The Diary of Jane
A Jane and the Dragon Tale
Well, so far I like this story. Be forewarned: I am horrible at updating on a regular basis. But I will try my best for you all. Please enjoy and review—reviews are like water for an author!
A note on the title: it's not actually Jane's diary, obviously. I actually got the title from a Breaking Benjamin song. The song doesn't really have much to do with this story, but if you twist it around a couple different ways, you could make it work. I really just thought the title fit.
Disclaimer: Pft! I wish I owned Jane and the Dragon!
Being the girl she was, Jane Turnkey rarely used the word hate; she found it a strong and melodramatic word that a certain fellow knight-in-training used all-too-frequently. There was, however, one thing in the world that she truly did hate: gowns.
Shuddering, Jane glanced once more in the full-length mirror that hung in her mother's chamber. The gown itself was perfectly all right, a deep emerald that complemented her hair and eyes nicely, but she absolutely despised the way dresses made her feel: caged. What if the kingdom were attacked while she was forced to wear this monstrosity? She would never be able to run, let alone wield a sword in this state. Gunther would be forced to defend the kingdom on his own.
Jane inwardly groaned at the thought of the now nearly twenty-two-year-old boy. Over the past couple of years, they had developed a certain civility that was broken only sparingly, but that did not mean he would not still tease her mercilessly.
He will have a field day with this, Jane thought, once again cursing her mother for forcing her into a dress for the wedding.
It was not that she was not happy to be celebrating the wedding of two of her closest friends. She just didn't really see the point of gowns. She was a knight-to-be, wasn't she? Didn't the royal family wish to see the knights in armor, with swords in hand? When Jane had attempted to explain this to her mother, Lady Adeline had answered (in a very stern tone, I might add): "There is no discussing it, Jane. If you ever wish to find a suitable husband, you must learn to act like a proper girl."
Ack, husbands, Jane thought in annoyance. Her mother simply could not seem to see that Jane truly had no wish for a husband at all. Outside of the few men that she knew in Kippernium, she was rather of the mind that men were useless pigs who were good at nothing but boasting and making a mess of things. No, Jane had determined long ago that if she truly wanted to become a knight, she would have to give up all thoughts of marriage. And given up she had done willingly.
Jane shook her head at such trivial thoughts and left the mirror to head down to Pepper's room, where she wanted Jane's help in preparing for the wedding. She was slow getting there, despite her usual rush (which often led to tumbles with other inhabitants of Kippernium), and Jane chose to blame it entirely on the atrocity that she was wearing.
Before she even had a chance to knock twice, the door was thrown open by a very distressed-looking Pepper, who proceeded to fly about the room, ranting to Jane about how her dress just wasn't right and she couldn't get her hair to stay pinned up and she just wasn't sure if this whole thing was going to work—
Jane stopped her friend in mid-sentence, taking her by the shoulders. "Pepper," she said as soothingly as possible. "Calm down. Everything is going to be perfect. You love him, right?"
Pepper sighed rather blissfully. "I do. Rake is everything I ever wanted in life. I could not imagine a better husband." With this, she let out a breath and sank into the bed. She smiled up at Jane.
"Thank you, Petal dear. You came at the perfect time," she admitted earnestly. Jane returned the girl's smile, kneeling down to pick up the purple verbena flower that had fallen to the floor. Carefully, she placed it in Pepper's hair.
"Any time," she said. "Now, we best get you dressed for this wedding. You're about to get married and you are not even remotely ready!"
The next two hours passed by quickly, but Jane felt certain that to Pepper, they were the longest two hours in her life. Oh, the woes of a young bride, Jane thought, smiling, knowing she herself would never have to deal with such troubles. A half an hour before the wedding was to begin, Jane kissed her friend's cheek and bid her good day.
Jane raced down the steps and through the gardens towards the hall, where she knew she was being awaited to help with the last minute decorating. Arriving there, she found her friends—Jester, Smithy, and Dragon—attempting to put up the flowers. Jane rushed quickly over to her friends and the baskets of flowers.
"Good afternoon, everyone," she greeted them brightly.
"Morning, Jane," Smithy said. "You look nice." Jane rolled her eyes.
"Thank you, I suppose," she muttered. She had hoped she looked ridiculous; at least then she could beg her mother—for sake of her pride—never to have her wear a dress again.
Dragon snorted. "You look like a girl! Imagine that!"
"She looks lovely, as usual," Jester said, smiling lightly at Jane. She returned the smile, rolling her eyes all the same. She wished Jester wouldn't compliment her so much.
"Well, this will be the last time I ever look 'lovely', let me tell you," Jane promised them. "I am so through with this evil cage. What will happen if we're attacked during this thing? I'll never be able to fight! And I can already hear Gunther's comments…"
"Singing my praises, Coppercurls?" an all-too-familiar deep male voice asked from somewhere behind her. Jane jumped, turning to find Gunther walking down the hall towards them. She frowned at his smirk, folding her arms as she sunk into one hip.
"Hardly," she returned. Then she skillfully changed the subject, "Have you come to help us finish with the set up?"
Gunther visibly flinched. "Er, no," he said. "Flowers aren't really my thing."
"Good," Jane replied. "Then you can be the one to go calm Rake down. I'm sure he's a nervous mess." She relished for a moment in Gunter's shock. He fumbled for a smart reply.
