Disclaimer: I do not own KWMS.

We were both young when I first saw you.
I close my eyes and the flashback starts:
I'm standing there on a balcony in summer air.

"Lady Ayuzawa," a man in formal attire greeted, bowing deeply. "Your arrival has been much anticipated."

"You may spare the formalities around me, Yukimura," Misaki said, nodding her head slightly. "Where's my mother?"

"Mingling with the other guests."

"My father?"

"Cooking up a storm in the kitchen – literally."


"Dining with Lord Shintani."

Misaki sighed, forcing herself to enquire about the presence of one more individual. "My... fiancé?"

"Right here, Princess," a smooth, deep voice blew into her ear.


"Never," Misaki hissed to a highly amused Takumi, "do that again. What did you intend to do, give me a heart attack?"

"Not really," Takumi mused, pressing a long finger against his lower lip in mock thought. "I was quite looking forward to our engagement party next week. But I wouldn't mind putting my newly learned resuscitation skills to use, either."


See the lights, see the party, the ball gowns.
See you make your way through the crowd
And say, "Hello,"
Little did I know...

"Hey, sexy lady," Takumi grinned, running his eyes up and down her slim figure. "You're looking fine tonight. Red dresses suit you well," he added with a smirk.

"If that's what you think, then I'm never wearing red again," Misaki huffed, folding her arms across her chest.

"Aww," Takumi pouted. "But your blush compliments it so well ~"

Oh, he did not just say that.

Misaki was about to argue when Kanou, Takumi's personal attendant, coughed into the microphone.

"Ladies and gentlemen," he announced. "It is time for the Lord and his Lady to open their engagement gifts and give their thanks. May we please have silence until everyone has been properly acknowledged."

Unfortunately for Misaki, the first present she opened contained a short, red cocktail dress.

"Now that'shot stuff," Takumi murmured seductively, slipping a hand casually around her waist. "I hope that someday, you'll be brave enough to model that in front of me."

There was a loud gasp from the guests as the roof broke into two, Usui-style.

"Did you see that?"

"Oh my goodness, is he alright?"

"I swear, her fist wasn't even red in the slightest? What does she do, hit punching bags all day long?"

That you were Romeo, you were throwing pebbles,
And my daddy said, "Stay away from Juliet."
And I was crying on the staircase
Begging you, "Please don't go."


Misaki groaned, turning in her sleep.


She deeply inhaled, throwing a pillow over her face.


Oh, for the love of–

She bolted upright in her bed, threw back the covers and thrust the windows open.

"Usui Takumi," she hissed to the smirking blond standing below her window. "Do you mind? Some of us prefer not to be woken up at 3am in the morning by means of pebbles hitting glass!"

He grinned. "Well, I was taking my... nightly walk, and came across something interesting I thought I'd show you."

Nightly walk...?

"...Okay, I'll bite," Misaki sighed in frustration, much to the amusement of her fiancé. "So, exactly what did you find that was so interesting, you had to wake me up in the middle of the night to tell me?"

His grin got wider. "Come with me and I'll show you."

Should I...? Mom and Suzuna won't notice, it's still very early. But what if...?

Suddenly, the door slammed open, revealing a bright, chirpy male.

"Misaki-chan!" Hinata said loudly, throwing his arms open. "So you are awake! Wishing to the morning sky for my presence, perhaps?" A wide grin etched across his face, he began to advance towards her.

Oh God, this is not happening to me.

"Erm..." Misaki stammered as Hinata drew nearer. "I was, uh... I mean, I couldn't sleep! So I'm, er, about to take a shower, so I'd better get any men out of here!" Laughing awkwardly, she shoved Hinata out of the room and slammed the door behind him.

That was close.

After calming her frantically beating chest, Misaki ran to the window, where Takumi was grinning like a Cheshire cat.

"My competition?" he questioned, one side of his mouth curving up into a lopsided grin.

"Whatever," Misaki dismissed with a wave of her hand. "I don't think I can afford any more weird guys randomly entering my room today. I'll go with you some other time, okay?"

