Title: So close, so far 02/12
Genre: fantasy, romantic, angst, AU
Pairing: Sakuraiba, Junba, Ohmiya
Summary: Prince Aiba is the future king of Rainbow Kingdom who has to choose his future partner between marquis Sakurai and earl Matsumoto. The choice seems easy for Aiba who already loves one of them but what if a spell brings him far away from him? Can he believe in him or will he fall in the stained arms of the other?
That night the prince wasn't able to sleep. He thought about Sakurai and his heart stubbornly wouldn't stop beating fast. Anxious and happy feelings were going up and down in his stomach and made him unable to stay still in his bed. His gaze kept on resting on that flashy hat that the marquis forgot and a strange anticipation grew in his heart. He wanted to meet that man again and although he didn't know where his heedless behavior would lead him, he really wanted to be hugged and kissed again by Sakurai.
Fortunately days passed by quickly because of his always tight schedule. He had to meet with some nobles to hear about their requests, have lunch with his step-mother where she talked the whole time about a great guy she suggested to his father as a candidate for his marriage while Masaki just smiled politely. He knew that the queen actually hated him because she was always second in the king's heart and, although the prince didn't care about his marriage, he didn't want to upset his step-mother by saying his thoughts out loud.
Until yesterday he was sure to have already accepted his fate, but now that his marriage was approaching, he was feeling uneasy and the blame was most of all Sakurai's. After lunch, the prince talked with the council about civil issues and it took the whole afternoon. It was already 7PM when he finally went to take care of his beloved horse. He skipped dinner because of the impatience growing in his stomach. Anyway nobody would notice it since he always ate alone during dinner. He rode his horse to the little cottage, taking Sakurai's hat with him.
When he arrived, the place was silent and peaceful as always. He loved to relax there whenever things in his life were getting troublesome or painful. Like when his mother died: everyone was too focused on themselves and their needs so nobody cared about the poor little heir and his pain. At that time he ran as fast as he could and hid in that silent cottage, crying alone. Those memories were painful therefore he tried to focus on what was going to happen and suddenly uncertainty filled his mind. What if Sakurai would just play with him? What if he wouldn't come at all?
Aiba didn't want to be hurt again and he was at a loss for a moment, so without thinking, he left the flashy hat on the table in the middle of the room and was going to slip away on his horse when he heard some noises from the path. Somebody was coming and the prince didn't want to meet anybody there, especially Sakurai now that all of his fears awoke. He took the horse, hid inside the forest between a bunch of big and old trees and remained silent, waiting for the newcomer to make his appearance. He wasn't surprised when he saw Sakurai getting off of his horse but his heart felt relieved. He didn't show himself though and waited for Sakurai to enter the cottage.
Sakurai on the other hand felt ecstatic to meet the prince again but was upset to find the little house empty. He immediately thought that Aiba hadn't arrived yet and inspected the cottage, curious to know something more about the heir. The living room was tidy and cute with a couch under the window, a little table with a couple of chairs and a big library full of books. On the left there was a door that led to a little storage room with food and drinks. On the other side of the living room, there was another door and when Sho opened it, he gazed at a king size bed in the middle of a bright room with a big wardrobe on the wall behind it and a little, slightly opened, door next to it where Sakurai found a tidy and completely white bathroom.
He sat on the bed and caressed the green blanket while perverted thoughts sneakily filled his mind and made him blush so he hastily shook his head and came back to the living room. He peeked at the books in the library and found some famous books that he read as well and some unknown titles like "The beautiful world of monkeys" which caused him to chuckle. He turned around and found his hat on the table that he didn't notice before because he was too focused on finding Aiba. So he already came here... Sho thought hopefully and sat at the table to wait for his prince. He stayed like that for an hour, lost in his thoughts and when the sun was already setting down, he found a piece of paper in the library and wrote a message before riding his horse away.
Masaki was still there, hidden behind the trees and when he was sure that marquis was far away, he shuffled to his cottage, turned the lights on and observed his house. Everything was like when he left, the flashy hat too was still on the table as if Sakurai never went there. Tears escaped from his eyes and without thinking twice, he took out his coat and went in the bathroom to take a relaxing shower. He needed it after a whole stressing day and was under the water for almost an hour when his stomach growled.
