The rain was like bullets, flying fast and hard and slapping harshly against exposed skin, leaving angry red rashes that burned and throbbed with the rhythmically ba-dum-ba-dum-ba-dum of your heart.
And yet two children were out in this hideous weather, children who had just recently become teenagers though their bodies had yet to show it, and they were running, running as fast and as hard as the rain; their breathing laboured and their golden hair spilling messily over their eyes and their hands clasped together -
"Get them! Get them - there they are - get them - !"
An enraged shout, followed by the howl of a mob, and the thunderous footfalls of said mob; and the ground seemed to tremble with their anger, and the sky roared with thunder, and flashed with white lightning, momentarily lighting up the tiny village below, and illuminating the hundreds of faces twisted gruesomely with fury, and the glinting swords and dripping pitch-forks they carried -
"There! There! Get them - get them - hurry - kill them - !"
Another clap of thunder, and a blinding flash of lighting, and then the world was deadly black, with the screams and screeches of the mob booming in the air, louder then even the monstrous down pour; and the children continued to run, desperately trying to ignore the horribly loud thumping of the adults footfalls, and the metallic hiss of metal scraping against metal as men bumped into one another, and those sharp, sharp weapons clinked together, ringing with blood lust -
The girl slipped, and her small body smashed against the wet, muddy earth, and her brother cried out in surprise and fell with her, as his hand was intertwined with her own; and he immediately recovered, and wrapped his arms about her shoulders, and she clung to his shirt, suddenly sobbing, tears streaming down her face, mixing with the rain -
"Len, I - I can't - I'm too tired - I'm scared - I can't -"
"It'll be alright, Rin, come on, we'll get away - we always have - come on, Rin, I'm not leaving you here! Hold onto me -"
And so she did, she gripped his shoulders as they her very soul depended on her hold, and he scooped her up in his arms effortlessly, as though she were light as a feather, and, despite his own overwhelming exhaustion, he ran, and he ran, and ran and ran and ran and ran -
Another strike of lightning, splitting the sky, and the light blinded his blue eyes, and everything shone with an ungodly shine; and suddenly, they were falling, brother and sister, clinging madly to one another as the earth crumbled away like wet paper and they tumbled uncontrollably down a steep slop, and rocks and twigs and other hard surfaces clawed at their tender skin, and they crashed against the earth, bleeding and aching and drenched to their very core -
"...Len...Y-you okay -...Hey, Len...? Len? Len! Len!"
The sister grabbed her brother by the shoulders, and shook him roughly, and she received a groan in response; but he did not rise from his uneasy slumber, and his eyes rolled crazily in their sockets, and crimson liquid tricked down his neck, gushing freely from a deep and bloody gash on the back of his head, dying his golden hair scarlet.
"Len! Shit - Len! Len, please wake up! Oh, Len, Len, please! Please! Oh, Len, don't die -"
A voice called out over the deafening kssssh of the rain, and a teenage girl appeared, a teenage girl who really did look like a teenager, with defined hips and building breasts and a narrow face, complete with brilliant green eyes and creamy, smooth skin and a head of impossibly long teal-coloured hair, strung back in twin-tails that were thin and sleek and dark with the rain water; and her peasant-attire clung to her body, dyed a deep and muddy brown by the rain, and she was shivering visibly, hugging her arms close and peering helplessly through the rain-streaked gloom.
"Is someone there? Please, come out! I - I'm helplessly lost - I need to get back to the castle - Princess Miki will kill me if I don't - "
"HELP ME! My brother is hurt! Please, Len will - Len will die if -"
The sister's shriek was interrupted by a harsh sob that shook her very frame, and the new teenager gasped, horrified by what she'd heard, and she hurried over, tripping and stumbling but always just managing to save herself on some low growing branch or a rise in the earth, and quite quickly she'd reached the girl and her bleeding brother, and she hastily assessed the situation and removed her apron and wrapped it tightly above his head, hoping to stall the bleeding, and gathered him in her arms.
"Come on - I think there's a village up the hill - "
"NO! Not there! We'll be killed - please, you said castle? Princess Miki's castle? I know the way, even in this down pour, take us there and - and - I...I'll do anything! Please! Just don't let Len die!"
"What? K-killed..? O-okay, come on, then - help me - he's heavier then he looks - "
And then they were hurrying through the night, with the screeches of thunder over head and the furious wails of the mob echoing cruelly across the landscape, and the sister rushing ahead to lead the green-girl, her blue eyes recognizing the path even in the weather, even in the darkness, and they ran, and the brother whimpered beneath his breath, as he was trapped in a dream, trapped in a dream where a woman with golden hair cackled and men with whips smirked evilly as they carved trenches into his back with their thick, leather weapons, and blood dyed his world red, and his mind swam with searing pain, red-hot and agonizing, and the woman just kept laughing, laughing and laughing and laughing -
"Please stop! It hurts!"
