Title: My Only Sweetheart
Pairing: TezuFuji (main), slight TezuRyo and SaekiFuji
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Rating: T for some brutality
Summary: fantasyAU There was once a young man named Fuji. Together with his sweetheart, they ran away from his evil stepmother who wanted to kill him.
A/N: wow, it's been quite some time since I last posted. Sorry for the long absence. My reality had a series of conflict with my fantasy. I couldn't write properly. Now its Christmas vacation, I'm hoping to post more frequently now. :D
And this is another fairytale. I seem to have huge obsession with writing them nowadays. So enjoy. :)
Once upon a time, there was an old woman named Sumire who practiced evil arts. She had two sons; Mizuki who was ugly and evil, whom she loved because he was her own son. The other was Fuji, beautiful and kind, whom she hated because he was her stepson. She never treated them fairly, giving his son all the things he wanted while Fuji received none. She also makes him do the chores, punishing him whenever he made mistakes.
One day, the Mizuki saw a necklace Fuji was wearing. It was beautiful, glittering against the light. He liked it so much and envied him. So he went to his mother and told her.
"Mother." The ugly MIzuki called. "Fuji is wearing a beautiful necklace. I want it."
"Have patience, my child. You shall have it soon." The witch replied. "Your stepbrother had been nothing but trouble to us."
"But I don't want to wait!" He complained. "How I wish I could get rid of him!"
Sumire consoled her son. "He had long since deserved to die. And tonight he will be. When he's asleep I will come and chop off his head. Just make sure you lie on the far side of the bed and push him towards the front."
It would have been the end of Fuji had he not been standing behind the door and listening to everything. Horrified, he began to think of ways to save his life.
That day he was not allowed to go outside at all. And when bedtime came, the ugly Mizuki climbed into bed first so he could lie down on the far side. But after he fell asleep, Fuji pushed him gently towards the front and took his place on the far side next to the wall.
During the night the Sumire crept into the room. She held an ax on her right hand and with her left hand she felt around to see if someone was actually lying up front. Then she gripped the ax with both hands and began chopping until she cut off her own child's head.
When she left the room, Fuji stood up and went to his sweetheart, whose name was Tezuka, and knocked on his door. When Tezuka opened, he saw his lover standing outside, his gem-like eyes opened with fear.
"Fuji." He spoke,slightly surprised by seeing him. "What are you doing here at this time of the night?"
Instead of answering, Fuji went to his arms and buried his face on the other's chest. It was when he noticed that the man was shaking. "What happened? Why are you afraid?"
"Tezuka…" He spoke. "My stepmother tried to kill me, but she killed her own son instead. When the sun rises and she sees what she had done, we'll be lost."
Tezuka hugged him tightly, fear and relief filling his heart. "We must flee in haste. Fuji, you must go back there and take her magic wand." He told him. "Otherwise we won't be able to escape if she comes after us."
Fuji followed and went back to the house. He fetched the magic wand and also took his dead brother's head. He let three drops of blood drip on the floor; one in front of the bed, one in the kitchen, and one on the stairs. Then he hurried away with his sweetheart.
Now, when the witch got up the next morning, she called her son to ask if he got the necklace, but he did not come. "Where are you?" She cried out.
"Here I am! On the stairs sweeping." Answered one of the drops of blood.
The old woman went out but saw no one on the stairs and called again. "Where are you?"
"Here I am! In the kitchen warming myself." The second drop of blood replied.
"She went next into the kitchen, but she found no one there and called out again. "Where are you?"
"Here I am! In bed sleeping." The third drop of blood cried.
Sumire went into the room and approached the bed. Yet what did she see but her own son swimming in blood! And it was the witch herself who had chopped off his head.
The witch became furious and rushed to the window. Since she could see quite far into the world, she spotted her stepson fleeing with his sweetheart Tezuka.
"That won't help you!" She exclaimed. "Even though you've had a head start, you will never escape me!" She put on her seven-league boots, in which she covered an hour's walk in one step, and it did not take her long before she had overtaken them.
However, Fuji saw his stepmother coming. "Tezuka! She caught up with us!"
