Wings on Shadows

By: Flamegaruru

I really have GOT to stop getting these ideas in my head…to many to finish, and so many finals to take…-.-' Now, this is a SAD and I repeat SAD Rukato/Leeki. *sobs uncontrollably* Oh! Special announcement! I now have (before this story) 56,515 words in this account alone! Add the rest and you get…86,730 words! ^.^ That's posted, mind you.

Back to the story…it is somewhat medieval times, AU, no Digimon (Pats Guilmon's head). Although I will miss Culumon nuzzling Ruki…it will all be okay…except for…T.T Too much info distracting the readers!

Dedication: This story is dedicated to all Rukato lovers out there. But most of all, this is dedicated to everyone who has loved. I cannot put into words what I want to say. Believe me, if I could, I would. I hope to try to convey a minimal portion of my message in this story.

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters mentioned. I do hope my plot line is original, though. A bit OOC, AU, and I don't own the song "Go the Distance".

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Thus we embark on the journey ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

The wind's cool breeze whirled about through the cherry blossoms, scattering the pink flowers into the air. A few stray flowers floated up to the clouds…flying…flying…The wind picked up speed, flowers following it, almost as if they were going to a specific destination… Up, beyond the hills the blossoms traveled into a beautiful grassy plain. In the middle of the plain sat a woman. The blossoms somehow flew faster to her…

The woman's reddish brown hair whipped across her face. Raising a hand to brush the hair out of her face, the woman blinked her violet orbs. Shaking her head, sending her hair spiraling to the side. Her lips curled into a smile as a small girl with chocolate hair jumped about in the plains. It was then she noticed the cherry blossoms. Twirling around the little girl, the woman's eyes widened as the petals slowly made their way to her hands. Leisurely dropping into her palms, the blossoms ceased to move with the wind. The woman's eyes began to water, but she blinked away the tears as the girl walked up to her.

" Wow, mommy, those are really pretty!" The little girl shared her mother's eyes. Smiling too, the woman patted the ground next to her, but the girl plopped down into her mother's lap.

" I know, honey, I know," the woman sadly smiled.

The little girl's lower lip jutted out, but smiled when her mom affectionately ruffled her hair. " Mommy, I was thinking about something."

" What?"

" Why don't I look like Daddy?"

The woman visibly stiffened. The little one, realizing she had asked an unexpected question, gave her mom time to think before answering. Several minutes passed. A few birds chirped and fluttered their wings in the field. Soon, the child started to fidget. That's when the woman opened her mouth.

" That's because he's not your real daddy."

" Of course he's my real daddy, silly," the girl giggled.

A smile. " You are very special. You have two daddies. It's just…you can't see one anymore. Well, you never actually met him. I think you would've liked him. You resemble him in many ways."

The girl turned around in her mother's lap, eager to listen for a story. " Tell me about him!"

Melodious laughter followed the statement. " Are you sure?" The woman grinned devilishly. " It involves kissing."

A disgusted look came over the girl's face, but it quickly evaporated. The girl straightened her back. "If I am to become a princess, I must act regal, and take the heat."

The woman laughed again. " Very good. But don't say I didn't warn you."

" Wait, mommy. What was that daddy's name?"

"…Takato…"

* Flashback*

I have often dreamed

Of a far off place

Where a great warm

Welcome

Will be waiting for me

Where the crowds

Will cheer

When they see my face

And a voice keeps saying

This is where I'm

Meant to be

The teenager impatiently blew a strand of hair out of her face. She really hated these lessons. Oh, wait, the girl rolled her eyes. Hate is unbecoming. She loathed these lessons. Etiquette. If she really wanted to make a difference, yeah right, the girl would have to do something more productive, like learning to diffuse a war. Not learning which spoon to use when meeting delegates from the west.

" Princess Ruki, would you try to pay attention?"

Ruki sighed as her etiquette teacher scolded her. Ruki was trained for these kinds of situations. Nod here, pretend to pay attention…her skills were toned to perfection.

" …and you've got a meeting with the Western delegates in Shinjuku in less than two hours! You must learn how to dine properly, or all talks of peace will be shattered!"

" Why do they even care? I'm not even the one who's talking with them. The negotiator is the one doing that," Ruki banged her fork on the table, sending a grape flying into the water bowl.

The teacher snatched the fork away from Ruki. " You know perfectly well that a member of the royal family must be present at these meetings! What am I going to do with you?" The teacher impatiently pulled at his hairs.

