The Prince Who Never Smiled
by Grace Williams (as told to Aunt Kono)
(Or How Darth Stitch's Grace Muse Hijacked This Fan Fic)

DISCLAIMER: Alas and alack, the boys and the rest of the gang are not mine. Woe is us.

DISCLAIMER TO SAVE MY SOUL FROM GOING TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET: Look, if Steve can't resist little Grace Williams and if Danny can't resist it when Grace and Steve gang up on him, how much hope do I have?

DEDICATION: For my buddy, the Katz-Ladee, who has patiently put up with the antics of my new Muses, who are busy distracting me at work and is responsible for some of my more EEEEBIL ideas. Cheers, Katz!

Once upon a time, there was a Prince.

He wasn't a lot like most Princes, especially the one named Prince Charming, who went around kissing sleeping Princesses. Danno says that I shouldn't trust guys like that because a really good guy doesn't go around kissing sleeping girls, not unless the girl really wants the guy to kiss her. I tried to tell Danno that Prince Charming was just fixing the curse the evil witch put on Snow White and it was true love but I guess Danno has a point 'cause what if Snow White never met the Prince before and she woke up and found out he kissed her.


So anyway, this Prince wasn't like that. He'd gone away from his father's kingdom to serve in the Navy and he became a special kind of soldier. Those are the ones they call Navy SEALs, who are very very brave, very tough and really good at fighting bad guys. He spent a lot of time fighting evil knights and sorcerers and slaying dragons and monsters.

I asked Danno if he was a handsome Prince anyway, because most Princes are supposed to be that and Danno kinda looked funny when I asked. I'm not supposed to be thinking about handsome Princes yet or so he says.

Yes, you're right, Aunt Kono – Danno is really silly sometimes.

So Danno says he supposes that the Prince was handsome, if we liked the tall, dark and brooding type. When I asked Danno what "brooding" meant, he told me it was what Uncle Steve did a lot of the time when he's being too serious about stuff and Danno says it's never good when we let Uncle Steve be too serious, because he gets sad after that. Anyway, the Prince never, ever smiled and that was because there were too many sad things that happened to him in his life, just like Uncle Steve.

What sad things? Well, his Mommy the Queen died when he was a boy and his Dad, the King was too sad to do anything other than run the kingdom. I guess the King didn't take very good care of the Prince when he was little, not like the way Danno takes care of me. I look out for Danno too even though it's hard to do when I live with Mom and Step-Stan.

I'm glad he's got Uncle Steve to take care of him when I'm not there. Uncle Steve's really good at that.

One day, the Prince found out that an evil pirate killed his father the King so he had to come back home. The Prince had actually been chasing after this pirate for a real long time so the pirate decided to get back at the Prince by killing his Dad. So there were more reasons for this Prince to not smile – he was an orphan and he was all alone now.

When the Prince came to his father's castle, he met a Knight. Now just like the Prince, this Knight spent a lot of time in the Kingdom chasing bad guys and putting them in the dungeon – well, the Prince didn't put the bad guys in the dungeon, because he doesn't follow proper procedure or so Danno says. I asked Danno what the Prince did with bad guys and he really couldn't give me a straight answer…

A shark tank? Really, Aunt Kono? The Prince threw the bad guys into a shark tank? Does that mean the sharks guard the bad guys so they won't get out of the tank? Oh. Okay. I was right. That makes sense.

The Knight was also trying to find the Evil Pirate who killed the King so the Prince said, "Since you're trying to do the same thing I'm doing – let's be partners."

"Partners, he says," answered the Knight. "Like I have a choice since you're the Prince and everything."

"You're the only Knight in the kingdom who cared about what happened to my father," the Prince told him. "We'll be fine together – trust me."

Somehow the Knight was not very reassured.

Unfortunately, when they were chasing a thief who might have known where the Evil Pirate was hiding, the Knight got shot in the arm with an arrow. That was because the Prince charged right in without waiting for back-up – well, he said the Knight was the back-up. And it's a Well-Known Very Important Rule that when you get someone shot, you're supposed to apologize.

The Prince didn't know that though. The Knight was really mad and the Prince did this Super-SEAL ninja move on the Knight to make him stop and when the Knight got out of the ninja move, he threw a punch at the Prince.

You're giggling an awful lot, Aunt Kono.

And the Knight continues to tell the Prince about the rule with apologizing and Danno says it was a long and very detailed explanation, complete with pictures. I guess that means the Knight yelled at the Prince the way Danno yells at Uncle Steve sometimes.

"I'm sorry," said the Prince.

