All seemed at peace throughout the courtyard. The trees were swaying with each breeze. The fountain was bubbling and spraying starlight. "Clef......"
He searched the moonlit garden for the source of the voice. His heart racing, Clef walked to a spread of flowers and stopped in front of the beckoning apparition.
She was pale and beautiful, her sky blue hair looked icy white in the moonshine. In one fluid movement,Umi was on her knees in front of him with her arms open. Gently smiling, she whispered,
"Clef......be with me....."
He was in her arms within seconds, hands buried deep in her long luxurious hair. His eyes were shining with an unnatural hunger. As if reading his mind, Umi closed her eyes, tilted her head, and offered her lips. He leaned toward her and......................
woke up kissing one of his pillows.
He shoved the blankets off him in one swift jerk and summoned his robes.
*Oh well. It's almost morning anyway*
After adjusting his headdress, Clef gave himself a hard inspection in the mirror. The same dark blue eyes, the same scruffy lavender hair falling in his face. All he need do was put on a child's outfit and he could roll in the dirt with the rest of the youth of Cephiro. The face hadn't changed in over 700 years. He slammed a fist into the mirror. This had never bothered him before.
*You've never been in love before*
Scowling, he turned away from his mocking reflection. He had never had any use for love or an older body. He had sacrificed all those opportunities to fufill his role as Supreme Yil.
*You can always take them back, though*
He stepped into the main hallway. Looking both ways to make sure no one was around, he walked to a window and looked out at Cephiro's landscape still covered in the soft darkness of Pre-dawn. He could make out the mountains towards the horizon dotted with forests. The lake under the castle shimmered under the moon. The land looked like it had never been ravaged by the war 2 years ago.
*So much has changed*
Clef turned and walked away from the window with a sad look.
He had not noticed it until the girls had to stay in their world for a month for exams into new schools. Until that time, everything had been right with the world. Hikaru, Umi, Fuu came to visit almost everyday bringing show and tell objects from their world. Umi always had a dish of food or pastry for everyone to try. Ascot would literally drip off of Umi all blushing and stammering while Umi seemed to blithely ingore his advances. Clef would snap at the girls for always disturbing his peace, but not without stealing glances at Umi. He didn't think anything of it at the time, he had already placed her with Ascot. She didn't want to spend her life with a crabby, short, old boy. And he had better things to do, didn't he? With the restoration of Cephiro, he could go back to his role as Chief Wizard and advisor to the throne. It's what he had always done, why would he want to change? Images of Umi offering her lips to him filled his mind."Clef...be with me....." He scowled even more and walked further.
It had been nothing when the girls left for their tests. In fact, Clef had embraced what HE thought would be a few days of peace and quiet in his study. He almost went mad after two weeks of absence. He kept telling himself that he missed all of them and the routine of them being there always. But the dreams started and he couldn't lie to himself then.....
He missed HER.
He missed the sound of her voice, whether she was yelling at Hikaru for wandering off or having a quiet conversation with Fuu. And her hair, GODS her hair. He had found it everywhere,in his study, on the sofa, little reminders of the way it swished around her or when she would tuck it behind those dainty ears. Everything smelled like her too, making him seek out the pillows she slept on,where he always found more hair. But most of all.......
He missed being with her and feeling..... like an ordinary man. For so long he had distanced himself. He had to be devoted to the pillar and Cephiro and nothing else. He had become used to being feared and revered among the people.
"Oh, Supreme Yil..."
"Madoushi, we need your council.."
He had a name. He was a person. And he had forgotten all that back then. He had been dead inside feeding on his duties to Cephiro. But Umi refused to treat him like the rest had. She stood up to him during his anger and argued back at him. She made him feel alive.
*Alive and in love*
Nothing could be the same now. He wasn't happy anymore. She couldn't want a freakish old man. And he'd give up everything to hear her say that she loved him. To see her blue eyes look at him the way they had in his dreams.
*Face it, old boy. Those eyes will remain in your dreams, they aren't real*
Clef paused at the doorway to the courtyard.*Wait a minute* He looked in and choked. The trees were swaying and the fountain was a bubbling with starlight and....
He quickly walked over to the spread of flowers and drew in his breath. There she was. She was still in her nightgown,sitting on swing, as usual looking breathtaking. She smiled gently,"Hey...you couldn't sleep either,eh?"
Clef lowered his head to hide the blush forming,"Yeah..."Umi's smile widened causing Clef's heartbeat to triple."Great, not to be rude but you're just the person I wanted to talk to". Clef's head popped up, "Really? What's the matter?" Umi lowered her head and blushed slightly, "Well....It's personal.."She patted the empty space next to her,"Would you sit here?"
He quickly hopped in the seat to hide his nervousness. Umi turned to him,"Clef... have you ever been in love?" He was stung... she was going to talk about Ascot...he turned his head away to hide the pain,"Yes" he whispered."What do you want to know?" She shifted closer to him, "Well, if you were in love with someone, what exactly would you say to get their attention?"
He thought for a moment*What WOULD I say to Umi to make her see how I cared?* He idly stroked a flower petal. Then It came to him. He picked the flower and offered it her," I suppose an old man like me would tell her that She is the wish I have waited a lifetime to come true, and she is the dream I never wish wake from."He laughed quietly."Sounds dumb, doesn't it?"
"Nooo...it was wonderful" Clef looked up and saw her eyes shimmering with unshed tears. "Oh Clef.... I don't know if I can ever replace the woman who made you feel that way, but please let me show you that I care too." Clef looked at her in shock.
*She loves me. SHE loves ME!!!*
CLef cupped her chin in his hand,"Umi, you are the one who makes me feel this way, no other......" Umi smiled gently and opened her arms. "Clef....be with me...."
He didn't need to be told twice.