Valencia had been in a state of celebration for the past month. Madelena was dead and gone. King Richard had returned in defeat to his own kingdom. Life was returning to normal around the peaceful kingdom and tales were already being lauded throughout the land of the valiant battles fought and won by Galavant and Princess Isabella.
Villagers had replanted a new tree in the town square where the Elder tree used to grow all so poets and actors could repeat the rumors of Galavant's death defying battle with the Queen, including everything from the thrilling heroics he displayed when jousting with Jean Hamm (leaving out the part about how he could barely make it to his feet) to stories of the love he found with their beautiful princess (leaving out the part about how they couldn't stand each other when they first met).
Sid was never quite mentioned in those tales. This was nothing new, of course; he was just the squire and squires were just background characters. He'd already had his day in the sun back in Sidneyland- when everyone thought he was the daring knight from the half-truths he'd embellished. There had been songs and girls throwing themselves at him then. It was back to doing all the planning now, all the work, no vacations and definitely no perks.
Sure, Isabella had agreed to give Sid his own room in the castle since Galavant would be staying here as well- but that he figured was mostly so someone could help clean up after that jackass in a can. Sid frowned as he made his way towards his room, willing himself not to hear the party from the main hall down the hallway. Yet another celebration full of uppity nobles all singing the praises of the man who up until a few months ago couldn't even pay his own bar tab.
Sid shook his head, trying to be forgiving. After all, Galavant had saved his life when he found out Gareth had been holding him in the dungeon during Queen Madalena's reign. And after all the dunce was his best friend all jealousy aside.
But still, why did he get all the glory, all the fame, all the poseable detailed figurines the toymakers were churning out for the kids in the village these days- Sid pouted as he sat on his bed. He fell onto the lush pillows, sinking into their feathery and velvet finery. It was at least comfy in the castle, he'd give them that. It would be nice living here once all the hero worship died down or at least came to a low simmer. No more mucking out pigpens or scraping by on the measly scraps their few coins would buy. It was the good life from here on out, thanks to Isabella's desire to keep Galavant here in the castle close to her side. Sid may be the third-wheel but it wasn't that bad.
His eyes fell on the few personal items he had moved into his room from the small cottage in Galavant's village. On top of the ornate desk Isabella had furnished for him sat a bunch of his favorite graphic scrolls, all comic strips of heroes that did more than he ever accomplished. On top of those though was a small box he had only just noticed, sitting there with a simple ribbon wrapped around it.
He sat up in bed, wondering who could have left it there for him. Curiosity getting the better of him, Sid crossed the room and picked up the brown paper package, noting the tag attached that read, "To: Sidney, the best squire in all the land."
It was Galavant's handwriting, which only puzzled Sid further. It wasn't his birthday for another couple of months and his friend had forgotten his birthday last year anyway. He unwrapped the box, peeling away the paper like a child at Hanukah. Sid lifted the cover and found a small, dark figurine inside- hand-painted complete with the armor his parents had given him for his sixteenth birthday. It was just like the ones the toymaker had made of Galavant for the children of the village, only it was him.
He felt Galavant's presence in the doorway of his room and turned to his friend with a full, wide smile on his face. "Sir?"
"Isabella told me how much you'd been moping around the castle lately." Galavant told him. Of course it would be Isabella, even if Galavant had a true and big heart, once the heroizing started he could get awfully absorbed. Still, the effort was clear and Sid forgave him for the way he'd been carrying on lately instantly. That was what held their friendship together through everything- neither of them had the ability to stay angry with the other for very long. "I'm sorry if I've been-"
"I was going to say distracted." Galavant frowned, but let it go. "I had the local toymaker make that to my specifications. Now you have your very own doll."
"Detailed figurine," Sid corrected him. Girls had dolls and even if collecting these figurines was considered a little geeky, it was still a respectable hobby. They weren't toys, they were collectables that were rare and precious, especially this one which he realized was a one-of-a-kind limited edition. "Fully poseable and very detailed, hand-painted figurine."
"Right." Galavant smirked. "Doll, then. Now will you please come back to the party? If I have to sit through another boring tale from Isabella's cousin Harry, then I'm going to need my friend there to nudge me when I start falling asleep."
"Right, sir." Sid nodded, then placed his figurine in his collection- right next to the ones he had bought earlier that month that looked just like Princess Isabella and Galavant. Later he would have time to play with them and have them go into many imaginary battles together, none of which he would ever tell another living soul about because he was obviously way too old for such things. He would definitely never say a word about how they would rule over this pretend land and curse sudden but inevitable pretend betrayals. And every once in a while he may even let pretend Galavant win the pretend day. Maybe.
For now, he would rejoin the party content with the knowledge that even if the rest of the kingdom overlooked his role in the saving of their kingdom, Galavant and Isabelle still saw him as an equal. He was part of the team and after all togetherness would see them through. He would let Galavant have his moment in the sun, after all that's what a friend would do. And perhaps he would stop spitting in his ale.