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Watapunzel

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Once upon a time, there lived a man named Wataru Hibiki. He had light, charming purple eyes and pale blue hair so long that it stretched for miles. He lived on the top floor of a large, brick tower by himself. Hibiki adored theatre, and would often reenact popular plays and musicals by himself in the tower. Hibiki was accustomed to this solitary lifestyle, but he still yearned to socialize and perform in front of a large audience.



His only company was a man named Shu Itsuki. Itsuki would occasionally visit him to give him food and video recordings of the latest plays. Every time Itsuki would visit, Hibiki would ask him the same question.



"Why am I not allowed to go outside, Shu?" Hibiki would ask. "I yearn to be on those shining stages, basking in the limelight as the crowd screams my name. Why am I being denied such a privilege?"



"It is dangerous out there, Wataru," Itsuki would respond. "There are many disgusting humans out there who wouldn't hesitate to hurt you. This is for your own safety, you know this."



And then the conversation would end. Hibiki wouldn't pry after that, but his desire to explore the outside world grew stronger with each passing day.



~ 🥀 ~



One day, a prince was passing through the forest on his green, glasses-wearing horse. His pale blond hair reached a little past his chin, and his skull bore vibrant blue eyes that shone brightly in the sun. As he was passing, the prince noticed a cloaked figure walking into the woods. Curious, the prince hopped off his horse, tied it to a nearby tree, and quietly followed the figure.



The prince hid in a nearby bush as the figure stopped in front of a large brick tower. There was a large window at the top of the tower. The figure took off their hood to reveal a man with short, vibrant pink hair. The man cleared his throat and tilted his head towards the window.



“Wataru, oh Wataru! Let down your hair!”



Silence, then the sound of shuffling. Suddenly, long, pale blue hair fell out of the window. When the hair reached the grass, it started contorting into… stairs? When it was finished, the pink-haired man stepped onto the first step of the hairy stairs. Like clockwork, the steps started moving. The hair-stairs have become a hair-escalator! The prince couldn't believe the sight in front of his eyes. 



The pink-haired man tapped his foot patiently as he was lifted towards the window. When he reached the window, a blue-haired face greeted him extravagantly. The prince was amazed by the stranger. His aura was enchanting, perfectly matching his lovely voice. The prince wanted to climb out of the bush and profess his love to the beauty right then and there. He held himself back and watched as the pink-haired man stepped into the tower, the makeshift staircase disappearing underneath him. 



The prince made himself comfortable in the bushes, waiting for the pink-haired man to leave. When the sun started to fall, and the sky started to turn shades of purple and orange, the pink-haired man left the tower. He rode the hair-escalator back down. Lifting his hood over his head again, the man left the forest. The prince waited until he couldn’t hear the other's footsteps anymore, then left the bush. 



The prince stood in front of the tower. He waited to see the blue-haired man again, but was unsure how. Recalling the chant the pink-haired man had said, the prince cleared his throat and shouted.



“Wataru, oh Wataru! Let down your hair!”



Silence, then the long, blue hair fell out the window again, once again taking the shape of stairs. The prince stepped on the first step, and felt the stairs start moving underneath him. When he reached the window, he stepped inside the tower and admired the interior. On the walls were many paintings of scenes from popular plays. An old, box-shaped TV was facing a queen-sized bed. Various masks and scripts were laid on a vanity nearby, accompanied by an open closet with many dresses and suits in it. Long, blue hair covered the floors. The prince followed the trail of blue hair with his eyes, eventually leading him to the stranger from before.



A glance from afar couldn't compare to seeing the stranger up close. His purple eyes were mesmerizing; the prince would get lost in them forever if given the chance. The stranger was slightly taller than the prince and wore a long, ruby-coloured dress, the hem of which reached to his ankles. The two admired each other in silence. The stranger cleared his throat to break the quiet atmosphere and spoke.



"You are not Shu. What brings you to my tower?" The stranger asked. The prince, wanting to make a good first impression, kneeled on one knee and placed his right hand on his heart. He took the stranger's hand in his free one and bowed.



"I apologize for scaring you. My name is Eichi Tenshouin. I saw your friend walking into the forest, and I was captivated by your beauty. You see, I haven't taken so much interest in someone in so long, so I acted without thinking. I sincerely apologize." The prince kissed the back of the stranger's hand and stood up. 



"Well, aren't you a charmer~?" The stranger flirted, rubbing his thumb over the spot where the prince kissed. "My name is Wataru Hibiki. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Eichi."



The prince smiled, his name sounded nice coming out of the stranger's mouth. The prince looked out the window to look at the night sky. He had to get home soon, or else he would cause a panic throughout the kingdom. The prince didn't want to leave his newfound friend so soon, but he had his responsibilities. Looking back at Hibiki, the prince apologized and told him he had to go.



"I will come back tomorrow to visit you. Please wait for me, Wataru," the prince promised the blue-haired man. Hibiki smiled as he escorted the prince out of the tower. The two waved goodbye to each other as Hibiki watched the prince leave the castle.



The prince soon found himself back on the main path, his green horse looking at him with a grouchy expression. The prince laughed to himself as he petted the horse's mane.



"I'm sorry for leaving you alone for so long, Keito." The blonde hopped back on the horse's saddle and grabbed the reins. "Let's keep this a secret between me and you, alright?"



The horse only snorted in response and began walking back towards the castle. Throughout the journey back, the prince's thoughts were consumed by one thing, and one thing only.



