Moshi moshi minna! -gasps- This is...the first time EVER...that I've written a story... that isn't on Vampire Knight! -celebrates- Wooohooo! I'm so happy for myself! Anyways, the Internet has been acting up for some reason... and I'm not really sure why...

Anyways, please read! This is most definitely THE longest chapter I have EVER written. It's more than 9 pages which is about...3, 500 words?

The Treaty

Chapter I

I'm Engaged?!

"Your Majesty, our guests have arrived." The messenger boy announced, doubled over panting, breathless from his mad sprint.

I glared at him, hating the whole ordeal, in which he unconsciously winced, shuddering at the murderous aura. 'Guests'… I scoffed internally, They're our enemies! And yet Father sits here so casually, actually seeming as though he's looking forward to the encounter with the Southern King! The SOUTHERN KING! They're our sworn enemies. I reckon that he's finally lost his wits!

However, as much as I was opposed to this, I could do nothing to prevent it. Father is the King after all… and it would look bad for the land and the Royal Family if the beloved eldest Princess began to abuse her position by ordering her poor Father around.

I sighed, pouting, and attempted to let my mind stray over to other things… Like how I was absolutely hating this outrageous dress I was mandated to wear! It seemed as if the entire thing consisted of frills and bows and lace… and worst of all, the whole outfit was pink. I felt as if merely looking at it was draining my dignity… then actually having to wear it?! Despicable! And yet, as with most things in my life, I had no control over it.

How I wished that the cursed King from the Southern Lands would just hurry up with his horse so that I could escape to my room and change out of this horrid dress!

-.-.-.-.-.-åмϋŦό-.-.-.-.-.-.-

"Well," the King (who was actually very kind, despite all the rumors the maids bickered about whilst going about their chores)- who told as to address him as 'Kazuo', "I have to admit, I was a little wary about this." He admitted truthfully.

Another thing I learned about Kazuo-sama: he was grudgingly honest. To the point that it was almost painful. Like when he had commented about my obvious discomfort (which he somehow knew was more about my humiliation-inducing dress rather than his presence) and how he had similar problems with his own daughter…except she was more verbal about her distress.

And I felt pity for his daughter, whoever she was.

Father, being the peculiar man he was, laughed it off.

"Hahahaha! HAHAHA! That's hard to believe! Nee, do you have a son?" he had countered.

Oh, right…

Did I mention that both idiots were drunk?

Kazuo smirked, a mischievous eye flashing to me. And I shuddered.

"Yeah. Ikuto. He's rather rebellious, but he only uses it as a façade to keep the commoner girls at bay. A fine pair he and your little angel here would make!"

I flinched. Little Angel? A 'fine pair?' There was a little warning bell that was ringing in my mind.

And I hoped that these two drunkards that are supposedly 'Kings' wouldn't drag me into something I wouldn't want to be involved in…

"Ah, really?"

"I just came up with a brilliant idea! Why don't we combine our kingdoms?" Kazuo suggested innocently. Too innocently… but at the moment, that wasn't what had caught my attention.

Wait. Does that mean what I think it means?

Oh, for the love of all things holy! Please don't-

"It's a deal! My angel and your devil-child!" my Father agreed.

I twitched in my seat. This can not be happening to me. Me! The beloved princess of the Northern Lands!

Father and Kazuo ordered me to fetch another bottle of sake whilst laughing at their so-called 'wit.' They didn't even notice my murderous aura, nor the fact that I was restraining myself from upping and strangling the life out of the two drunk buffoons!

But I left obediently, glaring at everything in the palace's hallways- and causing all the people to scram in fear for their life- as I stomped into the wine cellar for the cursed sake.

-.-.-.-.-.-åмϋŦό-.-.-.-.-.-.-

I was sulking in my bed, unable to sleep.

Everything had happened so fast! And I thought that life couldn't get any worse, too! Now I'm engaged to the Southern King's son, Ikuto, who I've never even met! I don't want to marry him! And to top it off, they made the agreement when they were drunk.

DRUNK!

I really can't accept the fact that this is happening to me. It seems as if I'm in a confusing nightmare that I just can't shrug off… Except I know it's not a nightmare, and this was really happening to me. I grumbled, frustrated.

Times like these made me wish that I was a normal girl with a normal family and a normal life. But no, I had to be the complete opposite. I'm the pink-haired freak that happens to be the daughter of one of the most powerful empires in the world, with everything but a normal life.

