Solitaryloner: This one shot was largely based on the amazing Miku and Len song, Ice Queen. I repeat, Ice Queen is amazing. Seriously. I love this song - it's very addictive.
If you want to find the song on Youtube, you have to type in the Japanese characters for Miku and Len's names, so it's a little troublesome...but it's worth it, trust me.
A boy stood lost in the snow, a single, tiny black dot against a stark white landscape. He glanced around, staring up at the bleak grey sky - clearly, he had wandered too far from his village. The powdery snow blew continuously into his face, and he narrowed his gaze, raising his hand to block the snow from his eyes.
He shivered. It was freezing - he wasn't dressed in very thick clothes, and the penetrating chill of the snow seeped past his thin shirt, cutting deep to the bone. Unconsciously, he wrapped his arms tightly around himself, rubbing his skin in a futile attempt to get warm. His fingers were numb, so numb that he wasn't sure if they were still attached to his hands. He couldn't even feel his fingers, not anymore.
He was such an idiot, to wander this far from his home. What had he been thinking? Then again, when he had set off, he had only intended to take a short walk, to relax and forget about the worries of daily life for a while. The snow had beckoned to him, the pure white landscape whispering to him, making him yearn for its icy cold embrace. So he had grabbed a coat and went out of the house.
But then, while walking outside, he had seen...what had appeared to be a girl. A shadowy figure, flickering in and out of his line of sight. No one had been outside except for him - everyone else had been trying to hide away from the unforgiving harshness of the bitter cold. The shadowy figure had seemed to skip and dance over the pure white ground, enticing him. Making him want to follow after it.
So helplessly, he had given in to his compulsion, not even going back inside to take a thicker coat. With minimal protection from the bitter wind and frost, he had set off after the little figure, trying to see what the figure looked like. She was always too far away from him, though. Always too far for him to see anything about her. The only thing he had been sure of was that the figure had been that of a girl's.
The dancing girl had led him further and further away from home, and he had followed her, as though he had no will of his own. Like the young children following after the Pied Piper, he had been unable to resist the allure of the mysterious figure, his curiosity about it like an unquenchable thirst that he had no choice but to try and satisfy. He gritted his teeth against the cold, turning around to observe the land.
It seemed that he was alone, for now. How far he was away from civilisation, he had no idea - but he knew that he wasn't anywhere near his village. His good friend Luka would worry for him...Luka Megurine, the village beauty, and the girl who was promised to him. In a few years, they would get married, and be known as husband and wife. He wasn't very sure about whether or not he liked the sound of that.
He was sixteen. In two years, he was expected to marry - and it hadn't even been his decision. His and Luka's parents were family friends, and they had decided that he and Luka ought to marry, once they had reached eighteen. This whole plan had been thought of by their parents, even before they had been born, and frankly, he didn't like that his freedom had been snatched away from him, just like that.
Luka was fine with the idea. He knew she liked him, as more than a friend - but did he? Did he return her feelings for him? Honestly, he saw her as no more than a mere friend...though he wondered, perhaps he would be able to treat her as more, given a few years? People did say that love could be nurtured, after all. Maybe he ought to give this a chance. But he knew, somehow, that Luka wasn't who he loved.
So who did he love, then? If even the most beautiful maiden in the village didn't appeal to him, then what manner of girl would be able to catch his eye? He didn't know, himself. He turned back to look, to try and see the way he came - he could make out a faint trail of footprints in the snow, but they filled in quickly, leaving behind nothing but pure white. He couldn't even see his village, anymore.
How far had he walked, exactly? He hadn't noticed. He had been so compelled to follow the figure that he hadn't taken his eyes away from it, not for a single moment. Now, he was all alone, in this silent, harsh world of snow and ice. The snow which fell settled softly around him, on him - as it melted on his exposed skin, he shivered. The more the snow fell on him, the colder he felt...he was cold. Just so cold.
It had been a giant mistake to bring along this thin, short sleeved coat. It was a coat meant for summer, not for winter. But then, he had been in a hurry to leave the house, and since he hadn't intended to stay out too long, he had thought that perhaps this coat would be sufficient. Until he had gotten distracted by that shadowy figure. Clearly, he shouldn't have allowed his curiosity to get the better of him...
In this barren white landscape, there was no one but him. No signs of civilisation around, not for miles - nothing except for several bare trees, small black dots against the large expanse of land. Their naked branches reached out like claws towards the bleak sky, which was covered in grey clouds, like a grey blanket - it all looked rather ominous, for some reason.
How was he going to find his way back home? He didn't recognise anything around here, and even following his footsteps was impossible, as the falling snow covered every tiny trace of his journey. Worry flickered through him - he knew that he wouldn't be able to survive out here, not with barely enough clothes to keep warm. If he couldn't find his way back soon, then it was likely that he would end up freezing to death.
His hands rubbed absently against his bare arms. His skin was icy cold, even to his own numb fingers. Everything was numb. His face, his nose, his lips - anything that was exposed to the winter wind was on the verge of falling off, due to frostbite. He hadn't developed the dreaded winter affliction yet, but at the rate things were going, frostbite wouldn't be too far away, hankering after him. He exhaled.
The breath of air was visible, forming a white mist before his face. The figure that he had been following earlier had disappeared, finally freeing him from his trance. The figure's disappearance had been sudden, and it left behind no evidence...not a single trace that it had ever been there. He wondered if he had been lured out here all because of a mere hallucination. Had he imagined the figure?
''I'm never going to find my way back,'' he realised. ''Not at this rate.'' The foreboding thought spurred him on, and hesitantly he took a step forward, hopefully in the way he had come. As he trudged his way across the drifts of snow, his mind turned blank, settling into the familiar rhythm of walking. Left foot forward. Right foot. Left foot again. At an agonisingly slow pace, he made his way across the land.
