"Shouldn't I be able to decide when to get engaged?" The annoyance in Scaramouche's voice startled the maids inside his room.
"Your majesty, I'm sure Queen Baal doesn't have ill intent behind her actions" one of the maids responded. "I'm sure your majesty is aware that the Queen has been quite generous and not arranged a marriage with other royal families" Giving a final pull the maid had finally finished tying the corset vest around Scaramouche's torso. The golden lining of the vest made his lean figure stand out more than usual. It perfectly hugged his thin waist and broad shoulders.
"I know, were I to have been born in any other family I would have been married, if not already been a father by now" He can't deny the freedom he was given by his elder sister, the majority of other royals his age had already been married off. Instead his sister granted him the freedom of choosing his future partner... however, her patience had run out and she had taken matters into her own hands. Scaramouche knows he has taken far too long to find said partner despite his endless attempts. Not one person has been able to sway him nor make him want to claim them as his and his only.
Feeling the final touch from the maid stops his train of thought. "Your majesty, I have finished" Another maid walks closer and hands the older maid a mask. "Here is the mask for the masquerade" Taking the mask from her hands he places it over his eyes and takes a look at himself in the mirror. He can see the maid smile with satisfaction in the corner of his eyes. The other maids simply stare in awe at his reflection. As egocentric as it may sound, Scaramouche can agree that he truly did look stunningly handsome. The tight black bottoms and corset outline his fit physique perfectly. The golden design on the thigh high boots matched the equally golden lining of the purple corset and chain adorning the mask. The completing piece the maid had placed on his right shoulder was an exquisite cape matching the carefully thought out colours and patterns on the outfit with a black feathered edge placed slightly above his collar bone. The fabric of the cape flowed and followed his every movement giving him elegance and grace.
The sounds of someone knocking the door made Scaramouche stop looking at his reflection and clear his throat "Come on in" A butler opened the door and looked at him in astonishment before speaking. "Your majesty, the guests are beginning to arrive and the Queen requests your presence at the hall. The ball will commence shortly" The dark haired Prince only nodded and the butler and maids took this as cue to leave. Finally left alone,Scaramouche makes his way towards his bed and simply let's his body fall on top of it. A soft sigh escapes his lips while he looks at the ceiling. The simple thought of having to make small talk and dance with people tired him but there was nothing he could do to escape the situation. Sitting up with resignation he exits the room but not without placing his crown on his head.
"At least I get to see my friends" he thought to himself in an attempt to brighten his sour mood.
"See anyone you like?" It was Childe who spoke while nudging his arm. Scaramouche huffed under his breath annoyed before facing the redhead and to no one's surprise there was a mischievous glint behind his ocean eyes. Of course, only an idiot like Childe would mess with him while knowing his irritation. Scaramouche kicked him and smiled at the sight of Childe suffering. Don't get him wrong he does think Childe is a good person but the redhead can be a pest at times and today is no exception. Truth to be told he was a bit envious of the guy, after all he is going to marry out of love. To this day Scaramouche doesn't grasp the idea of how Zhongli, the king of the neighbouring kingdom, fell in love with the bothersome boy.
"See, this is why no one likes you" the teasing tone only angers the dark haired prince more.
"You little-" the doors of the hall opened to reveal the prince who carries the stars and two others walking behind him. It was weird for Aether to arrive late but he surely must have stopped to aid someone on his way. After all that was his nature, a kind one. However, it wasn't the sight of prince Aether or his loyal knight Albedo that caught his attention but rather the silver haired boy walking along them.
His breath hitched and heart began racing as if it wanted to jump out of his chest and run towards the mysterious figure. No matter how hard he tried to avert his eyes, they stayed glued on the slender boy, engraving his beauty into his mind. Surely it must be because of his well fitted outfit. The maple leaf pattern on the red vest hugging his chest is one he has never seen before. Maybe it was how well the white shirt and bottoms mixed with the vest and black knee high boots. Perhaps it is the gradient from red to orange on the cape dangling from his left shoulder. The whole outfit did nothing but complement the soft beautiful features of the boy.
His stomach twisted and turned as he felt a thousand butterflies bubbling at the bottom awaiting to soar.
Gentle ruby eyes meet midnight ones. Scaramouche felt as if everything around him stopped, losing himself in the gentle pool of red. Barely visible underneath the mask, a pink flush stains the silver haired boy’s pale cheeks, it only serves to complement his soft rosy lips. He can feel his body gravitate towards the boy but is stopped by a hand on his shoulder.
"Where are you going?" Scaramouche is snapped out of his dream-like state and clears his throat.
"Nowhere" the word escapes his lips too fast for his liking.
"Well if you say so" the teasing tone lacing his voice made the dark haired prince look up to him. "I could have sworn you were looking at someone, want me to lift you up so you can look for them?" Suppressing the desire to punch Childe at the sight of his smirk, Scaramouche simply sighed.
"Shut up" directing his gaze back to the hall his eyes quickly scan the crowd of people in search for the unfamiliar boy but to no avail. It's like he disappeared.
A beauty like him isn't someone Scaramouche would be able to miss.
