Act I, Scene I
Drama/Angst/Possible Romance (Olaf/Violet – have yet to decide)
Disclaimer: A Series of Unfortunate Events does not belong to me, and never will… hence why I'm contented to write out the more disturbing bits of my mind under the title of "fanfiction".
A/N: This had been an idea of mine since I first read The Bad Beginning, but back then I never really conspired to write it. Recently, one of my friends showed me the video and inadvertently resurrected the idea, only with slightly more depth and plot and so on. So, yes, this has been done before – but it's doubtful it's been done like this. Set to the movie's timeline as I'm far too lazy to find and then reread the book.
A/N (added the 17th): The original notion had been to make this the prologue and then skip ahead four months, but overbearing plot bunnies attacked me into submission--this will now be done in two sections (a.k.a. "acts"). Act I shall consist of the few days following the wedding, Act II will hence skip forward... Yell at the bunnies if you disagree.
"…Though I've tried to forget, you're all that I have
Take me home, I'm through fighting it…"
Violet Baudelaire watched on silently as the play commenced, taking in the pathetic acting and the makeshift props with a sort of detached comprehension. In less then ten minutes time, a hideous balding man would be dragging her down an isle covered with thin paper petals and she would be wed to a man who tended towards insanity. She was, to reuse old terms, very concerned.
Earlier, she'd been telling Klaus that there was always something, but now, as she sat reflecting on her odd and unfortunate predicament, she was realizing how wrong she might have been. For a change, Count Olaf had ceased to underestimate the siblings—apparently this time he was slightly more determined to succeed.
Sunny was dangling from the top of The Tower, shrieking unintelligible baby noises at the top of her tiny lungs, her life relying entirely on Violet's cooperation. Klaus was bound and gagged, guarded by whichever wretchedly imposing creature loyal to Olaf was off-stage at the time. And her? She sat in a wooden chair, attired in a complex but elegant white dress, holding a bouquet, wishing she could just die right there and not have to endure what was left of her life with this mentally unbalanced man.
Finally, one of Olaf's henchmen stepped backstage and pulled on a formal yellow jacket over his noticeably tattered sailor suit before turning to her. In a single swift, yet rough, movement, he had her on her feet and walking towards the stage exit. She closed her eyes tightly, allowing him to guide her to the back, behind the surprisingly large audience.
They stood there for several minutes until he finally poked her shoulder and said in a grizzly tone, "Open your eyes, girl. Here comes your debut."
She shook her head, far from willing to face this just yet. She heard him groan, and then felt his hand collide hard with the small of her back. She let out a stifled shriek, stumbling forwards under the pressure and at last opening her eyes only to see that the crowd's attention was strictly focused on the Count as he paraded about the stage declaring his undying love for this milk-maid whom he was about to marry.
Then the music started, and her desire for the ground to open up and swallow her only increased as every head turned to watch her and her captor's lackey ascend down the isle toward the stage. Thirty seconds later she was standing, trembling, beside Olaf, who seemed to be suppressing an emotionally confused smirk.
As Justice Strauss read from her law book, fully distracted from the pair before her, Olaf slipped his hand around Violet's and leaned just enough to whisper breathily in her ear, "Don't fret, darling. It'll be over soon."
She shuddered and instinctively stepped away, rubbing the back of her now free hand on the skirt of her dress as Justice Strauss asked if Olaf would take Violet as his lawfully wedded wife. He offered what appeared to be a rather realistic stage-smile, "I do."
Strauss nodded, turning to Violet and asking her the same question, only with the genders reversed. Violet swallowed hard, using all of her self-control to not turn and flee, "I… I do."
At which point, Justice Strauss took a flimsy beige paper from a befuddled stagehand and offered it to Olaf along with a pen. He grinned as he took it and signed it quickly before handing it to Violet. She accepted both hastily, trying to avoid contact with Olaf's cold skin, and lightly clasped the pen in her left hand as she knelt to sign the paper. Beside her, the older man sighed, "Right hand, please."
She glared at him, wishing him the most painful death fate could conjure, before finally complying. Her name seemed to form itself on the paper in slow motion, molecule by molecule, etch by etch. The pen was unsteady in her hand, an occurrence that had only happened once before, on a surprise quiz she'd blown off studying for in favor of creating another genius invention. But finally it was over and her name resided, lifeless and vacant, on the document before her – and then Olaf swept up the document, holding it above his head in a childish display of triumph.
Grinning broadly, his expression evil yet content, he finally turned to address the crowd, "Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to inform you that there is absolutely no reason to continue this show – it has, after all, served its purpose. You see, I am now husband to Violet Baudelaire and in control of her entire fortune and you are all witnesses!"
Silence fell upon the crowd before a lone voice cried out in disbelief, "You're kidding!"
"Am not," Olaf declared tauntingly as Mr. Poe stood and began to march angrily towards the stage.
"B-but, you can't… she can't," Mr. Poe stammered feebly.
On stage, Justice Strauss finally broke from her shock and burst into tears. "Oh," she wailed, "how could I?"
Violet frowned deeply, close to tears herself, yet approached the woman as though to comfort her. Meanwhile, Olaf continued grinning as he informed Poe, "Well, you let it happen. The Baudelaires tried to tell you – tried to tell everyone, actually. But no one listened. And now? Well, now I'm rich and the remaining brats will be sent off separately while I live the rest of my life happily with my countess."
At this point, he grabbed Violet and spun her into his arms, holding her against him as though to emphasize his point. Violet let out a disgusted groan and shoved him off, quickly returning to Strauss's side.
Mr. Poe gawked at him, apparently lost for applicable words. At this, Olaf's grin widened, something Violet had thought would not be possible, and he firmly grabbed her elbow before walking off-stage and bringing her with him.
Once back-stage, he motioned at his other minions and shoved her into a chair as he pulled out his walkie-talkie and gave the order for Sunny to be released. Just as he set the now useless object on the dressing table, one of his men appeared with a distraught looking Klaus at his heels.
Instantly, Klaus escaped from the man who currently was in charge of him and ran to Violet, sweeping his sister into what would have been a bone-crushing hug had his muscles not been too tired to inflict that sort of pressure. Instead he settled to simply hold his sister, crying into her shoulder as she did likewise into his. There was nothing either of them could say that would effectively express the sense of loss and defeat they felt – but tears seemed to portray what words could not.
Olaf watched on in vague antipathy, unsure of what otherwise to make of the spectacle before him. As Sunny's faint squeals could at last be heard in the distance, he stepped forwards and pulled the siblings a part, holding Klaus at arm's length and Violet by the waist and guiding them out to meet the hook-handed man and the car he should have brought with him.
Violet forlornly allowed it all to happen – sat herself obediently in the car between the despicable count and her brother, rested her head on Klaus's shoulder as she relished what she knew would most likely be among her last few moments with him, and tried to figure everything out.
When the Baudelaire parents were alive, she'd believed she had the world figured out for the most part. That no one could be completely evil nor good, and that there was always something. Now, as she sat entirely unknowing of what could or would come next, she disagreed with herself completely.
Never would there always be something, especially when her something had been paper thin to begin with.
A/N: I will confess that I got desperate half-way through and scoured my little brother's room in desperate pursuit of the book. It's a miracle I found it, the way that place is organized…
Anyways, this may continue to have an entire storyline to it. But, if not prompted by the appropriate amount of reviews, I'll leave this as a one-shot (hint, hint). So, please review. Flames are often ignored, if not used to burn old yearbooks.