• Once upon a time there were two childhood friends. An amber-eyed boy and an emerald-eyed girl. One grew to be a brave knight, the other a beautiful princess. Both lived in a time of war. Wars that waged between the princess’s flourishing, peaceful kingdom and an evil man trying to gain more power and control. As each tried to overcome the other in fierce battles and man slaughter, the brave knight never once left the girl’s side. He vowed to protect, to never leave her, his eternal promise he would forever keep.

    The king began searching for allies in the neighboring kingdoms and most were happy to comply. Some, however, wanted something in return. One wanted the princess’s hand in marriage. Of course, the king didn’t allow that.

    One day in the midst of a great battle, the princess took the knight’s hand and led him down a long hallway. Into the throne room where the princess’s elder brother, the current King, awaited them.

    The king knew the love they both held for each other, even if they themselves weren’t completely aware of it. He desperately wanted a better life for them. A good future, free from war and arranged marriages. Free from pain.

    “Syaoran,” the king began, “I want you to return to your home country.”

    The knight’s eyes widen, “Your majesty, you can‘t possibly expect me to go now. Not in the middle of a war.” His eyes shifted over to the princess.

    The king raised his hand for silence. “You did not allow me to finish.” He turned to look out a window, at the battle that took place so near. “You must take the princess with you. Protect her with your life.”

    “Onii-sama!?” “Your majesty!?” Both exclaimed together in shock at the king’s bizarre request.

    The battle raged on outside the castle’s protective walls. Blow for blow, the mighty knights and guards continued to fight back. Their loyalty for their king and serene kingdom kept them going.

    The king turned back to them and gave them both a reassuring smile. “As much as I hate you, gaki, you’re the only one that can keep my little sister truly happy. Not some prince or other fancy nobleman. Now go. Don‘t worry about the kingdom, I‘ll make sure this war ends soon enough.” He gripped the hilt of his sword.

    And with that he dismissed them. No good-bye or emotional farewell. And it was just as well, now was not the time for tears.

    Sneaking in the dark of night, hoods covering their heads, cloaks masking their bodies, the knight and princess fled.

    Together they crossed through perilous forests, unforgiving deserts, and dangerous waters. All in hopes of making it to a safe haven.

    But as their love for each other grew so did the doubts in Syaoran’s mind. He was but a lowly commoner compared to her. He didn’t deserve her, regardless of how many times he risked his life for her, one day she would have to go back and marry for her kingdom.

    As the thoughts became more and more frequent, each more devastating than the last, the knight distanced himself away from the princess. To the point where he rarely spoke or even looked directly at her anymore. This hurt the princess, who grew to love the knight more as each day passed. It hurt so much she had to confront him.

    “Why are you being so cold?”

    He gave no reply and continued walking.

    “Syaoran, stop!” She commanded him, something she always hated doing.

    He stopped but gave no intention of turning to face her. He cursed under his breath as he remembered his oath to obey all commands of the royal family.

    “Why are you acting like this?”

    She only met with silence.

    Tear clouded her vision. “Answer me! You don’t have to be so-”

    “I don‘t deserve you. You belong to a higher class, your highness.” His back still turned to her.

    “That doesn‘t matter! What matters is what‘s in a person‘s heart!” She choked out through the free falling tears. They dripped down, onto the dirt ground.

    His fists clenched, “It does matter! Maybe not to you and me. But what would people think!? Seeing you with filth like me…”

    “I HATE YOU!” Instantly, she regretted those words. She spoke out of anger, that wasn’t how she felt at all.

    It was worse than any wound he had ever received. No arrow that pierced him, no sword that slashed him, no dagger that stabbed him, no poison that tainted him hurt more than when she said those words. He turned to face her, shock evident in his eyes.

    “Syaoran, I didn‘t mea-” She never finished her sentence.

    He pushed her out of the way, his sword drawn to deflect an on coming attack. But he only succeeding in the first task.

    The attacker’s sword went through his armor and pierced his heart. He managed to kill the attacker before he escaped then fell to the floor. Pain shot through his body.

    Blood, vivid and red, gushed out of him. It pooled around his fallen form. He winced as he tried to get up. Eyes wildly searching for his princess.

    “Syaoran!” The princess screamed as she ran to him and cradled his body.

    “I‘m sorry…”

    “No, please, don‘t die.” She wept.

    The knight brushed his hand across her tear-stained cheek, “Now then,…. don‘t you.. think you’ve cried…. enough over me…. ”

    “I never meant it, Syaoran, I don’t hate you. I could never hate you.” Her tears dripped onto his face.

    Syaoran smiled, weak and small, “I know…”

    “Don‘t die… Please don’t leave me alone…”

    Taking her hand, he slowly brought it up to his lips and kissed it. A light kiss, so tender and full of love. “I love you…”

    The light slowly left his eyes. His hand fell limp as did hers. One last breath escaped his lips, “Sakura…”

    “NO! Syaoran! Don‘t do this!” She hugged him to her body, not wanting to let go. “Syaoran!”

    He told her he loved…. Loves her. He loves her. Why couldn’t she tell him she loves him, too!? Three simple little words!!

    “Come back!” She sobbed and buried her face into his chest. “Don‘t leave me…”

    She missed her chance to tell him, “I love you.”

    She missed giving him a kiss on the lips and receiving one in return.

    She missed seeing the archer as he notched an arrow in his bow and let it pierce into her head.

    She missed her chance at happily ever after.

    As this fairytale closes to its sad, bitter end, an amber-eyed angel floats to her and takes her hand. He leans in and whispers in her ear, “I‘ll never leave you, I love you too much to leave…”

    She smiled and gave him a kiss. “I love you, too.”