"I need to eat something, ne~?" He said to himself, trying to smile and then turned the water off and dried himself. He went to the living room wearing just his boxer shorts; after all there was no one else but him in the cottage. He cut some peppers and salad, took some bread to the table, then hung the hat near his coat on the wall and sat on a chair before he noticed the piece of paper that Sakurai left behind. Aiba's eyes widened when he read it and he covered his mouth and nose with a hand not to sob too loud while tears blurred his view.
"Hope to see you tomorrow. I'll wait here again before sunset."
The next day was also busy for the prince but he was really looking forward to the evening which made the time went by very fast. It was already 7PM when he was finally free and rode his horse to the cottage. There was a white horse outside and he immediately recognized it as Sakurai's horse. He stopped and his mind started to work in the wrong way. What if Sakurai was angry with him for not showing up the day before or worse he wanted to break up with Aiba?
"Break up? Don't be stupid, Masaki! He only kissed you, it doesn't mean anything yet." He hid again in the wood and waited for Sakurai to leave before coming in the cottage to find another message.
"Tomorrow I really wish to meet you. I'll wait here again before sunset."
Aiba smiled and felt a little guilty but the same scene kept on repeating day by day until a whole week passed by. Sakurai never failed to show up and the heir waited patiently in his hideout, every time finding a new message where Sakurai announced that he would wait again the next day.
Exactly seven days passed from Aiba's birthday and as always, before sunset he rode to his cottage, his heart racing crazily at the idea to see Sakurai. But something was different that evening. Masaki waited and waited for Sakurai but the marquis didn't come. It was already dark outside when Aiba decided to go in his cottage. It was cold inside and his heart sunk when he didn't find a message on the table. He should have had expected something like that but he hoped until the last minute that Sakurai came without him noticing.
He felt stupid and lost and immediately ran outside. He got on his horse, rode away to his favorite path, far away from the palace, in a deep valley where nobody lived. He liked to have long rides on his black horse and walk along those little and almost forgotten paths. The wind was gently hitting his face, washing away all his thoughts. He was angry with himself, his heart was aching and all he could feel was the bitterness and sadness for letting Sakurai go. He lost his chance to finally find his beloved one and a sense of loneliness clenched his soul.
The prince was so lost in his thoughts that he didn't notice a white horse approaching and the man on it screaming his name. "Aiba-sama!"
He kept on running at full speed without really seeing where he was going and within seconds his horse reared up making the heir fall on the ground. At the sight the other man immediately stopped his horse and went to help Aiba. "Are you all right, Aiba-sama?!" He asked almost screaming.
"S-Sakurai-san?" Surprise was written all over the prince's face when he recognized the man in front of him. It was already dark but the moon's light reflecting on Sho's face, made Aiba's heart flutter. Without thinking twice, he hugged Sakurai tightly and a few tears trickled from his brown eyes when he whispered:
At first marquis felt awkward but then he hugged the prince back and asked:
"Why are you apologizing?"
"For the past week... for letting you down all this time."
"I bet you were busy." Sakurai loosened the hug and once he noticed Aiba's embarrassment, he smiled and gave a sweet peck on the heir's lips. Masaki looked down to hide his pinky cheeks and mumbled:
"I-I wasn't. I... I did it on purpose! I was unsure and..." He gazed back at the man in front of him who wasn't surprised at all. Sakurai put his finger on Aiba's lips and kept on smiling. It was a warm and sweet smile that made Masaki relax.
"I know." He said with a honey-like tone. "For the first three days I was clueless and uneasy that I almost gave up but fortunately I noticed your horse in the forest and I thought that maybe you were testing me." He kept on smiling and wondered how much cuter the prince could get with his pinky cheeks and surprised expression.
"I'm sorry, Sakurai-san but I'm more coward scared than you think. I wasn't testing you, I was..." Aiba looked down again before admitting that he was actually doubtful about himself.. "I was afraid to meet you. I was afraid of your feelings, unsure of what you would expect from me."
"I don't expect anything from you." Marquis stated seriously and helped Masaki to raise his head and face him. He could finally see the honesty in Sakurai's eyes and all his insecurity blew away. He gave one of his bright and sunny smiles, remembered that they were still on the ground and said cheerfully:
"Now I think it's better if we go back."
"I guess so." Sakurai replied while helping the heir to get up and they headed to the little cottage together on their horses.
A/N: dou~??? Now that Sakuraiba is falling in love, what do you think?? ^O^
Teaser: the next chap will be NC-17 xD