Author: Rose Stetson PM
SPOILER ALERT FOR COUNCIL OF MIRRORS! As their daughters grow older, Puck and Sabrina discuss the challenges ahead of them and reminisce about the challenges they've already faced together.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Humor/Family - Puck & Sabrina G. - Chapters: 29 - Words: 62,336 - Reviews: 143 - Favs: 42 - Follows: 47 - Updated: 11-27-12 - Published: 05-29-12 - id: 8163826
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Aw," Emma cooed dreamily.
Sabrina chuckled at her youngest daughter's enthusiasm. She remembered the day well. Though she'd been wrapped up in her own worries at the time, Daphne and Pinocchio's closeness had not escaped her notice. She was just glad that after all this time, everything had worked out for the best—for all of them.
Daphne smiled as Pinocchio laced his fingers with his wife's. "I thought I was pretty special to have a guy who knew what I needed and when I needed it."
"Did you get married right away?" Emma demanded.
Daphne shook her head. "Your mom was asleep by the time I had a chance to really figure out what had just happened, and once she was asleep, Pinocchio was inundated with so many new cases that we hardly got to see each other."
"Inundated?" Emma asked with a furrowed brow.
"It means overwhelmed," Daphne explained. She turned to her sister and blushed. "Oops. I guess I should have let you answer that one—for old times' sake."
Sabrina laughed. "I think I'll survive this once."
"Your mom was my dictionary when I was growing up," Daphne explained as the girls gave her an odd look.
"Ah," Emma said with a nod as if this explained everything.
The doorbell rang, and Daphne turned to look in the direction of the door. "Were you expecting someone?" She asked as she turned to her husband.
"Actually, I might be," Pinocchio said as he rose.
"You might be?" Daphne asked in confusion. "You mean you don't know for sure?"
"When I left the museum this morning, it was because Charming wasn't sure he liked the layout of the exhibits. He wanted to check in with Snow and Goldie before he approved any final exhibit layouts."
"Which means that he's probably here now to discuss them," Daphne said as she nodded knowingly.
"Yep," Pinocchio said as he walked out into the living room.
"Prince Charming's coming here?" Emma cried in excitement and dismay. "I'm not ready! Look at my hair!"
"Shall I get the fairy godmother wand?" Daphne asked with a wry chuckle as she sat back in her chair and rested a hand on her stomach. It was clear she wasn't going to be leaving her chair anytime soon.
"Fairy godmother what?" Alison asked as her eyebrows shot up in surprise.
Sabrina chuckled as Puck grinned. "Oh, man! Those things are awesome!" He exclaimed. "I once saw Grendel in a tutu thanks to your aunt Daphne!"
Daphne grinned at the memory.
"Admit it," Sabrina said with a teasing note in her voice. "You only like fairy godmother wands because of what happened at Morgan and Seven's wedding."
Puck grinned in satisfaction at the memory. "Yep. Of course, your dad had to kill the mood."
Daphne laughed. "That's Dad for you."
Just then, the sound of an Englishman's voice echoed through the house. "Why didn't you tell me you were going to have company, Pinocchio? I might have come at a different time!"
The voice was instantly recognizable to Sabrina. Well, the annoyance was recognizable at any rate. She exchanged an eye roll with her husband and a shake of the head with her sister. "How can you put up with him living so close by?" She whispered.
Daphne giggled. "Mayor White makes up for it—most of the time."
Sabrina looked dubious as Pinocchio walked into the kitchen, followed by a tall, handsome man with chiseled features that gave him a commanding presence.
"Sabrina," he greeted without cracking even the slightest hint of a smile. "I see you've come back to Fairyport Landing." Sabrina wondered if his disdain for the town's renovations was as obvious to anyone else as it was to her. For nearly two hundred years, Ferryport Landing had been the closest thing Charming had to a kingdom, and now because of forces outside of his control, it was changing. Sabrina was sure he didn't like it one bit.
Charming glanced over at Puck with suspicious distrust. "What's he doing here?" Charming demanded.
Daphne looked up at the imposing figure. "He is Sabrina's husband. You were at the wedding. Don't you remember?"
"How could I not?" Charming said as he turned a sarcastic smile to Daphne.
Sabrina managed an unenthusiastic smile. "Nice to see you too, Charming."
"That's Prince Charming?" Alison sounded as disappointed as Emma looked.
"Oh, not this again," Charming groaned. "Do you know how many generations of Grimms have uttered that same sentence to me in my lifetime? More times than I care to admit."
"Charming, I'd like you to meet our daughters, Alison and Emma," Puck said as he unfurled his fairy wings for the prince like a peacock unfurled his feathers in competition with the other peacocks. "Girls, meet William Not-so-Charming."
"Didn't we deal with your grudge against the Grimms about twenty-nine years ago when we saved Ferryport Landing from the Scarlet Hand and we were all fighting on the same side?" Sabrina reminded him.
Charming managed a thin smile. "I'm sorry. I haven't made much of a first impression, have I?" He turned to the girls. "Welcome to Ferryport Landing. My name is William Charming, and I'm pleased to meet you."
He bowed low and took Alison's hand in his. He kissed the back of it with the practiced ease of a gentleman. Then, he did the same for Emma.
As he stood, he looked over at Sabrina. "Is that better?"
"It's a start," Sabrina said noncommittally.