"I'll hold you to that," Takumi said happily, and blew her a kiss. "I'll see you later, Misa-chan." Whistling to himself, he casually walked off.

Misaki hit her head on the window pane. Why do the biggest idiots have to, in some way, relate to me?

And I said...
Romeo, take me somewhere we can be alone.
I'll be waiting; all that's left to do is run.
You'll be the prince and I'll be the princess,
It's a love story, baby, just say, "Yes".

"Well," Takumi said to a deeply pissed Misaki. "This is quite the engagement party, isn't it?"

"Can't I fake sick or something?" she muttered, gathering the skirt of her midnight blue gown in a death grip.

"Sure you can," Takumi said easily. "But," he added, slipping a hand around her waist, "You're going to go back to your room, change into pants, and come and have a nice picnic lunch with me."

Misaki's vein twitched. "I think I'd rather stay here."

"That's no fun," Takumi whined. "And I already had all the food prepared and everything..." He trailed off, looking like a puppy who'd been denied a new toy.

I swear I can hear whining coming from this weirdo.

Misaki sighed. "Fine, I'll go with you! So stop looking like a damn puppy already!"

Takumi's face immediately brightened. "Okay!" he said cheerfully, pushing Misaki towards her room. "Let's go!"

I hate my life. I really do.

So I sneak out to the garden to see you.
We keep quiet 'cause we're dead if they knew
So close your eyes... escape this town for a little while.

"How much farther are we going to go, idiot Takumi?" Misaki complained, impatiently brushing another leafy branch out of her face.

"Not much," Takumi grinned, extending a hand to Misaki. "Need a hand, fair princess?"

"Get lost," Misaki huffed arrogantly, brushing his hand away. "Are you even sure we're going the right way? This place looks more like the Abominable Snowman's hideout than the forest you speak so fondly of."

"You don't trust my sense of direction?" Takumi asked in mock hurt, placing a hand over his chest. "I'm deeply hurt, Princess."

"Just shut up and keep walking."

"There's no need to. We're here."

Misaki's jaw dropped when she saw the clearing. She felt like she was in some sort of Twilight deja-vu moment, the way the clearing was surrounded by healthy, bright green trees dotted with tiny white daisies and pretty little violets – her favourites. The trees were positioned so that the light that fell through the leaves created an intricate pattern of light and shade onto the warm grass below.

"Wow," Misaki breathed, collapsing onto the ground. "Just... wow."

"I take it that you like it?" Takumi smiled, leaning against the trunk of a nearby oak tree.

"It's amazing," Misaki murmured, gently stroking a violet. "But how did you find this place?"

"Remember my 'nightly walk'?"

"Oh... that."

"Yes, that."

"Well..." Misaki mused, looking up at the clear sky. "I think I would have rather come here during the day rather than at night. This place is beautiful."

Not as beautiful as you.

"Shall we eat, then?" Takumi gestured to the large spread of food waiting nearby. Misaki's stomach rumbled affirmative, much to her dismay. He chuckled at her embarrassed face before gently taking her hand and leading her towards the picnic, just as any prince would do for his princess.

'Cause you were Romeo - I was a scarlet letter,
And my daddy said, "Stay away from Juliet."
But you were everything to me,
I was begging you, "Please don't go."
And I said...

"Oh, you did not just do what I thought you did!" Hinata challenged, hands balled up into fists by his chest.

"Your memory isn't leaving you, I guarantee you that," Takumi smirked, casually slouching with his hands in his pockets. "In the words of a third-rate idiot, I just did what you thought I did."

Hinata growled, preparing to launch himself at his smirking rival with all his might. He crouched, ready to pounce.

The door directly behind them was suddenly thrown open, revealing a very pissed-off Misaki. "Look," she hissed, rubbing her temple. "If you two idiots are going to rip each other's throats out, could you do it elsewhere? I can't organise my files in peace with this noise."

"You see?" Takumi sighed, shaking his head in mock pity for the idiocy of Mr. Third Rate. "You're disturbing the poor princess." He moved to stand next to Misaki, who had her arms folded across her chest. She immediately pushed him away before re-entering her room, slamming the door behind her.

