Blah – normal text
//blah// – thoughts
Once upon a time, in a faraway land, there existed a peaceful and prosperous kingdom, the Kingdom of Loire. In this kingdom, the people were all happy, crime didn’t exist, pollution and unemployment were nil, and everyone paid their taxes. Which only happens in fairy tales…hence you can guess what kind of story this is.
This happy, prosperous, and generally unbelievably nice kingdom was ruled by a kind, benevolent young monarch, King Laguna, and his beautiful wife, Queen Raine. Under their wise and just leadership, the Kingdom of Loire flourished…the only thing they were lacking was an heir to the throne.
In the second year of their rule, Queen Raine gave birth to a bouncing – okay, not really *bouncing*…more like…um…healthy if rather sullen – baby boy.
The kingdom rejoiced.
The happy royal couple decided to name their son Squall.
The kingdom rejoiced some more.
King Laguna and Queen Raine decided to hold a Royal Feast exactly one week later to celebrate the birth of Prince Squall. It was to be a grand affair, possibly the grandest the kingdom had ever seen, and everyone in the kingdom was to be invited.
The kingdom rejoiced even more.
The week passed in a flash, and the Big Day finally arrived. The largest ballroom in the castle was lavishly decorated, draped with fine red velvet and deep blue silks of the highest quality, and the chandeliers on the ceiling – all twenty of them – had been polished until they shone (and could you get near enough, you could see your reflection in each individual crystal…but unless you had a really, *really* long ladder, chances were, you *wouldn’t* get near enough). Long tables of hundreds of different types of mouth-watering foods were neatly laid out end to end, containing enough to feed the entire kingdom twice over.
People arrived by the tens of thousands to congratulate the royal parents and pay their respects to the infant Prince. And, of course, to eat the free food. (Trust me, if the King and Queen invited you to eat the Royal Delicacies specially prepared by the Royal Chefs slaving over the Royal Pots on the Royal Stove in the Royal Kitchen of the Royal Castle, you wouldn’t refuse either).
When he was sure that everyone had arrived (and it wasn’t easy, considering he had to tick the individual names off a list of approximately ten million people), King Laguna put his Royal Pen down and rubbed his aching Royal Wrist. Signalling for silence, he stepped up to the Royal Stage, cradling the infant Prince in his arms.
As the trumpeters blew the Royal Fanfare, King Laguna held the baby up in the air, displaying Prince Squall to the crowd the same way he’d seen some guy (that, he thought, had looked remarkably like a monkey) do to a royal baby (which, in his opinion, had looked rather like a baby lion) in some movie that he’d watched a while ago. 
"I present to you…Prince Squall!"
The crowd cheered.
"Speech! Speech!" yelled someone in the crowd…apparently not realising that one-week old babies don’t exactly have a very huge vocabulary.
The crowd cheered some more (apparently, they *all* didn’t have very much experience with babies).
True to his name, the tiny baby took one look at the huge sea of people, scrunched up his face, and began to squall.
The crowd cheered even more.
King Laguna and Queen Raine sweatdropped.
As the afternoon wore on, the guests ate and talked, talked and ate, and generally had a smashing good time. King Laguna and Queen Raine mingled with the guests and made Royal Small Talk, while the baby Prince Squall sat on one of the tables, solemnly spearing the hors d’oeuvres with the toy gunblade his parents had given to him. Everything was going wonderfully.
Smoothing back her long blonde hair, Fairy Quistis daintily nibbled on a Royal Appetiser and smiled at her two companions. "Isn’t this marvellous? The King and Queen have finally produced a heir, and everyone’s happy!"
Fairy Zell grinned back at her, fluttering his iridescent violet wings. "Yeah, and the food’s great too! They actually have hot dogs!"
He busily shoved a couple of said hot dogs into his mouth, an expression of complete and utter bliss on his face.
Fairy Selphie bounced excitedly from foot to foot, tugging on her short sunflower-yellow dress. "Woo-hoo! This party’s really fun! When shall we do the blessings?"
Fairy Quistis glanced around the room, then tilted her head thoughtfully. "Everyone’s almost done eating…we should start on the blessings soon."
"Wemme finth mthng fefft."
"What?" Fairy Selphie blinked in confusion at Fairy Zell.
"Lemme finish eating first," translated Fairy Quistis.
After the guests had finished their food and Fairy Zell had shoved the hundred-and-twenty third (and last) hot dog down his throat, the three fairies were finally ready to begin the blessing of the royal child.
