DEMOSTHENES & HYPATIA

Characters (in order of appearance!):

HYPATIA: Princess, who hails from far, far away lands!

CASTLE GUARD: Speaks in a thick, heavy Cockney Accent!

DEMOSTHENES: The (at times, sarcastic) Prince that Hypatia seeks!

MARI: Princess, Demosthenes' sister, and generally well-meaning!

TASSY: Countess, and just plain, disinterested, and in general, apathetic towards life.

Setting:

Somewhere in Europe, the Middle Ages.

At rise: A girl is standing just outside the long, winding walk-way that leads to a Castle away in the distance. Several feet in front of HER is the Castle Gate, with a burly CASTLE GUARD (which may be played by a woman, for comedic effect!) standing watch. SHE is clad in a maroon gown and matching hooded cape, which hides HER long, mahogany locks. HER eyes glitter of sapphire blue, and at this moment, SHE is alone.

HYPATIA

Ok? I'm here. Now what?

[Pause!]

Well, I should ask the guard if the Prince is home.

[SHE approaches the Castle Gate.]

Hello! Good, Sir. I am here to see the Prince.

CASTLE GUARD

Aeo, yah! Ye en' wot ahmy?!

HYPATIA

Well… Uh…. Just me. At this moment, Good, Sir!

CASTLE GUARD

Aeo, yah… Aeo, wots dis in regahds tuh?

HYPATIA

A private, personal matter. This Prince is expecting me, to be sure!

CASTLE GUARD

Ee is now, is Ee? Well, Oo, praiy tell, maiy aih saiy is eah?

HYPATIA

Tell him, Good, Sir, that an old friend is outside the gate waiting to be let in.

CASTLE GUARD

En' wots yo' naime, Miss?

HYPATIA

Hypatia. I hail from foreign lands far, far from here.

CASTLE GUARD

Aeo, tha' explains eht, than!

HYPATIA

Explains what?

CASTLE GUARD

Why ye talk funny!

HYPATIA

Excuse me?!

CASTLE GUARD

Nevah ye mind, Miss. Just a lil joke, tha's all! Aih'll be sure tuh delivah deh message tuh deh Prince me self! Ye wait eah, alrigh' than, Miss?

HYPATIA

Yes. Thank you!

[Exit CASTLE GUARD!... Beat!... After a moment, passes, HYPATIA speaks, again!... SHE soliloquizes!]

Well, now! At least he believed me. Now, we're getting somewhere! Now, then, I wonder what the Prince has in store for me today! It has been far too long since his last visit to my castle! Perchance he will not remember me?...

[Pause!]

Perhaps. Although, doubtful!...

[SHE smiles wryly!... Pause!]

…. Perchance he will not wish to see me?!...

[SHE smiles wryly, again!... Pause!]

Ha! Ha! Ha! Impossible!...

[Pause!]

Oh how I do hope there is no further confusion today!... How I miss you, My sweet Prince. Please do join me today!... Please!... You entertain me, so!... I have just so much more fun when you're with me! And how I've missed your sweet, warm words to me, and only me!... Please do join me, today, My Prince!... I have missed you so very much!...

[SHE sighs loudly, and drifts off into a daydream! Beat. Return CASTLE GUARD!]

CASTLE GUARD

Aeo, Miss!... Err… Ypatia, did ye saiy?

HYPATIA

[Having been lost deep in thought…]

Huh?... What?... Oh!... Yes, Hypatia is my name. With an "H." Is the Prince on his way to meet me, then?

CASTLE GUARD

Well, no. Sorry tuh saiy, Miss Ypatia. Ee's busy entertainin' deh Princess Maritza en' deh Countess Tasoula in deh solarium. Ee saiys ye ken join 'em if ye wish.

HYPATIA

Well, then!... Yes!... Take me there, immediately, Good, Sir!

CASTLE GUARD

Yes, Miss Ypatia! As ye wish!

HYPATIA

Good! Thank you! You've been a great deal of help!

CASTLE GUARD

Enytahime, Miss! Enytahime!

HYPATIA

[THEY stop speaking. A Curtain mocking the surrounding Castle Lands is dropped behind THEM as the CASTLE GUARD leads HYPATIA upstage. Looking around the grounds, SHE begins another soliloquy.]

