A/N - WOW! This is my FIRST EVER FANFIC! So. . .I think it sucks. Horribly. Awfully. But. . .eh, prove me wrong, if you like. Reviews are loved. My updates are going to be SLOOOOOW, though. Real-life issues. Blargh. BUT! Starting next month, things should be okay.
Disclaimer - I don't own ToA in any possible way.
Baticul. A unique city. Built in the crater of a fonstone that fell from the sky, this magnificent city is well-protected. The lower-class live in the lowest part while the upper-class live in the highest part, which is accessed by elevators. The current king, King Ingobert the VI, and his daughter lived in the castle while Duke Fabre and his family lived right nearby. Baticul's coliseum was a popular place as well, with people flocking from all over the world, from Malkuth and Kimlasca, even though the two countries were enemies.
Had this been any normal day, one boy would have cared to stop and enjoy the sights of the magnificent city. However, he couldn't; not today. For today, he had to run for his life to where ever he could, his recent hiding place having been discovered by Baticul's guards and the White Knights.
"Get back here, brat!"
"We'll teach you to try and steal from us!"
The "brat" in question, a small boy with hair as blue as the sky-wearing simple white t-shirt and blue ragged jeans, that had seen better days, plus a white cape that was trailing behind him and a golden necklace around his neck that held his name: Alex; dirt covered him and his clothes and he had some scratches on his legs and hands-did not stop. Despite his age, he was able to stay ahead of the two dozen guards chasing after him, who were actually getting tired from their chase. That was when the boy noticed the elevators. Usually, they were guarded, but since most of the guards in the area were chasing him, he could easily sneak on. And so, he did, diving onto it and immediately hitting the button for it to go. At once, it did, and he was soon heading straight up to the highest levels of Baticul.
As he crawled to the edge and looked down on the guards, who were already heading to the second elevator, he gulped; they were bound to catch him this time. The other route may have been longer, but they would still catch him. After all, there weren't many places he could hide in the land of the nobility.
"Master Luke, please! Don't cry!"
The small boy had finally arrived in the upper class, running on and climbing over a fence that led to who-knows-where. When he thought he was safe for a little while longer, he slowed down to a walk, wandering around the area he was now in; an entirely HUGE area with nothing but grass and flowers, seemingly deserted. Butterflies flew here and there and bees collected the nectar from the honey. It was beautiful, and for once, the boy smiled happily, child-like wonder filling his eyes. If he could hide here forever, then he'd be happy forever! But alas, the guards were going to find him eventually. He'd dazed out until he heard the voice of an unfamiliar woman, reminding him of which part of Baticul he was and where he had just possibly trespassed.
Panicking, he quickly glanced around; left and right, trying to find something. . .anything he could hide behind; the last thing he needed was for the family's personal guard to come after him. That was when he spotted a tree nearby, and quickly scrambled towards and up it, panting as he sat on the nearest branch. Unfortunately, it was directly in front of the family he'd heard earlier. A single red-headed boy was laying on the ground, crying and. . .throwing a tantrum? He had to be at least ten years old, six years older than himself. And three maids were trying to get him to calm down, and were apparently failing. An older couple were standing off away from them; the man was a rough-looking man: Duke Fabre. The blue-haired boy instantly recognized him. He was famous! Among Kimlasca, as a great and powerful man, next to the king, and in Malkuth, as the most wanted man in the country. Next to him was a woman, red hair flowing and green eyes soft; Madam Fabre, probably. How she ended up marrying the Duke, he could only guess.
The only male servant present was a young teen with blonde hair and bright blue eyes, who was (regrettably) standing nearest to his hiding spot. Alex thought he'd seen him look in his direction and froze, but relaxed when the blonde looked away.
"Such a shame. His knowledge of being a great ruler; his sword training. . .even how to walk and talk; he's forgotten it all," Duke Fabre spoke, loud enough for the blue-haired boy to hear him.
"Dear. . .the kidnapping must have been traumatic for him. It can't be helped," Madam Fabre replied soothingly, looking up at her husband, while the Duke watched his son, who was now laughing happily; the maids must have obviously cheered him up if he was laughing now.
"There you are!"
