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Thread: Kismet (Legend of Zelda, KafeixVaati, R)

  1. #1
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    Default Kismet (Legend of Zelda, KafeixVaati, R)

    ...I know this fic will be overlooked here, and I'm okay with that. This is, by far, my favorite of all of my fics. I think I've done the best job on it in all areas. It's my OTP to boot, and even if I'm their only fan, I'll always do my best to serve them justice. Kafei is from Majora's Mask (where a lot of the fic takes place) and Vaati is from Minish Cap and the two Four Swords games. This fic is mainly based in the manga versions of the games, and both are adults here. Many other characters from MM/MC/OoT show up too. And there will be an AU component later on that you'll see. Please, no whining that I don't "understand" the games when you get to it. I very well do, and it's AU or a reason. But that's not for a while, so moving on...

    If you're wondering about the rating, well, I'm up to chapter 10 on ff.net (up to twelve is finished), and it'll be rated R by around chapter eight or so. Nothing explicit, but their will be sexual scenes between two men. That's your warning. There's also some yuri and adultery going on, so watch out for that. Oh, and mother bashing. Anju's too awesome to bash, but...you'll see.

    The last point I'd like to make is that I make up some names for nameless characters later on. But I'll mention that as we get to them. For now, here's the prologue! I'll update on a semi-regular basis until I catch up with what's on ff.net, then I'll update as I do there. Now... On with the show!

    Kismet—Prologue

    by taitofan

    Rated PG-13 for eventual yaoi and some language

    Disclaimer: I don’t own Majora’s Mask, Minish Cap, or anything else Legend of Zelda related. Trust me; I’m sure that many people are happy about that.

    Author’s notes: Honestly? I have no idea why I’m doing this. I guess it’s because my OTP has no love, and my insane desire to see it has made me write it myself. This will be chaptered, and this is more or less the prologue. Expect future chapters to be longer, if only by a bit. Now… Please note that this is based mostly on the manga versions of the games. Why? Cause I’m not that good at MM and thus didn’t get very far (I’ve seen all of Kafei’s scenes however), and though I won MC, I like Vaati’s fate in the manga more than in the game. Thus, in this fic, the Four Swords games never happen and all cries of, “Vaati is too OOC!” will be ignored. You can contact me if you’d like to read the manga. Other than that… Most questions will be answered in future chapters, but if you’re horribly curious about anything, feel free to ask!

    Flames do nothing but make me laugh, although I'll listen to any CC you have. Please read, review, and enjoy! Finished 12-29-06

    ----------

    “…and remember that you must concentrate! You cannot let your mind wander or it shall not work!”

    He wanted to scream, to cry, something to get it across that he knew. He knew better than anyone that it was his lack of dedication that had caused him to fail for the past year. It was hard to think that he’d really been working on this for so long, but it was true nonetheless. And this time he was determined to succeed. He would do it today; he had too.

    “Yes Master. I understand.” He took a deep breath, closed his eyes, and began to clear his mind of everything but his goal. Nothing else mattered now, not even all of the hard work he’d shown. All that was important right now was focusing on his goal. If he didn’t do that… No! He’d do it, he would!

    There were a few minutes of silence—even the usual outside noises seemed to have stilled. Then, suddenly, there was a bright flash of white light that filled up the entire room. The energy hummed in his ears, but still he concentrated on what he wanted—no, what he needed. He needed this if he was to keep what sanity he hadn’t lost yet.

    I need another chance. I need to make up for what I’ve done. Please, let me have just one more chance…

    And as suddenly as the light had manifested, it was gone. He didn’t dare to open his eyes though. What if it didn’t work? Surely, it must have! He’d worked so hard, harder than he ever had! He—

    “Vaati, you’ve done it! Open your eyes and look!” The young Picori apprentice’s eyes flew open, and sure enough, there it was. A wish granting hat, just as his master had made a year ago. But this time, Vaati had made it, courtesy of his very own sweat and tears. He rushed forward and grabbed it, as if he needed to verify that he wasn’t dreaming. But no, it was real. He’d finally done it.

    “Master… Thank you for teaching me all of these years. I never could have gotten this far without your teachings…” Ezlo smiled and laid his hands on his pupil’s shoulders, the pride fully apparent in his eyes.

    “You are welcome. However, in the end it was you who made this possible. You finally understand that you cannot take shortcuts to achieve true strength. Your dedication paved the way to your success. I only regret now that I’m losing my greatest student.”

    “Master…” The sage shook his head, not allowing him to continue.

    “Vaati, this is your victory, and you have no time for indecision. You have chosen your future and now is the time to achieve it. We shall meet again, I’m sure of it.” He stepped back and offered the young Picori his warmest smile. “Go on; see where your wish shall take you.”

    Vaati looked at the hat in his hands and then at his smiling teacher. No, his smiling ex-teacher. It saddened him to know that he was leaving after having just learned his most important lesson, but… Ezlo was right. He had to go…

    “Thank you Master; I will. Goodbye for now.” And with that, he put on the hat and closed his eyes…

    “Goodbye Vaati.” …And then he was gone.

    ----------

    Five months. He’d been married for five months. Five months since that mysterious boy Link had saved all of Termina, and at the same time helped him retrieve his marriage mask. Without Link’s help, he may never have gotten married at all…

    Kafei didn’t know whether to thank the kid or curse him.

    It wasn’t as if he hated being married to Anju. He just… didn’t know if it was what he really wanted. He’d made the promise to marry her when they were just children, long before he knew what love was. He knew that Anju had fallen in love with him, but in all honesty, he still wasn’t sure what love really was. The way he felt for Anju was the way he felt for Cremia, and he knew he wasn’t attracted to her. There was a mental connection between him and Anju, he wouldn’t deny that, but there was no physical attraction. He had no desire for romance. For the past five months, their relationship had remained completely platonic…

    But now Anju was talking about having children. Suddenly, he was being forced to face things that he’d never wanted to face. He realized that it was crazy to have thought that Anju would accept their chaste relationship forever, but that didn’t make things any easier. Somehow, he had a feeling that returning to the Inn and being forced to explain why he’d run out in the first place would only be the beginning of his troubles.

    Honestly,’ he thought as he walked aimlessly through Termina Field, ‘how could things get any worse today?

    No sooner had he’d said that, when fate decided to answer his question. A bright light suddenly lit up the sky and blinded Kafei, who cursed for jinxing himself. What was happening now? His answer came a short time later when the light faded away just as abruptly as it had come, and there was a body laying less than three feet away from where he stood. Needless to say, the body had not been there a minute ago.

    “Hello?” Kafei questioned as he cautiously approached the figure. “Are you all right…?” Upon closer inspection, he could see that the person was a male of about his own age, with pale skin, light purple hair, and a strange mark under his eye. His rich garments—made up of purples, reds, and gold—suggested that of a magician of some sort. Whoever he was, he obviously wasn’t from around here. But after Link had suddenly come upon their land, he wasn’t entirely surprised.

    I wonder… What color are his eyes…?’ As soon as it was thought, Kafei blinked and scowled. ‘Why the hell do I care? I don’t have time for this… I need to figure out what to do about Anju!

    He turned on his heel, ready to head back to Clock Town, when a pained groan reached his ears. Whipping around, he saw that the man was shaking. He rushed back to his side, kneeling down and placing a hand on his forehead. Sure enough, his skin was hot to the touch. He was obviously in no condition to be left alone in the middle of nowhere… Kafei’s conscious overrode his previous annoyance, and he picked up the unconscious man, noting how light he was.

    When was the last time he ate? I’ll have to feed him when he wakes up… Then he can tell me what the hell is going on.

    No matter what came of this, Kafei was at least pleased that he’d found a suitable distraction.

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    And that's the prologue. Not too much I can say without giving anything away, so... Please review! The faster I get get reviews, the faster I'll get the existing 12 chapters up! And the chapters are far longer than this, averaging first about ten pages apiece. The fic is currently 127 pages long if that gives you any idea. And if you have any questions, feel free to ask.

    See you all in chapter one!
    Bishies: Luppi & Lady Bat|C.Bishie: Clopin|VG.Bishie: Gale|Pokemon: Ariados
    Ships: ReijixSaturn, KafeixVaati, MeltxLezard & NoelxLeon
    Twin: Vycksta

    Shipping Face-Off (Ultimate Face-Off of 2007): Best Shinji/Paul Ship

  2. #2
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    I'm not surprised you posted it here.XD

    So, Kafei and Anju? *is puking at the thought*

    Yes, even though I'm not a Zelda fan, I have seen your pictures....and they're not very great[Pairing]. O.o

    ‘I wonder… What color are his eyes…?’ As soon as it was thought, Kafei blinked and scowled. ‘Why the hell do I care? I don’t have time for this… I need to figure out what to do about Anju!’
    Better look, Kafei....^_^

    Overall, good story and 10/10!



    renami ++ says:
    JULIAAAAAAAAAAAAA
    renami ++ says:
    WILL YOU MARRY ME
    on c l o u d nine ? says:
    UM KAY I'LL MARRY YOU
    Dynamite Shark Princess says:
    ILU
    on c l o u d nine ? says:
    WAIT WTF I HAVE A LOT OF ADMIRERS

  3. #3
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    Like I've said, I've read up to chapter 7 and so far I'm loving it. Here, I'll do reviews of the chapters one at a time, as it'll be easier that way.

    Anyway, nice start! However, not much else can be said because, well, it's the start xD. Still, I'm loving the description and Kafei's feelings toward Anju. If a fic has to have a man cheating on his wife, I'd rather him still love her platonically than hate her. It makes it...more interesting 8D

  4. #4
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    *eyes sparkle* Reviews~ <3<3<3

    @honey: Naw, I talk about this fic so much on LJ, it was only a mater of time before I stuck it here. X3 And don't worry, Kafei will get his act together sooner or later...

    @Suzu: Thank you soooo much for reviewing the chapters separately too. It's so incredibly nice of you! And as you know, I adore Anju far too much to bash her... Kafei obviously loved her in MM; I just think it was more as a sister, and thus that's how I write it. *pats Anju*

    And now that I have reviews... Straight on to chapter one!

    Kismet—Chapter One

    by taitofan

    Rated PG-13 for eventual yaoi and some language

    Disclaimer: I don’t own Majora’s Mask, Minish Cap, or anything else Legend of Zelda related. Trust me; I’m sure that many people are happy about that.