The Countess Tasoula? Really? Hmm… I didn't even know he liked her. This should be interesting… to say the least!... However, I hope I will get a chance to talk to the Prince alone. And I hope this time, he will actually listen to me! What I have to tell him is VERY important, and it is a dire matter of homeland security!... Only, it cannot be revealed in front of the others! If word spread of our efforts on this matter, together, there is no telling the dangers and obstacles that may arise!... Now, how to get him alone?!…. That IS the question!...

[THEY stop Upstage Center, and the Curtain rises, revealing the Solarium, with the actual Castle still to be seen behind THEM. DEMOSTHENES, his sister MARI, and TASSY are sitting, drinking tea. HYPATIA greets them each with a graceful, seemingly never-ending curtsey!]

HYPATIA

Prince Demosthenes! Princess Martiza!... and Countess Tasoula. Good marrow!

ALL EXCEPT HYPATIA

Hey!

DEMOSTHENES

[HE rises from his seat next to TASSY, and approaches HYPATIA, takes HER hand, lifts HER head from HER curtsey, and kisses HER on the hand...]

Mi Lady…

HYPATIA

[SHE looks up and into HIS eyes briefly, before continuing to bow HER head…]

Mi Liege…There is a private matter I need to discuss with you. Urgently! And with much urgency, Mi Liege!

DEMOSTHENES

[Virtually ignoring HER…Clearing HIS throat!]

Ahem!... Princess Hypatia of the Great Greco-Roman Empire, have you met my sister, Princess Maritza, soon to be of the Delicious Land of Dover?... And the Countess Tasoula, of… Where are you from again, Tassy?

TASSY

[With General Apathy…]

Rivendalechesterville-Upon-Avonlea, to the South… of Bronx.

DEMOSTHENES

Right! Anyway…

MARI

Princess Hypatia, is it?

HYPATIA

Yes.

MARI

It's a pleasure meeting you!

HYPATIA

[With another graceful curtsey!]

Likewise, Princess Maritza!

MARI

Please, do call me Mari!

HYPATIA

[Still in curtsey position!]

Alright… Maritza. 'Tis a pleasure to make your acquaintance!

MARI

To be certain! For sure!...

[Pause!... SHE extends HER hand out to HYPATIA, who takes a moment to look-up, notice, and accept!]

Do rise, Hypatia!... Such a curtsey can't be good for your back!...

[HYPATIA rises, slightly embarrassed!... Pause!]

And please, amongst friends and family, it's Mari!… Judging by that little entrance you made just then, I take it, my brother is quite fond of you! Do join us for a cup of tea!

HYPATIA

Oh, well… I don't know if I can…

CASTLE GUARD

[With a quick bow!]

Aeo, Miss… Aih mihan, Princess Ypatia! Prince Demosthenes! Otha lassies!... Me naimes Fred, an' maiy aih be on me merry waih, than?

DEMOSTHENES

Why, yes! Of course! Sorry to keep you! Go guard the castle, then! Castle Guard! I mean, Fred! After all, what do I pay you for, then?

CASTLE GUARD

Pahdon me, Sirrah, but ye dohn' paiy me enythin', me Lord.

DEMOSTHENES

Oh, well, then!... I see!... Well, I give you room and board then, do I not?

CASTLE GUARD

No, Sirrah. Aih live wit me wife en' hah sistah, down dah road from eah. We all usin' dah same orse tuh be gettin' from place tuh place dese days. Can't afford anutha one, wot me workin' for no wages en all, me Lord… En dah lil ones be gettin' alon' fine, tanks foah askin'!...

DEMOSTHENES

I… Well then, I… Uhhh…

HYPATIA

[Interrupting, With a Curtsey! CASTLE GUARD freezes!]

It's a pleasure to meet you, Fred. Do give my best to your wife and children! And your wife's sister!... And the horse, of course!... Now, do be on your way! The castle can't stand to guard itself, you know! What with its brightest, strongest guard over here having a boring old chat with us!

CASTLE GUARD

Why, yes, Princess Ypatia! Of course! Right aiwaiy! En' tanks!

[To HIMSELF as HE exits SL!]

