This is my new story. Why the name's so cheesy? Because I wanted it to be.
Disclaimer: I do not own Man, but I do own the story, the places, the possible O.C:s and the liquor Cross is drinking.
Summary: Life starts easy, the middle is filled with ups and downs and the end is usually peaceful. Allen's life starts badly, then goes up and up and up - to fall down to hell again when life's torn apart. All of it because of two kings' and one prince's lazy drinking night.
Warning: alcohol, fail wannabe-genderbending, arranged marriage, young!Allen meets young!Kanda.
As Love Grows
"Ah, it's good to see you, King Tiedoll", Cross said as he shook hands with and middle aged man with frizzy gray hair.
"It's a pleasure to be here, King Cross", Tiedoll said and adjusted his large semi-round/rectangular glasses, and he scratched a bit on his mustache as he took in the room he was in. The room had dark wooden floor and reddish wooden panels on the walls which were hidden by various ornaments like paintings, mostly of the previous kings and queens of the country Aederia, statues, flowers that reached up to the roof and a few bookshelves, and before the full wall window that showed the beautiful garden at the back of the castle was a large wooden desk with many stacks of papers and books.
"I see that you're as active as I remember you to be", Tiedoll said after squinting at the desk.
"I've better ways to spend my time", Cross said and fixed his long red hair to be in a more subdued manner as he took a drag at a cigarette with his other hand. The man had a large white mask that covered almost the entire right side of his face, a black cross adorned the mask and once again Tiedoll was reminded of the reason for his good friend to wear it.
"As opposed to you, going around collecting kids from God knows where, that brat's the newest?" Cross continued and nodded towards a young boy standing behind Tiedoll. The boy had shoulder length, black hair. He was dressed in an easy-going outfit which consisted of durable, dark pants, a white shirt and a dark brown vest.
"This is Yuu-kun, my youngest son. I adopted him just a year ago in a far off country", Tiedoll said and put his hand on Yuu's. "He's a lovely boy, a bit quiet at times but all of this is still new to him, he'll learn to cope eventually." Cross looked at the boy while smoking his never ending cigarette; the boy stared back with force. Cross smirked and looked up at his friend.
"They boy got some guts, I give you that", and just then the door opened and another man stepped into the room. His hair was short and brown and well maintained which was very different to the kings' rather eccentric hairstyles. The man wore a grey suit and in his hand he held a black top hat which had seen its better days.
"I'm sorry I'm late, brother, had a little trouble leaving the young one in the playroom", the man joined the other two and after putting down his hat on one of the small tables in the room. He faced Tiedoll and reached out his hand in greeting.
"Long time no see, King Tiedoll, I'm glad that you could take some time to visit us here in Aederia", Tiedoll took the man's hand and shook it firmly.
"Yes, it's been some time since I wandered down the corridors of this castle. I'm very happy to see you Prince Walker!" Tiedoll said happily. The man smiled as he took of his white gloves.
"Please, just call me Mana."
"Alright, Mana", Cross, who now saw his chance to talk, said:
"So you finally took your child here? Been waiting forever to see the runt."
"Child?" Tiedoll asked a bit confused, "I didn't know you were married, Mana."
"No no, I'm still single, haha", Mana said and brought up his hands in defense, "I found her a few months ago in the streets of the town I live in. Poor girl was half beaten to death and starving, and not to mention the cold weather… I couldn't just leave her there." Mana said solemnly. Cross snorted and Tiedoll sniffed a few times as tears ran down his face.
"What a hard life she must have lead, how old is she?" The tears were constantly going down his cheeks.
"I do not know, no one knows how old she really is, but I guess that she's around four years old. I adopted her on the twenty fifth of December and made that her birthday…" Tiedoll's sniffs turned to full time sobbing.
"What a touching story, I would expect nothing less from such a sweet man as yourself…"
"Froi! Quit your crying, it's creeping me out", Cross said and then he turned to Mana, "could you bring her to us? I would like to meet her. After all she will be next in line to the throne."
"Are you not planning to have any children, Cross?" Tiedoll asked between blowing his nose.
"I don't have time for any brats."
"It's a miracle that you've yet to conceive any, if you considerate the love harem you got here", Tiedoll said, during this short dialogue Mana had gone to the door and called for a maid to bring his daughter from the playroom. The banter behind him continued as he waited by the door for his daughter. After a few minutes the door was opened again and a small child stepped into the room. She immediately took hold of Mana's right hand with both of her hands and tried to be as close to him as possible as Mana made his way back to the other men.