The blue-haired boy nearly fell out of his tree at the sudden new voice, almost falling out of the tree. He thought for sure he had been caught again, but realized it was a girl's voice; a young girl's voice. When he righted himself (and caught that blonde servant looking in his direction again), he spotted the owner, and his jaw almost dropped (though his eyes did widen); it was Princess Natalia, smiling happily, looking at the red-haired boy who had been crying earlier (Luke, he guessed) lie he was her one true love. . .and he probably was. In her hands, she had a ring of flowers, neatly woven and absolutely beautiful. She walked up to Luke and placed it gently on his head, and he only looked up at her with a confused expression. But soon, he smiled again. Then, the blue-haired boy could've sworn he heard a sob, glancing down at the base of the tree and learning he wasn't alone. But he was utterly confused now!
The same redhead from just feet in front of him was standing there. . .crying. . .and. . .wow. . .were they twins or something? He couldn't tell. Behind the second redhead was a man with brown hair, wearing a grin that sent several chills down Alex's spine. The elder man then took the redhead away and they were both soon out of sight.
"THERE YOU ARE!"
Alex yelped, jumping so high he really did fall off the branch, landing hard on the ground below; thank GOD he didn't just break a bone! But before he even had a moment to recover, he was suddenly yanked up roughly into the hair by two different pairs of armored hands. To his left was a guard from the Kimlascan army. To his right, a White Knight. Great. They'd found him. Now he was really in for it! Instead of sitting still, the blue-haired boy struggled as much as any four-year-old could against guards, kicking and trying to pull himself out of grip. Of course, it was all futile, sadly. But he did manage to gain the attention of Duke and Duchess Fabre, Luke, Princess Natalia, the blonde servant, and all the other maids that were there.
"Little brat. You're in for it! Just wait until—"
"What is the meaning of this!"
Everyone froze, even the struggling four-year-old. Duke Fabre's commanding voice was still ringing in his ears, and though he didn't understand why, the man was obviously a well-respected and maybe even feared man. He'd caught the blonde flinch; ha. Although, he probably knew he was there the whole time. . .not like he had the best hiding place in the world.
"I asked you a question: What is the meaning of this?" the Duke demanded again, in a less frightening tone. The guards holding him, as well as the others that had followed (about five others) stood at attention. . .and their grip never weakened. Not that they would have needed to weaken it. . .unless the Duke miraculously saved him from a possibly very harsh beating.
"Sir! This child tried to steal from the market. This hasn't been the first time, either. Though today, we finally caught him," one of the White Knights that were behind (and strangely, every guard present was standing at attention) offered. "We just plan to find his family and return him where he belongs."
"Oh? That's not what it looked like to me. Release him!" Duke Fabre ordered, and at once, the knights released him. Alex fell to the ground with a thud, trembling at the impact; he hadn't expected that, nor had he been ready. And that. . .HURT. Tears instantly welled up in his eyes, but he quickly sat up and wiped them away furiously; he would not cry. He would not. Not now and not ever again.
"Dear. . .please, go easy on him. He's only a child," Madam Fabre spoke, somehow cooling the Duke down; how she managed to do that, no one would ever know. But instead of approaching him herself, she looked at the blonde teen with a soft expression, still. "Guy, please. . .if you would, help patch him up. He looks terribly hurt."
"As you wish, ma'am," the blonde servant, Guy, responded, bowing before turning on Alex and walking up to him, kneeling down in front of him so he was his height. The blue-haired child flinched and stepped back, earning a chuckle from the teen. "Don't worry. I won't hurt you. I'm here to help."
Somehow, Alex didn't feel ready to believe him.
"What's you're name?" Guy asked.
Alex remained silent.
"Err. . .how old are you?"
Alex held up four fingers. Okay, he knows his age and can count. Good, Guy thought. But one thing still bugged him.
"Can you talk?"
Alex shook his head, and Guy let out a frustrated sigh; well, wasn't this going to be fun. The boy wasn't going to make this easy, not in the least bit. Still, he'd at least discovered his age. Then, something caught his attention, around the boy's neck. He was wearing a golden necklace that said. . .Alex? "Is your name Alex?" he asked curiously.
And the blue-haired nodded slowly.
"Well then, Alex, nice to meet you. My name's Guy," he introduced, pointing at himself. By now, Natalia and Luke (who Natalia had escorted over) had come as well. So Guy, noticing, looked at them for a moment and a small smile crept onto his face. "And these two are Princess Natalia and Luke fon Fabre, heirs to the throne of Kimlasca."
"Really, Guy! You don't have to be so formal all the time," Natalia scowled, letting go of Luke and crossing her arms.
