4 Years Later

Arthur Kirkland sat at his office. It was evening, so the light was limited, yet he didn't want to turn on his lamp just yet. He was reading graphs and writing numbers, the usual of always, along with the company of tea. Needless to say, his desk was covered with documents and pens scattered about. For a long period of time, that's what his evening had been consisting of, not bothering for any social parties, and only taking care of business.

He took a sip of tea; it had already gone cold. He sighed, got up, and called the maid to bring him more. Arthur sat once more, but without tea to entertain him while working with data, it was difficult to keep his mind out of a certain "nightmare" he had the past night. The giggling of the children from his memory still rang in his head and no matter how hard he fought to fight their riling voices, they only got louder and louder.

"Shhh! He'll hear us!" the dark haired boy giggled.

"You are telling me to hush? Just listen to you!" the blond one whispered, but couldn't help to laugh as well.

The dark haired one kept on giggling, but covered the other's mouth.

The maid brought him new tea, Arthur excused her, and busied his mind on the tea's flavor as he drank. It wasn't enough.

The two boys embraced each other as the door slid open to their hiding spot.

"Aiyaaa! Some bodyguard you are!"

"Hiding from your studies aren't you?"

"But daaaaad, me and Kiku are tired of learning things we are never going to use!"

The dark haired boy couldn't suppress a snort. As contagious as it was, the blond boy burst out laughing as well.

"Alright, just for today. If you are going to play, might as well go outside too."

The two boys' eyes shone as they shared glances, and sprinted away from the wardrobe, grasping hands.

"But Master…"

"Don't worry Yao, they are children after all…"

The laughter of children echoed across the household.

"Can't I just have some peace and quiet for once?"

Blue eyes stared back at him, puzzled and somewhat teary.

"If you want I can come another time…"

"No, Alfred, stay! Here, you can sit beside me."


The dirty-blond boy ran to Arthur's lap. "Are you ready for today's story?" Arthur asked, beaming at the boy. Alfred groaned, "It's not another of those silly fairy tales, right?"

Arthur gaped at him. "What's wrong with them now? You used to love them!"

Alfred giggled and almost lost balance at his seating. Arthur had to hold him back up. "Well are you going to tell me?"

Before the young boy had time to answer, two knocks was heard at the door. "Come in," Arthur said, irritation in his voice.

The maid did so. "Mr. Zwingli wants to speak to you," she said. Arthur sighed in exasperation as Alfred looked up to see what the matter was. He smirked at Alfred. "I guess he wants to beg for his job, huh?" Arthur told him, and the boy couldn't help to smile mischievously as well.

"All right, let him in. Alfred, go help your mum or something. Story time can wait."

Alfred leapt down from Arthur's lap, disappointed at first, but as energetic as the boy was, he bounced away laughing with joy. The maid followed Alfred, and soon after in walked the Swiss.

Arthur let his head rest under intertwined fingers, his weight supported on the elbows. The smirk was still displayed at his face, but as Vash had entered, it had expanded even more at one side. "Take a sit," Arthur ordered. Vash did not oblige. "I want this to be fast," the Swiss replied, strolling across the room, rummaging through a jacket pocket.

"In that case, you can start leaving tomorrow," Arthur said, eyes squinting at the defiance. "Not to worry, I have all my things packed and ready to go," Vash said. He took out a card, text visible on it, and placed it on Arthur's desk. "What is this?" the Briton demanded, not bothering to read it himself.

"Kiku's location," Vash answered, almost matter-of-factly.

Arthur's blood went cold. "You have the audacity to mention that name? Just because I am firing you, it doesn't mean you can do as you please in my own home!" Arthur voiced at top of his lungs, already getting up from his seat. Apparently it wasn't enough that he had to be tortured with the evil dream he had earlier, and now the Swiss had to revive a deeper anger within him. Even his nostrils had begun to flare.

"It looks like I will have to sit," Vash said, "I have a feeling you won't use that piece of information I fought so hard to get. You don't even know how much strings I had to pull."

Arthur glared at Vash, who had already proceeded to comfortably sit. "Get out," Arthur uttered lowly and menacing.

