new chapter for my lil readers whom i have driven insane without updating!
And, YaoiQueen17, pls don't forget this story, its not dead; ive just been so busy with my other two stories and still one yet to be updated again! Sigh, I guess I learn the hard way to not start a new story without finishing the previous one. But I never learn. Sigh.
on to the story, shall we?
warning: this story contains yaoi and food. Now wht better combo do u want?!
disclaimer : i do not own ben ten alien force! Bummer... or Kevin wud have dropped Gwen and smexed Ben eons ago! Hehehe...
THE FAIRYTALE WAY
Chapter twelve : Apple Pie
Prince Collin smiled as he quickly ran along the corridor of his castle, his goal being the seclusion of his bedroom.
He had promised Michael a slice of pie. Evidently, the blonde had guessed that the prince bore a silent wish to be the first to eat the pie, so Michael had cheerfully suggested that the prince have his pie and call him when he left a slice. And the prince was more than happy to know that Michael was so understanding.
And now, the prince couldn't wait to reach his room.
As he flew through the corridor of his castle, his happened to pass by Duke Samuel's office. And since the door was slightly ajar, the man had spotted the swift form of the cloaked figure.
"Collin! Come hither!"
Collin froze outside the room, away from the sight of the man who sat at the desk. A small moment of contemplation told him that he had better keep the sight of the basket with the pie out of sight. Folding his hands behind his back, thereby hiding the pie and the basket, Collin put his beautiful head into the room, hair slipping to one side, "Yes, Uncle?"
The man's blue eyes stared at the head peeping in.
"Are you just going to stand there, Collin? Come in!" he smiled as he continued the write on parchment with a long beautiful feather quill.
Collin stepped into the room and walked up to the desk silently. He did not speak, and the only silence in the room was the gentle scratching of the quill against the texture of the paper.
Samuel looked up, looking at Collin through his rimless reading-spectacles, "Well? Have you nothing to say?"
Collin looked confused and uncomprehending for a moment. Clearly, his mind was still in the basket hidden behind himself, and the treat that was soon to melt in his mouth like ecstasy; hence he could not interpret what his uncle was inquiring.
Samuel sighed, and set his quill down. Lacing his long fingers together, and resting them on the table, he smiled, "I mean to ask, how did your excursion go? After all, yours is not a small kingdom for it to be completely inspected in a day's time, that too, only a few hours? So, did you enjoy the small time you spent?"
"Oh, exactly..." Collin blinked, calming his voice that threatened to betray signs of impatience, "I could see only a little of the kingdom in the given time because it is so large. Hence, I may have to go for an inspection tomorrow as well."
And see my new friend Benjamin again...
Samuel paused, "Well, a tour, again?" he narrowed his eyes at the small observation of Collin standing with his hands folded behind his back. His blue eyes travelled back to the fair face.
"Uncle, it is not that I have much to do here besides indulge in never-ending luxury! And let you deal with paperwork that I am yet to mature in. And my sword-fighting classes which I can afford to ask my teacher to postpone to a later time of the day. Is it not a benefit if I were to see my kingdom and observe it as a citizen than as a ruler? It will help me understand my people and also any problems which do not reach my ears! I have yet to visit the rural areas and inspect the conditions of it."
"Ah, I see, you don't have to speak with so much feeling here..." the duke smiled, until his grin suddenly fell, as he sniffed the air gently. Furrowing his golden eyebrows and looking around, he spoke, "What is that curiously pleasant smell?"
Samuel's azure eyes fell on Collin whose face looked a little strained. Blue eyes narrowed at him, and Collin bit his lip.
Samuel got up from his seat, his fingers still spread on the desk. He leaned forward and spoke, "Collin, come forward."
Collin blinked and did not move. The duke raised an eyebrow, "Collin..." he whispered warningly. The prince had no choice but to step forward till he stood inches away from the desk. The duke pressed more forward, for the table was rather big by width and length.
He took a good inhalation of the prince.
"Flour, dough, fruits and sugar...?" he listed them as he recognised each, and finally he exclaimed, "Collin! Why ever do you smell of confectionary?!"
Collin's tawny eyes widened. He worried his lower lip, "Well, I ..."
Samuel spotted the hand-behind-back posture and spoke in a low hiss, "What are you hiding behind you, son?"
"Nothing! Nothing at all!" Collin gasped. All too suspiciously soon.
Samuel gave him a long look. His blue eyes commanded although his lips didn't move. Show me what you're hiding, Prince Collin.
Collin sighed in defeat. Timidly, he brought his silk-clad hands forward and held out the pretty brown basket. Samuel looked down at it in awe. It was obvious what was in it by the sight of it, and the waft of delicacy only cemented his conclusion.