Carefully carrying his infant son (who was still tightly clutching his toy gunblade with flakes of hors d’oeuvres on it), King Laguna stepped up to the Royal Stage again and motioned grandly for silence.
"And now, these – "
The people cheered.
" – three fairies, my – "
The people cheered some more.
" – personal friends, would like to – "
The people cheered even more.
" – will you guys *please* shut up and let me finish?!?"
Obediently, the crowd shut up and let him finish.
"Um, anyway. Yeah. These three fairies, my personal friends, would each like to give the Prince a special blessing."
King Laguna handed Prince Squall carefully to his nanny, who went by the name of Irvine, then looked round at the sea of upturned faces in front of him, millions of pairs of wide eyes all focused on him. "…oh yeah, you guys can make some noise now."
The huge ballroom erupted in loud, raucous cheers.
Fairy Selphie was the first to step up the Royal Stage, her shoulder-length brown hair bouncing merrily.
Nanny Irvine winked at her. "Hey, gorgeous…"
Fairy Selphie giggled, and reached under her skirt –
The crowd (well, mostly the men, anyway) cheered, and Nanny Irvine goggled.
– to pull out her bright yellow wand. (What were you thinking, you hentais?)
Seeing the bright yellow stick in front of him, Prince Squall gurgled and waved his little gunblade around vigorously, managing to spear a hole right through his Nanny’s expensive cowboy hat.
"My hat!" wailed Nanny Irvine, reaching up to clutch his precious hat and almost dropping the infant prince in the process.
Fairy Selphie swooped in and grabbed the baby from Nanny Irvine, tickling Prince Squall and cooing, "awww…he’s so cute!"
The baby prince scrunched up his face at her.
Nanny Irvine grumpily poked a finger through the gunblade-sized hole in the brim of his hat.
Holding the baby up so that the crowd could see, Fairy Selphie smiled brilliantly.
"I bless this Royal Child with beauty and good fashion sense! He’ll grow up to be a gorgeous young man, and dress in sexy stuff like leather and lots of belts! Woo-hoo!"
With these – er –profound words, Fairy Selphie waved her wand, forming the vague shape of the number "1" in a grandiose gesture, over Prince Squall. She then handed the baby back to Nanny Irvine. "There, all done!"
The crowd cheered.
King Laguna sweatdropped at the thought of his son – *son*, not daughter – being beautiful.
Queen Raine sweatdropped as she wondered about Fairy Selphie’s fashion sense.
Nanny Irvine was too busy leering at the pretty fairy in front of him to think about anything else.
"So, beautiful, how ‘bout a date tonight?"
The crowd watched avidly and waited for the fairy’s reply with bated breath.
"Ummmm…okay!" Fairy Selphie grinned agreeably, then playfully tapped the brim of Nanny Irvine’s hat (which was back on his head) with her wand, and flitted off the Royal Stage.
The crowd cheered some more.
Nanny Irvine took off his hat and looked at it.
"The hole! It’s gone!"
He beamed happily.
The crowd cheered even more.
The next fairy to step up to the stage was Fairy Zell. He gently took the baby prince from Nanny Irvine and beamed at the infant.
Prince Squall, seeing the face looming over him, waved his chubby arms around and grabbed one of Fairy Zell’s bangs with his free hand (the one not holding the gunblade).
"No! Not the hair! Not the hair!" Fairy Zell yelped, trying to free his tortured bangs from the surprisingly strong deathgrip of the infant.
The crowd roared with laughter.
Fairy Zell sighed, pulling his blue wand out from the pocket of his oversized blue bermudas. "Okay, okay, I’ll just do the blessing, *then* you let go, all right?"
Prince Squall gurgled and tugged on the lock of hair clutched in his tiny hand.
"Ouch! Um, okay, anyway…I bless this royal brat – er, baby – with the gift of intelligence!"
"Which is something *you’ll* never have, eh, Zell?" Fairy Quistis teased, grinning at the indignant fairy in front of her.
Fairy Zell clutched a hand dramatically to his heart. "You wound me deeply, my dear…"
The crowd laughed some more.
As Fairy Zell waved his wand in the rough shape of an "x" to complete the blessing, Prince Squall finally let go of the hank of hair in his chubby fist. The lock of hair was left sticking out at right angles to Fairy Zell’s forehead.
The crowd laughed even more.
The fairy sighed and handed the baby back to Nanny Irvine, then flitted off the Royal Stage, grumbling about ineffective hair gel and trying unsuccessfully to get his abused hair to stand up straight again.
The crowd was practically in hysterics by then.