The Swiss glared back as darkly. The Briton had been trying to fire him several times before, but the head Kirkland refused to let Vash go, not seeing the logic to do so when he was so good at what he did. In fact, Arthur had been firing bodyguards that his father hired, but so far only Vash had preserved. Now that Arthur had control over the whole family rights and fortune, he could do as he pleased, and one of the first things on his list was to dismiss the Swiss. For Vash, aiding Arthur was the last thing on his mind, not that he resented him either, but his attitude towards the staff was also intolerable.

But Vash had reasons to do so anyways, reasons that motivated him to disobey a direct order. "Hear me out," Vash continued, "Please, I know this topic isn't necessarily easy for you but…"

"Fine, spit it out already," Arthur snapped, as he sat down again. Vash took in a deep breath; what he was going to confess wasn't going to be easy at all.

"I don't tell this story just to anyone. You are the second exception," Vash began. Arthur made a loud sigh, establishing his indifference. But the Swiss persisted. "The first person was Kiku…"

Another nerve was stricken at the mention of the forbidden name, but Arthur somehow found the patience for the Swiss to press on. "Just get to the point will you?" Arthur said. "Very well. Just understand that this isn't easy for me either, as it isn't easy for you," Vash responded. Arthur placed a hand on his temple, but simply nodded.

"I never forgave myself the day Kiku left. I know I influenced somehow his reasons for doing so, even when he quit months after telling him my story."

Arthur wore a bore look, but Vash was not discouraged to stop. "You see…I think I frightened him or fed a fear he had already kept inside. That story, well, I frankly don't want to tell it as detailed as I did to him. And I promise I will get to the point as fast as you wish.

"Anyways, so before working under your service, I belonged to the Vogel family. I was assigned to be the human shield for Elise Vogel. You can say I was in a similar situation with you and Kiku. We grew up together. Eventually, I began to call her my… schwester.

"Without meaning to, we became family and couldn't be without the other."

Vash smiled at this, staring at the window. Arthur cleared his throat, forcing the other to continue, so he nodded and went on, "Little did I know, I had begun to love her more than my own life.

"That is a bodyguard's gravest, mistake. Instead of focusing on my duties, I desired nothing more to be with her. Make her smile so it could make me whole. These selfish feelings clouded my judgment and so then…"

Vash broke off, no longer able to find his voice.

By then he had captured Arthur's full attention and had been listening attentively to the part of the "bodyguard's gravest, mistake".

"Well, go on!" he urged. But the Swiss had his head low, strands of pale, blond hair covering his eyes. Arthur clicked his tongue, his patience running out once more, but this time wanting to hear out from Vash. He had never heard of this bodyguard rule.

When he did look up, Vash had crystalized eyes, a tear already sliding down a cheek. Arthur flinched; he had never seen the man at this state, even less expressing any emotion, if at all. "Oh, my lovely Elise...," Vash wept. Arthur did not know how to react at Vash's unexpected outburst, but he had to know…

"Take your time mate, but please do continue."

"They…It was my entire fault. And she never blamed me. No one did goddammit!" Vash shouted. "What was?" Arthur whispered, now feeling sorry for the man. Vash swiped an eye roughly, and stopped sobbing at once, gaining some composure.

"No one blamed me because I was captured instead of Elise. They said it was the heroic thing to do…but Elise, she had a mind of her own and a strong will as well. It was undeniable, she loved me as strongly as I loved her. And so she gave in to the abductor's demands, just so they could let me go," Vash said in between gasps. "But of course they had other things in mind…"

Arthur gulped as he felt the atmosphere of the room become ominous, but longed to hear more nonetheless. The human mind can be so attentive when it comes to tragedy. Vash breathed in sharply, holding in powerful urges to burst out crying again. "You don't have to tell me in detail remember?" Arthur reminded. Vash nodded and smiled sadly, and took another huge breath.

"They…They did despicable things to her, and I was forced to watch! Hearing her cry in pain while I could do nothing about it! The bastards…!" Vash yelled, while slamming his fist on the desk. Arthur was already engrossed at where the story was going and didn't even mind the abuse the desk was enduring at the moment. "They knew she and I were more than the apparent. That I was more than a bodyguard; that is the ultimateflaw!"