Wataru Hibiki



~ 🥀 ~



As promised, the prince returned, and he continued to return every couple of days. Leaving his green horse tied to a tree near the path, he would call Hibiki's name with the same chant he heard the pink-haired man say. In response, Hibiki would let his hair down in the shape of a staircase, lifting the blond royal to his tower window like an escalator. In the tower, the two would spend their time talking, singing, and recreating their favourite plays and musicals. When the sun began to set, the prince would bid his farewells. He always promised to return and asked for Hibiki to wait for him until then. With every visit, the spark of love within them would grow bigger and brighter.



Itsuki noticed something was different with Hibiki. He seemed… lovestruck. Itsuki would occasionally see the blue-haired man sighing to himself while looking out the window, his eyes half-lidded and a soft smile resting on his face. Hibiki had also stopped asking him if he could leave the tower. The last observation confirmed to Itsuki that something was off. He decided to try and find the root of the sudden change in Hibiki's behaviour.



One day, Itsuki enchanted a small mirror and handed it to his assistant, Kagehira. Itsuki gave the boy instructions and sent him on his way. The boy soon found himself in front of the tower Hibiki lived in. With the use of magic, the boy transformed himself into a pine-green crow and grabbed the mirror with his talons. Lifting the mirror into the air, the boy flew until he was in front of the tower's window, and angled the mirror towards the window. Itsuki looked through the window from the mirror. His specialty in portal magic was really proving to be useful right now.



Through the window, Itsuki could see Hibiki and… Prince Eichi Tenshouin from the Tenshouin family?! Itsuki was furious. What was that wicked man doing with his friend?! The two were seated on Hibiki's bed, sitting very close to each other. A little too close for Itsuki's comfort. Itsuki couldn't hear anything, but he could tell they were having a very meaningful conversation. There was a pause in the conversation as Tenshouin placed his hand on Hibiki's hand. The pair stared at each other in silence. Tenshouin placed his other hand on Hibiki's cheek and leaned in to—



Itsuki closed the portal and hit his fists against an empty table in anger. Ce vaurien! That heathen had taken so much from Itsuki, and now he was trying to take away his friend! Hadn't Itsuki suffered enough?! Itsuki took a deep breath to calm down. He needed a clear head if he was going to get rid of that connard . Ordering Kagehira to return home, Itsuki began to plan a way to permanently get rid of that dirty blond.



~ 🥀 ~



Like usual, the prince tied his horse to a tree and made his way through the forest towards the tower. The prince noticed something was different about the tower. There was a large rose bush circling the base of the tower. Did Wataru plant the flowers? Or perhaps his pink-haired friend planted them? The prince plucked a rose from the bush and placed it in his handbag, wanting to put it in his room as a reminder of his newfound lover. Looking up, the prince cupped his hands around his mouth and yelled. 



“Wataru, oh Wataru! Let down your hair!”



Silence, then long, blue hair fell out of the window out of the top of the tower. The prince waited for the hair to take its usual stair shape, but nothing happened. Worry washed over the prince, did something happen to Hibiki while he was away? Did he fall ill? Or perhaps he was having a bad day? With urgency, the prince grabbed the blue hair and began climbing it like a rope. 



Soon, the prince reached the top of the tower. He expected to see his lover, Hibiki, waiting for him in the tower. 



What the prince didn’t expect was for Hibiki’s friend to be standing there, holding Hibiki’s long, blue locks in his hand, with a malicious smile on his face. Hibiki was nowhere in sight.



Before the prince could realize it, he had started falling. The pink-haired man had pushed him, laughing as he watched the prince fall. 



Au revoir, tu démon ! You’ll never be able to find Wataru again once you’re blind!”



Those words were the last thing the prince heard before he crashed into the rose bush beneath him. 



~ 🥀 ~



It had been two years since that day. The rose bush had softened his fall, but the thorns had left him permanently blind. Despite this, the prince searched for his lover, Hibiki. Everyone told him his efforts would be futile, but he couldn’t give up on Hibiki so easily. He needed to know where he was, why he wasn’t in the tower, or at the very least, if he was alive or not. The prince wandered the world aimlessly on his green horse, calling Hibiki’s name day and night. One day—he hoped—he would get an answer.



The prince was riding his horse through a desert. The sun was beating down on him, draining him of energy. Still, he persisted forward on his search.



Until he heard the sound of someone singing.



The prince whipped his head around in the direction of the melodic voice. He could recognize that enchanting voice anywhere.

 

It was Hibiki’s voice.



The prince jumped off his horse and began running towards the voice. He ran and ran, not stopping even when his legs were burning. He heard the voice getting closer and closer.



“Wataru!”



The prince crashed into another body, sending the both of them toppling into the sand. The unknown person’s hands wrapped around the prince's waist.



“Eichi!”



Hibiki’s voice entered the prince’s ear. Sitting up, the prince pulled Hibiki into his arms and sobbed. He hadn’t realized just how much he missed Hibiki until now. Even if his vision was only a blur, he could tell Hibiki’s appearance had changed greatly. He wore much less extravagant clothing, and his hair only reached down to the middle of his back. Hibiki wrapped his arms around the prince again and comforted him, shedding a couple of tears himself. The prince pulled himself back and placed his hand on Hibiki’s cheek.



“Wataru, oh Wataru. Please tell me you’re real. Please tell me that you aren’t just a mirage made from my own desperation” The prince took his hand off of Hibiki’s face, dragging Hibiki’s hand to cup his own cheek. “Tell me that you won’t leave me again.”



Hibiki smiled softly. He pushed some of the prince’s hair behind his ear and brought the blond’s face closer to his. 



“I’m not going anywhere, Eichi.”



Hibiki sealed his promise on the prince’s lips. The prince returned the kiss, more tears spilling from both of their eyes as they embraced each other.



No matter what happened, or whoever crossed their paths, they would stay by each other's side.



For even the strongest forces of fate will never separate love between the most devoted lovers.