A lot of people always ask me about non-franchise princesses, so I wrote a chapter to give them a time to shine. This is probably the only time they'll show up, but I hope you enjoy this!
I've been focusing on finishing some other fics lately, so that's why this one is again delayed in coming out. Sorry! DX And oh, I had great fun making Alice basically the Disney version of Luna Lovegood.
It was not always easy to be a walking, talking, upright fox. Marian had learned this long ago.
First, there were the odd looks she receives as she walked through a more human-populated area, where many of the children and even some adults have never seen her kind, as hard as it may be to believe. Some people, poor things, were never exposed to culture.
And secondly, it was the fact that she was staring at a young, muscled and waiting lioness, unsure whether to refer to her as an equal or as an animal. You could never be sure, with those who walked on all fours. If you spoke to them as animals when they were at your level of aptitude, they were (understandably) offended. If you spoke to them as equals when they weren't, you looked extremely daft.
"Can I help you?" the lioness finally asked, looking up at her with blue eyes that Marion swore a second ago were green. Her level. Thank goodness.
"Oh, I was just going to the House of Mouse for a drink." The building shone in front of her, big blue letters lighting up the sky. She loved the House, not only fur its life and entertainment, but for the fact that everyone there was just a tad different, and everyone there was, for the most part, intelligent enough for her to know to speak to as an equal.
"Really?" Smiling, the large cat walked past her towards the club, "I was too. Care to go in together?"
"Oh, I would love it!" Marion followed her, picking up her skirt so that the lioness didn't step on it with her claws, "My name is Maid Marion. What's yours?"
"Nala." The lioness placed her front paw's on Daisy's desk, pulling herself up to meet her. "Table for two, please."
"Coming right up!" Daisy grinned at them, but then turned back to whatever conversation she was having about droopy hairbows.
Marion sighed with content, stepping back to wait with a few others—a girl, possibly a bit before her teenage years, was standing cross-armed and tapping her foot furiously. Her blond hair fell well below her back, tied back only by a thin black head band. In fact, none of her dress was particularly fancy—just a short creased dress that reminded Marion of her friend Aurora's, and a pair of plain black flats. Definitely the dress of a girl who did more than sit in a grand castle.
"If that boy ever arrives, my goodness, I am going to…he will never know what hit him…" she spoke to herself, huffing and brushing a stray hair off her cheek.
"Excuse me, my dear, but is there something wrong?" Marion tapped on the girl's shoulder. Immediately losing her anger and instead smiling and curtsying politely, the girl shook her head.
"No, no. Nothing of large importance. My date is just rather late, that is all," she said, "My name is Princess Eilonwy." She stuck out her hand and shook it with Marion's.
"Princess Eilonwy? Can't say I've heard that name before." Nala sat down and began licking a paw. Eilonwy shrugged.
"Oh, this is the first time I've been here."
"Well then, Eilonwy, why don't you join Nala and me as we sit down for a few drinks?" Marion offered as a penguin waiter finally waddled up to take them to their table.
"I would like that very much."
The three women (well, two and a half) followed the penguin to their table, a booth near the back. Mickey was, as always, announcing the next cartoon in his signature high-pitched voice, with Goofy tripping and sliding and yowling all over the place, sending food in all directions. Some villain near the front was clearly trying to scheme up a takeover plan, and Timon was shouting insults from the side.
In short, just another day at the House.
"Nala, I see you have returned to this strange gathering place. May I join you and your friends?"
"Oh, of course, Kida."
Eilonwy scooted over to make room for her, a dark skinned yet pearl-white haired woman dressed in clothes rather revealing for what Marion was used to. No matter; Marion was not the type to judge, even if Kida showed an unusual amount of her midriff.
"So Kida, I don't think I've seen you here before either," Marion said as another penguin waiter approached to take their order, "I'll have the Hades Souffledes," she told him, nodding.
"I don't come here often. It is just a bit difficult getting here."
"Oh, of course." Marion smiled, raising her waterglass as the waiter passed them out, "Well, here's hoping the time you have is enjoyable."
"And now," Mickey called from the front, "for a special dancing performance, we proudly present Esmerelda!"
The club (especially the men) roared in applause as a lovely tan-skinned woman with sharp emerald eyes bounded onto the stage, bowing low to the already tossed roses. Marion clapped politely, until the lights died down and the spotlight landed on her.
Flipping, spinning, and splitting across the stage, Esmerelda danced to the low twangs of the guitar, clapping once with the beat before kicking her legs higher than Marian ever thought possible.
"Incredible!" Kida exclaimed with wide eyes, speaking for them all.
"I've never seen such dancing before," Eilonwy said, rubbing her chin, "our dances are usually so much more reserved."
"I can't even move my legs in those directions!" Nala jerked her back paw out, trying to raise it. Looking at Marion, with her more human-like structure, she sighed. "Sometimes I wish I was built like you are."
"Oh, thank you, but please, you are lovely." Marian lowered her leg back down to the floor.
"Thanks. But it can be annoying having to look up to everyone all the time."
"Nala, your eyes, they are green!" Eilonwy said suddenly. Nala glanced to the left, then back.
"A second ago they were blue."
"Yes, they do that."
"Anyway," Marian said, watching Esmerelda do her last jump and spin, "What are you all doing for the rest of the night?"
