Standard Disclaimer: These characters belong to the WB & AS-P.
Dedication: This is for jeepgirl259. Est-ce que vous êtes aussi une 1980 bébé? (Forgive me, my french sucks like an octopus' tentacles)
Spoilers/Timeline: No spoilers, set in Season 5, after "So... good talk". Not episode-centric, just set after they break and make up.
A/N: Do read and review. This was re-submitted after eighty9octane alerted me to the no-lyrics policy of this site. Personally, I think the warning goes out to all who just copy-and-paste an entire song with two lines of dialogue and a mise-en-scene explanation, like "they went dancing and this song went on", but well... Since this was a fic that was going to be based around the lyrics of the song, I don't see how I can continue in a coherent manner without violating copyright. I've always held that ten percent of the work can be used without permission (so ten percent per chapter was alright in my book), but I suppose it's better to be above-board in ambiguous cases. Apologies to all; this was going to be my first serious multi-partner. (Who said that copyright isn't killing creativity?)
Mermaids Cry Too
Chapter 1: This is how she came to be, Lorelei of the sea
There was a tale that was heard, about two years ago, by a pair of lovely young ladies. These ladies had gone on a journey - an almost-forfeited, long-awaited pilgrimage for one, and an adventure that was anticipated for 16 years for the other - over mountains and over streams, somewhere over the rainbow, over the sea. On a plane. With tickets. Which cost an arm and a leg, and perhaps, a kidney or two.
It was over the oceans they went, and a grand time they had of it too - with nothing but their clothes in their backpacks and a good pair of walking shoes. Arriving in Heathrow, London, and mucking about the British Museum, the Tate Modern, Big Ben, the Millennium Dome, then crossing the channel, taking pictures of the white cliffs of Dover, to the Champs Elyseés in Paris, "that peeing boy statue" in Belgium, the ostentatious shops in Milan, the adorable lace houses and glass-blowers in Venice, the ring road in Vienna (oh, the culture! Mozart! Goethe!), taking a day to travel all the way to Mondsee ("because it was where Maria and the Captain got married in The Sound of Music!")... they had the time of their lives. Both living out one of their many, many dreams, and both half-disbelieving that they were actually there, in Europe. Finally.
They saw many things, and did even more, but the one place which laid claim to their strongest memory belonged to a little town in Germany, called St. Goar. It was there that both stood still, in silence, for a whole five minutes, just taking it... her... in.
"Okay, I'm getting a real good neck workout just looking at it from all directions, but it still looks just like a rock to me."
"But a really pretty rock."
"Of course, honey, a real pretty one. She is, after all, us."
"Please, mom. Unless you're a thousand years old, we're her."
"Yeah, but we evolved. Just check out how old her name is spelled. With an "E-Y" or an "E-I". I like ours better."
"Yeah, I like ours better. Maybe if you squint a little...ooh, boat's here."
That was the first time I had heard the story behind my name. Rory had googled it back when there was a name etymology project back in Chilton, but she'd never received the report back (just the grade, which was an A, of course), and I had forgotten all about it. Until Rory picked out St Goar on a map, and insisted that we hop on a bus from Munich that would bring us there.
And then I had my name's story told to me for the very first time.
"... The story of the Lorelei is one of passion and drama. She was a beautiful maiden who lived a long time ago. Flowing hair, beautiful smile, with lips as red as cherries, a voice that sounded like an angel's and eyes that a man could get lost in... she was the prettiest child, who had grown up to be a most enchanting young woman. And of course, with any tale such as this, there has to be a young, handsome man too - he fell in love with her, and the young lovers vowed to be true to each other forever.
But of course, with any tale such as this, it was not to be, for in spite of all his virtues, this young man had a roving eye, and one night, returning home a day early after visiting her mother, Lorelei found her young man in the arms of another woman. Hurt beyond pain, she ran out of the house trying to erase the image of her lover's betrayal which seemed scorched in her mind forever. Perhaps she slipped, perhaps she jumped - whatever the case, she fell into the Rhine River, and her body was never recovered.
Some time after her death, there was a tragic shipwreck along the banks of the Rhine. The sole surviving sailor told the tale of a mysterious, mournful song being sung by a beautiful voice, which made his heart yearn for home. He had closed his eyes and lifted his arms, lost in the melody, and was suddenly thrown free of the ship into the icy water.
"It was a siren song," he said wistfully. "Beautifyful and trechyrous, that's what it was. A siren song." Since then, many more have heard the song of the Lorelei, and many more ships have gone down at this bend in the Rhine. And the legend of the Lorelei was born."
We sat on the boat, enthralled by the guide's expressive narration of this (obviously hopelessly - but tastefully -embellished) story. Needless to say, we left a good tip for him. "Danke schön, mädchen," he said, as he tipped us a smile and a wink. I grabbed Rory's hand as we stepped off the boat.
"I never knew we were such excitingly-named people! Spurned by an unfaithful lover, suicide by drowning, turning into a siren and luring drunk sailors to their deaths... who knew?"
Rory rolled her eyes. "Mom, if you had listened when I was doing that project..."
I turned her head, and watched as the Rhine churned and spat around the anchored boat. "Well, if you recall, I was having exams at that time, Miss Know-It-All. Getting that degree was hard work!"
Rory gave me a hug. "I'm proud of you, mom. You really did it. And now you're here!"
I smile. A soft smile which remembers her as a little bundle of pink cloth. "Yes, I'm here. WE'RE here. Together." I turn to look upwards. "Staring at a rock with a statue on it."
"Hey, it has a great story to go with it, and have some respect for... us?" Bursting out into giggles, we walked towards our charming little inn.
-----I'm sort of half-describing my graduation trip through mainstream Europe in this fic, so I've actually been to St. Goar and seen the Lorelei statue for myself. It's really just a rock, but the enterprising townspeople have done up an interesting bronze (I think) statue of the Lorelei to set on the rock itself. There's a castle or two around too - Castle Rheinfels is one of the main ones. It's pretty cool. The town's a very picturesque one, with cuckoo clocks for sale everywhere. Oh, and Mondsee was really where the movie version of The Sound of Music's wedding was filmed.
As always, reviews appreciated.