"Foolish child! This pain will continue until you draw your final breath - and, even then, I will find you, and he will have you!"
A flash of green caught his eye, and a person was standing at the door, a person clad in entirely black with a wild mess of green hair spilling over his eyes -
And the woman just kept laughing -
:: Little China Doll ::
"God, that was a shit trip. And, damn, Miki just would not shut up, would she? Just talking and talking and talking and talking! I felt as though my ears were going to bleed! Yeah, she's a pretty princess but that doesn't mean she gets to talk for hours on end, jeez.."
Prince Shion Kaito sighed heavily and closed his dark blue eyes, rubbing his temples as his childhood friend, Prince Kamui Gakupo, continued to chatter on beside him whilst they waited in the spacious parlour, where the walls shone white and all the glimmering windows were framed with gold and blooming roses - in fact, there were roses everywhere, blooming proudly and beautifully and filling the air with their heavenly aroma.
It wasn't a surprise that there were roses everywhere, since they were in the wealthy kingdom of Rosemaria, awaiting the return of Princess Miki and Princess Kamui Megpoid Gumi, Gakupo's younger sister. The talkative princesses had been swept away by a tidal wave of maids clad in their glossy black uniforms, crimson roses sprouting from their collars, and they had left the startled princes alone in the parlour.
They were here for a Royal Ball, which would be held in two weeks time. When Miki asked why they had come so early - as it only took around two or three days to reach her kingdom from both his and Kaito's - Gakupo had smirked devilishly, and replied: "Because we're cool like that." And, of course, Miki had swooned over the twenty-year-old prince and had giggled her little heart out - while Kaito resisted the urge to bash his head against the wall.
The real reason they had come early was a much more serious and rather complicated matter that concerned Kaito and Kaito only, but Gakupo had sensed his friend's anxiety, and had graciously offered to accompany him on the fleeting journey to the Rosemaria Kingdom.
Kaito would always love his purple-haired friend for coming with him, but..
"And, gosh, Gumi -"
"GAH! For the love of God, Gakupo, would you shut it?"
Kaito's tone was harsh and loud, but Gakupo just grinned in response, and smacked Kaito over the shoulder. Gakupo came from a country where the rank of Prince and King was won through battle, whereas Kaito did not, and the result was that Gakupo was very strong; the blow, though light, almost knocked Kaito off his seat.
"I was waiting for you to shut me up. I don't think you notice, but I said the same sentence three times over."
"Oh? Did you? It all sounded like pointless gibberish to me."
Gakupo's purple eyes twinkled with amusement as Kaito pouted, crossing his arms over his chest and huffing like a three-year-old.
"Come now, Kaito-chan, don't pout. You're not a baby." Gakupo said mockingly, snickering, and Kaito glared at him. He was thoroughly irritated with the world - or, more specifically, his traditionalist father - and did not appreciate Gakupo's making fun of him.
"Shut up, Purple-top."
"Oh, did I hurt widdle Kaity-whity's feelings?"
"GO DIE IN A DITCH!"
"Temper, temper!" Gakupo wiggled a gloved finger in Kaito's face, which he lashed out at with his own gloved hand, but Gakupo was much faster then Kaito ever would be, and had removed his hand from striking range before Kaito could so much as blink.
Kaito glared - but then stop and blinked in surprise when he saw Gakupo's face had suddenly lost it's humour and was serious, his narrow eyes boring into his skull.
"...What? Gakupo, what?"
"You need to calm down. You're going to meet Meiko-hime whether you want to or not, and screaming and kicking like a little baby won't improve matters."
Kaito flinched at the cold and authoritative tone Gakupo assumed, and suddenly Kaito felt very small and weak and insignificant, his pathetic frame dwarfed by the massive and intimidating Kamui Gakupo. Unless Gakupo was fighting with him, it was quite easy for Kaito to forget that his best friend was actually a samurai with much experience in battle despite his young age and was very wise - far wiser then Kaito could ever hope to be.
And what he said was completely right.
Kaito would have to meet the famous Lady Sakine Meiko sometime. She was the daughter of a warlord, and was rumoured to be just as fierce - if not fiercer - then her blood-thirsty father, and was renowned for her skill with a sword.