But the Knight kept on yelling and I guess he was yelling so loud that he didn't hear the Prince tell him he was sorry.

"I'm sorry – I said. I've been trying to say that, in the past year, since this conversation started," said the Prince.

And finally the Knight said, "Your apology has been heard. Acceptance is pending."

And because the Knight got to punch the Prince and the Prince got to say he was sorry and because they're both boys and boys are silly like that, they became friends. I don't know why boys have to fight and punch each other before they have to become friends but I'm really glad I'm a girl because we don't have to do that, right, Aunt Kono?

Yeah! Girls are the best!

Finally, the Prince Who Never Smiled and the Knight Who Was the Only Back-Up found the Evil Pirate and there was a great duel with swords and everything. The Prince and the Knight were awfully good at that, so they fought all the Evil Pirate's other Henchmen and the Prince got to slay the Evil Pirate. I think the Knight would have rather they tried to put the Evil Pirate in the Dungeon but Danno says the Prince didn't have a choice at the time because the Evil Pirate was trying to slay the Prince and the Prince had to defend himself.

But even after that, the Prince still didn't smile. He stayed in his kingdom so that he could protect the people from bad guys and the Knight was his friend. And the Prince had other friends too. There was the Good Wizard and his cousin the Dragon Rider who spent all her time riding dragons in the sky. The Prince's kingdom wasn't a bad place to stay in either – everyone said that it was very beautiful and that it was a lot like paradise. And there were Princesses coming from all the other kingdoms because they all heard the Prince was very handsome and they thought he might want to pick and marry one of them.

So there were plenty of reasons for the Prince to start smiling again. But he didn't and the Knight was at his wits' end.

"Look," said the Knight. "There is this thing, this thing done by most normal people, called 'smiling' and they do that when they're happy and honestly, you should have a lot of things to be happy about. You got the Evil Pirate, you live in a pineapple-infested paradise, you got princesses falling all over you. You have to smile sometime!"

The Prince looked like he had Aneurysm Face on and I'm not sure what that means, except that Danno uses it all the time to describe Uncle Steve when he's about to do something really, really silly like hang somebody off a rooftop. Which, as Danno says, is not a Good Idea and not a Nice Thing to Do but apparently people who are SEALs do that but only under Special Circumstances.

I'm not sure what Danno means by the last part but I understand the whole "Not Nice" thing anyway.

"I can't," said the Prince and the thing about the Prince, Danno says, is that he's not very good with words and he doesn't like to talk much. It's the Knight who does a lot of the talking and that's because he's good with words.

"Well, why not?" asked the Knight. "Elucidate, if you please, your reasons, because really, I'm at my wits' end here, babe."

"You like to use all these big words a lot," said the Prince, giving the Knight this Curious Puppy look. At least that's how Danno describes it.

"Eh – I'm a learned Knight, that's what I am," said the Knight. "I happen to like studying things other than swords and how to make bad guys behave by throwing them into shark tanks."

"The tiger sharks are really good at guarding the bad guys, you know," said the Prince.

"We have a perfectly functional dungeon! You're crazy, that's what you are! And what about the Great White I saw hanging around the shark tank the last time!"

"Well," said the Prince, "I think I've forgotten how to smile. I can't even remember how to do that in the first place."

So the Knight felt really sorry for the Prince and so, he found himself telling the whole sad story to his daughter, who lived in a Tower that looked over the sea. His daughter was still a little girl so she couldn't go with her father on his adventures but she planned to do that one day, when she was all grown up. She wanted to be a Knight and to be brave and catch bad guys and put them in the dungeon, just like her Dad.

Yeah, Aunt Kono, Danno looked so funny when I told him that part of the story. He said that being a Knight was very serious business and maybe the Knight's little girl might want to be a Princess instead. I think that being a Princess might be fun but all they usually do in lots of the stories is get rescued… unless they're like Rapunzel in the Tangled movie.

The Knight's little girl also felt sad for the Prince Who Never Smiled and she asked her Dad if the Prince maybe had a Princess who might get the job done.

The Knight shook his head. "Honestly, with all the Princesses swooning over this Prince, he should have some reason to be happy. I mean, they're all very pretty… though not as pretty as my baby girl!"

"But you're his friend," said his little girl. "Friends can make each other happy too, right?"

"I've tried yelling at him, because that seems to be the best way to get things through his thick skull," grumbled the Knight.

"Daddy," said his little girl. "You know that sometimes the people you yell at don't realize you do it because you love them, right?"