    Author’s notes: Anju appears, we learn a few things about Vaati, and Kafei is generally oblivious… This chapter might seem a bit slow, but it’s necessary for the plot and besides, just jumping into the romance would be highly unrealistic, you know? Falling in love on first glance might not be believable, but getting a crush is, so don’t worry—you’ll have shounen ai hints right off at the very least. And don’t worry, more about Vaati’s past will be coming soon…

    Flames do nothing but make me laugh, although I'll listen to any CC you have. Please read, review, and enjoy! Finished 12-30-06

    ----------

    Kafei rushed the entire way back to town, not stopping until he’d reached the Stock Pot Inn. The man’s fever had gone up on the way back, and there was no doubt that he’d received a few stares from the townsfolk. After all, it wasn’t everyday that the mayor’s son ran through town with a mysterious man in his arms. Kafei would worry about it later though—right now, he had to make sure that the man was okay.

    “Darling, where were you—?” He heard Anju’s question as he kicked open the door and made his way upstairs, but he didn’t stop. “Kafei, what’s going on?” When her husband failed to answer her, Anju stood up from her spot behind the counter and followed him. By the time she caught up, he was already placing the man on one of the guest room’s beds. “Kafei…?”

    “I need you to get me some water and rags,” he answered as he removed the man’s hat and then busied himself with removing the sandals. He let out a grunt of satisfaction as he finally figured out how to undo them. “Then we’ll need a potion too. And hurry; who knows how long he’s been like this.” Anju watched him tucking the man under the covers for a few minutes, before she rushed out to do as she was told. Kafei sighed once she’d left, again mentally thanking the man for keeping him from having to answer Anju’s queries…for the time being at any rate.

    “I don’t know who you are or where you came from,” he began, pulling a chair over to the bedside and sitting down to wait for his wife to return, “but I owe you one. How about I promise not to make you eat Anju’s cooking?” He chuckled at his joke and then frowned. This entire situation was intriguing—there was obviously magic involved. But until he woke up, Kafei supposed he’d have to remain patient. “You’d better wake up soon…”

    ----------

    Vaati didn’t know what had gone wrong, but he had a pretty good idea. He’d wished for his powers and human body back so that he could make up for all of the wrongs he’d done, but obviously, he wasn’t as specific with the request as he should have been. He could tell that his body was now older than it had been the last time he’d been human, and he could sense that wherever he was, it wasn’t Hyrule. There were no magical signatures anywhere—the Picori were nowhere to be found either.

    Not that he could actually confirm his theories at the moment though. Whatever had happened to him, it had caused an imbalance in his new body. He was a Wind Sorcerer and could thus sense his surroundings, but his human body refused to open its eyes and move. He’d managed to make a few noises, but he couldn’t actually do anything. In fact, if it hadn’t been for whoever had found him, carried him to only the Goddesses knew where, and attempted to bring the fever down, he’d still being lying on the cold ground in agony.

    Vaati might not have known who saved him, but he swore that the beginning of his salvation would start with repaying them. First, he had to wake up though…

    “…ome o… Wak…be oka…” That voice—yes, that was his savior. Obviously another man if Vaati was to judge by his deep tone. He needed to get to him… “Please… Wake up. You’ll be okay if you just open your eyes.” Yes, open his eyes… Vaati used all of his willpower to force himself to do just that.

    The sight he was met with made him never want to close his eyes ever again.

    “…Hello.” He watched the man’s dark red eyes widen, and seconds later, he had a cup of water handed to him.

    “Drink this,” he ordered softly. Vaati did so, the cool water soothing his hoarse throat. He handed the cup back when he was done, feeling a jolt of something run through his body when their hands brushed. He was only glad that the suddenly color that graced his face could be blamed on his illness. “How are you feeling?”

    “Better,” Vaati replied, not able to look away from those captivating eyes, “thanks to you. I sincerely thank you for rescuing me…”

    “Kafei. I own this inn with my wife, Anju. And you are…?” Wife… Figured. He tried to ignore the ripple of disappointment that he felt at the word.

    “Vaati. I’m a Wind Sorcerer from Hyrule. I don’t suppose you’ve heard of that kingdom, have you?” Kafei shook his head, proud of himself for being right about his mystery man being a magician of some sort.

    “No, I’m afraid not. We’re in Termina right now. Ever heard of it?” Vaati shook his head no, and Kafei’s face took on a curious look. “Care to tell me why you suddenly appeared in a heap on the ground after the sky lit up for a good minute?” …Honestly? No, he didn’t. But something about Kafei intrigued him, and if it meant he could stay longer…

    “You probably won’t believe a word of this…” Kafei’s laughter filled his ears, and he cursed that ugly word “wife” again.

    “You’d be surprised. Just try me.” Vaati nodded and made himself comfortable.

    “All right… Well, it all started a little over a year ago, when I was a Picori apprentice and wanted my master to acknowledge me…”

    ----------

    Kafei listened intently to Vaati’s story of tiny creatures, corrupt wishes, familiar sounding heroes, and a desire for a second chance. A year ago, he would have called Vaati a liar, but then again, a year ago he hadn’t been turned back into a child and the moon hadn’t almost crushed them all. No, he believed it, and now more than ever he knew that Vaati was from another world. He’d heard the rumors of parallel dimensions before, and now he actually believed them.

    “…and that’s when you found me. I could sense your presence, but I couldn’t do anything. Thank you again.”

    “It’s no problem,” Kafei assured him, deciding that he wouldn’t mention how Vaati’s strange illness had actually helped him. “But… Why do you think you ended up here instead of where you’re from? There must have been a reason.” Vaati sighed, wondering the same thing himself. Personally, he thought that the higher powers liked to mess with him.

    “I’m not sure… I suppose I’ll find out eventually though.” Kafei raised an eyebrow, shooting the sorcerer a confused look.

    “You mean… You’re not going to try to find a way back? You have your magic back now, right?” Vaati shrugged, a troubled look on his face.

    “Yes, but I’m not sure exactly which powers I’ve regained. I’ll have to wait until I’m stronger to find out. As for going back… Maybe it’s better for me to be away from Hyrule. Link and Zelda have already fixed the damage I’d done, so perhaps I’ll be of more help here than I could have been there…” Kafei looked thoughtful for a moment, before slowly nodding.

    “Yes, you might… But if you’re to get stronger, you’ll have to eat. I’ll go make you something, and you rest, all right?” Vaati was in no position to argue—not that he’d wanted to anyway—so he merely nodded and settled down for a little relaxation.

    Kafei waited until he closed his eyes before getting up and leaving the room.

    ----------

    “He’s… a sorcerer?” Kafei nodded as he stirred the soup he was making. Anju had offered to do it of course, but he wanted to feed Vaati, not kill him. The guy had been through enough…

    “Yes, a Wind Sorcerer. He wished to have a second chance to make up for his bad deeds, and he was sent here. I’m… I’m going to offer to let him stay here for a while. I’ll give him a job once he can get up and move around.” He couldn’t see his wife, but judging by her gasp, he could only imagine the look on her face… Oh well, at least they weren’t talking about children.

    “But Kafei, we don’t have the money—”

    “I know,” he stressed, cutting her off, “but we can pay him by letting him stay in the inn and feeding him at least. Besides, we can easily afford to give him a few rupees a week.” Anju sighed behind him, obviously not liking the idea.

    “But how can we just let him stay here? How do you know he wasn’t lying to you? Maybe he’s still evil and—” Kafei slammed the wooden spoon on the counter and fixed an annoyed stare at her. She let out a surprised squeak and backed up a few steps. She hadn’t been the source of his anger in years

    “Anju, listen to yourself. I know you mean well, but just think about it. He was telling me about a boy named Link just like the boy who helped us. It’s obvious that he isn’t from our world. And maybe I can’t prove it, but I know he’s telling the truth. I… I can just tell by looking in his eyes that he’s sincere. And right now, he’s sick, in another dimension, and doesn’t have anything but the clothes on his back. We can’t just turn him away… I can’t turn him away. If he wants to, he’s staying here. I’d like your support, but I won’t change my mind…” Anju frowned, but nodded regardless.

    “You’re right my dear, I’m being selfish… I’m sorry. We’ll let him stay until he can fend for himself. I was just scared, that’s all… Forgive me?” Kafei nodded, some of the guilt from yelling at her washing away when she smiled. He might not have been sure he really loved her as a wife, but she was still his best friend, and it always upset him to see her hurt. She quickly rushed to him, throwing her arms around his waist and burying her face in his neck. He automatically held her close, knowing it would comfort her. This was all for her… “I love you.”

    …Only for her.

    “I know.”

    ----------

    Vaati limped to Ezlo’s hut, hoping that he wasn’t too late. It was the third time this week, and his teacher was sure to be upset…

    “Vaati! Whatever kept you?” The small—even my Picori standards—apprentice was glad that he’d already come up with an excuse on the way there.

    “I’m sorry Master. I was delayed—”

    “Stop right there,” he commanded, holding up his hand to silence the young Picori. “You have been coming here with more and more bruises everyday. Do not think that you are fooling me. What is going on?”

    “I…” He scrambled for an excuse, not expecting Ezlo to have paid him any attention. He supposed that’s what he got for doubting his master. “I’m just clumsy, that’s all. I’ve been bumping into things a lot lately.”

    “Vaati… I warn you not to lie to me. I am not dense—those came from another Picori.” He sighed at the scared look on his apprentice’s innocent face. Couldn’t the boy see that he just wanted to help? “Please, tell me who’s been doing this to you so that I can put a stop to it.”

    Vaati bit his lip, wondering what to do. He knew that he should trust his master, but the other boys’ words came back to him… Could he really risk it? What if they really went through with it?

    “The other boys in the village, they said—”

    “—aati? Vaati, wake up.”

    Kafei’s voice jolted him out of his slumber, something for which Vaati had to restrain himself from giving his undying gratitude. That had been hard enough to live through the first time; reliving it through a dream was not his idea of a pleasant experience.

    “I’m awake…” An appetizing aroma momentarily made him forget about his flashback-slash-dream. “…Is that for me? It smells delicious.” Kafei couldn’t help but smile as he handed the bowl over. Judging by the way Vaati instantly began devouring the soup, he had a feeling that the sorcerer even would have eaten Anju’s cooking at this point… Though he certainly would have regretted it later. He’d have to warn him about that…

    “I made that myself, so I hope you like it. A word to the wise though—if Anju ever offers you something she cooked, politely decline. Trust me; it’s for your own good.” Vaati might not have understood, but he nodded nonetheless. If Kafei’s cooking was always this good, he had no problems staying away from his wife. “You… You looked troubled in your sleep. Are you all right?”

