Chapter Seventeen

The End

(AKA: Epilogue In Which I Appear Predominantly)

I knelt, clad in complete black, beside the gravestone. I blinked furiously at the tombstone. Although covered in vines, as if it had aged rapidly, the only parts you could read were 'Tristan' and 'Well loved'. Great Morgana…I missed him sometimes.

At nights, sometimes I cried for him. He was my beloved; he was the one I grew closer and closer to before he treacherously died. I didn't know him long, just long enough to learn he needed me and that he loved me. We had gone through so much together…

It was like an eternal ache in my heart. No—it was like someone pulled out my heart and mashed it up and put it back in, all without anesthetic. There was nothing in the world that could replace what he had done for me. It hurt constantly after I lost him. The first few nights I couldn't even sleep.

Eventually the ache resided, but it was still too fresh to forget. Sometimes, though, I find myself happy or laughing without thinking about him. My life was going back to normal, but I knew that I would still miss him. Tears splattered over the grave.

"Couldn't have gone soon enough."

"Fala!" I gasped, twisting around to stare at the wicked genie. "You loved him too!"

"You have no proof," she sneered.

"I have to say she's right. Honestly, Gwen, it was just your plastic fish. And I think it's fairly creepy that despite the fact it wasn't even real, it still managed to die."

"FALA was the one who chopped it up!" I growled, turning around to confront my husband, "And don't you think you should appreciate the plastic fish that was named after you?"

"I think it was creepy," Tristan said, shaking his head. "Tristan the Second? Come on. It's like one of those Voodoo dolls or something like that. Did you stick pins in your plastic fish in your free time or something?"

"I did not!" I said furiously.

"I have to side with her this time," Fala grumbled, "Which you know I hate doing. I was the one who chopped up Tristan the Second, after all."

Tristan just inched away from her, his eyes instantly going to the sky innocently.

"I sense homicidal rage inside her," I pouted, pointing to Fala. She rolled her eyes.

"Anyways, I have to go back home to the magic gourd," she sighed. "Prince Charming will be waiting."

"You're the one who married him—not me," I said, shrugging. "I got a monk-in-training."

"Right." Fala twisted herself out of this dimension with a puff of smoke. Tristan smiled gently at me, awkwardly standing up.

"All right, I'm over it. Let's go," I said, dusting off the dirt from my dress.

"Sure." Tristan paused. "Where?"

"I don't know. Dad's going to let me play with Mary Anne today," I said helpfully. Tristan shrugged.

"She's just misunderstood, Tristan," I whined, tugging along his sleeve, "Come on. Forgive her, won't you?"

"I guess I could understand why some people are just plain jealous of you," Tristan said, looking down at me with a kind twinkle in his eye.

"I never realized just how much she is in my shadow. I kept on thinking I was in her shadow. Do you think your shadows criss-crossed?" I mused.

"Whatever you want," Tristan said finally.

"And poor Uncle Mersir. Did you know that in the tournament for my mother's hand Uncle Mersir won, but Dad caught Mom's heart instead? It was horribly tragic," I said brightly.

"Yeah, sure."

"Oh, don't be a spoilsport." I hugged him tightly. It was nice to have a squeaky toy to bring everywhere. Sometimes he sounded like Darth Vader, with the thingy in his chest, but I like him that way.

He had to have this implant in him, see, because the rock had punctured some important organ or something like that. On quiet days, when he's breathing loudly like Darth Vader, I find myself bursting out in merry laughter. He isn't quite so amused when I do that and I refuse to tell him why I laughed.

Mary Anne was actually quite nice after a few trips to the psychiatrist. She apologized deeply to me and invited me to a tea party like in the old days. Sure, she poisoned a few drinks here and there, but I didn't eat anything anyways. Still, Tristan made me promise only to see her through a thick glass wall.

What happened to make everything so complicated? Well:

The Kingdom of Order had teamed up with the Kingdom of Bunnies to create two major rings, but the K of B had stolen them. They tricked the K of O to try to steal them back, sending their captain as a test subject in a fake mission to retrieve the rings since they knew he wouldn't be able to resist putting on said rings. The Mothers with Swords worked for K of O, trying to get the rings back again. They switched sides, going as mercenary to the K of B in the end.

And cut.

All's well that end's well. Fala fell in love with Prince Charming and vice versa, so they got married. When I tried to pay Leonard back for everything, he blushed and refused and went back to the magic gourd since 'there were no debts between friends, princess'. Sleeping Beauty married the Prince of Bunnies after we rescued him from being tied up in the root cellar, even though she deserves so much more. Apparently, Mary Anne had sent off the King of Bunnies, whom she married, to a magic gourd. They're still looking.

Uncle Mersir resigned from King of the Mermaids—okay, they kicked him out and we put him in prison. Some guy took over. I don't know whom.

Dad's on the fast track to normalcy again, though I did see him giving Nanny the googly eyes of love. Ewww. Even Nanny seemed shocked.

