|Building a Family
Author: Linzbinz84 PM
After the evil witch is defeated and the double suns rise, the royal family decides to settle down and be a real family again. But it's not as easy as they think it will be.Rated: Fiction T - English - Family - Chapters: 6 - Words: 12,521 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 5 - Updated: 07-15-12 - Published: 03-19-12 - id: 7939205
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's Note: Here's the next chapter. The muse is being kind this month (knock on wood). I even found a way to publish from my iPad. Hooray! Anyway, have a great week!
And, as always, reviews are appreciated! Thanks!
Disclaimer: I do not own any part of Tin Man.
DG met Lavender at the palace doors after she had changed into "more suitable attire." She had borrowed a knee-length skirt from Azkadellia and topped it with the, now clean, white blouse she had been wearing when she came to the O.Z.
Lavender bit back a grimace at her daughter's continually casual clothing, and forced a smile. At least it's an improvement, she told herself. Maybe with a little time we can cure her trouser habit. "You look lovely, DG," she said.
"Thank you," DG replied, a slight pout still on her face.
Lavender put a hand on her shoulder, and guided her toward the door. "Well then, let's head to the dressmaker's. I'm sure she's excited you're coming. She hasn't seen you since you were five years old!"
DG managed a smile and followed Lavender out the door, their bodyguards following a few feet behind them. They climbed into a carriage that took them into the nearby village. They pulled up next to the small dressmaker's shop.
"Your Majesties!" two voices exclaimed as they got out of the carriage. Two young women about DG's age ran curtsied low in front of them.
Lavender smiled. "Katie!" she exclaimed. "Anna! I haven't seen you two since you were children! Stand up, girls, and let me look at you!"
The young women stood up, and Lavender looked them over. They had grown into beautiful young women, looking much as their mother had at the same age with thick, dark hair and beautiful figures.
She gestured toward DG, who was standing awkwardly next to next to her. "Do you remember DG? I know you haven't seen her in years, but you all used to play together as children."
The sisters looked at each other, then back at DG. "Princess DG!" the older one said. "It's so good to see you back here!"
"Hello," DG replied awkwardly. "It's just 'DG'."
There was a moment of awkward silence. "All right then," the younger girl said. "I'm Anna and this is my sister, Katie." She gestured to the older girl next to her.
"It's good to see you."
They lapsed into silence again until Lavender spoke. "DG, I'm going to go inside and say hello to Mrs. Barton. Why don't you three catch up and you can join me in a few minutes?" DG nodded as Lavender went inside the shop.
"You don't remember us, do you?" Katie said, asking the question they were all thinking.
DG blushed and looked away. "Unfortunately, no. I'm sorry. I've been having trouble remembering a lot of things about the O.Z." She bit her lip.
Anna laughed. "Don't be embarrassed! We didn't remember you either!"
DG smiled. "Well, at least we're on even footing. You had me pretty well fooled."
"It seemed better not to contradict the queen," Katie added, "so we just played along."
"It is good to have you back in the O.Z. though," Anna chimed in. "Living under Azkadellia has been hard."
"Hush, Anna!" Katie chided. "That's still her sister!"
"It's okay," DG said. "I know she wasn't exactly the nicest person when the witch was controlling her. She tried to kill me too."
"What?" they said together.
"That's what all the wanted posters were for. The witch wanted her to kill me, so she could have all the power for herself."
"Oh," Anna said. "Then it's definitely better that she's no longer ruling the O.Z. Are you sure the witch is gone?"
DG felt a ripple of anger run through her, despite the argument from earlier that day. "Yes," she replied firmly. She glanced around. "I should probably go inside. Lavender's going to be wondering where I am."
"Lavender?" the girls asked simultaneously.
DG bit her lip, groaning inwardly. I shouldn't have said that, she told herself. "The queen sent me with some nuturebots to the Other Side when I was a child. I thought they were my real parents, and loved them as my real parents. Since I have trouble remembering before that, I don't remember much about my real parents. I'm not really comfortable calling them mom and dad yet, so I've just been using their first names." She braced herself for the onslaught of questions.
"Oh," Katie said simply. "I can understand that. I can't imagine calling anyone other than my parents 'mama' and 'papa'. Don't worry. We won't tell anyone."
"Thanks," DG said gratefully. She went toward the shop, but turned back. "Maybe we could hang out some other time? Maybe, you know, actually get to know each other?"
"It means to spend time together, to relax together. It's a phrase from the Other Side."
"Oh." Katie grinned. "I'd like that. When?"
"I don't know. We'll figure it out."
"All right." Anna and Katie smiled at her, and followed her into the shop.
"Don't you have class, girls?" a small, plump woman asked when the three girls came in.
"Yes, Mama," Anna replied. "We're getting our books and leaving now."