Arthur stared wide eyed, finally understanding. "You mean, they used you?"

"Exactly. They knew we loved each other, and they used that fact against us. They knew Elise would do anything to save me, and that's how they got to her."

Arthur hadn't realized how fast he had been breathing or the cold sweat that ran down his temple. "So you see, I made two mistakes: My love for Elise made me let my guard down. Because I let my guard down, I let myself be captured, and so Elise had to suffer the consequences for it," Vash continued. "You told all of this to Kiku I presume?" Arthur asked.

"And more."

Arthur let himself sink at his seat, feeling unsettled every second that passed. Vash eyed him carefully, deciding his next words carefully.

"He loved you didn't he?"

Arthur looked up to the now stern Swiss. His stomach had been churning and his head felt overwhelmingly dizzy, but he had to answer.

"I believe so, and I in return did too."

He felt like a heavy weight lifted from his chest, but at the same time, felt oddly melancholic. "I strongly thought so. Yes, that was it, whatever went on between you two, I believe Kiku felt my story was going to repeat itself with you. That is why I blame myself."

Arthur collected his thoughts that had been swarming his mind uncontrollably at the sudden revelations. So many questions flooded in as well, wanting to be answered. "Are you saying Kiku left because he feared for my life? And why do you blame yourself after warning him not to make your same mistake? What did happen to Elise?"

Vash glanced at the window once more, the sunrays having disappeared completely by this time. Arthur had just noticed this and the only light that had been illuminating them for a while now was from the moon and stars, and so he lit his lamp. "There's no other reason I see; Kiku truly feared they would use him to get to you. Especially with Braginski on your trail. However, I do believe he already knew love could hinder the job of a bodyguard before, of course, not as strongly as before telling him my story," Vash said.

Arthur nodded at this and added, "It does make sense, especially when he avoided me so fervently several times in our past. He didn't want to become attached for that rule did he?"

"Correct," Vash replied. Arthur shut his eyelids and covered his face with his hands at this, slightly rubbing his eyes.

"As for Elise, she's alive if that's what you meant. After the 'incident', she simply wasn't the same anymore. She became mute to everyone else, except to me… She kept on repeating how happy she was because nothing serious had happened to me," Vash said, his voice cracking again. "And I couldn't take it any longer, the guilt ate me alive, so I quit."

Arthur opened his eyes to meet with the Swiss'. "I ran away in other words. I regret it to this very moment, which is why I blame myself for Kiku doing the same. I wanted him to learn from my experience and prevent it, but never to quit," Vash said. With that, every puzzle piece was completed, and Arthur enlightened.

Arthur picked up the card and read it. "So this address is where he currently resides?"

"Ah yes, that information. Believe me, it took all my power in my hands to get it, and even then I couldn't do it by myself. It took me so long because he had been travelling across the seas," Vash answered.

"But he is currently staying in Italy as it says here, right? He is not going anywhere any time soon?"

"Let's hope not. As for me, I've done everything I can so you can find him, use that information wisely. I will go gather my belongings now and leave as soon as possible," Vash said, already getting up.

Arthur sprang to his feet. "W-wait, you don't have to leave or anything, really. I apologize for everything, I was just, I was just…I was being an idiot alright? You don't have to work for me anymore if that's alright to you, but I could suggest you to another family!"

Vash smiled and said, "I wanted to leave anyways. I've been running away for too long now. I'm going to…I'm going to go see my schwester, my beloved Elise."

Arthur wanted to say anything, but was left speechless, and could only accept the handshake that the Swiss was now offering. Vash bid him farewell, and wished him luck, and with that, the Swiss left.

Arthur let himself sink at his seat once more. Surely enough, Alfred had been informed of the Swiss' departure and returned to his father gleefully. "Story time, story time!" he squealed. Alfred returned to his rightful place at Arthur's lap and opened the fairy tale book.

"Even if it's from this…I want you to read it to me!" he exclaimed.


