Sorry for the lack of updates here! OTL I write more oneshots and stuff by hand than I do on the computer so I'm going to make a bit of extra effort to upload here more often. But writing takes me just as much time as drawing ... so yeah I dunno I'll work something out. XD This is an old oneshot that I worked on and I finished it up for this so here you go!
I'm not 100% sure on how old James and Emma are in this. =w=" I'm guessing 14 - 15 at the start and then there are year skips. (Emma is a month or so older than James just for the record.) Oh and the Training Camp looks somewhat like a castle or a church, but without fancy decoration in case you're wondering. In the main story I do describe it a bit - but like a lot of things I like to leave imagining the world up to my readers. Makes things more fun and less restrictive! :D
The day started like any other at the Training Camp. Everyone got up early and made their way downstairs for breakfast.
James mentally prepared himself for another day of training. 'The Master is really pushing everyone at the moment.' he thought while pushing a lock of dark hair out of his face, before stuffing the last mouthful of his breakfast into his mouth.
The rest of the morning was spent doing 'warm-ups' which could have been the equivalent to a serious workout to most people, and then before the students could even catch their breaths the real training began. The students were close to exhaustion by lunchtime.
James quickly made his way indoors to get something to eat the second the Master let everyone go for lunch - he needed food, immediately. James was never one to let his stomach stay empty for longer than necessary.
He was quickly distracted from his food mission when he noticed something, or to be more accurate, someone that he would never forget.
He saw a girl with golden brown hair, which curled lightly, and her eyes were dark, not dissimilar to James'. She was quite clearly an advanced student, James didn't have to know her personally to figure that one out, she held herself high and looked as if she wouldn't go down without putting up a damn good fight.
She was sharp too. She noticed James' stare within a minute. "May I help you?" she asked him, in a slightly amused tone.
"Hm? Ah, no! I'm ... fine. I'm ... yeah." James blushed at his pathetic stammering. 'What are you, a scared little schoolboy? Man-up James!'
This didn't seem to deter the amusement in the girl's eyes, if anything it made her even more entertained. "Well?" she tilted her head slightly. "Why were you staring?"
James somehow became even more flustered. "I uh ... you know I ... um ... no reason."
"So you're not a pervert?" the girl smirked as James to frantically deny being a pervert. "It's okay! I was only joking ... James right?"
James' embarrassment faded somewhat. "You know me?"
"Well, not personally, but I think I've seen you around. You joined earlier this year, correct?" the girl smiled.
"Yes. Early June." James smiled a little in return, before realising something. "I'm sorry, I don't think I know your name."
The girl grinned. "The name's Emma. I was born in the Outskirts and then my parents moved to the city!"
James grinned. "You're from the city too? Which end?"
James hesitated a little. "South."
Emma almost winced, "South, the roughest part? That's a little unfortunate."
James chuckled. "It wasn't too bad, but I wouldn't say it was great either. Too many drunks walking about." This made Emma laugh. "So, are you middle class then?" James asked her.
"Oh dear no!" Emma put her arms into an X shape. "Well, yes technically ... but barely. I was friends with a few middle class people though ... and a royal or two." she smirked.
James stared at her. "What? How?!"
"Amazing charisma that's how!" she smirked. "Just kidding! The Prince's cousin lived near to me, so I talked to her a lot and we became friends. So one thing led to another and I met the prince. Pure coincidence."
James was still shocked. "Wow ... I can only dream of meeting a royal never mind befriending one."
Emma smiled. "Tell you what, if you prove yourself worthy to be my friend I might just introduce you."
Their conversation continued as they went to go have lunch, and they even ended up sitting together at the long dining table. First impressions couldn't have been better for these two.
The second impressions, however, were not so fantastic.
"Ten laps around the camp." were the Master's orders.
"I cannot believe you got us into this!" Emma growled as they were running around the camp for the first time.
"What?! I didn't know he was going to punish us for not completing an impossible task!" James snapped.
"It wouldn't have been impossible if you hadn't said the first task was easy!" Emma glared at James.
James merely rolled his eyes and scoffed. "Balancing an empty jar on our heads was easy!"
"Every competent person in history knows you don't tell someone that something's too easy otherwise they just make it harder!"
James couldn't help himself. "Geez Emma, get your mind out of the gutter."