Like I promised, I married Tristan and we're eventually going to have some children when we're older. Or, as Tristan puts it, when he's ready to handle both mini-me and me.

Come on! I just put a net in the chimney to see if I could catch Santa Claus. I didn't mean for it to catch fire and send fireworks from our chimney.

He and Nanny seemed to have teamed up against me, or else both of them could be found sitting on the porch shaking their heads as they exchanged stories of my n'er-do-well tasks.

"You know what, Tristan?" I mused, sitting on the rocks.

"I'm pretty sure I don't want to know," he said dryly.

"I sure have grown up," I said, ignoring him. "I'm braver, I'm real royalty now…much more mature. I have you to thank for all that."

Tristan bashfully looked at me. Our marriage has been bumpy, but I have yet to regret the day I married him. Maybe this could be happily ever after.

"GWENDOLYN VALERIE ROSE LOCKE!!!" Nanny's voice rang out through the castle behind us.

"Wellgottagoseeyoulater," I said, jumping up. Tristan caught my wrist with a slight frown.

"What did you do?"

"Okay, I may have asked the castle mice to do my chores for me today," I blabbered quickly.

"Gwen—Janet's afraid of mice," Tristan said, looking horrified.

"Yeah, whatever." I stopped and looked into his mismatched eyes. "I love you."

"I love you too," he said shyly. I bent down and sweetly kissed him before:


"And I may have accidentally used her petticoats to try and wipe up the spill the castle dog made when he peed on the kitchen floor," I jammed in before I sprinted down the road again. Nanny pushed open the doors, waving her batter. She was completely doused with flour, another accident I may have done…

Aw, chuck it, whom am I kidding?

This is happily ever after for me.

Magic and Lemons, End of the Story

A/N: This story has turned out much better than I hoped for. Once a dribble I mindlessly wrote just to knock down my writer's block, this has become a mixture of subplot and main plot.

It still needs much editing, of course. I might even go back and reedit it this—not for the point of publishing, but maybe for smoother reading. I might have to add in more characters or take out entire scenes, like the magic gourd. And I forgot to finish up another thread: the rabbits in that town were first experiments of the rabbit serum.

If you compare the first chapter to the third to last, I think you could find it evolving into something more. Subtly, I even managed to change Gwen from a candid, humorous insecure un-royalike coward to someone more. Tristan stopped being timid from Gwen—and that's all I want to evolve him. He's perfect the way he is.  Okay, maybe not, but good enough at least.

There are too many commas and the amount of times I used 'oh, right' or 'aw' is astounding. It wound on and on as a drabble, and I think I might actually take the time to fix it up. Maybe I'll even re-vamp it.

But this story has turned out far more better than I ever hoped for, despite all its major flaws and major differences.

I don't think I'll ever forget Gwen and her candid remarks, or her eternal trains of thoughts that never finish.

Gwen: The candid, slightly-ugly, slightly-stupid princess who always speaks her mind and takes things at face value. She is a creative pun-lover and is very whimsical, believing the world shouldn't have complications like lies and… 'other stuff like that'. But she is a proud hypocrite and holds insecurities and anger inside of her. Loves Tristan.

Tristan: The agitated, mismatched-eyes monk-in-training who feels like Gwen would be better off in a little locked room sometimes. He worries often over Gwen's antics and her seemingly endless thoughtless acts that sends his eye twitching. He can often be found at Gwen's side, anxiously urging her to get down from the tree or to get away from the bear cub. Loves Gwen.

Gwen's Mother, The Queen: The queen of the Kingdom of Seasons. She is mostly famously known for being run over by a llama, and is always referred to as 'the queen'. Gwen is angry inside because everybody just calls her 'the queen' without thinking of the person she was.

Gwen's Father: The king of the Kingdom of Seasons. He was never quite well in the head after Gwen's mother died and he carries around her ashes for a long while. He let Gwen have the loose rein around the castle, which actually made her a quite nicely grown-up girl in the end. He is 'out of it', as Gwen artfully puts it, and doesn't pay attention to his Kingdom anymore. Somehow that all works out in the end.

Janet: The nanny of Gwen, she is the one who ends up cleaning after her escapees. Despite her annoyances at Gwen's pranks, she loves Gwen like her own child. Unfortunately, Gwen knows that fact and that results in Janet often being the bunt end of the prank. She has a fear of mice and holds her knitting clubs annually.

Fala: The cranky genie who once loved Tristan, then finally gave up and went for Prince Charming. In the last chapters, when Tristan disappeared mostly, she was the one who made the dry remarks after Gwen's insane whims. She is frustrated that her insults directed at Gwen often bounce off unnoticed.

Leonard: The merchant dragon who loves to charge other people fees without them knowing. He is harmless and when anybody ever takes him seriously and tries to pay him back, he gets embarrassed and refuses to take their money. A sweetheart inside, a strange dragon outside.

Prince Charming: Stalker.

Cinderella: Now happily married to Owen.

Owen: Now happily married to Cinderella.

Evil Scientist/Main Mother: Now happily married in prison.