    “…Yes, I’m fine.” Kafei knew it was a lie, but he let it drop… For now at least.

    “I’m glad…” He sat back down in the chair he’d occupied earlier, hoping that Vaati would accept what he was about to offer, if only so his spat with Anju wasn’t for nothing. “Vaati… I know you have no possessions, no rupees, and no place to go, so if you’d like… You can stay here. After you’re better you can help us with the inn and in return, you can have this room and we’ll feed you. We can’t pay you much I’m afraid, but you’ll have a place to eat and sleep at least…”

    …Vaati’s day was already looking up.

    “I-I’d love to. Are you sure though…?” Kafei smiled, knowing that Anju would never have doubted Vaati if she could see the man now. Whatever he had been like when he’d been evil… It was obvious that he’d changed. He was pretty sure that evil overlords weren’t this polite.

    “Yes, I’m positive. You can start your atonement by helping me. Besides, I could use some company around here…” Vaati thought about asking why he didn’t consider his wife as company, but he decided not to push his luck. Married or not, he was still getting to live with an extremely handsome man, and he wasn’t about to spoil it.

    “Thank you Kafei… I promise I’ll pull my weight.” Kafei laughed and took the empty bowl, his smile making Vaati’s stomach do flips.

    “Just focus on getting healthy first… Well, it’s nighttime, so I’ll let you get some real sleep. Hopefully you’ll feel better in the morning so we can see about getting you some things. My room is two doors from this one on the left. There’s a bathroom four rooms down on the right. Try to have good dreams, okay?” Vaati returned the smile and nodded, gratitude evident in his eyes.

    “I will. Goodnight Kafei.” Kafei stood and turned off the light before making his way to the door.

    “Goodnight Vaati.” He closed the door and left the sorcerer to himself. Vaati closed his eyes and grinned as Kafei entered his mind. His first day of his new life and he’d already found the person he could imagine himself spending eternity with…

    Too bad he’s married…

    ----------

    By the time Kafei ate the remainder of the soup and got ready for bed, Anju was already asleep. He knew it was awful to be happy about that, but… Well, he was. And he had the man two doors down to thank for that.

    Vaati, you’re such a mystery… You certainly don’t act like you took over an entire kingdom.’ He sighed as he climbed into bed next to his slumbering wife, wondering how his life would be now that there was a new factor in it. ‘Things are definitely going to be interesting from now on…

    He closed his eyes and began drifting off immediately, the excitement of the day finally taking its toll. And right before he fell asleep, he finally realized something…

    Red. His eyes are red, just like mine…

    ---------------------------------------------------------

    Hohoho. As much as I'd like to point out things and say "Hey you! Remember this point! It's uber imprtant later on!" I shan't. You'll just have to wait... Or read it on ff.net and find out there since I'm up to chapter 11 thre, whatever. But if you do that, be cool like Suzu and still review here! *gives cookies to her lovely reviewers*

    Want your own cookies? Then please review and let me know what you think~
    Bishies: Luppi & Lady Bat|C.Bishie: Clopin|VG.Bishie: Gale|Pokemon: Ariados
    Ships: ReijixSaturn, KafeixVaati, MeltxLezard & NoelxLeon
    Twin: Vycksta

    Shipping Face-Off (Ultimate Face-Off of 2007): Best Shinji/Paul Ship

  5. #5
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    Okay, now I need to play Zelda fast.

    ‘Too bad he’s married…’
    Ooooooh~

    Okay, this made my "gaming luffs" day!
    A word to the wise though—if Anju ever offers you something she cooked, politely decline. Trust me; it’s for your own good.”
    Decline everything Anju gives to you, Vaati. Trust me; it's for your own good.XD

    Yes, poison everything, I think.

    ‘Red. His eyes are red, just like mine…’
    *rejoices*

    Yes, my favorite color!XD

    But yes, I think I really need to play Minish Cap now! :O

    Over all, great chapter, wish to see more Kafei x Vaati fluff! *looks at cookie jar*



    renami ++ says:
    JULIAAAAAAAAAAAAA
    renami ++ says:
    WILL YOU MARRY ME
    on c l o u d nine ? says:
    UM KAY I'LL MARRY YOU
    Dynamite Shark Princess says:
    ILU
    on c l o u d nine ? says:
    WAIT WTF I HAVE A LOT OF ADMIRERS

  6. #6
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    Still lovely~ I love your description of it, and their sudden crush on each other. Your note at the beginning made it more believable if I hadn't read it at the start, though. Lulz@Anju's bad cooking. Was it mentioned in the game? I can't really remember...

    The last line was love, too. I knew it was going to lead up to something, and while I'm not to sure what the something is, I'm loving the foreshadowing all the same~

  7. #7
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    *gives more cookies to you two*

    @honey: Glad you like it~ But Anju isn't evil, so don't worry. ;3

    @Suzu: This is actually the fic fic I've taken time to build a relationship before making them fall completely in love, so I'm glad to see I did an okay job with it! Yeah, they mentioned that Anju couldn't cook in the game (her gram says it and I believe it was elsewhere too, though I can't remember the specifics now... And yes, it'll be important to remember that, though you'll have to see why. ;D

    Kismet—Chapter Two

    by taitofan

    Rated PG-13 for eventual yaoi and some language

    Disclaimer: I don’t own Majora’s Mask, Minish Cap, or anything else Legend of Zelda related. Trust me; I’m sure that many people are happy about that.

    Author’s notes: Hmm, I like this chapter more than the first ones, since we’re finally getting somewhere. Anju will have a bigger part from now on, and more things are revealed about the guys. And since she is playing a role now, I’d like to get this out of the way: I will not, at any point, be bashing Anju. If she was real and it was legal, I’d marry her. Now, to clear some things up… I can’t draw worth a hill of beans, and I’m not sure when I’ll be able to add their full “adult” descriptions without it seemingly horribly out of place. So, if you go to DeviantArt or y-hosting and look up the artist Kacfrog711, you can see perfect examples of how I’m imagining them. As time goes by, I’ll likely mention little things about their looks myself though. Lastly, the stuff that happened in the prologue? I decided to jump right into the action, but it’ll be better explained later on. Vaati’s dreams serve a few purposes, as you’ll eventually see… Oh, and my chapters are shorter than they could be so I can update more often. Hope that answers everything I’ve been asked so far~ Thanks a bunch to my two reviewers! You rock!

    Flames do nothing but make me laugh, although I'll listen to any CC you have. Please read, review, and enjoy! Finished 01-01-07

    ----------

    “—and… That’s it.”

    Ezlo’s brows knitted together at his apprentice’s story. That wasn’t at all what he’d expected to hear, but he believed it. It wasn’t something that could just be made up… Still, it was most disturbing news.

    “Is what they said true?” Vaati couldn’t bring himself to look his master in the eyes. He could already feel the unshed tears stinging his eyes, and if he found any disappointment in his teacher’s gaze, he just knew he’d lose control…

    “Yes…” Ezlo had to strain to hear the whispered answer, but when he did, he sighed deeply. He’d always had a sneaking suspicion that the young Picori was different, but he’d hoped that he was wrong. Now, however, it seemed that he’d have to deal with this…

    “I see. Well, Vaati, I think it’s time we had a talk…”

    …and Vaati was jolted awake by a loud crash.

    “Oh my, I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to wake you…” When Vaati’s eyes finally focused, he saw a young redheaded woman juggling a tray of food, some clothing, and a few random toiletries. Of course, half of the things she’d been carrying were currently on the floor, along with a chair she’d knocked over… He assumed that this was Anju.

    “It’s alright… Are you Anju?” The woman’s blue eyes widened in surprise as she stared at him—for what reason, he didn’t know. “Kafei mentioned his wife was named Anju…”

    “Oh!” she exclaimed, smiling pleasantly at him. “I wasn’t sure if he’d said anything about me or not, but yes, I’m Anju. You’re Vaati, right?” He nodded, and her smile only grew. “Well, hello then! If you’re going to be living here, we should at least know each other, right? Oh, before I drop this too, Kafei made you an omelet for breakfast earlier and I just heated it up. I’m sure he told you I’m a horrible cook…” She set the things she hadn’t dropped on the bureau and handed him the tray, complete with the large, delicious looking omelet, a fork, and a glass of red juice. He gave his thanks and immediately dug in, having not eaten anything in two days but the soup from the night before.

    She allowed him to eat as she picked up the things she’d dropped, humming a little tune to herself. Vaati eyed her as discreetly as he could, which wasn’t hard since she was in her own little world. She seemed pleasant enough, despite being clumsy and obviously—since she and Kafei had both admitted it—a bad cook. Still… She was Kafei’s wife. Not that it was her fault that he’d taken a shining to her husband of course.

    Imagine what the others would say if they knew I was interested in a married man I’d just met… No doubt, they’d question my sanity more than ever…

    He quickly finished the omelet and drank the sweet juice—he wasn’t entirely sure what it was, but he decided he like it—just in time for Anju to get everything back in order. She wasn’t so bad… And as part of his repentance, he swore not to be selfish and cause trouble. He wasn’t that Vaati anymore; he couldn’t let Ezlo’s faith in him be wasted.

    “Please tell Kafei thank you for the food. It was wonderful.” Anju nodded happily and took the tray back, careful not to drop it.

    “I will! His shift ends soon, so he’ll probably be up to check on you soon to make sure you’re okay. You do look much better than when he brought you in yesterday at least!” So she’d seen him the day before… He wondered how much Kafei told her… “Oh yes, I left you a few things of Kafei’s that you can borrow. You look about his size, so there are some clothes in case you feel good enough to get up later. There’s a brush too—I’m sure you noticed his hair is longer than mine! The other things are new, so you don’t have to worry about germs or anything… Oh, I have to go take over soon! I’m sorry that I have to cut this short, but we’ll talk later, okay?” He blinked, amazed that she could say so much without taking a breath.

    “Y-yes, of course. Thank you.” She giggled and shook her head good-naturedly.

    “No problem! Take it easy!” And in a flash, she was out the door. Vaati felt a smile form on his face as the sound of her footsteps disappeared. No, she wasn’t bad at all…

    ----------

    “You know… He doesn’t seem very evil.” Kafei fiddled with a quill, bored out of his mind. There was hardly ever any business here except near holidays and festivals… That was another reason he was glad to have Vaati around. Not only would his shifts be shorter with another employee besides himself and Anju, but the sorcerer could also keep him company while he worked.