"I'm NOT talking about that! Pervert!" Emma blushed a little.
"Dummy." James pouted.
"Idiot." Emma responded.
"You're the prick, James!" Emma exclaimed as they started the second lap at last.
James' eyebrows narrowed. "How so?"
Emma's response wasn't even verbal. She simply pointed to James crotch. They shared a look before beginning to bite back the snickering that would surely lead the Master to making the ridiculous punishment worse.
James and Emma spent months going back and forth, arguing with each other on some days and getting along perfectly on the others - forever putting one another in awkward situations and teasing each other mercilessly.
There were rarely any moments where there was peace between the two. All this lasted for a year before James received some news that made his heart sink.
"You're leaving?" James was wishing that this were all some horrible nightmare that he would bolt awake from any moment now.
Emma nodded. "Yes, I got the Master's seal of approval so I can leave." she paused for a moment. "Not like I could have stayed forever anyway." she murmured sadly.
"Yes you can." James said quickly.
Emma sighed, before smiling a little. "No I can't."
"Yes! You can!" James said more desperately this time.
Emma looked James directly in the eyes. "Will you please stop speaking so irrationally? It's making this harder than it already is."
James apologised quietly before taking a step toward Emma, making the space between them become less than a metre. He took a deep breath before speaking, "I wish you luck on your travels, and whatever else you may get up to in the future."
Emma smiled sweetly at him. "Thank you ... maybe we'll get to see each other again. I mean, this kingdom has unnatural traveling times if you just keep walking." she grinned.
James laughed. "Oh yeah, apparently you can get from A to B in an hour if you just keep going or something ridiculous!" he paused before adding. "But, yeah ... I do hope we do cross paths again." His eyes trailed to Emma's lips before back up to meet her eye again. "I really do."
James kicked himself for not kissing Emma that day. The moment Emma had disappeared out of sight; James immediately regretted not seeking the opportunity.
'How stupid can you get?! Why didn't you kiss her?!' James couldn't stop scolding himself for it. He was too upset to eat properly, which worried his friends enough to tell the Master. Naturally this resulted in one of the Master's odd punishments, which involved James having to be supervised at every meal and being forced to eat every crumb.
It had occurred to James that the Master never physically hit the students as a punishment. The only time the Master actually harmed them (personally with his hands) was in the fighting ring in a proper duel. James had questioned him about it but never received a direct answer.
The closest thing he got was: "There was a student that made me rethink my punishments."
James dropped it not long after receiving that answer. He had a vague hunch that something went wrong with a punishment. What could have gone wrong is another story all together.
Two years passed, and James finally received the Master's approval and was able to complete his training and leave the Training Camp. It felt weird leaving, but at the same time James was looking forward to travelling around the kingdom. Having spent most of his life in the city; growing up in the slums, picking fights and taking on odd jobs as a young teen, it would be nice to see what else is in the kingdom.
James decided to be a hero. It was good pay if you did it right! His reputation grew fairly quickly as he often bit off more than he could chew in the terms of fighting bandits. More often than not the bandits either had the advantage in numbers or size, and in some cases, both.
This bad habit lead to an event that half-pleased James, but it also annoyed him.
Fortunately he was pleased first.
One late afternoon, James limped through the East entrance of the city. He needed a doctor and the mountain town was a tad out of reach considering his less than healthy condition. Stumbling to the floor, James felt very light headed as the gash on his head was bleeding heavily.
"What happened to you, little prick?" A familiar voice entered his hearing.
James grinned, not even having to look up at the source of the voice - he knew who it was. "Hello Emma."
Emma laughed a little. "Long time no see!" she immediately noticed the gash on James' forehead when he looked up at her. Her diameter changed instantly to one of worry. "Oh my God! James what happened to you?!" she kneeled in front of him and pulled out a cloth to put to the wound.
"It's nothing, just a scratch from a fight with bandits." James tried to ease her worry.
"Bandits? How many?" Emma looked into James' eyes, inquisitively.
James mumbled the answer the first time but Emma told him to speak up. "Five."
James barely saw her hand coming, but he definitely knew he would be feeling the sting of that slap for a long while. "Owww! What was that for!?" he snapped, clutching his stinging cheek.
"Are you completely out of your ridiculous mind? Or do you want to be killed within the next year?" Emma asked icily.