Sighing, I climbed out of bed. The cold marble floors stung my bare feet as I made my way towards my balcony. Even during nighttime, the palace was teeming with life. People were walking to and fro, chatting, playing, gossiping- you name it. They were everywhere- except for the forest. No one ever dared to go near the forest. Even my Father, the King.

To me, it seemed silly. After all, the forest was just a bunch of trees that grew together and where animals lived. But the commoners swore that there was something evil that inhabited the dark trees… so none dared to even go close to it.

Since I knew that no one dared to go there, it had become my own secret place of sorts. I always came there whenever I was down, or just needed to get away from reality for a while… it was my special place… something only I knew about…

I donned my coat- the night was quite chilly- before jumping from my balcony, landing on my feet effortlessly. For a princess, I was rather odd, since I could climb trees and other things normal princess shouldn't or can't do- or so the maids had said. My athletic ability came in really handy at times, though.

Checking around to make sure that no one had spotted me jump, I ran towards the dark of the trees. The forest was as familiar to me as my room. When I was smaller, I often played in it alone (whenever I could escape the bothersome maids/ and or tutors). It calmed to be in the shadows, surrounded by the tall trees and unseen wildlife. I indulged myself in the night sounds, the rich smell of the pines, feeling my earlier worries evaporate- if only a little; they seemed so childish and trivial now, and even more so as I reached my meadow.

As I've mentioned before, no soul (with one exception) has dared to explore the forest, so none had ever found my beautiful meadow- or even knew about it's very existence. It was in the meadow that I usually spent my sleepless nights. And here I was once again…engaged at thirteen…

Even if I was vowed to marry the 'devil-child' as Kazuo called him, he'll have to bide his time, waiting for me to turn sixteen, since marriage before that is illegal…so that leaves me at least three more years until the matter gets even more serious…

I curse my Father for changing the marrying age from eighteen to sixteen. Really. Loathe. Him. For. It.

I fingered a single marigold as I sat down under one of the bigger pine trees, hidden- or as hidden as a girl with pale skin and pink hair could be- in the shadows. The night air was uncharacteristically cold despite the season (and it happened to be summertime) and I drew my coat tighter around my shoulders. As always, the moon was beautiful…though the clouds that obscured it every now and then hindered it from truly shining.

Truthfully, I'm just bothered by the fact that my Father threw away my whole life so recklessly whilst in a drunken state…If he really did care about me, then he wouldn't do such a thing even if he was intoxicated. But now that I think about it… Why exactly am I the Northern Land's 'beloved' princess? I'm no good in the obedience aspect, so that can't be it… There's no special thing about me, no overly kind personality or anything… except…

Is it because I'm a freak- no, the ONLY freak ever- with pink hair? Or is it to make our empire look good? To make it seem as though all of us got along well, and not even the thought of animosity tainted our land? Could it be…? What if?

That thought caused my knees to go weak, and tears to sting my eyes. It's possible since Father did get me engaged to a man without even the thought of asking my consent…

The tears ran down my cheeks. Mindless tears… I had decided long ago that I wouldn't cry, no matter how bad a situation got. Crying… it's a vulnerability. It depicts weakness inside a persons heart… But… what is weakness exactly?

Well, never mind about that stuff. I've got more important matters to dwell on. Like Kazuo, in that instance. Is he planning anything? I sensed a double motive in his actions earlier- What could his goal be? Is he trying to gain control of our kingdom, just like how the previous Southern King had? ….

I growled at the possibility of the idea. If that was his plan, then he went about it in a cunning manner, that was for sure. To propose me and his son together… that would immediately mean that the man I marry, which happens to be the Southern prince, would inherit the whole Northern Kingdom. And his previous words supported the idea.

"Why don't we combine our kingdoms?"

Maybe it's just as the maids said… maybe he can control people's thoughts, bend them slightly into his own…somehow.

So… as a conclusion, he wants the Northern Lands for himself (or his son), and the marriage was just the key. No, I was the key to his plan…

Which means that he's just using me! When he combines the two kingdoms, what will happen…to me? They can't be possibly thinking of ridding of me, can they? Oh, dear Kami-sama-!