The last fairy to step gracefully up onto the Royal Stage was Fairy Quistis. Gently taking the infant from Nanny Irvine, she smiled and cuddled the baby prince. But as she opened her mouth to speak, suddenly…
The Royal Doors to the Royal Ballrooom flew open violently, and a figure clad in blue and black stomped into the room. A deafening silence fell as everyone stopped what they were doing to stare at the source of the disturbance.
Evil Sorceress Rinoa stormed up to the surprised King and Queen. "So…a Royal Feast for everyone in the kingdom, huh? Why wasn’t *I* invited?"
The crowd shuddered.
"WHY?!?" she screeched.
The crowd shuddered some more.
"Um, you *are* an EVIL Sorceress, you know…and generally, people don’t *like* evil," said King Laguna reasonably.
The crowd cheered.
The Sorceress stomped her foot childishly.
"Is that all?!?" she demanded.
"Er, and your fashion sense sucks," supplied Fairy Selphie helpfully.
The crowd cheered some more.
Queen Raine nodded in agreement. "The wearing of two outfits at the same time was outlawed twenty years ago, Sorceress."
The crowd cheered even more.
Baby Prince Squall took one look at the Evil Blue One and burst into tears. Nanny Irvine soothed the infant prince, covering the baby’s eyes with his cowboy hat so that Prince Squall couldn’t see the Evil Sorceress any more. The child quietened down almost immediately.
Evil Sorceress Rinoa glared. "Well, *I* like evil! And I think my outfit’s pretty, so there!"
The King, Queen, Nanny and the three fairies eyed Rinoa’s outfit dubiously and blinked.
The crowd booed.
The Sorceress gave the crowd the Evil Eye. "Quiet, I’m trying to think!"
"Must be hard…" Nanny Irvine smirked.
Fairy Selphie giggled, and Nanny Irvine smiled, gratified.
"Aha!" crowed Evil Sorceress Rinoa triumphantly. "I know!"
Everyone stared expectantly at the Sorceress with some trepidation.
She drew herself up to her fullest height (which wasn’t very tall, anyway), and tried to make herself look imposing and scary. (It didn’t work).
"When the prince turns sixteen," here she paused dramatically, "he will cut his hand on a – on a – um – on something sharp, and will fall into a deep, deep sleep! Then, I shall come and claim him as my own, and we shall get married and live in a little cottage and have lots of children – fifteen, I think – no, sixteen – no…"
She trailed off, an evil smile on her face and a faraway look in her eyes.
"Oh, no!" wailed the king and queen.
Queen Raine burst into tears, hugging King Laguna tightly. "Nooooo…our poor son…having to marry that…that creature!"
Prince Squall peeked wide, curious blue-grey eyes over the top of the cowboy hat, caught sight of the sorceress, and started wailing all over again.
Fairy Zell blinked. "Why doesn’t she just take the kid now instead of waiting for sixteen years?" he whispered to Fairy Quistis.
"Sshhh, Zell!" hissed the orange-clad fairy, clapping a slender hand over her friend’s mouth. "The Sorceress isn’t smart enough to think of that, so don’t give her any ideas!"
After the angry-but-still-evil sorceress had finally left, Fairy Quistis stepped up to the Royal Stage again.
"I regret to have to say that we fairies are not powerful enough to cancel the spell that the Evil One has cast," she began sadly.
The king, the queen and the crowd emitted a concerted gasp of horror.
Prince Squall burst into tears, and Nanny Irvine rocked him soothingly.
Fairy Selphie sniffled, and Fairy Zell patted her reassuringly on the shoulder.
"But," continued Fairy Quistis, "I still have yet to give my blessing to the infant prince. I may not be able to completely reverse the spell, but I can modify it."
She became the target of ten million hopeful stares, as well as the pleading looks from the king, queen, Nanny Irvine, and her two fellow fairies.
Fairy Quistis sweatdropped, and, fluttering her wings nervously, walked over to Irvine to take the infant from his arms.
"Although this child will fall into a deep sleep at the age of sixteen, one year must pass before the Evil Sorceress Rinoa can claim him. For that one year, he will remain in his state of repose, and the Curse will be broken if he is awakened by True Love’s first kiss."
Fairy Quistis produced an orange wand from the depths of her long blonde hair, and, cracking it somewhat like she would a whip, she formed the rough shape of a "2" in the air over Prince Squall’s head , sealing her blessing.
King Laguna and Queen Raine embraced the fairy gratefully, and the crowd cheered.
