Originally published 12th June 2002. Re-write published 2007. Note that the re-write is not the 'finished' product . . . as in, it's still bad. The finished product should change a few points and things, and generally be better . . . more realistic. But the chances of me finishing the 'finished product' are slim. Heh. But if by some miracle it happens, it'll appear under my new account – i'M-a-ReBeL-jR (because it'll seem like a slightly different version). This 're-write' was just a small edit of sorts . . . if you've read the old one, there's no need to read this one.
. . . Sora's Point-Of-View . . .
I caught the Prince Taichi looking at me from across the large table, and blushed. He smiled, then turned back to his younger brothers and laughed at something they said, I assumed.
"He totally likes you!" Mimi whispered next to me.
"Give me a break Mimi, we haven't even met yet."
"So?" Mimi said. "He still likes you. You have a chance to be part of the Grand Royal Family! When he proposes, accept!"
I raised an eyebrow. "Aren't you getting carried away? And besides, his father will probably arrange a marriage for him."
"Nu-uh," Mimi said. "In 'Royal-T' it said the King has given the heir apparent and the heir presumptive, Prince Jou and Prince Taichi, the privilege of choosing their own wives."
For the record, Royal-T was a magazine on (mostly) teen, well, royalties. The 'T' stood for teens.
"Really? So what?" I said.
Mimi opened her mouth, then said, "What do you mean 'so what'? You can marry the 2nd in line to the Grand throne!"
"Mimi. You are definitely getting carried away."
"Whatever. Just accept when the time comes," Mimi said, then smiled. "What do you think about the Prince Yamato?"
I looked across the table at the blond Mimi indicated. He wasn't like his brothers. They were joking and talking lively, but he was simply eating his dinner – perhaps a little too seriously. I'm pretty sure he hasn't looked up from his plate since the dinner started.
"Quiet," I said.
Mimi nodded. "I don't think he's even spoken. A little too quiet for my taste . . . although, he is Prince Yamato. I can make an exception . . ."
I smirked at Mimi. "Anything for a cute Grand Royal, right Mimi?"
"Of course," she replied. "Especially him. God, he's so damn hot. I'd go for him in a second if he was the Crown Prince. Too bad he's only third in line to the throne."
I rolled my eyes. "Pick. If you had a choice, that is."
Mimi stuck her tongue out at me, and I continued.
"Prince Jou, Prince Taichi, or Prince Yamato?"
"That's a tough one," Mimi admitted. "I mean, Prince Jou – he's hot, and the Crown Prince . . . he'll rule everything someday. But, now, Prince Taichi – he's got something about him, this boyish charm that I think is rather cute. And the silent one, Prince Yamato – he is so totally drop dead gorgeous . . ."
I grinned, "So, who will it be? The Crown, the Charm, or the Looks?"
"I don't know!" Mimi whined. "All I know is we have got to meet them when this dinner is over."
I agreed. This dinner that we were having was a welcome gesture by the Grand King Hiroaki. We had just arrived the other day from the Eastern Continent (our home) to the Northern Continent (where we are now), and so have yet to actually meet the Grand Princes.
Attending this dinner was the Grand King, of course, and his sons, the Grand Princes. They were, in order; Jou, the fraternal twins – Taichi and Yamato, Koushiro, Daisuke, Ken, Takeru, and Iori. Then there were the Grand King's wives; he had seven in total, but one died giving birth to the twins (as stated in an old issue of Royal-T) so now there were six.
And then there was my family, and Mimi's, and several other royal families from the Eastern Continent. We had all sort of fled here because of a small war that had started between the Western and Southern Continents. The safest place to be was the Northern Continent, where the Grand Royal Families were.
"Sora! Look up!" I heard Mimi hiss at me, and so I did as she said, afraid the Grand King had asked me something. But when I looked up, I found myself staring into deep blue eyes. Prince Yamato was looking at me!
I smiled at him, and I could see his lips curving into a small smile in return. But then Prince Taichi turned his way, and he immediately looked down at his plate. I looked at Prince Yamato, confused, then looked at Prince Taichi who was frowning slightly. What's up with that?
But then Prince Taichi glanced at me and smiled, causing butterflies to appear in my stomach – he really was gorgeous . . . I've seen his pictures in magazines before and so I knew he was good-looking, just like his brothers, but in real life . . . Wow.
