A/N: This story is dedicated to Monkeykixass because it was inspired by the avatar she uses on Beatskippers. The picture is awesomely sweet and innocent. I hope this little story does it justice - Me


Stolen Moments

Mogami Kyouko glances furtively left then right then left once more before silently slipping into the hallway. Her tiny feet pad almost soundlessly on the wooden floorboards as she stealthily scurries through the quiet back hallway in the Fuwa Inn. The young girl peeks around the corner while clutching her favorite story book which she had hidden in her suitcase. Since the coast is clear, the six year old shoots across the immaculate kitchen to the back door. Pausing only briefly to slip her pink socked feet into dark pink Mary Jane's Shotaro-chan's mother gave her for her last birthday, Kyouko rushes into the garden.

The young girl freezes when she hears the voices of two guests admiring the strict adherence to tradition in the Fuwa's Japanese garden. Like a rabbit who has scented a predator, Kyouko jumps from her frozen position and flees to the relative safety behind a stretch of plum trees. Scrambling as silently as she can, the child rushes towards the lush green camouflage of the unmanicured forest found on the edge of the Inn's property.

Once in the relative security of the trees, Kyouko breaths easier. She giggles quietly and clutches her book tightly against her chest. Although the little, pig-tail haired girl normally plans her day at the inn around spending as much time with her very special prince, Shotaro, today is special. Today, she has a date with a fairy.

Scurrying down the barely visible deer path, Kyouko considers how magical the last day has been. Just two days ago, she was crying in the Fuwa's private family room at the inn. Kyouko knows that her mother does not like when she is loud or overly emotional. Luckily, or unluckily in the child's mind at least, Kyouko's mother was not there though. Instead, she had left her young daughter with the Fuwa's two days before today. Mogami Sanae departed the inn after admonishing her daughter and threatening her with dire consequences if she caused any problems. The cold-hearted woman then exited the room without any sign of affection or even a word of farewell.

Kyouko did not even know when her mother was going to return for her or why she was leaving her. In her child's mind, all she could think was that she had done something terrible to drive her mother to leave. Desperate to discover what she could have done to make her mother leave her with the Fuwas for an unknown period of time, Kyouko had reviewed everything she could remember. All her small and inconsequential failures haunted the sweet and emotional child. Soon, she was reduced to uncontrollable tears. Where most would see a child who performed above average in all endeavors, Kyouko saw only a failure who could not achieve the perfection her mother expected.

While the child was thinking so seriously about her short comings, all the adults had left the room. Kyouko was reduced to sobbing with only her precious prince to keep her company. Although her blue-eyed prince was her best friend and perfect in her eyes, he was only a seven year old boy. In fact, he had only turned seven a few weeks ago. He did not have the life skills or even the natural temperament to know how to help his precious friend. All the boy could do was stand and watch miserably as Kyouko wept what seemed to his boyish imagination to be a sea of tears.

When Kyouko had finally fallen asleep with her head resting on her arms neatly crossed on the low table, her prince had finally moved. Unknown to the girl, her prince had draped a soft quilt over her shoulders and attempted to wipe the tear trails from her plump cheeks. Shotaro had then returned to his room to play with the child-sized guitar his parents gave him for his birthday. The young boy thought that perhaps his friend would feel better if he was able to play her something on the instrument. After all, Kyouko loved it when he sang for her so he figured that singing and playing the guitar would make her feel even better. It was the best he could do for her. He hoped to be able to show her his improved skills soon.

Yesterday, when Kyouko had wandered through the inn, she had once more become upset when she overheard Shotaro's parents discussing how long they thought Sanae would be gone. Sho's mother admitted to her husband that she did not know how long her stay would be. Once more, the sting of her mother's absence tore through the young girl. She quickly fled towards her prince's bedroom hoping he might make her feel better. As she approached Sho-chan's room, she could hear him plucking diligently on his new instrument. For a few minutes, Kyouko listened to her friend working quite hard at taming the stringed beast.

At the tender age of six and a half, Kyouko already realized that Shotaro only worked really hard for things he found important so she realized that whatever was driving Sho-chan to concentrate on his guitar had to be important. Feeling like her soul was crushing from loneliness but not wanting to disturb her special person, Kyouko fled from the inn. She could not burden her prince with her own imperfections. She realized that her sadness overwhelmed her friend and she refused to make him feel pressured. She had to keep him happy or he might stop caring about her. After all, she disappointed her mother and so she did not care about her like other mothers care for their children. Swallowing a sob, Kyouko ran without a clear destination.

Determined to find somewhere where she could release the storm of tears that were churning just below the surface, Kyouko rushed into the woods and wandered into the heart of the tangled wilds.

In a small clearing by a crystal clear stream, Kyouko had found her place to cry and, more importantly, her fairy prince.

Kyouko squeals in excitement as she thinks about the beautiful fairy who promised to meet her once more today.

The girl bursts into the clearing.

"Corn-kun!" she cries in the innocent excitement only small children seem to possess.

Turning his head to face the little girl who has called to him, Kuon returns her greeting.

"Good morning, Kyouko-chan," the older boy replies as the sun shimmers against his blond hair. In Kyouko's eyes, the fairy prince glows with the magic inherent to his kind. Not even torn and damaged wings can detract from the perfection of the handsome creature who has somehow decided to bless her with his company.

"You came back," the girl gushes in giddy awe.

Kuon chuckles.

"Of course, I did, silly. I told you I would."

