A/N: So…okay, I know it's been forever, but I've decided to actually write the next chapter. Yay me. This chapter isn't as long as the last one, but I think it's better if the chapters are a little shorter so that I can update faster (once every one year instead of once every two years, ha ha). No, really, though, I'm hoping to update more quickly. Of course, I tend to say that a lot and it doesn't happen, but…I'll try.

Oh, and I know none of you who have read this story already remember anything that's happened because it's been so long, but that's alright. You can just read it again, ha ha ha! No, just kidding. Unless you want to…

Oh, and I know Swan Lake is a ballet or whatever, but in my world it's called the Swan Queen and it's a fairy tale, okay? And I switched it around a bit. But no complaining because this is an entirely different world, so I can do what I want, ha ha.

Anyway, here you go.


3

Walk Like An Animal


It is always the best policy to speak the truth--unless, of course, you are an exceptionally good liar.

Jerome K. Jerome (1859 - 1927)


I'm wet.

As in really, really wet. My hair, too. I was plopped (yes, very rudely plopped, I might add) in a lake, a lake, and I fell over in shock, thus wetting my hair, and everything else for that matter.

Ugh-ness to the max. Yes, the max. Higher than the max. Higher than -

Yeah, well, you get the point.

I suppose I should get out of this stupid, horrific, lake, shouldn't I?

As I trudge out, I realize that it's night. Well, of course it's night. It's past midnight. Very late. It doesn't matter, anyway, that it's night. No point in mentioning it, really.

I guess. Whatever.

Ooh, look, there's someone there. A girl. A younger girl, about 16, maybe 17. She has light blue hair kept in a ponytail, a small braid off to the side. She has really dark eyes, black, I think...no, no, purple. Huh. Well, that's strange. Last I knew violet eyes were really rare, and now Phoenix, I, and this strange girl have violet eyes.

Well, whatever. My eyes are still original! Different shades, you see.

Ugh, she's a fairy. Okay, okay, I will not be prejudiced against her because of this. I will not. I will not.

I won't, okay?

Maybe I should go meet her. Perhaps she knows what is going on here, and why my stupid event thingy isn't working.

"Um, hi," I greet her when I step out of the lake to where she stands.

"Hello," she says. "My name is Sora Mizuiro. I was sent here by Aurora when she learned that you no longer have the mental capability to determine when and what events are going to occur. I know a lot about fairy tales. I was also sent here to be your protector."

My protector? Why do I need anyone to protect me? Besides, I have my elf magic, don't I? Granted, it's not as good as fairy magic, but still. I'm perfectly capable of protecting myself.

Humph.

And my event thingy isn't working anymore? How depressing. And it was so useful, too.

Probably all your fault, really. Again. Octae, it's always your fault, isn't it? I suppose I shan't talk to you ever again.

Okay, I will. But only because I'm bored. And Sora is looking at me expectantly, waiting for me to respond.

Well, then, I shall. Respond, that is. Of course.

"Why do I need a protector?" I ask. I'm not, however, done there. Whatever, alright, I have a lot of questions. You're lucky, really, that I'm narrowing down my questions so much. So...ha. "And how do you know a lot about fairy tales? And why doesn't my event thingy work anymore? How did Aurora know about the event thingy working? Who are you? I mean, I know who you are, but I don't know, you know, where you came from and all that. Why did Aurora choose you? How does Aurora know you? How come she's never told me about you before?"

Alright, then, maybe I didn't narrow down the questions as much as I should have. Whatever.

Sora shakes her head in exasperation. "I can only answer one question at a time, Whisper Silver."

"You can just call me Whisper," I tell her. "Erm, you can begin with the first question. Why I need a protector."

Sora nods and seems to be thinking of the right thing to say. Why doesn't she just say it out right? That's what I would have done.

Okay, maybe her way's smarter.

"There are more...dangers...in this fairy tale than the other," she finally says. "Not the events, per se, but certain people who happen to be after you. I am very good with blades, particularly the Katana, and I have mastered basic elemental spells. I would be of great use to you as your protector. Aurora knows this, so she sent me after you."

Hmm...um, okay. Well, that's nice. Someone's after me. Probably someone big and scary and evil. Because, you know, that's how I roll.

I clench my jaw, struggling against strangling Sora just because she's the closest being and I'd really like to strangle someone.

