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Title: The Invitation
Fandom: Princess Tutu
Pairing: Mytho/Rue
Warnings: Vampires, creepiness, blalant historical inaccuracy.





He remembers when he first saw her, all those years ago. He was only ten years old, still young enough to be terrified of the storm raging outside his windows, no matter how much Fakir or any of the other servants insisted it was only something harmless and fleeting.

He remembers the way the lightning lit up the window on the veranda, and that strange terror that rose up in his chest when he saw her, a thin, waifish figure,  standing there in the pouring rain. Terror quickly changed to pity, though, when she looked up, and he saw what a young girl she was, barely even his age. Without any further hesitation, he threw open the door, and invited her in.

The girl was bewildered and grateful, yet reserved, cold almost. She would not answer any questions about how she came to be stuck out in the rain, only making vague mention of her father. She was perfectly polite, but her politeness seemed empty somehow, as if she was only going through the motions of it. Her only genuine smiles were for him alone.

That night, as he slept, safe in his bed from all storms and weather, he dreamt of strange things, of seas of red, of things that ebbed and flowed in ways he could not describe. He woke up to a strange pinprick of pain in his chest, and a whisper that may have been a dream.

“Thank you.”

 

---------

 


It was nearly six years before he saw her again. She appeared as suddenly as she had before, at a ball in the city. He can still recall the way the candlelight glinted off of her red, red eyes, entrancing him the instant he caught them from across the ballroom. She gave him one of those small, rare smiles, and Mytho found himself calling over to her, and asking her to dance.

“It’s been so long,” he said, as he took her hand to pull her into a gentle waltz. “You left so suddenly... I thought I might not see you again.”

“As did I,” she said, her voice soft, and strangely melancholy. He tried to give her a comforting smile. She looked up at him, a strange look in her eyes.

“Mytho?”

“Yes, Miss Rue?”

“I wonder... Could I come to your house again, sometime?”

“Of course,” he said.

He can never forget the smile she gave him.

 

---------

 


It was a week before she called on him, one warm summer evening, dressed in red, as if to match the color of the burning sky. Her smile then, as he let her in, was like a glint of sunlight off a knife.

Fakir was as disdainful of her as he’d been when they were children, even as he led her and Mytho into to the parlour to sit. He had always insisted that it had been folly to let her in, that she could’ve been a thief, or a spy for a group of foreign vagabonds. He always thought of Mytho’s kindness that way, as something that would one day hurt him gravely, if Fakir was unable to protect him.

Rue, however, seemed to take it in stride, offering him a cold smile as she sat down. As soon as Mytho sent him away, that smile turned gentle and sweet, and he found himself at ease once more.

“I see this place is always the same,” she said, in a playful, haughty sort of voice.

“Ah, yes,” said Mytho. “But it comforts me. If too many things changed in this old house, it might not feel like home.”

“Of course. After all, one’s home is the safest place in the world for them.”

He looked up at her. Her expression was empty, but there was something odd in her voice, something that sent an strange chill through him. Before he could speak again, Fakir arrived, with two high glasses of red wine for the two of them. Mytho took his immediately, but when offered hers, Rue gently pushed the tray away.

“My apologies,” she said to Mytho. “I do not drink. Wine, that is.”

“Would Milady like anything else?” Fakir asked, scarcely hiding his annoyance. She smiled at him.

“It’s fine.”

Mytho and Rue continued to talk for hours after that, neither of them caring for the time or anything else. Her face seemed to brighten when she spoke to him,  her pale skin nearly emitting a sort of glow. He found himself at ease with her, as if he had known her all his life. She, on the other hand, while more open than he had ever seen her, remained more reserved, still hiding something, although he could not tell what.

It was past midnight before he realized the time, and subsequently realized that he was very tired. He quietly ordered one of the maids to prepare a guest room, asking Rue if she required anything else before she went to bed. She shook her head, and he noticed she did not seem tired at all.

 

-----

 


Mytho fell asleep almost as soon as he hit the bed, worn out as he was from the evening’s conversation. His sleep was deep and untroubled, punctuated by only the occasional memory-dream of red eyes and red wine. He was awakened by the odd feeling of movement next to him on the bed, and the soft whispers of a familiar voice.

“Mytho...”

“Rue?” He opened his eyes, slowly, and shifted around. Lying next to him was Rue, her hair shook loose and laying about her shoulders. She was dressed in only a slip and corset, the latter of which had been loosened considerably. Even in his sleepy haze, he could tell she was dressed quite indecently. Somehow, however, he could not find it in him to care.

“What are you doing here?”

“I’m sorry,” she said, her hand slipping under the blankets to find his. It was utterly cold. “I didn’t mean to wake you. I just grew so frightened...”

“Frightened?” he asked, a little more awake. “Of what?”

“There was something scratching at my window. A raven, I think. It scratched at it all night, never stopping once for even a moment. And then, I began to hear a strange tapping noise, as if the creature was asking me to let it in. It wouldn’t stop, Mytho, no matter what I did.”

She sounded so distressed, so genuinely frightened, that he could not help but feel strangely uneasy himself. He gave her hand a gentle squeeze. She turned away.

“It’s ridiculous, I know. But I couldn’t help it. I had to see you.”

“It’s fine,” Mytho said gently. He was still bewildered by all of this, but seeing her like this, distraught, clinging to him helplessly, broke his heart in ways he could not fathom.  “It’s fine. You’re safe now.”

She held on to him in silence for a few moments, her face buried in the crook of his neck. Her skin was strangely warm against his.

Mytho?” she murmured.

“Yes?”

“May I ask something of you?”

He smiled at her.

“Of course.”

There was a pause, as she continued to lay against Mytho’s chest, her breath tickling his collarbone.

“Will you let me kiss you?”

The voice she said this with was strange, deeper that before, with a huskiness he had never heard. Even so, he found it was that very voice that made it impossible for him to refuse her request. He gave her another gentle smile, and nodded, slowly.

He can’t exactly remember what happened in the next few moments, only the raw sensation of her lips against his, her arms tightening their hold on his waist, hands brushing at the small of his back. Then, the world became strangely hazy, and he seemed to fall into a fevered, cloudy sort of sleep, his only moments of lucidity filled with Rue’s whispered sweet nothings in his ear.

“I love you,” she said softly, her lips brushing against his jawline. “You’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”

“Rue...”

“Shhh...” He felt something like fingers running through his hair. “I’m sorry.”

A sharp, sudden pain filled his chest. Mytho’s eyes shot open, and he sat up, clutching at it. Rue was at the end of the bed, looking at him with terror and apprehension.

“Rue, what did you do?”

“Nothing!” He reached out for her, and she recoiled, her face twisted with fear. In spite of everything, in spite of this, he felt a small pang of pity for her.

“Rue...”  Gently, he took her arm, speaking to her firmly. “Tell me, what’s going on?”

Suddenly, with eyes wild and strangely sharp teeth bared, she threw him into the headboard.
For a moment, his vision went black, and when he managed to sit up again, she was gone, leaving only the open window behind her. A strange sort of apprehension filled him as he reached up, touching his chest where she had hurt him.

And found a smear of red, brushed across his fingertips.