Kevin broke the kiss and breathed his very first breath back to life after what seemed to be a millennium. He held the small boy in his arms and was afraid of letting go, afraid that if he did the boy would shun him and run away or worse, he'd be turned to stone again and never again hold the boy in his arms. He would lose him one way or another if he let go now.
He saw the boy's expression, it was confused and somewhat dumbstruck with a little hint of shock, but that was to be expected. Kevin did just arose from what was technically his tombstone, embodying it and living consciously alongside Death in Limbo, watching the world as it passed him by and never once experiencing it for himself. It was a cruel fate, one he did not wish upon anyone, not even his enemies he had in his time.
He didn't know how to explain himself but he was determined to be with this boy, despite with what "being with a boy" actually meant to his old-fashioned sense of reality. In his time, homosexuals were hung and assumed to be evil. Kevin personally sought to abolish such discrimination because of an old law that was jaded and full of arrogance and misguided judgments of the world. He personally had no attachment to such old ways, one reason for his rebellious, defiant attitude to most of his elders and parents. However, standing up for the deviants of society was far different from actually being the deviant that was shunned for its individuality and uniqueness that was not yet explained scientifically or biologically and could not be explained by the user.
He was indeed confused of the feelings he felt for this raven-haired prince, and yet at the same knew exactly what it was he was feeling. He was not entirely confident in how to describe it but he knew, it didn't matter. He was awoken by his soulmate who perceived him as something far beyond the expectations of any visitor he has ever encountered, treating him as a person rather than legend, a human being rather than a prince, and alive as if he was never truly trapped in stone like just was two seconds ago. This kid, small and petite, defied a 1000-year-old curse through innocence, compassion, respect, and love. He was the one, the one Kevin had been waiting for, and he couldn't be more happy for finally meet his soulmate. Was this feeling he was feeling truly evil or was it something he has been waiting for for what seemed like forever?
Dee gulped and looked at the statue, blinking his confusion away before reality hit him. The statue turned into a man, an alive teenager not much older than himself. He was curious about how this was even possible scientifically, but he was brought away from his analysis with a now ginger set of lips smiling happily before him. He was even more shocked when the statue spoke.
"Pleasure to meet you, I'm the renounced prince, Kevin." He said, his smiling alerting nothing out of the ordinary of the very confusing new predicament his smaller companion was in.
Dee was not so surprised by whatever scientific possibility had just occurred but by his next few words. "Renounced?" He questioned, unsure of why he had asked that and why he wasn't just a little bit more freaked out by this.
"Well, it has been over a thousand years or so since I was a prince, my time as prince is over. I was never king and I don't have an heir to my own kingdom so I guess i am no longer a prince. Kevin. Just call me Kevin."
Dee looked at Kevin's face before the name registered and then he smiled. "My name is Edd, but you may call me Double D or Dee. My brother is named Eddward so we try not to get people confused." He said happily engaging in conversation with his statue friend without thought of the sudden change in their relationship. He was kind of relieved to get a response back from his silent friend who he was so warm with conversing with just a few moments ago.
"Well, Dee, it's a pleasure to meet you. Can you do me a favor real quick?" He asked curiously.
"Anything." Dee said without question.
"Can you help me sit down...I have been standing for centuries and I could really use a break." He said, the shaking in his legs from the numbness of suddenly having feeling back in them returning and he felt as if he didn't have part of the kid's feet on the ground for support, they'd both topple over and hit their heads.
Dee obliged and helped Kevin slowly but surely down on the platform to sit down, giggling when Kevin laid back, getting the blood flowing to all of his veins and nerves so he could feel the sense of gravity again without it being a phobia of breaking.
"Thanks. Say, why aren't you more freaked out about this?" He asked.
"I have thought of it scientifically, curious as to how it may be possible but I am quite prone to fairytales and one in particular was a tale about a Prince so cold-hearted in flesh, a wizard turned him into stone, forever to remain until his soulmate arrived and captured his heart into a true-love's kiss."
"It was a spirit. But if you knew that, why was I free? The spirit told me that if someone knew of my condition, they wouldn't be able to set me free. That the legend would have to die down till it was the last thing on the person's mind when kissing me and it wasn't out of greed just to meet their destined prince."
"Well, I will admit, I did fall for you but not out of greed of wanting you to be alive so you could be destined to be mine. I fell for you because while talking with you and remaining in your company, it felt like I could sense your soul and that you were truly there for me when I needed comfort or a smile to warm up to. It felt like I have known you for years even when it has only been a few allotted hours of knowing you." Dee explained before he sat down by his new friend and smiled at him. "Besides who could resist a handsome face like yours." He said teasingly but honestly meaning it.
Kevin smiled before he warmly continued. "I always expected a girl to break the spell but the spirit didn't say it would be one, just that it would be a soulmate." He said looking up at the stars for the first time in ages.