Why would someone be after me anyway? I'm nobody! Really, I am, trust me. I mean, sure, I'm wonderful and amazing and all, that's a given, but why would someone want to kill me? I haven't done anything! Octae! People are so mean! And now I'm going to die!

I should probably calm down. I really don't want to have a panic attack in front of a bloody fairy. I am way cooler than that. Seriously.

Whatever. Who's after me? Ooh, a new question. Octae, this could become a really long list of questions.

"And before you ask," Sora says, "I don't know who's after you. I was never informed. I doubt even Aurora knows."

Is she telling the truth? I mean, it seems pretty strange that Aurora knows someone's after me, and yet doesn't know who it is. And if she does, but didn't tell Sora, why didn't she, if Sora is to protect me? Perhaps Sora is lying, for what she thinks 'my sake.' Perhaps nobody is telling me the truth. Perhaps I'm just a pawn and all that.

I look into Sora's dark purple eyes. No...no, she's telling the truth. She has to be.

I nod. "So, um, how do you know so much about fairy tales?"

Sora shrugs in answer. "I don't know. I suppose I'm just interested in them."

"But...don't fairies hate fairy tales, just as elves do?" I ask.

Nothing makes sense.

Sora smiles, a small, almost secretive one. Definitely secretive. "I'm different than most fairies you see."

When I catch her eyes, I am once more compelled to believe her, unconditionally. There's just something about her that makes me want to trust her, completely, no questions asked. Maybe it's foolish, and it probably is, but I can't help it.

Go away and stop judging me. Just because I suddenly trust a stranger, when I normally barely trust anyone, doesn't mean anything's amiss. You are so untrusting. Jeez, get a heart.

"So - " I begin, but Sora interrupts me.

"I'm tired, and do not wish to answer anymore questions that I don't know the answer to," Sora says. "I'll put in your head with my magic what you must say to the Prince when he comes, but you must seek me out after to learn what to do next. I live alone, on the boundaries of the town in this forest. It's a small cottage, hard to see. Ask someone in the village about it if you can't find it - they'll know."

"Wait!" I call after her. "You can't just leave like that! You need to answer my questions! You need to..."

I trail off, realizing that it's useless; she's already gone.

Well, bummer.

I stand here for a minute, not knowing what to do. Well, not exactly a minute. More like a minute and a half. Or a minute and three quarters. Or...

Right, then, I'll shut up now. Besides, somebody's coming. Mwa ha.

"Your majesty," the young woman who approaches me says, curtsying deeply.

Ooh, I'm a Queen? How awesome. I wonder what fairy tale this is.

"I am sorry to interrupt your ponderings, but there is a young man we have captured," she tells me. "He tells us that he wishes to speak with our leader."

My 'ponderings?' He he. I ponder!

I know, I know, it only means think. Whatever. I still think the word is funny. You really shouldn't make fun of people who aren't used to bigger words. And people apologizing for interrupting their thinking.

"Of course," I say. "Lead the way to him."

The woman nods. I like her hair. It's pure white, and yet she's obviously young, probably around 20. And her eyes are a really pale purple. Like, almost white.

Octae, what is up with all these purple eyes?

So, yeah, maybe it's making me feel like my purple eyes aren't so special anymore. But, please, I've had these eyes that everyone told me were so great my whole life, and now everyone seems to have the same eyes.

Alright, not the same. They're different shades of purple. But still...

Oh, I know! I have the best, most enchanting shade of purple! Mine are all bright and electric, and that lady's eyes are pale, and Sora's are dark, and Phoenix's are...soft, I guess. Hard to explain his eyes. Hm. Not that they're soft in a good way or anything, just kind of mixture between being a darker purple and pale at the same time. That's what I meant by soft. Not kind...or warm...

I'll just go now and, um...follow the...um, woman... Right.

I start moving but pause, looking down at my clothes. I'm wearing a dress. Why am I wearing a dress? It's not like I'm a tomboy or anything, but really, how inconvenient can dresses get? And here I am wearing one, it being fit for a ball.

It's really rather pretty, though. Gorgeous, you could say. I could definitely say. It's pure white, simple, but entirely elegant and...ethereal. Yes, that's the perfect word for the dress. Ethereal. It's almost silk, but not quite. A cross between silk and velvet, I guess. It's a very thin material. Thinner than silk. Wow. And yet it's so...strong, you know? The top of it has little designs sewn in with an off-white color. They're...swans. Cool. And the bottom has pearls sewn on the hem, and a big swan sewn across the length of the skirt. The sleeves go down to my wrist, tight at the shoulders and gradually getting looser until they droop at the wrist, almost to my feet.