Ruki rolled her eyes and shifted in the uncomfortable dress she was forced to wear. Ruki knew exactly how to use the proper utensils. It's just that she didn't care to practice doing it. It was a waste of her time.

" Princess?" Ruki and the etiquette teacher looked up at the new person. " It's time to get you into your dress."

Ruki snorted and reluctantly got up and snorted. " I hate dresses."

" If you actually wore them more and put your hair down, you wouldn't hate it as much. And don't use hate. It is…"

" Unbecoming…" Ruki droned on as she walked with the dressing specialist.

" Use something like, dislike…" the etiquette teacher would not be quiet.

" Whatever," Ruki gave a solitary wave of her hand as she left the dining room.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ One hour later ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ruki frowned as the carriage bobbed form the uneven ground. Her hair stuck to her neck and she was wearing a dress. At least it's not a pink frilly dress. I can't stand pink. Ruki gagged. This can't possibly get any worse. Ruki gripped the side of the carriage as the whole thing shook violently. I just had to think it. Ruki sighed and stepped wobbily out of the carriage.

" Princess! It's Count Jigo!" A guard came panting up to Ruki. Ruki herself rolled her eyes at that statement.

" Figures. That guy won't leave me alone." Ruki remembered the countless times Jigo had tried to get her betrothed to him, but her parents wouldn't allow it. Since then, Jigo has held an infurious rage against her parents and was intent on winning her hand.

" I suggest you go to the nearest village, milady," the guard said, looking over his shoulder where battle sounds were heard. He was one of the guards that understood that Ruki was not some helpless damsel. "It is about a two mile walk west of here," the guard said and starting pushing Ruki in that direction. "Hurry, milady! The Count has many more soldiers than we do!"

Ruki placed a hand on the man's shoulder. " Take care," she said and impatiently picked up her annoying dress and ran westward.

Ruki ran evenly, being careful not to deplete her energy just in case she needed an extra burst to escape the evil Count and his minions. Ruki snarled. I feel exactly like a damsel in distress. Growling out loud, Ruki came to a complete stop. Whipping out a hair-holder, Ruki placed her hair in a tight, spiked ponytail atop her head. Grinning, Ruki set back on her way. Much better.

Feeling the warm wind on the back of her neck, Ruki managed a small grin. Her parents often told her to stop and smell the roses. Ruki liked roses, but she never could find any. They were pretty and bit back at you. Just like her.

Ruki wet her lips with her tongue as she continued moving west with a steady trot. Her nineteenth birthday was coming up in two weeks. It was customary for her people to marry at nineteen. Since her parents chose a suitor for her, Ruki had been distant, even somewhat cold to them. Sure, she liked Jenrya, but she wasn't in love with him for crying out loud! Ruki slowed to a walk. I sound like some prissy girl, talking all about love. But, that's what I would marry for. Everyone says to put my country first. What about me?

I will find my way

I can go the distance

I'll be there someday

If I can be strong

I know ev'ry mile

Will be worth my while

I would go most any

Where to feel like I belong

Takato lazily stretched out his arms while spread-eagled on the grass. Looking up at the sky, Takato tried to guess what shape the clouds were. Next week it would be his birthday. Whoop-de-doo, Takato sarcastically rolled his eyes. Another year of trying to fend for myself. Another year of cold nights. Another year of people not caring. Takato's eyes cast downward. Ever since his parents died three years earlier, Takato had been wandering West Shinjuku aimlessly, trying to find a place for him to fit in, be accepted, and be loved. How manly he sounded right now. Takato snorted.

Takato got up and scratched his head. I've got to control my hormones, he wryly thought as he daydreamed of meeting a beautiful princess and becoming king. Standing tall, Takato slowly walked back towards the town, but he wasn't actually going to the town; he was going to a little cottage outside the border. Takato smiled. That had to be one of his better accomplishments. Takato had found the small house a couple years ago, outside of the bustling town, near a fresh-water stream, surrounded by the beautiful sakura trees. It was a nice place, although it got cold in the winter for Takato used the money he earned to get food, not coal.

Takato put his hands in his loose brown pants, his sleeveless shirt blowing slightly due to the wind. He dreamt a lot of those cherry blossom trees. In it, he almost always saw this girl sitting under them, her red hair blowing in the wind, her scent mingling with the wind, the breeze flowing to Takato's nose and he inhaled, her smell like the intoxicating flowers. Takato never really got a good look at her face, for he always woke up just as soon as he got near enough to get a full scan-Takato rolled his eyes at his choice of words- at her.

