For the first few months of Cean being courted by princesses from other lands, Calum had kept quiet and distant. His jealousy all but ate at him inside and out. He did not want to risk the fragile balance between their special relationship by being an awful friend with the intent of ruining his dates. So, instead, he kept his distance and watched sadly from the sidelines. After all, what if a princess from a different land was actually meant to be with Cean? What if his selfishness kept Cean from his one true love? They were only sixteen, after all...Cean could always change his mind.

After seeing the white-blond prince suffer in silence for weeks, Calum's cousin had had enough. She, too, had come to court Cean from a distant land...but, she had no interest in him. Princess Dulce placed her hands on her hips and glared down at her cousin on the bed. "That is enough, stop being so miserable or you will make everyone else just as miserable!" She chastised. "If you are so unsure of his feelings, then you should court him yourself!"

That being said, she dragged him off the bed and made him up like a princess. When she was through, the two of them could have been mistaken for sisters. "Hmm, of course! No one knows that I don't have any siblings. You could pass as my younger sister!"

Calum looked at himself in the mirror with a mixture of horror and worry. He certainly made a lovely princess. Dulce had dusted his hair a copper color and she had braided the tresses with ribbons and tinsel. One of her golden tiaras was fastened around his forehead, and she placed a light layer of make-up on his face. The dress he wore was a dark green color and gave the illusion of small breasts that he certainly did not have. In short, he was unrecognizable even to himself. "Dulce..."

"Just be careful not to talk too much...I can disguise your looks well, but all the makeup in the world cannot hide your voice from Cean," Dulce warned.

If there was one thing that Calum was grateful for, it was of the simple flat shoes that Dulce had him wear beneath the dress. The dress was, thankfully, long enough to cover any shoes and he was glad he didn't have to wear heels. Dulce had trained him for days on how to walk and act like a princess. Luckily, it didn't take much for Calum to pretend to act like a girl, since his face was rather feminine and blended into any female posture. He was announced at the entrance to the throne room as 'Princess Dilian.' When brought before Cean, he made a perfect curtsy.

::

As Cean and Calum grew older, the two had become busier with princely duties as well as the fact Calum and his sister had been having to get together since they were engaged to be married one day. The brunet's mother was afraid he was feeling left out and decided that her son should be courted as well. However, it was not what he wanted at all. The one he wanted to be with was already engaged, and he still wanted to find a way to end that engagement to take Calum for himself. He bided his time until he could formulate another plan.

The brunet waited at the throne room to meet yet another princess. When she was announced, he was a bit confused. She looked familiar. Something felt strange about this one. At the moment, he needed to put on a show for his parents. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Princess Dilian." He stated as he held out his hand to take hers.

Knowing that his voice was about the only thing that could betray him at the moment, Calum spoke in a soft, brief tone that was an octave higher than his normal voice. "Pleasure to meet you, too, Prince Cean." A light blush formed on his face when he placed his hands in Cean's.

How peculiar, Cean thought to himself. This particular princess acted differently than the others. She kept avoiding his gaze. The brief glimpses he caught of her eyes unnerved him. They were quite similar to his Calum's eyes. Wait, no, they looked exactly like them! Was he imagining things? He hadn't seen Calum in a while, but was it truly possible? He summoned up a smile. "You have very stunning eyes, my lady. Come, a carriage is waiting for us." He declared as he led her to a horse-drawn carriage.

The disguised prince concentrated with all his might to not blink nervously when Cean pointed out his eyes. However, he managed it and he didn't look away, knowing that any tense movement would give him away before their date even began. He nodded in response and carefully sat in the carriage.

Cean wouldn't dare call the other out in front of so many people. He still was unsure that the princess before him was truly Calum, in any case. He certainly had a very high suspicion. Once they were in the carriage, he glanced towards her. "Princess Dilian, I hear your family has extended family in a nearby kingdom. What is that like?" He asked innocently. After all, he was a bit curious. No family of his really had any other princes and princesses. His father was an only child and the heir by default. His mother had come from a far off kingdom and they rarely saw her side of the family.

Calum once again adopted his slightly lighter, airy voice. "An island full of rivers, as you have probably already heard from Princess Dulce," He replied. Dulce's home kingdom was described truthfully, but he still felt a slight unease at deceiving Cean, even if for only a day.

The prince chuckled. He could tell that she was becoming uneasy. "No, I actually meant what it is like having family in a nearby kingdom. After all, you have a cousin nearby, is that not correct? I heard that he can be quite the handful."

The prince chuckled. He could tell that she was becoming uneasy. "No, I actually meant what it is like having family in a nearby kingdom. After all, you have a cousin nearby, is that not correct? I heard that he can be quite the handful."