James glared. "They started it! It wasn't my fault!"
Emma let out an exasperated sigh before forcibly dragging James to her home. James would have commented on how nice the place looked had it not been for the foul mood Emma had put him in.
The following events could have been somewhat comical as Emma's mother practically threw James into a bath - horrified by the filthy state he was in. He was handled in a little more than rough manner, but he was thankful to be clean.
After the bath, Emma treated his wound carefully; she had avoided being involved with the bathing process. James decided to take the opportunity to annoy Emma.
"I'm almost impressed you avoided a chance of seeing me naked." James almost sneered with a smirk on his face.
"Oh shut it!" Emma spat. "And don't think so highly of yourself. I don't dream of the day I can see you naked. It probably won't be that impressive anyway."
James practically growled. "Why are you being so persistent in aggravating me today?"
"What? You do realise how stupid you've been yet? James, think for a moment! You're going to get yourself killed if you keep up this ruthless fighting streak of yours! You're not doing anyone any favours."
"Not doing anyone any favours? Emma, I'm taking out the bandits! That can be considered a favour to everyone!"
"Oh yeah! It really helps to assault every bandit you see and nearly die in the process!"
"So I'm just meant to let the bandits roam free and kill whoever they please?" James retorted.
Emma slapped James across the face again, harder than before and on the same cheek. "I'm not saying let them kill people you arrogant ass! I'm saying don't deliberately track them down to kill them because they might just start doing the same to you! And don't expect me to drag you out of the grave you're digging for yourself!" she stormed out of the room leaving James alone with his frustration and stinging cheek.
'How the hell does she always know what's right, and then kick my fallible view out the window?"
James spent the rest of the night and the following day thinking of how on Earth he was going to try and apologise to Emma. He laid on the bed that Emma's parents had kindly let him sleep in; pondering what words to use but failing with every set he came up with.
James walked over to the door of his room and opened it and nearly fell over backwards at the sight in front of him.
"Okay, I over reacted and I'm sorry for snapping and slapping you." Emma blurted out as fast as she could.
James took a minute to take that in. "I'm sorry ... what?"
Emma glared. "Don't make me do that again." James continued to stare at her but Emma stopped him. "Don't ask 'what' again! And don't rub it in!"
James managed to push past his shock and pulled himself together. "No ... you don't have to be sorry. I was being stupid and arrogant ... you were right, so you there's no need to apologise." It was Emma's turn to stare. James sighed, "Feel free to make fun of me."
Emma opened her mouth as if to say something but decided against it. James went over to his bed to sit down. Emma watched him and couldn't help but notice the defeat in James, so she decided to sit next to him and throw him a rope.
"Kiss me." she smiled.
James looked at her oddly. "That's your way of making fun of me?"
Emma resisted the urge to roll her eyes. "Just kiss me."
James raised his eyebrow. "You're toying with me."
"James, just do it. I'm still annoyed that you didn't kiss me before you left!" the other eyebrow on James' face went up. "Yes I knew you wanted to, and yes I wanted you to. Please just do it."
James continued to stare for a little while longer. "But if I kissed you now it wouldn't be the slightest bit romantic or surprising."
"Do I look like I give a damn if you're not the most romantic or the most unpredictable." Emma looked James in the eye.
James laughed, "Not really but you don't exactly give off the impression that you wouldn't hate it either." Emma continued to look at James until he finally gave in. "Okay, fine." he sighed before leaning in.
The kiss was soft and didn't last that long but two silly grins still plastered themselves on James and Emma's faces.
"Now," Emma's grin turned into a smirk. "Was that so bad?"
James kisses her again. "No ... couldn't have been sweeter." he beamed at Emma.
After a small silence Emma asked, "So, did that mean anything or are we going to be one of those couples that go no where?"
"I sure as hell hope it's the former or I will be kicking my own grave for the rest of my life ... and death."
"Tell you what, I'll help you pick that grave, so when you screw up I can send you straight to it." Emma smirked before the two of them packed up laughing.
Although, James never truly figured out if Emma had been half serious about that comment or not - she couldn't have been serious right?
That's what you think James, but I think she was serious! XD Lol joke! She wouldn't actually kill him unless he REALLY screwed up. Anyway hope you guys enjoyed this tale of Emma and James' first meeting and I'll try to update my fiction press more often. :P Peace out!