''Are you lost?'' the wind seemed to whisper to him, as it whistled past his ears. He froze, wondering if he had imagined the question. The wind continued blowing past him, and he heard no more of the breathy voice. Disappointedly, he turned back around - though he knew that it wasn't possible for anyone else to be out here, he had foolishly hoped that there would be someone to help him. To get him out of here.
But how could there be anyone to ask for help, when it was clear that he was the only person around, for miles? His desperate mind playing tricks on him, surely. Again, he bemoaned his stupidity - no one in their right mind would walk out in such cold weather, all by themselves, and with little other than a thin summer coat for protection against the chill. If he really did die out here, it would be entirely his own fault.
Again, the wind whispered around him, seeming to mock him with its restlessness. Then, what felt like the cold touch of a slender finger brushed against his cheek, and he whirled around, to see that there was no one there. The wind, playing tricks on him again. His numb lips curving down into a scowl, he tried to ignore the harsh winter wind, trudging on away from the area. He needed to keep moving.
He didn't want to stop, contract hypothermia, and end up freezing to death. His eyelids were heavy, struggling with the effort to stay awake - but he knew that if he closed his eyes and rested in this kind of weather, he would never open his eyes again. And he would like to stay alive for as long as possible. Sixteen was a little too young to be dying...in his opinion, anyway. Not that anyone ever cared about his opinion.
''Are you lost?'' the soft voice in the wind repeated, and Len tried to focus on his dreary trudge, instead. There was no point in hoping that the voice actually belonged to someone - there was no one out here, no one except for himself and his hallucinatory mind. Suddenly, as he thought of that, the already frigid air around him seemed to drop a few degrees, and he shivered some more, with a renewed vigour.
This time, the wind felt like more than a mere brush. The icy embrace of the winter chill wrapped tightly around him, cocooning him in a blanket of cold that he couldn't seem to struggle out of. But then, the wind was strangely soft...almost like real arms. ''Are you lost?'' the voice said again, for the third time. He froze in his tracks, feeling the chilly embrace tighten around him. Slowly, uncertainly, he looked around.
The voice wasn't that of the wind's. The petite girl glanced up at him from beneath thick, long eyelashes, her slender arms wrapped around his waist. Her long, silky hair, which was an odd shade of teal, floated in the freezing wind. Her touch was strangely cold, and he could feel the chill of her fingers, seeping past his thin clothes and further numbing his already icy skin. He blinked, shocked. Where had she come from?
He found himself replying dazedly to her question. ''I'm lost,'' he answered, his breath misting before him. ''I wish I could find my way out of here,'' he added, forcing the words out past numb lips. The girl nodded at his reply, looking satisfied with his words - now that he had somewhat gotten over the shock of her appearance, he found that she was...very beautiful. Inhumanly beautiful, in fact.
She leant up, her lips near his ear. ''I can help you get out of here,'' she whispered, her voice soft and breathy. It had a...tinkling quality to it. In a odd way, her voice reminded him of icicles. Cold, but lovely at the same time. ''I can get you some place warm. Not necessarily your home, but somewhere safe. For now. Would you be willing to go with me, to that place?'' she watched him, her gaze filled with intent.
Who was she? And how had she suddenly appeared, out of nowhere? He had been so sure that he was the only person around...unless she was the figure that he had been following, earlier? ''Who are you?'' he asked, choosing not to give his answer to her question. Not until he knew at least something about this apparent...saviour, and what she might possibly want from him. She shrugged, looking unconcerned.
''Who I am is not important. What is important is getting you out of here, before you freeze to death. The more you question me, the higher the chances that you'll end up contracting frostbite. Or worse,'' her teal hair blew forward in the harsh wind, whipping around him. The girl's arms tightened further around him, like she didn't want to let go. ''What will you decide to do?'' she murmured, her voice lilting.
He didn't know anything about this person, who had mysteriously appeared from nowhere, in the midst of a snowstorm - but he didn't want to die. And he had no choice now but to accept her offer of help, no matter how dubious a character she seemed to be. A desperate man would do anything to survive, and he knew that he was most definitely desperate. ''Help me get out of here,'' he whispered, unwillingly.
She pulled away from him, releasing him from her cold embrace. She seemed to float across the snow covered ground, walking over to stand before him. Her freezing finger brushed lightly against his lips as he stared at her, taking in the full extent of her breathtaking beauty - when suddenly, her slender fingers clasped his arm, and then he was no longer lost in a snowstorm. His eyes widened at the new sights he saw.
The blank white was all gone. Instead, he was now in a large hall, richly decorated with intricately woven tapestries. The girl who had saved him was sitting upon a finely wrought silver throne, staring down at him, her shapely legs crossed. Her large green eyes regarded him curiously, as though she was wondering what she ought to do with him. He hoped that her decision wouldn't be anything too...bad.
Now that survival was, apparently, no longer his top priority, he took this chance to stare at her. A corner of his mind had been wondering, throughout the whole time he had been talking to her, why she hadn't felt cold...the girl was dressed in clothes that were even thinner than his. All she wore was a simple white dress, and fingerless gloves which covered her arms, all the way to her elbows. Didn't she feel cold?
''What's your name?'' the girl asked him, even before he had a chance to collect his thoughts. He stared back at her, wondering whether he ought to reply - but then, given the fact that she had just rescued him from a slow, lingering death in a snowstorm, he supposed that it would only be polite for him to answer her question. Though he did feel suspicious, about what were her motives in saving him.
And what sort of person was she? The question that continued lingering in the back of his mind, was how she had appeared to him, and how she had managed to take him away from the cold, with just a simple touch. The hall that he was currently standing in was blessedly warm, and he made a silent promise to himself that he would never again underestimate the cold, nor ever be unappreciative of warmth.
''My name is Len Kagamine...'' he stated, unsure about how to address her, ''Miss?'' he finally said, deciding that was safe. The girl placed one of those numbingly cold fingers against her lips, lightly tapping at them as she seemed to think. Finally, after what felt like an unbearable eternity, she nodded at him, but she said nothing other than that. He frowned, a question burning in him, right on the tip of his tongue.