    “I told you. You should really know better than to doubt me by now—ow!” He rubbed his head where Anju hit him with the guestbook, her tongue stuck out and a mischievous glint in her eyes. “What was that for?!”

    “Always right huh? Like when we were seven and you swore we wouldn’t get in trouble for eating your mom’s cookies?” He thought back to that day, remembering the lecture they got…

    “It’s not like she needed all those cookies.” She giggled at his sulky tone. It was amazing how he could still sound like the child he’d once been—twice now.

    “How about when we were thirteen, and you told me what a great idea it would be to paint the clock tower pink with purple stripes in the middle of the night? We spent a week scraping it off and repainting it! Or how about when you finally turned eighteen and decided that we needed to go drinking? You were drunk after only three drinks! I had to drag you out of there once you started stripping—”

    “Okay!” he yelled, cutting her off and making her giggle again. “Perhaps I’ve made a few misjudgments in my time, but you must admit that I was right this time.”

    “Yes, it looks like you were, my love. I’m sorry for doubting your judgment…” He sighed; he hated how she could go from happy to melancholy so quickly… Whenever she started acting like his wife rather than his childhood friend, she’d get like this. Yet another reason why he wasn’t sure if their marriage had been for the best. Was she really as happy as she claimed to be?

    “Don’t apologize Anju. It’s not as if you did anything wrong. I’m the one that snapped at you yesterday, so I should be the one to apologize.” She opened her mouth, no doubt to protest, when the clock on the wall chimed. Kafei’s shift was officially over and Anju’s could now begin until they took a break for lunch. He’d have to start cooking soon, but first… “I’m going to check up on Vaati. Have fun.” She stuck her tongue out at him as he got up and headed for the stairs—he wasn’t the only one to dislike the job at times. Greeting people was fun, but being by herself got boring quickly. Good thing she’s just gotten a new book…

    “Yes, yes… Oh, wait! I forgot to tell you earlier, but Vaati thanked you for breakfast.” He nodded as he climbed the stairs, a smile forming on his face.

    He just wished he knew why.

    ----------

    Vaati was glad that he’d slept enough lately to keep him from drifting off again, as quite frankly, he was tired of reliving that horrible day. After Anju had left, he’d stared at the ceiling for a while, visions of Kafei filling his mind. He hoped that his infatuation went away soon, because if he was foolish enough to fall for him… Well, he really wasn’t up for such heartache. But certainly, a little fantasizing couldn’t hurt…

    Then again, perhaps it could. Having such thoughts about a married man couldn’t possibly be healthy… He sighed and dragged himself out of bed, attempting to focus on something—anything—else but his handsome savior. Standing up, he suddenly remembered that he was a human now… Finding that bathroom Kafei had mentioned before sounded like a good idea.

    A short time later he slowly walked back to the room, his bear feet silent on the cold floor. He’d have to see about some slippers later… After closing the door, he picked up the brush and clothes Anju had left him, his face flushing when it fully clicked that these were Kafei’s. He knew he was acting like a schoolgirl with her first crush, but as long as no one else knew...

    First, he brushed his long hair out, finding it not that bad considering he’d been jostled around so much getting from where he’d started and to his room. He then laid out the clothes—a long-sleeved white shirt with red embroidery on the cuffs and loose brown pants—noting that Kafei was indeed his size. That was good, as now he’d have something to wear until he could buy a new wardrobe. Somehow, he doubted that he’d fit in wearing his normal outfit, which was just a larger version of what he’d worn when he’d tried to rule Hyrule… If the rest of the town dressed like Kafei and Anju, then he’d definitely stick out like a sore thumb.

    He was stripping down to his undergarments when the door opened, though he didn’t hear it until—

    “How are you toda—oh my! I—I’m sorry!” Vaati stared at the blushing man for a few seconds, before his own blush came back. It wasn’t as if he was naked or anything, but still… “Um, I’ll step out while you dress. Just say something when you’re done…” Kafei quickly rushed out, leaving Vaati alone yet again. The sorcerer slowly dressed, pondering the situation…

    Well, it certainly wasn’t a bad reaction… But he wouldn’t get his hopes up.

    ----------

    In the hallway, Kafei leaned against the wall, his face burning and his heart racing. He felt absolutely foolish! Vaati had been in his underwear, not naked. And even if he had been, it wasn’t as if the other man had anything that he didn’t…

    Honestly, I’m acting like a child… You’re twenty-three Kafei; start acting like it! There’s nothing to be embarrassed about…

    “I’m done…” Vaati’s voice from inside the room snapped him out of his self-lecture. He took a deep breath to compose himself, willed the blush off his cheeks, and stepped back into the room. Vaati, now dressed in the clothes Kafei had given to Anju that morning, was sitting on the bed. His face was still a light shade of red, and Kafei could only assume that he was embarrassed about being caught with such little clothing on.

    “I’m sorry,” he said again, taking his previous seat beside the bed, “I should have knocked.” The sorcerer shrugged, not meeting Kafei’s gaze.

    “It’s all right… It’s your house after all…”

    “Yes, but this is your room now.” They sat in silence for a while, neither quite knowing what to say. Once it got to be too much, Kafei decided to try asking his initial question again. “So, how are you feeling today? I can see that you’re able to walk, and it looks like your fever is gone...” Kafei put his hand to Vaati’s forehead, not noticing the other’s blush flare up again at the contact. “Yes, you seem to be fine now.”

    “I suspect there was a disturbance between my magic and this world that caused it,” Vaati explained as Kafei, unfortunately, withdrew his hand. “Whatever the problem was, my equilibrium has returned and fixed it. As for how I feel, well, I’m still a bit tired, but nothing major.” Kafei nodded, leaning back in the chair and absently glancing out the window.

    “That’s good to hear. It’s a nice day out, so maybe I can start showing you around town… We should at least buy you a few things.” He smirked, not knowing what the expression was doing to poor Vaati. “The price can come out of your salary.”

    …Three seconds later, Kafei was a lying in a heap on the floor, the chair tipped over beside him.

    “Oops,” Vaati apologized, completely insincere, “my leg must have had a nervous twitch…” Kafei snorted as he got to his feet, reminding himself not to tip his chair back around Vaati anymore.

    Sure it did… Now I can see how you managed to take over a kingdom, you bratty demon…” Vaati laughed at the teasing tone, feeling better by the second. Having Kafei there seemed to make his strength return much faster…

    “Just wait until I can use my powers again. I’ll never let your pretty hair look anything but wind-swept again. And it’ll serve you right, making a poor, innocent, sick man pay for his own things when he has no rupees!”

    The pair bantered back and forth like old friends, unaware that they were being spied on. Anju had run up when she’d heard the chair crash, and though she knew it was wrong to eavesdrop, she hadn’t been able to stop herself from peeking in and watching them. Something about this… It just didn’t seem right.

    ‘They haven’t even known each other for a whole day and they already seem so at ease around the other… Kafei is usually so cold with everyone but me! What makes Vaati so special…?

    As soon as she’d thought it, she regretted it. It wasn’t his fault that her husband liked him, even if that was a rare occurrence. He’d liked Link after all, and she hadn’t minded that… She scolded herself for being silly and quietly returned downstairs. Still, despite realizing that she had no reason to be suspicious, she couldn’t help but wonder why Vaati had said that Kafei’s hair was pretty

    ----------

    “…You really like purple, don’t you?” Vaati looked up from the clothes he’d been inspecting, a confused look on his face.

    “What are you talking about?” They were in West Clock Town at a clothing shop, doing just what Kafei had suggested that they do. He was in charge of holding the clothes Vaati picked out, and so far, ninety percent of it had some shade of purple somewhere. “Oh, yes, I suppose I do… Your hair is purple, so you can’t hate it too much…”

    “It’s not like I picked my hair color, but yes, I do like it well enough. Maybe not this much though…”

    Ever since they left the inn—promising Anju they’d be back by lunchtime—they’d been receiving curious glances and outright stares from almost everyone. Some of the people had seen him carrying Vaati the other day and wanted to know what had happened. Of the ones who hadn’t, some wanted to know who the strange new man with the mayor’s son was, and some were just downright amazed that Kafei was actually being sociable. But no one dared assume that his good spirits would apply to them as well, so no one approached him. However, plenty eavesdropped.

    “Well, this is a good start. Sorry if my like of a color offends you.” Kafei smirked, taking the heap of clothing to the counter and getting out his rupees.

    “You’re forgiven.” Vaati couldn’t wait to use his magic again… He’d wipe that smirk right off Kafei’s perfect face…

    “Pompous jerk. I should turn you to stone…” Kafei laughed, the girl working there being astounded by the sound. Kafei? Laughing? And not about to kill anyone? It was a miracle…

    “I thought you saved that for princesses?” The poor girl working there had no idea what they were talking about…

    “Well, you have the hair to be a princess. If we got you in a dress…” …And she didn’t think that she wanted to know either.

    You look more like a girl than I do. Sure you’re not a sorceress?”

    “You’re the one that saw me in only my underwear. You tell me.”

    But damn, was she going to have some juicy gossip later!

    --------------------------------------------------

    Ah... I really like this chapter, as far as the pre-relationship ones go. Lots of flirting going on...whether they realize it or not. You'll see that Vaati isa bit of a masochist as time goes on...hey, what do you expect from a recovering megalomaniac? ;P

    Haha, and more foreshadowing for later chapters too. It'll be grand once we get there~

    Now, review please~ <3
    Bishies: Luppi & Lady Bat|C.Bishie: Clopin|VG.Bishie: Gale|Pokemon: Ariados
    Ships: ReijixSaturn, KafeixVaati, MeltxLezard & NoelxLeon
    Twin: Vycksta

    Shipping Face-Off (Ultimate Face-Off of 2007): Best Shinji/Paul Ship

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Inside America's closet.
    Posts
    2,176

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    Ooh, Kafei saw Vaati semi?-nakeddd! XD

    Over all, Anju was quite nice....O.o

    The clerk's gonna be popular soon....XD

    Loved the chappie! 5/5!



    renami ++ says:
    JULIAAAAAAAAAAAAA
    renami ++ says:
    WILL YOU MARRY ME
    on c l o u d nine ? says:
    UM KAY I'LL MARRY YOU
    Dynamite Shark Princess says:
    ILU
    on c l o u d nine ? says:
    WAIT WTF I HAVE A LOT OF ADMIRERS

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Surferio
    Posts
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    ...Damn, I'm bad at remembering to update here. ^^; And thank you for the review honey! <3

    Kismet—Chapter Three

    by taitofan

    Rated PG-13 for eventual yaoi and some language

    Disclaimer: I don’t own Majora’s Mask, Minish Cap, or anything else Legend of Zelda related. Trust me; I’m sure that many people are happy about that.

