Disclaimer: I own nothing, except for a flighty maid. Do not hurt me!

Maid for him

The rain is magical. A perfect symphony of the elements.
A hot, parched, dusty earth quivers with anticipation at the first shadow of dark, voluptuous clouds. The smell in the air, the scent of water-laden winds, which whisper and moan as they snake around your ankle...

The sudden, nervous cry of a bird, then a distant rumble, a moment of exquisite, breathtaking fear, before the first drops fall to the ground, with a drumming-hissing sound.

The second scent, the one of wet earth that rouses such aching and melancholy in me. It is the smell of salt and dust and leaves and something unidentifiable.

I am in the symphony, this piece of music which brings everything to life, slowly climbing to a crescendo. I want to run naked into this storm…have it wrap passionately around me, kiss me with wet lips, and carry me off to a rain god, who would love me, hold me…The wind would be my carrier, the waters my garments. The sun would hide behind my hair; giving me a golden halo…I too would be beautiful…Oh, King Van! What's he runn…?

"Lilia! Lilia! The clothes! The silks! Stupid girl, run and fetch them! What are you staring at the rain for! You're in for a whipping, girl, if you don't…Lilia! How dare you run away like that! Stop her! Lilia! Just you see… I'll send you back home, begging!" stormed Aula, the head of the household staff in the Aston castle in Palas. She caught hold of another maid and sent her scurrying out into the back courtyard to fetch the drying clothes.

The last few days had been hard, what with the castle playing host to the girl from the Mystic moon, the Fanelian king, Van Fanel, Allen Schezar, the scandalous Knight Caeli, and his motley entourage. There were meetings, and discussions, and dinners, and men in muddy boots stomping all over the spotless marble floors… An entire wardrobe had to be arranged on the spot for that foreign girl, in a trice! Princess Millerna was really inexperienced in thinking that offering her one dress would be enough! Really! They thought she, Aula, had ten arms and legs! Ever since this tension in Gaea, so many maids had left for home, citing sick relatives, young siblings, and what not! With the staff so severely depleted, the possibility of a big war made even the stern Aula worry about her family back home.

Well, for Lilia, the war was a big excitement, though hardly as great as her joy to have been selected as the handmaiden of that girl, Hitomi, for the few days that she would stay at the palace. She got to see that strange foreign girl close up, which made her an authority on the subject of her strangeness.

But, even better, Prince…oh…King Van! Every time she saw him, her heart would leap up into her throat, and she would feel like dropping whatever she was holding. Her King. Her King. For she was Fanelian, and the knowledge of his losses and his courage, made him, if possible, even greater in her eyes.

She had run away from the Owl (as the junior maids called Aula) not because she was impetuous, but because she had seen him stalking into the rain, hand held above his head, sword dangling at his side…She knew he was running after Hitomi, she'd seen her coming out of the barn, crying.

It was her innate curiosity which made Lilia follow, discreetly, trying not to be seen by any of the other staff.

She hitched up her plain skirt, running quickly to the barn...careful…then to the tree there…oh, no, there came Rufio, the gardener, if he caught her…good Rufio, turn around, little longer…and here I go!

She ran zigzagging, always keeping the tanned, lean figure in sight, but he was so fast! Through the market, past the closing shops… "Why am I following? Why am I running towards heartbreak? I know he seeks out Lady Hitomi, I feel his longing for her in his eyes, then why? Why do I want to see? Maybe I am unconsciously doing this to kill my own hopes…or to satisfy my curiosity..."

The King was slowing down, and she had to be careful not to be seen. Regardless of the rain and possible heartbreak and the scolding she was in for, seeing him from this close, alone, his clothes wet and hair limp, made it all feel very intimate and personal. The fact that she was trailing him was a minor imperfection.

How beautiful he was! The velvet of his voice, the dark, passionate eyes, and the slope of his proud throat…oh, she mustn't think such thoughts! Why was she following him? Unsure, alone, impulsive, inarticulate, he could never be hers.

She noticed the two figures upon the bridge before he did, and for those few moments, the wildest hope leapt into her heart- what if he realized that he did not love Lady Hitomi at all? She did not see how that specifically helped her, but it would save him a lot of pain and jealousy…oh, he's seen them, oh, my poor, poor king, how your shoulders tense, how your fingers clench! Lady Hitomi broke the kiss she was sharing with the knight, and saw Van. Lilia saw her face darken with guilt, and her lips forming 'Van!'

Now the knight was looking this way, his hands on Lady Hitomi's shoulders. If he looked carefully he would spot her! Then King Van took two steps backward, and began to turn around.

Lilia fled, running before him who she had run after, her heart properly broken and common sense returned. Already she was thinking of how to deal with the Owl…

Author notes: This is my very first attempt at writing fan fiction, and I did a really short piece because I don't have the patience to write a proper whopping story.