This story is for a Fairy Tale fic challenge that was on JyouKou, the Jyoushiro ML I'm on. It is my strange
Jyoushiro version of Rapunzel- well not exactly, but it's sort of close… It is just something my muse, Evil Muse
Tod, hit me upside the head with and I wrote out all in one sitting. I hope it's tolerable.

Disclaimer: If you don't own Digimon and you know it, clap your hands ::clap, clap::

Warnings: Has not been beta read. Contains: unnecessary big words, ridiculously long run on sentences, strange
and abrupt plot twists (if it's a fairy tale, I can get away with that, right?), my wry sense of humor, Jyoushiro (duh),
shounen ai, poetic rambling, sap, weirdness, and overly poetic sap. Enjoy!

Rating: PG-ish for boys kissing, mild cursing and one gratuitous use of the word penis.


By: Drie

    Once upon a time, in a land far from what many consider ordinary, though the residents considered this a slightly
preposterous claim on the strangers' part, for all this quote-unquote 'strangeness' seemed perfectly ordinary to
them, there lived a poor wood cutter and his wife. They were very very poor, as they lived no where near any
forests, living, as they did, on the outskirts of the large and somewhat dirty capital city of their land, amid a
particularly run-down area of the medieval suburbs. Perhaps wood cutter had not been the best choice of career
for this particular man, though now that he had set out to be one he was determined to see it through, being as he
was more than a little hard headed. Now, next door to the wood cutter there existed a beautiful, lush garden which
constantly bloomed with exotic flowers, fruits and vegetables. Each day, as he came home empty handed once
again from his difficult career of trying to cut wood, the man would stare with longing at this garden through the
slots in its trim white picket fence and fantasize to forestall the rumbling of his empty belly. Even so, he never went
into the garden, for it was obviously not his and that would have been trespassing, not to mention taking anything
would be stealing, which is just wrong. All this was to change, however, one fateful day.

    It came to pass that the would-be wood cutter's wife became pregnant, which was an alarmingly heavy burden on
their already precarious financial situation. She developed the peculiarity of craving fresh vegetables at odd hours of
the night, which caused her tongue, already sharp from years of hard-bitten poverty, to become a near-deadly
weapon. Regaling her husband with cries of 'YOU did this with your penis, now FIX it!' and 'Do you WANT to
sleep on the dirt floor again?' she drove the pitiful man to rather desperate acts involving the aforementioned garden
which he undoubtedly otherwise would have avoided.

    Unbeknownst to this unfortunate man, however, the garden in question was owned by a rather powerful
enchantress, who was quick to notice the violation of her personal property. Late at night, she caught the man in
the act of stealing a cabbage and swooped rather grandly and impressively down from a nearby tree to demanded
retribution. The trembling man explained briefly that his wife was with child, and that they were too poor to provide
her with the necessary daily amounts of certain nutrients needed for the health of both mother and child. The
enchantress took pity on the man and, eyes alight with an unholy gleam he really should have been more wary of,
offered him a deal. She would allow him to take a basket of food from the garden each day, as long as he
promised to repay her when she asked it of him. Perhaps the man was not as wise as some, or perhaps he was
merely desperate. Either way, he agreed to the deal, and gave the enchantress his sacred word of honor that he
would repay her.

    It came to pass that his wife bore a beautiful son, with fathomless dark eyes, porcelain skin, and hair of garnet red,
whom the couple, in one of their few moments of domestic bliss, named Koushiro. Then, disaster struck. The
enchantress appeared and, after congratulating the couple, informed them that she would be taking the child as
payment for the fruits of her garden which had nourished it. The wife put up one hell of a stink about this, not that
one could blame her, but in the end, the husband held himself to his sacred word, and handed over his son. He was
more than a little hard headed.

    The enchantress whisked the boy away to the rose-covered tower she had built to watch over her garden. It was a
most impressive edifice, standing three stories tall, with sheer, blindingly white sides that rose unbroken to the single
window of the room at the very top. It was to this room that she consigned Koushiro, to live out his days as
another beautiful flower blooming in her bespelled garden.