    Author’s notes: Well, it seems that I lied… I was able to get Vaati’s description in here at least, though I still urge you to look at those pictures. More things are explained here, and the first day finally finishes. The middle part of Vaati’s dream is in here too, so if you’d like to read the entire sequence so far, put the part in this chapter in between the last two. Sure, it’s nothing you didn’t already expect, but it was necessary. And yes, more of his past will come through the dreams. I’ll also remind everyone that the manga versions come first, with the games filling in gaps, so please don’t say that I got details wrong if you haven’t read it. Remember, Kafei’s parts in Majora’s Mask come from the manga. And if there is anything that you’d like to see, I’m taking ideas!

    Flames do nothing but make me laugh, although I'll listen to any CC you have. Please read, review, and enjoy! Finished 01-03-07

    -----

    Anju read her newest book as she awaited her husband and his new friend—the very notion still amazed her—to return. In all honesty, she hadn’t even looked to see what the book was about; she just picked it because the cover had hearts and rainbows and generally looked like one of those sappy romances that she loved so much. But now, after being a good way into the story, she could see why she’d received such odd looks when she’d paid for it…

    But what if she finds out? We could never face the town again if they knew…’

    ‘She won’t find out my love. And even if she does, it matters not. I shall stay with you until the end of time.’

    ‘Yes, we’ll face the dawn together…

    Oh yes, she’d been right—it was horribly romantic. Two people in love, but in fear of being caught since the man was married to an insufferable woman whom he’d never loved in the first place. The only difference between this novel and all of the others sitting on her bookshelf was that this one had the secret lover as another man, not a girl. She found that the small change actually made it even more romantic…

    “Anju, we’re back!” She looked up from her book, only to see them walk past her without another word and head upstairs. She shrugged it off and turned back to her book, figuring that it would do Kafei some good to have a friend that wasn’t herself or Cremia. After all, it wasn’t as if they were the characters in her book. She was a good wife, Kafei loved her, and Vaati wasn’t interested in her husband like that.

    Well, I hope he isn’t at least…

    -----

    After Kafei helped Vaati bring his bags up, he left to start on lunch while the sorcerer took care of his new clothing. He wasn’t really going to make Vaati pay him back, but their banter had been…fun. Kafei knew that he wasn’t exactly the most fun guy in the world, but something about the newcomer made him forget that his family and the town were full of idiots and just enjoy himself. His spirits hadn’t felt this light since he and Anju had been younger, before his grandfather died and his father became mayor. Something about it was a bit different though… He just wasn’t sure what exactly.

    He was in the middle of cutting up vegetables when his inner thoughts were broken by a voice very close to his ear.

    Boo.” Kafei jumped at the sudden noise, having been too absorbed with his thoughts to hear any footsteps ahead of time. He spun around, knife in hand, and was met with the sight of Vaati laughing at him. Kafei scowled and quickly turned around, an embarrassed blush at being caught off guard spread across his cheeks.

    “Bastard,” he muttered, chopping a carrot with a bit more force than was probably necessary. “Don’t you know that you shouldn’t surprise people when they have sharp objects? And I thought you said earlier that you were still tired?”

    “I’ve been attacked with a sword. I honestly doubt that a kitchen knife could do too much damage... And I feel fine. The fresh air must have helped…” Despite his words, Vaati sat down on a nearby stool and watched Kafei work his magic. “I won’t be going out and casting any big spells in the near future, but I’ll go crazy if I have to lie in that bed all day long… And trust me, my mental health isn’t pristine.”

    “You act like you’re proud of tha—ow! Dammit, why is everyone doing that today?” Vaati tossed the cookbook that he’d just hit Kafei’s head with back on the counter and smirked.

    “I might have repented, and my upbringing may be overly polite at times, but I don’t pretend to be a saint.” Kafei snorted at the very idea. No, Vaati might not have been a homicidal maniac, but he was still about as innocent as Anju…

    “I can see that. Looks like we’ll both be learning a few things about each other whether we like it or not…” Truthfully? He really didn’t mind.

    “Yes, I suppose it does.” And Vaati definitely didn’t mind.

    There was a comfortable silence for a few minutes as Kafei finished the chopping and set to work getting them boiling. He was aware that Vaati was watching his every move, though he thought nothing of it. Most people didn’t think he was the domestic sort, so seeing him so at home in the kitchen often captivated company, much to his amusement. He’d put the meat in the oven that morning for slow roasting, so all that was left was to clean up. He moved his dirty utensils and bowls over to the sink, but he stopped short of turning the water on when Vaati rose and stood next to him.

    “…Yes?” He watched as the sorcerer rolled up his sleeves and picked up the sponge from the counter. It was safe to say that Kafei was more than a bit baffled.

    “You act like no one’s ever offered to help before. Honestly… Look, I don’t know where you keep anything, so I’ll wash, and you can dry and take care of them. Deal?”

    “But why—?” Vaati rolled his eyes in exasperation, only serving to add to Kafei’s confusion.

    “I’m staying here for free and helping out, correct? Since you cooked, I should help clean. It’s only fair…” Kafei nodded and got out a dishtowel as Vaati filled the sink with soap and water. It wasn’t that he was ungrateful for the help, he just wasn’t used to it. Anju knew that he liked to be alone with his thoughts, so she’d stopped offering a long time ago, but now…

    “Thank you…” Vaati shot him a smile, and Kafei could honestly say that being alone was the last thing he wanted right now.

    “No problem.”

    -----

    “This… It seems so…” Vaati laughed as he handed Kafei the last pot. That look of bewilderment on his face was quite amusing.

    “Full of domestic bliss?” Kafei’s eyebrows rose at that, but when he thought about it…

    “Actually, yes. I’ve never asked Anju for help before, but it does seem like something couples should do…” Something was telling Vaati that he should take advantage of this. There was something underlying those words, and if he could just dig a little deeper… But no. He’d sworn not to cause trouble, and he wouldn’t… Even if he really wanted to.

    “Well, you would make an awfully cute housewife…” It really didn’t surprise him when the wet dishtowel hit his face. In his opinion, it had been completely worth it to see the blush on Kafei’s face.

    “I… I have to get lunch ready.” Vaati watched the flushing man rush to the other side of the kitchen, proud of the deep red he’d been able to put there with just a few words. Maybe he’d sworn not to cause serious trouble, but he’d never said anything about a little harmless fun…

    -----

    They took a lunch break shortly after, and it was then that Vaati learned of the dining room connected to the kitchen. He made a note to ask Kafei about a tour of the inn later; if he was going to live and work there, he should probably know where everything was. Anju joined them, claiming that the chances of someone actually coming and needing their assistance was slim to none. And as they sat around the table and ate, Vaati got his first look at the way the married couple interacted…

    “Why did you bring your book to the table?” The redhead giggled nervously at being caught. She’d been hiding it under the table, though she supposed that it was silly to think he wouldn’t notice her flipping pages in between bites…

    “Um… It’s just so good and—hey! No, please…” It was to no avail though—Kafei had already snatched it from her and was reading the back.

    Vaati watched the pair with great interest. Anju reaching over the table to grab her book, Kafei leaning just out of her reach… They were acting more like children than husband and wife. He’d expected them to be more…loving. But so far, his first impression wasn’t giving him that feeling at all.

    If he hadn’t told me they’re married, I’d think she’s his sister…

    “…Anju? Is there something you’d like to tell me?” She let out an indignant huff and lunged for the book, finally managing to retrieve it from her smirking husband.

    “I told you, it’s good…”

    “I just never knew you liked to read about men cheating on their wives with other men.” Vaati, who had just taken a bite while he listened to their banter, immediately started choking at those words. Kafei momentarily abandoned his teasing and pounded Vaati on the back until the sorcerer stopped coughing. “Are you all right?”

    “Yes,” Vaati wheezed, taking a large gulp of water before he attempted to say anymore. “I’m fine. Thank you.”

    “No problem,” Kafei replied, though the worry was evident in his eyes. However, he didn’t push it and instead returned his attention to Anju. The book was apparently forgotten, as Kafei asked something about Anju’s mother that Vaati quickly tuned out. He didn’t know her after all.

    Why is she reading something like that? I wonder what Kafei thinks about it… Would they think anything of it if I asked to borrow the book when she’s done…?

    “What do you mean ‘she’ll be back tomorrow’?” Kafei’s irritated tone cut through his thoughts, and he suddenly wished that he’d been paying attention.

    “Oh, did I forget to tell you? I got a letter a few days ago; the doctor said nothing was wrong, so they’re coming back a week early… Oh darling, don’t give me that look! Why can’t you two just get along?” Kafei sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose in clear annoyance.

    “We’ll talk about this later.” Vaati could only assume that meant that the eventual argument wasn’t meant for his ears.

    “But—”

    Later,” he stressed tensely, picking up his fork and poking at his food to avoid her hurt gaze. She merely nodded, and the room fell into a silence that was far from comfortable. And poor Vaati had no idea what was going on…

    -----

    After they’d eaten, Vaati had offered to clean up while Kafei and Anju discussed whatever was going on in private. Kafei had shot him a grateful look before he’d left, and the sorcerer quickly got to work to keep from swooning. He’d managed to go twenty years as a Picori without having these feelings… He wondered how Kafei had managed to change that in less than a day.

    “You there! Who are you?” Vaati quickly spun around, almost dropping the glasses he’d been holding at the unexpected voice. The sight he was met with was even more surprising though. There stood a large woman with strange hair, wearing a yellow dress a size too small and an abundance of gaudy jewelry. The scowl on her face made her even more frightening. He opened his mouth to answer her, but she beat him to it. “You must be that poof everyone in town is talking about! How dare you sully my son’s good name?!”

    “I… I’m Vaati. I’m living here as of last night. Who are you?” It wasn’t the first time he’d been called such names, but it was certainly the first time that a complete stranger had insulted him to his face. But as she deepened her scowl, he was sure that she at least thought she knew who he was.

    “I’m Madame Aroma, Kafei’s mother. And oh, it’s worse than I thought! You only met last night and you’ve already seduced him? Oh, this is horrible, simply horrible!” …Seduced? Yeah, Vaati wished.

    “Madame, you have it all wro—”

    “Don’t give me that!” she exclaimed, cutting him off. “I heard the girls talking in town… He was buying you gifts, you were flirting in public, and you even admitted to seeing each other naked!”