''What are you?'' he asked bluntly, knowing that no human could possibly withstand that kind of winter chill with such thin clothes. And if she wasn't human, then...perhaps she was one of the servants of Old Man Winter. But then a servant wouldn't have a throne of her own, would she? What manner of creature was she? She had to be one of the creatures of Winter, no doubt. He just wondered which one was she.
And why had one of the notoriously capricious winter sprites saved him? He knew of the existence of seasonal sprites - everyone in his village knew of these fun-loving creatures. Seasonal sprites were bound to their season, and were creatures that were born to frolic in the season they had been created for - so a Winter sprite would feel perfectly at home in the harsh, numbing cold of a winter blizzard.
Most seasonal sprites were feared by all the people in his village - or, by anyone who had any sense of self-preservation, at least. Seasonal sprites weren't exactly evil, not that anyone knew of, but people feared them still, because their intentions were all obscure and unknown - which made these extremely capricious creatures highly suspicious. It was the first time he had ever laid eyes upon one.
He hadn't expected the sprite to look so...human. Seasonal sprites were said to personify the season that they were born to. Winter sprites were supposed to have a roughly human figure that was composed entirely of icicles, for example. But the winter sprite that was before him...she was nothing like what the stories all said. She looked as human as he did, which made him rather confused about her identity.
''I am no mere winter sprite,'' she said, making him jump a little in surprise, as her voice jerked him out of his mental reverie. ''Though many of the sprites fall under my jurisdiction...'' she straightened, a regal look suddenly settling over her. Making the delicate girl look imposing. Intimidating, even. ''I am the Ice Queen, the only daughter of Old Man Winter himself, and the younger sister of Jack Frost, Spirit of Winter.''
His eyes widened at the proclamation, and hastily he knelt on one knee, his heart thudding rapidly in his chest. The Ice Queen? Legend said that she was a maiden of astounding beauty, and to see the lovely royal was to desire her, for she embodied the very essence of cold perfection itself - but that was where it all ended. One-sided desire. For the Ice Queen was also the very title that she was named - she was icy cold, and she was incapable of love.
And the stories were true - for this girl's beauty was truly mesmerising. Hair that was a strange shade of green blue, and eyes the same colour as hellebore leaves - the same shade as the leaves of a winter rose. Skin as pale as snow, and lips that were full and finely formed, with eyelashes that swept her cheeks whenever she blinked. Instant appreciation of her beauty was inevitable - but there was no desire.
At least, not yet...and he hoped that it would never come. The Ice Queen was named not because of her season, which was Winter, but rather because of the frigidity of her icy heart. No affection could warm it, no love could melt the solid ice that her heart was encased in. People who were fortunate - or unfortunate, depending on how one looked at it - enough to see her...were usually driven to depression because of her inevitably cold rejections.
No one was ever able to melt the heart of the Ice Queen. Even though many before had tried...or so the stories said. The girl just sighed as he knelt before her. ''Oh, do get up, Len Kagamine. I have more than enough people to grovel to me, here in the Court of Winter. I saved you from the winter storm because you seemed amusing...a lone human, wandering around lost, in the middle of a blizzard.''
''I was following a figure,'' he murmured, rising slowly from the floor, but choosing to keep his gaze trained on the ground. The Ice Queen's penetrating green gaze was searing him - it was the only thing about her which was warm. Her surprisingly green gaze, a green that seemed to be more Summer than Winter. ''Someone was dancing, out in the snow...and I just had to follow her. It led me out there...''
When she next spoke, her voice was filled with surprise. ''That figure was me,'' she admitted, making him glance up, faintly startled. ''I was dancing in the snow - it is my habit, for me to dance in my father's creations. Old Man Winter fashions the most beautiful scenery, does he not?'' she laughed, and it sounded like...the tinkling of icicles, perhaps? She returned his open stare. ''My name is Miku Hatsune.''
Ah. So the Ice Queen had an actual name, besides her title. ''I thank Your Majesty for your great benevolence in saving me from the snowstorm,'' he bowed towards her, the words he said genuine. He had little doubt that if she hadn't come to save him, he would still be wandering out there...until he managed to die of cold. ''And may I ask if Your Majesty would be so kind as to send me back to my home?''
She sighed again, before she leant back in her throne. ''I would like to,'' she said slowly, gazing up at the ceiling. Len glanced up as well, following her stare - the ceiling was made entirely of what seemed to be glass, and he could see the bits of snow falling gently on the transparent surface. It was rather pretty, actually, when he wasn't stuck outside with all that snow. ''But...unfortunately, I can't.''
Suspicion filled him. ''Why not?'' he demanded, before adding a hasty, ''Your Majesty.'' Her eyes snapped back down from the glass ceiling, gaze narrowing at him, and he swallowed, hoping that he had not offended her by sounding so rude. The beautiful Queen pursed her lips at his words, before she finally broke the tense stare off between herself and Len. Len sighed in relief, thankful that she hadn't done anything.
''Transporting a human, along with myself, takes up a great deal of energy,'' she answered. ''Humans are not small, and to transport all that weight, along with our own, drains much magical power from us. Especially when over a great distance. I can send you back to your village, Len Kagamine, but only after some time. Perhaps a day or so. You must allow me a period of time to rest and recuperate, first.''
That made sense. Len immediately regretted the earlier harshness of his tone. ''I apologise for being so offensive, Your Majesty,'' he said respectfully. ''I was only in a hurry to get home. I did not intend to disrespect you in any way,'' he added, hoping that would appease her about his earlier impatience. She nodded, the expression on her face becoming blank once again - and it somehow made her look even more beautiful than she already was.
Perhaps that was why she was the Ice Queen. Because the colder she was, the more gorgeous she appeared to be. She was perfection...coldly perfect. She exuded an air of 'Look, but don't touch', which was just like the season she was a ruler of. Snow was beautiful to look at, but when one touched it, it was freezing cold. So cold that it could hurt. Sometimes, the snow could be so bitterly cold that it burnt him.