Wot a nice lady! Givin' Uh best tuh dah missus, en' me orse like dat! Ee's a lucky one, tha' Prince! En' Ee bettah know it!... Wow!... Wot a nice lady!...

[Exit CASTLE GUARD!]

MARI

Where was I?... Oh yes! Do sit down and join us for some tea, Hypatia, is it?

HYPATIA

Yes.

[To HERSELF!]

Why does everyone keep asking me that?

MARI

Good, so you'll join us then!... There's a seat over there next to Tassy.

TASSY

[Still Disinterested]

Yes. Do. Here.

MARI

Right!... Anyway!... Well… I do hope you like Darjeeling tea! I'm afraid that's all we're having this morning.

[HYPATIA decides there is no other option, but to sit next to TASSY on HER outside, and join THEM. DEMOSTHENES returns to HIS seat at the head of the table, in between MARY and TASSY… HYPATIA feels as though today's visit may be futile, after all. No pun intended!]

MARI

[Taking the teapot, SHE pours HYPATIA a cup!]

Now, Hypatia, do tell us… One lump, or two?

HYPATIA

Two, please!...

MARI

[SHE puts two sugar cubes (Yes, sugar cubes!), in HYPATIA's tea. SHE picks-up the creamer!]

Milk?

HYPATIA

Yes, please.

MARI

Hey, Demos! She likes her tea the same way you do!

DEMOSTHENES

[Somewhat Sarcastically…]

Does she now? Well, fancy that! I never would have suspected!...

[HE laughs to HIMSELF!]

MARI

Demos, you cad!

DEMOSTHENES

Mari, you prude!

TASSY

[With very little enthusiasm… Almost to HERSELF…]

Crazy, both of you.

HYPATIA

[Interrupting!]

Thank you for the tea, Your Highness!

MARI

You're very welcome, Hypatia. Please, DO call me, Mari!

HYPATIA

Alright, Maritza, then!... And thank you for allowing me to visit with you today, Your Highnesses!... and Tassy.

TASSY

Countess Tasoula.

HYPATIA

Right!... Anyway!...

MARI

So, do tell us, Hypatia… Hypa… Hyppie… Hypster… Uhhh…

HYPATIA

[Interrupting, again!]

Just Hypatia! Thanks, Maritza!

MARI

Hypatia it is, then!.. And for the last time, IT'S JUST MARI!... Sheesh!

[Continuing…]

Do tell us, what has brought you forth such a long distance from your homeland? What matter could be of such dire urgency that you need to interrupt our morning tea with my brother, the Prince?

TASSY

Yes. Do. Tell.

[SHE opens HER snuffbox, and "snuffs" a little! Don't do drugs, Kids!]

DEMOSTHENES

Right!... Anyway!...

MARI

Please, Hypatia! Do indulge us!

HYPATIA

Maritza…. Demosthenes… and Tassy. I… Well… I… Uhhh… Hey, look at this!

[SHE stands, picks up the bowl of sugar and the teapot, and makes them "dance" on the table!]

Hey, look!... Look!... I'm doing things!... Woohoo!...

[Awkwardly, SHE is the only one laughing, and like a hyena, at that!]

HAHAHAHAHA!... HAHAHAHA!... HEHEHE!... HEHE!... HA!... HA!... HA!... UGH!

MARI

It's quiet time now, Hypatia…before you hurt yourself!... Or worse!… One of us!

[SHE takes the teapot and sugar bowl away from HYPATIA, patting HER condescendingly on the head.]

HYPATIA

I'm sorry… I… It's just that… Well,…

MARI

…OUT WITH IT ALREADY, HYPATIA!... Geez! It takes you three years to say what's really on your mind!...

TASSY

Yes. Out. With it.

DEMOSTHENES

Right!... Anyway!...

[HE stands up, abruptly, and looks at HIS pocket-watch!]

WOW!... Look at the time!... It looks like I'm needed in the Ballroom! We just got a new chandelier in, and the servants need my opinion on the location!

MARI

When did Mom and Dad get a new chandelier?!

DEMOSTHENES

Yesterday! It was a gift from the Ottoman Empire!

MARI

A chandelier from the Ottoman Empire? Really, Demos, Really?... You can't do better than that?...

DEMOSTHENES

Yes!... Do me a favor, Mari?