Kaito had never met Meiko, but his father's word was law, and when he had decided Kaito would marry the Woman of Red - as she was sometimes called - it was like receiving a command from the Lord God himself. Kaito was now bound to marry a woman he had not even once laid eyes on, let alone spoken to, whether he liked it or not.
The hardness in Gakupo's expression melted away, and his eyes filled with sorrowful sympathy, and he placed a consoling hand on Kaito's shoulder.
"Cheer up, Kaito." He said, his voice lighter and more cheery. "Marriage isn't the end of the world. You'll learn to love her."
"Easy for you to say," Kaito muttered. "You're not the one getting married."
"But I will be, eventually. Once you announce the marriage publicly, Father will rush to find me a wife. He doesn't like to be beaten by anyone, you know - and I'm twenty, after all, and you're only eighteen. Being beaten to marriage by a child is a horrible insult."
"I'm not a child!"
"Whatever you say, ice-cream lover..."
"I'm not! I'm eighteen, damnit! I'm an adult!"
"GAH, YOU EGGPLANT WHORE!"
Half an hour flew by, and presently the two princesses returned with an army of maids at their flanks. Miki looked stunning in her crimson dress that poofed out widely at the waist, decorated with scarlet roses, and her hair was strung back in a waterfall of red-brown curls. Gumi looked equally breathtaking in her emerald green dress that matched her short, lime-green hair and bright green eyes; it was a little tighter then Miki's, but did not reveal too much of her flawless, seventeen year old frame. Gumi had originally planned to wear a kimono, like Gakupo, but she had decided against it at the last minute.
Miki, being the Princess of Rosemaria, was their host, and hastily led them to the gardens, where she said they would be having lunch. The gardens were very extensive, and seemed to go on forever; and there was a rainbow of vivid colours, some of which the visiting royals had never seen before, and they stood, awe-struck, whilst Miki talked on.
The lunch was set up on a long, gold table placed on a patch of grey stone work in a clearing, which was boxed in with rows and rows of blooming flowers. Kaito slipped into his seat; it was stiff-backed but comfortable, and the cushion was a rich red in colour. Gakupo pulled one out of Gumi, and waited until she was seated before sitting down himself.
Miki remained standing, and tapped her silver spoon against her wine glass, calling for their attention.
"I would like to thank you all for coming!" She squealed, her face positively glowing. "Mother could not be with us at the moment, and Father passed away a good two decades ago - I'm so happy you all excepted my invitation! The Ball isn't for another two weeks, so I'll have the servants - and myself, of course - give the grand tour of the castle and the local town! I hope you enjoy yourselves!"
Gumi, Gakupo and Kaito all clapped and smiled as Miki curtseyed and sat down, still beaming. She and Gumi instantly began to talk about something completely random, and with such fluency that Kaito was almost certain the conversation had been rehearsed before hand.
He and Gakupo glanced at one another. Unlike women, they weren't sure how to start a conversation out of nothing. They just stared for a while, silent; then the servants arrived with steaming plates of golden-brown chicken and freshly baked bread and bowls of salad glinting with water droplets.
"I DON'T THINK SO ICE-CREAM FREAK!"
"WHO YOU CALLING AN ICE-CREAM FREAK YOU EGGPLANT ASS?"
Meanwhile, unknown to Kaito and the others, a lonely figure was making it's way through the garden, equally ignorant of their presence. The figure was quite small and delicate in structure, and, wearing the rippling blue dress, one could only assume it was female. She was walking slowly over the grassy ground, smiling slightly at the beautiful flowers, and she reached up and plucked one from a branch; a snowy white rose that sparkled with beads of liquid that shimmered and glimmered like tiny pearls. She brought the flower to her nose and inhaled deeply, then sighed in bliss.
Then she continued on, carefully placing one foot before the other, for she was wearing high heels, and they were shoes she had never attempted to walk in before. The uneven ground only made the trek that much more difficult, and it was rather tempting to escape back to the castle, where everything was flat and even, perfectly build for these dainty horrors other women called 'high heels', but the garden was too beautiful to be ignored, and, besides, the whole castle was in chaos - something about Princes visiting, but the girl had not paid much attention.
Presently, Kaito finished his meal, and patted his belly, smiling contently. He had never eaten such glorious food. His main diet back home was fish, because his country's main source of wealth was selling the fish and various other sea creatures they collected from their vast and life-thriving waters. It was good food, apparently great for helping your brain develop, but after weeks of eating nothing more then fish and salad, a change like this was welcome.
