Once upon a time, a young girl inadvertently stumbled into fanfiction after searching to see if there were any more Trickster books by Tamora Pierce. What she found was a whole new world, a place where people took stories and remade them, over and over and over. It wasn't long before she was encouraged by her father to write her own.
The original first chapter to this fanfic was that story, and I was that little girl. It's been ten years. Ten years of growing as a writer, and growing physically as well. I was young when I first joined up here. Fanfiction has become a huge part of my life since then, the past ten years wouldn't have been the same without it.
And so I present to you a rewritten version of that first story, revised and finally completed. It has been uploaded in its entirely.
Thanks for ten amazing years everyone.
Disclaimer: The characters and setting belong to Tamora Pierce, not myself. I just play around with them.
The war was finally over and Lady Knight Keladry of Mindelan was finally back in Corus. Regular patrols had resumed border duty and most of Kel's friends had returned as well, to settle in the capital until Spring. Gods be willing, nothing would happen sooner to pull them away.
Although most of the war-hardened knights, exhausted as they were, wanted nothing more than to return to their homes and see the families they'd missed every day since the war began, they were all in the capital for what was promising to be the grandest event in the History Of Tortall: the wedding of Prince Roald to Princess Shinkonami.
The excitement in the air was palatable as the date neared. Put off because of the war, preparations were finally coming to a close. Yet somehow, rather than being allowed to relax and finish scrubbing the mud that seemed a part of her skin off, Kel was pulled by both parties into a flurry of last minute consulttions. She was barely off Peachblossom's back before dresses were tossed at her and cake shoved into her mouth.
Today it seemed it was flowers. Kel looked at the tables, each groaning under the weight of dozens of bouquets. Princess Shinkonami was flittering between them, one hand full of snow-white roses, the other full of petunias. Where she had found either this time of year was beyond Kel.
"Kel! Roses or Petunias?!" The princess nearly shouted, shoving handfuls of both into Keladry's face.
"Roses?" The knight answered, pulling back and sneezing.
"So that makes six 'roses' and five 'petunias,'" the princess mumbled, continuing to shift back and forth.
"Shinko, it's your wedding. Pick which one you like best," Kel told the smaller woman calmly.
The words seemed to do the trick as the princess settled down, setting the flowers back down on a table. Within moments she was back to the calm and collected young woman that Kel had known. Wedding planning seemed to really be getting to her.
"So, who is going to be your escort?" Shinko asked. Kel groaned. She'd been avoiding this.
"No one," She replied, then evaded, "I don't know who is available."
"Keladry of Mindelan, I told you weeks ago to get a date!"
The Lady Knight protested, "I've only been back six days!"
"Well, then I told you days ago to get one! You have to have an escort!"
"Can I not go on my own?"
"No!" The Yamani refused vehemently, "You will come to my wedding, with an escort, even if I have to ask one for you!" She held her fingers up with barely room for a hair between them, I'm this close to doing the same for Yukimi!"
"You wouldn't," Kel's mouth dropped open.
"I would," the princess countered.
"I'll get one myself," the Lady Knight grumbled, dismissing herself with a bow and stomping back out.
"I believe Sir Nealan and his cousin are free!" Shinko called after her.
Kel gave no response before the door swung shut.
On the other side of the palace, a similar conversation was occurring.
"Domitan! I gave the order two weeks ago for you to get a date! You know the king has threatened to make me attend social events for a year if even one of my officers does not attend with a date," Raoul exclaimed, exasperation evident. Dom knew that the man had expected such an eligible member of his men to have easily and quickly secured a date. His commander shivered, something Dom was sure could be attested to the thought of a year's worth of parties where he would be expected to dance and play nice with everyone. And knowing the King, they would be kept close to home, just to guarantee the torture.
"Sir, I don't even know if anyone is available. In fact, I'm sure even the milkmaids have escorts," Dom prevaricated.
"I know for a fact that our Kel is free. And otherwise I'm sure there are other girls out there who would love a date with you," Raoul replied, fixing the sergeant with a glare. "Even one of the Princess's women, a Lady Yukimi, is free if I heard right." Dom was sure he had. The man had a talent for gossip.
"Of course sir, right on it sir, I'll just get a date to appear out of thin air," Dom bowed, walking out.
Yes, of course he would ask the Lady Knight. It was just that simple.
After all, that had nothing to do with the reason he still had no date.