Looking back up at the reddish face of the embarrassed prince, Samuel burst out laughing, "Goodness, my dear nephew! You went to town in disguise, worrying me without taking any guards along, and taking the trouble of lying to me, all just to buy an apple pie?!"
Collin puffed out his cheeks, "Well I never!" having expected a very angry duke, and been rewarded one who was guffawing to himself in glee, Collin crossly folded his hands with the basket dangling at his elbow, and asked indignantly, "And what is there to laugh about, pray tell?"
Samuel moved back, and sat into his chair again, still shaking in gentle laughter, as he removed his glasses gingerly and with his free hand he swiped the length of his forefinger across under his eye, "My dear child; why did you take all the trouble simply for a pie?! Lying to me and then sneaking away?"
Collin sighed as he answered with an apologetic grin, "Uncle, I wasn't exactly lying. You see, I met... a man at the Ball, one who I learnt was rather good with the people and knew all parts of the kingdom well. And also happens to have acquaintance with the Green Shadow. And the man I met at the Ball, is a baker by profession. After having been saved by the vigilante, I was struck with the desire to thank him, and I saw only this baker as the solution to sending Green Shadow my thanks."
Oh dear! I just remembered I had forgotten to ask Benjamin about Green Shadow! Never mind... I shall do so tomorrow...
Collin didn't consider it useful to the duke to mention that he also wanted to be the pretty brunette's friend.
Samuel, having regained his composure and serious air, nodded for Collin to continue.
"And along with my wish to send a message of thanks to Green Shadow, I decided it would be best to know of my kingdom and its situations from such a man who knows my kingdom's deep areas from top to bottom!"
Samuel hummed, and then asked, "Then, why didn't you tell me so in the first place?!"
Collin grinned, a rather beautiful sight even for the duke, "Well, I assumed you would consider me childish and not agree to my whim ..."
And I feared I would not be able to meet Benjamin, as a result.
"Dear Collin; you are the future king of this land. I have no right to prohibit any of your wants, unless it questions your safety. And as far as I think of it, your decision is quite justified and good-hearted. I take pride to know that you show eagerness for the welfare of your CrollouBelle."
Collin beamed softly. It was relief to know that his uncle accepted his wishes, and did not think him childish.
"And besides, uncle, I can trust him, for when I showed him that I was the prince, he did not burst into a rush of rapturous flattery, but instead acknowledged my want and has agreed to help me."
"Oh, is it? Then that is quite the relieving matter!"
The two lapsed into a silent gaze at each other.
"But you just had to buy a pie?" Samuel chuckled in a tease, "Even when you have as renowned a chef as Gaston being your personal cook so as to make the best of the best delicacies for you?"
Collin smiled, "Well, I went to a bakery, uncle! Firstly, it would be rude of me to just walk in and walk out without purchasing anything! And secondly, well, you do know of my fondness for apple pies no matter who makes them."
"Yes, that I do!" he laughed, shaking his handsome head, and lifting up his quill, seeing the matter at hand was no longer requiring of interrogation, "You may proceed your hasty retreat to your room, as I assume it?"
Collin grinned again, bowing in respect, "Thank you, uncle!" before quickly spinning at his heels and walking to the door. Samuel watched him, surprised to see the prince in such high spirits. Usually, not a lot of things could make Collin as radiant in the face as this pie seemed to have achieved. Something told Samuel that there was more to than just a pie being responsible for his nephew's light-hearted happiness.
"Collin?" his voice called out just when Collin reached the door and had grasped the golden handlebars in his long fingers. Turning around, he spoke, "Yes, uncle?"
"Save me a slice, would you?" he smiled slyly, his blue eyes on the parchment where sounded the scratching sound of his speeding quill running over its surface.
Collin beamed, laughing, "Of course!"
Collin happily sprinted across the corridor, his face sporting a smile of eager anticipation. The maids and man-servants that happened to pass by would gape; for it was the first time they had seen to their surprise that the otherwise regal and mannered prince who would walk in respectable, slow and etiquette-laced strides, was now running like a happy, liberated teenager, his cloaking gently fluttering at his quick steps, a basket dangling at his elbows.
Two maids, who were mopping the glossy floor with long mops, gaped at the running man.
"My! What a brilliant dazzle of a smile!" she gasped, pressing a hand to her cheek in awe. She and her friend had caught sight of Collin's excitement.
"I have rarely ever seen a smile like that! Goodness, if the prince smiles like that every day, I might as well die from the beauty of it!" the other sighed.
The prince closed the door behind himself as he walked into his room, breathless. He was not even quite sure why he had been running, as if being chased, yet, he was surged with eagerness which he could not suppress.
He removed the cloak from around his shoulder and dropped it on the bed. Sitting down at the side of the four-poster bed, he placed the basket on his lap. Gingerly, pulling away the white cloth, and opening his lid, a waft of warm apple pie emanated upwards and flourished his senses. Smiling, he noticed the complementary fork and knife that Benjamin had encased within for him to use.