When they closed in Cross stared at this girl his brother had picked up from the streets. She wore a blue dress that reached her chubby knees, and even though it was a warm evening the child had a long-sleeved dress and white gloves.
"This is my daughter Alene", Mana said proudly and tried to pry his hand out of her tight grip so that he could show her to the men. She looked up at the men and immediately got scared by the look the red headed man was giving her, and the loud noise that Tiedoll suddenly made as she did.
"Oooh, isn't she just so adorable! So shy and sweet, I think she's going to grow up to be a fine woman when she gets older!" The sound had been him trying to hold back a new wave of sobbing. "That such a sweet and cute child had to go through all that..." He took a deep breath and looked down at his son, who adamantly refused to look anywhere but his shoes. "Yuu-kun", Tiedoll said firmly and nudged at the boys head. Yuu grudgingly raised his head, and for a few seconds his eyes met the girl's who hid behind Mana's legs.
"Yuu-kun, I want you to meet Princess Alene Walker, say hi to her", Tiedoll said to Yuu, who looked away with a sour expression. Alene peeked out from behind Mana's legs but yelped when she saw the boy's sour expression turned towards her. Mana laughed a little and lifted Alene and put her in front of him. He held her shoulders so that she would stay there, in front of the 'scary boy' as she had now quietly dubbed the boy before her.
"Yuu-kun, it's not polite to keep a lady waiting, you know. I've talked about this", Tiedoll chastised and nudged Yuu's back so that the boy would take a step forward – closer to the even more frightened girl. Yuu looked down at his shoes again and said something inaudible.
"Son…" Yuu looked straight into the girl's gray eyes and with a firm, light voice said:
"Nice to meet you, Princess Alene", then he looked the other way, blushing a bit at the embarrassing event. Mana had let go of Alene's shoulders and the girl had immediately returned to safety behind his legs.
"You have to teach the boy some respect towards women, Tiedoll", Cross said and took another drag at his cigarette. "And Mana, you have to make her less shy towards people, I don't want my successor to be a wimp." Mana chuckled.
"Don't worry, Marian, she's just four years old, she'll get used to people in no time."
"Hmm… I hope you're right about that", Cross said, Tiedoll shook his head.
"Do you know anything about children, Cross?" He asked.
"All I know is that they're a waste of my time, with all their crying and bitching, can't stand them."
"I'm sorry that you can't see the wonders with children, my old friend", Tiedoll sighed then he saw the darkening sky through the window and just then Yuu yawned. "Well, I guess it's time for the little ones to go to bed now."
"If you want we could continue our conversation in my sitting room. I've acquired a very exotic wine, which I'm sure you'll enjoy, Mana you come too."
"Of course, I'm just going to put Alene in bed", and with that Mana carried his daughter to his bedroom.
"Yuu-kun, come along now", Tiedoll said and held out his hand to his son. But the boy ignored the outstretched hand and walked towards his room with quick steps, Tiedoll sighed and followed.
Later in the well lit sitting room, Marian Cross, Froi Tiedoll and Mana Walker sat in a roughly made triangle by their dark green armchairs, facing each other. They had already drunk two bottles of wine and a one glass of whiskey each too, and now they were in for their third bottle of wine.
"Tish schtuffsh real tashty, Crosh", Tiedoll said, clearly very drunk.
"Brother's always had an excellent taste in alcohol", Mana said, also drunk, but it didn't show in his speech.
"I told you that you would enjoy it", Cross said – not that drunk.
"You, my friend… are a… GREAT man! I hope my shons grow up to be like YOU!" Tiedoll said. Cross raised an eyebrow and Mana chuckled.
"It seems Froi can't hold his liquor very well", Cross said to Mana who chuckled again.
"I don't think I do either, I'm getting a little dizzy here", Mana said and yawned.
"Weaklings… both of you", Cross said and took another sweep from his glass.
"So, Tiedoll, how many children do you have now?" Mana asked which gave Tiedoll a wave of energy and he sat up straight, and he sobered up a bit.
"I got four sons now, my oldesht, Marie, I found in the neighboring country in the south. Found him at an orphanage when he wash a baby. The caretakersh said that his real parents' last request was for him to have the name 'Marie Noise'. And what am I, as the adopting parent, to deny my dear son's parents their last request?"
"But did it have to be a girl's name, Froi?" Cross said.
"Oh shut up, Marian", Mana said, and then he turned to Tiedoll and said: "please, continue."