    “W-what?” he sputtered, feeling the heat rise to his face. “No, he was paying for some clothes since I don’t have any rupees, and we were just teasing each other… He walked in this morning when I was changing, but I wasn’t naked!” Unfortunately, the irate woman didn’t look convinced.

    “A likely story! If you expect me to believe that, then—” She stopped suddenly as the door banged open and Kafei stalked in, a dark look in his eyes.

    “I thought I heard your screeching,” he told her, his tone one step away from snarling. “I told Anju we should put a lock on the back door… Now why the hell are you harassing my friend?” Had Vaati not been more or less freaked out by the large woman and Kafei’s obvious dislike of her, he most likely would have flushed at hearing Kafei call him his friend.

    “Friend?!” came the disbelieving cry. “Don’t try to fool me Kafei; the only time you have friends is when you’re drunk out of your mind!” The room fell deathly silent at those words. Nothing was said for a while, during which time Vaati kept waiting for Kafei to explode… But it never came.

    “Get out of my house,” he said calmly, breaking the stillness with more force than if he’d shouted. “Get out right now and don’t come back until you know what you’re talking about. Understand?” She started to say something, but the glare Kafei fixed her with effectively stopped any argument. She bristled indignantly and quickly fled the house, leaving through the back door, just as she’d entered. When the door slammed behind her, Kafei sighed wearily and motioned for Vaati to sit down. The sorcerer did so, and seconds later, he was joined by the troubled looking man. “I suppose you’d like to know what that was all about…”

    “Well, yes,” Vaati admitted, “but you don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to. It’s probably too personal to tell someone you just met.” Kafei looked at Vaati thoughtfully, red eyes meeting red.

    “That’s the thing; it doesn’t feel like I just met you. I can’t explain it, but I feel comfortable around you. I like you… Besides, I’m sure you’ll hear it around town anyway, so I might as well tell you this myself. I’m not sociable. I don’t like many people. I can’t stand my family, as I’m sure you noticed. I don’t have many real friends other than Anju, a girl named Cremia, and a few people I can only stand when I drink. But, well… You’re different. I haven’t come to like anyone this quickly since I met Anju, and I was four back then. …Does this make any sense?”

    “Yes,” Vaati agreed with little hesitation. Of course, the attraction he was feeling towards Kafei was of a different nature, but it was still unexpected. “It makes perfect sense. I never had any friends at all in the village. My parents drowned when I was younger, and Master Ezlo took me in since I had nowhere to go. When I was old enough to do the work, he took me on as an apprentice. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the other Picori… Most of them didn’t like me. So I threw myself into my studies. I was good at memorizing things, but the practical work was hard. It was around that time I began studying the human heart, and, well, I told you the rest last night.”

    “I’m sorry about your parents… But why didn’t the others like you?” Vaati winced at the question, lowering his gaze to the table. Kafei immediately knew it was the wrong thing to ask.

    “I… I’m sorry. I’d like to tell you, but…”

    “No, it’s all right,” Kafei interrupted, “you don’t have to say it. Just… Remember that no matter what it is, I won’t judge you. Everyone has their own dirty little secrets, and I’m sure that yours are no worse than anyone else’s.” Vaati murmured his thanks and silence once more filled the room, though it was much more comfortable this time. Eventually, Kafei was the one to break it yet again. “How old are you anyway?”

    “Twenty. My parents died when I was twelve, and I was sixteen when Master Ezlo decided I was mature enough to start teaching me. I’d just turned nineteen when I stole the wishing hat. I think that’s why my human form was so young the first time around… No one hated me when I was younger…” He trailed off, a sad gleam in his eyes. After a few moments, he shook his head and continued. “And what about you?”

    “Twenty three…” He still felt bad about bringing up such a sensitive subject, but how to fix it…? “I’ve been twelve twice too.” That perked the sorcerer up.

    “Really?” Kafei nodded, pleased with his smooth change of subject.

    “Yes, it was less than half a year ago, while I was still twenty-two. Anju and I were about to be married, and I ran into a boy after I’d been showing those drinking buddies I told you about my wedding mask, the Sun Mask. In Clock Town, we have a yearly celebration called the Carnival of Time, and they say that if you get married on that day and exchange the Sun and Moon Masks, your marriage will be prosperous. But that strange kid, Stalkid, put a curse on me that regressed my age by ten years. I couldn’t face Anju like that, so I hid for three days until a kid named Link—he looked a lot like the kid you described—came along. Then there was the moon… It’s complicated. But Link saved the town and Stalkid’s curse was broken.”

    “Wow…” Well, that explained why Kafei hadn’t had any trouble believing his story about the Picori. “I guess we have more in common then I thought, huh?” Kafei smiled, his previous tension gone and replaced with a feeling of contentment. Maybe he didn’t know why Vaati was different… But it didn’t really matter.

    “Yeah, I guess we do.”

    -----

    The rest of the day went smoothly. Kafei took his next shift shortly after their talk and showed Vaati how extremely boring it could get. Anju took that time to read more of her book up in her room, much to Kafei’s amusement and Vaati’s curiosity. During that time, Kafei explained more about his family—his father who couldn’t stand up to his overbearing wife and had become mayor after his grandfather had died six years ago, and his mother who had no right insinuating that he was a drunk when she practically lived at the Milk Bar—as well as his wife’s…

    “Anju’s grandmother lives with us in the room down here. Her mother lives in South Clock Town, but she’s over here a lot. If you thought that I didn’t get along with my own mother… Well, you haven’t seen anything yet. They went out of town to see a specialist and weren’t supposed to be back until next week, but Anju forgot to tell me that they were done early until today. Sorry that you don’t have much time to prepare…”

    “It’s okay,” Vaati had assured him, “but what’s so bad about them?” Kafei had laughed at the very question.

    “Oh, her grandmother isn’t bad. She refuses to eat Anju’s cooking, tells long stories, and will most likely call you Tortus, after Anju’s father, but she’s not a bother. Her mother though… She’s the most overprotective, overbearing witch you will ever meet. She’s hated me ever since I met Anju, for reasons I’ve never been able to figure out. And since you’re my friend, she’ll most likely hate you too. Just try to stay away from her and hopefully she won’t drive you away…”

    Vaati hadn’t mentioned that he wasn’t about to go anywhere, no matter how much of a bitch she was.

    Anju came back down in time for Kafei to make dinner. Vaati had stayed back a few minutes before he followed when he saw that Anju still had her book…

    “Anju… I know this will sound strange, but… Do you think that I could borrow that once you’re done reading it?” She blinked up at him, thoroughly confused by the blush settled on his cheeks.

    “Um, sure! I’ll probably be done sometime tomorrow… It’s hard to put down! But are you sure you want to? It does have two men…” He nodded quickly, assuring her that it was okay and then hastily thanking her before he rushed to the kitchen to help Kafei. During dinner, he had a hard time looking her in the eyes, and she yet again wondered if there was more to this mysterious man than he was letting on…

    -----

    The inn closed before dinner during the off-season, so afterwards they’d finally been free to do whatever they’d pleased. Anju had gone back to her room with her book, Kafei had stayed in the kitchen to clean and get things ready for the next day, and Vaati had finally retired to his room. Though he’d felt fine that day, he’d had an awful fever the night before, and he still wasn’t back to full strength. Being on his feet all day was finally taking its toll and exhaustion was quickly catching up.

    Today was one of the best days I’ve had in a long time…’ he thought as he changed into the nightclothes Kafei had bought for him—light purple silk with blue swirls embroidered on the sleeves and cuffs and warm navy colored slippers. ‘Anju isn’t a witch, Kafei thinks of me as a friend… I’m sure I can handle their mothers. If worst comes to worse, I’ll have my powers back soon and can probably scare them away. Still, as nice as it is here, I wonder how Master Ezlo is doing… If he hadn’t given me another chance, I never could have made my wishing hat and met Kafei…

    He walked over to the bedside table and picked up his hat, looking it over carefully. It had been similar to the one Ezlo had made before he’d used it, though it had been a bit larger and it was a dark greenish blue. But now, it looked just like his old hat had been the last time he was a human. He wasn’t sure where his original clothes were—perhaps they were wherever the inn’s laundry room was?—but they had looked the same too, the only difference being that they had obviously grown in size to fit his adult body. And his body merely looked older than before too—his lavender hair was down to his waist, but the marks under his red eyes were still there and his skin was still as pale as ever.

    I guess I liked my last look so much that I unconsciously wished to look like I had back then… Good choice.’

    His mental reflection was broken when there was a knock on the door.

    “You aren’t naked in there, are you?” Vaati rolled his eyes, but he was smiling nonetheless.

    “No, come in.” Kafei took the invitation and did so, a matching smile on his face.

    “I had a feeling you’d be ready to sleep soon. A lot happened today… I figured I should say goodnight before you fell asleep.” Vaati refused to blush anymore that day—he’d been doing that far too much lately than could possibly be healthy—but it took a lot not to…

    “Thanks. Yes, I’m fairly tired now that I can relax. I’ll be going to sleep soon… So, goodnight then.” Kafei nodded as he watched Vaati put his hat back down. He could only assume that had been his wishing hat at some point… He was glad the sorcerer had used it for good this time. It was nice having him here, and he wouldn’t deny it.

    “Yes, goodnight. Sweet dreams… Then you’ll have something interesting to tell me tomorrow while we try to tune out Anju’s mother.” Vaati laughed as he kicked off his slippers and pulled back the covers on the bed.

    “Sure, just make sure you do the same.” Kafei nodded and turned to leave, the sorcerer’s laughter making his smile grow.

    “You’ve got it.” With that, he was gone, and Vaati switched off the lamp and climbed into bed, wondering if his dreams would indeed be anything he could possibly share…

    -----

    Kafei went up to bed late, hoping that Anju would be asleep by the time he got there. But no, she was still up and reading that book of hers, though her eyes were drooping. He shook his head as he got into bed, glad that she was at least too absorbed to bring up children again…

    “Is reading about two men having an affair really that interesting?” She shot him a look that was probably meant to be annoyed but just came off as exhausted.

    “You’d be surprised. It’s actually much more interesting this way, because I honestly don’t know how it will turn out.” She yawned and finally moved her bookmark into place, reluctantly putting the book on the side table. “…Vaati asked to borrow it when I was done you know.” That…was very interesting.

    “Did he now?” Part of him assumed that Vaati wanted something to occupy his free time, but the other part wondered if maybe, just maybe, this had something to do with his secret…

    “Yes, and he was blushing too. I wonder why…?” …And now he thought that it was the latter idea even more.

