I could have sworn I posted this ages ago, but it doesn't seem to be listed on my stories page, so I figured I'd put it up again. I apologize if this is a repeat.
Title: Bedtime Story
Disclaimers: I own no one lost world. Isabelle and this little fluff belong to my tired little mind.
Author's Notes: Just a short little future fic I wrote one day at work. For the wonderful family over at TLW board and all of their support.
"Daddy? Will you tell me a bedtime story?"
John Roxton looked down at his six-year-old daughter with a gentle smile. "Of course I will, sweetheart," he replied, settling himself down on the edge of her bed. "What would you like to hear a story about?"
Isabelle Roxton screwed up her face a moment in thought then looked up at her father with a smile. "A story with a princess, Daddy."
"A princess, huh?"
Isabelle nodded seriously. "A beautiful, brave princess."
"Well it just so happens that I know a story about a princess just like that," Roxton told his daughter. Isabelle snuggled down under her covers and looked up at Roxton expectantly.
"Once upon a time," Roxton began, "there was a beautiful princess named Margue, um, Margaret."
"That's almost like Mommy's name," Isabelle piped up.
Roxton looked down at his daughter, inwardly musing how, despite her young age, it was still nearly impossible to get anything past her. "Yes, it is," he agreed. "Now, even when Princess Margaret was a little girl, everyone could see she was special," he continued. "She was braver than any grown man or woman in the kingdom and she was smarter and more clever than people who were much older than she was. She was kind to everyone that she met, no matter who they were, and she was more beautiful than any other woman for thousands of miles was.
"Princess Margaret lived happily among her friends until one day something happened to change all of that. Bad people came into the kingdom and took Princess Margaret away with them. They took her to a land far away from the people that she knew and loved and made her live in a strange land."
"Oh, no," Isabelle said. "What happened to her, Daddy?"
"The princess tried to stay the way she had been, but there were bad people all around her and they treated the little princess very badly. Margaret grew lonelier and more frightened every day until one day her heart turned to ice. She was still the brave, kind girl underneath the ice, but this was the only way she knew to protect herself from the bad people.
"Eventually, Princess Margaret grew up into a beautiful woman. She wished she could go back to the way she had once been, but by this time the ice around her heart was so thick she wouldn't let anyone be her friend, and this made her very lonely.
"One day Margaret walked into a room where a brilliant man named Joseph was giving a speech and organizing an adventure to, um, a far away and deserted island. Many people laughed at this man because they didn't believe the land existed, but Princess Margaret didn't laugh. Something about this man made her curious and she asked if she could go on the trip, too. Several other men were joining this brilliant man on his trip - a kind, older man named Michael, a young man named Jason who wished to write about the island, and a handsome prince who just wanted an adventure. Now, when Margaret said she wanted to join the men, they were skeptical at first. The handsome prince, um, Prince David, laughed at Margaret and told her girls couldn't go on adventures."
"That's not true!" Isabelle broke in indignantly. "Girls can do anything boys can do, Daddy, you know that!"
Roxton smiled at his daughter. "Yes, I know that," he agreed. "And don't you worry - Princess Margaret showed Prince David that she could go on an adventure just as well as any man and the men gladly welcomed her to come on their adventure.
"Several months later the adventurers arrived at the island and saw that Joseph had been right, this land really did exist. However, it was a very dangerous island and almost as soon as they landed Jason landed in a bit of a jam. He was separated from the rest of the group when a giant plant wrapped itself around him and wouldn't let him go. Out of nowhere a beautiful woman came and saved Jason from the plant. The woman's name was Diana and she told the adventurers that she had been living on the island by herself for years. She took the adventurers into her home and over time taught them how to survive on the island. Without her help, the group knew they wouldn't have lasted very long on the island and they were very grateful to her."
"Just like Aunt Veronica," Isabelle said, her eyelids beginning to look a little heavy.
"That's right," Roxton agreed. "Now, at first Princess Margaret didn't get along with the rest of the group. Oh, they tried time and again to be her friend, but she wouldn't let them get close to her no matter how hard they tried. She didn't want them to be her friend or her family and was worried only about how she herself would survive on the island. She let the others know in no uncertain terms that she was on this island to find precious gems and she didn't want anything to do with the rest of them unless they were helping her find these gems.
"Princess Margaret tried to pretend that she was cold and heartless, but over time the others saw little glimpses here and there of the person she really was underneath all of the ice over her heart. Prince David, in particular, began to fall in love with Margaret. He tried so hard to get close to her - doing things for her, giving her compliments, protecting her, and just doing whatever he could to be near her. Princess Margaret tried to keep David away from her by saying and doing mean things to him and just generally being nasty to him, hoping he would just leave her alone. But David didn't leave her alone. No matter what Margaret did to him, David hung in there because he knew that deep down the princess wasn't the cold, empty person she pretended to be. It hurt David, of course, because he cared so much about her, but he refused to give up.
"Over time, the group of adventurers plus Diana began to become something like a family on the island. They lived together in Diana's house and they grew closer as the months and years went on. They hunted together and protected each other from the dangerous creatures that lived on the island."
"Like the apemen?" Isabelle asked sleepily.
Roxton nodded. "Like the apemen and the Raptors. Even Margaret's heart began to thaw out a little and the ice around her heart melted a tiny bit. She still kept the others from getting too close to her, especially David, but she helped out around the house and even began to show that she cared about the other people in the group.
"The group had many adventures together and each saved the others' lives many times over. Even Margaret sacrificed herself a few times to help the others out, and the others saw that she really did care about them in her own way.
"One day Margaret and David were out hunting together and they were attacked by members of a bad tribe. During the fight David saw a man about to fire a gun at Margaret and he put himself between her and the gun. Margaret was horrified when she saw the man shoot David and she quickly fought off the rest of the tribe members by herself and then got David back to the house as quickly as she could. The others did what they could but they weren't sure if David was going to be okay.
"Margaret sat by David's bed all through the night while he slept, hoping and praying that he would wake up. As she sat by his bed Margaret thought about the fact that David had been shot for her and she realized that he really did love her and that she, in turn, loved him back. At that moment Margaret began to cry for the first time in years as the ice around her heart melted completely away. Her teardrops fell onto David's face and woke him up."
Roxton paused and looked down at his daughter. Her eyes were closed and he softly called her name. Suddenly, he felt a pair of arms wrap themselves around his chest from behind. "That's not the way I remember it," a husky voice whispered in his ear.
Roxton smiled as he caught Marguerite's hand in his and brought it up to his lips. "Artistic license," he whispered back.
Marguerite stepped around Roxton and bent down to kiss her daughter's forehead. "You know," she said, turning to face her husband again, "if you had asked me about fairy tales like this when I was Isabelle's age, I probably would have told you they were nothing but rubbish."
Roxton stood and slid his arms around Marguerite's waist. "And now?" he questioned, raising his eyebrow.
"Now I think it would be safe to call me a believer," she replied, pressing a gentle kiss against his lips.
Roxton smiled and held her tightly against his chest a moment. "I think it's about time for bed, your highness," he murmured.
"Lead the way, my prince," she responded with a smile.
Roxton easily scooped his wife up into his arms and carried her out of their daughter's room and to their own bedroom. Neither of them saw the smile on their daughter's face or heard her as she whispered, "And they all lived happily ever after."