This is the best dress I have ever worn. Somehow it doesn't really seem inconvenient now. I feel as if I could run and jump and kick someone's ass in it. He he. Maybe I should kick Phoenix's ass. That would definitely be fun. And satisfying. Yes, very satisfying.

I see that the woman has paused, obviously waiting for me to follow. I do so. Because, well, you know, I have to see this guy that they captured. Ha, I bet you it's Phoenix. What a loser.

"Wait!" a lady exclaims from ahead of us, holding up both hands. Ooh...it's my mother. He he. "You cannot see the man like this. You know that. Wait until morning, Your Majesty. Then you shall meet with him."

Hmm...why, though? It doesn't make any sense. But before I can voice my thoughts, the words Sora had put in my head slipped off my tongue.

"Of course, Lady Jade," I tell her. Um, not of course. I don't want to wait until morning. I want this stupid fairy tale to be over with.

If I have to wait for days like the last fairy tale, I swear to Octavia and Sidaeli above, I will kill myself. Yes, kill myself. Then maybe, you know, I wouldn't have to do this whole stupid fairy tale thing. Unless Octavia makes me, because she is the Goddess of Love in addition to the Goddess of Fairies. See, I have two reasons to hate her.

Ha. Ha ha ha.

Whatever. I'm going to sleep. I'm tired.


It's not my birthday. And I'm not 21.

Not that anyone seems to care that my birthday is in December (it's currently 400 degrees out - well, no, but it feels like it. Sidae, has anyone in this castle ever heard of opening windows?) and I'm only 20. Nope. All for the sake of the fairy tale, right?

This fairy tale, I must say, is worse than Cinderella. In Cinderella I didn't have much of a part to play. I just sat there looking my best (which is very good, you must agree) and let Whisper do all the work. Now I actually have to do something. I happen to be just as an important character in this as Whisp is.

My name is Siegfreid. Siegfreid. How much fun will Whisp have making fun of me for that? I can't believe they had to change my name. They didn't call me Prince Charming in Cinderella (thank Octavia). Why call me Prince Siegfreid now?

I asked Sora, and, according to her, the first fairy tale is more of a practice fairy tale, of sorts. Meaning the events are put in your head and I don't get my name changed. But Whisper did (probably because the fairy tale's named after her and all).

I had fun laughing at her over that.

"Siegfreid," Whisper's brother says from beside me. "Your mother's coming."

In this fairy tale, apparently, Nirvana is my friend. He was only the Herald in the last one. Nirvana has been my best friend since we were kids, so I've always like him. Better than Whisper.

Sidae, she's annoying. And vain. And I hate how she acts like she's so much better than everyone else. And...

Well, you've seen her. You were just with her a second ago. Left her for me, have you? I know, she's horribly boring, isn't she? Although she can be amusing sometimes, when she doesn't mean to be.

Meaning I think her stupidity is amusing, not her. Or, yes, her, but…

You're confusing me. I'm trying to greet my mother. Do you mind?

"Siegfreid, dear," my mother greets me.

Sidae, she's freaking me out. When's the last time she called me dear? My mother would never call me dear. I like that. Please get this insane woman away from me. Now.

"Siegfreid, honey, what's wrong?" my mother asks, concern showing plainly in her eyes. There she goes again. Honey.

Oh, don't get me wrong. My mother's great. It's just we aren't...touchy-feely.

Ugh. Shudder.

My mother is like my friend. You know, a guy friend. She's just one of the guys. She's not...all...dear and honey.

Imagine your best friend, your guy friend, and you're a guy too, and then he starts calling you 'dear' and honey.' Yes, I know. Not pleasant.

Now, how to get away from her without her noticing...

"Sieggy, honey," my mother says.

Please do not tell me she just called me Sieggy. I can deal with honey and dear and all that. Maybe. With time. But, Sidae, Sieggy?

"You've heard the news," my mother states, sighing. Well, no, I haven't, but do go on. "Oh, and I had so wanted to tell you myself. Your father's illness is very distressing, I know. However, there may be a way to make him better."

My father is ill? If this idiotic fairy tale kills my father, I'll…

Well, I don't know what I'll do. But something. Something.

"Is there something I can do, mother?" I ask.