"M-My apologies, Princess. . ."
Alex watched on in curiousity as Natalia advanced on Guy, and the blonde got up so fast and backed up that it was a miracle he didn't fall. Then Natalia surprised him and latched onto his arm, and Guy screeched, pulling out of Natalia's grip and running right behind the guards at attention, who were trying so hard not to laugh, apparently. One or two did let a chuckle slip, though. But that didn't catch his attention nearly as much as when he was suddenly yanked into a hug. At once, the four-year-old yelped, struggling against his capture before he was able to look up and realize that Luke had trapped him and was now laughing happily at him. Alex didn't know if he should fight back or cry; it'd been so long since he was hugged. At least, it felt like that.
"S-Sir! Look at this!"
Alex yelped as he was suddenly grabbed out of Luke's grasp (much to the redhead's pleasure) and held him up, as though examining his back. Well, his cloak, to be exact. But soon, Duke and Madam Fabre, as well as Natalia (who consoled Luke) came and the guards were still holding him up. Guy, who was still behind them, looked at what the guards were looking at and his eyes widened.
"T-That's. . .isn't that the symbol for the third fonon? But. . .wait. . .no, that's not it. But it's almost identical," he said to himself, a little too loudly; everyone looked at him and he flinched, cursing when the guards parted so he could be seen; Alex continued struggling, now attempting to bite off the hands that were holding him. But the guards were smarter. Then, he was given away to another pair of stronger, much stronger, hands; the Duke's. Alex instantly stopped struggling, trembling now instead.
"It does indeed resemble the third fonon. But it's a family crest; a Kimlascan one. For which family, I don't know," he spoke after a moment of silence. Now, Alex was curious; family crest? He'd forgotten all about that possibility. All he'd done was grab the nearest thing in his old home that could provide decent shelter and ran. Grr. . .what was his family name? He didn't know; he'd never had the chance to learn.
"The Kinjo family." Madam Fabre's voice startled him, and he was once again transferred, into her soft arms in a position he was comfortable with. "This is the crest of the Kinjo family. They were famous for being excellent users of the Third fonon. But the last heir was killed and the family soon died out before anything could be done about it. This little boy must be the last one."
"Kinjo? I'd heard. . .a rumour about them," Guy muttered, earning attention again and flinching. Again. Dammit, he kept speaking too loudly; of course he would be heard! "It's said that there was once a man who was the perfect isofon of Sylph, the sentience of the third fonon. But. . .he died, and that was thousands of years ago, near the end of the Dawn Age. It's nothing to be concerned of."
Alex blinked, and everyone else was silent, except Luke, who still seemed on the verge of tears after having his friend snatched away from him. Even Natalia was listening. Finally, after more silence, the blue-haired boy was set down, and Luke cheered, immediately grabbing him and almost crushing him in a hug, though the younger boy did hug him back a little, if to ease the grip a little bit.
"This could be a problem. If word gets out that he might be from the Kinjo family, he could be in a lot of danger," Duke Fabre mused, folding his arms and thinking deeply. By now, all the guards had shifted uncomfortably after realizing who they may have been trying to punish, and Guy resumed his position, kneeling on the ground next to Luke and Alex and trying to save the four-year-old from getting crushed to death. "Then it's settle. We shall keep him under our protection, until such a time comes that he can take care of himself."
"Guy. Do you mind caring for both Luke and. . .Alex?" Madam Fabre hesitated, looking down at the blue-haired boy, who nodded and actually smiled, his childish innocence that had been hidden the entire time actually showing for once, and the woman sighed with relief before a soft expression resuming its place on her face as she knelt on the ground.
"As you wish, Madam," Guy bowed (as much as one could, anyway, when you were kneeling). Alex's attention was captured, though, by the woman kneeling on the ground, and Luke had gotten tired of trying to crush him; what was she doing on the ground? She didn't have to; she was almost royalty. So why was she on the ground? Then, she held out her arms, a sign that the young boy instantly recognized; most mothers did that to welcome their children. Was she. . .did she really. . .consider him like that already? Cautiously, the little boy walked up to Madam Fabre, step by step, until he was a few feet away from her. Then, without thinking, he launched himself into her arms, clinging to her clothes and trembling, burying himself as her arms wrapped around him. Tears leaked through his closed eyes and he hiccupped from having to hold them back, and then looked up at her kind face.
So. . .he'd found another home. But how long would it take for this one to be ripped away from him?