Disclaimer: I own nothing involved in this story unless I invented it myself. This is written for fun, not for profit.
Fandom: Yu-Gi-Oh Zexal
Title: Snow Games
Characters: Nasch, Merag
Word Count: 2,332||Status: One-shot
Genre: Family||Rated: G
Note: This was written for Zexal Shark Week. I'll be posting one fic per day for that, if all goes well.
Feedback: All forms eagerly accepted. Concrit is loved the most, but everything is welcome.
Summary: [one-shot, Nasch & Merag family, Zexal Shark Week, timeline: past life] It seldom snows in the United Lands of Poseidon. And when it does, Merag is determined to take advantage of it, no matter what Nasch thinks.
Snow fell rarely in the United Lands of Poseidon. Winters there normally only caused a slight lowering of temperature, to the point where the populace threw an extra blanket or two over their beds and stoked the fires a little higher. In all of his twelve years, Prince Nasch could not remember a single time when the skies grew cloudy and white flakes spiraled downward.
Not until now, at any rate. He stood on the balcony outside of his bedroom and held one hand out, watching as a few flakes landed on his palm.
“Weird.” He touched one flake with the tip of his tongue and made a face. All he could really taste was his own now damp skin. This was what snow was like?
Merag moved up beside him, catching a few flakes of her own. Her eyes lit up at the feel of it on her. “This isn’t weird! It’s beautiful!”
“What’s beautiful about it?” The young prince tried to catch more, but any time he could, it always began to melt right away.
“Everything.” Merag stuck her tongue out at him. He wondered how she could get the flakes not to melt as fast in her hand as they did in his.
Nasch shrugged and started to step back inside. He wanted a warm fire and maybe something hot to drink, until all of this snow vanished. He’d heard some of the servants, those who came from distant lands, talking about how they managed when winter came there, and that sounded like a very good idea to him.
Merag stayed where she was, watching as more and more snow fell from the thick gray clouds. “Nasch, it’s not melting!”
“Of course it is.” Nasch didn’t get up from where he’d wrapped himself in a warm cloak and sat by the fire. He wished the weather would clear up. He wanted to go out and get in some sword training, the sooner the better. Sitting around being bored didn’t suit him one little bit.
He heard Merag’s footsteps as she came back inside and hoped she would remember to close the balcony door behind her. Instead, she came over to stand beside him and stuck her hand in front of his face.
“Merag! What are you doing?” He glared up at her; if she liked the snow so much, why didn’t she go out and play in it instead of trying to bother him all the time?
“I told you, it’s not melting.” She shoved her hand, palm outstretched, toward him again and this time he looked. The snowflakes rested there, melting somewhat now, but not as quickly as they had before. She gestured outside. “Look!”
For lack of any reason not to, other than just for the sake of contrariness, Nasch looked where she seemed to point. In the few minutes since he’d come inside, the snow had grown thicker and harder to see through. His balcony gave an uncluttered view of the gardens, including a small pond, all of which now lay under a coat of glistening white.
He pulled himself to his feet and stepped over there, shivering as a gust of wind tossed a spray of snow inside. He didn’t even think about it; just grabbed the door and slammed it shut as hard as he could. “It can snow all it wants. I’m not going out in it.”
“Well, I am. And if I am, you are.” Merag folded her arms over her chest and gave him her very best pouting look. “Mother and Father said we’re always supposed to stick together, remember?” That was the rule. They were twins; born together, and were to always remain that way. Nasch wasn’t entirely sure if that could even happen, but Merag liked to use it to tag along to places where ‘proper ladies’ weren’t supposed to go.
And apparently to get him to go out into snow.
“If we’re supposed to stick together, why don’t you stay inside?” Nasch knew that wouldn’t work on her. It never did. She just gave him a glare that he knew far too well after twelve years.
“Because I want to go outside. When is it going to snow again in our lifetimes?” Merag grabbed him by his collar and did her best to drag him onto his feet. “Remember what Mother said? The last time this happened was when her grandmother was queen.”
Nasch tried to squirm away from her but she knew just where to grab. All he could do was get up. “Fine, fine!” At least going out would keep her quiet and Nasch much preferred it when she was quiet.
“Good. Now get a cloak. It’s cold out there!”
“That’s why I wanted to stay inside to start with.” Nasch muttered before going to where he kept his few cold weather clothes. He hadn’t worn any of them before, so they still had that shiny new gleam to them. He stamped his feet into fur-lined boots and fastened the new fur cloak his father had given him around himself. It only took a few moments before he even more devoutly wished that all of this snow would vanish, just so he could take all of this off.
Merag had flitted over to her room to get her own warmer clothes and all but bounced back inside, dressed much like he was. “Let’s go!”
Grumbling under his breath, Nasch followed her through the corridors, though they could’ve just as easily jumped down from the balcony. It wasn’t all that high, and he’d done it before. But, no, she had to traipse all the way through the castle to head out the front doors, waving to their parents as they passed them by.
“We’re going to go play in the snow!” Merag declared, as if it were not only a royal decree, but something that everyone needed to know. Nasch did his best to pretend he was little more than a shadow on the wall. From the look his parents gave him, he wasn’t succeeding very well.
“Have fun, you two.” Their parents smiled after them, and Nasch managed to give them both a very disappointed look. Why couldn’t they have come up with something that he absolutely needed to do and that Merag couldn’t be involved with, so she could go play in the snow and he didn’t have to?
