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As time stops, we dance

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Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick Tock.
The sound of the clock.
Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock.
How long has he been here?




The blond found himself in the center of a flower garden clad in a black tuxedo that shimmers stunningly beneath the moonlight. His visage was hidden beneath a black mask adorned with golden heart designs. Through the holes on the mask, golden eyes shone.

Somehow, he felt light as if he was floating on water. The chilly night’s atmosphere that used to scare him now gives him serenity—

Wait, who’s afraid? Him?

….What is he talking about again? The blond doesn’t know, he had forgotten.

Gold hues looked up and stared at the moon, fascinated as it glows brightly with the twinkling stars accompanying it. Beautiful. Utterly beautiful. He raises a hand as if he was trying to touch it. But, the sky is so far away. He can’t reach it. He wants to reach it.

“If you wish harder, maybe, you can reach them.”

A man in a white tuxedo stepped forward from the dark. He has black hair with burgundy tips and purple eyes glowing beneath a fox mask with black clock designs. He stopped right before the blond.

He didn’t hear him coming, that was strange. He usually knows when someone is coming. But, something in him says it was normal. There is nothing he should worry about.

“What do you mean?” He had decided to ask.

The man hummed but didn’t reply to his question. He walked to where the flower beds are and picked up a red spider lily.

“Why don’t we dance?”

As if his question is some kind of trigger, the sound of the orchestra reached his ears.

The blond turned his head behind him and there he saw a pavement leading toward a mansion. The doors were opened and he can see people dancing inside. He can hear their laughter and chatters. The clinking sound of their glasses and their heartbeat thumping merrily.

A gloved hand took hold of his slender wrists, he turned to look at the male who, for some reason, was staring at him. The dark purple eyes gazed at his amber ones, searching for something. “I’ll lead you there.” He then whispers.

Entranced like a moth to a flame, he followed the male as he gently pulled him toward the looming manor. As soon as their pair of shoes entered the enclosed space, differing masked people turned their attention to them. Everyone seems to stop. The once harmonious orchestra turned awful to his ears.

The air was chilly and he stiffens as murmurs about him echoed throughout the room.

“There he is.”

“It’s Alice.”

Alice? Are they referring to him as Alice? If the blond knows one thing, his name wasn’t Alice. It was… Hold on, what was his name?

He felt a headache blossom as fear started to burn within him. Who is he? Why can’t he remember? In the first place, why had he forgotten?

The male invades his vision, hiding him from the crowd’s inquisitive ganders. “Would I have the honor to have a dance with you?” He says as he held out a gloved hand, waiting for the blond to take it.

The question distracted him from his worries. He can feel his heart soar with happiness and relief. The orchestra turned its tune back to its wondrous harmony. That has confused the blond. Why would he feel that way? They just met, right?

The blond let himself put his hand over the other’s larger ones. Somehow, he was craving for some skin. Preferably, calloused ones.

Soft classical music started to lull everyone in the room. The burgundy lad held his hand delicately and led him to the heart of the ballroom. He had placed a hand on his waist and slowly, they moved their bodies in sync with the rhythm.

He expertly guides him through one complex dance pattern after another, perfectly matched to the music playing in the background. He was swirling around the beautiful ballroom in the arms of a masked stranger. The blond’s heart started to sing a tune of glee and excitement and he felt his lips curling up into a smile from beneath the mask.

The crowd of guests gazed at the couple with intense red orbs. Mixed emotions of envy, jealousy and anger erupted as they all whispered behind their fans and hands.

"He's dancing."

"How could he ignore us?"

"Did he forgot?"

That made the blond anxious, it was the first time he felt so that night. He felt terrible and he… he wanted to cry.

His partner suddenly dips him and the blond blink.

“Shush. Focus on me. Ignore them or else it will be game over.” He whispers on his ear, inducing shivers to run down his spine. The clock designs on his mask began to move. The mini clocks produced soft ticking sounds, disarranged at first before all of them moved in sync.

It was 11:59 pm. 1 minute before the clock strikes 12.

Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock.

“W-Who are you? Tell me your name!”

The purple eyes seem to smile at him. “I’m, what they call, the Hatter."

He removed the mask from the blond's face; purple orbs watching the other's features with intensity. The Hatter raised a hand to caress his flush cheeks.

"I will always protect you, my dearest Zenitsu. From the shadows and anything that hurts you. I will love you forever. I promise.” There's a smile in his voice as he says this. 

Zenitsu eyes widen when a soft sound emits from the Hatter. It was his heart singing a lot of promises. It was like listening to the calming rain and, at the same time, warm like the summer sun. He can hear it that he meant it and he felt tears prickling his eyes.


The clock strikes twelve.




“ZENITSU, WAKE YOUR ASS UP!” The bellowing tone of Kuwajima Jigoro on his ear startled the lad from his deep sleep. The blond let out a yelp and fell down his bed, his head hitting the floor. “OUCH! GRAMPS, DON’T SHOUT RIGHT ON MY EAR! I WILL GO DEAF!”

Angry tears started to form on his eyes and he grew even more irritated when he saw the smug smile plastered on his grandfather’s face. He threw a pillow at him, but sadly, he evaded it. That old man and his good reflexes. “DON’T EVADE IT!!”

“Now, that I can’t do. It will ruin the fun.” What do you mean it will ruin the fun?! He wasn’t some kind of toy, you know! “Also, you have 30 minutes before school starts!” He says as he left Zenitsu’s room, whistling.


“If you have the time to complain, why don’t you start running now?”

Zenitsu zooms through his stuff and got everything ready in record time. He was honestly impressed with himself. He still has a lot of time and he could walk to school leisurely. 

"I'll be going now!" He shouts as he heads outside.

"Good luck!" His gramps replied from the kitchen.

"AH!"  He had forgotten something! Something very important. No, someone.

"What is it?" Kuwajima's head pops out from the kitchen's doorway, spatula in hand.

He scratches his head. What had he dreamt about again? "Uh... It's nothing important."

Maybe, it was just a weird dream.