MARI

Yes, Demos?

DEMOSTHENES

Shut-up!

MARI

Geez, Demos! Toooucheeey! Sheesh!

[To HYPATIA]

He's a sensitive boy… Hypatia… Don't mind him.

TASSY

Ya. Sensitve. Ha.

HYPATIA

Right!... Anyway!... Demosthenes, will you be needing any help in the Ballroom?!...

[SHE winks at HIM! SayNoMore! SayNoMore!]

DEMOSTHENES

Uhh… Not really?...

HYPATIA

Are you sure?!...

[SHE winks at HIM, again! Very obviously!]

MARI

Well, will you, Demos?

[SHE laughs to HERSELF!]

TASSY

Ha. Ya. Demos?

DEMOSTHENES

Right!... Anyway!... Hypatia, yes!... I will be needing help after all!... A ladies opinion would be much more useful than my own in this situation!

[HE extends HIS hand out to take HER's to help HER up from the table! Right as SHE is about to grab it…]

MARI

Hey! Wait!... I'm a LADY!... DEMOS!... You CAD!... What the Fuck?!...

HYPATIA

[To HERSELF!]

This is HOPELESS!... UGH!...

DEMOSTHENES

Fine! Then Mari, why don't you and Tassy go and check on the new chandelier?

MARI

Wait!... There really is a new chandelier?!

HYPATIA

... Apparently…

TASSY

Ya. Apparently. Ha.

HYPATIA

[Throws TASSY a look of… "Huh?!"]

… Right!... Anyway!...

DEMOTHENES

Yes!... Mari!... It's in the South Wing Ballroom!... Ok?!...

MARI

OK! Fine, come on, Tassy… Seems as though we're no longer wanted here.

TASSY

Apparently. Not. Ha.

HYPATIA

Right!... Anyway!... It's not that, Maritza!... It's just that…

MARI

No, no!... We understand! Right, Tassy?!... We get it!... We'll leave you two alone!... Let's go Tasoula!

TASSY

Ya. Let's. Go.

MARI

Right!... Anyway!... Let's go see that new "chandelier!"…

TASSY

Ha. Ha. Ha.

HYPATIA

Right!... Anyway!... WAIT!...

MARI

What?!

DEMOSTHENES

Yes, WHAT?!...

HYPATIA

Uh… Well… Uh…

[SHE laughs awkwardly, again!]

HAHAHAHA!... HAHAHA!... HAHA!... HA!... Good joke, Demosthenes!... A "chandelier" from the Ottoman Empire!... HAHAHAHA!... Genius!... HAHAHA!... HAHA!... HA!...

[To HERSELF!]

UGH!... I don't want to offend anybody!... Help me!... Please!...

DEMOSTHENES

[Somewhat quizzically!]

… I guess that was a good joke, then, Hypatia… Hahaha?!...

HYPATIA

Yes, it was, My Leige…

[To HERSELF!]

… I'm sorry…

MARI

Well, then, fine!... Since it was all a good joke!... And apparently Hypatia has had a good laugh for all of us!... And she insists on calling me Maritza!... Well, I guess we'll stay, Tassy!

TASSY

Fine. Ok. Stay.

MARI

Right!... Anyway!... Tea time is over, now!... While we have the servants clean up, here, Hypatia, would like to join us for a walk around the grounds? I take it, you've never seen the whole thing?

HYPATIA

Uh, well… Uh… Sure, I guess… Why not, right?!

[To HERSELF!]

Now what?!…Why did I do that?!... I could have had my talk alone with my Prince!

DEMOSTHENES

Listen, Ladies… I'd love to stick around a bit longer, but really, this time, I need to get going. As much as I'd love to join you on your walk around the grounds, I have some important "Princely" business to take care of, you know, like preparing for my royal coronation, and whatnot!

MARI

Why do you get to be the next in line for the throne?!... Why did Mom and Dad pick you?!... I am clearly the better choice!... I've gotten better grades than you in our lessons!... And I've had more experience than you ruling over people!

DEMOSTHENES

You mean, ruling over your dollies?!

TASSY

Ha. Ha. Dollies.

MARI

Right!... Anyway!... Shut-up, Tassy!

TASSY

[With More Enthusiasm!]