"All right. I'll see you later." She turned to Lavender and DG. "The girls go to the local college."
"Bye! Good-bye, Your Majesty, DG," Katie said. "Let us know when you want to 'hang out'." She smiled at DG before disappearing through a door. Anna said her good-byes and disappeared through the door as well.
Lavender raised an eyebrow at DG. DG ignored the somersault her stomach performed, and looked away. "DG, this is Mrs. Barton, the dressmaker in the town of Northern Isle."
DG held out her hand. "It's nice to meet you, Mrs. Barton," she said, smiling. But her face fell and she bit her lip as the woman curtsied to her. She glanced desperately at Lavender, uncertain of how to respond. Fortunately, she was saved the trouble.
"It's nice to see you again, Princess DG," the older woman said, standing up again. "You've grown quite a bit since I last saw you."
DG smiled. "Please call me DG."
Mrs. Barton glanced at Lavender, who gave an almost imperceptible nod, and turned back to DG. "Well then, DG, let's get started. Is your favorite color still red?"
"No, ma'am. It's actually blue." She wondered where this conversation was going.
"That will bring out your eyes wonderfully. Give me a moment and I'll bring out the pattern books. We'll start with a few styles then pick out a few different fabrics, all right?" She turned to pull a book off of a shelf.
"Yes, ma'am," DG mumbled, a slightly mutinous look back on her face.
Mrs. Barton chuckled. "There's the DG I remember! You used to give your mother such a hard time when you needed new dresses. Could hardly stand still for an instant. Always trying to tear off in half-finished dressed to play with my girls. Or with Katie, rather. Anna just toddled behind you both, trying to keep up."
Lavender laughed with Mrs. Barton. DG smiled politely, unable to remember. But her smile slid from her face when she saw the thick book Mrs. Barton had placed in front of her. There were hundreds of different styles: short, long, long-sleeves, sleeveless; the styles went on and on.
"Is there anything in particular you like?" Mrs. Barton asked her.
DG swallowed, overwhelmed by the number of choices. "Um, is there anything you suggest?" she asked uncertainly.
Mrs. Barton smiled. "How about we take just a few classic styles and work from there?"
DG sighed with relief. "That sounds good."
"Stand here so I can get your measurements and then we'll decide on colors." She gestured to a small, raised box on the floor.
DG did as she was told. "I see you're better about standing still now," Mrs. Barton quipped. DG tried not to roll her eyes. After she finished, Mrs. Barton suggested a few classic styles that DG readily agreed to-although she would've agreed to almost anything to make the torture stop.
"She's also going to need some everyday skirts and dresses, as well as shifts," Lavender said. "And some basic tunics."
"I don't think..." DG began, but stopped when Lavender gave her a warning look. Apparently I have no place in this conversation, she thought to herself irritably.
Mrs. Barton nodded. "That's not a problem. These styles translate well into everyday wear. I assume she needs blouses as well?"
"Yes," Lavender replied. She gestured toward DG. "I think from her time on the Other Side, she developed a taste for more casual wear. It's fine for when she's in the family quarters or outside, but she needs something more formal for everything else." Lavender paused. "Realistically, we need to get her a whole new wardrobe."
"What?" DG gasped. Lavender shot her another stern glance, and DG fell silent again, despite continuing to brood.
"I understand," Mrs. Barton replied, ignoring DG's comment. "Why don't we move on to colors?" DG nodded furiously, determined to at least have a say in what colors she wore. "I was thinking a navy blue, black, deep turquoise, and emerald green for the court gowns. Will that work for you?"
"Yes, that sounds good," DG replied quickly before Lavender could speak.
"What about a softer color as well?" Lavender asked, trying to resume control of the conversation.
DG shook her head slightly, and Mrs. Barton pursed her lips. She looked at DG as she spoke to Lavender. "I think the deeper colors will look better on her. They'll bring out her eyes and give her skin a porcelain look."
"Are there any other colors you suggest?"
"A cranberry or deep purple will look quite beautiful on her as well." Lavender nodded. "For her day dresses, I'd suggest similar colors, but with a few brighter ones thrown in as well. The same for her skirts and blouses. Possibly a bold red and a brighter blue. I'll also include tan and black skirts that will go with just about every blouse.
Lavender nodded again. "The tunics?"
"I'll stick to deeper colors and white in a sturdy cotton. How many of everything are you looking for?"
Lavender paused for a moment, thinking. "About five or six court dresses. She'll need at least two weeks worth of everyday wear. Seven to eight blouses and skirts and dresses to fill in. Four or five tunics."
DG's eyes widened. "I don't think I need..." DG started.
"DG!" Lavender admonished her, annoyed. "Enough." DG stopped talking, her anger growing and blushing with embarrassment.
