Disclaimer: I do not own Aladdin or The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Such rights belong to Mr. Walt Disney.
A/N: This story was inspired by X-Arielle on DeviantArt. She recently got be obsessed with the femslash pairing of Jasmine and Esmeralda. They are simply beautiful together. This is my very first femslash story, as well as my first Disney fanfiction. I hope you enjoy it!
I love the market place. There are so many people—so many exotic treasures to discover out here. The palace's entire treasury cannot compare with life outside the palace walls. Princess Jasmine breathed in the warm air, bathing in the brilliant hues of red, orange, and pink that constituted the breathtaking sunset. There is nothing more beautiful than the sunset caressing the city of Agrabah. I am certain of it.
This was the tenth consecutive night that Jasmine had donned her peasant cloak and slipped over the palace walls. Originally, she thought that she would be able to see the marketplace, and then return contently to her lavish chambers without a second thought toward the other side. Within moments of first slipping over the wall, however, Jasmine was proven wrong. Night after night she returned, pleasantly amazed to discover something new within the village. The princess would steal herself throughout the city for hours, never tiring of the sights that unraveled before her eyes. Night after night, Princess Jasmine would return to her balcony feeling empty and incomplete—as if she had still yet to find the finest treasure that existed beyond her confining eyes.
As Jasmine savored the sunset, she felt a sense of urgency flit through her nerves. Tonight's the night… I can feel it. I'll find it—the thing I've been looking for! Excited anticipation seized her body as the princess drew her hooded cape closer and stepped eagerly toward the beautifully painted picture of Agrabah.
The princess made her way through the city, cautious to keep hidden enough as to not draw unnecessary attention to herself. She took in the young children running, playing with each other in the streets. She watched as mothers called for them to come inside to eat dinner—as young lovers stole away into quickly darkening alleys to meet before the night grew cold. She noted the merchants peddling their commodities with large, toothy grins. The princess had grown accustom to perusing the merchant stands; however, the vendor that Jasmine approached this evening was of an unusual sort that she had not encountered yet in the city.
The merchant was partially concealed in the shadows of an alleyway—only distinguishable by the retreating sunlight's gleam against his cunning grin. Guilelessly, Jasmine drew nearer to the vendor, eager to catch a glimpse of what he was selling. Perhaps this is it… the thing I've been waiting for! Her thoughts were interrupted as the man spoke to her. "Good evening, Traveler. You come in search of an exquisite flower, do you not? Well, you have come to the right place, my friend, for I am sure that I have exactly what you're looking for. Won't you step closer—I'll show you such lovely treasures… you won't be able to resist."
Jasmine's dark eyes widened as her stomach fluttered eagerly. This is it! The princess stepped forward, submerging herself in the darkness of the alley. "Right this way, Traveler," the merchant directed, moving further away from the sinking sunlight. Jasmine followed willingly, excited to see what this merchant had to offer. It did not cross her mind that the vendor should have had his wares at a stand in the marketplace; it did not occur to her that she should not follow a strange man into a dark alley. Her only thoughts were on the unknown, but dreadfully anticipated new discovery she was moments away from making.
The nameless vendor led her to a single doorframe, glancing swiftly around before opening the door for the cloaked customer. Princess Jasmine was greeted by a dimly lit room. The only detail she could discern immediately was that the room was small—with a single hallway leading out of the chamber to an even darker abyss. She squinted into the room, trying to catch sight of the special treasure that the merchant spoke of. "My friend, you may have your choice. I can guarantee that you won't be unsatisfied with any selection you make." Jasmine internally nodded as she pulled at her hood to allow for a better view of the room.
As her cloak's hood fell against her dark hair, she heard the man behind her gasp when his eyes drilled into her figure. "A woman?" He reached for her arm, snatching her to his side without an ounce of exertion. With his unoccupied hand, his fingers gripped Jasmine's chin as he observed her features. The princess—in a loss for words—could only stare. She was scared—for obvious reasons—but she did not know what to make of the new transaction. All I want to do is browse the treasures he is selling. Why is the vendor holding onto me like this? Her thoughts were once again interrupted at the man's voice, "You will make an excellent addition to my wares, my dear. You don't know it, but you've just made me a very rich man." His toothy grin appeared once more, accompanied by a howl of laugher.
"Sir, there's been a misunderstanding! I—Y…you can't do this! I demand that you let me go," she stated, her voice gaining more power—despite her increasing fear—as she went along. When the man only smirked, Jasmine set him with what she hoped was a menacing glare. "Unhand me!" I guess this is the 'dangerous' part of the city that Father warned me of… this is why I'm not allowed outside the palace walls…
"I'd do what the lady says," a voice sounded from across the room. The room silenced as if a blanket of stillness smothered the scene. Both Jasmine and the merchant snapped their heads toward the intruding voice. Leaning against the doorframe was a young man. He shrugged off his hooded cloak, revealing a well-toned torso. Jasmine's eyes drifted up from his exposed chest to his face, intrigued to see black tufts of sleek hair. His dark eyes held a spark of amused seriousness that the princess had never seen portrayed before. Who is this man?
The street vendor, however, did not have to ask such trivial questions. "I thought I told you to get lost, Street-Rat," he sneered, gripping Jasmine's arm tighter. Street-Rat…? Someone from the city—a peasant?
The stranger gave a bold burst of laugher that seemed to mock the shady merchant. "You know what they say about rats: you can never get rid of them." He smirked before continuing, "Now, I suggest you unhand the lady, Mole-face."