Ruki felt the anger of being forced to marry, felt her legs move faster, felt her blood pumping faster and faster as she ran along the open plains…and didn't realize she came to the end of a hill and thus fell down…I am such an idiot, Ruki thought as she fell.

Takato felt oddly jumpy for some reason. Hearing a robin chirp, Takato turned to find the creature, but found a falling mass of blue. Mass of blue? That looks like a person! Takato ran as quickly as he could to the end of the hill and caught the girl. Her eyes were hidden under her bangs. Takato gingerly brushed them away, and was immediately taken aback by the sheer beauty of them.

Ruki was grateful to the boy for saving her, but she really wished he would stop holding her. Or staring. Not that both would be good. Ruki frowned. What was happening to her?

" Please let me down," Ruki said, controlling her anger as much as possible.

" Oh!" The boy's face flushed. " Sorry, milady!" He gently set her down.

" Thank you for catching me," Ruki said, her eyes on the dress she was brushing imaginary lint off of.

" You're welcome," the boy answered, his eyes looking everywhere but Ruki.

Ruki finally rested her eyes on her, savior. Ruki snorted at the thought. "I'm Ruki."

"Takato," The boy said, his tanned hand reaching out to her fair-skinned one.

Ruki blinked as he shook her hand. She couldn't help it. It rose from the depths of her soul…wanting to surface…

Takato blinked quizzically at the girl in front of him, laughing her heart out. He didn't understand. Why was she laughing at him? He cringed as he remembered that he was supposed to kiss her hand, not shake it! Takato moaned as he realized his error.

"I'm so sorry, milady."

" It's quite all right," Ruki snickered. " I'm glad to be away from etiquette for a little while."

Takato smiled. Wow. That Ruki is really…pretty. Takato thought of that as an under-statement. By the looks of her clothes, Takato could tell Ruki was from high society. He had to try to impress her somehow. He knew he wasn't as educated as her, but his grandpa was very smart and taught Takato a big word or two. If only he could remember them…

" You look simply pulchritudinous," Takato grinned, pleased at remembering such a long word.

Ruki blinked at him. Several moments passed. "Pulchritudinous? What the heck does that mean?" Ruki stared. What was this boy doing?

" It means beautiful," a blush empowered his face.

Ruki found herself smiling warmly at Takato. Blinking, Ruki realized what she was doing. Me? Attracted to this boy? I must be sick.

" Do you know how far West Shinjuku is from here?" Ruki asked Takato.

" A few minutes walk from here," Takato replied.

" Princess!"

Ruki and Takato's eyes both widened as the guard who had helped Ruki earlier came galloping atop a horse in their direction.

" Count Jigo has retreated. Come, Princess, or you will be late for your meeting."

" Yes, Ryou," Ruki said, concerned at the quick defeat of Jigo.

" Princess?" Takato sputtered. I can't believe I fell for a Princess!

Ruki bit her lower lip. "Sorry for not telling you, Takato. Thank you again for saving me," Ruki took Ryou's hand and got up on the back of the horse.

" Sure," Takato said, and then grinned. "It's not everyday that a Princess falls for me!"

Ruki rolled her eyes as Takato laughed. " Ha ha."

" Hey, Ruki, I mean Princess," Takato corrected himself after a stern glance from Ryou. " Do you think I could see you again?" Takato felt his palms become sweaty.

Ruki narrowed her eyes at Takato. He looked so innocent, so loopy, and so…cute. Ruki contained a gasp. Had she just thought of the word, cute? For some reason, Ruki felt a strange sort of attachment to Takato, one she had never felt before. " Maybe," she whispered as Ryou nudged the horse and they galloped in the direction of the town.

Takato stared for a long time at the trail Ruki took. Soon, the sun had started to set. Takato slowly smiled and set off to his home. Takato didn't notice behind him, the wind had shaken several cherry blossom petals off a tree and blew them across the plain behind him…

I ma on my way

I can go the distance

I don't care how far

Somehow I'll be strong

I know ev'ry mile

Will be worth my while

I would go most any

Where to find where

I belong

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Like? Please R/R and no flames, please!

Saturday we found out that Ruki's parents divorced. The question is, who is her father?

Next chapter:

Ruki does meet Takato again, but will her parents allow it? And what ABOUT Jenrya??

~Flamegaruru~