"What an adorable expression- You look absolutely horrified." A voice said, his tone amused. I believe that I jumped in surprise, not expecting nor sensing a living creature nearby in the slightest. I turned towards the voice, wide-eyed in my stunned state.

To my extreme puzzlement, he was lying down on a branch on the pine tree I was stationed under, his head propped up by an elbow, smirking at me. My eyes met a clear, midnight sapphire gaze, mischievous and enigmatic. His hair was a deep cobalt, only a shade darker than his eyes, and his skin was slightly tanned. To say that he was handsome would be an insult.

"W-who are you? Why are you here? Where are you from?" my voice depicted no emotion, but it wasn't nearly as demanding as I meant it to be. In fact, it sounded embarrassingly breathless… But then again, I was talking to a man that seemed god-worthy- in his looks alone.

He was clearly older than me- by at least three years. A smirk graced his features. "That's for me to know and for you to find out." Oh, Kami-sama, even his voice is alluring!

He jumped down from the tree, landing onto his feet gracefully. Somehow, his movements had a distinct feline quality. I was slightly appalled by the way he was treating me… almost as if he had no clue that I was a princess… which was most likely the case in this situation.

"Nee, why is your hair pink?" he asked, walking forward to get a closer look.

"I-I don't know. I was just born like that." I muttered, blushing furiously under his gaze. My heart was thumping unevenly in my chest. I gasped, astounded, when he took a few strands, holding them up in the moonlight, examining them…

"So…" he released my hair, taking another step towards me before bending down to my level. I backed up unconsciously, and my back met the tree's trunk. He was dangerously close… I could feel his breath on my ear… The moon shone down on him, tempting me to run a hand through his dark, silky locks, to caress his face…

"You're a freak?" he breathed in my ear, causing a shudder to run down my spine.

Eh?

Those few words took a few moments to register in my brain, distracted as I was by the proximity between our bodies- which resulted to almost none.

"Wh- NO!" I denied, smacking him on the chest and pushing him away. My face was red- embarrassed. After all, I had been thinking about some rather intimate (tch. More like perverted) scenes in my mind… and then he had said that

He chuckled, amused by my reaction. "Don't take it to heart. I was just joking." He said, grinning widely, obviously in good spirits. "So…what's your name?"

I glared at him, still offended despite what he said. How could I not take it to heart? I mean, knowing you're a freak and having someone tell you you're a freak… those are two very different things.

"Not telling!" I exclaimed childishly, crossing my arms and turning away from him in distaste when he sat down next to me.

"Fair enough! I'll just make one up for you!"

He got the satisfaction of seeing my eyes widen in horrification.

"E-EH?!"

He winked at me, smirking once more. I think my heart missed a beat… "Hmm…Koneko? Ichigo? Koneko Ichigo-tan? No, that's too long…Ichigo-koi? Hmm…" He examined me, frowning, deep in thought. "It'd be easier if you'd just say your name, Koneko-tan." He said, giving me a reproaching look.

I scowled at him in response. Koneko-tan? The nerve of this guy…

Then he sighed, ruffling my hair. "What's a little girl like you doing out of bed this late, anyway?" he asked.

"I'm not 'little!' I'm thirteen!" I snapped.

He shrugged. "I'm almost seventeen. You're still a koneko to me." He stated.

What's up with him and cats? I sighed, giving in.

"I come here when I need to get away from the palace… or when I can't sleep or need to think peacefully." I explained.

"Hmm… and which one of those three does it happen to be tonight?" he questioned curiously.

"All three…" I muttered darkly, glaring out at the open space. Curse those stupid kings…

"Well, what's on your mind?" his eyes (somehow) smoldered in the darkness. I forgot how to breathe.

"N-nothing…" I began hesitantly, "Just that my Father promised me to the Southern King's son as his bride while the two buffoons were in gay merriment, drunk. And I can't rid of the nagging feeling that Kazuo-sama's planning something against us. I don't want to marry a man I've never even met! After all, we're supposedly enemies, and other such things, and despite all that, I'm engaged to him¸ whoever he is. The world is slipping into insanity, I tell you. And then I was forced to wear the most horrid dress ever created! It was covered in frills and bows and lace, and it was pink- wearing it was worse than being engaged to Ikuto! And then-"

I quickly clamped my hand over my mouth, realizing that I had just- for the first time ever- ranted. And to top it off, I ranted to a man I don't know. My eyes peeked sideways at him.