He glanced around and saw Gakupo was still eating, and Gumi and Miki were lost in a heated conversation about something. What that something was would forever be a mystery to Kaito, because he couldn't speak Girl-Talk.
"Well...I'm going to go walk around for a bit." He announced, standing and gently pushing his chair in and bowing politely to Miki, who's head snapped up at the sound of his voice. "These gardens are beautiful. I'd like to have a look around, if that's okay."
"Of course. Would you like a servant to accompany you?"
"No thank you. I'll be find on my own."
"Alright, then. Enjoy your walk."
Kaito walked aimlessly through the gardens, focusing on nothing but the sheer beauty of the place. So many flowers and colours! The air was thick with their mingling scents, and in some places the result was divine, and forced Kaito to stop where he stood and inhale so deeply his lungs almost burst through his chest; and in other places the result was sickly sweet or just plain sickening, and made his eyes water. The flowers were all arranged to give off the best of their colours; hot colours gathered together on one side, with cold colours on the other, with tall trees and small trees with wide leaves and thin leaves framing the rows.
"Wow. This place is amazing...I wish we had stuff like this had home. There's not enough space, though..." He sighed, scratching his neck. "Ah, well. At least I get to see this..." He frowned. "I wonder if Meiko-san will be able to adjust to my country if she'd accustom to scenery like this...Will she force me to move to her country? She's the daughter of a warlord, so I wouldn't put it past her...Probably knows how to cut my head clean off with a bloody butter knife..."
He shuddered as the mental image of an enraged warrior princess smacking him up and down his own palace, demanding they return to her country, while his father looked on, helpless, and his younger sister, Kaiko, laughed hysterically in the corner.
He scowled. Damn Kaiko. Even in his imagination...!
Kaito shook his head in exasperation, and -
He froze, startled. Had he just heard a voice?
"Ah, my ankle...jeez, these stupid shoes...! Why does she - ow!"
Yep, that was definitely a voice, and it was coming from around the very bend he'd been about to take. Walking soundlessly, Kaito carefully made his way to the corner, and snuck behind a conveniently placed oak tree that completely hid his lean, tall build from view. He peered around the edge, and gasped at what he saw.
There was a girl, probably no older then fourteen, sitting on the ground. Well, she wasn't really sitting - one leg was tucked awkwardly beneath her, while the other was stretched out, and she was feeling around her ankle carefully, wincing through clenched teeth as her dainty fingers found a particularly sensitive area.
She was wearing a stunning dark blue dress that was made in such a way that the huge materials of silky material over lapped one another like giant lily pads, framed in glossy black frills that fluttered with even the lightest twitch of movement, and there was a large black bow and blue rose at her throat, and another wrapped tight about her slime waist. Her wild, spiky golden hair was held back in a loose, curling pony-tail, and several thick locks had fallen before her face and completely covered her right eye. There was one particularly spiky strand that stuck up in the air, defying gravity. The one visible eye was a breathtaking shade of green that left Kaito speechless, utterly lost in it's emerald green depths; with flakes of blue and gold that shimmered and twinkled with a brilliant light of their own. What little skin that was visible - her face and a small fraction of her neck - was creamy and smooth-looking; the type you just longed to run your fingers over.
...She was also always wearing black cat ears and a matching cat tail, but Kaito didn't notice those until later; after he'd gotten over how beautiful this mystery girl was.
"Ngh!" She hissed suddenly, making Kaito jump; he realized he'd been staring, and blushed bright red in embarrassment and a little in shame.
"It hurts.." The girl whimpered. "Stupid shoes.."
Kaito risked another glance, and saw she was wearing high heels. They weren't the highest heels he had ever seen, but they were high enough to cause the inexperienced women problems. She'd tripped, he concluded, and had somehow injured her ankle in the process - probably by landing on it awkwardly.
"...Um, Miss, are you alright?" Kaito asked, making his presence known; he stepped out from his hiding place and into the full view of the sun.
The girl's head jerked up, shock written all over her features.
And, instantly, her eye was cold as ice.
"Who are you?" She growled, eye narrowed in suspicion. She could see he was wealthy, being dressed in such fine, vividly coloured clothing, but that didn't make him trustworthy - if anything, it made him more of a threat.
Kaito swallowed nervously. The girl had every right to be afraid and cautious; he was, after all, a fully grown man, and she was a tiny girl with limbs like twigs, and he would have overpowered her in an instant; but her harsh, accusing tone stung all the same.
"P-please don't be mad, I heard you fall, and I came to see if you were hurt." Kaito explained hurriedly, the words tumbling out of his mouth in an anxious rush of letters. They all crashed together in his haste and made the sentence difficult to understand, but the girl did not request he repeat himself, so he hurried on.