''You may ask why I didn't just send you straight back to your village,'' she spoke, startling him once again. ''But earlier, I was tired. Even if I had known that you had come from the village I had been dancing in, earlier, I couldn't have sent you all the way back there. I lacked the energy, for I have not rested in a while. So I brought you back here, to my home, so that you need not freeze while I regain some lost energy.''
''But Your Majesty, why did you lack the energy which you need?'' Len asked, curious. ''After all, we're in the midst of Winter now. When the influence of Winter is at its strongest, upon this land. Surely you would be very powerful, during this period?'' Once more, her lips tensed, and he edged back a little, away from her, wondering whether he had managed to offend her. He hoped not - she was his only ticket home.
''I forget. Mortals do not understand the ways of magic. Well, it is true that seasonal sprites and their rulers are at their strongest when their respective seasons are in play - but then, it does not mean that we have an unlimited store of magical power. Even then, it is necessary for us to recuperate, and recover lost magic. Magic is an innate ability, and it draws on our very own essences. We must recover some of that beforehand, lest we begin to lose ourselves.''
He wondered whether he was supposed to understand what that meant, but decided that maybe he ought to leave that matter alone. It was the business of the seasonal sprites, after all, and humans didn't have any need to actually understand that. ''I see,'' he said, only to show that he had been paying attention to her words. ''Then...is there anything that Your Majesty would like me to do, while you take a rest?''
''Amuse me,'' came the dry reply. He stiffened at the response, wondering what she could possibly want him to do for entertainment. She arched an eyebrow at him, then sighed and shook her head. ''Or perhaps not.'' The lovely Ice Queen glanced up again. ''Night has fallen,'' she observed. ''During Winter, the nights are long and the days are short. We're stronger at night. I'll be able to send you home by daybreak.''
He glanced up. True enough, night had fallen, and he was rather surprised by that. He hadn't noticed time passing by so quickly. Then again, in Winter, night came faster than the day could leave, after all. ''One day...'' he muttered. ''Luka will be worried about me.'' But somehow, he couldn't seem to bring himself to care about that, not too much - the iciness of the Queen numbed him to everything except her beauty.
''I suppose that means you will have to stay overnight,'' she sounded faintly distracted. Then she clapped her hands, the loud clap ringing through the large, otherwise quiet throne hall. At least, he assumed that the hall he was in was the throne hall, since there was...well, a throne there. Scarcely seconds later, a man had appeared in the hall, seemingly having popped out of nowhere. Much like Miku herself had.
The man had silver hair, and crimson eyes that reminded Len of freshly spilt blood. It was eerie, and Len suppressed a shudder as the man turned his curious gaze upon him. One of the seasonal sprites, perhaps? ''Teiru,'' the Ice Queen spoke. ''We have a mortal guest. Bring him to the room next to mine - I recall that that is the only room warm enough to accommodate someone who is not of our kind, no?''
''I understand, my Queen,'' the man, who was apparently named Teiru, bowed deeply. ''I shall do as you command.'' Again, the man glanced at Len, raking him with a disinterested gaze. ''This way, sir,'' he said quietly, before turning around and walking briskly out of the throne hall. Len cast the Ice Queen one last look, before he followed after the silver haired man, off to wherever he was supposed to stay tonight.
The Ice Queen...he had been saved by a girl who legend claimed to be colder than winter itself. A stunningly perfect girl with a heart that was encased in ice, too cold to be melted by any love or affection. Yet, she had saved him from a certain, slow death. Why had she done that? Just because the sight of his mortal fragility amused her? Or because the legends were wrong, and that there was a tiny little spark of compassion in her, hidden deep inside?
He honestly had no idea. But he was grateful, nevertheless, that she had rescued him from the unforgiving harshness of her own season. Maybe following the dancing figure hadn't been such a bad idea after all, since it was because of that foolish action that he had managed to come face-to-face with this beautiful maiden...the maiden who no one could ever love. The girl who loved none, the girl whose affections no mortal would ever be able to capture.
Did he feel anything else for the Queen, anything other than gratefulness? The sudden quickening of his heartbeat said that yes, he did - but then, he dismissed the thought. He had heard all the stories, and unlike those other, more unfortunate humans, he was prepared for the effect she had upon mortals. He would not let himself succumb to her. Len was not going to give the Ice Queen a chance to reject him...or any chance for her to toy with his heart.
Miku Hatsune, the one who had been given the title of the Ice Queen, heaved a sigh. Again, she glanced up at the glass ceiling of her throne room, watching the white bits of soft snow slowly settling on the transparent surface. It was a beautiful sight, but for once, Miku found herself strangely unable to appreciate it.
The mortal. Len Kagamine. Did he fear her? She wasn't sure - he was certainly respectful towards her, but there was some kind of...defiance about him, in the way he spoke to her, which made her think that he didn't fear her much. Not the way most humans did. Why, though? She was an empath - all sprites were. She was able to sense and feel the emotions of others - and this mortal had no fear of her.
Wariness, certainly, but not fear. Which was odd. There wasn't even that much desire, which was something she was unused to. She appeared so rarely to mortals that each time she did, the mortal would stare at her, in awe of her wintry cold perfection, and immediately fall for her, without her having to lift a finger. This Len Kagamine didn't do the same...perhaps that was because he knew the stories of her?
That just made him all the more interesting to her, that he could resist her allure. He was already a very fascinating mortal to her - she rarely ever came across a mortal as handsome as he was. With his light blond hair and vivid blue eyes, eyes the colour of a summer sky, he was completely unlike her in many ways. He reminded her very much of Summer, of its brightness and warmth. While she was not.