"Prince Taichi and Prince Yamato? How'd you ever get to be so lucky," Mimi pouted.
I rolled my eyes, then saw Prince Taichi put an arm around his twin and leaned down to whisper something in his ear.
. . . Taichi's Point-Of-View . . .
"Watch it," I whispered into Matt's ear. "She's off limits to you."
He shrugged my arm off, which is something that wouldn't normally get me that annoyed at, but I tightened my hold on his right shoulder anyway, digging my fingers into his arm. He clenched his teeth, but didn't say anything. I smirked again and let go. He rubbed his arm, still looking down at his plate.
But then he opened his mouth slightly and said, "I don't want her. That's just bad taste."
I stared at him. I was surprised he'd said that. He had just mocked my taste, didn't he?
"What?" I whispered harshly, eyes narrowed.
"Nothing," he muttered, and began picking at his food.
"That's better," I said, noticing his face tightened. I knew he was angry now, but he wouldn't dare outright show that. "But just remember, she's mine. Got it?"
I knew Matt was eyeing her from the start when they had arrived. I swore that every girl he even showed a slight interest in, I would deter her from him, and to me, so he would get jealous. But, this time, it was different. I was actually purely interested in her, and not just because Matt wanted her . . . which is weird.
Matt nodded his head, and I turned to my left where Izzy was sitting next to me. Apparently he had heard our exchange. His lips were pursed.
"What?" I asked.
He shook his head. "Nothing . . . Dad's ready to blow at you when he gets the chance, you know?"
Smart Izzy, change the subject. My younger brothers don't like getting on my bad side, so whenever Matt and I have a fight, they steer clear away. And Matt's the one who always gets into trouble because when I'm supposed to be the one in trouble, all I have to do is blame it on him and my father will believe me. He only wants to see the bad in Matt, and I'm not complaining. My dad's only tough on Matt because I think he blames our mother's death on him. I sort of do . . . but not really. I can say, though, that if I wasn't a twin, life would be perfect – for both me and my father. I mean, there would be no Matt, and there would be my mother.
I smirked at Izzy. "I'll just have to tell him the whole story, won't I?"
Izzy knew what I meant, ending our discussion. Matt heard what I said, and knew what I meant also, as when I turned his way I saw him looking at me. I merely smiled at him.
. . . Yamato's Point-Of-View . . .
I turned back to my damn plate as Tai smiled at me. Great, I was going to get in shit for him nearly killing himself. And Jensei and Hiro – my stupid cousins who follow Tai around as if he were their god.
Anyway, the other day the three of them had taken a drive. Drunk. That's why they 'nearly killed' themselves. The old man was fuming, but he had to take care of business of sorts and so still hasn't yelled at them. And now Tai was going to blame it on me, when I wasn't even in the car.
Fucking Tai . . . I wish I could just punch him right here and now, but I can't. One, I'll get into deep shit from my 'father' because I hit his oh-so-precious Taichi; and two, because I'd embarrass him with an outburst like that, which would get me into shit again. Plus, Tai would kill me later on. Not that he was stronger than me or anything, we were evenly matched, but that's the way my life has been for a long time now. Some fucking slave to Tai with a title of a Grand Prince. Oh the joy.
And now Tai had to see that I was interested in that Princess Sora Takenouchi from the Eastern Continent. Maybe he just liked her – that, or he just likes her because I do. I'm going for the latter.
I sighed, hoping for this dinner to end soon. I wanted to get out of sight from my father before Tai has the chance to blame anything on me. Or before he forced me into doing that whole act he usually makes me do, where I come off as a jerk so the girl he's after hates me.
I couldn't help but sneak another glance at Sora just then . . . damn she was pretty. I mean, sure I've seen other beautiful girls but . . . well, she was just different. When she smiled at me . . it felt as if she really wanted to genuinely get to know me. And I feel some sort of connection to her, like we're on the same level . . . as if she could make me forget about everything just by letting me see her smile . . .
. . . Sora's Point-Of-View . . .
The dinner was finally over, and we could meet the Princes. I could see the other girls in the room looking eagerly at the sixteen year old blond Prince, though all he did was look at them, then promptly turned away. I frowned. Isn't that something all the snobby Princes do?