"Surely he must be somewhere" muttering Scaramouche begins walking around the hall in search of the boy leaving Childe behind. The latter simply shrugged it off and joined his soon to be husband.
Minutes pass by and the frustration slowly creeps up to him. Countless couples have approached him and attempted to make small talk. Don't get him wrong, it isn't that he dislikes the people, if he wasn't desperately trying to find someone then Scaramouche would be delighted to engage in conversation with them. After all, this way he can find out what is going on with the people of his kingdom and in some instances the gossip going around. Oh the gossip, how much he loved it. It was one of his main sources of entertainment, he had learnt the most bizarre and funny things about the people habitating the kingdom.
Not wanting to waste any more time, Scaramouche excuses himself and resumes with his search.
A flash of red catches his attention.
His heart stops.
Their eyes meet again for a brief moment before the other breaks away with flushed cheeks. Unknowingly, a smile creeps up to Scaramouche's face, a warm fuzzy feeling growing inside his chest. Once again a gravitating force pulls him towards the silver haired boy, but this time he isn't stopped like before.
With quick steps he finds Aether, Albedo and the mysterious boy in front of him. Of course he looks and smiles at him first before greeting the prince and his knight. The former only stares at him with prominent red cheeks hidden behind the mask.
"Scaramouche it's good to see you again" Aether is the first one to speak "How have you been? I heard your sister has prepared this ball for you" A soft smile adorns his lips and he reciprocates the joyous gesture.
"Ah, it could have been worse than this for sure" they both chuckle.
"Oh right, there is someone I would like you to meet" Albedo and the other boy stand next to him. "He's a good friend of Beidou who's currently staying in my palace. I thought it would be nice to bring him along" the boy steps forward and begins to speak as he slightly bows down.
"My name is Kaedehara Kazuha, it's a pleasure to meet you" the gentle voice that comes out of him entrances Scaramouche who is frozen on the spot but he is able to recover, barely. No archon could have prepared him for the sweet melody coming from Kazuha's lips, it hit him like a train knocking out all the air from his lungs.
"Uh, I'm Scaramouche" the words barely scramble out of his lips. Aether and Albedo look at him with curiosity thanks to this novel state of nervousness. Kazuha who's looking at him with those gentle ruby eyes doesn't really help the situation. Before sinking deeper into his gaze, Scaramouche breaks eye contact with Kazuha and looks at Aether instead. While trying not to make obvious the massive crush Scaramouche has on the silver haired boy he misses the disappointed look on Kazuha's face.
The Prince decides that the best course of action at the moment was to talk privately to Aether and he does just that. Albedo and Kazuha are left behind as they walk away.
Being obvious about his interest in Kazuha is something Scaramouche doesn't want. So before inquiring about said boy, Scaramouche strategises some light conversation beforehand. Maybe the topic would come up on its own.
"So how are things with Albedo" Scaramouche wiggles his eyebrows at Aether who is currently choking on his own saliva. The heat rushes tainting Aether's face with a bright red.
"I- wha- Scaramouche you little!!"
Aether's face was priceless, truly, so much the dark haired prince couldn't contain himself and exploded into a fit of laughter. The blonde pouted and hit him square on the shoulder. Scaramouche didn't expect Aether to hold enough strength to put his shoulder in excruciating pain, well that would be an exaggeration but it really did hurt.
"Hey, Aether that hurts please stop"
"Good, now beg for my mercy" Aether's smug face makes Scaramouche chuckle softly.
"Okay okay, oh mighty prince Aether I beg for your mercy" and with that he ceases his attack. They both chuckle, however Scaramouche's laughter dies soon. Aether takes notice of this and looks at him, only to find the dark haired boy looking past his shoulder. Curious, the golden boy turns his head and sees Kazuha laughing at something Albedo had said. His amber eyes turn to Scaramouche once more and this time Aether finds a red hue painting his features. What surprised the blonde more were the emotions Scaramouche's eyes were holding, longing and affection.
Aether would know, after all his eyes held the same emotions whenever he would look at Albedo, his long time love.
Something clicks inside the golden boy's mind. His lips extend into an excited but teasing smile. Clearing his throat he begins to speak without waiting for the other one to look at him.
"Say, perhaps you are interested in little Kazuha" Scaramouche snaps his head towards him with wide eyes. Aether can't help but giggle at the sight of the other fumbling his hands around trying to speak.
"May oh may, will you look at that, Scaramouche has a crush on someone!" the tables have turned and now Aether is the one wiggling his eyebrows at Scaramouche. The latter only crosses his arms and huffs.
"Oh, so you're not going to deny it?"
"I- no" not finding a good reason to deny the truth, Scaramouche admits it. The response earns a smile from the golden boy.
"Why don't you invite him to dance with you?- I mean, you keep looking at him with such yearning. It wouldn't hurt would it?" There was a gentleness to Aether's voice, he wasn't teasing Scaramouche anymore. The blonde genuinely meant what he was saying. Maybe he's right, instead of admiring and looking at the other from a distance like some kindergartener, he should approach Kazuha.
With determination and a racing heart the dark haired prince made his way towards the aforementioned boy.