Sora put those words in my head. I wouldn't say them regularly. I want my father to live, of course, I'm just not very…helpful. I would say something along the lines of, "What the hell do the Healers do all day? How did they let my father get sick? Why in Sidae's name did you hire murderers? Are you going to hire more? You know what, don't, because everybody's too lazy to do anything anyway." And so on, and so forth, until someone forces me to shut up.

So, yeah, maybe I just need a scapegoat.

No, I'm not an asshole. Don't believe anything Whisp tells you. She'll always be wrong. Trust me. I'm always right, she's always wrong. It's just the way life works, okay? Nothing you say will change it.

Sidae, you've been around her too much.

"Oh, Sieggy," my mother gushes, her eyes filling with tears. This is getting too disturbing. My mother, crying? No. She just doesn't do that. "You're such a hero. Of course you can do something! In fact, I know just how you can save him."

Oh, how convenient. You just happen to know just the way to heal him. Wow.

"Oh, mother, that's wonderful," I say, truing hard not to cringe at the rather - er - embarrassing words. "Whatever could it be?"

Please shoot me. Now.

"It's rather simple, dear," she tells me. I'm sure. "All you have to do is go into the forest and find the Swan Queen. She will know what to do."

At this point, I am sure you must know, I have to resist the urge to laugh. Whisper is a swan. A swan.

I will have so much fun laughing at her about this later. I just wish I could be there when she finds out she's stuck in the Swan Queen fairy tale. Assuming she's even heard of the Swan Queen. I suppose she hasn't. Not many fairies and elves know as many fairy tales as I do, with the, you know…

No, you don't know, do you? Ha. Well, we'll just have to keep it that way, won't we? I refuse to talk about my knowledge of fairy tales or how I got that knowledge. Not even Sora knows, although I suspect her knowledge of fairy tales is for a similar reason that mine is.

But I'm not talking about this with you.

"I shall set off immediately, mother," I tell her.

I feel completely stupid, talking like this, as I must have mentioned before (a few times, maybe). Thank Octavia Whisper isn't here to laugh at me. That is, of course, presuming swans can actually laugh.

I think my mother can see my lips twitching. She's looking at me strangely. Sidae, I'm starting to know how it feels to be Whisper, with everyone looking at you weirdly.

Not that I'm anything like Whisper. She's insane and annoying and judgmental and vain and I'm…not.

I'm not, okay?

"Oh, Sieggy, dear, do be careful. I cannot imagine what I would do if you never came home. Oh, but if only your father was healthy enough to protect you."

That would defeat the whole purpose of me going in the first place, mother, thus he wouldn't have to go with me after all. And if you're so worried about me, why don't you come with me yourself?

Oh, yes, this is my new mother. I keep forgetting. My old mother would have come with me without a thought, maybe even gone herself, but this one, she's so…

Flaky. Yes. That's a good word. Flaky.

"Of course, mother. I wish the same. Oh, if only."

If I hear one more "Oh," I will punch something. Or somebody. Whisper would be fine for me.

Ha.

"Goodbye, dearest." My mother is definitely about to cry.

Perfect time to take my leave, right?


I'm a swan. A bloody fairy-loving swan.

I cannot believe this. Please tell me this is not happening.

This isn't happing, right?

Oh, Octae. Imagine what Phoenix will say. I cannot see him like this. Do they really expect me to see him like this? Why in Octae's name would I ever want to see him like this?

A swan swims through the lake toward me.

Your Majesty, the swan says…into my head.

Holy Octavia! She can speak into my head.

Ohh. Freaky. Can I do it, too?

Yes? I say, a result of the magic goodness that was Sora (as in she put words into my head).

Hmm…she also seemed to have left information that it's not called saying - it's called put-outing. He he. That's hilarious.

Yes, I know. Immature. But, please, who wouldn't think of that? Jeez.

It is time to see the intruder, she informs me.

Ohhhh no. I cannot see him. Oh Octae no. No way, no how, no -

Thank you, Lady Jade, I say.

Bloody Octavia fairy asshole. Sora again.

Oh, cruddy fairies. Now I'm moving toward her. No, stop, Whisper, stop! For the love of your sanity and pride, stop!

I don't, of course.

I will kill Sora when I see her again.


Oh Sidae, this is even funnier than I imagined. She has this weird expression on her face that makes her look rather constipated. Ha, I've seen that expression on her face before, except now she has a swan face.

This is too good.

Would you please shut up? she growls.

Wait. Did she just…?

"You can read my thoughts?" I ask, incredulous. "And I can read yours?"