Of course the young child hadn't noticed the pale complexion of the Briton, or the shakiness of his voice. A trembling hand flipped over the pages and Alfred stopped it at the drawing of a dragon.

"This one is alright I guess, it has a hero!" Alfred said, jumping up and down. And so Arthur read:

"There was once a kingdom with a beautiful princess. The whole kingdom loved her. Her beauty was not what won their heart however, but her fair rule. But one day, a dragon kidnapped her. The people of her kingdom did everything in their power to retrieve her, but to no avail.

It was until a knight in shining armor came to the kingdom after hearing the stories of the pleading citizens who longed for their fair lady back. Surely enough, he took on the quest and travelled far and wide to retrieve her. The knight's persistence prevailed and he found the dragon's lair and slayed the dragon. The knight rescued the princess and returned her to the kingdom. Her people celebrated and wanted him as their king, and the princess, grateful at the knight, wished for the same.

But the knight had already left, continuing his righteous journey to bring justice. The princess and her kingdom never forgot that knight and swore to make his name immortal. The End."

"But that doesn't make sense," Alfred whined. "In the comic books, the hero always gets the girl! Why can't the knight just marry the princess and save the day at the same time?"

"If the knight marries the princess, who will be in charge of protecting her then..." Arthur murmured, restating the same words his older brother told him so long ago. "Boo, that's so meaningless!" Alfred whined.

"Go to sleep now won't you?" Arthur whispered. Alfred protested, loudly as ever, but left the office, not before kissing his father good night. As soon as the boy was out of sight, Arthur immediately rummaged through a drawer, retrieved his master key, and began to unlock all the storage compartments. Papers flew everywhere, even the business papers he had been working on were thrown about. His heart was drumming hard against his chest, fearful that he would not find the large, yellow envelope.

He felt hours had passed and felt he was going to go mad, but his heart stopped at the sight of the said envelope. It could have contained anything ...And he had never bothered to open it after so many years.

"Time is short Arthur, and frankly, I don't see why we should waste it when we love each other."

Arthur gulped at the sudden memory. By this time, his hand shook uncontrollably, finding it difficult to open it. So instead, he tore it apart and let the contents fall to his hands impatiently.

They were photos. There was a paper attached as well, written in permanent marker with a hand writing he could recognize anywhere. It read in huge, bold letters:


Arthur read it a thousand times, trying to decipher a non-existent hidden message.

It simply was what it was. Finally deciding to flip the paper over, he viewed the images of the photos, taking them in slowly. They were all nature photos. They were Kiku's nature photos.

He placed them down on the desk, sat down, hunched over, and cried.

"What is this time of hour to call?" a drained voice said.

"Francis, quickly set up everything so when I get there your private airplane is ready. I'll be there in the morning, no later than 8!"

"What are you going about?"

"I need your private airplane to go to Italy!"

"Quoi? Are you crazy? Are you aware what time of night it is right now?"

"I'm fully sane, this is an emergency."


"Are you there?"

"I just don't understand why you depend on me for my private airplane when you clearly shower in money. It must be you admitting I have the best quality of services."

"Shut up Francis. You know I won't purchase one ever since my father's business with Braginski years ago. I won't risk my neck to place my information so easily where the Russian is active the most. So I'll be there, you hear me?"

"Very well…I'll have everything ready for you."

Francis had done as he was told, didn't question the Briton and was able to depart as soon as he had arrived to the airport. In just several hours, Arthur had arrived to Italy and was already boarding a cab on Venice. Even after with the speed of the modern transportation, Arthur felt he was many years behind his destination. Any tourist in the legendary city of canals would had been elated, but not Arthur Kirkland. His heart beat rapidly in premonition, and even fear. He had arrived to Francis' place in his everyday garments, even without any luggage, except for his passport, so Francis had to dress him up properly and make him a suitcase with extra clothing.

Arthur had seen it trivial even back then and now, nothing like that mattered in his situation. When the cab stopped at a town square, he paid the driver, and walked among the crowded place. A gondola had to take him to the Palazzo Barbarigo hotel, and by then it had already become evening. He paid for a room, and immediately took out the written card that Vash had made for him. It had the room's number and everything, he did not have to ask for it. He loved that Swiss.

