Author's Note: And so it begins! Here's some fluffy Ben/Mal to start off this lovely fic challenge!

Hope you all enjoy! Let me know what you all think!

The only time she'd ever been able to sleep soundly was when she laid next to Evie and Jay and Carlos, their warmth and security the only thing that had kept the nightmares and worries at bay, but now it seemed Ben could be added to the short list as she found herself waking a few hours past sunrise, her body still aching from having overused her magic…again.

Stupid shapeshifting…

She lifted her head to find Ben bent over his desk only to groan as the morning light hit her eyes and left her feeling as though she'd taken a booted foot to the head. Mal squeezed them shut, aware of Ben pushing back his chair and drawing the thick curtains closed.

He came over to the bed, pressing a gentle kiss to her lips "Is that better?"

She hummed against his mouth, eyes still shut, "Marginally."

His frown of concern was audible, "Do you want me to go get Fairy Godmother?"

Mal reached out, grasping blindly for only a second before he slipped his hand into hers and smiled as he squeezed lightly. "I'll be alright, Ben, really." She tugged him as much as her laden limbs allowed, "Just come back to bed."

Ben said nothing more as he let go of her hand to take off his shoes and climb in next to her, mindful not to jostle her body too much as he pulled back the sheets and settled back against the headboard.

She rested her head in his lap, "What were you working on?"

"It's Mom's birthday next month," his fingers combed through her hair, his voice soft like he knew anything above a whisper would hurt her, "Arendelle have the only copies of their history anywhere and I've been in contact with Queen Elsa to see if she is willing to part with one of them. So far, the process has proven…difficult."

"How so?"

He let out a long breath, "Since the Isle was constructed, my father has essentially forced her to limit how and when she used her powers…almost to the point of not using them at all. Relations between her kingdom and Auradon have been tedious since because, as you could imagine, she doesn't like being told what to do."

Mal had met the queen only once, but it had given her a very clear picture of who this woman was and she'd seen a bit of herself behind those icy blue eyes and fit the pieces together easily enough, "She wants you to reverse his decision."


"And are you going to?"

"If only it was that easy." he sighed, "I'd have to petition the Council and the Fairies, although I suspect the latter will agree with me. Most of those with magic didn't really like being forced to give it up in the first place, but the Council…they haven't forgotten the almost eternal winter."

Now she let out a long breath. She vaguely recalled the version of the story she'd heard on the Isle, grasping at the parts she could remember, the main one being that it had happened over twenty years ago and the queen had no doubt gained complete control over her abilities since then, but…they were still afraid of her. "Those royals certainly know how to hold a grudge."

His fingers continued to card through her hair, "That's one way to put it."

"What does your dad think?"

He tensed underneath her for only a moment, "I'm talking to him this afternoon."

She wet her lips, knowing how those conversations usually went, "Do you want me there?"

"No, just rest for today…but if you're feeling up to it, you could come to the Council meeting on Friday." he wrapped an arm around her, hand moving up and down her forearm, "I know how much you hate these things but…"

She squeezed his knee, "If you want me there, I'll be there."

He pressed a kiss to her hair, "I love you."

Mal pushed herself up, stopping just before their mouths touched and she almost smiled as his eyes flitted down for a split second. Her fingers began to loosen his tie, "How long until the meeting with your dad?"

He swallowed thickly, cheeks flushed, "Four hours."

Plenty of time.

Using his tie, she pulled him down into a searing kiss that chased away all her lingering aches and pains, sliding a leg across his lap and straddling his hips. Mal did smile as she pressed closer and his hands flexed on her waist, Ben slipping out of English entirely.

Maybe she'd take Belle up on those French lessons after all…