The Famous Brothers Grimm

No village in all of Deutschland could compare to the peaceful Marbaden, nestled on the edge of the ancient Thuringian forest. Everyone was cheerful, children played gaily in the streets, and there was a constant calm beneath the thrum of daily life.

However occasionally at night when the full moon would hang over the forest the villagers would draw their daughters closer, or at the cry of a raven a look of haunted fear would appear in the eyes of the elder village folk. These were the last remaining signs of the fact that until two years prior the villagers had lived in terror of a witch and the town had been cursed.

Of all the villagers, there was one family who understood the curse most. They had experienced the effects of the curse more than any others and for years longer. It had also been they who had vanquished this evil. They were two brothers by the name of Grimm.

Currently the brothers were sitting at a table in the home of the younger brother, Wilhelm. Several worn journals were spread out on the tabletop in front of them and they were talking determinedly as they turned through the pages.

"Should we include this one?" Jakob, the elder brother, asked, pointing at one passage.

"No," Wilhelm said and changed the page. "That one still needs work. What about this one? Let's include it instead."

"Alright, boys, put the books away," Jakob's wife, Angelika, said and began pushing aside the journals so she could put bowls on the table. "Lorita's nearly finished with the stew."

"I thought you were making it," Wilhelm said, looking up in surprise and alarm. "She's supposed to be being careful."

"You know how she is," Angelika said by way of answer and rolled her eyes. At that moment Lorita herself entered the room and glanced at them interestedly.

"How who is?" she asked with a wry smile, cocking an eyebrow daringly at her husband.

"You," Wilhelm said although he could tell she already knew. "You're supposed to be resting." As he said this he set a hand on his wife's bulging stomach tenderly. "Our little Will is going to be here soon."

"I am only making a bit of stew," Lorita said exasperatedly. However, after Wilhelm persisted, she took a seat at the table and allowed Angelika to finish the meal. Curiously she pulled one of the journals towards her and glanced at the title on the page. "Little Briar-Rose," she read.

"That's me!" Aurora, Jakob's daughter, came rushing across the room. The girl, now five-years-old, pressed herself to Lorita's side and looked at the page curiously. "I'm the princess that was put to sleep by the evil witch and then rescued by the prince."

"Yes you are," Lorita agreed and tugged on her braid. "I was there, remember?"

"Papa and Onkel Will put your story in there too," Aurora said. "The pretty faerie that came out of the tree."

"Did your uncle also include the fact that the faerie put him under a spell?" Lorita asked and smiled mischievously at Wilhelm. Aurora's eyes widened with curiosity and she shook her head. "Well when the faerie gave him her blood it transferred some of her faerie life into him. That's how come he looks so much younger than he is now, because she gave him several years of her youth."

"I know, now my older brother is my younger brother," Jakob said with mock annoyance.

"Don't be bitter," Wilhelm said and patted his brother's shoulder. "I was the older one for the last three decades, now it's your turn."

As the brothers began bickering again, Aurora turned her focus back to Lorita. "Was there more to the spell?"

"There was," Lorita agreed. "It also linked their souls so they can sense each other's thoughts. So when the faerie feels scared or happy or angry, Wilhelm can feel it too."

"Which explains why Wilhelm appears at our house before anyone else knows Lorita is getting angry," Jakob added in and received a slap from Wilhelm for it.

"Thanks for that, now she knows those weren't just coincidental visits," Wilhelm grumbled.

"I already knew that," Lorita informed him with an amused smile. At that moment Angelika announced that supper was ready and they settled down to eat. It wasn't long after they had begun that there was a knock on the door and Baldwinn entered. He greeted them all cheerfully, and even gave Wilhelm a courteous smile. Although he had acknowledged the great deed Wilhelm had done for them, Baldwinn had not quite forgiven him for kidnapping Lorita and offering her as a sacrifice to the queen, even if it had been against his will. The news that he was about to get a grandchild had certainly eased his hatred for Wilhelm considerably though. He joined them for the meal and at its conclusion he played with Aurora while the wives cleaned dishes and the brothers returned to their books.

"Well, I believe that's finished," Wilhelm said, looking at the bound collection they had assembled. The book contained eighty-six faerie tales that they had either collected from other places, such as the tale of the beautiful woman who lost her slipper at the ball or the piper who lured the rats into the river, or ones that were loosely based off events of their own lives, including the man who stole children unless you guessed his name and the vain queen who was fairest of them all. Together they were titled 'Children's and Household Tales' and were set to be published soon, as they had already been approached by a man who had heard them telling tales to the village children and wanted them to write a collection so they could publish them.

Within the week the collection had been accepted by the man and the name Grimm became known across all of Deutschland as the greatest storytellers of their time. They lived pleasant lives with their families in Marbaden, supported by the profits from their book and subsequent volumes. That winter Lorita gave birth to a daughter who was named Lotte, and a year later they also had twins named Dorthea and Wilhelm Jr. Jakob and Angelika never had another child, although they continued to support Angelika's younger sisters through their schooling and until they were married as well. Life for the Grimms could not have been any better.

…And they all lived happily ever after…

A/N: Just as a factoid, a few things I included here are true. The first collection of faerie tales was actually entitled 'Children's and Household Tales' and contained eighty-six stories that included such tales and 'Little Briar-Rose' 'Rumplestiltskin' and 'Snow White and Rose Red.' Also in real life, Jakob was in fact the elder brother, which is part of the reason that I had Wilhelm end up younger than Jakob. Or maybe this all just proves that I put too much research into a fanfic... Anyway, Abschied liebe Freunde or 'Farewell Dear Friends.'