Tezuka gripped his hand tighter and continued running. "Don't let your guard down."
Fuji quickly put his genius mind at work and pulled out the wand, turning Tezuka into a lake and himself into a duck that swam in the middle of it. The witch stood on the shore, threw bread crumbs into the water, and tried her best to lure the duck to shore. But the duck would not let itself be enticed. By nightfall old woman Sumire had to turn back without having accomplished anything.
"When the witch was gone, Fuji changed both of them back to normal. Tezuka looked at him, his face impassive. "You did a good job."
"I'm the duck in your lake." Fuji gave him his usual smile. "Saa, should I try rainbow-on-my-cloud next?"
"Hn. I'd appreciate it if you don't."
The couple walked hand in hand and traveled the whole night through until daybreak. When morning came, Fuji changed himself into a beautiful flower growing in the middle of a brier hedge, and Tezuka was changed into a fiddler. Shortly after, the witch came striding along and said to the fiddler, "Dear fiddler, May I pluck the beautiful flower?"
"Hn." He answered. "I will play a tune while you're doing it."
Since she knew who the flower was, Sumire quickly crawled into the hedge and plucked it. However, the fiddler began to play a tune, and willy-nilly she was compelled to dance because it was a magical melody. The faster he played, the more violent were the jumps she was forced to make. The thorns tore her clothes from her body and scratched her so that blood flowed from her wounds. Since the fiddler did not let up, she had to keep dancing until she fell to the ground dead.
Fuji returned them to their natural forms and hugged Tezuka. "We're free."
The other wrapped his arms around him. "Ah."
"Maybe I really should have done the rainbow-on-my-cloud thing."
"I don't want to fall down dead once we change back to normal."
"Who says we have to go back to normal? I'll be happy to stay like that forever as long as I have you."
Fuji chuckled and let their foreheads touch. "Now that stepmother's dead, what will we do?"
"Go home, of course. The wedding priest will be waiting."
He pulled away from him, surprise evident on his beautiful face. "Wedding?"
Tezuka's form was rigid, as if not expecting that reaction from his lover. "I thought you would agree if I tell you i-"
His remaining words were cut off as Fuji sealed his mouth with a passionate kiss. Slightly panting, Fuji looked at him, smiling. "Did you hear me refuse?
As they made plans about the wedding, Tezuka wanted his father, who was a merchant, to attend the occasion. And so he set out to fetch him from another place. Fuji, not wanting to go home without him, decided to wait there until Tezuka return.
"I will wait for you here in the meantime." He said. "And so that no one will recognize me, I will turn myself into a red stone."
Tezuka nodded and kissed his forehead. "I'll be back soon."
"I love you."
"I love you more." He walked away and Fuji transformed himself into a stone.
When Tezuka reached the town, he immediately looked for his father. After asking the townspeople for information, he went to the seaport and saw his father shouting orders to his men. Seeing him, his father welcomed him with a hug and asked what he was doing there. He told him he was getting married, and he wanted him to come. Aware that his father was busy at the moment, they agreed to meet at the town's inn later.
Tezuka decided to take a walk, busying himself exploring while passing the time. Strolling along the street, he made a turn on a corner and bumped into someone.
"I'm sorry." He apologized as he helped the man stand.
When the man looked up and their eyes met, Tezuka felt lost. There was something in those amber orbs, something that pulls him. Before he knew it, he was cupping the man's face. "May I know your name?" He asked, his words almost a whisper.
The stranger's face turned red, but did not pull away. "Ryoma." He answered.
"Ryoma…" Tezuka repeated as he leaned down and claimed his lips.
That afternoon, Tezuka met his father at the inn and introduced Ryoma. "Father, this is the person I want to marry." Ryoma greeted with a bow.
His father gave a nod. "So this is the lucky person. I thought you and Fuji would still be together until now. I guess many things have happened."
Tezuka remained impassive, waiting for his father to say more.
"When do you want to hold it?"
"As soon as possible, father." He answered, his hand holding Ryoma's.
"Then we will prepare it soonest. I suggest we do it here, to be able to manage the wedding better."