"Excuse me?" Hinata challenged, his voice rising in volume. "You're the one who's disturbing her, and I'm the one who's being accused?"

"Well, it is your fault, not mine."

"Why, you–!"


Romeo, take me somewhere we can be alone.
I'll be waiting; all that's left to do is run.
You'll be the prince and I'll be the princess.
It's a love story, baby, just say, "Yes".

Misaki sighed, rubbing the towel hanging around her neck against her wet hair. Bringing a hand up to her chest, she fiddled with the collar of her short white bath robe.

A wolf whistle sounded from the door.

Misaki let out a little, "eep!", jumping slightly. Leaning against the door was none other than –

"You've gotta put more clothes on before you leave the bathroom next time, Princess. With those legs of yours, anything could happen when you got a handsome, single male in the room," Takumi grinned seductively, winking at her.


Romeo, save me, they're trying to tell me how to feel.
This love is difficult but it's real.
Don't be afraid, we'll make it out of this mess.
It's a love story, baby, just say, "Yes".

"N-No! I-It's not what it seems..." Misaki glowed bright red as she trailed off.

"Oh?" Takumi smirked, cocking an eyebrow. "Then, pray tell me what you've been doing outside my room for the last ten minutes, Princess."

Misaki twiddled her thumbs nervously, staring at the ground and letting her hair hide her bright red face. "I, uh..."

"Couldn't sleep or something?" Takumi finished for her in a playful tone.

"...Yeah." Takumi blinked. Huh?

"So you decided to come here because..."

"I... thought... y-you might be able to..." Misaki trailed off, embarrassed.

"...Might be able to what?"

"...help me." She whispered the words as if they were part of a forbidden language.

Whoa. Takumi definitely had not seen this coming.

"Well, Princess, you've struck lucky tonight. I happen to have lots of extra room in my bed," Takumi grinned, holding his door wide. "Come on in."

Misaki mumbled her thanks, shuffling awkwardly into his room and towards the giant four-poster bed in the back corner. Takumi smiled, closed the door and went to catch up with his fiancée, affectionately slipping an arm around her waist. He held the covers while Misaki climbed gratefully into his enormous bed, and when she was comfortably settled, he gently tucked her in.

"Sleep now, fair Princess," he murmured, placing a soft kiss on her temple. Walking around to the other side of the bed, he climbed in, careful to stay on the other side of the bed. Seconds later, he felt a tiny nudge.

What the...

He turned his head slightly to see that Misaki had pressed her face into his back. If she had been awake earlier, she certainly wasn't now. The peaceful expression that donned her face looked somewhat abnormal, but suited her nonetheless. Or so Takumi thought.

Sighing, he turned and wrapped his arms around her, cradling her to his chest. He noted the following morning that he felt a lot more well rested than normal, and that the bags under Misaki's eyes weren't as dark as they had been yesterday.

I got tired of waiting
Wondering if you were ever coming around.
My faith in you was fading
When I met you on the outskirts of town.

"Hey, Sis," Suzuna pressed, taking a dainty sip of her tea. The afternoon skies had cleared, creating a warm, vibrant atmosphere. Misaki and Suzuna had taken this opportunity to have a sister-to-sister talk over a nice afternoon tea. "You look really happy with Takumi Big-Bro. Are you actually looking forward to your engagement, and not despising it the way everyone thinks you are?"

Misaki spat her tea out onto the trim lawn in a most unladylike manner, coughing. Trust Suzuna to voice her thoughts in such a blunt fashion. "Wh... Wha...?"

"Ah, there's that expression again," Suzuna said matter-of-factly, gazing somewhat flatly at her sister's bright red face, traces of saliva and Darjeeling tea around her open mouth. "Takumi Big-Bro was right – you really aren't good at telling others what you feel."

"Pray tell me what you and Takumi talked about," Misaki pressed, making a mental note to beat the living daylight out of her fiancé if he said as much as a word about anything embarrassing.