How thoughtful, he must have assumed I wanted to eat it during the carriage-ride!
It just made things easier, considering he would hate to have to wait for a servant to fetch him a fork and knife.
Removing the pie and the plate underneath it from the cage of a basket, he set the basket aside and placed the plate on his knees. Holding the plate carefully with one hand, he sliced off a sound triangular portion with the knife and set that cutlery aside. He then braced his fork in his hand, and pressed it into the pie, watching the delicious sight of the creamy orange filling, oozing out as he lovingly wounded it.
Lifting the loaded fork to his mouth, he smiled as his lips closed around it.
The prince was running again, down the corridors, long legs moving elegantly, hair fluttering a little, a basket dangling at his arms. After nearly falling unconscious at the taste of the most delicious pie he had eaten in his life, Collin wanted nothing more than to show it to Gaston first.
He pushed open the door of the large kitchen that Gaston used personally all for himself.
The chubby man was busy sautéing as the prince walked in, calling, "Gaston! Oh, Gaston, look what I have brought to you!"
The man turned around. Gaston resembled a large roll of dough, or a cherubic muffin, he was huge around the girth and height. He wore his traditional spotless white uniform, with the mushroom-like hat. His swelling fair face had tiny beady black eyes, over which roamed very faint but expressive eyebrows. With a button of a nose, and a pencil-line moustache over puckered pink lips, he was a very friendly man who loved to guffaw and pamper his prince. His chubby hands however could create the most amazing dishes like magic. He hailed from France, having translated his love for food into a talent that had caught ten year old Collin's tastebuds when he visited a Restaurant he worked at. Since then, Gaston was given the job of being Collin's personal cook.
"My, my, prince Collin!" he laughed with his voice heavily weighing in French accent, "Aren't you a very rare sight today! If it is another helping of cream-rolls, then I must admit, it is not going to do you any good health, Prince!"
Collin ran up to him across the length of the large and well-staffed kitchen that Gaston reigned. The other cooks would bow as the prince passed by, smiling as they would at times listen to the two talk.
Collin beamed, holding out the basket to his friendly cook.
Gaston's tiny eyes peered at the object, and he wiggled an eyebrow, "What is this?"
"Its a pie I bought today from Bertha's Bakery!"
"Bertha's Bakery?" the larger of the two mused, placing the sautéed tomatoes aside, and placing a stubby finger on his nearly-not-there chin, "Ah, I have heard it is quite famous!"
"Here I give you, the reason!" Collin didn't even wait for the man's request. He pulled out the plate from the basket. Gaston chuckled to see half the pie gone, which was not a surprise considering it had spent time with Collin of all people. The other half was sliced to pieces of three. One for Gaston, one for Uncle Samuel and one for Michael.
"I tell you, Gaston, you shall not believe how it tastes!" Collin's brown eyes shone in sincere honesty. Gaston stepped back a bit, internally happy to see the rare but pleasant sight of the otherwise quiet and composed prince.
For humour, Gaston puffed his chubby cheeks, and placed his stubby hands at his bulging hips, demanding in mock indignance, "What?! A pie, not made by Gaston, praised so highly by my prince?! I shall not have it! Give me the slice, boy, and I shall give you my verdict!"
Collin beamed as Gaston pulled out a fork from nowhere, (possibly his pocket), and scooped a generous mouthful on it from his slice. Lifting the fork to his mouth, his little lips opened and attacked the piece.
"OH MY..." Gaston dissolved helplessly, his lips forming a curved smile even with the fork deep in his mouth. His eyes were closed as he savoured the delicacy, "Goodness, I do not blame you, Collin, this cook rivals even me!"
Collin laughed openly as the chubby man finished his slice in a second's time. Smacking his lips, Gaston sighed, "Such fine, delicate composure, like music! The perfect blend and the right amount of apples! The tenderness and the firmness of the mould! Such strong hands the cook must have to wield such soft dough!" Gaston sighed, pressing a hand to his chubby cheek.
His beady eyes looked at Collin, sparkling, "Who, tell me, made this? I think I'm in love!" Of course, the elderly man was joking about the second comment.
Collin smiled, "You say that the cook must have strong hands? You will not believe the sight of him, Gaston!" Collin looked into the air, his eyes distant as he described, "His name is Benjamin. He is younger than me by age I suppose, but then again, even if he were older, he would not look so, for I tower him! His eyes are the greenest of the green emeralds, as sparkly as the gems that adorn our treasury! His form is slight and gentle, he might even be described feminine in build! Such long slim arms that had no brawny muscles, and such a curved abdomen and hips! And... oh." the prince stopped when Gaston looked at him oddly.