"Thank you, father." Tezuka bowed, glancing at Ryoma with a small smile.
The two of them had dinner together that night. While eating, Tezuka asked him of many things, his attention solely on the speaking male. He felt a tightening in his heart, his heartbeat becoming louder.
"Are you okay?" Ryoma asked, noticing the other's silence.
"Yes I am." He answered. "I'm just enjoying the view."
"That. That face before me."
Ryoma let out a laugh, and nothing sounded more endearing to Tezuka's ears. "You're funny."
"Yes." He said, hand covering his mouth.
Tezuka pulled the hand away and held it firmly. "There are lots of things we still have to know about each other, but one thing's certain."
"And what is it?"
He locked gaze with the beautiful man before him. "I will marry you."
"I'm sure you will." Ryoma answered back, a glint on his amber eyes.
Preparations were arranged and soon, news spread around the town. Tezuka remained at Ryoma's side, the two of them inseparable. He remembers nothing but his father, and his wedding to Ryoma. Little did he know that Ryoma was the son of an enchantress, who saw him the moment he went to that place and fell in love with him. He purposely made Tezuka fall in love with him, removing his memory of his past, including his promise to his beloved Fuji.
Fuji, on the other hand, remained on that same place, waiting for Tezuka. Days turned to weeks, and yet there was no sign of his lover. It broke his heart, thinking that something might have happened. Worst, he might have forgotten him.
Yet he remained as the red stone he told him he will be. Rain or shine he was there, kicked by passersby and sometimes run over by chariots. But he will always return on the exact same spot, hoping that one of those days, Tezuka will come back.
After waiting for a long time, he gave up. In his loneliness, he turned himself into a flower, thinking that he will wither there or just stepped on by someone. But it happened that a shepherd, whose name was Saeki, was keeping his fleece in the field and saw the flower. And because it was so beautiful, he picked it up and brought it home, putting it inside a box.
From that time on, strange things began happening in Saeki's house. When he got up in the morning, the work was already done. The room had been swept, the table and benches had been dusted, the fire was going on the hearth, and the water had been brought in.
And when he came home at noon, the table had been set and a good meal had been served. He couldn't imagine how this happened because he never saw anyone in his house, nor could anyone have been hiding in that little cottage. He continued thinking about it every day, trying to find out how it happens, but to no avail. He was pleased with the fine service, of course, but he felt afraid with this unfamiliarity.
One night, in the middle of his sleep, Saeki woke up at the urge of drinking. He opened his eyes and turned to his side, only to see a face beside him. Moonlight shining on the pretty face, Saeki held his breath at the sight before him. The person, whoever he was, was sleeping peacefully beside him. Unable to resist, he lifted his hand and gently caressed the face. A pair of lovely cerulean eyes shot open and stared at him in surprise. The man, that he was certain now, scrambled up and backed away, disappearing at the blink of an eye.
The next morning, Saeki sat on a chair, processing the event that happened last night. He had no idea who that person was, nor how was he able to enter his house. But one thing is for sure. He was beautiful.
"Maybe it was a nymph…" Saeki wondered. "But I didn't know there is a nymph here before. Did the nymph want to experience sleeping on a bed once?"
Satisfied with his conclusion, Saeki continued on to his work. But the mysterious keeping of his house remained. Finally, he sought the advice of a wise woman.
"Can you help me? My house is gleaming with cleanliness and food mysteriously appears on my table during meal time. I live alone in my little cottage and I don't know who can do this. Last night a nymph also slept beside me and then ran away when I woke up."
The wise woman was silent, lost in thoughts. Finally, she spoke. "The mysterious happening in your house, there must be magic behind it. Very early some morning keep a close watch to see if anything stirs in the room, and when you see something stirring, no matter what it is, quickly throw a white cloth over it, and the magic won't work."
"What about the nymph?"
"Maybe it just came to visit you, though I have never heard of a nymph entering a man's house before."
Saeki did as she said and the next morning, as day was just breaking, he saw the box opening itself and the flower coming out of it. He quickly ran and threw a white cloth over it. Right away the enchantment was at an end and a man, with honey colored hair and petit frame was standing before him.