"M-my name is Kaito - I'm a visitor in the castle. Um...back to what I originally said. Are you alright?"
The girl stared at him; silently weighing her options and judging his response. She obviously wasn't the type of her girl to trust strangers easily, but, after a few moments of careful consideration, she smiled faintly, and her expression softened somewhat.
"...I'm alright, I think. My ankle just hurts a little..." She explained, twitching her head in the direction of the injured ankle. Kaito looked at it, and cringed. Was it supposed to be bent that way?
"Can you walk?"
"I-I'm not sure."
Kaito held out a hand, and she took it, but only after a brief moment of weary hesitation. As she put some weight on her wounded limp, a fiery pain shot up her leg so suddenly that she cried out in pained shock, and lost her balance as her foot twisted with her abrupt and frantic movements, and she began to fall, hurtling towards the hard earth -
But Kaito caught her in his strong arms, and held her fast against his chest. The girl gasped in surprise, and blushed. Unknown to her, Kaito was blushing, too, his cheeks a deep shade of crimson; he was very aware of how close they were and how his large hands easily enclosed around her tiny waist. She felt so fragile, like a little China doll; like even the faintest of touches could shatter her creamy skin like thin glass.
"T-thank you," the girl murmured into his chest. She wanted to push off him, to put some breathing space between them, but with her ankle in this state, she could barely move. "for c-catching me."
"Th-that's f-f-fine," Kaito squeaked in a high-pitched voice.
The girl blinked; and then she giggled, and her giggle was like wind whispering through silver wind chimes, and Kaito's heart melted into a puddle of goo that popped and bubbled at his feet. He gazed at her face, and saw how flushed her round cheeks were, and how her laughter caused her to smile brightly; she looked absolutely adorable.
"I-I, um, guess that means you can't stand." Kaito stammered.
The girl's smile faded and was replaced by a worried frown.
"Yeah...I don't think I can. I won't be able to walk..."
She sounded quite sad, and rather annoyed with herself and her stupid weakness. Kaito's heart twisted with sympathy. It wasn't her fault the ground was uneven, and high heels were so difficult to walk in, and the human body was so easily damaged! She shouldn't be blaming herself!
Gah...how could he fix this? She couldn't walk, and he didn't want to leave her alone in such a helpless position - Queen's palace or not, there were creeps everywhere - so what to do? It wasn't like he could carry her -
"It's okay!" Kaito shouted gleefully, grinning and startling the girl yet again. "I-I'll just carry you!"
"Huh?" The girl spluttered, but before she'd even registered what Kaito had said, his arms had slipped under her legs and twisted around her torso, and suddenly she was in the air, her shoulder and side pressing against Kaito's warm chest.
"Eeeeek!" She shrieked, blushing a shade of red unknown to man. "Wha-what-what are you d-d-doing?"
"Well, you can't walk, so I figured I'd just carry ya!"
"It's alright right! Now, off we go to see the Wizard! The wonderful Wizard of Oz!"
"What? B-but - wait - waaaaah!"
The girl clung to his chest for dear life as he galloped through the garden like a horse on a rampage. She squeezed her eyes shut as her hair flapped crazily with the strong wind that was stirred by his movements, and she squeaked and squealed and 'waaaaah'-ed with very turn.
What a cute sound, Kaito thought, chuckling.
Disclaimer: I do not own Vocaloid or Vana'N Ice and their Len-in-a-dress related works.
Heh. Thought I'd write yet another story. That's three I've got on the go now...
Anyway, hello and thank you for reading! This is a fanfiction based of Vana'N Ice's Len-in-a-dress songs, such as LOVELESSxxx, which is my favourite, closely followed by Imitation Black. I've decided to set this in a world a bit like early 18th Century Britain, the time when all women wore dresses and no exceptions. A girl wearing pants at the time was extremely strange, just like a man wearing a dress is considering extremely strange in our time.
Yoai. And Yuri. Don't like, don't read.
I've always liked Kaito x Len over Gakupo x Len, but I'm willing to go the other way, or do Kaito x Len x Gakupo threesome xD. Also, the rating may change to "M" ( because I wanna write some pretty...intense...scenes between Kaito and Len, or Gakupo and Len *-* ) And...well, the fic MAY get darker, if the story line goes how I want it to do...*cackles like a mad man*
I read through it, but I may have missed some mistakes, and I apologize for any you found.
Please click the review button! I wanna know if this is any good and worth continuing.