Suddenly feeling shy, Kyouko lowers her eyes and bites her lower lip nervously. She clutches her book tightly. Her dainty foot shifts nervously against the small pebbles along the receding creek bed.

"Um, Corn-kun..." she stammers. "I brought something for you to see."

The little girl holds up a thin picture book with three delicate fairies on the cover.

"Sho-chan got it for me for my birthday last year. It's a pop-up book full of different types of fairies and elves. Would you like to look at it?"

The golden-eyed child glances hopefully up at the much taller boy while holding the book towards him like an offering.

Kuon laughs once more.

"I actually brought a book for you to see also, Kyouko-chan," Kuon admits as he sweeps his arm towards a large rock near the edge of the water. On the rock, a thick, hard covered book rests.

"Neat!" calls the young girl. "We think alike, huh?"

Kuon nods with an indulgent smile before he scoops the smaller girl into his arms and places her gently on the top of a large rock. Kyouko's musical laughter tinkles in melody with the trickle of water rushing through its rocky bed. Smoothing the edges of her pink dress against her knees, Kyouko grins and swings her feet a couple times as she waits for her fairy prince to settle beside her.

Together, the companions flip through the gorgeous and intricate pop-up book that Kyouko brought. Each page hosts a myriad of wee magical critters in all kinds of environments. There are snow fairies dancing among glistening snowflakes. There are flower fairies in rose petal skirts flitting happily in a tangled herb garden. There is even a page with two small warrior fairies riding desert horned lizards as they face each other in a jousting match. Their weapons appear to be some type of pointed cactus thorns and their shields are multicolored reptile scales.

"Do any of these pictures look like your home?" Kyouko innocently inquires when they reach the last picture.

Kuon flips back through the pages. He bypasses the forest elves and even the city sprites hiding in the tiny oasis of nature on a single balcony of a high-rise condominium. He stops on a page with water spirits playing joyfully in the foaming surf.

"My home looks most like this one," he states. The ten year old grins as he thinks fondly of his last trip to the beach. He had met an older boy named Rick who had promised to teach him to surf if he came back.

"I like visiting the beach where I live," explains Kuon. "Although most of my friends don't play in the water like these fairies do."

"What do they do instead?" Kyouko asks with big eyes filled with the light of uncontrollable anticipation.

"Well, a lot of them just like to lay in the sun and relax or eat treats from the little shops nearby but some of them use their natural magics to glide along the tops of the waves. They race each other to the shore or try to do the most impressive tricks or some try to catch the biggest waves."

"Do you like to skim the waves too?"

Kuon chuckles and admits that he is just starting to learn.

"I'm sure your magic will help you to do it well really soon," Kyouko encourages. "Just like flying. I am positive you will be able to do it well in no time at all."

The gentle stroking of his ego by the sweet little girl is a balm to the older boy's slightly pitted soul. Smiling tenderly at the little princess, Kuon sits Kyouko's book on the ground and retrieves his own.

"This book belonged to my mother when she was little and I love some of the stories in it. I like to read them at night if I have trouble getting to sleep. I thought you might like to hear one," Kuon explains as he opens the large book of fairy tales.

Fascinated, Kyouko stares at the strange print on the pages.

"Is that fairy language?" she asks as her fingers press tentatively on the typed page.

"Well, it's the language I read," Kuon admits sheepishly. "I can't read your language very well yet. I speak it okay. My father made me learn it, but reading it is harder. I'll have to translate this one as I go but I can read a story to you if you like."

Kyouko nods her head enthusiastically, and Kuon leafs through the pages until he comes to the tale of Cinderella. He grins as he decides this one will be perfect. It has a young girl who marries a prince with the help of a fairy godmother after overcoming all sorts of sorrows in her childhood.

Clearing his throat, Kuon begins the story. Occasionally, he stutters as he searches for the right word to translate from the English to Japanese but Kyouko never notices. She is enthralled by the European fairy tale. When Kuon finishes the story, the young girl pleads for another one. Unable to resist the glowing golden eyes of the little Japanese princess beside him, the pretend fairy spends the rest of the morning reading more tales of magic and wonder.

When he suspects that his voice will not survive another tale, Kuon finally closes the storybook. The book has barely met page to page when a loud growl grumbles. Startled, Kuon glances at Kyouko who is blushing and rubbing her rumbling tummy.

"Sorry," she squeaks as she pushes on the offending body part in hopes of stopping the demanding noise.

Kuon just laughs and teases that perhaps she should head home for lunch. Reluctantly, Kyouko agrees. Hopping from her stone seat, the cute young girl smiles at her fairy prince.

"Will you come and play with me again?" she innocently asks.

Kuon can not help but grin in return.

"Of course, Kyouko-chan."

"Yeah!" Kyouko cheers as she grabs her precious fairy book and sprints across the clearing. Turning suddenly just as she reaches the tree-line, the perky princess turns and bows to the fairy prince.

"Good-bye, Corn-kun! And thank you!" she enthusiastically calls before disappearing into the woods.

For a few moments, Hizuri Kuon stands and contemplates the precious young child who has charmed her way into his life. Fleetingly, the young boy wonders if it might not be better to be her real prince instead of an imaginary fairy one. In that moment, an invisible spirit hovers near Kuon's hand. Deftly, the unseen creature ties an equally invisible red thread onto the pinky-finger of the blond American. With one more glance at the handsome youth, the true spirit streaks into the woods. The resilient thread that he carries may be long and tangled, but the fate fairy is sure that one day the two children will happily follow the thread back to each other once more.