He shivered as soon as they both stepped outside, though given how wrapped up he was, he didn’t actually feel that cold. Just the sight of that snow tumbling downward made it happen. “Why couldn’t we have waited until it stopped snowing?” Why did Merag have to make his life more difficult?
“Because it might melt after that. And it might be too late anyway.” Merag pointed out. He didn’t want to admit she had anything like a point. She’d never cease holding it over his head if he did. So instead of took a few careful steps through the snow, trying his best to find somewhere to stand where he wouldn’t be at risk of falling.
Merag, clearly in a mood to be contrary, ran out over the snow as quickly as she could. It wasn’t very deep yet, perhaps just enough to cover the tops of her boots, but Nasch still thought she was insane for even being out here, let alone running around like a maniac in it. She tilted her head to the sky, a wide, cheerful grin on her features, and caught snowflakes out of the sky on her tongue.
“Have you had enough yet?” Nasch found himself a good spot underneath one of the archways. Here snow didn’t pile up. It was absolutely perfect so far as he was concerned. He could stay here while Merag wore herself out prancing around like an idiot. He’d heard people could get sick being out in snow. If he got sick, he decided quickly, she would bring him hot drinks and help take care of him until he was better, since it was all her fault he was out here anyway.
If she got sick he would laugh at her for going out in the snow anyway.
And then help take care of her. Not that he let himself think that too much. He liked the idea of laughing at her for being silly enough to get sick in the snow anyway.
“We haven’t even been out here five minutes!” Merag retorted, gathering some of the snow in her hands. Nasch wondered what she had in mind for that, getting himself more comfortable in his little niche. “Are you just going to sit over there while I’m out here having fun?”
“Yes.” He wondered if he could get the attention of one of the servants who still rushed here and there on various errands and get something hot to drink. Maybe this snow mess wouldn’t be so bad then. He never had gotten his hot drink when he was indoors. Merag and her silly ideas about snow.
“No, you’re not! Nasch!”
Out of sheer habit he looked up at the sound of his name, just in time to get a face full of snow. He blinked a few times, trying to understand what just happened. As it slowly dawned on him, a firm realization followed.
“Yes?” He knew that teasing tone and he wasn’t surprised to see her backing up as he wiped the snow out of his eye.
“This is war.” He darted forward to scoop up a handful of snow, not bothering to pat it into any kind of a ball before he threw it right at her. Merag laughed, dodging out of the way, and swept up more snow that she deftly threw back at him.
“If it’s a war, then it’s a war you’re going to lose!” Merag declared, keeping herself far enough away from him that he couldn’t quite hit her. Her range was a little better than his, which meant that he didn’t go nearly as untouched as she did.
As the two of them darted around one another, throwing snowballs or just handfuls of snow, Nasch forgot about not wanting to be out there in the first place. All he could think of was the sharp scent of the snow, his determination to get Merag with at least one good hit to the face, as she had him, and a slight tinge of regret that if he didn’t do it now, he might never be able to do it again.
When the two of them stepped out into the snow, it had just been early afternoon, perhaps an hour or so past noon itself. By the time the sun set, they were too worn out to continue rushing around. Nasch cast a quick look at the doorway; no one seemed to be watching them. Even the guards paid strict attention to their guarding and not to the snow-covered prince and princess. That was all to the good. They weren’t formally adult yet – that wouldn’t be for another year – but he didn’t want someone trying to tell him to stop doing something and come inside when he didn’t want to. Not just yet.
“I think we’re done.” He brushed snow out of his hair and off of his shoulder. He’d lost track of how many times Merag ended up hitting him. It was as if snow and ice were her natural habitat.
Well, he could still swim better than she could. She hardly wanted to go near the water half the time.
Merag sniffed at that, but didn’t put up an argument. Instead she brushed the snow off herself as well, though she didn’t have nearly as much on her as he did. He made a promise to himself to find a way to get her back, though he had no idea of how. He’d figure it out one of these days, he knew.
Their parents stood just inside the door as they entered, both with amused smiles on their lips.
“Did you enjoy yourselves?” The queen asked, raising one eyebrow as they trailed melted snow and mud in behind them. Servants already gathered silently to get to cleaning it all up.
“Nasch did. He won’t admit it, but he did.” Merag spoke up before her brother could even open his mouth. “At least, once he let himself enjoy it.”
Nasch looked away, a tinge of red creeping up his cheeks. As much as he wanted to deny it, he just couldn’t right now. Instead, he mumbled something that even he wasn’t certain of, and stomped along to his room, hoping for a hot bath and some dry clothes.
One hot bath and change later, as well as after a very good hot dinner, Nasch lay curled up on his bed, looking out at the snow-covered scenery.
“It’s almost over with.” Merag settled into the chair beside his bed. She never knocked when she came into his room, nor did he when he came into hers. They had no secrets from one another. “Look, you can see the moon.”
She’d barely spoken the words before the clouds parted all the way and silver moonlight poured down over the snow. Nasch grumbled; couldn’t she talk about something other than snow for once?
“It’ll probably be gone by tomorrow afternoon. Maybe the day after tomorrow.”
I guess not. He sighed and turned over a little to look at her. “Why do you like the snow so much?”
“I don’t know.” Merag shrugged and tilted her chair back. “Why do you like the water?”
“I feel at home there.” He said it without a moment of hesitation. “Is that it for you? You feel at home there?”
She didn’t answer right away and when she did, it was a shrug. “Something like that.”
If she loved the snow as much as he loved the water, then Nasch decided he could put up with it, at least for her sake.