As the years passed, true to Fairy Zell’s and Fairy Selphie’s blessings, Prince Squall did indeed grow into a beautiful and intelligent, although somewhat antisocial, young man with a penchant for wearing belts and black leather. He also learnt how to use the gunblade, an immensely rare and powerful weapon. Due to his speed, strength and skill, he soon became one of the best wielders of the gunblade in the land, and none could defeat him.
Despite his taciturnity and the fact that he never smiled, the kingdom still adored the young prince as much as they adored his father, King Laguna, and his mother, Queen Raine.
All too soon, Prince Squall’s sixteenth birthday drew near. Remembering the Curse of the Evil Blue One, King Laguna and Queen Raine grew nervous, and ordered all sharp things to be removed from the castle. Knives, scissors, needles, swords, and even Prince Squall’s gunblade, Lionheart, which he usually kept by his side at all times, were removed to the uppermost room of the castle and locked up securely.
On the day of his sixteenth birthday, Prince Squall sat on the edge of his huge four-poster bed and scowled fiercely. He’d been confined to one wing of the house for the next year, his parents telling him that it was all for his own sake. They didn’t want to risk him cutting his hand on anything sharp, lest he be struck by the curse.
He sighed to himself. He appreciated their concern, and having to marry the Evil Sorceress Rinoa – he shuddered – really *was* a fate worse than death. But, he reasoned, there was no way he could go a whole year without training with his beloved gunblade; and anyway, he wasn’t *that* careless! He’d never cut himself on his *own* gunblade before, and he sure as heck wasn’t going to start now.
Nodding decisively, the prince quietly stole out of his room and proceeded to prowl the castle, looking for Lionheart.
His search, however, was over only minutes after it started. As he strode down the hallway, he had the misfortune of running into Nanny Irvine, who had been sent to guard him – his parents and nanny all knew that he’d try something like this.
"Heh, I knew you’d try to get out. Sorry, buddy, but you’re not going anywhere right now…" Nanny Irvine grinned and busily shooed Prince Squall back into his room.
Fairy Selphie poked her head out of a cupboard in the hallway. "Is he gone yet?"
At Irvine’s affirmative nod, the yellow-clad fairy grinned happily and jumped into the cowboy’s waiting arms.
A week later, and Prince Squall was convinced that he was going to go stark, raving mad. He’d been doing absolutely *nothing* the whole week – wait, scratch that. He’d been trying his best to sneak out of his quarters the whole week, but Nanny Irvine had been ever-vigilant, and he’d been caught at each attempt. He’d tried everything; climbing out the window (only to be caught by a servant posted on watch at the bottom), putting sleeping pills in Irvine’s tea (only to have the Royal Food Taster suffer instead), putting laxatives in Irvine’s soup (the Royal Food Taster was never going to forgive him for that one)…and he was running out of ideas.
He quietly opened his door and poked his head out into the corridor. Nanny Irvine was standing there as usual…but this time, he was distracted. Prince Squall looked on in something akin to fascination as a pair of slender yellow-clad arms reached out from the hallway cupboard, grabbing Irvine and yanking the cowboy in. The young prince smirked. Now was his chance!
He silently slipped down the corridor, unseen by the pair in the hallway cupboard.
After four sweaty, tiring hours of searching – he had unfortunately chosen to search the castle from the dungeons upwards – Prince Squall finally reached the topmost room in the castle. It was locked.
//Aha//, thought Prince Squall, //this must be it//. Especially since it was the *last* room in the castle that he hadn’t searched yet…
He pushed the door, but it didn’t budge.
He kicked it…but it still didn’t budge.
The young prince sighed. Evidently, brute strength was not going to work on the heavy oak door. It may have been old, but it was still sturdy, and strong as he was, Prince Squall knew that he would be unable to break it down.
Time to resort to sneakier tactics.
Dropping to his knees so that the keyhole was at eye level, Prince Squall took off one of the numerous belts that he wore, and poked the thin part of the belt’s metal clasp through the keyhole. He jiggled the lock gently, brow furrowed in concentration.
A few minutes later, there was an audible click.
Getting to his feet, one tired and rather dusty prince put his belt back on and pushed the heavy door open, brushing his messy brown bangs out of his eyes. Blue-grey eyes blinked at the sight before him.
Every single imaginable sharp – and even some not-so-sharp – object was piled on the floor before him in a huge heap reaching all the way to the ceiling. And lying right in front of the huge mound of objects was his gunblade, Lionheart.
The prince blinked. Was his gunblade…glowing?