She roles her swan eyes. Well, how else are we supposed to talk?

I narrow my eyes. I do not want her reading my thoughts. I don't want anyone reading my thoughts, least of all her.

Then guard your thoughts, she snaps at me.

Oh, wow, why didn't I think of that? Because, you know, I've had my worst enemy turn into a swan and invade my thoughts before, and all.

I'm not invading your thoughts, she growls at me. Actually, for your information, I'm not technically listening to your thoughts. It's just that you're not used to hearing people speak mind-to-mind with you, so you don't know how to separate your thoughts and your put-outs.

I let out a laugh. Put-outs? Sidae, I cannot believe she just called it that.

Whisp looks at me again with that constipated look. This is beyond hilarious.

You try doing Octae-damned expressions on a damn swan, she snaps at me angrily.

And stop saying Sidaeli's name in vain, she adds.

Because that isn't slightly hypocritical, I think back to her.

Oh, sorry, put-out.

Well, that's the word Sora put in my head to call it, Whisper informs me. It's not like I have a choice.

Oh, come on, I say…er…put-out, there has to be a better word for it.

Please. I do not think I can take saying/thinking that all the time without cracking up.

You're disgusting, you know that? she puts-out, erm put-outs…

Is it puts-out or put-outs? I ask her curiously.

She rolls her eyes. I don't know. There's a hyphen, so I think it would be put-outs, because put-out is one word.

I nod. Hmm…

Anyway, she put-outs. He he. Now tell me what the hell you came here for.

I look at her, surprised.

Don't you know? I ask.

She gives me the constipated look again, which I think is supposed to be a glare.

Would you please learn to guard your damn thoughts! she screams at me.

Ow. She's giving me a bloody headache.

How, exactly, am I supposed to do that?

She rolls her eyes again. She seems to like to do that, though I personally think it looks rather freakish on a swan.

I just told you, she put-outs. You have to discern which is your thoughts and which is your put-outs in your brain. Just like you have to put your food and your drinks down the right tubes. You just do it automatically.

Easy for you to say, I put-out to her. Sora bloody put it in your head. I, unfortunately, was not given the same luxury.

I don't know how else to explain it, she says. You try to explain how you decide where your food goes and where your air goes.

It's easy, I put-out. You just put your food down the food tube and your air down the air tube.

Octae, you're frustrating! she explodes.

Ha. I wish she would literally explode.

Wrong bloody tube!


I could kill him, I really could.

If, you know, he wasn't my ticket out of this damn fairy tale whirlwind.

Okay, I put-out, barely able to suppress my outburst. I can already feel my hand…erm…wing twitching. Soon I'm going to break out into all-out spasms. Tell me what you're doing here.

He rolls his eyes at me. Asshole.

Don't you already know? he asks.

I glare at him again before stopping, remembering how he told me it made me look like I was constipated.

Again: asshole.

No, I don't already know, I put-out. I don't even know what the bloody hell this fairy tale is.

I forgot how ignorant you are, he grumbles.

I try to glare at him without narrowing my eyes. That always seems to be my undoing. The narrowing of the eyes. Especially in swan-form.

Oh, yes, because I just love fairy tales and study them all the time, I put-out sarcastically. Which, of course, begs the question why you have such an extensive knowledge of said fairy tales.

Phoenix dismisses my very valid question with the wave of a most annoying hand.

It doesn't matter, Phoenix put-outs. I just know. It's nothing special.

I narrow my eyes in suspicion, but mostly because, as a general rule, I don't trust Phoenix.

Keep your stupid secrets, then, I put-out. It's not like I care anyway. Just say what you will so that the fairy tale can continue.

Phoenix nods, rolls his eyes, and says out loud, in a monotone, bored voice, "Great Swan Queen, I beg of you, help me. I plead my case to you on this night - tell me of the Great Cure for my father's illness."

What a stupid line, Phoenix put-outs silently.

Obviously, he was made to say that (rather stupid, as he mentioned) line.

I wish to help you, dear sir, I put-out. I'm beginning to think that my line will be much worse. However, there are certain requirements that must be upheld before I tell you of the Great Cure. The tasks are this, as such: you must allow me to let me live with you, eat from your plate, drink from your goblet, sleep upon your bed, and you must declare eternal love for me.

Sleep in my bed? he put-outs in shock and disgust.

The whole love thing, I suppose, is a bit unnerving, but it's just a declaration - not the truth. But sleeping in his bed, that is difficult.