WHAT?!... WHAT THE HELL DID I DO?!... BITCH!

[SHE opens HER snuffbox, and "snuffs" some more! Don't do drugs, Kids!]

DEMOSTHENES

Right!... Anyway!... I'm the oldest, so just deal with it!

MARI

But, it's not fair, that's all!

DEMOSTHENES

Deal with it!

TASSY

Ya. Deal. With it.

DEMOSTHENES

Right!... Anyway!... Hypatia, if you'd like to stay and walk the grounds with my sister… and Tassy. Be my guest!... We can discuss whatever it is we need to discuss at a much later date, if you'd prefer!

[HE takes HER hand and kisses it, again! Speaking almost in secret to HYPATIA!]

It's been a pleasure to see you, again, Mi Lady! If only briefly! Do stop by once more!

[HE starts to leave…]

Tassy. Pleasure. As always.

TASSY

Thanks. Prince. Demos.

HYPATIA

[In a daze, SHE takes HER hand back from DEMOSTHENES, realizing that SHE is torn in HER decision to leave or stay?]

Right!... Anyway!...

[To HERSELF!]

What, now? What, now? WHAT, NOW?!

DEMOSTHENES

Mari, deal with it!... Hahahaha!... See you Ladies, later!...

HYPATIA

[To HERSELF!]

STOP!... WAIT!... COME ON!...

[To DEMOSTHENES!]

…Prince Demosthenes!...

DEMOSTHENES

… Yes, Princess Hypatia?!...

HYPATIA

Do you recall the last time we went for a walk around the grounds together?

DEMOSTHENES

… Well, that all depends…

HYPATIA

… On what?!

DEMOSTHENES

… On whether or not you're going to talk to me about it!

[HE laughs!]

HYPATIA

Prince Demosthenes, please!

DEMOSTHENES

[HE laughs, again!]

Ok!... Yes, I do recall the last time we went for a walk around the grounds together. Why, what of it, Princess Hypatia?!

HYPATIA

Well, there was something VERY important that I wanted to tell you, then!... And that I need you to tell you now!

MARI

And what, pray tell, was that?!

TASSY

Ya. Pray. Tell.

HYPATIA

Right!... Anyway!... YOU'RE BOTH STILL HERE?!

[To HERSELF!]

UGH!

[To EVERYONE ELSE!]
Prince Demosthenes, as the future heir to the throne!... Uhh….

DEMOSTHENES

[Not quite sure of what's to come next!]

Yes, Princess Hypatia, what is it?!...

HYPATIA

Well, uh… The people of the Great Greco-Roman Empire, wish to ask you for a Great Favor!... You see… Uh… We're having a hair problem!... That is to say… a hare problem!... Yes!... Rabbits!... We're having a problem with the Rabbits in our land!... And we were wondering if you could help!

MARI

You came here to talk him about RABBITS?!... Riiight!... Go on, Hypatia!

TASSY

Rabbits. Ha. Continue.

DEMOSTHENES

Right!... Anyway!... Yes!... Rabbits, you say?!... Hmmm?!... An over abundance of Rabbits, I assume?!...

HYPATIA

NO!... QUITE ON THE CONTRAY!...

[SHE clears HER throat!]

Uhh… Mi Liege!... Your Highness!... Prince Demosthenes!... No, quite on the contray! Please excuse me, I mean!... Our Rabbit population has SEVERELY declined since the last time we went for a walk around the grounds together! In fact, my people and I… I mean, yes!... We were having problems the last time I stopped by here, but… I, uh… forgot to mention it!... And… I, uh… forgot to mention something else, as well!...

[To HERSELF!]

… I LOVE YOU!...

DEMOSTHENES

… You, too?!... We have a decreased Rabbit population as well, here, in my king… OUR kingdom!... Yes!... What, else, is that?!...

HYPATIA

Well, it's just that…. Well, you see… My people and I… You know… Well, we were wondering if maybe the Rabbits in your land should mate with the Rabbits in our land!... And create a new species of Rabbit that can repopulate both our lands?!... Maybe?!... Perhaps?!... Uhh… Right!...

[To HERSELF!]

… Ok!... Sounds good to me!... UGH!...

