Disclaimer: don't own Pan's Labyrinth, but I do own the plot and my take on the movie and the characters.
"I am not ready for this, father."
Moanna did not want to be here, not right now and not to do this.
She had changed so much since being reunited with her family in her homeland, the Underground.
She had grown into a woman. She had blossomed into a goddess of femininity along the way, as befitting her station of royalty. She looked magnificent in her velvet robes of red and gold standing by her father's throne. The robes hugged her figure gracefully, revealing her womanly curves as much as they hid them by flaring off her rounded hips to pool around her feet. Her crown of spun gold was nestled in her mane of black curls. The crown was barely visible in the wavy mass that had grown long enough to sweep her hips in a curtain of dark silk. The woman's spine was straight as she gazed around the golden courtroom. Lit candles surrounded her, casting her visage in a yellow glow. But, she was far from happy in such splendor. Her dark brown eyes were narrowed in distaste.
She was beautiful.
She was a Princess.
But, she was getting old.
"You said the same thing when you were fourteen," her father, the King, mumbled quietly so only she would hear. "You said it also when you were fifteen. At sixteen you disappeared for two weeks. Seventeen, you barricaded yourself in the tower for a month, but now daughter-," he rose from his throne to stand before her, every inch the imposing monarch, "you are eighteen, far past the normal marrying age. And, I refuse to cater to your fears of matrimony any longer."
If only he knew what she really feared. It was not marriage, not in the least. She wished she was married. Her only dilemma was,...none of the eligible nobles lined up before her were the one she wanted.
While all the well groomed Fae men stood waiting patiently, shuffling their feet occasionally, hoping to be chosen. Picked out like she was deciding on what shoes to wear that day, her real object of desire stood in the shadows.
Hidden at the far end of the courtroom, barely visible. Trying his best not be noticed, but she noticed him. She always noticed him. Moanna did not have to see him to feel his comforting presence. She did not have to look up and gaze into his cloudy blue eyes, misted over like he was blind, when he was anything but. She knew he was there, watching silently. One of the oldest servants to the king and to the royal family.
He was powerful.
He was frighteningly beautiful.
But, he was a Faun.
Pan had been her guardian, protector, and teacher before she had even known she was a princess. She had died and been born again. Only to die in another world and then be led, by him, to this one. She owed him everything. Her life, her crown, and her heart.
Only he didn't know that.
Pan didn't know that he was the reason why she hid when it came time to be betrothed, unwilling to sacrifice her heart to another. That she could not bare the thought of being with one of her kind because of him and his understanding. Pan had taught her everything she knew of the Underground. Telling her all the things she had forgotten in a past life, with the patience that would rival a saint. Only he seemed to have time for her in this life. He was always willing to answer all of her questions, no matter how small or mundane. Pan understood that she had no memory of who she once was. He knew how hard it was for her not to know what she was supposed to know, when nobody had the time to tell her. Her Fae parents loved her, Moanna knew that, but they were always too busy to deal with her. So, she had been handed over to Pan for guidance, and lost her heart somewhere along the way.
"You will chose a husband now," her father ordered loud enough so all assembled could hear, "I will wait no longer for your future to be secure."
Moanna shifted, moving her weight from one foot to the other, uncomfortable to be forced into this.
"I am afraid you will not like who I choose, Father," she whispered to him.
The king's gaze softened at her words, his harsh tone disappearing as quickly as it appeared.
"It has gotten to the stage, Daughter, where I only wish to see you married. You have someone in mind do you not? I can see your thoughts about him in your eyes."
Moanna shifted again.
"Yes, father, I do... But, he is not one of these Fae before you."
Her father stood taller, relief playing across his features.
"Then speak, child, speak. So that I may summon him to court. Speak his name so all can hear."
The princess braced herself for the worst, heaving huge breaths of air into her shuddering lungs, hoping that the action would fortify her for what she was about to do.
She spoke loudly and clearly to her waiting audience.
"I want Pan."
The reaction was instant. Looks of disbelief being shared by all. That the princess would want to choose such an unlikely groom. That she was want an ancient servant for a husband, one that was not even of her species, was impossible for their noble minds to comprehend.
Nervously Moanna looked into her father's eyes, waiting for his verdict. A clear storm of mixed emotions surrounding him.
"Pan," her father bellowed, so the stunned servant in the shadows would hear, "come up here."
The faun stepped into the light with a jerking motion, his armored skin creaking like the wood it appeared to be. His goat ears flipping back and forth below his curved horns, the only indication of his agitated internal thoughts. He moved slowly forward, his joints popping like a camp fire at night. With an uneven swagger he appeared deceptively unsteady as he followed the kings orders, ascending to the throne. His lank, dirty blond hair swaying with every stride.
Moanna froze as she watched Pan move towards her and the King, his cloudy gaze focused on her. She had to remind herself to keep breathing when he finally came to a stop before them. His shoulders hunching forward, trying to diminish his towering height in a sign of respect for the royalty.
"Did you know anything about this Pan?"
"No, your Highness," the faun said, bowing lower as he spoke, "This is as new to me, as it is to you."
Pan's strange voice never failed to captivate Moanna. He spoke exactly how he walked, words pitching up and down, like a ship being rocked on the sea.
"Explain yourself, Daughter," the king ordered, turning to her.
She had gotten this far, Moanna would not back down when what she wanted was so near.
"I refuse to marry unless it is to Pan," she declared.
"Princess, why do you say such things?" the faun spoke, drawing all of her attention, "You are upsetting your father with this drama. You can not mean what you say. As his eldest daughter, and with no sons your husband will have a seat to the throne. A lowly faun like me can not be given such a thing like that."
"He is right daughter," her father added, "choose instead from the Fae men before you."
"No," Moanna spoke, defying them both, "I will not marry another. I choose Pan."
"Princess," the faun entreated again, "you must stop this ploy of yours not to wed by choosing me-"
"It is no ploy," she whispered softly to the creature, "I love you, and I will have no other."
Moanna's heart thrummed in her chest at her confession. She had wanted to tell him for so long how she felt.
"Buh!" the faun spat, straightening to his full height, "You know nothing of love and you are being childish right now."
Moanna flinched like he had slapped her. Her eyes filling with tears at his rejection. Never had Pan been this cruel to her.
At the sight of her tears the faun returned to his hunched position. His cat shaped eyes widening in horror as he realized how much his outburst had hurt her. He opened his mouth to say something more, but she was already fleeing, running from the golden courtroom.
"Halt!," her father yelled before she had made it out the door.
Moanna froze with her head hung, but she did not turn to face them.
"I can see this is of no light consequence to you daughter. You truly wish to take the faun to wed?"
She nodded slowly, still wanting to be with Pan even after he had rejected her.
"Then," her father sighed, "there may be a way. Your mother has found out that she is expecting," happy gasps could be heard around the golden room, "If the baby is a boy then I will give you my full consent to wed. And until the child is born I give you both full permission to court each other. You may find with time you are not suited for one another. In which case all this madness can be forgotten for good. Do both of you agree on this?"
Moanna waited until she heard Pan's 'yes, your Majesty' to add her own, and then she was running again.
That night she locked herself in her room and refused to eat. The servants could hear her weeping as they passed by the door.
One of those servants happened to have a set of curved horns.
Flame if you feel the need.
Not enough people write stories for this movie.