Disclaimer: The characters of the Lost Canvas belong to their respective owners, Masami Kurumada and Shiori Teshirogi.


Sweet Apple

Dawn approached, reaching the far east of Rodorio Village. The villagers gradually awoke, ready for their daily chores. But outside the small village, a forest laid dormant. But in a second the birds whistled followed by the rooster crowing.

The wind then slithered by, shaking the coniferous trees. The branches rattled, sending leaves toward the ground where many pinecones laid. Resting on the ground, Regulus shivered from the slight cold. He quickly grabbed his sheet and tucked it under his chin, but it helped little with his problem, his feet exposed.

Regulus then realized that his bed felt hard, and if he moved to a side, he swore he heard a crunch underneath his weight. He opened his eyes and noticed the trees and the clear, blue sky. The morning air pecked his nose with a strong smell of pinecones.

Regulus wiggled his nose, detesting the smell. It smelled strongly of sap.

Regulus then felt a hand touch his chest. It appeared feminine, as he gazed upon it, with their nails neatly trimmed. He pressed his palm against the cold flesh and turned to the owner. A petite female naked, much to his disbelief, lay against his side, with a leg draped around his waist.

Stunned, the Leo could not think. Not that he held a chance when a headache wracked his brain. He brought a hand to his forehead, grimacing at the discomfort.

Letting the seconds drag, he turned to the young woman and took in her appearance. Soft curls cascaded down her back and spilled over her shoulders, covering her small breasts. The sheet, which he realized was a black cape, no doubt belonging to the girl, slipped to his waist and covered her leg. She shivered when a wind slithered by and drew closer to him for warmth.

Regulus rested the black cape on top her and ignored her present state. To a side, resting under a tree, his gold cloth sat, sparkling when a sunray touched it. Underneath him laid his white cape as a makeshift bed.

He pulled her hand away from his chest and made his way toward his dispose garments. By the time he reached for his trousers, she opened her eyes, taking in his nude form. Confusion touched her expression. With her eyes shut, she turned her head and took in the surrounding forest.

That was when it hit her.

She sat up quickly in disbelief and secured the cape above her breasts.

"What?"

She looked toward him, hoping for an explanation, but as he held her stare for a minute she knew he had nothing to offer.

Rising on her feet, she wrapped the cape around her body, wanting to show modesty. He followed her example and put on his trousers, giving her the moment to place on her clothes. With his back turned to her, he summoned his cloth, pleased that he still held somewhat of a normal day.

But, as he turned to her, confusion never hit him as hard when he hardly remembered the events of last night with the young woman in front of him. And he thought she felt the same way.

Regulus sighed.

"I apologize for the distress I placed upon you."

She looked toward the ground, staring at her feet—or perhaps, she focused on the dirt hidden underneath her sandals, smudging her toes brown. Either way, she stood in her place, unable to glance toward his direction, let alone speak to him.

He continued, "I hardly remember last night." He rubbed the back of his neck. "But if I hadn't intervened, none of this would've…"

She knew exactly what he was about to say.

He took another breath. "I apologize. If you must consult the pope of my reckless behavior, I will not stop you. You have every right to punish me."

Her gasp made him look at her.

"It's not your fault. I don't blame you," she said. "I just thought you were…"

"I was who?" he questioned.

She easily shook her head, not wanting to explain who she imagined him to be. Instead, she said, "I'm sorry," and quickly bowed her head before she ran toward the village, leaving him alone in the forest.

Regulus watched her go, a part of him aching to know what she had meant. But instead he focused on returning to his temple, needing to erase away what he had done. And as he scrubbed his cape in a bucket of water, he could not forget her face and her sad smile.

In fact, he knew he would never forget her, not when the blood stain refused to disappear from his white cape.