A/N: It's been a while, and I'm sorry! All of the hard projects that I had to do in school are over, so that frees me up a lot more! I hope you enjoy!

Chapter Six: Gold.

I uncomfortably re-adjust my tie so that it does not choke me as much. The starchy fabric of the crisp white button-down shirt collar rubs against my neck, irritating my pale skin and making it look like I have some sort of fiery skin condition. I flick my eyes around and swallow, perspiring a little on my forehead. Fantastic. The last thing I need is for all of these princesses in front of me to be demoralized and disgusted at a perspiring prince nobody.

Arthur sits in his normal regal and pompous position on his gilded throne, and Father, with his usual hard-as-stone look, sits in between us in his gold-plated throne. Arthur is eyeing a few of the more pretty princesses, winking at them. I am glad to say that a minority of them, at least, roll their eyes and looked away from the eminent annoying aura that is my brother. Father clears his throat.

"Today is a momentous occasion, in which my so- cough- TWO sons choose their beloved. Princesses of all lands across England, Ireland, Whales, and Scotland alike will battle with the articulate battle of dance. Let this ball of soon-to-be-wedded COMMENCE!" He barks in that low, gravely voice of his.

There is an immediate rush of girls who stampede to my brother's side. All clamor to have the first dance. Some young, some old (I swear I see and hear an old woman dressed in faded gowns of lilac and piss yellow shout in a warble that is not unlike a ballad sung by a musically unbalanced chambermaid to have the first look down his silk knickers), some absolutely stunning, some... not so flattering in appearance, some apparently dull, some quick-witted, some barbaric, some as elegant as a butterfly on a spring flight to a nearby butterfly bush. Some do not go to his side. Some stand idly in the center of the room, mumbling to themselves and gossiping. But no princess stands by me. I slump in my throne and sigh, resting my cheek on my chin, letting my eyes wander. Arthur is leading a particularly beautiful girl out to the center of the room. Father gazes at his favorite son through furrowed and approving eyebrows that are sprinkled with the odd grey wisp darting among the blonde mass.

Music, quite boring music begins to play as Arthur and the beauty sashay around the glimmering marble floor. Such boring beauty this is. Such utter boredom.

This boredom is so consuming that I hardly notice the gasp of surprise around me. Startled, I narrow my eyes slightly in confusion. Why were these females staring at me now? Was I really developing THAT much of a sweat?

A gaggle if girls soon surround me. I sit up straighter. What could they all be staring at? All of them seem to be staring at my face. Whispers start up like crackling hisses. I hear the words "eyes" and "gold" repeated over and over. Did the light create an imperfection in my eyes that had to do with gold? It certainly did not have to do with my chair, since (unlike my Father and Brother's thrones) my seat was unpolished, small, and a dull grey.

"C-c-c-c-can I-I h-h-have th-thi-is d-d-dance?" a small voice whispers in my ear. Startled, I whip my head around and come face-to-face with a girl with dull, pink hair, grey-green eyes and a quite sickeningly sweet smile. Wearing glamorous gowns of pale blue and white, her tall figure is well outlined, her chest not identified at all, and her collar bones defined sharply. I don't know what to say. So, I of course stand abruptly and hold out my hand with a swirling flourish. She takes it tentatively, her soft skin brushing my spindle-like fingers. We walk together to the dance floor, she lifting her skirts so she can step forward, me keeping the hand that I held aloft.

We face each other in the marble room, on that shiny floor brimming with shimmering sparkles, gleaming gowns and tiaras, gilded portrait frames, glimmering and glinting eyes like farse diamonds. This gaudy beauty is given a place in a cruel hierarchy made by people who love dominance is apparent.

I bow.

She curtsies, her skirts swishing on the cold floor.

I grip her left hand with my right and place my left hand on her hip. Her delicate fingers are like light brushes from the softest silk on my neck. I suppress the shiver dominating my senses and step forward in the first step of the opening dance. The girl follows along quite elegantly, and soon we are twirling beautifully in this sea of falsities along with the dull notes being strung by strings on the balcony.

Wordlessly, we slip through the fermented lights and sounds of this infamous melody. This girl... this silent, graceful girl is unlike the others, and yet too alike at the same time. She is not stunningly beautiful, she is not unusual, in fact she is the most plain girl I have ever laid my eyes on. But she work up the courage to ask ME to dance, while all the other princesses stared at me for reasons unbeknownst.

Now comes the time where we must switch partners. Her grey eyes flick around in an anxious manner. Sad to see her leave to go to my brother's arms, I ask her name.

With a small stutter, she answers.


Brother's partner was unbearable. All of our dance, she talked only about herself, her hair, herself, herself, oh, and also herself. Sure, she was a beauty, with honey gold hair and sea blue eyes, but I did not like the vibe that was coming from her. Her eyes seemed to be made of sharp ice, ice that seems to be tinted with blood. She smiles a fake smile and says in a smooth, cold voice:

"Your eyes are gorgeous."

I blink.

My eyes?

My eyes are plain! My eyes are nothing but the shade of coal! My eyes are boring, dull. Why does she like my eyes? Why is everyone obsessed with my eyes?!

Questions zoom around my head as we spin, and before I know it, the dance is over. Crona's pale pinkish hair disappears into the crowd, the beautiful girl goes back to a smirking Arthur, and I just stand there. My eyes... there must be something wrong with them! Something terribly wrong with them.

I rush to the nearest water closet and slam the door. I slide the lock into place. I whip myself around to face the mirror and look at my eyes. Only one word comes to my mind before I crumple to the floor out of surprise.