I glare at him - my nice, pretty, new glare, of course, the one where I don't narrow my eyes but still manage to look threatening.

Mwa ha ha. I am so evil.

I don't like it any more than you do, I snap.

I don't. I have to share a bed with him. You think I really want to do that?

Octae, I have to share a bed with him. I have to share a bed with him. I have to share a bed with him. I have to share a BED with him. I have to SHARE A -

Now look who's not 'guarding their thoughts,' Phoenix mocks me - rather badly, if I do say so myself, in a much too high-pitched voice.

I do not sound like that, thanks.

I don't.

Would you just say your next bloody line? I growl at him.

He he. I'm a swan and I'm growling. I rock.

I growl again, just for the heck of it. Damn, I have turned swans everywhere into growling machines!

Phoenix is looking at me strangely.

I glare at him.

What?

You were growling, he put-outs, still looking at me strangely. And you weren't guarding your thoughts.

I am not embarrassed. I would never be embarrassed because of a mere mortal like that jerk-aholic.

No, nope, I so would not. I am not. I never will be.

Growling machine? A smirk lilts at the side of his mouth.

If I wasn't a swan I would definitely punch him, so he couldn't smirk anymore. That smirk is bad for people. That smirk is bloody annoying.

Yes, very annoying. Maybe I can peck it off.

Yes, a growling bloody machine, I snap. Say the line.

He rolls his eyes, but says, "Of course, your Majesty. I shall do anything you ask if my father is well once more. What time, pray tell, shall we start?"

Tomorrow, good sir, I put-out.

Good sir. Uh huh.

We say our goodbyes (our forced ones, of course - I would fully never willingly say goodbye to him) and he heads off.

Finally.

Octae.


I don't want to do this. Who would? This is Phoenix. Ugh.

Here he comes. Sidaeli save me.

"Your majesty," Phoenix - excuse me - Siegfreid - says, bowing. "I come to you to beg for your help, and to complete the tasks beforehand."

I nod regally, as required. Yes, good sir. Come, let us break our fast on this fine day.

We sit. We eat. We refuse to speak.

Oh, I can just tell this is going to be absolutely loads of bubbly fun.

After breakfast, I open my mouth. I pause, wrinkle my brow, look at Phoenix. He does the same.

Er... Crap. What do we do next, exactly?

He shrugs. "I dunno."

Great bundle of help he is. Asshole.

I groan. We have to see Sora now. Octae damn it all.

Phoenix looks up, as if surprised at my vehemence. And why would that be, dear friend?

"I like Sora," he rebukes.

Oh, nice. Of course he likes Sora. Of course he likes the - the fairy who isn't even any help at all in my most desperate time of need.

Okay, so she had been alright. Only alright. At least she hadn't lied to me. That's always nice, right?

Yeah, well, good for you, I mutter. Let's all jump up and shout for the wonderful crap that is the amiableness between my two favorite people.

But I'm your number one, right, Whisp? he asks, leaning forward nervously.

Yes, nervously. I am so sure Siegfreid.

Please refrain calling me Whisp, I put-out. Actually, it would be great if you would refrain from calling me anything, thanks. Silence would be great right now. I have a killer headache. There's this weird little buzzing sound that just won't go away.

"I recommend lots of sleep - eternal sleep would be best," he tells me, returning to speaking out loud. Then he grins. "Actually, you probably will have to have an apparently eternal sleep at some point."

I looked at him suspiciously. What is he talking about?

"You've never heard of Sleeping Beauty?" he asks, looking amused.

My stomach plummets as much as it can without actually moving. You mean that's actually a fairy tale?

His grin stretches even wider. "Quite."

Oh, Octae. Imagine the things Phoenix could do while I sleep.

Ew. No, not those kind of things. The ruining-the-asshole-fairy-tale kind of thing. Really, you're quite the pervert, aren't you? And you're annoying.

You have nothing going for you, do you? Poor you. Really.

But poor me even more.

I knock my beak loudly against Sora's door. She better answer quickly. I don't like waiting. I don't like it at all.

Plus I really have to pee.

The door opens (finally). Sora appears, nodding at the two of us.

"Come in."

Well, if you insist.

Can I pee?

Right, I'm not really one for tact and all that.

Sora just rolls her eyes, though, and says, "Just go straight through the house and you'll get to the back door. You can go out in the back yard."

