Ever After

Go and tell your white Knight

that he's handsome in hindsight

but I don't want the next best thing.

She was certainly very pretty; there was no doubt in his mind about that. Her fair skin glowed, practically reflecting the shimmering moonbeams that danced in the open meadow. Her hair was black as the night, soft, splayed primly around her peaceful face. Her lips were red as blood, contrasting brilliantly with her snow coloured skin.

They were all like that. Sure, they had different features, different curses. There was always some sort of aspect of individuality on the outside. But the lips- no, those never changed. Sleeping potion? Painted lips. Glass slippers? Rouged drastically. (Abnormally) Long blond hair? Ruby red. Good grief, it was the same with every single one of them.

And Snow White? Why, she practically had her lips pursed in anticipation.

So yes; she was beautiful. But was it true love that compelled our Prince Gideon to lean down with a wince and peck the waiting mouth?

If you asked Gideon, he would tell you most assuredly, without a doubt, irrevocably; no. If you asked him again he might throw something large and very much solid in your direction out of pent up frustration.

With a gasp the lovely princess's lashes fluttered open, revealing shimmering blue eyes. Any other man might have drowned in those eyes; any other man might have fancied himself in love. Gideon however had found himself drowned and turned to ice in a woman's eyes so often as of late that he'd built up an immunity of sorts. Snow White smiled up at him shyly, lowering her eyes.

"You saved me, my handsome prince," she practically swooned again right there, bringing her eyes up to meet his. Gideon, who sort of objected to being objectified, grunted in reply, barely restraining an eye roll. Gruffly he held out a hand, still trying to generally play the gentleman. Snow White grasped it lightly, with a small giggle and pulled herself off of the stone pedestal, automatically bringing herself far too close for Gideon's liking.

With an awkward attempt at a smile (which was truthfully more of a twitch at the corners of his mouth, if anything) Gideon removed himself from her, despite her suddenly puzzled frown. She gave a slightly indignant huff and marched after him as he set about preparing the horses for the journey home.

"Well?" She said, one hand on her hip and her toe tapping furiously.

"Well, what?" Gideon enjoyed being deliberately obtuse.

"You're supposed to propose to me! You're supposed to pull me up onto your horse and we'll ride off and live happily ever after! Don't tell me you've forgotten," She said, her words intending to spit venom.

"Nope," said Gideon. "I haven't forgotten. We just met today, you were cursed, I un-cursed you; I'm not about to propose to you. I can take you to your castle, or if you'd like, I'm sure the dwarves would be happy to take you back."

The princess floundered there a moment, and the prince was unsure whether or not he should be amused or annoyed.

"B-but," she took a deep breath. "But what about True Love's Kiss?"

With a wry shake of his head, the prince hopped onto his horse, exasperated with the poor girl.

"True Love doesn't exist."

"Gideon, for the love of all things that are good, how many times must I tell you; you can't just leave a princess in the middle of an enchanted forest all by herself!"

Gideon responded with a roll of his eyes.

"Father, honestly-"

"No," the King interrupted sharply. "I know that the dwarves will be able to take care of her. I know you didn't put her in any harm's way. However, the fact is; she was supposed to be your True Love. She was supposed to be the one! And you just left her there!"

"Father, she wasn't my True Love! I don't think I even have a True Love! Every single Damsel in Distress you say the same thing!" Gideon huffed in frustration, turning on his heel to go and sulk in his chambers.

"Gideon!" the King shouted at his back. "Be ready tomorrow at dawn! We received word that a witch has one of the princesses of Üpona!"

Gideon didn't turn back.

Although Gideon was in sore spirits the next morning, he couldn't help but feel the same excitement that accompanied every quest.

Something that one has to understand, before we can properly continue this story, is that Gideon wasn't totally opposed to rescuing Damsels in Distress- rescuing being the keyword. It was the adventure which Gideon loved; the dragon slaying, the witch hunting, the galloping in gallantly to save the day on his noble steed. So it was with great enthusiasm that Gideon left the castle once again to scour the enchanted forest for another princess who had no common sense or knowledge of self defense.