She was coldness and darkness. He was so different from her, yet something about him intrigued her. Maybe it was that very same difference. He was undeniably attractive, even more so than all the other inhumanly beautiful sprites which surrounded her. There was something fascinating about his beauty, though - something about his fragile mortality which made his beauty much more precious to her.
Tall. He was taller than her, maybe by about half a head or so. Leanly built - she had been able to feel that through his thin shirt, when she had wrapped her arms around him earlier. Although he seemed perfectly healthy, she somehow received the feeling that he rarely ever had enough to eat. A face that wouldn't look too out of place amongst the seasonal sprites - angular and...regal, in some odd way. His features were flawlessly perfect.
And that suspicion of her, which he so obviously exuded? She found that both amusing and frustrating. She had no reason to harm him...but then again, she wasn't a human. Who knew of the ways of humans, and their strange logic? Maybe this was all because of the numerous stories the humans had, about the various seasonal sprites. And stories about her, the sole daughter of Old Man Winter himself.
The Ice Queen, that was what all the mortals called her. The impeccably lovely Queen of Ice, of Snow and Winter. To lay eyes upon her was to desire her, because she possessed an otherworldly beauty that no one was capable of resisting - and that particular legend was true, even if it could be rather frustratingly inconvenient, at times. She had yet to find a mortal who was able to resist her allure...
Except for this particular mortal, it seemed. The Ice Queen was as cold as her title, the young maiden who refused to love, or show affection for any mortal fortunate enough to make her acquaintance. Most stories claimed that she was heartless, that she didn't love because the icy cold of her season spread to her heart, leaving her incapable of any warmth or love. Still, mortals remained attracted to what was bad for them, even if they couldn't take the cold.
Well, that was most certainly not the case. She was capable of love, and love she did - the only mortals that she ever appeared to were those who...intrigued her. Those who tugged at her heart, those who made her long to talk to them. Some of those mortals, she even fell in love with - but there was just one problem. She could not show them any affection. The Ice Queen was not supposed to love any mortals.
Firstly, mortals were unable to withstand the freezing temperatures that her season was capable of. Secondly, mortals were very different from seasonal sprites - sprites could live for a very long time. Mortals had short lives, and they died quickly. But the most important reason...was because she was betrothed to the Frost King. The Ice Queen and Frost King were supposedly a perfect match.
The Frost King was another creation of Old Man Winter. Old Man Winter, as the mortals called him, was the very embodiment of Winter itself. He had created her, the Ice Queen, and her brother, Jack Frost, using his very own essence - and he had then named them as siblings. The Frost King had been created separately from her and her brother, and he had been created specifically for her. The Ice Queen.
With the union of the Ice Queen and the Frost King, Winter's chill would become stronger than ever. That was why Old Man Winter wished for them to marry...but Miku didn't know if she wanted to. She didn't love the Frost King - they were friends, but they were no more than that. In fact, the Frost King felt more like a younger brother than a fiancé, to her. They had known each other for countless centuries, after all.
Miku Hatsune, the flawless Queen of Ice, did love. Mortals thought otherwise simply because she did not show that love. She couldn't afford to reveal her affections for anyone, because she was a promised maiden - and to dally around with mortals would be seen by other sprites as degrading. Because of her responsibilities, she had gotten her heart broken before, far too many times. She detested the pain it brought.
So she withdrew more and more from the mortal world, thereby lessening the chances of running into a mortal. Of meeting someone who interested her enough to make her love them. Seasonal sprites were capricious, curious creatures - they found mortals, with their short lifespans, undeniably interesting. And when they found a mortal fascinating, emotional attachment to the said mortal was inevitable.
This time, Miku found Len Kagamine extremely interesting, which also worried her slightly. She didn't wish to fall in love with yet another mortal, for she was tired of always having to turn away from her own affections. But she couldn't possibly have left the poor human to wander around, lost, in the middle of a snowstorm. If she had been so heartless as to do that, the human would have perished.
Humans reminded her of her season, in a way. They were like snowflakes. Beautiful, when they were falling gently from a grey streaked sky - but the problem was, the moment they landed on warm skin, they melted into water. Snowflakes were just like humans - beautiful, lovely, fascinating to watch, but with a lifespan that could be agonisingly short. Both snowflakes and humans were just so...fragile.
Unlike her, and the rest of the seasonal sprites. She heaved a sigh, wishing that she could keep the mortal around for a little bit longer, so that she could talk to him about the human world - it had been a long time since she had last spoken to a mortal, and she always found their stories very interesting. Especially their stories about the four different seasons, and what the seasonal sprites were rumoured to do then.
But she wouldn't break her promise. She had said that she would send him back to his village home by daybreak, and she would not lie. Unlike humans, seasonal sprites did not lie. There was never any need for them to lie, as sprites mostly kept to themselves and did not scheme or plot - and anyway, the sprites were pure. Just like the four seasons. Lies were not pure, and as a result, sprites didn't like lying.
It was just that...it had been such a long time since she had last walked the earth, outside. She loved to dance in the snow, in the barren wilderness where her father's grip on the earth was at its strongest - but she had always ensured that she did so whenever no one was around. The seasonal dance of a sprite was dangerously hypnotising, and unwary humans could be easily led astray by her dance.
She had assumed that she was alone, when she had been dancing through the village. But clearly, she had forgotten to make sure that no one was looking out of their windows. So she supposed that this time, it was her fault that a human had followed her all the way out to this empty wilderness, to what would have been certain death. She wondered if there would be any way for her to make up to him, for that.
So she supposed that, for now, she was responsible for this human. Slowly, she rose from her throne, making her way down the steps so that she could walk out from the throne room. One night, she reminded herself. She only had to live with a human being for one night. After that, he would be on his way home, and she could forget about her mistake in causing him to stray away from the humans.
Teiru Sukone, her favourite winter sprite, suddenly appeared at the large wooden doors that led out of the throne room. He was loyal to her, and that was all she wished for, from her servants. ''Your Majesty,'' Teiru spoke, his voice soft. ''I have done as you have requested. The human is now sleeping in the room next to your own,'' the silver haired sprite hesitated. ''Should I concoct a mixture to soothe your presence?''