As he was going, his twin caught his arm though, and swung him back around. Prince Taichi looked like he was angrily saying something to his twin, while clutching Prince Yamato's left wrist. Then Prince Taichi walked towards . . . me? Before he reached me though, I could see Prince Yamato caressing his left wrist with his right hand.
"Hello Princess," Prince Taichi greeted.
"Hi Prince Taichi!" Mimi piped up next to me.
He smiled at her, then turned his gaze back to me.
"Hi . . ." I said shyly, just as Prince Yamato came up beside his brother.
"Hi," he stated. Coldly, I might add.
What was up with him? He seemed nice just by the way he was all quiet at dinner, but now . . .?
"So what are you Easterners doing here in the North?" He asked rudely. "I mean, what, your own continent was overcrowded or something?"
Prince Taichi frowned at him, then said, "Sorry, excuse my brother's rudeness."
I smiled at him, and said, "That's okay."
Prince Yamato made an obnoxious sound and Prince Taichi glared at him then said, "I'm Prince Taichi, though you can call me Tai."
"Sora, and my friend, Mimi," I returned. I didn't think the Princesses part was necessary as he was, after all, a Grand Prince and therefore had the right to call us by our first names only, anyway.
Prince Yamato looked at us disdainfully then said, "I'm sure you both know who I am. If you don't, where the hell have you been?"
I blinked. Was he seriously up himself? He didn't seem like he was at the table . . . though I did think he would be anyway. He was arguably the most popular Prince, and just because he was more gorgeous than his brothers. Though I guess he's tied somewhat with Prince Jou for popularity, since his oldest brother is the Crown Prince.
"Prince Yamato," I said tightly.
"Correct," Prince Yamato said curtly. "And you can call me exactly that – Prince Yamato."
"Of course, Prince Yamato," I said, resisting the urge to frown. But, I had no right to frown at him, did I?
Tai pushed his brother back lightly and said, "He's just being an ass right now. Probably because he's about to get into serious trouble with our father."
Prince Yamato rolled his eyes.
"Oh . . ." I said.
"Did he do something wrong?" Mimi asked.
Prince Yamato looked down at her as if she were stupid. "No, I didn't do anything wrong. That's why my father's angry with me . . ."
Tai punched his brother lightly for his sarcasm.
Prince Yamato frowned at Tai, but it completely disappeared when the King Hiroaki walked up to us. I think I actually saw fear in Prince Yamato's eyes? I bowed to the King.
"Your majesty," I said, Mimi doing the same.
The King nodded his head slightly at us, then turned to Tai. He glared at his son.
I thought Prince Yamato was the one in trouble?
Tai grinned up at his father, then grabbed Prince Yamato in front of him. The King frowned, then said, "Both of you. Go wait up at my chambers. I'll join you shortly."
"Of course, father," Tai said as Prince Yamato just nodded mutely.
The King nodded in return at them, then at me and Mimi, then disappeared.
"I'm sorry, but we have to go," Tai said, smiling at us apologetically.
"I thought Prince Yamato was the one in trouble?" Mimi said.
Tai shrugged. "It seems my father wants to speak to both of us."
"Yeah. So, like, can we go now?" Prince Yamato asked impatiently.
Tai frowned at him then said, "I'll see you ladies around?"
"Sure," I replied, smiling at him.
"You bet," Mimi added, smiling flirtatiously.
Prince Yamato rolled his eyes then started to walk off.
"Later," Tai said, then followed him towards one of the doors.
"Did you think that would have been Prince Yamato's attitude?" Mimi asked incredulously.
"Well . . . yes before we actually saw how he acted. But no while we were at the table."
"Exactly! That was weird . . . so I guess we misinterpreted his silence. He was probably just quiet because we weren't worth his time of day!"
"Probably," I agreed.
"So now . . . it's either the Crown, or the Charm," Mimi grinned.
"You're giving up so easily on the hottest guy?" I asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Weeell . . . not entirely, but come on, even I know there is no chance I would get with him. He's probably in an arranged marriage, or is soon to be in one, unless his father states otherwise. And if he announced that Prince Jou and Tai aren't going to be in one, then wouldn't he say the other Princes too if they weren't? So, concluded, Prince Yamato's in an arranged marriage."
"And who says it won't be arranged with you?" I asked.