A little smirk formed on Calum's lips. "Calum would not be himself if he was not a handful," He replied carefully, his voice falling to a mere whisper as turned to glance out the window. "Though, he is not a 'handful' very often these days."

Cean noticed the little smirk. That was Calum's face, he was sure of it. But he wanted their impromptu date to last a bit longer. "I would not know," He admitted. "It has been a while since I last saw him. I mean no offense to you, but this courting has stolen away any time I have to see him." He let out a long sigh and noticed when the carriage stopped. He hopped off before helping the 'princess' out as well. "I hope you do not mind eating here. I enjoy eating away from the palace at times."

Calum shook his head as he followed Cean quietly. He thought of what the other prince had told him in the carriage. Did that mean that he was missed? "Has it been worth it?" He asked before he could stop himself. "Have you...found anyone you liked, I mean."

"Thus far, I have certainly not..." Cean replied as he frowned. "I feel as if my mother is wasting everyone's time. There is someone I have liked since I was very small. But due to to…certain circumstances, we cannot be together just yet. I fully intend to change that if that is what he still wishes, as well." He spoke with a small smile, leading her inside.

Instead of feeling the relief he thought he would feel when Cean admitted to not liking any of the princesses, the green-eyed prince felt guilt instead. Calum was starting to realize that he was asking for quite a lot when it came to Cean. Though Cean's sister already knew that the two of them wanted to be together, she was being kept from courting and finding someone, too! "It is not fair to anyone..." He whispered.

Cean nodded, ordering their food for them. He made sure to pick something he knew Calum would like. "I agree. No one is happy with the arrangement. But at the moment, there is not much we can do about it." He added. "I am sorry, I should be asking more about you. Tell me more about yourself."

Another blush formed on Calum's face when Cean ordered a meal that was one of his absolute favorites. Did the other prince do this with all the other princesses? Order Calum's favorite meals? "I have very little to say," He replied as he ate and picked at his food. "There is someone I miss terribly. I wish nothing but the best for them, but I cannot help but selfishly want to tie them to me..."

Cean inwardly smirked as he saw the blush as well as heard what Calum admitted. "I feel the same." If they were not in public, he would expose the other prince. But, the brunet knew exactly where and when to do so. He ate his food before having them taken back to the palace. "There is a place I want to take you specifically." He explained. After all, Calum did not know that he was the only one that Cean would ever bring to the gardens. "This is one of my favorite places here. It is the one place I can go and not have guards all around me outside the interiors of the palace."

Calum felt a slight pang at the thought of Cean bringing the princesses to their 'sanctuary', but he did his best to keep the disappointment off his face. "I-it is lovely."

Cean saw the disappointment in Calum's eyes and tried to not just flat out hug him then and there. "This way," He urged, leading the other prince further back towards the fountains. "I am quite surprised you did not throw a fit when I ordered for you. You hate when others do not let you choose." He mused out loud.

Calum followed behind the other prince, feeling a little glum deep inside. He was so preoccupied with his own thoughts that he answered automatically. "You have always known just what to choose for me, Cean. You are the only exception-" Calum let out a loud gasp and covered his mouth with his hands as he realized that he had unwittingly outed himself. "You...you knew?"

Cean laughed when his Calum gave himself away. "For nearly the entire day. Though I have to say, your acting with that disguise did fool me at first." He confessed. He then pulled the green-eyed prince into a hug. "You should have known yourself. I would have never ordered your favorite food or brought you here, otherwise. I only do that with you, Calum."

The shorter prince felt his heart soar when he felt Cean's arms around him and let his words sink in. In Cean's embrace, he realized something that was both dreadful and wondrous. The feeling made him feel both joyous and afraid; anxious and content. "I truly have missed you so much. Forgive me for trying to trick you." He replied.

"Do not apologize. Though it was not quiet what Iimaged our first date to look like, I enjoyed being by your side. I have missed you so much..." Cean responded.

"Cean...I love you." Calum whispered.

Cean felt his heart skip a beat before it began to thump wildly. Those words...he wanted to hear them from no one else. "I love you too, Calum. You, and no one else." He muttered, nuzzling against the prince's neck. "No matter what happens, I will always be your knight."

Calum slowly pulled back enough to look into Cean's eyes. "Does that mean no more princesses?"

"You were the final one. I told my mother that I tired of it." Cean replied with a sheepish smile. He then kissed the shorter prince's forehead. "After all, I feel I prefer princes." He added with a small smirk.

Calum sent him a willful pout. "Do not tell her that part or she might have you court princes, instead!"

Cean couldn't help but laugh. "I would not. Now, how about we continue this little walk of ours, 'Princess Dilian'?" He suggested in a teasing manner, taking Calum's hands. "I have to say, you look rather nice in a dress."