"Jane," Jester whispered in warning. "Do you really think that's a good idea? Gunther and Rake don't really…you know…Gunther's not exactly…"
Jane waved him off. "Gunther will be fine!" she said. "Won't you, Gunther?"
Gunther shrugged. "I'm always fine."
"See?" Jane glanced at her friends, who were still looking doubtful. "Urg—fine! I'll go with him!" With that, she stomped out of the room, pulling Gunther behind her. They walked silently out into the courtyard up towards Rake's rooms, but they stopped when they heard a grunt. Frowning, Jane walked through the bushes to find Rake sitting it the gardens, struggling to pull a weed out of the ground.
"Rake!" she exclaimed, walking towards him. "What on earth are you doing? The wedding is in a half an hour. This is no time to be pulling weeds!" The once-awkwardly-lanky boy jumped up quickly, dropped everything he had in his hand to the ground. Jane let out a sharp cry of pain as the small shovel landed on her foot. Cursing her mother for forcing her into sandals, she pulled back her dress to find a rather large cut across her left foot.
She swore loudly.
"Oh my goodness—Jane, I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to…" Rake burst out, nervously coming towards her. She stepped back and was for once grateful for Gunther's presence as he moved forward to keep Rake from causing any more accidents.
"It's fine, Rake. I know you didn't mean to," Jane assured him, sitting down on the low wall that circled this corner of the garden. "All I'm worried about is you being on time for that wedding. Wouldn't want to keep Pepper waiting, would you?" Rake shook his head and glanced down nervously at her foot. "Good. Then get on up to the hall, you silly Gardener!" Rake nodded and raced away, happy to be away from the scene of his most recent accident.
As soon as he was out of earshot, Jane swore again. Her foot had to be on fire for all the pain she felt.
"What, can't handle a little pain, Jane?" Gunther mocked her. Jane glared up at him.
"If you don't shut up, I'll give you a cut across your eye that'll never heal!" she exclaimed. Gunther rolled his eyes and kneeled down.
"Whatever. Just let me look at your foot," he demanded, grabbing her foot roughly in his hands. Jane held back a curse as he looked at it. A few moments later he stood up, looking satisfied.
"You'll be fine, but we should probably clean it up before the wedding."
Jane rolled her eyes. "And who made you the expert?" she asked scathingly. Gunther frowned.
"Does everything have to be an argument with you? I was just trying to help," he snapped. Jane opened her mouth to retort, but he beat her to it. "Ugh. Never mind. If we don't hurry, we'll miss the wedding. C'mon." And he turned, walking off towards the hall, leaving her to follow. As she walked after him, the truth in his words echoed in her head—perhaps she did make everything into an argument because perhaps she actually liked arguing with him.
Jane shook her head, realizing how illogical that statement was. Yelling for Gunther to wait for her, Jane chased off after him.
"Congratulations, Pepper!" Princess Lavinia cried as she hugged the kitchen maid around the middle after the ceremony. She was fourteen-years-old by now, but just as carefree and gay as ever. Pepper smiled down at the young princess and returned the hug.
"Thank you, your highness," she said. She leaned down to look in Lavinia's face. "And I suppose your excited for the party that's about to begin, too?" she asked. Lavinia smiled brightly.
"Oh, yes, I am! You know me far too well!" Pepper laughed at this and hugged the young girl once more.
On the other side of the hall, Jane stood next to Jester, smiling at the little scene that played before them. Rake was being ambushed by his two younger siblings—one ten and one twelve—and his attempts to ward them off were simply not working. And yet for all his cries of dismay as they tackled him, Jane could see a huge smile on his face that compared to no other. She knew it had been far too long since he'd seen his family last.
Shaking her head, Jane turned to smile at Jester, who, she was surprised to find, was already grinning in her direction. She smiled back, despite being caught off guard. He looked away eventually, saying, "Have you ever been to a wedding before, Jane?"
Jane shrugged. "Not that I recall. I may have been at the king and queen's wedding, but if I was, I cannot remember it. Have you ever been to one?"
Jester nodded. "When I was six years old, my elder sister got married. I was fairly upset about it; I thought if she loved someone else, she wouldn't be able to love me anymore." Jane couldn't repress the laugh that escaped her mouth at this. Jester smiled, shaking his head. "It was a beautiful wedding, though I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as the rest of the family did." Jane glanced at her friend, intrigued. It was very rare that Jester spoke of his family to anyone, even her.
"Do you miss them terribly?" Jane asked after a moment. Jester looked into the distance, as if seeing something invisible.
"Yes, all the time. Sometimes I miss them so greatly that I think I see them walking up the trail towards the castle, only to realize they will probably never return," he confessed. Then he glanced up at her, smiling. "But it's not so bad, really. I've found a new family, one that I love just as much as I ever loved my real one."
Jane smiled and took his hand. "We love you, too, Jester," she assured him. Jester opened his mouth to say more, but was suddenly cut off by Princess Lavinia, who came hurrying up to Jane, grabbing her hand.
"Come dance with me, Jane!" she cried happily, and the young lady knight was all-too-happy to oblige.
And as Jane twirled in the center of the hall with the princess, her friends around her, laughing and exchanging kind words, she felt happier than she had in a very long time. So happy that even Gunther, who was leaning near the wall with Sir Ivon, watching the festivities, could not even ruin her mood, no matter how hard he tried.