"Oh please. We're from the Eastern Continent. If he were arranged, then I'm guessing he'd be out with a Northerner like himself – which would mean he'd be marrying some sort of distant relative . . ."
I shrugged. "And we're going in-depth about a guy who shows no interest in us?"
"Hey. He smiled at you," Mimi smirked.
"Oh wow. Last time I heard, that was quite common in the human world."
Mimi rolled her eyes.
"You shouldn't roll your eyes when a Grand Prince is looking at you," I smiled.
"Huh?" Mimi said, then noticed Prince Jou looking at her, and blushed.
I laughed. "So how do you feel about having the attention of the Crown?"
"Closer to it," Mimi replied, grinning.
I rolled my eyes good-naturedly.
It was time to go now, and so everyone was gathered at the hallway entrance. Neither me nor Mimi had seen either of the two Princes – that is, Tai and Prince Yamato, since our little 'meeting'. As I was about to head towards Mimi in the somewhat darkened hall leading into the entrance hall, a hand grabbed my elbow. Gently, I might add. I turned, and came face to face with none other then Prince Yamato himself.
"Your highness," I started, but he only silenced me.
"Matt. Just call me Matt," he said softly.
"Matt," I said nervously.
"Sora," He said, "I'm sorry about earlier this evening. I wasn't being myself, I hope you understand. I was truly glad to meet you and your friend, Mimi."
All I did was nod. I mean, why this complete turnaround?
"Not to insult you, Matt, but may I ask if your father told you to – apologise?" I asked. I knew it was risky, no one talked to a Grand Prince like that.
But, he surprised me by just smiling warmly.
"No, this is out of my own free will. I am sorry about before, and I wanted to apologise to you especially . . . Don't take this as a come on, but I think you're very pretty."
He blushed a bit at me . . . He actually blushed – at me!
I gave him a smile, he wasn't so bad after all. I opened my mouth to say something, but then I heard a noise down the somewhat secluded hallway we were in. Tai appeared, and when he saw Matt with me, he didn't look too happy. I turned back to look at Matt, and he didn't look pleased either.
"Sorry, but I've gotta go," he said, rushed.
But I reached out my hand and grabbed his sleeve – I don't know why, but I just wanted him to stay. He stopped when he felt a tugging, I guess, and turned back to me, looking confused. By then, Tai had reached us.
"Hello Tai," I said, hoping to break the tense air between them, it seemed.
He took his gaze away from his twin and looked at me.
"Sora, hello again," Tai said, the slightest of smiles on his face, but then he turned back to Matt. "Matt wasn't bothering you, was he?"
"No," I said cheerfully, trying to lighten up the mood though not knowing what was happening, "he was just apologising about before –"
I stopped as Matt shook his head slightly, and so I realised I said the wrong thing as Tai's eyes glazed over with anger. I let go of Matt's sleeve, and then Tai grabbed him and pushed him out of the hallway and into the entrance hallway where everybody was, making him fall onto the ground.
I gasped, and everybody else bustled. They were surprised to see this, I guess. Mind you, so was I. I mean, we were guests here and then two of the Grand Princes get into a fight? I predict the King will not be pleased to say the least.
I stared around the room at everyone else thinking they'd do something, but they all just stood there watching. Even Prince Koushiro and the other Princes present, who were everyone but Prince Jou, just stood there quietly. Then Prince Iori scampered off, probably to get their father.
"Sora!" Mimi hissed at me as she reached me. "What happened?"
"I don't know," I replied. Tai and Matt were rolling on the ground now. "I think we should break it up though."
"I don't think that's a great idea," Mimi said. "It's not our business, and their father might think we're involved if we do stop them."
"So we just stand here like everyone else?" I asked angrily.
Mimi shrugged. "The King is here anyway."
I turned to see the King coming with Prince Iori, and then saw Matt stop fighting. Tai took that moment to punch him, then he got up to face his father. Matt also got up silently after, not meeting his father's gaze. The King stared at both of them, then told them to follow him.
As they were leaving the room, the hall starting to burst with noise. When they were nearly gone, Matt looked back and gave me a weak smile. I managed to return it though, even with this confusion growing in my head. Something else that was growing was a small tiny crush. But on Tai or Matt? . . . I think both. And don't ask me why.
The re-write will definitely have more character development. It's a shame it'll probably never happen, though. :P