It was wisely done so since such information would have never been given to him, not even when private investigators couldn't before. His blood was pumping and had the urge to run, but he still was a gentleman and had to show dignity. But as the elevator had reached the certain floor and the numbers got closer to his destination, he simply could not take it any longer. His gentleman code could go to hell! The Briton began to sprint, heads turning to watch the mad man run at such a luxurious place.

He must be an American, they thought, no manners. Any Briton would have been infuriated at such comparison, but Arthur ran even faster and faster, not glancing back at the people with sneers. And at last, the number at the door matched the number at the card he clutched with his life. He disregarded thoughts that told him he currently wasn't present, or worse, someone else had moved in. Nonetheless, that wasn't stopping him now.

He lifted a hand and pressed the doorbell with and index finger. His heart hurt against his chest at the new speed it was hammering at, and even adrenaline had been activated. In seemed ages to Arthur, but he finally heard the door handle move for the door to open. He met Asian eyes and time stopped.

"How may I help you…?"

Beautiful midnight eyes widened and hands reached out to pull him in.

The dark haired man locked the room with every key and commenced to close all curtains in the room. Meanwhile, the Briton stood stupefied and speechless. He had a whole speech planned already, but at the moment his mind was blank. His eyes could only follow the constant movements of the dark haired man to make the room invisible. In a final desperation, he was able to find his tongue and utter the man's name.


The Asian glanced from behind his shoulder, and turned to face the Briton directly. "How did you find me?" he asked. "Vash, he told me. He told me everything," Arthur whispered. Kiku's slender eyebrows knitted in confusion, but motioned Arthur to sit. Arthur sat at the nearest sofa, realizing how his legs were throbbing to rest.

Kiku stood in front of him. He was dressed in his casual kimono, a garment he had only seen in their childhood. "I do not understand…Anyways, you cannot be seen with me. I will ask you to leave," Kiku said, but Arthur could see the pain in his eyes as he did so.

But this time, a million speeches returned to Arthur, and leapt up from where he sat, and embraced the Japanese. "I'm not leaving you now that I found you, fool!" he exclaimed, holding him tighter. He was glad Kiku did not fight back, but did not return the gesture either. "What did Vash exactly tell you?" he heard Kiku say.

"He told me to find you here. He told me the truth; he told me why you left."

Arthur felt Kiku move out, but gently. "I still don't understand…"

"Kiku, please, don't play dumb. I know I should have searched for you even without Vash telling me what he did. I failed you, so I beg of you, just listen to what I have to say."

"There is nothing to say Arthur. And I beg of you, please leave before they find out you are with me."

Arthur pulled Kiku closer to him again. "No! I'm not letting you go anymore. I lost you once, and I'm not allowing it again. I know the truth now, and I will fight for you like I should had years ago!"

It took a while, but Kiku finally returned the embrace. "What did Vash exactly tell you?" Kiku murmured. "About being a bodyguard, about love being forbidden, about Elise…"

He felt the Asian stiffen, and move away once again. But he kept close, just a breath away.

"Arthur, this fact doesn't change anything. You still can't be around me, you still can't-"

"All this time you were looking over my security. I feel like an idiot for having overlooking it! I blamed you when all you were doing was trying to protect me."

"Yes Arthur, that is true but I-"

"The day you left, it broke my heart to million pieces. Anger and resentment took over me, and I was blinded by it. A wise man would have searched for you without rest, but I gave up immediately. But I always loved you,always. I just channeled those feelings over you to hate; I honestly thought you had ran away and I would never see you again."

Kiku was listening intently, but frowned. "You sent me those photos, you really followed your dream didn't you?" Arthur said, changing the topic almost completely. Kiku was dumbfounded for a moment, but his lips turned to a small smile. "If you sent them to me, it must have meant for me to search for you, and I didn't even glance at them for so many years…"

Kiku shook his head and said, "No Arthur. I just wanted to let you know that I was not a coward. I know you did believe that after leaving like that, so I at least wanted to prove you otherwise."

Both decided to sit, Kiku had already forgotten he had wanted Arthur to leave and went on with their conversation. Arthur looked down, sadness at his eyes.

