So... who says I should stop starting new fics? I can't believe that I'm actually wrting a romance who know me really well started cheering when I told them. I feel so ashamed... Anyway, I intend for this story to be the exact opposite of Victims. It's kind of odd how the both of them were inspired by the same series.

The Dragon's Phoenix
Prologue
Marriage
By Nodjmet

"My Lady, please hurry," Nurse begged. "You mustn't be late for your wedding."

"I do not wish to go," a younger female replied behind the screen.

"That is not for you to decide," Nurse answered. "It was-

"-our parents' decision," the bride continued as she finished dressing and turned to her nurse. "Still, why must the wedding be…" she lifted the solid red veil from her face, revealing a pouting face, "…when I'm only seven years old?"

The maids applauded overenthusiastically and one called out, "Why, princess, you look lovely."

She simply rolled her eyes and dropped the veil. "Whatever."

"Princess Crane!" Nurse exclaimed, horrified. "Where did you learn such a common word?"

"Yue Mao."

"I see." Nurse glared at the distressed maid sideways. "I shall see to you later, but for now, we must lead the princess."

Crane sighed, the thick veil barely fluttering as she was led blindly to the waiting caravan. I hope my husband's not too old… or ugly.


"No no no!" Pine screamed as he tore through the palace in a blind rage.

His nurses dashed behind him in a panic. "Hurry, His Majesty must be found before the bride arrives!" the head nurse screamed.

"Yes, ma'am," the lower nurses replied before scattering.

"Where is my son?" the empress glided toward the frantic nurse.

"Mistress!" All the nurses dropped to their knees to bow. "My you live a thousand years," they chanted.

"I repeat," the empress waved her fan holder closer, "Where is Song Shu?"

"We are currently searching for him." The head nurse trembled.

The empress glanced around the covered walkways and paths that crisscrossed over the gardens and courtyards. The peach trees were in full bloom and the streamlet trickled gently in the background. "Song Shu," she called into the natural silence. "What did Confucius say about children?"

"To always obey and respect their parents and elders, "Pine recited as he clambered down from the peach tree.

The empress merely nodded then turned to his nurse. "He is to be emperor once he is of age. I expect that you will watch him better."

"Of course, mistress."

The empress nodded curtly once then glided around the hunched nurses and to the next garden, her serving men and women trailing behind. The head nurse rose dutifully and took the boy by the hand. "Come, Emperor. We must prepare for the wedding."


Whack. Whack. Whack. Poke. Whack.

Pine's jaw stretched wide enough to swallow at least three flies. The wedding had been rather boring tedious and now… well, he had to wait for his new wife to arrive to find out what she was like. Girls were so annoying, why couldn't they all just disappear?

His head snapped up at the sound of the door swinging open. A small figure stumbled in, tripping over the traditional red wedding garb and groping blindly around the room. At the sight, Pine first grinned, giggled, then eventually broke into full-blown laughter.

"Would it kill you to help me a little?" the girl spit out.

"Yes," Pine chuckled.

"Hmph," Crane huffed. Slowly, she made her way to the bed where her new husband was rolling in laughter after watching her bump into furniture and knock expensive pottery over. "Now take the veil off," she ordered.

"No."

"Why not?" she growled.

"You wouldn't bump into things anymore," he chuckled. "I wouldn't want that."

Carefully, Crane pin pointed that annoying monster-I mean, boy-and managed a well aimed punch. She heard a thump and felt the weight on the bed shift to the floor. Satisfied, she commanded smugly, "Now take it off."

"I ought to poke your eyes out," Pine grumbled as he removed the veil with the traditional stick, which he had been using to pass the time.

A glaring child's face emerged from under the rich red cloth. Quickly, the child's tiny hands removed the heavy gold headdress and began to undo the carefully braided mass of dark hair. "By the way," she spoke suddenly, "I am Xian He, but you will call me Lady Crane."

"Song Shu," he replied, "but you will call me Lord Pine or Emperor."

"Or husband," the dowager empress finished, sweeping into the room. "Lady, my I speak with your husband?"

"Certainly." Crane laid one hand on top of the other, brought them to her hip and performed a dainty little dancers' curtsy.

Pine trailed behind the dowager empress obediently until she paused and turned to him. "Do you like your new wife?" she asked immediately.

"She's a girl," he answered as if that said it all.

"You'll see, my son," the dowager empress murmured, "you'll see. Just wait a few more years and you'll see her in a new way.

"I don't think so," he prevented himself from retorting and just ended up sounding mechanical.

"If she isn't…" she hesitated, "satisfying, you may always have a concubine. For now, you two may have separate beds. Seven is too young for the last action."


So, what do you think of my first romance? To tell you the truth, I really don't like it, but I'll play around a bit and then edit like crazy. sighs Great, even more work.