"My second son, Chaoji Han, I found to the east, a very schweet boy but very clumshy. And Daisya I found when I was walking down a street one evening in the town Ebor. The boy wash so dirty after playing all that soccer, I took him in right there and then. Guess how surprished he wash when I told him that 'from now on you'll be a prince of Ligoun'. And he insisted on keeping the last name he had when he lived on the streets, Daisya Barry! I found Yuu in an orphanage in a far off country during my latest travelsh. When I saw that boy I knew that I've got a new son! He too already had a last name he wanted to keep. I think it's because it's the only tie left to his real parents…"
"Or he just doesn't want to be connected to you", Cross stated and laughed, Mana shook his head at his brother's crude comment.
"Yuu is a really sweet boy, he just need someone… shteady in hish life. Someone that'll shtay faithful to him, someone he can love and cherish and be open with…"
"Well… Mana's girl needs to get married when she grows up… the only other relative I have is a idiotic cousin that would bring my country to ruin!"
"Huuh…? Then… why not arrange a marriage between Yuu and Alene? They look cute together… and Alene's calm nature is precisely what Yuu needs… right, Tiedoll?"
"I'm all in for that, Mana!" Tiedoll raised his glass before taking another sip.
"Arrange a marriage huh…? That's quite a good idea, Mana", Cross said and drank the last of his wine in one sweep.
"So… it's settled then?" Mana asked.
"I'll just bring some papers so we can formalize a contract", Cross stood up and walked, with unsteady legs, to a desk, and he opened a drawer and pulled out two blank papers and an ink pen. He sat down on his arm chair again with a thud.
"Mana, you'll be the witness, alright?" Cross said and Mana nodded. Cross scribbled a few things on one of the papers, but stopped at the end. He looked up at Tiedoll and asked:
"What's Yuu's full name?"
"Yuu Kanda", Tiedoll answered. Cross continued to scribble and then he did the same with the other. He looked up at Tiedoll who stared back with tired eyes. "You have to sign this as the king of Ligoun and father of Yuu, and then I'll sign this as Alene's predecessor and you Mana sign this as the witness, all clear?" The more drunk men nodded and Tiedoll went first and signed both papers, then Mana did it as well. Lastly Cross put his name down and he gave a paper to Mana to read out loud.
"On this day it hath hereby been decided that the successor to King Marian Cross will, when sixteen, marry to King Froi Tiedoll's fourth son, Prince Yuu Kanda, in holy matrimony. And as such they will be next in line to the throne of Aederia. This contract hath been signed by both parts and a witness. If change of mind, all three – Marian Cross, Froi Tiedoll and Mana Walker – must be present at the burning of this contract. Signed: His Royal Majesty King Marian Cross, His Royal Majesty King Froi Tiedoll, Witness: His Royal Highness Prince Mana Walker."
"Excellent, I'll take one copy with me back to Ligoun", Tiedoll said.
"Of course", Cross said and gave the other paper to him.
"May I suggest that we make the children a bit more used to each other, so that they know each other when they marry?" Mana said.
"Yes! Next summer, why not come to my palace in Li Sar?" Tiedoll asked.
"And the year after that you'll come here", Mana said and Tiedoll nodded.
"It's settled then", Cross said, "Let's go to bed, you have long journey ahead of you Froi."
"Yes", Tiedoll said and yawned right after, "I can never sleep on that ship…"
"Well, goodnight to you both, I'll retire for the rest of the evening", Mana said and bowed before he left the room.
"I'll see you tomorrow Cross", Tiedoll said and also left for his room.
The next morning's goodbyes went smoothly and Mana promised Tiedoll that next summer Cross, himself and his daughter would visit him in Li Sar. Tiedoll and Yuu got on the open carriage who immediately took off towards the harbor.
"Brother…" Mana started and Cross made a sound to show that he was listening.
"This morning I found out that my child isn't a girl, but a boy… should I have told Tiedoll?" Cross snorted and then began to laugh violently, he had to clutch his stomach and bend double from the force of it. After a minute or so he calmed down, but he still chuckled now and then, and put a hand on Mana's shoulder.
"It would be better if we keep this secret from Tiedoll", Cross said.
"But, wouldn't that be…?"
"Oh, he'll get over it! We just have to make sure that he doesn't find out about that when we visit next year. That boy will need to cross dress a lot from now on."
"I guess so", Mana said thoughtfully.
"Right, now that your kid's a boy, what will his name be?"
"I was thinking of Allen, Allen Walker."
I won't put up the next chapter until I've finished my story For Eternity! Damn it, that fic goes on and on and ON! It doesn't end!
I hope you liked this chapter, and I hope you'll like this story, this will be quite long, perhaps just as many chapters as Dear Diary except with more substance.
Have a nice day!