    And beautiful he indeed became, though he did not know it. The enchantress allowed him nothing with which he
might mar his perfection, thus nothing breakable or pointy was permitted in the tower room. The enchantress
herself was the only other person he saw, and then only on her monthly visit when she cut his hair and brought him
new books to read. Koushiro was very scholarly and loved nothing more than to read of the wide world. In books,
he could leave the confines of his tower and travel far and wide, meet exotic people and battle mysterious
creatures. It was too bad, he always thought, that such things were imaginary and would never come to pass...

    It so happened that Prince Jyou had heard of a mysterious enchanted garden at the border of his capital city and
the medieval suburbs. The Prince, in spite of constantly struggling to live up to his royal father's ideas of proper
princeliness, had always had a fascination with botany. He decided that it might be worth incurring his father's
displeasure to go and check this garden out.

    Koushiro was sitting by his window, humming contentedly as he paged through his new copy of 'The New Field
Guide to Fairy Tale Wildflowers' and occasionally running his hand through his newly shorn locks. The enchantress
had visited him earlier that day, announcing that it was his 16th birthday before giving him his customary haircut and
reading material. He was contemplating the way the stamens of the 'Wylde Blood Rose' emulated fractal patterns
when his train of thought was derailed by an unfamiliar sound. He blinked. That sounded like a human voice, but it
was not his, as he hadn't spoken, and the timbre of it was much too deep to be the enchantress'. Puzzled, he got up
and went to the window. It was probable that his ears were playing tricks on him, for he knew well that there was
no one here but the enchantress and himself. Now, theoretically, the books he read might have some basis in fact,
which suggested that there could be some other people out there, somewhere, however his own practical
experience directly contradicted that hypothesis. He looked out but the garden appeared as it always had. Then,
the voice floated up to him again. It seemed to be coming from his left and he curiously leaned out his window,
straining to see where it was coming from. Suddenly, his hand slipped and he had to scramble to keep from

    "You should be more careful," the voice said, from directly below him, "You wouldn't want to fall from that far up.
You'd undoubtedly get hurt."

    Koushiro blinked owlishly down at the source of the voice and saw something he had never seen before: another
boy. His height was difficult to judge from the elevation and angle at which Koushiro viewed him, but the redhead
got the impression that the boy below was somewhat taller than him. He had fine cerulean hair, which shone in the
midmorning light, and wore some sort of reflective coverings over his eyes. He stepped closer to the tower, into the
shade of the tall rose bushes that decorated the base, squinting upward.

    "How did you get up there anyway? I didn't see any doors on this thing at all."

    "I've always been here." Koushiro replied, a bit more defensively than he'd planned. "Who are you?"

    What might have been a look of surprise and chagrin washed over the other boy's face (it was a bit hard to tell
from three stories up).

    "My name is Jyou," he bowed rather formally, "what's yours?"

    "Koushiro. What are you doing here?"

    At this question, the Prince reddened. "I- I came to see the plants. My most humble apologies if I am intruding in
any way. I heard rumors of your wondrous garden and I've always been interested in plants, so I thought that I
might come take a look, and it really is a beautiful garden, with so many rare species! How ever did you-" with an
embarrassed start, he realized he was rambling. "and, um, anyway ... sorry." He finished lamely.

    Koushiro, for his part, was very interested in this boy. He had never talked to anyone other than the enchantress-
who was not much of a conversationalist- and occasionally himself. He suddenly found himself bursting with
questions, like, where did he live, if not in the garden? Did he know any other people? What were they like?
Struck with a sense of his own naivete, Koushiro nearly missed the boy's hesitant query, "Is, um, I mean, would
you mind terribly if I looked around a bit more? I won't touch anything. Or do you want me to go-"

    "NO! Er- I mean you're welcome to stay, on one condition." Koushiro noted an unfamiliar tinge of desperation in
his voice. "Talk to me."

    The boy below broke into a wide smile, which Koushiro found his lips unconsciously echoed. "Of course! Well, it
would be a little rude of me not to, don't you think?"

