His eyes are no longer bright, filled with adoration and — oh. "I'll try."

"good." The elf queen murmurs, dipping her head to meet her gaze eye to eye. "thank you for acquiescing."

Sakura says nothing.

xx

She is scared, completely stranded in unknown waters. She drowns, she must, because Sakura knows, that in this condition, she cannot swim.

All she wants is to go home. Maybe she can — if she does this.

Her breath freezes, stuck in her mouth, as she gazes at the corpse, known in a portrait keep in dust and called a relic. He is her ancestor, once upon a time; not in this world, but another.

Struggling, she approaches the elf king — hands trembling, palms sweating.

xx

breathe

i n

breathe

o u t

xx

in

king clow, at last, wakes up to queen yuuko.

if the blade from a scorned admirer did not strike them, that is — aiming for the heart, aiming for the kill.

out

xx

together. forever.

death will not part us.

xx

And Sakura runs, sensing the magic from the changeling child — not her husband — take hold of her, tangible on her skin, pressing her like feathers about to fly, scattered in the wind.

"Fai!" She cries out, searching for him, lost in the castle of ice. "Fai!"

There — she sees him, and reaches him — a doll like boy; and Sakura becomes his haunting of emerald green.

xx

beware, beware

"Fai!"

the witching hour

"Look at me! Can you… can you see me? It's me! Sakura!"

the queen that traps the maid in her tower

"You have to wake up, oh, please, please, wake up!"

xx

she wants, she waits, she lies she baits

(Didn't the elf queen promise? He was hers if the elf king came back to life?

He is hers.)

xx

he twists, he turns, she will make him negate

He hands reach him, and it's only after his arms wrap around her tiny frame that he begins to change.

—he is a snake, slithering and scraping, fangs extended and longing to bite, slime and sweat and skin and bone, grazing and whispering for her to let go, let go, just for a second

—and he is made of fyre; a ragdoll burning in her arms, shining brightly, blazing; he'll eat her clothes away and if she let go, then she wouldn't be hurt

—a corpse, the exact same as Fai, with longer hair and deader eyes and broken limbs and broken bones, and if he is dead she must let go, for only the elf queen who mourns, may keep her pretty human boy

Sakura holds on, regardless.

xx

When Fai wakes, the fragrance of jasmine no longer seeps into the air.

For the first time, he is free.

xx

There is no changeling child, the other fallen star that would be king.

There is only him, and her, at the altar, ready to be wed.

xx

Queen Sakura, gazing at King Fai, reaches out to him, smiling.

xx

a/n.Hope you enjoyed. For kim-onka.