Once upon a time, there was a prince and a lady knight.

"Daddy, how come in your stories, the lady always rescues the prince?"

"Because that's the way my stories work, Melinda."

The lady knight and the prince grew up together in the castle. They were very good friends. Then one day, when the friends were fifteen, a dragon swooped down and carried the prince far, far away.

"Did the dragon have a name?"


The lady knight tried for two years to find the prince, but whenever she got close, something would hold her back from saving him.

"What was it?"


"Of what?"

"Failure. Rejection. She was afraid that the prince wouldn't want to come home with her."

One day, the dragon released its hold on the prince. He ran all the way home to find the lady knight. But when he arrived, she was gone. The jester told him that the lady knight had found where the dragon was and planned to fight it…for him.

"Why would she do that?"


The prince, worried for the lady knight's life, ran and ran and ran until he finally caught up to her. When he saw her for the first time in two years, the prince gasped.

"Was she hurt?"

"No, she was beautiful."

When she saw him, alive and well, the lady knight threw down her sword and embraced the prince. Both of them sunk to the ground, weeping openly. She confessed her love, as did he, as they lay in a patch of dirt.

"And they lived happily ever after?"

Hoagie smiled sadly. "Something like that," he leaned over to plant a kiss on his daughter's forehead. "Goodnight, Mel."

Melinda's smile was so much like her mother's. "G'night daddy." He flicked off the bedside lamp, Mel's mop of curly brown hair splaying itself across her pillows as she snuggled into her dark blue comforter.

Hoagie sighed, shutting his daughter's door only halfway so the hall light would spill into the room. Scrubbing a hand across his tired eyes, the man made his way to his own room. The pale carpet scratched against his bare feet and he wondered absently why he'd chosen it in the first place. He swallowed thickly, faltering in the doorway to his chambers. The cold, empty side of the bed spoke volumes to him.

Her pillow was still puffed, the way she'd liked it to be, the way it had been for nearly seven years. He hadn't had the heart to touch it, let alone replace it to match the bedcovers when he changed them. Heart clenching, Hoagie looked to the picture on his bedside table as he sat on his side. Kissing his index and middle fingers, he pressed them gently to the glass before he picked up the frame.

"She's a good kid, Abs. I wish you were around to see her." The beautiful woman stared up at him, smile frozen forever on fading film. The battered red cap perched jauntily on her head didn't work at all with the white wedding dress, but she couldn't have cared less. He remembered the way she'd pinned the veil to her hat at the protests of both her mother and Kuki. The way she'd stormed down the aisle instead of waiting for her babbling father. The way she looked when she told him she was pregnant. The last thing she'd ever said to him.

"If I thought I was bringing a baby into a world where no one would care for her, I'd choose myself. But I know she's got you. I love you baby. And the baby too."

He'd kissed her forehead, sweaty and warm as it was, and choked back tears as he murmured the last thing she'd hear from him.

"I love you too. I'll do my best, Abs."

What is this...I don't even...

So...partially out of my love/hate relationship with fairytales (and my Grimm's Complete Fairytales collection. Heh.) and partially out of...yeah, I dunno.
It's angsty and sad and I actually choked myself up with this bit of random nonsense. It started out as Hoagie telling his daughter a fantasised version of his and Abby's romance and ended with me killing off good ole Abs. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

You should review and tell me.

Love always,