MARI

What a load of crap!... Really?!... Hypatia?!... Really?!... Breeding Rabbits?!... That's why you came all this way over here?!... That's totally absurd!... Let alone, a creation of an invasive species!... What a Crock of Bullshit!...

[SHE laughs!]

TASSY

Bull. Shit. Ha.

DEMOSTHENES

Right!... Anyway!... PLEASE!... Mari!... and Tassy. SHUT-UP, already!... Will you?!...

MARI

Ok! Fine!... Toooouuuucheeey!... Sheesh!...

[To HYPATIA!]

I told you he's a sensitive boy!

[SHE laughs, again!]

TASSY

Sensitive. Boy. Ha.

DEMOSTHENES

Right!... Anyway!... I am really, truly, sincerely sorry for the decline of Rabbits in BOTH our countries. And bringing the two separate species together is exactly what our two empires need! Contrary to what my sister, who's NOT next in line for the throne, may consider to be the right thing to do!

MARI

WHAT THE FUCK?!... Fine!... You know what!... Fuck it!... Let's go, Tassy!... For real, this time!... My brother REFUSES to listen to reason!

TASSY

Refuses. Right. Go.

[SHE takes out HER snuffbox, once again! And "snuffs" yet again! Don't do drugs, Kids!]

MARI

Right!... Anyway!... Let's go, Tassy!... And leave these two crazies alone!... I could really use that walk around the grounds, now, anyway. All this bullshit is starting make my stomach turn!

[THEY Exit, FINALLY!]

HYPATIA

[SHE waits until THEY are COMPLETELY off-stage, before SHE speaks!... With a *NEW* leash… LEASE on LIFE!]

Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh My God! I thought they'd never leave!

[SHE wipes HER brow!]

Phew!... Right!... Anyway!...

[SHE laughs!]

DEMOSTHENES

[HE laughs with HER!]

Me, too! Hypatia! Me, too!

[HE takes HER in HIS arms!]

Nice Rabbit cover!

HYPATIA

Yes! Well, it's true! Their populations have declined, you know that, right?

[SHE tries to run HER fingers through HIS WAY TOO SHORT hair!]

DEMOSTHENES

[HE pulls HER arm back down to HER side!]

… You don't like my hair this way…

HYPATIA

NO!... NO. Not at all!

DEMOSTHENES

Yes!... Yes. I understand!

HYPATIA

You do?!... You didn't last time we were, here, together!

DEMOSTHENES

Yes! Well, studying for my royal coronation has taught me to be a better listener! By far!

HYPATIA

I am SO glad to hear it!

[SHE laughs!]

No pun intended!

DEMOSTHENES

[HE laughs!]

YES!

HYPATIA

[SHE tries again to run HER fingers through WHAT'S LEFT OF HIS HAIR!... ACK! ACK! ACK!]

Demosthenes, really, though!… What did you do?!... I mean… Why did you do it?!

DEMOSTHENES

I know! I know! I know!... Sincerely!... I'm sorry!... My so-called "advisors" told me I'd look "better" this way!... I had no idea it would affect our relationship the way it did!

HYPATIA

Well, it IS the reason why I left!...Because it meant so much more than just your hair! You know?... It meant, that you didn't listen to me!... You didn't BELIEVE me when I TOLD YOU NOT TO CHANGE ANYTHING ABOUT YOURSELF!... And, especially, NOT to change anything for ME!

[Pause!... Once more, SHE tries to run HER fingers through HIS far-too-short hair/bangs!... ACK! ACK! ACK! ACK!... Softly, SHE speaks, again!]

Oh, Demosthenes!... Demosthenes!…. You're My "Prince Charming!"…. My "Knight-In-Shining-Armor!... Remember?!... Riding on your classic, loyal, white steed; with your gorgeous LONG hair, flowing in the wind!... Galloping to my defense against the Dark Forces Of Evil!... Remember?!...

[Pause!... Now, gently, SHE tries to play with what's left of the back of HIS hair!]

Oh, Demosthenes!... Demosthenes!... Don't let them change you!, EVER!... Ya know?!... Like, Samson and Delilah!... Don't let them change you!, EVER!... Ya know?!...

[Pause!... SHE sighs loudly!]

…. You can't be my Knight-In-Shining-Armor with hair like this!...