Miku blinked, considering his words. Finally, she shook her head. ''I doubt that there's any need, Teiru. He is already asleep, if what you have said is correct. He is a strong willed mortal - I do not think that even my presence will be enough to tamper with his consciousness, if he is already trapped in his dreams. But I thank you for your suggestion. I wouldn't have thought of that, otherwise,'' she inclined her head.
Teiru nodded, respecting her decision. Teiru was one of the numerous winter sprites who served her, the Ice Queen, but she trusted him the most, out of all her sprites. She knew that he would never reveal anything which happened at her home, not unless she specifically told him to do so. His unwavering loyalty to her made her treat him as more than a mere servant - in fact, theirs was more of a friendship than anything else. ''Is this wise, Your Majesty?''
Miku shrugged at the query, noting the faint look of concern which filled his crimson gaze. She knew that Teiru was simply worried, that she would once again fall for a mortal and end up breaking her own heart - and hastily, she reassured him of otherwise. ''You need not worry. I don't feel...as though he interests me in that way. He will not have a chance to break my heart...nor I his. You can rest assured of that.''
Teiru nodded. ''Then I shall take my leave, Your Majesty,'' his crimson gaze lingered curiously on her, and then he quickly bowed, departing from the throne room. Miku heaved another sigh, gazing at the spot that Teiru had just left. She knew that she would be in for a sleepless night, wondering about the mortal and his unknown background - but why should she care? She was never going to see him again, anyway.
Maybe she ought to do as Teiru had suggested and drink a calming brew? Her sprite presence, which was stronger since she was a royal, was very assertive, and her essence could seep into and infiltrate the dreams of mortals...especially when she was in such close proximity to them. Len Kagamine was sleeping in the room next to hers, and worryingly, she was unable to control her presence whenever she was asleep.
But she decided otherwise. She was one of the few known sprites in the world who were allergic to calming brews - drinking them suppressed her assertive aura so much that she felt nauseous. Len was strong willed - he would be more than capable of blocking her aura from infiltrating his dreams. Hopefully. Because whenever her presence played in the dreams of mortals...the results were never pretty.
Tiredly, she decided to retreat to her room. To regain her magical energy as quickly as possible, she needed to rest. Maybe this time, she would be too tired for her aura to leave her, and seek out mortals' dreams to engage in mischief. She hated it whenever that happened - there was never any telling what her aura would do, not until it returned from the night.
Len felt cold arms wrapping tightly around him once again, but this time he didn't feel suspicious about her touch - in fact, though it was cool, it wasn't cold, and he found it strangely pleasant. ''You're a mortal, are you not?'' she whispered, and he could feel her icy breath brushing lightly against his skin.
Somehow, in that breath of crisp, cold air, he could scent winter roses. Christmas roses, those beautiful blooms which opened only during the long, cold winter months. It was fitting, that the Ice Queen would smell like the roses which opened during her season. ''I'm a mortal, as you know full well,'' he answered, feeling her arms tighten subtly around him. One of her hands reached up, lightly cupping his cheek.
''You know, I hadn't meant to lure you all the way out into the darkness,'' she whispered, her voice once again reminding him of icicles. ''I forgot...to make sure that no one was looking out of the windows, before I began to dance. And because of that, you followed me. I suppose that it's true, then - that mortals find the dance of a seasonal sprite dangerously mesmerising. Didn't you try to resist following me?''
''No. I didn't,'' he watched his breath mist, forming a white cloud before him. ''But then, I suppose that's why we're warned not to gaze out of the windows for too long. Lest we glimpse one of the sprites, and be led astray by them. Like the way I was, isn't that so?'' he laughed bitterly. ''But why were you dancing in my village?'' he asked, suddenly curious. ''Why hadn't you danced...further away from there?''
Her arms unwound from around his waist, and he found himself strangely missing her cool touch. Was this real? Was this a dream? He couldn't be sure. ''It had been so long since I had last danced in Winter, feeling the snow falling gently on my body,'' she whispered. ''I hadn't been concentrating on where I was going, and my feet brought me to your village, of their own accord. I hadn't steered myself there.''
''You went to my home instinctively?'' he turned around to stare at her. The teal haired Ice Queen regarded him impassively, her green eyes meeting his. ''But why?'' his next words came out as barely more than a whisper. ''What could possibly have attracted you there? Are winter sprites interested in mortals? Are we all some form of passing fancy for all of you?'' No one ever knew of what were the mysterious intentions of any of the seasonal sprites.
The Ice Queen was still dressed in the simple clothes that she had been wearing, earlier. The winter wind whipped around her, but she didn't seem to be affected by the chill - rather, she revelled in it. He supposed that this was because she was a child of Winter - she had been born into this season, and she probably found its harsh cold to be no more than a welcoming embrace. Much unlike him.
''More than a passing fancy,'' she murmured, stepping slightly closer to him. He didn't retreat from her - he didn't feel endangered by her at all, though he didn't know why. ''You're all much more than a few brief seconds of entertainment for us, you know,'' her voice lingered in the wind. They were standing in the same snowstorm that he had been trapped in, earlier - except that now, he no longer felt cold.
''Then what are we, to the winter sprites?'' he asked softly. ''If we are not fleeting attractions, then what are we? What do the seasonal sprites ever want from us? There has to be a reason why you appeared to me. Why you had saved me, instead of leaving me to die at the hands of the freezing Winter chill. Are you not the frigidly cold Ice Queen that everyone claims you are?''
''Humans are interesting to us. You are so different from us. More fragile than even the youngest sprite child. We wish to know more of you, and more of your fascinating stories. Your myths and legends,'' her gaze turned pensive. ''I saved you because it was my fault that you were trapped in the storm, to begin with - and I'm not as heartless as you think, to just leave when I'm capable of rescuing someone.''