"Things. The growth of the garden flowers, the tardiness of the maids, your inability to communicate properly, that sort of thing," Suzuna said, nibbling delicately at a cucumber sandwich. "Mm, yum."

That sort of thing...? Misaki's head was swirling. Exactly how are those topics of discussion related?

"Anyway, you haven't really answered my question, but I probably know the answer anyway," Suzuna said, standing and brushing the non-existent crumbs from the skirt of her chiffon dress. "Thanks for the tea, Sis. See you later."

"H-Hold on a sec!" Misaki stammered, motioning for Suzuna to stop walking. "You... You're not going to tell Takumi about any of this, are you?"

"Of course not," Suzuna said with a straight face before turning away and walking back to the mansion they called home.

"...and when I asked her what you told me to ask her, she went bright red, spat out her tea and was basically incoherent for the rest of the afternoon," Suzuna summarised to an amused Takumi.

"So you think it's time?"

"Definitely. But you probably shouldn't do it if she's drinking anything. The maids are wondering how to get Darjeeling tea out of velvet."

And I said...
Romeo, save me, I've been feeling so alone.
I keep waiting for you but you never come.
Is this in my head? I don't know what to think.
He knelt to the ground and pulled out a ring and said...

"Good grief," Takumi said in disbelief, stopping in his tracks. "Misaki, what on Earth are you doing?"

"Nothing!" Misaki said, flushing bright red with a pair of wooden chopsticks clenched tightly in her right fist. In front of her was a large pot of some sort of black concoction releasing dark, presumably toxic fumes.

"If I'm not mistaken, you're trying to cook," Takumi pressed, his jaw dropping open slightly. He didn't dare take another step into the kitchen in case whatever she was attempting to cook exploded right there and then.

"S-Shut up!" Misaki yelled, scrunching her eyes shut and growing even redder. "T-This is just practice! I... I can cook much better than this...!"

"Yeah, right," Takumi muttered, rolling his eyes.

"I heard that!" Misaki protested angrily.

"You know what?" Takumi said suddenly, stepping forward and grabbing her hand. "Let's eat out. I don't think my stomach can handle another one of your... dishes, no offence."


Marry me, Juliet, you'll never have to be alone.

I love you, and that's all I really know.
I talked to your dad ‒ go pick out a white dress
It's a love story, baby, just say, "Yes".

"Aaalright-y," Takumi said in a monotone voice, throwing open the doors of Misaki's wardrobe. "I think a change of clothes is necessary before we begin our dinner date."

"Hey, isn't this supposed to be my decision?" Misaki opposed, hands resting on her hips defiantly.

"We'll start with this." Withdrawing a white dress from the wardrobe, he proceeded to toss it to her.

"This?" Misaki stared in disbelief at the dress. "But it's so frilly! That's disgusting–!"

"It's kinda short, don't you think?" Takumi pressed on, continuing to rummage through her selection of clothes.

"This dress touches the ground, you idiot–"

"Put these on underneath."

"Huh!?" Misaki said disbelief. "Pantyhose!?"

"Hm... Have you ever worn these before?" Takumi wondered aloud, holding up a pair of long white gloves. "The weather's getting a little chilly, and we can't have you catching a cold. Wear these." The pile of white was slowly growing in Misaki's arms.

"Your flats are nice," Takumi said, mostly to himself, glancing briefly at her silver-grey flats. "But I think you're in need of a little height boost. Put these on, and try not to twist your ankle or anything."

"These are at least ten centimetres tall!" Misaki protested, but to no avail. Takumi continued to ignore her.

"You're a princess, so why aren't you wearing a tiara?"

"I'm not a princess," Misaki said somewhat forcibly, trying not to lose her temper. "I'm merely a lady of status–"

"Wear this," Takumi cut her off, carefully setting a silver tiara embedded with tiny sapphires on top of the pile of clothes resting in Misaki's arms. "Go get changed, do your hair in a bun, then meet me in the garden."


He was gone. Misaki cursed under her breath and decided it would just be best to change and follow his directions.