"I was the coward all along, I just kept blaming you. I was a coward for not opening that envelope, for believing for so many years you had just used me."

"Why would I ever use you?" Kiku asked, not helping to chuckle. Arthur took a moment to reply, then laughed himself. "Because I'm charming and desired by all women?"

"You are so full of yourself!" Kiku said, pushing him friendly at the shoulder. Once the two gained composure once again, they shared one warm gaze. "I'm so happy for you, for following your dream. How is it going anyways? Are you still a bodyguard?" Arthur asked, eager for the answer.

"Yes I am, and yes it is going well. I'm still an amateur, but I knew some people in the Agency that were able to connect me to some references. That really helped me with my new career I'm fighting to obtain. But I am still a bodyguard, and matter of fact, I'm here in Italy for that reason," Kiku replied. "So that means I'm still placing you in danger if that was what you were thinking about."

Arthur gave it a thought, and then said, "Wait, so how are you being a bodyguard and a photographer at the same time?"

Kiku let his back completely incline on the sofa, and smiled. "The Agency gave me a break…"

He had a mischievous grin at his face now and Arthur couldn't help to laugh. "Yao doesn't know does he?"

Kiku blushed and nodded.

Arthur kept on laughing, now placing a hand at his stomach. Kiku had really stepped it up for his dream. And so the Asian couldn't help to laugh himself and both let their heads fall back. Going against Yao was their ultimate daring game of childhood and such risks amused them to no end. Apparently even now as grown men.

"But I will tell him one day. He is dying you know…" Kiku said, calm at once. Arthur focused as well, and placed a hand over the Japanese's ones at the mention of his brother's health. "I saw him cough blood more than one occasion when I was younger. I can only imagine how much worse his condition has declined," Arthur said, gently.

Kiku simply nodded, but set his gaze down. "Kiku…I can gather the best doctors of whole Europe so they can make him better," Arthur said. "No Arthur, it's too late. The best of my country did the same, and even expanded his health, but they assured it was terminal. Besides, you can't do anything related with me!"

At this, Kiku snatched his hand from Arthur and stood up. "Didn't you learn anything from Elise's story? I would believe after what Vash told you that he would prevent you from searching for me," Kiku alleged. "You would assume wrong. Actually he told me himself that he believed you misinterpreted him as well," Arthur said.

"What do you mean?" Kiku asked. The blond grabbed the Asian's hand and pulled him to return him to his seat. "That he told you about Elise so you would learn from his mistake. However, he did not want you to run away. In fact, he also confessed he hated himself for doing the same to Elise," Arthur said.

Kiku eyed him incredulously, and then blinked several times, brushing strands of hair away from his eyes. Arthur knew he was analyzing what he just declared, and remained silent to not interrupt this process. Then Kiku shot a stare to Arthur and said, "You are not lying aren't you?"

"You can read eyes can't you? Am I lying now?" Arthur asked. Kiku did so, searched through the sea of emerald, but saw sincerity in them. However, he became glued to them, and could not tear his eyes away. He always believed Arthur had the power to hypnotize people with his striking eyes.

Unknown to the Asian his cheeks had been flushing pink. "But honest, he really did tell me that. He said that he felt guilty for you leaving the way you did…Oh, and he left just yesterday as well. He is on his way to return to Elise," Arthur continued.

Kiku's lips parted in surprise. "He did?" he exclaimed. Arthur nodded, smiling wholeheartedly. Kiku smiled as well, happy for his old friend. They were silent after that, finally taking in the moment and realizing they hadn't seen each other for years.

Excitement and concern, it was all communicated through their eyes. They had mastered this practice after years of friendship. But Kiku displayed sorrow as well, he still feared for the Briton's life. There was nothing in this world that Arthur desired more to take this burden away from the Japanese's life. "Hey Kiku," Arthur murmured.


"You know, ever since I got here, I've been aching to kiss you."