''So you're not heartless,'' he repeated, not knowing whether to disbelieve her, or not. ''But...legends say that you're heartless. That you feel no compassion, no affection. Do we have that all wrong, then? After all, mortals have returned from the barren lands of Winter, claiming that they have all fallen in love with, and been rejected, by a queen who gave them no more than a single, disinterested glance.''
''I do not seem to love any single person,'' she agreed, glancing away from him. ''But not because I am heartless. I actually have...other obligations. And I cannot accept the affections of any mortal suitors,'' her voice hardened. ''Sprites and humans are completely different, you see. It's like a fish falling in love with a bird - they can never survive with each other. The same holds true, for both of our kinds.''
''Have you ever loved?'' he asked, watching her closely. Her gaze flicked up, meeting his blue one. She arched an eyebrow at the question, then elegantly she shrugged, glancing away from him. Her shoulders tensed, as though she didn't seem to want to answer the question. ''Perhaps you don't have to answer, if you do not wish to, Your Majesty,'' he added, keeping in mind who she was. The Ice Queen...
''It's fine,'' she answered. ''It's just...'' she sighed. ''If you're asking whether I have ever loved a human before, then yes, I have,'' she said slowly. ''I fall for humans easily - I find them so inherently fascinating,'' her voice turned dreamy. ''And I fell for you,'' she added before he could say anything, making his eyes widen in surprise. ''Quick, isn't it? I did say that I fell easily. Ah, but it's daybreak now...''
She began to chant something under her breath, but he covered her mouth. She glanced up at him, her green eyes flickering with surprise. Len bit his lip, wondering what he ought to say - I gained the love of a maiden who legend claimed to be heartless. I suppose that legends aren't as accurate as we would like them to be. ''I'm attracted to you as well,'' he whispered. ''Unwillingly so. But I can feel that attraction.''
Her gaze softened, as he slowly let his hand drop from her mouth. ''But I cannot love you,'' she murmured, before she reached up and pressed her lips to his. He stood stunned for a brief moment, unable to believe what was happening - but then he kissed back, his lips moving against hers. It was a quick kiss, short but passionate, and when she broke away from him, she gave him a single, sad smile.
And then suddenly, everything splintered apart. Len found himself gasping, waking up in his bed...not in the home of the Ice Queen, but in his own house in his village. He felt dazed, wondering what had happened - but then, as he glanced out of the window, he saw the faint rays of the sun, slowly creeping up over the horizon. Then everything came rushing back to him - the dreams, the Ice Queen, everything.
She really had sent him back by daybreak. Although he had wanted to go back home, he found himself wishing that he had been able to talk to her again, about all the dreams he had had last night. Dreams...he had dreamt repeatedly throughout the whole night, different dreams each time, but dreams which always featured the beautiful Ice Queen. Dreams that he couldn't seem to recall at all.
All he remembered was that, throughout the whole night he had been sleeping, he had been awoken numerous times - because of all those dreams. Every single dream which he had had last night had featured the petite tealette, and he had...liked that. Which left little doubt as to whether or not he found her attractive. He felt a little disappointed with himself, that ultimately, he hadn't been able to resist the fierce desire that most mortals felt, upon seeing her.
But, unlike other mortals...he had actually managed to obtain her affections, in return. He wished that he could have woken up in her palace, to see whether that dream was real or not - that final dream he had had, before she had sent him back home. Slight panic filled him at the thought of being separated from her - she had saved him, and he felt indebted to her. In addition to actually falling for the maiden...
How was he supposed to find her again? He still had unresolved matters with her, things which he needed to know. Such as, why was she unable to love him? She had kissed him, had she not? His heart fluttered again, the same way it had last night - perhaps a sign that she was the girl to tug at his heart. He had long wondered who would be able to gain his affections...and it seemed that it was the legendary Ice Queen.
Len was extraordinarily stubborn. Once he had found something that he wanted, he wasn't going to let go, not until he had fully obtained it for his own. His parents said that he was like a dog with a bone, because of that - Len simply was not able to let go of what he desired. He would find a way to get back to Miku - and when he did, he would find out from her, exactly what other obligations she had.
Why couldn't she love him? With that question foremost in his mind, he slid out of his bed, shivering slightly in the cool air - but then, he no longer feared the cold anymore. He wanted more of it...more of the Ice Queen's cold touch. Tiredly, he walked out of his room, walking down the wooden stairs to the common room, where he knew his parents would be. Worriedly awaiting his return from the outside snow.
However, to his surprise, his parents weren't around. Who was around was his fiancée, Luka Megurine - and at the thought, his heart went cold. His fiancée. The girl he was going to have to marry. But how could he possibly marry her when she was not the girl who he loved? Luka, upon sighting him, immediately rushed to him, her pretty face filled with obvious worry. Len smiled weakly back at her, feeling nervous.
Though Luka was pretty, with her long pink hair and flashing blue eyes, her beauty paled in comparison to that of the Ice Queen's. No one was comparable to Miku, with her warm green gaze and silky teal hair. However, Len couldn't afford to daydream about the utter perfection of the Ice Queen now - Luka was coming towards him, and there was murder written on her face. He hoped he could pass her interrogation.
''Where were you?'' she demanded, the concern in her eyes not matching the angry tone of her voice. ''You were out the whole day yesterday, and the whole night too! Everyone thought that you had died, out in that blizzard! Do you know how worried we all were about you?'' she regarded him closely. ''When did you come back?'' she asked, now sounding faintly puzzled. ''And...how did you survive the outside cold?''
She waved a hand helplessly at him, and Len glanced down at himself. He was still dressed in the thin clothes he had worn, yesterday. ''I was waiting here the whole night for you,'' Luka continued, still sounding puzzled. ''And I didn't see you coming home at all. You didn't bring out your winter coat either. So...what happened? Did you run into one of the winter sprites?'' her voice dropped to a barely audible murmur.