The kingdom of Üpona lay far to the east of the vast kingdom of Ever After. His father had provided him with maps and packs of supplies, although, assuming no conflicts arose, it was only about a day's journey to the area where the witch was suspected to live. Of course, assuming that no conflicts would arise was always a dangerous game.

Gideon set out on his afore mentioned noblest of steeds; he galloped heroically, he cantered courageously, he trotted through treacherous terrain, deep into the east end of the enchanted forest. As shadows seemed to crawl from the trees, Gideon figured he must be more or less close to whatever prissy princess he was meant to save. Suspiciously though, the forest seemed just as eerily quiet as it was throughout his entire journey.

He slowed down his horse, now that the darkness was becoming more pronounced, suddenly unable to see his surroundings. Why was it getting dark so fast?

Gideon glanced around nervously as his poor horse became skittish; its ears back and eyes wide. And then everything was black. It was the worst kind black; suffocating, the darkness crawled down Gideon's throat. He couldn't see. He couldn't breathe. He couldn't feel.

And then, everything was gone.

Prince Theodore Charming was perfectly capable of rescuing a maiden, thank you very much. Just because his first three attempts hadn't exactly…succeeded, didn't mean that he wouldn't manage it yet. Besides, how was he supposed to have known that Red needed saving? There was no way for him to have known that her grandmother was a wolf. Everyone knows that wolves are masters of disguise. So…So that didn't really count, right? Right.

To be honest Prince Theo wasn't really having the best of luck since he'd left on his first quest to save a Damsel in Distress three weeks ago. In fact, currently he was just wondering around the enchanted forest, hoping that maybe something would cross his path that would do him good fortune. His horse had been stolen a few miles back by a group of trolls, and before that his compass, maps and left shoe had been nicked by wood nymphs.

Despite all this, Theo remained optimistic; unrealistically so. Somehow despite all the misfortune that had befallen him, the young prince walked with a skip in his step and a tune on his lips. He almost didn't notice the worn down tower until he was right on top of it.

For some reason, the only thing that Gideon could taste was sand. It filled his mouth, made his throat feel like sandpaper, and made him want to hack up a lung. Gideon gave an experimental cough- mostly to see if he really was still alive- and found that the overwhelming taste of sand was overwhelming.

"Foolish boy."

Gideon's head whipped around, suddenly becoming aware of his surroundings. Cold brick walls barricaded him from every side, the floor a solid concrete. But where had that voice come from? Gideon's eyes narrowed, squinting to find the other person in the room with him. And there! At the window! A hunched figure sat, for all the world looking as though she was only contemplating the weather.

"You shouldn't have interfered," she said, her tone almost sweet. All of a sudden, Gideon recognized the old bat lurking in what seemed to be his cell. "Couldn't you see? All of them, so beautiful? Unfair isn't it?"

"Yes, well I'm sure they all had a punishing moisturizer," Gideon snapped back. Or at least that's what he meant to say. Instead of hearing words come out, he heard the clink of precious stones as they fell from his lips and hit the floor. His eyes widened in horror, a look the witch revelled in.

"Oh yes, you remember that one, don't you dearie?"

Not a month ago, Gideon had kissed this curse out of a fair maiden trapped by this same witch. She laughed delightedly, clapping her hands with glee.

"But that's not all, precious! Remember dear Aurora?" She stopped a moment to let her words sink in. "Soon you'll be fast asleep, dead to the world! And of course, darling Cinderellie? The curse breaks at midnight m'dear!" At the Prince's confused look, she continued. "You can only wake at midnight! And only for an hour! Isn't this such fun?"

"I wouldn't call this fun," created a lovely pile of rubies and pearls. The witch chuckled, almost indulgently and got up to give him a little pat on the head.

"Good boy!" With a gleam in her eye she leaned in close to his ear and whispered; "You'll never guess what breaks the curse. This one's much stronger than the last ones. You won't get away with easy kisses on this. Oh no darling, you know exactly what you need, don't you?" She stood up with a sneer. "True Love." With a poof of smoke Gideon was left alone in his tower.