Jasmine watched curiously as a mien of pure anger fell over the merchant's features. "Why, You!" he yelled, shoving the princess back into the wall before turning on the stranger. He ran at him with uncontrolled force that the outsider deflected with practiced ease. Their brawl continued in this manner: the street vendor failing on offense, and the "street-rat" succeeding on defense.
The thought did not occur to the princess to escape while the strange man was distracting her initial kidnapper. She was in too much awe over the unraveling events to even consider fleeing. Instead, Jasmine backed up toward the wall in an attempt to avoid the attention-shift back to her. However, before her back even came into contact with the wall, an agile hand snaked itself over her mouth, while its counterpart wrapped around her torso. Help! She thought to the stranger who was still engaging the merchant. The princess did not have time to process more than that single thought before the mysterious arms pulled her out of the room and down the hallway.
At being pulled away, the panic alarm finally sounded within her mind. I need to escape… but where will I go? I don't know my way out of here… The princess shook her head to clear her thoughts. It doesn't matter—I'll figure it out later. Impulsively, Jasmine thrust her elbow back into her abductor's stomach in hopes of loosening their grip so she may make an escape to… somewhere.
The princess heard a distinct grunt of pain before a pair of lips appeared at her ear, "Shh… I'm trying to help you." Surprise flashed in Jasmine's eyes at the silky voice. A woman? "There is a back exit into the alleyway—come with me." Immediately, the restraining hold that had kept her pressed against her abductor (savior?) was gone, and a warm hand had slipped into Jasmine's grip, pulling her swiftly and silently down the hall into the darkness.
Jasmine restrained herself from asking the hoard of questions that were saturating her mind. Who is she? Why is she helping me? How did she even know I was in danger? How did she find me? Who was that man back there? What about the thing I was looking for…? I thought for sure I would find it tonight… Her body moved of its own accord while her mind swam with thoughts and questions.
She felt herself being pulled in a complex maze of twists and turns before the darkness opened up to reveal the city street. I've made it out? Relief and disbelief washed over the princess as she made motion to slow to a halt once outside the merchant's lair. "Not yet," she heard from ahead of her, "we must keep moving."
The voice offered no other explanation as she pulled Jasmine through Agrabah. Although the princess was still overwhelmed with her confusion, she silently followed the cloaked figure before her. Before long, the form tucked the two of them nimbly into an abandoned building.
"You'll be safe here," the woman promised as she withdrew her hand from Jasmine's grip. "I promise."
"Thank you," Jasmine whispered. Her hand felt suddenly empty as she stood there awkwardly, unsure of an appropriate way to voice her thoughts. The silence swelled for several moments before Jasmine decided on a tactic. I might as well start with the most obvious question. "Who are—" Her mouth ran dry as the figure turned around, shrugging off her cloak—finally allowing the princess to see her savior. "—you?"
A pair of brilliant green eyes fluttered open. The hue—Jasmine instantly decided—was more vivid than the most dazzling emerald in the palace treasury. In addition to the radiant color, the stranger's eyes seemed to smolder with both fervent strength and tender compassion. It was a combination that the princess had never before seen in such open and honest eyes. They entranced her—drew her focus away from silky midnight-black hair and the saucy red lips that danced together gracefully to further their spontaneous introduction.
"My name is Esmeralda… and you are…?"
"Jasmine," the princess interjected. She was cautious to disclose her true identity to the beautiful stranger. Once again, a silent stillness descended between the two of them. "I… uh… Thank you. Thank you for getting me out of there." Esmeralda smiled an acknowledgement, an action that gave Jasmine the courage to continue. "I've never been in a situation like that before. I just… thank you."
"You aren't hurt, are you?" Esmeralda asked, her eyes softening. "I know you can hold your own in a fight, but against a man that size…" her voice trailed off as she leaned in to examine Jasmine's potential wounds.
"No, I'm alright." The princess shook her head in confusion, perplexed as to why Esmeralda was under the impression that she could win a fight… Oh. "I didn't realize—are you injured?" Without waiting for a response, Jasmine's fingers involuntarily reached out to tenderly touch the vibrant turquoise bodice that swathed her stomach. "I didn't mean to—"
"It's nothing," Esmeralda protested. However, she was not quick enough to conceal the marginal flinch and hiss of pain that came with the brushing of Jasmine's fingertips.
Princess Jasmine instantly felt a wave of guilt settle deep within her core. This kind stranger—Esmeralda—was hurt because of her…because of her ignorance and foolishness. "I am so sorry," she started, unsure of how to express how terrible she felt for elbowing her savior in the stomach. There must be some way that I can help her… make it up to her… Jasmine offered her hand, "Here, let me take you to get help."
"Really, I'm fine," Esmeralda declined with a smile. "That really is not necessary, honest. I just have to wait it out; the wound will heal."
Jasmine pursed her lips together, unwilling to not offer some form of help to the other woman. "I insist. At least let me take you to a more comfortable place to 'wait it out.'"
"I don't suppose that you will accept no for an answer, will you?" When she was only given a smile from the Arabian in response, she accepted the extended hand. Jasmine helped her to her feet before both women tucked themselves into their cloaks—once again concealed within the darkness of the night.
The two veiled figured slipped out from the abandoned building. Jasmine's hand wrapped tightly around Esmeralda's as the princess scanned the sky for the palace's highest temple. With the soft stars as her guide, she stole away into the Arabian night, pulling the beautiful stranger closely behind her.
A/N: Things will pick up from here~now that I have set the scene. Please review and let me know what you think! I love hearing from reviewers who like to voice their opinion about my work. Until next time-