Prince Squall found himself walking slowly forward, eyes riveted on the gunblade, as if some unknown force was calling out to him, compelling him to touch the gunblade.
[Reach out your hand…touch it…touch the blade…]
Suddenly, a noise behind him drew the young prince’s attention. Hand already stretched out, his head snapped around, the spell momentarily broken.
"Squall!!!" yelled Nanny Irvine desperately, racing into the room, Fairy Selphie right behind him. "No! Don’t touch it!!!"
Trying to fight the uncharacteristic fogginess that was clouding his brain, Prince Squall blinked slowly, looking first at the two frantic people (well, one person and one fairy) running towards him, and then at the glowing blade before him.
[Touch the blade…touch it…touch it…]
As if in a trance, he moved his hand to close the last couple of inches between his hand and Lionheart, pressing his thumb against the sharp edge of the gunblade. Instantly, the skin broke and blood welled out of the cut; the prince immediately fell to the floor, unconscious.
"It’s all my fault!" sobbed Fairy Selphie forlornly. "I was the one who distracted Irvine!"
"No, it’s my fault…I should have taken my duties more seriously." Nanny Irvine twirled his cowboy hat disconsolately in his shaking hands. He looked up at the distraught king and queen, falling to his knees before them. "Your Majesties, I have failed you," – he looked over at the unconscious prince, who was lying on the bed nearby – "and my prince. My life is forfeit at your hands." He bowed his head.
They were all gathered in Prince Squall’s room, where the slumbering prince had been tucked into his bed, after his cut had been cleaned and bandaged. His beloved gunblade, Lionheart, lay on the table beside the bed.
As Fairy Zell and Fairy Quistis comforted the distraught Fairy Selphie, Queen Raine moved forward to pat Nanny Irvine on the shoulder.
"Don’t blame yourself, Irvine…you too, Selphie. Squall is a determined boy…no matter how hard we tried, it was only a matter of time before this would’ve happened," she said sadly.
King Laguna nodded in resignation. "Rinoa is a powerful sorceress…eventually her Curse would have taken effect, and we would’ve been powerless to prevent it. Don’t blame yourselves."
He stepped up to his wife and slipped his arm around her, both finding comfort and strength in the presence of the other. "Now, we just have to wait for Squall’s True Love to arrive and break the Curse."
"The time limit is one year…" murmured Fairy Quistis, looking at the sleeping prince with compassionate tears in her eyes.
None present dared to voice the rest of Fairy Quistis’s unspoken thought.
If Prince Squall’s True Love didn’t wake him up within the next one year, he would have to be wed to the Sorceress Rinoa, and would surely suffer terribly at the Evil One’s hands…
Days turned to weeks and weeks turned to months. Eventually, three hundred and sixty-four days had passed, without any sign of a successful claimant to be Prince Squall’s True Love.
The Evil Sorceress Rinoa was growing impatient. Just one more day, and that gorgeous prince would be hers…she lifted her head and cackled gleefully, as all evil-and-slightly-deranged storybook villains are wont to do. She then took out a thick writing pad and started listing out the names she wanted to name the two hundred and forty-three children that she and Prince Squall would have.
The three hundred and sixty-fifth day, or the last day that the Curse on the unfortunate Prince Squall could be broken, dawned bright and sunny. The moods of the other occupants of the castle, however, were anything but that.
The King and Queen were frantic, as were the three fairies and Nanny Irvine. They had already called up practically everyone from their kingdom as well as the surrounding kingdoms to attempt to awaken Prince Squall; princes, princesses, nobles and commoners alike had tried and failed.
Around that time, a prince from another faraway land happened to be in the neighbourhood. Very close to the Royal Castle, in fact. This prince was also a gunblade specialist, one of the best existing in that day and age. He had heard that there was another who wielded a gunblade in this land, and had travelled for close to a year to challenge this person to a duel.
Prince Seifer arrived at the Royal Gates of the Royal Castle at evensong on the three hundred and sixty-fifth day. Reining in his majestic black horse, the handsome prince pulled a crumpled piece of paper out of the pocket of his grey trenchcoat and squinted at it. "Hmm…Kingdom of Loire…Royal Castle…"
He looked up at the imposing building in front of him, then back at the paper, running a hand through his short blonde hair. "Well," he mused, "this is the only castle for miles around, so I guess this has gotta be the right place…"
Dismounting, he tied his black stallion to a convenient tree and patted its side, smirking arrogantly. "I’ll be back soon…just after I win this fight! No sweat!"