Collin felt his face go warm as Gaston gave one of his knowing smiles.
"Oh? Eyes like the greenest of green emeralds..? Long arms, curved abdomen and hips..? Feminine?" he smiled, lips pouting in glee as he leaned to bow down from his great height and look the prince in the eye, "Is the famed prince smitten, if anything?"
Collin stepped back, his cheeks berry red, "S-smitten? What ever do you mean?! Benjamin is a man, for heaven's sake, not a lady!"
"Well, surely yes," Gaston continued his smile, winking, "But Gaston has never quite heard you speak with such... feeling!"
Collin lowered his eyes to the floor, and then looked back up, to laugh and shove playfully at the large arm. Not that it made much of an impact. "Come along, now, Gaston! You are just toying with my mind!" he added shyly.
"Maybe I know my prince really well?" Gaston put forward in pride. Collin sighed in reply.
"Alright, I shan't bother my prince," Gaston laughed, "But my, when you say the cook is of such light form and young age, it surprises me what skill he possesses to create a marvel as what I have tasted now!"
"Isn't it? He works on multiple orders a tthe same time, and yet manages to make each one so tasty! He really must be a great baker, for after all, the great Gaston himself decides to praise him too!" Collin smiled agreeing, "And I have officially befriended him! He has promised to show me places of CrollouBelle! And one day, I shall bring him to you, Gaston," Collin turned, collecting the rest of the pie into the basket, while he spoke.
"...and then you will understand why I speak with such feeling. Benjamin is beautiful. And this may be the first time I have known someone who is, (I beg you forgive me for my lack of humility) more beautiful than me, to my eyes."
Gaston grinned, seeing the child-like halo around the prince's head with the excitement of having a good friend for the first time. It did him good; the young man was (and had been) far too serious for his youthful age.
Gaston smiled. He had always loved this young man; he was a friend to him, or better said, like a rotund father. No one in the castle or kingdom could speak to Prince Collin as casually as Gaston could. Gaston was Collin's real advisor. As a young child, he would sit hours on end in this very kitchen, listening to Gaston narrate tales of his youth, where he had been an extremely handsome Romeo and had quite the many lovers, and also his heroic adventures with food. Collin would also watch the magic he created with food, and grew fonder and fonder to sweet things that the dumpling of a man would weave for him.
Gaston knew Collin's mind really well. He knew what he needed was not a cook twice his age for a friend. He needed a person of the same age. Maybe this 'Benjamin character' would be a boon to him. Or maybe even more?
Gaston smiled in thought, a thin eyebrow rising as his mind trampled down rather nasty lanes of romance.
"Gaston! I have NO interest to know what you are thinking, but for the Gods in Heaven, please stop!" Collin gasped with a look of embarrassment in his chocolate eyes.
By the time it was night, Collin's eyes gleamed in the darkness. He sat on his bed, dressed in his feather-soft silk night gown. Long legs folded and hands in his lap, he stared at the two cloth articles he had laid on the bed in front of him.
Green Shadow's white glove. Benjamin's dark emerald coat, which he had fetched from the guests room.
He stared at both the items and smiled. Ironically he had no clue he was gazing at the property of the same person. All he saw was the glove of the man who saved his life, and the coat of a man who had knotted his heart in confused joy.
Collin reached out and gently touched the soft green fabric of the coat, remembering the brunette who had worn it during his birthday. The elegance, the smile, the selfless helping, the waiter-gait, the laugh and smile, the soft talk and respectful nods. And the Benjamin he saw today. The humbleness, the soft hands working like iron, the beautiful body, the accepting smile, the green eyes sparkling as they gazed up at him in awe, again the soft flour-dusted hands that created the delicious pie, the hands he had held from behind a shelf of chocolate slabs.
A slow smile crept upon the thin royal lips.
I can't wait to meet you tomorrow, Benjamin. And I hope you know Green Shadow, so I can ask you to thank him for me. I fear I shan't rest till I do. That man... he saved my life... I feel I must thank him... I feel I owe him more...
He blinked and looked at the window that showed the dark of the night between its dark curtains.
Is it normal for one to feel this way for the saviour of one's life?
- End of Chapter –
Poor princey is confused! :D
All the pie-talk in here is making me hungry! Hahah... oh and Gaston is a name I got from a story in Archie comics, where Gaston was Veronica's cook and Jughead wanted a bread pudding in the middle of the night... made from Gaston!
Yeah Gaston is romantic and really perverted in the head. Like me. :D
Ok, and in case u noticed, Collin is not himself, hes usually serious, slow talking, mannered and stoic even. Bu there he's all jumpy and laughy and really kiddy! Yeah, thts what love does to ya. Seriously, you don't become yourself anymore, like as if u switched brains with a kid!
Ok, so... review pllllssssssssss! :D thnk u again!