Cover image: 'The Golden Fairy' by purdo25 (Deviantart)


"You're just an ignorant captive princess. You know nothing of love. You don't have the ability to love."

"No. . no!" Victorique sat up in bed, screaming out in fear and aggravation "It isn't true it isn't true." She shouted at the images of her fevered dream. She knew from her books, she knew from what she had learned in the library. Someone who could not love could never receive love, and someone could neither love nor receive it was not human. But. . . Did the person she cared about know that she could love him? What if he was injured or had died and never knew how she felt.

"Victorique are you alright?"

she gasped, staring at Kujo blankly. He was there, in her room, in one piece. Alive!

"You woke up from a dream again." Sensei said, leaning over as if to feel Victorique's forehead. The girl pushed her away, "It's about time," she mumbled.

"You were right about everything. You solved the mystery." Kujo said.

"Well duh. Idiot." she snapped, looking down at the pink fabric of her kimono, angry that he put her through all that and came back without a scratch, and happy to boot.

"I got you a present. Do you want it?"

Her head popped up "Yes." she said before she could stop herself. She loved gifts, if only because she received so few; but even if she had received many, Kujo's presents were always special. Taking the small box in her lap she reached to unwrap that minor chaos called wrapping paper and find her new possession.

As her hands moved to the ribbon she paused, staring at her palms. Not even the faintest red mark shown from their last adventure together; the night Kujo nearly died. She stared at her flawless skin. It was gone.

Ever since that night she had watched her hands slowly heal, secretly hoping that there would be some sort of scar, some sort of mark that would be permanent. Not because she liked the idea of having ugly scarred hands, but because those injuries had been proof to her, to the world. . . Proof that she had saved Kujo. Something else she learned form her books, and by watching 'The Third Son of an Imperial Soldier', you risked your life for someone you really, truly cared about, someone you loved. Her hands were proof that she could love him.

"Is something wrong Victorique?"

"No." she replied, unwrapping the paper and looking at the lovely green shoe. Her entire heart filled with excitement. "Kujo get me my pipe."

"Sure," he agreed, not even pausing to complain about her bossing him around.

She used the green shoe as a holder for her pipe, then held the pretty item close. She loved the contrast between the blue and the white with the emerald green. No one had ever given her such a pretty, expensive gift before.

Was this another way for someone to prove their love? She wondered. But that was silly, gifts proved nothing. Even her brother had given her a gift in a way, letting her come to school, letting her out of her dungeon like prison, but she knew he did not love her. Still, she looked at the pretty gift, then at her hands again. Somehow, she'd find her proof, she'd find proof for Kujo that she really cared, that she was worthy of his love in return.