Calum nodded, a bright blush forming on his face when Cean reminded him of the dress. "I would only wear one for you...and you would have to be grave or ill for me to wear a dress ever again!"

"Oh? If we get married, I certainly will not wear a dress." The taller prince insisted deviously. "That reminds me. I feel like practicing something…" He quickly snatched Calum up into his arms bridal style and started walking through the garden with a pleased expression on his face.

Calum's arms instinctively wrapped around the other prince's neck as his eyes sought out Cean's. He ignored the blush that was probably covering his face and neck. "I concede to wearing white...and I will only wear a dress if you ask nicely." In a smaller voice, he added. "And I would not mind being carried like this."

The taller prince smiled innocently at him, as he felt he won that round. "We have time to sort out the details later. For now, let us simply enjoy our day together." Cean prompted, kissing Calum's cheek as he carried him through the garden.

::::

"...and that is why it is always important to be kind to everyone regardless of what they look like or what they are wearing," Renael concluded as he placed a bookmark in Calum's journal and set the booklet aside. "You never know if the person is someone that you'll end up caring deeply about."

"Did you ever wear a dress, daddy? Would you have gone undercover like Prince Calum just to see Papa?" Caleb asked.

"No," Ren responded with a devious smile. "But, your Papa did come to see me wearing light autumn clothes in the middle of winter."

Septimus blushed. "A word of caution, son," he told Caleb. "Always check the weather before heading out to see someone you care about."

"Otherwise, you'll end up leaving a perfectly good converse shoe stuck in the mud, like what happened with your Papa." Ren whispered into Caleb's ear.

When the little boy laughed, the sound was like music to his parents' ears. "Papa, did you really come see daddy with only one shoe?" He asked.

"Caleb, I'd have come to see your daddy in just a pair of shorts if I had to." Sept admitted. "It would have been a horrible idea, and I might have frozen to death before I got to him, but I still would have tried. I love him that much."

"I think great great great grandma Sofia did the right thing to let Prince Cean and Prince Calum get married instead," Caleb decided. "Love is love."

"Agreed, little one," Renael concurred. "Know that your Papa and I would approve of anyone you fall in love with, no matter what."

"Do we have to?" Sept questioned only to be elbowed by his husband. "Ow! Ok ok...but, just cause we approve of them doesn't mean you can get married right away. You need to spend some time and get to know them first."

"Don't worry, Papa," Caleb responded. "I'm not in love with anyone yet."

Septimus let out a visible sigh of relief. "Did you hear that, C2?" He relayed to the growing puppy in his arms.

"...but I do like someone," Caleb insisted. "I like Chelsea a lot."

Renael shook his head when Sept's face formed a pout. He reigned in his laughter. His poor husband had to come to terms with allowing Caleb to grow, and Ren knew that if he laughed at that moment, his beloved would feel ridiculed. The pink-eyed blond reached out to hold the brunet's hand instead.

"Now, Sept," Ren reminded. "Remember that it's not the end whenever Caleb weds, it's only the beginning. You do want to be a grand-papa someday, don't you?"

The pout was no more. "Grand-papa? I kinda like the sound of that," Septimus admitted.

Caleb snickered at his parents. "I'm not even nine yet."

"On the subject of 'nine,' that's when we have to be up tomorrow morning. So, tuck in." Renael insisted as he helped the boy get under the covers and pressed a kiss to his forehead. "Sleep well, sweet one."

The smaller blond let out a long yawn. "Alrighty. Night, daddy. Night, Papa. Night, C2."

"Sweet dreams, Caleb."

The two adults left Caleb's room and gently placed C2 onto her own pillow-bed on the floor. As they took turns in the bathroom and got ready for bed, a thought came to Septimus. Before they turned out the lights, he shared it with his husband.

"Hey, Ren...theoretically, if we lived in a world where one of us had to, which one of us would have worn the wedding dress?" Sept asked.

A smirk tugged at the corner of Renael's lips. "Well, husband mine...I would have certainly looked better in one. But, I'm sure that the sight of me in a dress would have made my dad sad since it would have reminded him of my mother..."

"Yep, it'd have totally been me," Septimus agreed as he turned off the light. "You know I'd have totally rocked it."

Renael couldn't stifle his laughter that time.

END

Final A/N:

Thirdly and Toma- Foxies was a project that began on a whim after we fell in love with two adorable fox designs. We ended up making them human (well, mostly human) and best friends. The next thing we knew, we ended up writing about their struggles and their reunion (and even into their own family as grown adults!). They were one of our first OTPs (one true pairs), though we both feel the crown goes to another pair of our characters. Septimus and Renael are an easy 2nd place favorite for us.