The horse snorted and stamped its foot.
Prince Seifer narrowed his eyes at his mount. "What, you don’t think I can win?"
The horse just looked at him.
"The heat must be getting to me," sighed the tall blond. "I’m starting to talk to horses." He turned around and strode up to the Royal Gates, deftly climbing them and dropping lightly down on the other side.
The black stallion watched him go, and if you looked really, really closely, you would swear that the horse was smiling.
"Hmm…now what’s the easiest way to search for this guy I’m gonna duel with?" wondered Prince Seifer to himself as he crept quietly around the vast courtyard of the Royal Castle of the Kingdom of Loire. He wasn’t about to just walk up to the main gates and introduce himself; all the red tape and security checks he’d have to go through before being able to find the guy just weren’t worth the trouble.
Turning a corner, he found himself facing a wide stone wall, with vibrant green ivy growing liberally up the side of the wall.
Prince Seifer was good at many things. Climbing, unfortunately, wasn’t one of them. After a few times falling off and landing hard on his rear, and numerous other attempts, the blonde prince finally managed to scale the ivy, ending up on a small iron-wrought balcony protruding from the side of the stone wall. Ruefully rubbing his aching rear end, Prince Seifer looked around, considering what to do next.
Deciding on a course of action, he leapt off the edge of the balcony, swung, Tarzan-style, for a few precarious moments on a dangling vine of ivy, then grabbed onto the edge of a wide windowsill and scrambled up, still managing to look quite graceful throughout the whole performance. It was, it has been said, a characteristic of storybook heroes that they could make anything, however ridiculous, look good. Prince Seifer’s performance in this case was one very good example.
Getting his balance back – which wasn’t easy when one was sitting on the side of a windowsill designed more for birds to perch on than to accommodate the size of a human rear – Seifer cautiously peered through the open window, squinting to make out anything in the dimness within.
He could see a figure lying on the bed – and a pretty big bed at that – in the room, and on the table beside the bed was – aha! – a gunblade!
He smirked to himself, not believing his luck. First try, and he’d found the guy’s room already! He ducked his head and leapt through the open window, landing lightly on the floor inside the room, and opened his mouth to issue the challenge.
The words, however, died in his throat when he saw the scene before him.
Prince Seifer’s mouth dropped open. On the bed, obviously deep in slumber, lay a slender, leather-clad young man with messy chocolate-brown hair, long eyelashes and a peaches-and-cream complexion. The wan sunlight filtering in through the window played over the young man’s face just so, highlighting the young man’s delicate features and full pink lips, making him look elfin and ethereal.
Stunned, all the blonde prince could do was stare at the slim figure on the bed, trying not to drool. //By the Guardians, he’s *gorgeous*…//
The thought that he was supposed to duel with this guy finally percolated through the lust-induced haze in Prince Seifer’s mind, and he decided to try to wake the beautiful young man up.
Sitting gingerly on the edge of the bed – //man…he’s even more beautiful up close// – Prince Seifer poked the sleeping youth. "Oi, wake up."
He slapped the young man’s cheeks lightly. "Wake up!"
Still no reaction.
Sighing, he grabbed hold of the slumbering youth’s shoulders and shook him vigorously.
"Hey. You. Wake. Up. I. Want. To. Duel. With. You!" Each word was punctuated with a shake.
This, however, didn’t work either.
//Geez…is he even *alive*?//
He experimentally put his hand under the young man’s nose, and was rather relieved to find that the young man apparently *was* alive, when he felt the warm rush of breath against his palm.
Prince Seifer tilted his head to one side, considering what to do next. //Maybe he needs CPR…//
A small smirk graced the blonde prince’s lips.
Leaning forward, he pressed his lips gently against the unconscious youth’s in a feather-light kiss, and almost immediately, he felt the young man stir beneath him.
Prince Squall sat up suddenly in his bed, blinking and looking around in some confusion. The last thing he remembered was…something glowing…Lionheart…his gunblade had been glowing? Yes –
[Touch the blade…touch it…]
– and he’d pressed his hand to the blade…and then…oblivion?
And then…a heated touch on his lips – he brought his hand slowly, wonderingly up to touch his lips, remembering the tender warmth pressed there…
All of a sudden, he became aware of another’s presence in the room. Instantly wary, he vaulted out of bed, snatching his gunblade up from the bedside table and holding it up in front of him in a graceful, practised gesture.