Takumi stood impatiently, checking his watch for what must have been the twenty-fifth time in 45 minutes. "What on Earth is she doing?" he muttered to himself, checking his watch yet again.

"Sorry, but my hair wasn't co-operating with me. I just gave up after a while."

Takumi's head whipped around at the sound of her voice, his eyes widening a fraction upon seeing her figure. Her hair lay out, as it usually did, although she had woven a white flower into her hair. Circling her neck was a thin white choker.

"Suzuna caught me on my way out," Misaki continued, tugging on the choker as if it were choking her (AN: No pun intended here). "She insisted on my wearing this thing," – she tugged again at the choker – "and the flower."

"Remind me to thank her later," Takumi mumbled to himself before stepping closer to her. "You look absolutely radiant, fair Princess," he said in a louder voice, taking her gloved hand in his own and kissing it lightly. "White suits you well. Even better than red," he added with a cheeky smirk. He was rewarded with a bright flush of red rushing to her cheeks. His smirk grew bigger.

"Now, I have one last thing to ask of you before we go to dinner. You already know this was pre-determined by our families, but I'd like to ask you myself before we meet at the altar." With that, he was down on one knee, an open ring box held between both hands.

Well, she thought. This explains the white. She repressed the urge to roll her eyes, let alone grin. He did look rather ridiculous on his knees.

"My sweet Princess, you have captured my heart like no other," Takumi said truthfully. "Your fiery spirit has set my own on fire, and my soul has long since been burning with passion. As it is my selfish desire to keep you to myself and share you with no other, be mine eternally, Ayuzawa Misaki."

Misaki blinked, then burst out into peals of unladylike laughter.

"Does something amuse you, Princess?" Takumi asked innocently, cocking his head to one side.

"Just get up, will you?" Misaki laughed, pulling him up by the collar and looking him square in the eye. "You're so strange sometimes. You know I will be your wife in a short matter of time, even before your proposal."

"Say 'yes', then," Takumi replied, inching closer to her face. "Everyone knows you want it, regardless of any family arrangement."

"Yes," Misaki said immediately, closing the distance between their faces. "I will be yours, for eternity and beyond."

'Cause we were both young when I first saw you

"Don't you dare repeat this afternoon's experience to anyone," Misaki hissed to an amused Takumi later that evening.

"Wouldn't tell a soul," Takumi said, making an 'X' motion over his chest. Misaki nodded, pleased with his response, before kissing him lightly and retreating to her room.

"She's gone, Suzuna," Takumi called. Suzuna stepped out from behind a nearby pillar.

"I told you she wanted you," Suzuna said, folding her arms across her chest.

"Well, duh," Takumi said. "No one could possibly resist this alien's body, could they?"


Inspiration: 'Love Story' by Taylor Swift.

I was going to post this earlier, but it slipped my mind.

Credits and virtual flowers to those who correctly guess the origin of these quotes:

- "Will both of you just shut up!?" (Hint: It comes from a shounen anime, English dub. To be honest, I despise English dubs, but this one was pretty good.)

- "Hey, sexy lady." (Hint: It comes from a song.)

In case you didn't pick it up, Takumi's nickname for Misa ('Princess') is supposed to mock how Takumi calls Misa 'Prez' in the manga/anime. She's not actually a princess – she's just someone of high status.

The title is derived from the English poetic technique known as 'juxtaposition', where two contrasting images are placed side-by-side for effect. You can figure out the rest from there.

For those waiting for 'Cravings', I have to say I'm very, very sorry. Not only am I beginning my final year of high school, but I've been ridiculously busy, even outside of school, and I've (shamefully) run out of ideas. If you've got any strange but plausible meals, I'd like to hear any suggestions.

You know where to go if you want to see the red dress that had Takumi flirting with Misa. I didn't have a particular outfit in mind when Takumi made her dress in all-white, so use your imagination to guess what Misaki looked like when Takumi proposed to her. ;) (For some strange reason, I still can't figure out exactly what I wanted her to wear, even now.)

Reviews would be great.

I'm surprised you actually got through all my blabbering. Well done. :)

AJ out.