Kiku tore his gaze away, placing his hands at his heart. "I know your life Arthur. Everything a Kirkland does gets across all Europe as the news. You are a family man now, we could never be together…"

Arthur was taken back at this. After being uneasily silent, he cupped Kiku's face and brought him closer. "Forgive me Kiku," Arthur whispered, eyes glistening, "please forgive me…"

He let his head fall over Kiku's shoulder and wept there. The Japanese's instincts in turn told him to hold the blond and rub his back soothingly. "While you swore eternal love, all I ever did was get back at you for leaving, when all along your actions were to save me," Arthur said through sharp breaths.

"I don't blame you and I don't resent you for it," Kiku murmured at Arthur's ear. "In fact, I expected it. At least that way you wouldn't look for me. I just wanted to let you know I would fight for my dream through that envelope, but in the end, I still missed you."

Arthur shot his head up and stared at Kiku.

"Then would you still accept me in your life?"

"I do, but yours is taken."

"My life belongs to you."

"What about the child?"

Arthur hesitated, and hated himself for what he had to reply with.

"…He wasn't born with my family name. I will not be betraying him."

"But it's okay to do so to Alice?"

"But I love you."

"I told you, I'm still a bodyguard. If they were able to find out about us, they'll use me to get to you. Are you willing to risk your life like that?"

"My life is meaningless without you."

The Japanese gave up and sighed loudly as a demonstration. But in the end, he couldn't help a smile at finally realizing that Arthur had indeed found him. Feelings of happiness suddenly overwhelmed his core and couldn't help to brush a thumb over the Briton's smiling lips. By then, Arthur's tears had ceased and he too felt a sudden burst of joy. They had found each other and it was just too unbelievable.

They had to prove somehow that they weren't dreaming. Arthur placed an arm across Kiku's neck and the latter brought the blond closer by the tie. They kissed and it was like rediscovering themselves, gently caressing the lips as if it was the first time. One could think they were innocent teenagers by the way they kissed, tenderly feeling the other's soft lips as if to prevent them from breaking. Against their own will, they separated to catch their breaths, panting and sharing smiles.

But passion burned within them, having been locked away for so many years. That kiss was only the beginning of what they did that night. The innocent kisses elevated to fervent ones and the two simply could not help themselves. Kiku let himself slide down as Arthur pressed his body against him, removing the kimono layers like ribbons from a present. The gift inside was the best he had obtained from years, as he cherished Kiku's bare skin with his lips.

Soon enough, the atmosphere had been stirred with heated kisses and daring touches. They could not hold back any longer and so complexions distorted with pleasure at their steady, rhythmic movements, making Kiku's head bump back and forth at the arm of the sofa at every rocking slide of Arthur's hips. In the highpoint of their love making, the two embraced, moaning inaudible nothings to each other. They kissed one last time before Arthur flopped beside Kiku.

There simply wasn't enough space for the two to be side-by-side and enjoy their company, so the blond stood up and held the Asian bridal style and took him to the bed just across the room. As he placed him down, Arthur wrapped his arms around the other and reached out to his ear. "Stay with me tonight won't you?" he whispered. "Forever and always," Kiku responded without falter.

But Arthur's fear did not let him rest peacefully like the Asian did, and battled for sleep.

Nevertheless, sleep did come and morning after it. The curtains had been completely shut, so Arthur did not awake as early as he wanted to by the sun's rays. So when he did begin to stir and realized where he was, his eyelids swung wide open.

He relaxed momentarily as serenity appeased his ultimate fear and felt he had found heaven.

Smiling, gentle eyes were already looking over him.

Arthur Kirkland felt for the first time in his life that he finally belonged.

The fairy tale ended. The knight had returned to his princess and the kingdom rejoiced. The knight promised eternal love and stayed. The princess gave him her hand and heart in return.

The bodyguard saved the gentleman's life and they finally became one.

The End.

See? I'm not such a horrible person with the characters. They sorta had a happy ending!

Honestly, I wouldn't call it that either since both have many challenges in their end. Kiku has Yao and his family honor, and Arthur has the responsibility of the marriage he brought upon himself.

So I wish them good luck with all my heart even if I wrote this myself! I will leave it there for interpretation. But if you have doubts just ask me.

So thank you everyone who just took their time to read this and especially to the constant reviewers!