[Pause!... Quietly, SHE starts to sob!]

DEMOSTHENES

[Warmly, sotto-voce, HE comforts HER!]

I know! I know! I know!... Really, Truly, Madly, Deeply, SINCERELY!... I AM SORRY!... From the bottom most regions of my heart!... I AM SORRY!...

[Pause!... Still comforting HER!]

…. Please, don't cry!... It's hair!... It'll grow back!... That's what it does!... I understand now the way you feel!... Please, don't cry!... Hypatia!... Please, don't cry!... It'll grow back!... I will let it grow out, again!... And, I will keep it that way!... FOREVER!, AND, FOR ALWAYS!... Regardless of what my so-called "advisors" might say to try to convince me otherwise!... Honestly!... Please, Hypatia, don't cry!... Shhhh!... Please!... Honestly!...

[Pause!... Still comforting HER!... HE sighs loudly, takes down the hood of HER cape, and plays with HER hair!]

…. I really don't know what else to say, at this point!...

HYPATIA

[Feeling better!]

…. You've said enough!... Thanks!... So much, Demosthenes!... Just so much!... Thanks!...

[SHE smiles at HIM!... Pause!]

…. Well, I DID forget to mention ONE other thing when I was, here, last time!

DEMOSTHENES

… And that is… What?!...

HYPATIA

Just that… I love you, as you!... Demosthenes!... And, NOT as the Prince!... And, NOT as the servant to his royal "advisors!"… AND, NOT as the "future king!"… I love YOU!... As YOU!... ONLY YOU!... And, ALWAYS YOU!... So very, very, very much!...

[Pause!]

…. I hope you believe me, this time!...

[SHE smiles!]

DEMOSTHENES

I believe you!... I believe you!... I believe you!... And… I love you, too, Hypatia!... Just the way YOU are, as well!... So very, very, very much!...

[Pause!]

…. Don't let them change you, either!... EVER!...

HYPATIA

…. Oh, trust me!... I won't!... EVER!... Really!, ya know?!...

DEMOSTHENES

…. I know!...

[THEY kiss!]

HYPATIA

…. Mmmm!… And THAT is what I came all this way, over hill and dale and… such!... All these miles, all this distance!... For all this time!... THAT is what I have come here today to tell you!... To say to you, in person!... Without anyone watching over us!... NOT your sister! NOR your "advisors!" NOR even… Tassy.

[THEY laugh!]

DEMOSTHENES

… I see!... And, the Rabbits?!...

HYPATIA

Well,… They'll manage!... On their own!... As we did!... You know?

DEMOSTHENES

Oh, yes!... I know!... I CERTAINLY KNOW, now!...

HYPATIA

Right!... Anyway!...

[THEY laugh, again! Then… THEY kiss, again!... Enter CASTLE GUARD!]

CASTLE GUARD

Aeo!... Ope I'm no' interrupin' enythin'!... But, Sirrah, Princess Maritza and the Countess Tasoula 'ave asked me tuh tell ye tha' deh new chandeliah looks great in deh Southern Ballroom!

DEMOSTHENES & HYPATIA, TOGETHER!

WHAT?!

[THEY laugh, long! And hard! And clear!... THEY laugh so EVERYONE can here!]

CASTLE GUARD

[HE laughs as well!]

… Aih dohn' know wot deh joke is, but glad aih could be eah tuh share it wit ye's!

HYPATIA

Thanks for all your help tonight, Fred!

DEMOSTHENES

Yes! Do take the rest of the day off, and enjoy yourself and the nice whether we're having today!

HYPATIA

Yes! Please do! It's so very sunny and warm out today!

CASTLE GUARD

Well, if ye insis's! Aih will, Sirrah. En' Aih'll tell me nephew tuh take ovah deh duties foah deh day!... If tha's all right?.. Ee's been studyin' tuh be a guard like me!... En' Ee's real good, tuh!

DEMOSTHENES

Good! Good! Good!... No worries! We shan't be going to war again for a good, looong while! Considering there is to be a marriage between… Well, the Rabbits of our land, and the Rabbits of the Great Greco-Roman Empire!... Right, Hypatia?

HYPATIA

RIGHT!

[HYPATIA AND DEMOSTHENES laugh! The CASTLE GUARD looks at THEM, confused. HE doesn't get the joke!]