    “I have no idea,” he lied. It was just a theory after all. And if he was onto something, well, it wouldn’t be his place to say anything.

    “Oh, all right. Goodnight my dear. I love you.” She shut off the light on her side and settled down to sleep as he did the same, his mind running with hundreds of theories.

    “Goodnight…”

    -----

    The other boys in the village, they said that they know my secret.” Ezlo’s sighed, shaking his head wearily.

    “That doesn’t tell me much… What secret? And why would they hurt you for it?” Vaati took a deep breath to calm himself. Ezlo had been like his father for six years—he’d understand. He had to.

    “They said… They said that they know I like guys instead of girls. They said that I’m a disgrace to all Picori, and that if I ever tell anyone, they’ll kill me… I’m so scared that they’ll do it, and, and…”

    Even in his dreams, the memory brought chills to Vaati’s body.

    --------------------------------------------------

    *pets poor Vaati* Ah... Not much to say. I'll try to put up the rest of the chapters bit more timely, so I can catch up to where ff.net is. ^^;

    Please review and let me know what you think!
    Bishies: Luppi & Lady Bat|C.Bishie: Clopin|VG.Bishie: Gale|Pokemon: Ariados
    Ships: ReijixSaturn, KafeixVaati, MeltxLezard & NoelxLeon
    Twin: Vycksta

    Shipping Face-Off (Ultimate Face-Off of 2007): Best Shinji/Paul Ship

  10. #10
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    Next part~

    Kismet—Chapter Four

    by taitofan

    Rated PG-13 for eventual yaoi and some language

    Disclaimer: I don’t own Majora’s Mask, Minish Cap, or anything else Legend of Zelda related. Trust me; I’m sure that many people are happy about that.

    Author’s notes: Would you look at that, I got Kafei’s description in too. Go me! Oh… This chapter is important, because it leads to things that are going to define the plot later on. Also, I made up names for various characters. They’re random and mean nothing… Sorry if they’re lame.

    Flames do nothing but make me laugh, although I'll listen to any CC you have. Please read, review, and enjoy! Finished 01-07-07

    --------------------

    “Vaati, please stop looking like I’m going to throw you out. It’s all right.” The poor apprentice was shaking like a leaf, seconds away from crying. He knew it was stupid, that he was too old to cry, but…

    “You hate me, don’t you?” Ezlo couldn’t believe his ears…

    “How can you think that? I’ve been your guardian for six years and your teacher for two. Do you honestly believe that I could hate you because of your choice in partners?” Well, when he put it that way…

    “No… I’m sorry Master… But what should I do about the others?” Ezlo turned away from his student, not wanting to see his face when he said what the young man needed to hear…

    “…You need to deal with them yourself.” Vaati’s eyes widened at the words, and he barely bit back a shocked gasp.

    “What?! But Master—!”

    “No, I cannot help you with this. This will follow you your entire life, and you must learn to deal with it now. Even in the human world, ones such as you face persecution…”

    Vaati awoke not to a bang, but to the sun glaring in his eyes. He cursed himself for not shutting the blinds… But it was for the best. He knew what would have come next… That was the event that had lead to him seeking knowledge on the darkness in humans’ hearts. The work, his personal life… Ezlo wouldn’t help him with any of it. He understood now, but for a teenager who’d been receiving daily beatings and death threats, stealing a hat and getting instant power was very appealing…

    The clock on the wall showed that it was still quite early, six thirty, but he figured that Kafei and Anju would be up by now… He decided that he’d ask about their usual schedules today. After all, if he was going to be a working there by himself eventually, it’d do him some good to know what time he should start waking up…

    He changed out of his nightclothes—in the back of his mind, he reminded himself to shower that night—and put on new clothes, a shirt much like the one he’d worn the day before, only with purple embroidery, and dark red slacks. It was a bit strange wearing clothes of that style, but he rather liked them. They were…poofy. Comfortable. And they looked great on Kafei.

    After brushing his hair and putting on his sandals, he quietly made his way downstairs, mindful of the fact that they might still be asleep. And when he entered the front room, it seemed that he’d been right… Kafei was tipped back in his chair, his feet resting on the counter, sleeping soundly. Anju was nowhere in sight, so Vaati allowed himself the luxury of getting closer and studying the handsome man before him…

    Today he was wearing a long-sleeved white shirt with purple flames on the wide cuffs, a purple vest with golden trim, matching purple pants, and brown boots. Vaati might have been annoyed that the man had teased him about liking the color the other day, but the fact that it suited him stopped any irritation that might have formed. His hair—a much darker shade of purple than Vaati’s own lavender—went down past his shoulder blades. Not as long as the sorcerer’s, but still longer than most men kept it. His skin was a healthy cream color, and though they were closed, Vaati knew that his eyes were bright red. In short, he was the most beautiful man Vaati had ever seen. Not even the women he’d met could complete with Kafei… Not that he paid attention to females of course.

    As much as Vaati enjoyed the view, he knew that Kafei probably hadn’t meant to fall asleep… And besides, now was the perfect time to try something out… Concentrating, he brought his right middle and index finger before his face and closed his eyes. His hair began to flutter slowly around him, and suddenly—

    “Ah!” —Kafei’s chair was knocked over, and he went right along with it. He quickly scrambled to his feet, eyes wild, until… “Vaati, what the hell?” The Wind Sorcerer was torn between being amused, guilty, and proud. He settled on a bit of all three.

    “I thought you would have learned not to do that…” He gracefully ignored the glare he was receiving. “And you’ll be happy to know that I can still control the wind.”

    “Oh yes,” Kafei mumbled, picking up his chair and sitting back down, “I’m so pleased… You’re not going to use me as a test subject for all of your powers are you? I don’t fancy being turned to stone…”

    “No, that’ll be all I require of your services,” he replied with a smirk. “Besides, it will still be a while before I can attempt the harder things again… Shape shifting and teleporting will come last, I’m sure.” Kafei, dropping his faux anger, blinked in surprise.

    “You…can do that?” Vaati rolled his eyes at the other man’s amazement as he sat on the desk. He liked being higher than Kafei… He was a good half a head shorter than Kafei, and he wondered why he always ended up so short, no matter what his form…

    “I told you that I pretended to be the king of Hyrule… Did you think I just dressed up as him or something?” Kafei’s sheepish look told him that yes, yes he had. “Well, yes, I can do both. But I won’t attempt those anytime soon. They take more energy than controlling the wind. That’s rather easy, but I should be completely back to full strength before I do anything as taxing on my magic as the others…”

    “That’s amazing…” It was painfully apparent to Vaati that Termina, or Clock Town at the very least, was lacking in magicians… It failed to dawn on him that his repertoire of powers was highly impressive to anyone.

    “I suppose… Why were you asleep down here anyway? Is Anju up? What time do you normally get up?” Kafei easily adjusted to the change of subject—Anju did it to him all the time.

    “We open at eight during the off season. Anju usually gets up right around that time, but I’m typically up at six. Today she got up early to go wait for her mother and grandmother at the town gates. She tried to convince me to wake you up and so you could watch the place when we open, but I reminded her that you didn’t know how things work around here… Not that we’ll probably have any customers, but quite frankly, I’d rather jump off the clock tower than see that insufferable woman any sooner than absolutely necessary… Anyway, it took me a while to fall asleep last night, so I’m a bit tired.”

    He didn’t mention that it was thoughts of Vaati that had kept him up. Vaati didn’t ask.

    “I see… Well, if we still have a while, how about I make breakfast?” Kafei was always weary about letting people into his kitchen, but more so now than ever.

    “Do you know anything other than Picori cuisine?” Vaati laughed at his distrusting look and hopped off the counter.

    “Why don’t you follow me and stop being so paranoid?” Kafei carefully considered his options… Well, there was no way he could be worse than Anju at least, so he supposed it wouldn’t hurt too much.

    “All right,” he agreed, getting up and out from the counter, “but I’m coming too. I’m not letting you burn the inn down…” Vaati smirked, and Kafei was suddenly on his butt. He scowled as the sorcerer walked away, leaving him on the floor for the second time that morning.

    This is going to take some getting used to…

    --------------------

    It turned out that Vaati was indeed a good cook. When questioned how someone who had spent two decades being smaller than most human food could possibly know what he was doing, he explained that he’d spent his childhood living above a small restaurant in Hyrule Town. Then, after Ezlo had taken him in, he’d done the cooking there.

    “You’d be surprised how many Picori foods more or less have human counterparts. Or how easy it is to sneak into a human kitchen in the middle of the night and get enough food to last a month. One sugar cube was enough to make more cakes than you could possibly want.”

    Kafei decided to let Vaati use his kitchen in the future. And it worked out well, because Anju still wasn’t back by noontime, so Vaati was able to cook them lunch while Kafei stayed at the front desk. They ate together at the counter, while Kafei taught the sorcerer about the inn’s rules and rates. He caught on quickly, and by the time they’d finished eating—a vegetable dish that Kafei decided to get the recipe for later—they’d already worked out a new schedule that incorporated the three of them.

    “This works out wonderfully… We won’t have to hire as many extras during festivals, and now Anju won’t have to get her mother to come over and help as much…”

    Vaati was getting just as nervous about their return, and he’d never even met the woman before. Luckily, they managed to keep their minds off impending disaster by talking. Kafei explained more about the Festival of Time, while Vaati told more tales of the Picori. They were so absorbed by each other’s tales, that they didn’t even notice the door opening until…

    “Oh no, I knew it! See Anju, you should just pack up now—”

    “No mom! I told you, it’s not like that…” Vaati turned towards the noise, and saw what Kafei had warned him of… Anju stood with a plump woman in a green dress with her hair in a bun and an elderly lady in a wheelchair. Obviously, they were Anju’s mother and grandmother. The first voice had belonged to her mother.

    “You heard the people in town dear! Why don’t you just face the facts that he’s—” He wasn’t sure what was going on, but he assumed they were talking about Kafei. And Anju looked none too pleased by it…

    “He’s my husband and we love each other. I told you that Vaati is just his friend, so please, let’s just drop it.” He heard a low growl come from his side, and sure enough, Kafei was scowling beside him. Vaati had a feeling he knew what was going on…

    “Friend? The only friends he has are you and Cremia! Hasn’t that ever struck you as odd?” Anju looked close to tears, and Kafei’s scowl deepened. Vaati was left wondering how many fights could possibly break out in only two days.