Len shrugged, deciding not to lie. ''One of the winter sprites helped me,'' he confirmed, putting on an expression of faint shame, for having caused everyone so much worry. ''They helped me, and sheltered me for the night. Then they sent me back here.'' He neglected to mention that this particular winter sprite he referred to was the Ice Queen - there was no need for anyone to know about that.
Luka bit her lip, still looking concerned, but then she smiled, reaching up to lightly brush her fingers against his cheek. ''I suppose it doesn't matter, so long as you're fine...'' Len smiled back at her, but as he felt her fingers linger against his skin, his eyes flicked over to the nearby window. Then his eyes widened, as he saw a green gaze, narrowing back at him through the transparent glass of the window.
Without a single smile or act of friendliness, Miku turned around and walked away from the window. The flat dismissal tugged at him, and instantly Len knew that he had to follow her. If he didn't, he would never be able to see her again. Not ever. And he didn't like it whenever he left matters unresolved. So, he smiled apologetically at Luka, then dashed out of the house before she could question him.
The Ice Queen was clearly too tired to go back to her home by magic, since she was currently walking...or perhaps she was giving him a chance to chase after her? Len caught up with her quickly, some distance outside of the village, all while ignoring the freezing burn that the falling snow brought to him. His hand shot out, grabbing her shoulder so that she wouldn't be able to walk any further away from him.
Her shoulders tensed, and she whipped around to stare at him, faint surprise in the depths of her hellebore leaf green eyes. ''What are you doing here?'' she asked, her tuneful voice harsh - just like the wintry wind. ''You have a fiancée. You should get back to her - she will not like it, that you have run away again. She might think you do not love her. And Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,'' she quoted to him.
''Are you quoting that for yourself, or for my fiancée?'' he asked, watching her green eyes narrow at him. ''Because...I don't love her,'' he whispered, his fingers sliding down from her shoulder to her upper arm. ''I love you, not her,'' he tilted his head, watching her carefully to gauge her reaction. The Ice Queen's eyes widened at his words, and she suddenly looked...uncertain. Unsure of what to do.
''You can't love me,'' she murmured. ''I...I'm engaged,'' she told him, and he felt himself stiffening in shock. She reached up to her neck, and from around her neck she drew out a ring, which hung from a silver chain. It was a simple ring, made of white metal, with a flawlessly cut, deep blue sapphire stone set in the middle. On either side of the stone, there were two sparkling diamonds. ''This is my ring.''
''Then why are you not wearing it upon your finger?'' he demanded, gazing into her eyes. She swallowed, glancing away from him, her heart suddenly racing. What was she supposed to say, to this mortal who had fallen for her? Who her dream self had revealed her own affections for? For she had fallen for him. The proof of that had shown itself, just now - when she had been watching everything, through that window.
She hadn't liked it when that pink haired girl had touched Len, so affectionately. Miku hadn't liked that at all. She had longed to be the one touching his cheek, instead. She could still recall the feeling of Len's lips upon her own, and she had enjoyed it. His kiss...and she had known, then, that she was in love with the mortal. Why, she didn't know. She just knew that she was strongly attracted to the blond boy.
And likewise, he had fallen for her. In the span of a few hours, because of a few dreams together, they had fallen in love with each other...even though neither of them could love the other. ''I don't wear it because the man I'm betrothed to is someone I treat as a younger brother. I don't love him, not the same way that I love you,'' she admitted quietly, rather unwilling to look up and meet his penetrating blue stare.
Suddenly, she felt him pull her closer, against his warm body. He was much warmer than she was - mainly because he was a mortal, and she was the Ice Queen. ''You know, it's the exact same situation with me,'' his lips brushed against her ear. ''Luka is someone I see only as a friend. I could never treat her as anything more, not the same way I feel about you. If we're in the same situation...then how could there be anything wrong with me loving you?''
Before she could respond, he had kissed her again, like in her dreams - except that this time, he was the one who initiated the kiss. And she could feel herself melting at his touch, at the feel of his soft lips against hers - he was just so warm, and she loved the feeling of that warmth against her own cool skin. His kiss was heated, and she couldn't help but respond, she was so caught up in the hot passion of his touch.
You know something that I don't...your touch can melt the iciness of my heart...even though you know that I will not love you, why do you continue to do this? Why is it that your touch can melt me, even though I can't love you?
''I'll find a way,'' he suddenly pulled away from her, his blue eyes fierce, as though he was capable of reading her thoughts. At the look in his eyes, she shivered - even though she didn't feel any cold. She wondered why she had shivered. Did that mean something? ''I'll find a way for you to love me freely.'' This time, he brushed his lips against her forehead gently as he held her close, his voice softening.
She leant her head against his chest, closing her eyes as she did. For the first time, she noticed his scent - and it reminded her of winter too, in a strange way. He smelled crisp and cold, like mint. Like freshly fallen snow...how odd, that a mortal could carry the scent of Winter. Perhaps that was a reason why she had fallen for him. Because he reminded her of her own season? Or...was there something else about him?
''I can only hope that you will succeed, then,'' she sighed. ''Even if I do not love you.''
Solitaryloner: That was the longest one shot I've ever written. Anyway, I'm sorry if you find it a little rushed, in some parts - since it was a one shot, and it was based off a song, I tried to follow the song's story as closely as possible.
Also, I got tired of typing, so I tried to finish this as quickly as I could. I'm lazy. Anyway, I could turn this into a two shot, because I actually have an idea for what Len's plan will be - but I'm fine with it remaining as a one shot. So...it all depends on you readers.
If you want me to continue this story and turn it into a two shot, then please review and tell me. Thank you for reading this ridiculously long one shot, and have a nice day!
Incidentally, I'm really irritated. I could only post this story using the Doc Manager's Copy-N-Paste function. Every time I attempt to upload something, the Doc Manager tells me that I'm trying to upload an empty document. Does anyone else have this problem?