The Swan Princess

Chapter Five

When Kyo, Hana and Haru returned to the palace, it was then that they noticed that Yuki wasn't with them. Kyo entered the ballroom.

"Father have you s..." He began.

"Kyo, wonderful, you're back" Kazuma said, turning his attention to the bush in front of him. Kyo frowned.

"What are these?" He asked.

"Roses" Kazuma replied, looking at his son oddly.

"They're red" Kyo said frowning. Hana and Haru smirked at each other.

"Of course they're red" Kazuma said, rubbing his temple.

"But I don't want red roses. I want white. Like a swan" Kazuma raised an eyebrow. "Have you seen Yuki?"

"No" Kazuma said shortly.

"Has anyone seen Yuki?" Kyo called to the staff. He stopped a man who was holding a tray of hors d'oeuvres. "Would you feed this to a swan?" He asked, picking one up of the platter.

"I…" The servant began.

"Take it back" Kyo ordered. "Get something light, something fresh" He turned to the orchestra Shigure was conducting. "No no no no no, Shigure, hold it"

"What's wrong?" Shigure snapped.

"Tonight the music must be played rubato, soft and graceful, like a swan" Kyo said.

"A swan?" Shigure asked, eyeing the prince as if he had gone mad.

"Have you ever seen a swan, Shigure?" Kyo asked.

"Of course I've seen a swan" Shigure said haughtily.

"If you could play a swan, what would it sound like?" Kyo asked. Shigure laughed at the prince, but Kyo continued. "Soft and graceful, Shigure. Where is Yuki?"

"No one has seen him, Kyo" Kazuma said. Kyo frowned. He didn't like the sound of that. What if Akito had him? He had assumed Yuki had returned to the palace before they did. Before he could say anything a messenger delivered a sealed envelope to him. It was the same envelope in which he had recieved the location of Tohru. He opened the letter, read it and stormed out of the hall, Hana and Haru hot on his heels. Once they were alone, he whirled to face them.

"Akito's coming here" He told them. "For the ball. She's going to make her self look like Tohru" Hana and Haru glanced at each other. "It says I can still make the vow to Tohru without her being here, I just have to make sure it's directed at the real Tohru"

"You mean, Tohru won't be able to come to the ball?" Hana asked.

"Someone is helping her, but it's a full moon so she's stuck as a swan until I make the vow. I have a feeling Akito is going to lock her up to ensure that she doesn't make it"

Akito had indeed locked Tohru in a water filled dungeon.

"It hurts me to lock you up, Tohru. Hurts me deep. But then, a queen's day is full of tough decisions. You understand. but, since you can't attend the ball, then I'll bring the ball to you! Let's see… the first thing you need is a young man. The prince is busy, of course, but I think I can arrange a substitute" Tohru's eyes widened when Yuki was flung into the water.

"Oh poor fellow, he got lost in the woods" Akito said laughing. "Oh, I'd love to stay but if I don't leave now I'll be late; that's tacky!" She slammed the door as she left. Yuki turned to the swan, which he didn't know was Tohru.

"You're a pretty thing" He said softly. Tohru said nothing, for she didn't know what to say. Suddenly the door opened again and Kakeru stood there.

"Come on Tohru" He said. "We have to hurry" Yuki looked at the swan in surprise as she flew to Kakeru and landed on his shoulder. Kakeru lowered a latter for Yuki and the youth climbed out. When they exited the castle, Momiji, Hiro and Kisa were waiting for them.

At the ball, Kazuma, Kyo and Kyoko, who had gotten her health back, were seated at a table in the back.

"You're awefully quiet tonight" Kazuma noted. Kyo sighed.

"There's a lot on my mind, that's all" He said, standing up. Suddenly there was a knock on the door. Utoni opened the door and in walked the lovely vision of Tohru. She was wearing a black dress. Kyo knew that this was Akito in disguise. Kyoko made to stand up but Kyo placed a hand on her shoulder.

"That's not her" He hissed. "Akito's playing us" Kyoko paled.

"Are you sure?" She asked. Kyo nodded.

"I know where Tohru is"

Meanwhile, A group raced through the woods towards the castle. Tohru flew ahead, eager to see her prince.

Kyo stood up and walked over to Tohru, pretending to play right into Akito's hands.

"Oh, I was so worried… I almost thought…" He trailed off. Akito smiled.

"Nothing could keep me away" She replied. They began to dance to the soft music.

"Something about you seems… I don't know, different" Kyo said, hinting to Akito that he might know more than he let on.

"Don't worry. After tonight, everything will be perfect" She said sweetly.

"Yes, yes of course" Kyo said. He glanced at Hana and Haru, both of whom were hidden in the shadows, armed with a sword. "Shigure, I want to make an announcement. Stop the music" Everyone one stopped what they were doing and all attention was on the Prince.

"Kings and queens… Ladies and gentlemen… Mother. I have an announcement to make. I have found my bride" Kyo said. "She is a lovely creature, whom you all know disapeared. But I have found her again. She will become the future queen of our fair kingdom. And as proof of my love for her, I make a vow to break all vows, a vow stronger than all the powers of the earth, before you and before the whole world, I make a vow of everlasting love to Tohru Honda, a fair princess who could not be with us tonight due to an enchantment placed on her by Akito the witch" At this he pushed the fake Tohru away from him. She snarled and changed back into Akito just as Tohru ran through the door, the enchantment broken. Kakeru stood beside her as well as Yuki and three animals.

"Hello, little prince" Akito said.

"You have no power here!" Kyo declared. Akito transformed into a hideous animal.

"How dare you defy me" Akito attacked Kyo.

"No!" Tohru cried. Kakeru grabbed a sword and rushed into the fight along with Hana and Haru. The animal was too strong for them. Kyo was flung to one side. Yuki grabbed an arrow and strung his bow. He aimed it at the monster and fired. Akito screamed and fell to the ground. Her body disapeared and everyone cheered. Tohru ran to Kyo.

"Are you alright?" She asked. Kyo rolled over on to his side.

"With you here, I am" He said. Kazuma and Kyoko watched the couple with smiles on thier faces. Suddenly a swirling most surrounded the tiger, rabbit and ram and they transformed into thier human selves.

"Sissy" Kisa cried, running to Tohru and throwing her arms around the older girl.

Tohru turned and walked over to Kakeru.

"Thank you" She said. "For everything" Kakeru smiled. He turned to Kisa.

"Well, Princess, the kingdom is yours again" He said. Kisa looked down.

"Are my parents dead?" She asked.

"I don't know where they are" Kakeru admitted. "They may have been turned into animals as well" Kisa sighed and looked down.

"I guess I'd better return to the castle" She said. Momiji and Hiro nodded. Tohru waved goodbye to her friends as they returned to restore Kisa's kingdom. What the young girl was not expecting, was for her parents to greet her upon her arrival. The young family decided to rebuild thier kingdom and make it better than ever before.

Tohru and Kyo were married and Tohru styled her dress to look like a swan. She turned to her new husband.

"Will you love me, Kyo, til the day I die?" She asked.

"No, much longer than that, Tohru. Much longer" Kyo replied.