Albedo is the first one to take notice of his presence. The conversation between Kazuha and him comes to an end and the ash blonde takes his leave. Of course, not before nudging Kazuha's arm with a smug face. Right there and then both of them are left alone with blushing faces.
Scaramouche takes a step closer and extends his hand for Kazuha to take "May I have this dance" somehow the words come out smooth instead of the expected string of slurred words. This was his first time feeling this nervous around anyone.
Kazuha's eyes widened in surprise slightly before turning gentle, a soft smile adorning his lips "Yes, I'd love to" Their hands touch, sending a shiver down Scaramouche's spine, warmth filling his chest. Walking across the hall holding hands, they finally make it to the dance floor and take position. Kazuha placed his left hand on Scaramouche's right shoulder, while the latter placed his hand on Kazuha's shoulder blade. Finally both of them extend their free arm and clasp their hands, fingers slotting together. They fit perfectly.
From the balcony of the second floor, Queen Baal, signals the orquestra to begin. The hall is soon filled with harmonic melodies and the couples begin their dance. Scaramouche takes the lead and both of the boys soon begin to sway along the rhythm of the music.
“Sorry” says Kazuha in a soft voice. The poor boy kept making mistakes which ended up in him stepping on Scaramouche’s feet clumsily. The latter chuckles softly earning a blush from the other.
“It’s okay, I take it you don’t dance often then”
“Ah, no. Actually, this would be my first time” the silver head admits with shame, looking down in embarrassment. The prince frowns at the sight, he didn’t mean to make him feel embarrassed.
“So, what is it that you do?” Apart from changing the subject of conversation, Scaramouche was genuinely curious about Kazuha. If possible he wanted to learn everything about the subject of his affection and it seems the other is eager to tell him. Kazuha’s eyes sparkle and there is an excited smile plastered on his face.
“I’m a traveller. As Prince Aether mentioned before, I’m a good friend of Beidou. Prior to meeting her I simply roamed around aimlessly but Beidou gave me a place within her tribulation and now I travel with her” There is a hint of nostalgia on his features and nostalgia soon turns into gratitude. “I’m really thankful, I don’t think I could ever do enough to repay her kindness. After all, I've got to meet amazing people like Aether, Albedo and now you" Kazuha flutters his eyelashes while looking up to him.
Scaramouche catches his breath feeling the heat rush to his cheeks. He's doomed.
The orchestra plays different songs throughout the evening, all couples dancing along to the music happily. Amongst all couples Kazuha and Scaramouche stand out the most. Many others were jealous of the way they look at each other lovingly, with a burning passion. After some time Kazuha was able to dance and follow Scaramouche's lead without making mistakes, their movements synchronised and both of them held each other closer leaving little space between them.
The couple appeared to be in their own little world while they chatted and laughed together, it's like they were made for each other. Unfortunately, the orchestra finished playing the last song and all couples dispersed. Wanting to spend more time together Kazuha intertwined their fingers and led Scaramouche towards the outside garden.
A soft breeze caressed their skin as they came to a stop. Kazuha faces forward giving Scaramouche a view of his back who came to realize the former had taken off his mask and is now holding it in his hand. He does the same.
"It's a shame the night will be coming to an end soon, I wanted to spend more time with you" Kazuha's words held a sad tone to them. Taking a step forward, Scaramouche holds Kazuha's hand, giving it a light squeeze. Finally looking at each other without the masks both of them are taken aback.
Not able to control himself, Scaramouche leaned into the other's space. Kazuha shuddered when a warm hand pushed a silver lock behind his already pink ear. The hand stays on his cheek. Words cannot fathom how ethereal he looked in Scaramouche's eyes.The moonlight hit Kazuha's figure on the right making him glow. Unconsciously, Scaramouche begins tracing circles on Kazuha's soft pink cheeks who in return closes his eyes and leans into his touch.
Scaramouche's chest tightens.
A content sight leaves Kazuha's lips before opening his eyes to look at Scaramouche. There's a longing desire lacing those ruby eyes.
With hesitation the dark haired Prince closes the gap even more but not completely, this action seems to frustrate Kazuha who grunts and closes the gap himself.
It was nothing more than a quick peck on the lips but it set off all the butterflies inside Scaramouche's stomach. Wanting more, the gap is closed once again. This time the kiss was passionate, both of them hungry for the other. Scaramouche placed a hand on Kazuha's neck to deepen the kiss, he couldn't get enough of how sweet Kazuha tasted. It was intoxicating. They kept kissing until the lack of air was unbearable, both gasp for air looking at each other with flushed cheeks.
Taking Kazuha's hands in his, he begins to speak "I- This is the first time I've felt like this. Not once in my life have I ever held such a desire for someone until I met you" The words are quickly thrown out in the air by Scaramouche.
"Me too, it's my first time feeling this way too" A wave of relief washes over him. Feeling Kazuha squeezing his hands in reassurance, he looks up. "We can figure out this feelings together"
With the moon as their only witness, Kazuha captures Scaramouche's lips in a chaste kiss.
What a bliss, Scaramouche thought.