"Is it a disappointment being free and kissed by a boy?" Dee asked somewhat shyly and looking a little hurt.
Kevin sat up and looked at the raven-haired boy before he kissed him again. "Not at all. You were different from everyone else who I have met. You treated me as a person, not a statue, and I fell for you as well without realizing it. I am honored to be free because of you." He said burying his face in the boy's neck and holding him closer.
"I appreciate that." He said before he hugged Kevin back.
"Want some food, a bath, and some sleep?" He asked generously.
"That would be lovely. I am also curious about what this thing called a motorcycle is. You mentioned it but never explained what it was, only that it was similar to the cars and royal carriages you were mentioning." He stated, looking eager to know more.
"You really heard that? Wow. Umm, sure, I'll show it to you. I'll even give it to you. It's too big for me to hold up on my own..." He said looking bashfully about his physique.
"You don't have to give it to me. I just want to check it out!" He said looking happy, the eagerness clearly written on his face.
Dee smiled and giggled. "You are quite knowledgable of our lingo. I had half-expected you to speak fancy and pompous-like." Dee asked a little fascinated by something that surpassed the laws of science and human understanding.
"Nah! I wasn't that big of a prince, I was kind of the black sheep in the family so my speech was already a little rugged. I learned a few lingo and dialects over time from various visitors but I still don't know much of the world today. This garden was all I ever knew and it was the thing that changed the least."
"Then we need to educate you." He said happily before he helped Kevin to his feet and helped him walk around a little before he was back on his feet again and able to walk with him to his house. He showed Kevin how to climb up the vines to his room so they could avoid entering the house and being seen. Once they were up in the room, Kevin noticed how different it looked from his ex-fiancé's room centuries ago and how much more modern and different it looked. He liked the look and feel of it and thought the styles were much more his style than it was in his own time.
Dee told Kevin to wait and that he'd be up with some food and water in a little bit. He asked the maid staff to fix him some leftovers from dinner earlier and that he was hungry again. He told them that he could carry it himself but to help him watch out for his parents or his brother.
He returned with the food, warm and reheated, a full water jug on the tray and he set it on his bedside table and smiled at Kevin to eat.
"Eat up! It's steak, baked potato, garlic bread, and salad. Bon Appétit!" He said before Kevin looked at the food questionably.
"How long ago has this cow been butchered and prepared."
"We got it at a store so probably a few weeks." He asked not really knowing for sure.
"And the cooking time."
"Forty minutes plus two minutes reheated." He said not understanding why he was being swarmed with a pile of questions.
"You sure it is cooked? With that little of a time to cook a full cow, it must be fairly rare." He stated.
"Oh! No! It wasn't the whole cow, just steaks. See it was already butchered ahead of time before being bought, and we didn't get a full cow, just the steak parts of it that are the most tender and juicy. And with today's modern technology we can cook things quicker and prepare it easier. Our chef cooked this all himself in less than two hours tops." He explained.
"Oh right...modern times have evolved far pass that of my time's knowledge." He said before he stabbed the meat with his fork and lifted it up whole in order to tear it apart with his teeth.
"Umm, please cut it first... I don't want grease juices on my bedspread..." Dee asked nervously, giving Kevin a disappointed yet sassy pout.
"Cut it? Oh, with the cutlery." He said cutting the food before him yet it was too hard for him to do it on his own, his motor skills still not up to par with his consciousness. He then looked confused when Dee took his fork and knife and cut the meat up like it was butter. It was fast and smooth and his slices were even and fair to each given piece. He was amazed a prince cut his own food with such ease, as if he was able to do so freely his entire life. "Wow, you are a master at this. But then again I dunno how much strength I have in my arms. I haven't been able to move in so long." He complained before he started eating and smiled at the seasoned bites in his mouth, his eyes nearly watering from sheer happiness.
Dee smiled before he went and grabbed a book to read, watching Kevin every so often eat his food like he hadn't eaten in weeks, correction, centuries. He then was amazed by Kevin's ability to gulp down a quart of water in less than five-minutes. He was astounded at what hunger could do to a man when he hasn't eaten in centuries.
Kevin finished and smiled, full for the night and happy he was finally free. He had forgotten what food tasted like and felt like in his stomach. Even though time had stopped for his body's functions, the thought of not being able to eat in so long really created a psychological need for the food even though his body could feel like it has only been less than 12 hours since the last time he has had a meal. He sighed and looked over at Dee, happy to see the twerp so eager to read as if he was lost in the book forever.
"Hey, Dee." He said softly.
"Yes, Kevin?" His companion asked.
"Care to bathe with me?" He teased, hoping for a good reaction from the dork.