DEMOSTHENES

Listen, Fred, is it?

HYPATIA

Yes!

DEMOSTHENES

Right!... Anyway!...

[HYPATIA AND DEMOSTHENES laugh!]

Listen, Fred… Before you go on your merry way!... Please do me one more favor!...

CASTLE GUARD

Yes, Sirrah!... Aeo, wot's tha'?!

DEMOSTHENES

Tell my sister, Mari… and Tassy, that there will be royal wedding soon enough, and they better just deal with it! Right, Hypatia?!

HYPATIA

RIGHT!

[HYPATIA AND DEMOSTHENES hold each other, again!]

… Will this be before, or after, the royal coronation?!

DEMOSTHENES

Well, I can't exactly be a king without a queen, can I?

HYPATIA

… Well, then, I guess not!...

[Before THEY kiss, again!...The CASTLE GUARD comes between THEM, interrupting!... HE speaks, HIS arms wrapped around the Happy Couple!...]

CASTLE GUARD

Aeo!... Well, now!... Ain't dis a gran' occasion!... A royal weddin' in our kin'dom!... Ain't dis a gran' occasion, indeed!

HYPATIA & DEMOSTHENES, TOGETHER!

Indeed!

DEMOSTHENES

[Beat! To the CASTLE GUARD!]

May we continue, then?... Fred?... Fred?...

DEMOSTHENES & HYPATIA, TOGETHER!

FRED!

CASTLE GUARD

Aeo!... Wot?!... Wot's wrong?!...

DEMOSTHENES

May we… you know… you know

HYPATIA

Please let go of us now, Fred!

CASTLE GUARD

[Embarrassed, blushing, HE giggles!]

Aeo!... Righ'!... Sorry, than!...

[HYPATIA AND DEMOSTHENES kiss, again, this time, THEY hold it!]

CASTLE GUARD

[Breaking the fourth wall, talking to the audience…]

… En' we all lived appily evah aftah!... Me, deh missus, deh lil ones, deh orse!…Of course!... Deh Princess Hypatia en' deh Prince Demosthenes!... (Look at 'em kissin' each othah like dat!... WOW!... Can dey evah old on tuh it!) Princess Maritza en' deh Delicious Lan' o' Dovah!... En' even… Tassy. Aeo!... Well!... En' we all lived appily evah aftah!... Aih already said tha' din't aih?!... Oh well!... Appily evah aftah, than, it is!...

[HE smiles and winks at the audience! The show curtain closes! FIN!]

*Addendum*:

As it turns out, the Countess Tassoula… "Tassy" was BANISHED from our kingdom, PERPETUALLY, on the counts of 1.) A WHOLE LOTTA CRAZY!... 2.) BELLIGERENT disregard for herself and for nature, 3.) INFERNAL disrespect for other people's relationship(s), 4.) BLATANT copy-cat syndrome, 5.) INCESSANT complaining, 6.) a BAD attitude, 7.) GREED *&* a DANGEROUS value of finances above all else, 8.) COPIOUS amounts of OBVIOUS jealousy… 9.) And UTTER apathy *&* hatred towards life itself…

The Princess Maritza… "Mari"… disappeared into an OBLIVION, almost instantaneously after marrying, once again, into the family of the Delicious Land of Dover!

The Castle Guard, his wife, his kids, and his horse lived happily *&* healthily ever after on the premises of the Demosthenes *&* Hypatia's *new* home, together! FOREVER!... Joyfully serving his duty as Castle Guard, only this time… GETTING PAID FOR IT!

Demosthenes *&* Hypatia gave birth to a bunch of bouncing baby princes!... *&,* they all lovefully *&* graciously shared the grounds with the princesses from across the street!... MORE ROYAL WEDDINGS IN THE FUTURE!... ;)

The rabbits of Demothenes's land *&* of Hypatia's land reunited after centuries of dispute, in order to finally merge into one "species" of rabbit!... The populations rebounded geometrically, and ten-fold!... I'd say we all ate rabbit stew, only… Well… We don't eat the rabbits, we just enjoy their company!... THEY'RE SOOO CUTE, after all!... And, they throw a mean vegan shindig!

*FIN!*