"The nymph!" He exclaimed. "It was you?"
Fuji bowed in apology. "I'm sorry if I scared you with my actions, I just want to return the favor of saving me."
"Favor? What favor?"
"I was that flower whom you picked in the field. I would have died then if not for you. So I showed my appreciation by keeping your house clean and cooking meals for you."
"Ah, it was nothing." Saeki said. "And thank you for taking care of me until now. Why were you sleeping beside me last night anyway?"
Fuji fought to control his blush from embarrassment. "I-I grew tired of climbing into the box every time I will sleep. Since I thought you were sleeping soundly, I slept beside you. But then you woke up so I left."
"I see...so you're not a nymph?"
"Nymph? No, I am human. What makes you think I am?"
"Because you're too-" Saeki caught his words, his turn of becoming red. "Anyway, you can stay here for as long as you want."
Fuji gave him a grateful smile. "Thank you."
He remained living in the cottage with the shepherd. He will stay in the house while Saeki worked in the fields. It was one of those afternoons that Saeki came into the house and pulled him outside, piles of dirty dishes left unwashed.
"Saeki? Where are you taking me?" He asked as he let himself be lead away by the shepherd. They stopped in the meadows, with the sun setting and turning the sky into hues of pink and orange.
"Why are we here? Do you want to say something?" Fuji asked again, smiling and staring at him.
"I… I think I like you." Saeki confessed. "Not just as a friend… will you marry me?"
Fuji just stood there, taken aback with the sudden confession. Finally, he shook his head and let out a sad smile. "I'm sorry Saeki, but I cannot accept it."
When the man didn't speak, he continued. "You know what happened between me and Tezuka. Despite leaving me, I still love him with all of my heart. I may not be able to meet him again, but even if he had forsaken me, I will remain faithful to him."
The shepherd, knowing he had lost, nodded in understanding. "Don't worry, I will still live there and nothing will change between us." Fuji said as they headed back home.
"Fuji, come with me." Saeki said as he entered the house. Fuji was preparing their lunch when he came.
"Come? To where?" He asked.
"To a wedding."
"This merchant on whom I am in good terms with has invited me to his son's wedding."
"I see. But why should I come too?"
"You rarely go out. I want you to enjoy yourself and meet new people. Also, it is a custom to sing to the bridal couple, and we both know you have a wonderful voice."
Knowing he couldn't refuse, Fuji agreed and went to the town's hall. Many people were there, and he wondered how long since he last saw other people aside from Saeki.
When the bridal couple arrived, he went to have a look and felt his heart sank. There, in front of the crowd, was Tezuka. In his arm was a man who could rival a god in the matter of looks.
So they were the couple. Fuji felt his heart breaking into pieces at the sight before him. That's why Tezuka never came back. He found someone else.
As a tradition, all the guests should sing a song to the couple before they marry. Whenever it was Fuji's turn, he would back away until no one's left but him. Gathering his courage, he walked closer to them, trembling in every step. He looked at Tezuka, hoping to be recognized. But his face remained blank. Knowing it will be a final goodbye, Fuji drew a deep breath and began to sing.
It was as if someone lifted the curtain from his eyes. Tezuka looked around him, scanning his surroundings. He was aware of what was happening, yet he seemed so far away, not feeling anything until now. Just then he heard the soft, lonely voice singing from the crowd. He looked at Ryoma, just like before, yet there was nothing but emptiness. And then he knew. He was enchanted. He stood up and looked for the owner of the voice.
There, standing in the middle, was Fuji. His heart suddenly remembered all that had been forgotten and all that had vanished from his mind. Tezuka ran to him and locked him in an embrace.
"I'm sorry. For making you wait and never return."
"I stopped waiting for you. But I never closed my heart nor gave it to someone else."
The true lovers swore their vows and were married. The faithful Fuji was united to his sweetheart Tezuka at last, and they lived happily ever after.
A/N: okay, so I made Sumire an evil witch again. I dunno. She really reminds me of an old hag. LOL seriously. And sorry if the story sounds cliche. that's how fairytales usually goes. A review will make me smile!