Prince Seifer stepped forward, out of the shadows, and snorted slightly. "Huh, fine way to greet a visitor…"
It was Prince Squall’s turn to gape. The young man standing in front of him was tall and lean, yet muscular, with short sun-kissed blonde hair and lively, emerald green eyes. In short, he was absolutely gorgeous. Squall tried not to drool.
The dark-haired prince blinked, still a little confused, and the vision standing in front of him was not helping his coherency, either. "You…you woke me up?"
The stranger nodded.
"Um…" The stranger tilted his head thoughtfully. "I…er…gave you…um…CPR. Yeah."
"CPR?" Prince Squall furrowed his brow. Was it just his imagination, or did the stranger look a tad sheepish? He touched his lips again, remembering the gentle touch…
"You kissed me." It was a statement, not a question. //You…broke the curse…?//
"CPR, kiss…" the blonde prince spread his hands in a gesture of mock-helplessness. "Picky, picky."
"Who are you?"
He bowed in an exaggerated manner. "Prince Seifer, of the Kingdom of Almasy, at your service."
"What do you want?"
//You…// One slim blonde eyebrow raised, Prince Seifer smirked at the dark-haired young man, who was regarding him quizzically, and a little warily. "My, my, full of questions today, aren’t we? Well, actually, I wanted to duel with you."
The blonde prince brought out his gunblade, hand resting lovingly on the hilt. "This is Hyperion."
Prince Squall raised an eyebrow. //He fights with a gunblade too? This could be interesting…//
He brought up his gunblade so that the other prince could see it. "This is Lionheart."
Nodding respectfully, the blonde prince dropped into a ready stance. "Shall we begin?"
Evening turned to dusk, and gradually, night fell; the princes continued fighting. They were evenly matched, and neither had the advantage.
As Prince Seifer swung his gunblade upwards, Prince Squall swung his down to parry. In a lightning-swift gesture, the dark-haired prince dropped to the floor, swinging a leg out to trip his opponent, but, anticipating this, the blond leapt neatly to the side, swinging Hyperion downwards at the same time. As he slipped aside nimbly, Prince Squall swung Lionheart up, parrying deftly yet again.
And so the fight went on…
Meanwhile, in the Royal Throne Room, King Laguna, Queen Raine, Nanny Irvine and the three fairies were sitting and fretting.
Fairy Quistis looked at her watch and bit her lip. "Two more hours…"
"Oh nooooo…" moaned Fairy Selphie, chewing agitatedly on her fingernails.
The king and queen sighed deeply.
They had been fighting for a *pretty* long time now, and neither prince was winning. Although they were both beginning to tire, pride forbade either to admit defeat, so they continued duelling.
As Prince Squall swung his gunblade upwards towards his opponent, Prince Seifer swung Hyperion up *under* Lionheart, resulting in both blades clashing harshly. Both princes lost their weary grips on their gunblades, the outcome being that Lionheart flew towards Prince Seifer, and Hyperion flew towards Prince Squall.
The two glittering gunblades spun in the air, then arced downwards as they fell; the two princes stood, frozen. By some strange twist of fate (that usually only happens in fairy tales…), Lionheart fell towards Prince Seifer, cutting a shallow gash on his forehead from left to right, and Hyperion did the same to Prince Squall, except the cut on his forehead was from right to left.
As the two gunblades fell to the carpeted floor with a thump, the two princes stared at each other in shock. Prince Squall recovered first, starting towards Prince Seifer worriedly. "I’m so sorry…"
"No, no, it was my fault…are you okay?" The blonde prince grabbed some tissues from the nearby nightstand, wiping the blood from the gash on Prince Squall’s forehead.
Grabbing some tissues as well, the dark-haired prince did the same for his companion, concern written all over his usually unexpressive features.
"There’s not much blood…the cuts must be quite shallow, we’ll be fine…" Prince Seifer trailed off, blushing as he suddenly realised that he was standing *very* close to the beautiful brown-haired prince.
Squall felt himself flush as he realised that he and the gorgeous blonde prince were practically nose-to-nose with each other. Blue-grey eyes met emerald green, and for a heartbeat, time seemed to stand still…then something suddenly occurred to Prince Squall.
//The curse…broken by True Love’s first kiss…//
Taking a step forward, Prince Squall closed the distance between them, and, nervously placing his hands on Prince Seifer’s shoulders, gently pressed his lips to the blonde prince’s.
Prince Seifer’s eyes widened in surprise for a second, then slowly slid shut as the taller prince melted into the kiss, sliding his arms around Prince Squall. //This feels so right…somehow…//
Fairy Zell checked his watch and frowned. "Fifteen more minutes…" His voice, shaking slightly, was barely above a whisper.
