"And so, the princess woke up from the handsome prince's kiss, and they lived happily ever after. The end."
Gold finished the story he was reading, and smiled at his daughter sitting in front of him, her pale gold eyes watching his every move.
"Daddy, am I a princess too?"
Gold chuckled at her comment, and ruffled his daughter's blue hair. Gem asked him the same question almost every time he read her a bedtime story.
"Well, you're my daughter, and I love you very much, making you my little princess."
Gold's words usually soothed Gem to sleep, but tonight, she frowned and stared at her father, as if she was thinking of something. Gold felt a sudden pang of sadness, as her expression was exactly similar to someone he once knew.
Before he could question her further, Gem turned to her father once again.
"Daddy, if I am a princess to you, then what about Mommy?"
Gold felt his smile vanish, as he stared at the little girl watching him. Gold had told her that her mother was away on a long journey, and would return someday. Not wanting to tarnish the little girl's heart, he had always wanted to wait until Gem was older, before he actually told his daughter that her mother didn't even exist anymore.
"Mommy? What about her?"
Gold knew his voice was tense, no longer jovial, but he still tried to keep the atmosphere happy by plastering on a fake smile. Gem apparently didn't buy the smile as she frowned further, nearly scaring Gold with the intensity in her eyes.
"Well, if I am a princess, surely Mommy is too, isn't she? She's probably on a dangerous quest, fighting dragons!"
Gold had to suppress a smile at the sudden change of atmosphere as his daughter bounced on the bed, waving her Swablu plushie around, squealing with glee. He laughed along, pretending to have a play fight with her using a Kriketune plushie as a shield. Then she tackled him, and pulled him into a hug, her blue hair tickling his arms.
"Daddy, I miss Mommy."
Her words silenced both of them, all traces of laughter gone.
"So do I, Gem."
Gem glanced out at the balcony before turning back to her father.
"Do you think she misses me?"
Gold bit his lip as he stared into the hopeful pair of eyes. He had always given in to Gem's requests, and always tried to find the right answer to satisfy her, but he was afraid that bringing up the topic of her would upset Gem.
"Of course she does."
A smile appeared on his daughter's face as she grabbed her duvet, wrapping it around her tightly, as she hurried towards the balcony.
"Mommy? Can you hear me? I miss you! Please come home! Me and Daddy wants to see you again!"
Gem turned to smile at her amused father, her face flushed from all the screaming.
"Do you think Mommy heard that?"
Gold nodded, trying to prevent the tears threatening to spill out from his golden eyes.
Suddenly, he felt a warm hand holding his own, and he looked at his daughter, and had to break into a smile, fighting back tears, because between both of them, someone had to be strong.
No words were needed to describe what Gem was trying to tell him. He knew Gem was trying to comfort him, as she knew how much he missed Crystal.
"Daddy, would you like to look at the stars with me?"
Gold knew that the girl meant well, but he couldn't face looking up at the stars after Crystal left. He didn't stop Gem's crazy star interests, although hearing her talk about them made his heart ache. He allowed Gem to watch the stars each night, and bought her star-shaped toys as well. But he never watched the stars with Gem, because the pain in his heart was too great to disguise.
Because stars reminded him of Crystal.
Gazing into Gem's eyes, he knew he couldn't turn his beloved daughter down. Standing up, he followed his daughter to her balcony.
Father and daughter stood watching the stars sparkle at both of them. One was feeling dizzy with glee at trying to count all the stars at once. The other was frozen in place, forcing his eyes to stare at the sparkling gems.
"Daddy? I'll go to sleep now alright?"
Gem quietly tiptoed back to her bed, knowing that her father needed some time to think. He stifled a laugh as he watched the small girl wrapped up in a huge pink duvet try to fit through the door.
Gold turned his attention back to the shimmering star. He barely noticed the mini Red Riding Hood aka Gem sneaking back to bed. Placing his hands in his pockets, he stared back into the black velvet sky.
"Tch, Super Serious Gal, if you weren't so serious, you'll be standing right here, beside me now."
As he spoke, the wind blew through his hair. Strangely though, it was rather warm, and comforting, instead of the harsh gale which always threatened to blow Gem off the rail. The wind ran across his skin lightly, like gentle fingertips belonging to a certain woman he loved, and still loves.
Shaking his head free of haunting memories, he glanced up at the twinkling stars shining at him. Even after being with her for over a decade, he still couldn't understand why she and his daughter loved the stars so much.
But now, he knew why.
"You were always so star-crazy that you always claimed to see stars in my eyes each time I look at you."
He paused for breath, nearly chiding himself for going crazy for talking to the stars. But somehow, he felt her presence, as if she was close by.
"I stopped star-gazing after you left. But today… I don't see a bunch of pretty twinkling stars. I see your eyes... I see your eyes in the stars."
Laughing to himself about being so corny, he ran a hand through his ebony hair before heading into the house, complaining about getting a frostbite.
But before entering Gem's pastel colored room, he turned and smiled at the brightest star he could find. He could have sworn it winked back at him.
He lets a small tear trickle down his face, as he smiles back at the star.
"I love you, Super Serious Gal."
Behind him, he heard the wind blow through the glass wind chimes he hung outside. However, instead of hearing the usual clinking of glass, he heard gentle laughter, like music to his ears.
"And I love you too… Gold…"
EEEP. I'm so sorry for the delay! I haven't been posting fanfics for... I don't know.. a week? And I decided to start bolding my words at the end cos I'm worried that people may mix it up with the story.. Anyway, let me know what you think of this story :) I know most of my fanfics often end up sad or something, but its cos I'm no good at writing fluffy or bright fanfics :/ I'll try someday though. I find bits of this story a little weird, but I hope you guys like it. Some parts may be a little weird cos I was trying to see this from Gold's point of view, which I guess was pretty much a failure :P Reviews are appreciated!