Uh…

Excuse me? I snap. I am not going in the back yard. I am not an animal. I am a -

I stop and clench my beak together in a frustrated manner.

Phoenix laughs. "You are an animal, Whisp. You can't expect to go to the toilet like normal humans."

I honk at him loudly. I'm trying to be menacing, but I doubt it's working, because Phoenix the Ass is only laughing more.

I will peck your eyes out!

Phoenix continues laughing, but manages to choke out, "If you can reach them!"

I honk at him loudly once more before stalking ahead. I do not care that this isn't my house and I don't know where I'm going. I am making a dramatic bloody exit, so there!

It would have been more dramatic if I wasn't a swan, however…


I won't give details on how it went. It'd really be best if it was kept between me and…well, no one.

Sora and Phoenix are waiting for me when I come back in to the house. Psh, lucky for them, because I would have pecked them to death if they had left me alone. Trust me, I could do it. My beak is sharp. I know. There was an unfortunate incident while walking back into the house that involved me pecking myself. It was not pleasant.

"Come on," Sora says when she sees me. "I'll explain about this fairy tale in the living room."

Phoenix and I follow Sora until we reach her living room, which is warm and comfy. Phoenix and Sora take the two squishy armchairs in front of the fire. I'm stuck with the bloody floor. Jerkfaces. Who cares if I'm a swan and probably am more suited for the floor? I want a squishy chair!

Octae.

"Alright," Sora says. "I can't put the exact words in your head anymore. You don't need them, anyway. You got them at first because you're still being eased into the Fairy Tale Curse, but that's all I can do. Now I'll tell you everything that needs to be done, and you have to remember. If you think you have done everything, come to me first, and if you have, I'll tell you and you can kiss. If you have trouble remembering what comes next, come to me and ask, because if you skip something or screw it up you can't go back to that specific moment; you'll have to kiss and do the fairy tale all over again. Understand?"

Phoenix and I both nod. Ha ha, I feel like I'm this important businesswoman and I'm in a board meeting, being drilled by the important boss lady. Except, you know, I'm a swan and all. But whatever.

"This fairy tale is called the Swan Queen," Sora says. "That's you, obviously, Whisper. The premise is that there was once a Queen and her ladies-in-waiting, and they were all cursed to be swans by day and women by night by Von Rothbart, an evil sorcerer who the Swan Queen spurned. The Queen and her ladies-in-waiting live in seclusion, but the Swan Queen is rumored to have great knowledge. This is why, when Prince Siegfreid's father falls ill, he goes to the Swan Queen for the Cure. The Swan Queen, however, asks for something in return. She wishes that he let her live with him, eat from his plate, drink from his goblet, sleep in his bed and, when the time comes, swear eternal love to her. She wishes this because, although he does not know, if someone declares eternal love for her, the curse will be broken. She believes that if the two share everything together, he will eventually come to love her. However, she's always taking a big risk, because if she comes to love him and he declares eternal love for someone else, she will become a swan forever, losing even the ability to become human at night.

"So, they live together, the Swan Queen eating from the Prince's plate, drinking from the Prince's goblet, and sleeping in the Prince's bed. At night, however, she does not allow him to light any candles, for if he must fall in love with her only as a swan, not as her beautiful human form for the curse to be broken."

Ha ha, I have a beautiful human form!

Phoenix snorts. "Well, that part obviously requires suspension of disbelief."

I honk indignantly. Excuse me, jerk, but I happen to have a very beautiful human form!

"Either that or a very delusional human head," Phoenix says, smirking.

"Okay, shut up," Sora says. "After a few weeks - "

Oh, come on! I protest. Weeks?

Octae, are they trying to get me to kill Phoenix? Because I'll do it. Gladly.

"Yes, weeks," Sora says. "You have to have time to fall in love. And no more interruptions! So, after a few weeks, the Prince invites the Swan Queen to a ball, where the Prince is supposed to select his bride. It's during the night, however, so the Swan Queen tells him that she can't make it. The Prince wishes to declare eternal love for the Swan Queen at the ball, however, in front of everyone, so he tells her to just stand outside a window, hidden, until he makes his declaration, and then the curse would be broken and she would be able to come in and be together.