King Laguna was pacing up and down the Royal Throne Room worriedly, while Queen Raine, Fairy Quistis and Fairy Zell sat on the Royal Couches, shoulders slumped dejectedly. Nanny Irvine was busy comforting Fairy Selphie, who was sniffling miserably.
King Laguna looked up, face pale and drawn. "I guess we should go up to Squall’s room now…maybe we can prevent the Evil One from taking him…somehow…"
They all trooped reluctantly up the stairs to Prince Squall’s room, far from eager to see the horrible fate that was to befall the young prince.
When they reached the door to the prince’s room, however, far from the silence they had expected, they heard what seemed like a loud commotion coming from inside the room.
Fairy Quistis’s eyes widened. "She’s come for him…but…but…she’s early! That shouldn’t – it *can’t* – happen!"
As one, they pushed the door open and rushed into the room, almost tripping over each other in their haste.
The sight that greeted their eyes, when they entered Prince Squall’s room, was a strange sight indeed.
The most obvious bit of…weirdness…was that the sheets on the once-pristine bed were messy and rumpled, and there appeared to be a struggle going on under the thick sheets. A very loud, violent struggle.
Her protective Mother’s Instincts™ taking over, Queen Raine grabbed the nearest weapon at hand – which happened to be a large vase – rushed over to the bed, and started beating on it with the vase, screaming, "leave my son alone! You can’t take him away from me! STOP IT!!!!"
As the fairies, king and nanny looked on, stunned, Queen Raine continued beating on the bed and screaming, and the struggles under the sheets abruptly ceased.
"Ow! Ow! Stop the beating already!" A blonde head poked out from under the blankets at the foot of the bed, blinking blearily up at the angry queen. "Er…hi?"
Queen Raine blinked.
"Who are you?" continued the blonde stranger.
The queen’s mouth dropped open. "Who are *YOU*?!?"
Another head, a dark-haired one this time, poked out from under the blankets at the other end of the bed. "He’s Prince Seifer, from the Kingdom of Almasy."
"SQUALL?!?" gasped the king and queen in unison.
"PRINCE SQUALL?!?" the fairies and Nanny Irvine chorused, eyes wide in shock.
The dark-haired prince blinked…as the blonde one tried to unobtrusively grab his clothes – which were lying carelessly on the floor beside the bed – and drag them under the blankets to put them on.
"Seifer broke the curse," offered Prince Squall. "He came in through the window and kissed me, and I woke up, and he’s my True Love."
For the usually taciturn Prince Squall, that was a long speech indeed. And to top it off, he smiled…his first real, true smile.
"My little baby’s all grown up now…" Queen Raine smiled blissfully and fainted in King Laguna’s arms out of sheer happiness. King Laguna himself was grinning from ear to ear.
The fairies cheered. Fairy Selphie hugged an ecstatic Nanny Irvine tightly, while Fairy Zell and Fairy Quistis embraced, tears of joy in their eyes.
And in her lair somewhere far, far, away, the Evil Sorceress Rinoa screamed with rage.
Prince Squall, meanwhile, had just realised that Prince Seifer was trying to get his clothes back on. "Hey! What’d you think you’re doing?"
He tackled the blonde prince from across the bed, and Prince Seifer’s clothes promptly flew right out from under the blankets again.
And then, the commotion under the blankets started right up again.
Noticing this, King Laguna tactfully declared that after the excitement of the evening, they all needed a good rest, and added that anyway the happy couple would probably like a little privacy, and beat a hasty retreat from the room, carrying the happy (and still unconscious) queen in his arms.
The fairies and Nanny Irvine followed soon after, Fairy Selphie clinging tightly to Nanny Irvine, while Fairy Zell and Fairy Quistis were arm-in-arm.
It looked like everyone got their happy ending. Well, except the Evil Sorceress Rinoa, of course.
The moral of the story? Good always wins and evil always loses.
Oh, and being a villain isn’t a very lucrative career if you’re not very intelligent.
Ahhh…finally finished! The longest one-shot I’ve written so far. C&C, onegaiiiiii? :)
 Ever watched Disney’s "The Lion King"? *grin*
 For any Gundam Wing fans reading this – check out what the fairies wrote with their wands. Selphie wrote a "1", Zell wrote an "x", and Quistis wrote a "2". Geddit? Geddit? *grin* …and yes, I am an avid 1x2 fan. ;) For the non-Gundam Wing fans here, well, nevermind about this. ^_^
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