    Thus began one of the strangest friendships in the history of this admittedly not-unstrange land. The young prince
found himself sneaking off in every spare moment to study the rare plants of the garden- and get to know the boy in
the tower. The two became quite close, the red head craving even the most mundane details of life in the outside
world, and the prince devouring the other boy's extensive knowledge of the garden's flora. One month passed, and
then another, and soon the effects of their chats began to be felt by those around them. At her monthly visits, the
enchantress noticed Koushiro was both more talkative and more insistent about his queries of the outside world.
The king, on the other hand, noticed mostly that his son, though often no where to be found around the castle, was
both happier and more productive in his princely duties. The former shrugged this off as the difficulties of the
teenage years, while the latter merely praised whatever gods had brought this to pass, and their secret remained
safe for some time.

    Now, in this particular kingdom, it was the ancient law and tradition that the crown prince of the land be married on
his 18th birthday, so as to ensure the continuation of the royal line, in spite of the fact that this ruined all future
political machinations involving alliance marriages. This law was also the subject of several bitter complaining
sessions during Jyou and Koushiro's little chats.

    "So why can't you just have the law changed- you are a prince."

    "Kou, even royalty is not above the law. Besides, my father is forcing me to. If I don't pick someone soon, then he

    Koushiro pondered this for a moment. "So, why can't you pick someone?"

    He raised his eyebrows as Jyou blushed a deep crimson, and mumbled a reply.

    "What? I didn't hear you."

    "Um- I... I don't know." Mentally, Jyou was kicking himself for chickening out. Somewhere along the line, the
blue-haired prince had let himself fall in love with the strange boy who lived in the tower, even though he had never
seen him face-to-face. He had wanted to tell the boy for some time, but the intervention of tradition and the sheer
impossibility of having any more of a relationship given their circumstances had thus far kept him quiet. He railed
again at fate, for this so-close-yet-so-far torture, even as he blessed the universe for bringing Koushiro into being.
He was at a loss.

    "Why don't you marry me?"

    Jyou looked sharply upward, heart thudding against his ribs.


    He couldn't have meant that, really. Having lived his whole life in the tower left Koushiro with some strange gaps in
his social common sense. But, he realized that Koushiro was blushing to rival his hair.

    "I said, why don't you marry me."

    "That's what I thought you said. Kou... Do you know what you're-"

    "Asking? Yes, I've read about," here he coughed, nervously, "marriage. An oath of love and commitment taken by
those who want to spend the rest of their lives together. I- Jyou-"

    "Yes?" His breath was short, hitching on his hope.

    "You are the only friend I've ever had. You are caring and loyal and reliable and I want to spend all my waking
moments with you. You don't know how lonely it gets- when you're not here- and I never knew how lonely I was,
until you-" Here, Koushiro's voice closed off with emotion. Jyou ached to hold him in his arms and comfort him.

    "Koushiro, I feel the same way. Every moment I am not here, I wish I were. My dreams are haunted by the sound
of your voice, calling out to me from the blaze of the sun. I would like nothing more than to be next to you, now, to
hold you. My Koushiro-" He stopped as he felt a wetness on his cheek, and realized it was his love's tears.
Wonderingly, he gazed at the drop clinging to his fingertip, before placing its salt on his tongue.

    "My Koushiro- a part of you will always be inside me now."

    A final faint sniffle reached his ears and he looked up into his love's radiant smile.

    "Jyou, a part of you has always been inside me, I just never knew it, until you appeared."

    The King was vaguely surprised when his usually self-effacing son stormed into his throne room and announced
before the entire court that he had found his beloved whom he wished to marry. His rampant joy at this
announcement was cut short, however, when the prince further announced that his betrothed was being held
captive in a tower at the edge of the medieval suburbs. He immediately called in his bevy of advisors, trusting that
they could rescue his son's bride from whatever spot she was in, and completely failing to notice the abrupt exit of
one of his lesser court magicians.

    The enchantress was furious. How had that boy escaped her detection? Admittedly she had been paying less
attention to her garden now that she attended court, but the boy couldn't have bent a blade of grass without her
knowing it. And now- to try and pluck her most precious flower, right from under her nose? What ever happened
to the respect for others' property? Fuming, she began to plan her entrance.