    “Riria,” a gravelly voice cut in, “why don’t you let them explain?” Anju’s mother, Riria, kept quiet at her mother-in-law’s request. Anju reminded herself to thank her grandmother later.

    “Kafei, dear, maybe you can explain why everyone in town seems to think that you and Vaati are…doing things? While we were coming here, everyone kept saying how sorry they were for me, and one man even offered to marry me when I divorced my “cheating husband.” Tell me there’s a misunderstanding…” Kafei mumbled something that sounded like ‘you must be kidding…’ under his breath. Vaati felt a blush creep onto his cheeks, wondering why the whole town thought that when he’d only met five people here so far… And part of him lamented the fact that it wasn’t true.

    “Yesterday I walked into Vaati’s room while he was changing by accident. While we were at the clothing stop, we were joking about it, and the girl working there must have taken it the wrong way and started spreading rumors. Whatever you heard, it’s not true.” Anju looked visibly relieved by the news, but Riria wasn’t so easily convinced.

    “What a convenient story. Just like your convenient proposal to my daughter after those rumors got out…” Before Vaati could even wonder what that meant, Kafei was up and heading towards the door. Anju cried for him to come back, but he merely walked out without a word to any of them. The poor girl was close to tears at the sight of her husband storming out for the second time in only three days. “See? He won’t even deny it! You should get over your denial and divorce him already—”

    Riria kept talking, but Vaati didn’t hear anymore, deciding that following Kafei was preferable to listening to someone berate him. He was lucky enough to be a fast runner, and thus was able to see a flash of purple hair rounding a corner just in time. Turning that way, he sprinted until he was within hearing distance.

    “Kafei, wait!” Said man stopped abruptly, but he didn’t turn around. Once the sorcerer had caught up, he started walking again. They continued on in silence for a while, ignoring all passersby who whispered frantically upon seeing them together, until they reached a small section of the town. It was peaceful compared to the other parts of town Vaati had been to, and there was a beautiful pool of water that seemed out of place in the busy town. Kafei led him over to the pool, and they sat side by side next to the water.

    “This is the Laundry Pool,” Kafei finally spoke, sounding far calmer Vaati had expected. “When I was a child—both times—I liked to come here when I needed to be alone. It’s not very popular. I think the people here hate peace and quiet sometimes… I don’t have much time to come here anymore, but I still get away whenever I can.” Vaati couldn’t help but feel privileged that Kafei had brought him here. It seemed…special.

    “Thank you for letting me come. It’s lovely here.” Kafei shrugged, though there was a small smile on his face.

    “Well, it’s not like I own the place, but you’re welcome. Anju could never sit still long enough to appreciate it…” He sighed then, looking out at the water, the smile suddenly gone. “I was hoping that Riria wouldn’t cause trouble, but I should have known that was too much to ask. She didn’t even wait for introductions before she started throwing around accusations… And now I have more things to explain…” Kafei might have been looking at the water, but Vaati was carefully studying Kafei. Whatever these rumors were, they were of a different nature than the things he’d heard from Madame Aroma. He was intrigued, to say the least.

    “It would probably be for the best, so you can tell me what really happened.” Kafei sighed again and nodded, albeit reluctantly.

    “Yes, of course… It was right before I proposed to Anju, about a week or so. I was at the Milk Bar with the only of my drinking buddies that I don’t hate when we’re sober, Tomo. He runs the Curiosity Shop, which I suggest you never buy from unless I’m with you. Anyway, what you must understand is that I’m far from a drunkard. First of all, I don’t have enough time to go to the bar on any regular basis, and most of all, it takes a ridiculously small amount of alcohol to make me an utter fool. Anju never liked me going there at any rate. Even when I turned eighteen, she refused to go with me—”

    “Wait,” Vaati cut him off, amusement evident by his tone, “are you saying that Anju is older than you?” Kafei finally turned to the younger man, the warning clear in his eyes.

    “One word, and you’ll be taking an impromptu swim in the pool. Understand?” Vaati bit back his laughter and nodded.

    “Of course. Please, carry on.” Kafei doubted that it would be the last he heard on the subject, but he continued nonetheless.

    “As I was saying… We’d agreed to go out drinking that night. This town loves gossip, and the lot of them will latch onto anything they can get their claws into, no matter how ridiculous. So by the time I woke up the next day, everyone was convinced that Tomo and I were secret lovers… It was the most preposterous thing I’d ever heard, and only Anju believed me. Even Cremia thought it was true…” Vaati listened very carefully to the story, his eyes widening at the tale. So, that’s why Riria had called his engagement suspicious… He wouldn’t say it, but he agreed that the timing was impeccable. But surely, there was more to it than that…

    “How did the rumor start? There must have been a reason.” Kafei turned back to the pool, a troubled look in his eyes.

    “I honestly don’t know…” Such a vague answer… He must know something—Vaati just knew it… What was going on? But before he could ask anything more on the subject, Kafei continued, “That unbearable gossip should be gone by know. Shall we return?”

    “Sure…” As much as he wanted to continue, he could see that the conversation was over. But it was okay… Now he had a mystery to solve.

    There’s more going on here than you’ll admit Kafei… And trust me, I will find out.’

    --------------------

    Sure enough, Riria had left by the time the two men returned, and Anju had settled her grandmother into her room. She’d tried to apologize for her mother’s behavior, but Kafei had brushed her off with the excuse that he needed to start dinner. She’d let him go with a worried look on her face, but when Vaati followed him, she called him back.

    “Vaati, can I please speak with you for a minute?” Kafei continued on without waiting for his answer, leaving him no choice but to agree. It worked out though; maybe Anju had some answers…

    “Of course. What is it?” She pulled out a familiar looking book from under the counter and handed it to him. If she noticed the faint flush he took on, she didn’t mention it.

    “I finished this while you two were gone, so you can borrow it now… Where were you anyway?” He picked up the book, glad that she didn’t question him on that subject at least…

    “He took me to the Laundry Pool.”

    “Oh!” she exclaimed, her eyes widening slightly. “He doesn’t usually bring people there… He thinks of it as his own little corner of town. But I can’t say I’m surprised… He really likes you. I don’t know if he’s told you, but he doesn’t get along with many people.” He nodded, a bit surprised that she’d admit such things even without knowing how much he knew…

    “Yes… He mentioned that you, Cremia, and Tomo were his only friends.” It seemed that this conversation was full of surprises, because her eyes widened even more.

    “He…told you about Tomo? I didn’t think he’d tell you about him after what my mother said… He hates being reminded that he’d lost control like that… It’s hard to prove your innocence when you can’t even remember what happened, you know? Oh, but I believe him anyway. He’d been planning on proposing to me you know…” He agreed, pretending that he had indeed known. Just what he’d been hoping for… And he hadn’t even needed to ask!

    Before the conversation could continue, Kafei walked back into the room, a preoccupied look on his face. Vaati did his best to hide the book behind his back, not knowing that Anju had already told him about it, but he didn’t even notice.

    “Vaati, could you do me a favor and take the food out of the oven when the timer goes off? I need to go do something in town… You and Anju can start eating if I’m not back by then.” Before either could stop or even question him, he was out the door. Anju looked greatly troubled by his actions, but she let him go yet again.

    “I wish he’d tell me what’s wrong…”

    Vaati did too.

    --------------------

    By the time Kafei returned to the inn, they’d both eaten, Vaati had cleaned up, Anju had closed up for the night, and they’d gone to their respective rooms. Kafei quietly made his way upstairs, the troubled look from earlier still evident in his eyes. His first stop? Vaati’s room.

    The sorcerer looked up as he opened to door and stepped in, and Kafei couldn’t help but smile a bit as he tried to hide Anju’s book from view. Deciding that there’d been enough going on that day already, he decided not to mention it. Instead, he walked over and sat on the edge of the bed at the younger man’s feet.

    “I’m sorry I left without any warning. I know you aren’t used to it like Anju…” Vaati shook his head, concerned, but not wanting to seem desperate for answers.

    “It’s okay. You don’t have to explain yourself.” Kafei laughed softly, but it was devoid of humor.

    “No, it’s not okay… But I appreciate it nonetheless. Thank you for putting up with all of this… My mother, Riria, me. I’m surprised you have left in the middle of the night yet.” He’d taken over a kingdom, almost killed a princess and a hero, and been one step away from ruling the world… And yet, he’d trade all of that former glory just to make the man before him happy.

    “…Trust me, I don’t want to be anywhere than right here.” With you went unsaid, but implied. Kafei’s expression was a mixture of confusion and gratitude.

    “I-I’m glad.” They say silently, only their faint breathing being any indication that the room was occupied. Kafei suddenly stood up, and just like that, the spell was broken. It was hard to tell who was more disappointed. “Goodnight.”

    Three days. Three days of knowing each other, and he was already more confused than he’d ever been in his entire life… And as he entered his room and laid next to the sleeping woman whom he called his wife, his confusion only grew.

    --------------------

    ‘You want to make your own wishing hat?’ Vaati nodded, a determined glint in his eyes.

    ‘Yes Master, more than anything. I need to prove that I can work hard and succeed…’ Ezlo shook his head good-naturedly. That was his apprentice, always so full of grand ideas…

    ‘Why not try something a bit easier then? It took me a long time to make mine, so you would be required to work night and day—’

    ‘Master,’ he cut him off, his tone cheerless, ‘no one likes me here. The other Picori hate me more than ever. I need to get away, to go somewhere new, where I can help people instead of hurt them… I want to be a human again. Then maybe…’ Ezlo laid his hand on the small Picori’s shoulder, smiling softly at him. He understood… Vaati had never fit in here. There was nothing for him in the Picori world but Ezlo himself. No other family or friends, no one to love… Vaati would never find a mate here. No, he needed to start a new life…

    ‘All right. We’ll get started tomorrow morning, bright and early…’

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    Aw, Kafei is confused, how cute. X3 Tidbit of knowledge: I named Anju's mom Riria because it was a more "Japanese" sounding form of Lilia, Ryuuto's mom from Pokemon XD. I hate Lilia and Riria is supposed to be an antagonist, so... That was that.

    Reviews mean I update quicker (cause I remember that I need to update here if I get reviews; I keep forgetting this section exists...). So please let me know what you think!
    Bishies: Luppi & Lady Bat|C.Bishie: Clopin|VG.Bishie: Gale|Pokemon: Ariados
    Ships: ReijixSaturn, KafeixVaati, MeltxLezard & NoelxLeon
    Twin: Vycksta

    Shipping Face-Off (Ultimate Face-Off of 2007): Best Shinji/Paul Ship

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