"What did you need?" Daphne asked as she looked up at the former mayor.
"I had something to discuss with your husband, but if you have company, I'm sure it can wait. After all, it's not like the fate of the world is hanging in the balance," Charming said as he waved off the query.
He turned back to Sabrina and softened slightly. "I'm sure Snow would love to see you, and so will the girls if you're going to be in town long."
Sabrina looked at Puck who shrugged. "We actually haven't made any formal decisions on how long we're going to be here yet."
Emma's eyes pleaded with her mother to let her meet the famous Snow White before they left. Sabrina smiled at her daughter's enthusiasm as she amended her statement. "But I'm sure we'd love to stop by before we leave."
Charming nodded. "I'll be sure to inform Snow." He turned to Daphne and nodded formally. "I suppose I'll be off then." He turned to Pinocchio. "Are you coming back to the museum this afternoon?"
Pinocchio nodded. "I have a few things I want to do before the painters come in tomorrow."
"I'll discuss these plans with you then," Charming said with a nod that gave his approval to the plan. He turned back to the girls. "I'm sorry I couldn't stay longer, but I have a lot of things to get done before we open the Fairyport Landing Museum. Very important work, girls. It was a pleasure to meet the daughters of such infamous past residents as Sabrina Grimm and Puck, the Trickster King. May you be nothing like them," he said as he strode out of the room.
As he left, Puck turned to his wife. "I think that's the nicest thing he's ever said to me."
Sabrina chuckled before she turned to her sister. "Obviously, Charming's got something on his mind. Do you know what it is?"
"Even if I did, I wouldn't be able to tell you," Daphne reminded her. She heaved herself out of the chair and walked over to the sink where she filled her cup with water.
"Doctor-patient confidentiality?" Sabrina asked in surprise.
"Prince Charming's in therapy?" Alison gasped.
"I didn't say anything," Daphne said as she turned a warning look to both her sister and her niece. "And it's going to stay that way."
"If you ask me," Pinocchio said quietly. "I'll bet that it's not easy to go from the commander of the Everafter army to looking at paint swatches for a museum that represents everything he despises about the human-Everafter interaction."
Sabrina nodded thoughtfully. "He hasn't tried to get another job since the Everafter War?"
"He's tried," Daphne admitted. "But do you remember how devastated he was after Mayor Heart won the election?"
Sabrina nodded. Seeing Charming in such depression had shaken her to the very core.
"He's not that bad these days—he can't be with Mayor White as his wife," Daphne explained.
"Snow White's the mayor?" Emma asked as she began dancing in her seat.
"What has he tried to do?" Alison asked as she carefully joined the adult discussion.
"A number of things actually," Pinocchio said with a small chuckle. "First, there was his stint as a construction worker with Boarman and Swineheart Construction. That didn't go well."
Sabrina grimaced. Of course it hadn't. He loved to be in charge, and taking orders from pigs was probably only slightly less humiliating to him than taking orders from children.
"Then, there were the modeling days, "Daphne said with a sigh.
"He modeled?" Sabrina asked in surprise.
"We call that his mid-life crisis," Pinocchio explained instantly.
"Most recently, he's tried to be a TV anchorman," Pinocchio finished. "I'm not sure exactly what happened there, but when that fell through, Snow asked him to start overseeing the museum project."
"I would have thought he would be CEO of a Fortune 500 company by now," Sabrina said, somewhat puzzled. "I mean, it's practically the closest thing to a kingdom he could find here anymore."
"We all thought the same thing," Daphne admitted. "But after he got married to Snow, things changed for him. He was determined to be the best husband and father he could be. He refused to be anything like Atticus had been—even if he didn't have any memory of him except for that last battle."
"So, he's trying to be someone he's not so he can avoid being someone he doesn't want to be," Sabrina said softly. She knew something about that—it had been the reason she'd been so eager to marry Bradley all those years before.
If Sabrina had to guess, that was the source of Charming's problems. He probably still hadn't quite come to terms with the rewrites Bunny had made to the Snow White story. And it was slowly destroying all the work he had done in bettering himself before he knew about his brother. The Charming that had just left Daphne and Pinocchio's house had been strangely reminiscent of the Charming that had welcomed Sabrina and Daphne to Ferryport Landing with more than a little annoyance.
"It's a good thing he has someone like you around to help him figure out what to do," Sabrina said as she turned a smile to her sister.
Daphne opened her mouth as if to say something, but Sabrina beat her to it. "That is, assuming that he's smart enough to take advantage of the help."
"Aunt Daphne?" Emma asked as she turned to face her aunt.
"Yes, Emma?" Daphne asked as she turned to look at her niece.
"So, if you and Pinocchio didn't get married until after Mom woke up," she began with a serious look on her face. "And you didn't get to see each other very much while she was asleep because he was so busy, how did you get married at all?"
"That's a very good question," Pinocchio said with a laugh. "We almost didn't."
The girls turned to their aunt for confirmation.
"It's true," Daphne said with a nod. "I actually turned down his proposal, what was it? Twice?"
Pinocchio shook his head. "Three times."
"Right, I forgot that last one," Daphne said with a nod.
"You turned down Pinocchio's proposal three times?" Emma squealed.
"Maybe you'd better tell the story, Daphne," Sabrina said with an amused chuckle.