"I can get that for you," Mrs. Barton said, diffusing the impending argument. "I can have about half of the order in a week.
"That sounds wonderful, Melinda," Lavender said, standing up. "Thank you."
"You're most welcome, Your Majesty," Mrs. Barton replied, curtsying.
"Thank you, Mrs. Barton," DG echoed, smiling and holding out her hand to shake.
"You're most welcome as well, DG," Mrs. Barton said, shaking her hand this time. She patted DG's cheek gently. "I'm so glad you turned out well." DG smiled, uncertain of how to respond.
"Very well. We must be going. We'll see you in a week. Thank you again!" Lavender left the shop.
"Good-bye," DG said, following Lavender out the door.
After the carriage had left a suitable distance from Mrs. Barton's shop, Lavender turned to her daughter. "What does it mean to 'hang out'?" she asked.
"It means to spend time together as friends, not necessarily doing anything," she replied.
Lavender nodded. "I see." She raised her eyebrow in the same disapproving manner she had in the shop. DG felt her stomach flip-flop again. "You plan to become friends with Mrs. Barton's daughters?"
"Why not?" she replied nervously, much to her chagrin. I barely know her, she thought to herself. Why is she making me nervous? "They seem to be nice girls."
"I'm sure they are." She paused. "But they are the dressmaker's daughters," she finished firmly.
"You said we played together as children," she pointed out. "Mrs. Barton said the same thing."
"Yes, but you were children then. And you only played together when we went to the shop."
DG's cheeks felt hot. "What does it matter?" she replied flippantly.
"They are not suitable friends for a princess." She paused.
DG felt her blood boil. "So what if they're the dressmaker's daughters? I was a waitress on the Other Side, and that doesn't make me any better or worse a person!"
"Because you're a princess and you're going to have to get used to the idea! You have a certain image to maintain!"
"Let me guess," DG said coolly, "it's one that Anna and Katie don't fit into."
"That is correct."
They pulled up to the front of the palace, and DG jumped out of the carriage. "Well, let me inform you of something, Lavender. That image you talk about is just going to have to change!" She slammed the carriage door and stormed into the palace.
Azkadellia looked up from her paper as DG thundered past their shared study. "DG?" she asked, bewildered. A few moments later, she heard a door slam.
She put her pen down and went to her younger sister's room and knocked on the door. "DG?" she called. No answer. She opened the door and went inside anyway.
DG was laying on her bed, staring up at the canopy. "DG?" She didn't answer. Azkadellia went and sat down at the edge of the bed, and smoothed a lock of hair out of DG's face. "What's wrong, Little Sister?"
DG smiled at Azkadellia's nickname for her; the pejorative had become endearing. She just stared at the canopy. "When I was a little girl-after I'd left here-I wanted one of these beds so badly. I guess I thought it was romantic or something. Now that I have it, it seems like it's too much."
Azkadellia looked at her sister, confused. "What?"
"Never mind." DG rolled on to her side, her back facing toward her sister.
"No, DG, what?"
DG sighed. "Lavender doesn't like my choice in friends."
Azkadellia just felt confused again. "I didn't think Mother had a problem with Mr. Cain, Raw, or Minister Ambrose?"
"Not them. Anna and Katie Barton."
"The dressmaker's daughters?"
"Yes. Lavender and Mrs. Barton said we used to play together when we were kids."
"You did." Azkadellia laughed, remembering. "You and Katie used to argue about who was in charge. She said she was because she was older and you said you were because you were the princess."
DG rolled back over and propped her head up on her hand. "Who was?"
Azkadellia grinned. "Me. Well, if there weren't any older kids around to play with." She paused. "But I don't understand what the problem is."
DG sighed again. "Lavender thinks that they're 'not suitable friends for a princess'."
"What do you mean, 'oh'?" DG felt her anger creeping back up.
"I mean that Mother thinks they are below your class."
"I got that. It's stupid."
Azkadellia shrugged. "It's just the way it is."
DG sat up in the bed, horrified. She had thought that Azkadellia would understand, even if no one else did. "You've got to be kidding me." Azkadellia didn't respond. "You feel the same way?"
Azkadellia shrugged. "It's never been any other way. Mother and Father always chose who we were friends with."
DG made an annoyed growl. "Yeah, when we were kids. But I'm twenty years old."
"Annuals," Azkadellia corrected automatically. DG gave her a dirty look, which she ignored. "We're still princesses," she pointed out.
"But I wasn't raised as one."
Azkadellia sighed. "Nothing I say is going to change your mind, is it?"
DG nodded. "Probably not. You're both wrong, and I'm not giving up potential friends just because they're 'not suitable for a princess'."
Azkadellia sighed again. "Just be careful, Little Sister."