Theodore had never scaled a 40 foot tower before, and therefore had no real idea where one would go about starting. He figured maybe he'd just start putting one hand above the other, and hope that eventually he'd end up at the top. Although that ended rather painfully, Theo was lucky in the regards that he managed to land himself on a coil of rope conveniently placed at the bottom of the tower. Step one, complete.

With a lucky throw he somehow managed to fling the rope up through the only window on the thing and get it caught on something hopefully sturdy enough to hold him up (Now fate chose to smile on him…).

After some gruelling hard work, Theodore pulled himself up over the window ledge, falling head first onto the concrete beneath with a small 'oof'. He stood up quickly, brushing off his shirt and trying his best to look dashing in hopes that finally he could rescue a fair maiden. What he saw instead was most definitely not that. On a bed (Well, I say bed) looking forlornly up at the ceiling was a young man, maybe only a couple years older than himself, black hair fallen in his eyes, although he couldn't seem to care. Theo frowned slightly and took a step forward.

"Um…. Hello?" He said tentatively. He jumped when the other man's head snapped to him as he sat up in a rush, eyes wide with surprise.

"Er- sorry. I thought that maybe there would be someone to rescue up here, so I thought-" He cleared his throat awkwardly as the man continued to stare, mouth slightly agape. "Never mind then. I'll just… I'll just go."

That snapped the dark haired man out of his temporary trance. He jumped up, shaking his head frantically.

"Oh! Do- Uh… Do you need rescued?" Theodore said, half curious now. The man seemed to slump at the statement, seemingly embarrassed, before nodding slowly. "Can you not speak? I-I mean, not to be rude or anyth-" He trailed off in surprise when the man before him opened his mouth, trying to form words, and shimmering sapphires tumbled out instead. The young man looked at him desperately, and Theodore absentmindedly noticed that the sapphires sort of matched his blue eyes. He thought for a second that he could probably drown in those eyes. He could probably fall in love.

Wait- what? Theodore backtracked taking those thoughts back in a rush. He'd only just met the man.

"I think I have a piece of-" Theo paused to ruffle through his pockets, and pulled out a small piece of charcoal. "Here," he handed the black nub to the man. "You can write with this! Just on the floor, right? Like, what's your name?"

The two of them sat down across from each other as the man scrawled 'Gideon' onto the cold concrete, before looking up at him with a smile. Theo grinned right back. "I'm Prince Theodore Charming! Nice to meet you Gideon." He wondered if maybe the full title was a little bit much… "You can just call me Theo though- If you'd, like?"

Gideon raised an eyebrow and wrote out 'Charming?'

Theodore was pretty well used to it. "Suits me doesn't it?" He pulled what was supposed to be a debonair sort of expression. "So, what's a nice guy like you doing in a tower like this?" He asked. Gideon sighed and began to write. Patiently, Theo read, word for word, until finally Gideon got to the point where he mentioned that he'd only be awake for an hour.

"So we really don't have much time then, do we?" Gideon shook his head with a small sigh. "How do you break the curse?" The black haired man huffed, frustrated as he wrote down in sharp angry strokes 'True Love'.

Well that shouldn't be too hard, thought Theodore, smiling slightly. With a slight glance out the window to see where the moon was in the sky, Theodore stood up, pulling Gideon with him. "I think the rest of the curse is going to kick in soon. How about I come back tomorrow night?" The grin that Gideon gave him was worth wandering around the forest for three weeks.

The next night, to Gideon's delight, Prince Theodore Charming did come back. And again the night after that. And the night after that one. Gideon noticed that much preferred lips that weren't the colour of an apple. Theodore noticed that these blue eyes never turned to ice, not once.

Maybe True Love didn't exist. Maybe it did. Gideon figured that if things kept going the way they were, he'd soon find out. But in the meantime, Gideon and Theodore lived Hap-


Well… they lived.

A/N: I hope you liked it! This was written for our 'fractured fairy tale' assignment in english class. But instead of choosing a specific fairytale to fracture, I just decided to fracture fairy tales in... general? I don't know what this is.

It's a wonder I haven't failed that class...

Anyways, reviews are always welcomed in, given a cup of hot chocolate and given a wonderful home! And on top of that, constructive criticism will always be loved just as equally.

Thanks for reading!