"Von Rothbarn, however, learns of this arrangement and sends one of her minions to detain the Swan Queen while he goes to the ball with his daughter, Odile, who he cast a spell on to appear as the Swan Queen. When Odile arrives, she tells the Prince that she has decided that since he is already in love with her, it is alright if he now sees her. The Prince, believing her, declares his eternal love for her. The Swan Queen, meanwhile, has gotten away from Von Rothbarn's minion, and comes just in time to see the Prince declare his eternal love for Odile. The Prince catches sight of the Swan Queen just as she runs away. Von Rothbarn then reveals that the woman the prince had just declared his eternal love for was actually his daughter, Odile. The prince chases after the Swan Queen and finds her next to the Lake, being consoled by her Ladies-in-Waiting. The Prince goes to the Swan Queen and explains what has happened, and she grants him her forgiveness and gives him the cure for his father. She explains to him, however, that he has already declared his eternal love for another, and so the curse will be there forever.

"Von Rothbart and Odile then arrive, and Von Rothbart tells the prince that he must marry Odile. The prince says that he would rather die than marry Odile, and then he looks at the Swan Queen and reach an understanding. The two grab each others hands and jump into the lake, drowning themselves. Thus, the curse is broken and all of the Ladies-in-Waiting are turned back into humans for good. The girls then drive Von Rothbart and Odile into the lake where they, too, drown. The Prince and the Swan Queen then rise as spirits above the Swan Lake and watch over the Ladies-in-Waiting and their descendents as they go to the Swan Queen's Kingdom and bring it back to peace after Von Rothbart's horrible reign."

Are you kidding me?

I die? I burst out. Seriously? Why?

"Because that's how the fairy tale goes, Whisper," Sora says. "And you won't truly die. The two of you will only be in spirit form until you rise above the lake and kiss."

That's still a sucky ending, I complain. And none of it makes sense. Why -

"Phoenix will answer your questions when the time comes," Sora interrupts impatiently. "I have no time for this now."

I stop speaking and sulk. Phoenix gives me a superior smile, as if he's better than me or something. Which he's not. Obviously. Ugh.

"Come on, Whisp, let's go," Phoenix says to me, standing up. "I know everything, don't worry about it."

His voice is not comforting. His voice is smug. I hate smugness. I hate him.

...And I have to spend weeks with him. Living with him.

Oh, well, goody. This should be fun.

Heh, or not.

A/N: Well…there you go. I'm splitting this fairy tale into two chapters because otherwise it would be ridiculously long. Oh, and in this chapter begins the underlying plot of the story. The Fairy Tale Curse is the main occurrence of the story, of course, but what lies behind the Fairy Tale Curse is really what's most important. There's more than what there seems, ha ha ha.

Next chapter: Whisper and Phoenix live together for a few weeks, more bickering, and bit of FLUFF, then the ball, during which Whisper is detained by someone who doesn't seem to fit in with the fairy tale, in that she is not only trying to detain Whisper, she is trying to kill her. Who wants to kill Whisper, and why? And will Whisper get to the ball in time? Dun, dun, dun….

Okay, I'm not going to reply to all the reviews individually because I know that can annoy people, making them think the chapter is longer than it really is, and I also just don't have the time. So to answer some questions:

What kinds of properties do fairies and elves have? I mean, can Phoenix fly?

Yes, all fairies can fly. It is, however, considered rude to fly around other beings that cannot fly unless it is necessary. Not that Phoenix would normally mind being rude around Whisper, it's just that flying unnecessarily around beings (especially elves) who can't fly is VERY rude. Sort of like making a racist joke, you know? I suppose I should address this in the story, so thanks for reminding me to do that. And as for properties, both fairies and elves have magic, although fairies' magic is stronger. I'll adress this further in the story. Phoenix and Whisp haven't really had to use their magic yet, but in the next chapter they definitely will.

One suggestion is to maybe give more background in the next chapter about why Phoenix is her enemy, and why he is stuck in the fairytale also.

I'll definitely go more into why Phoenix is her enemy. I haven't addressed it yet because it's something that Phoenix doesn't really like to think about and Whisper sort of denies. Phoenix is stuck in the fairy tale also because he's Whisper's true love. Although you did raise a good point - how does the spell effect those who are in Whisper's life but doesn't know what's going on? Whisper will ask that question when she thinks about it.

But how many fairy tales are there?

The fairy tales continue until Whisper confesses her love to Phoenix and he confesses his love in return, and they both mean it.

So…THANK YOU, THANK YOU, everyone who reviewed! You are all wonderful, and each of your reviews made me feel guilty all over again, so every time I get a review I am inspired to write a little more. Hint, hint.