"Oh, there that boy is!" Eilonwy leapt from her seat in the booth and ran over to a slightly scrawny, confused looking young man standing in the middle of the hall. She took his arm, sharply whispering to him something about it their meeting time being 5 or 6.
Marian giggled. Ah, young love. She remembered the earliest days of her and Robin's relationship…the trouble they got into.
The penguin wobbled up to her with her strangely blue soufflé. She thanked him, picked up her fork and began to eat. But, just then, another girl, this one is a poofed blue dress, blonde hair and eyes that looked wistfully all around her, walked by their table. Alice.
"Oh, I wouldn't eat that if I were you," the girl said.
"Oh, silly me, for a second I thought it was a magic mushroom. They make you grow. You would take up this entire club, and I don't think the owners would like that very much."
Kida glanced towards Nala.
"I believe you are right, Alice," Marian said, smiling at her, "but it is just a soufflé."
"Of course." Alice nodded. "By the way, have you seen the white rabbit? He has such the tendency of getting lost. I remember when I had to chase him all through Wonderland, with the talking flowers and smoking caterpillars and Twiddledee and Twiddledum. He was late for his date, I suppose."
"Sounds like quite the adventure," Kida said, again looking warily to Nala, who didn't seem fazed at all.
"It's just Alice. Get used to this," Nala sighed.
Alice did not hear, instead continuing to speak. "Oh, it was. But I got horribly lost, and started to cry, and all the creatures in Wonderland cried with me…like the birds, who in Wonderland look like umbrellas and all other sorts of things, and—"
"What's an umbrella?" Kida whispered to Nala. She shrugged.
"It's a tool to keep the rain off of you," Marian whispered to the both of them. "Why don't you sit down, Alice?"
"Oh, I'd love to."Alice sat, smoothing out her skirt and folding her hands in front of her. "I tell you, have you ever played croquet with a flamingo?"
Marian smiled sweetly at her, ignoring Kida's very confused face and Nala's not too quiet huff of breath, "No, dear, I have not."
"Well, it is not very fun in the slightest, especially when the ball is a hedgehog."
"I'd imagine," Marian replied.
"So," Alice crossed her hands politely in front of her, turning to Kida, "Where are you from?"
"I am the princess of Atlantis."
"Oh, are you one of Ariel's sisters?" Alice asked, thanking Marion when she offered her a glass of water, "I didn't know two of you wanted to be human."
Kida shook her head, glancing off to the side, "I do not know this Ariel person, so I am most definitely not her sister."
"Ariel is from Atlanti-ca," Nala corrected, "she's a mermaid, Kida."
"Oh, that's right." Shaking her head, Alice giggled into her folded hand, "I'm so sorry for my mistake. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to find my friend, the rabbit—wouldn't want him going through anymore talking doors."
She stood and, smoothing her skirt in a very trained and proper way, walked off with her hands folded behind her back.
"That was a strange girl," Kida said, shaking her head.
"Oh, she's sweet." Marian watched her pet a lion cub on the head.
"Sweet, but strange."
"Hey, Marian, did you know Giselle?" Nala asked suddenly, scratching her ear. Marian looked at her in surprise; that name was not unspoken of, but very few really knew of her outside the main Disney Princesses.
"Yes, I met her once. Beautiful girl. Why?"
"I hear she disappeared."
"She did, you see, but she was sent to…another world," Marian shuddered at the thought of the stories she's heard in that dark, cold place, "a world of flashing lights and unfriendliness… where people could break up their marriages!"
She heard a collective gasp around her; she hadn't noticed Megara, Jane and Wendy sitting in the booths next to her, looking with at her with shock (well, not Meg. She looked just slightly surprised)
"Not that I'm one to be horrified and stunned when someone's first romance doesn't work out," she said, tossing her bangs out of her face, "but when you're already married? That's depressing."
"Its called 'divorce.'" Marian almost spat as she said it, "And depressing is not a bad enough word."
"I never want to go to that land." Wendy shook her head, her pin curls twirling around her cheeks.
"Me neither," Jane added, "the thought of breaking up with Tarzan…it sends shivers down my spine!"
"We must help Giselle escape!" Nala said, the others nodding in agreement. Marian shook her head, chuckling to herself.
"No no no, I hear she's made a nice life there. No need to worry about her."
"If you say so," Meg said, turning back into her booth.
"Well, that's all for tonight folks! See ya real soon!" Mickey called out to the club, and before Marian knew it, even the remaining customers were starting to shuffle out the doors.
"Is tonight's show over already?" Nala asked, looking toward the nearest clock. Indeed, it was almost midnight! How time flies!
"It appears so."
Kida smiled at both of them, standing and climbing out of the booth. "I thank you both for your kind treatment of me tonight. I don't get to come here often and this was a real gift. And to think, a few centuries ago my first instinct would be to kill you all."
"Uh…thanks," Nala said. As she walked past her, she whispered, "I'd be able to fight you off."
"I don't believe so, my friend," Kida said as she followed the lioness, "I have a strong spear—"
"I have claws and more speed."
"I have the advantage of—"
Marian smiled to herself as she left her booth. She paid the tab at the front desk, waving goodbye to a still-distracted Daisy Duck as she left. The House of Mouse: a place of social activity for characters or all walks of life, from the sweetest princess to the most dastardly villain. A place truly like no other.
She walked out into the brisk city air.