    Based on the advice of his finest sorcerers and engineers and the descriptions of the Prince, a plan was crafted,
timbers were cut and pieced together, and spells were woven, and when the day of the rescue finally dawned, the
instrument of Koushiro's freedom arrived at the garden. It was a ladder. A very long, well built ladder. Jyou
insisted that the minimum of people accompany him and the ladder to the tower, so as not to ruin the plants.
Koushiro was considerably surprised when he looked out his window and saw its approach, with his Jyou carrying
the front end. Soon, what had seemed a far-off dream for so long became real, and Jyou stood before his love in
the tower-room.

    Suddenly shy, the pair fidgeted for a moment, glancing obliquely at each other in wonder. Koushiro had been right-
the Prince was several inches taller than himself, and built slender and lanky. Koushiro, Jyou noted, was almost
elfin, with his pale skin and delicate features. After a long moment, their unease evaporated as Jyou's deep blue
eyes met Koushiro's onyx and they were lost.

    "Koushiro" the syllables fell from his lips like silk, rustling the silence of the tower.


    And suddenly they were in each others arms, laughing, clutching each other as if afraid to wake from some beautiful
dream. It was at this moment that the enchantress made her big entrance. With a brilliant flash of light and the
sound of a thunderclap, she appeared near the window, barring their escape down the ladder.

    "Boy," she spat, her voice full of malice, "Unhand my flower."

    Jyou stepped protectively between the irate woman and his newfound love. "I am Jyou, crown prince of this realm,
and I love Koushiro. I wish to marry him. And I won't let anything come between us again."

    She threw back her head and laughed. It was a cruel sound. "You romantic fool. Do you really think your father
will accept him," she nodded at Koushiro, "as your future bride? He may be beautiful but he is most definitely not a

    "I don't care. The law only states that I must marry on my 18th birthday, not who is 'acceptable.' I will marry
Koushiro, or not marry at all."

    He had her there, but she sneered at him anyway, to save face. She tried another tactic.

    "Koushiro, my pet, you cannot believe this stranger loves you any more than I, who have raised you for so many

    "Raised me?" Koushiro spoke up now, stepping forward to stand beside the taller boy and taking his hand, "You
didn't raise me. You neglected me! I was nothing more than a pet to you, another beautiful object to squirrel away
for your self. I've been cooped up in here all my life, not living, not even aware of what living meant! If it weren't for
Jyou, I still wouldn't know!" The boy was yelling now, tears streaming down his face. Jyou squeezed his hand, and
the younger boy turned to him. "Jyou, take me away from here, please."

    Jyou smiled at him reassuringly and lead the boy forward, backing the disgruntled enchantress against the window.

    "You will never get past me," she hissed, "I will keep both of you, my jewels, forever."

    With these words, her skin seemed to flow and change and her form began to twist into the horrific shape of a
gargoyle. Her bulk seemed to fill more and more of the room.

    "Jyou," Koushiro yelled urgently, over the rising hiss of her rage, "Look!"

    A portion of the wall seemed to be flickering, becoming transparent. Beyond it, a stairwell was plainly visible.

    "Hurry! Her control over her other spells must be temporarily weakening." With that Koushiro dragged the him by
the hand through the formerly solid wall, down the spiraling, dusty stairs, and out through a long tunnel in the
ground. Behind them, the hiss only grew in volume, now accompanied by a rumble as if thousands of stones were
rattling against one another. They emerged into the bright sun of afternoon, barely ahead of a huge cloud of rushing
dust. Turning back, Koushiro watched as the tower which was all he had known fell in on itself and disappeared.

    "Jyou-" immediately, he was surrounded by strong arms, holding him firmly to combat the trembling in his voice.
"Its all gone."

    "Yes," Jyou breathed the words into his hair. "You're free now."

    Koushiro turned to face the boy he loved. "I'm afraid," he said.

    Jyou smile was kind, tinged with an answering sadness. "I'm know, Koushiro, but together, we will find a new

    Koushiro smiled, a little, secure in the knowledge that he would not be left alone now. Jyou pulled the other boy
against himself, his physical presence reassuring. Their eyes met, then their lips, sealing the marriage of their hearts
with a warm, lingering kiss. Then, together, they turned to face the uncertain world as one.

The End

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