Dee was startled by the thought and his entire face and neck turned red. He had never bathed naked with anyone but his brother and that was when they were kids. He was an adult and bathing together seemed too erotic for him to think about but the thought intrigued him nevertheless and he did promise Kevin a bath.
"Alright Kevin, I'll bathe with you, if you promise not to be too loud. I still don't know how to explain this all to my family." He said kind of bashful about bathing with another guy let alone someone he was interested in.
"Alright then, it's a deal! Come on!" He said happily, eager to bathe and finally get to know more about his new soulmate.
Dee smiled and giggled, shaking his head on how weird Kevin seemed to be even though he expected Kevin to be regal and high-and-mighty. Dee put his bookmark in his book and closed it, setting it on his table next to his cushioned chair. He stood up and walked over to Kevin, reaching out his hand to lead Kevin to the bathroom just down the hall.
Kevin took Dee's hand and walked with him, silently and cautiously as they tip-toed to the other side of the hallway to the bathroom, still as big and white as Kevin remembered. It hadn't changed except for the updated appliances, metal, and redone porcelain tiles and tub, set directly in the center of the floor, nearly encasing it like a rug. Kevin looked up at a glass corner with an additional faucet and hose and he went up to it to look at it.
"What's this contraption?" He asked curiously as he opened the glass door and couldn't believe windows could become doors of all things.
"It's a shower. You stand up and bathe rather than sit down and bathe."
"Stand? Why would anyone want to do that?" Kevin asked curiously.
"Because if you want to bathe in a bathtub, you will be more likely to stay in longer than when standing up. If you are standing up, you can quickly shower, wash your hair, and scrub your skin in less time then it would take you to bathe in a tub. Most people take showers nowadays because it is quicker, easier, and it can rinse your hair out faster." He said before he showed Kevin the different pulse settings and how strong the force of the water could be.
"Wow, like a waterfall but also like rain. I'm impressed times have improved so much." Kevin said looking happy more and more with this time frame. He then saw a toilet and was happy to see it. "Oh thank heavens!" He said, feeling the sudden rush in his bladder to go. He has been holding it in for 1000 years and he just drank a full jug of water in 5 minutes.
Double D snickered before he looked away to give Kevin his privacy. He then started to run the water in the tub and checked the heat so it wasn't too hot or two cold. When the temperature was just right he got out of his clothes for the day and stepped in and sighed, enjoying the warmth of the clean water and finally able to take a bath for the day.
Kevin finished his business and left it unflushed until Double D cleared his throat and stared at him to flush it.
"Push the handle down." He said, sounding as if he was scolding a child to remember to flush the toilet.
Kevin looked behind him then he noticed the handle and almost jumped when he heard it flush and watch the water go down. "Wow, impressive." He said again before he too started to undress out of his formal suit and get in the tub with Double D, hoping the plan was still on to bathe together.
Double D kept his hat on even while bathing and it made Kevin a little curious about what was underneath. He reached for the hat but Double D instinctively grabbed Kevin's hand to stop him.
"Please don't." He said, kind of shy and upset that Kevin might see what was underneath.
"Why? What's wrong?" Kevin asked curiously.
"I am just not ready to show you what is underneath." He said sounding as if whatever was underneath was some big secret that he might think Kevin will shy away from it if he saw.
Kevin looked a little sad but his heart was telling him, no matter what this kid says or shows him could not force him to turn away from this little raven-haired teen. He scooted over towards Dee and made him look at him.
"Nothing you can do will make me think differently of you." He said, showing Dee with his eyes and his genuine smile that he meant it and that it didn't bother him with whatever was underneath the weird-looking hat.
Double D looked nervous, his body shivering in the hot water but he knew he had to at least man up to it, not just for Kevin but himself as well. If he hid form everyone he cared for, he was bound to lose them and let it run his life forever. He made his decision and slowly took off the hat, showing the scar on his forehead, it trailing upwards and slightly into his scalp where the hair didn't grow.
Kevin saw the scar and looked at it carefully, noticing Double D's worried expression about what Kevin was thinking about it. All he was thinking was, "What happened?" He wanted to know how Double D got that scar and why he was so ashamed of it. He then realized, that didn't matter, because he was really beginning to like this boy and he knew from the garden that he wanted to be with this boy. His heart was drawn to Dee and he wanted to be with him, despite the obstacles in their way.
He leaned in and kissed Dee's scar, his lips caressing the shattered skin but he knew appearance was nothing compared to the soul. He knew what it was like to be physically scarred, stuck with what you were and not being able to fix it until someone came along and accepted him. He smiled at Dee and Dee looked somewhat shocked that his scar was just kissed, but he was able to smile soon after, happy that he was cared for.
Dee looked up and looked shocked to see his brother, Eddward, standing there in the doorway, looking confused and some what angry. Kevin looked up and was shocked to see Dee's brother ether. All he could think was, "Well, this will be interesting."