He had both hands resting on one knee, with his head on top, staring at me, amused. "You sure do talk quite a lot, don't you?" he asked.

"Ahh…" I mumbled self-consciously, "Umm…well actually, no I don't….some people think I'm mute…" I laughed awkwardly, and he raised a brow in question.

"Really? Then why are you talking so much now?" I contemplated his words. I honestly don't know…

"Who knows?" I shrugged.

He snickered, and I gave him a look that clearly questioned his sanity. Then the clouds suddenly parted once more, and the moon shone down from above, illuminating his face, and I couldn't help thinking how attractive he truly was. A lean, yet muscular figure, a face that could make any girl swoon into his arms if he so desired… somehow, being around him made my worries dissipate. It made no sense whatsoever.

But then again…neither did my pink hair.

"Well, as interesting as you are to me, I believe I must return before my absence is noticed, Ichigo-koi." He grabbed my hand, kissing it just like any polite gentleman would. Then I saw a brief conflict in his eyes before he quickly swooped down and placed a chaste kiss on my cheek. My heart tripled in speed- no joking here-, thumping unevenly in my chest as he winked, disappearing off into the trees.

I was frozen- quite literally in my spot, shocked.

He…he kissed me…

I continued to stare at the spot in the trees where he disappeared, too stunned to do anything. The scene continued replaying in my mind.

Well, I feel like a complete lunatic…I think I've fallen for him… I raised a hand to touch my cheek- which was burning, despite the cold weather.

And I don't even know his name…or if I'll ever see him again…

-.-.-.-.-.-åмϋŦό-.-.-.-.-.-.-

I bit my lip as I fled into the night, torn between smirking and slapping myself.

What in the world had possessed me to kiss her? Father specifically asked for me not to harbour any feelings for her… since she was just… a tool. Hearing that had somehow made me furious, especially after my encounter with her tonight. I may be a devil-child, but that doesn't mean that I've no heart.

She seems pretty upset about this whole ordeal… And I don't blame her for it- so am I. But the way she refers to me… I have to admit, it sort of hurt

Well, I was lucky enough to spot her jump from her balcony- quite gracefully may I add-… she most certainly is adorable in her own way… and insanely interesting- it's almost unhealthy… and definitely sharper than most women, despite the fact that she's a princess. She's not spoilt at the least, unlike my previous thoughts about her…

She's figured out that Father's planning something against her soon-to-be empire… I'm not sure how I feel about that… I hope that she keeps quiet about it, though…I'd hate to be ordered to do something to her…that isn't all that pleasant…

Ichigo-koi…, No…

Hinamori Amu-hime

-.-.-.-.-.-åмϋŦό-.-.-.-.-.-.-

"Kya! Fwowers!" Ami giggled delightedly, running towards the flower garden. She never even noticed the little boy about her age lying unconscious on the floor in the slightest- until she tripped over him, at least.

"Owww!" she complained, rubbing her forehead, "That hur-" but her eyes caught sight of the adorable boy then, and she gasped, forgetting about her previous injury. By then, the aforementioned little boy (who had collapsed yesterday and has been that way, on the floor, since) had began stirring, and his eyes opened, revealing a dazzling pair of emerald green orbs.

"Eh? W-where am I? My back hurts…" he muttered. At that moment, he realized that he wasn't alone, and his eyes widened when he met Ami's.

"A-Ami-hime?!" the boy stuttered in shock, quickly jumping to his feet and bowing deeply.

The young princess giggled delightedly. He knows my name, she thought to herself (she was still a little girl at the time, resulting in a very naïve view of the world).

"You're in the fwower garden. Ami tripped over you 'cuz she didn't see you." She stated matter-of-factly, a faint blush on her chubby cheeks, and the boy vaguely wondered as to why she was referring to herself in third person.

But then her words registered in his brain. "The flower garden?! Oh, he's going to kill me-! I've got to go. Pardon me for the moment, Ami-hime. It was a pleasure meeting you." He said all this in one breath, bowing deeply once more before quickly dashing off to who-knows-where.

…Leaving a flustered Ami staring after him in a daze.

He was Ami's first real love ever…at the young age of four


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Aikoi,

Disclaimer: I don't own Shugo Chara. If I did, Tadase would be dead, and there'd be more åмϋŦό fwuff...

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