Coronation: Chapter One
(This is the revised version of my Xenogears fic "Coronation". I hope you all like the differences! And I don't own any copyrights to Xenogears, I'm just an avid player and fan!)
Bright sunlight streamed through the Prince Bartholomew's bedroom windows. Groggily, he rolled over and tried to go back to sleep, but a moment later there was a polite knock at the door, followed by Maison's cheery voice as he entered the room.
"Good morning, Young Master!"
A grunt issued from Bart, who was trying to bury his face under a pillow. Sigurd, white-haired and slender, entered the room and sighed.
"Young Master, should you really be sleeping so late when you have so much to do before the coronation? Margie has already been up for hours!"
Finally giving up, Bart rolled onto his back and blankly stared at the ceiling.
"How many days left?" He asked softly, and neither Maison nor Sigurd needed to guess what he meant.
"One week," Sigurd answered uncertainly. Bart sighed and sat up; Golden-blonde hair cascaded down his back in a silky waterfall. Bart had often thought of cutting it, lately, and only dim memories of a man with a warm laugh, and hair like his, kept him from doing so. It was foolish really, but Bart had never really known is father, and if he could ever be anything like him at all...
"I don't know if I can do it, Sig..." Bart put his face in his hands.
Sigurd came and sat down beside him, gently putting an arm around his shoulders.
"Father would have wanted you to be happy," he said gently, "whether you are King or not." Bart looked up, seeing the smile on Sigurd's face. He smiled back. Maison stifled a sob, and pulled out a starched white handkerchief from his pocket; He blew his nose politely.
"This old man is so happy to see the late King's sons displaying such brotherly love!" Maison sobbed.
The door to Bart's bedroom had been left open, and a few beautiful maidens were hiding outside, trying to sneak glances in at him. He blushed a deep scarlet when realized that he was completely naked underneath the covers...and the covers were barely covering his hips! He mumbled about needing some clothes while Sigurd shooed the maidens away and shut the door with a sharp click.
"Who let them in here?" Bart muttered, digging deeply in a drawer, partly to cover his embarrassment, and partly because he really did need a pair of socks...
"More and more noble families are returning to Bledavik ever since you came out of hiding, Young Master," Sigurd explained, "some are curious to know if the rumors about you are true...others are ready to throw their full support behind you concerning your claim to the throne, but most simply believe they are returning home after a long time in exile..."
"My," said Maison thoughtfully, "there are so many young people around the castle these days, it is rather heartwarming to see Bledavik returning to life!"
"Well,I'm dressed," Bart threw his finished braid over one shoulder, pulled on his last boot, and grabbed his whip from a chair, "so I think I'm gonna go find Margie now. I'll see you guys at the big meeting!" He strode from the room, but Maison and Sigurd hung back.
"Do you know why Samson is here?" Maison asked worriedly.
"Not a clue," Sigurd replied, "I only hope it doesn't mean trouble for the Young Master..."
Samson had been responsible for ensuring that Aveh's traditions and values were upheld during the reign of King Edbart IV. It was thought that he had been killed when the old king was assassinated, but he had resurfaced in Aveh a few weeks ago and made contact with Sigurd; As-of-yet, Bart knew nothing of him, and Sigurd hoped to keep it that way. The king had been a great traditionalist in his time, but Sigurd profoundly believed that, as king, Bart should be able to approach the old traditions in his own way.
Bart stepped into the dusty stone courtyard where an intricately carved fountain gurgled and splashed merrily. Some birds took flight into the perfect blue sky. He inhaled deeply and stretched his arms, letting out a long, jaw-cracking yawn. He heard giggling, and turned to see some maidens observing him from across the courtyard in the shade of the palace. Feeling a little self-conscious, he walked around the fountain and greeted Fei Fong Wong and Dr. Citan Uzuki, both of which were martial arts masters.
"Wow, Doc!" Fei exclaimed as he blocked a punch, "where did you learn that technique, I've never seen it before!"
"Oh, I learned it from Jugend," Citan explained, "It was part of our training. We had to learn what the Solarians deemed the 'barbaric' way that the 'lambs' fought, so that we could better defend ourselves from them on the surface world." Citan noticed Bart watching them. "Would you care to join us, young one?" He asked politely.
"Not just now," Bart replied, "actually, I'm looking for Margie… have you seen her?"
"Hmm," Citan said thoughtfully, "I believe Miss Margie and Chu-Chu were headed for town, the last time I saw them. I distinctively remember overhearing the words 'secret' and 'Bart'," he added mysteriously.
"That idiot!" Bart growled, "I'll bet she's gonna to do something stupid and get herself kidnapped again! I'd better go find her! Thanks, doc! See you later, Fei!" Suddenly a red-headed figure launched herself into Fei's arms and they shared a deep kiss.
"Good morning…" Fei murmured, breaking the kiss and gazing down at Elly with intense eyes.
"Good morning…" Elley returned his gaze with equal force.
Elhaym Van Houten, or just 'Elly', Fei's one true love, had been a lieutenant with Gebler before abandoning her home – her entire life – for the man she loved. Watching them, Bart was sometimes overawed by the intensity of their relationship. Would he ever feel that way about someone? Would he ever develop the maturity to make the kind of sacrifices that they had for each other? He could think of only one person who made him feel like it was possible…
"Well I think I will just go see what Sigurd and Maison are up to," Citan said, clearing his throat uncomfortably. Fei and Elly were still gazing into each other's eyes, totally unaware of the world around them…
Bart shook his head to clear it. First, the throne… love could wait.
I am going to finish the story this time! I promise!