"I do not love –" said the Knight and he kind of turned pink, which made his little girl giggle, sort of like the way I giggle at my Danno when he turns red. He does that a lot whenever we talk about Uncle Steve.

I know, Aunt Kono, it is awfully cute!

So the Knight's little girl asked if she could meet the Prince and if the Prince could come with them on the special days when the Knight could come over and spend the day with his little girl. It wasn't something the Knight could do a lot, because he had to spend most of the time fighting bad guys and keeping his little girl safe.

"But that's just you-and-me time, sweetie," said the Knight. "Are you sure it's ok to have the Prince along with us?"

"That's what friends do," said the little girl. "And I don't mind – we should take care of him because he takes care of you too when you're off chasing bad guys."

"You have a point there – he hasn't got me shot in a couple of weeks," said the Knight but he was only joking, really. At least about the getting shot part. The Knight did that kind of joking lots of times too.

So the Knight invited the Prince along on their father-daughter outing and at first the Prince really didn't want to go.

"That's your time with your daughter," said the Prince. "Are you sure you want me along?"

"Am I sure, he says – of course I'm sure! You're welcome to come with us and my little girl wants to meet you and I am not about to go to my eight year old daughter and tell her the Prince doesn't want to see her."

"I wouldn't want to disappoint her," said the Prince and for the very first time, he started to look a little less grim and broody. "You're a really good father."

The Knight shrugged. "She's the reason why I keep on being a Knight. It's not easy work, you know."

"True enough."

So the Prince met the Knight's little girl and together, the Knight and his daughter tried to make it the very best day the Prince ever had. They went swimming with the dolphins in the sea and the Prince was a very good swimmer, because he happened to be a SEAL and they're awfully good at that sort of thing. They went to see the animals in the zoo and the Prince got the little girl a stuffed toy seal of her very own, even though the Knight was terribly embarrassed and said the Prince didn't need to bother doing that. And then they went for shave ice and the Prince forgot that shave ice could turn your tongue different colors and the one that he ordered turned his tongue purple.

And at that, the Knight and the little girl laughed, because it was so funny. Not that they were doing any better since the Knight got a red tongue and the little girl got orange.

And I guess because it was such a wonderful day, because he was in the company of his friend the Knight and that he made a new friend in the Knight's little girl, that the Prince found himself smiling for the very first time in so many long years.

When the Prince smiled, it was as if the sun had finally come out from hiding behind the clouds and it made anyone who saw it feel all warm and happy inside too. At least, that was how Danno described it. The little girl clapped her hands with glee, which also got the Prince to laugh and that was another wonderful thing.

It was at that point, that the Knight realized he loved the Prince very much.

But the Knight knew he couldn't just tell the Prince that. Everyone the Prince had ever loved, he had lost and that was really one of the reasons why the Prince had been so sad in the first place. So he thought that it would be a lot better to show the Prince that he was loved and that the Knight wasn't going anywhere. And the Knight wasn't very sure if the Prince loved him back in the same way, because really, he was just a Knight and Princes were supposed to fall in love with Princesses.

The Knight's little girl thought that the Prince did love the Knight back but just wasn't saying it either. After that first wonderful day, the Prince often did nice things for the Knight and his little girl. It wasn't just presents and stuff, because anybody can buy presents. The Prince took care of the Knight when he got hurt, because sometimes, being a Knight can be a dangerous business. And he also looked after the little girl when that happened and he helped her be brave, because it's really hard to be brave when your Dad's hurt. He often let them stay at his palace and the little girl could swim on the beach beside it and the Prince often went swimming with her, because the Knight didn't like sand in his shorts very much.

The Good Wizard and the Dragon Rider thought they were awfully funny dancing around the whole love thing, especially since half the Kingdom already thought they got married and said so. The Prince and the Knight often yelled at each other but they were smiling and laughing later and everyone was very surprised to see the Prince be so happy. They were very much like an old married couple and nearly everyone said it was very cute, even though there were lots of Princesses who were very disappointed. The Kingdom the Prince ruled was one of those progressive places and didn't always expect its Princes to marry Princesses. So it was a perfectly possible thing to happen.

Do they live happily ever after?

Well, Aunt Kono, the story's still going on right now, because the Prince and the Knight are still having adventures together. Everyone's still wondering when they'll wise up and realize that they've been telling each other "I love you" all along. Their little girl figures it should be pretty soon.

She thinks the Prince would make a wonderful second father.

-The End (for now!)-

Author's End Notes: I swear to Ceiling Cat, Gracie Muse was most insistent. Also, she's pretty keen on having a Certain Somebody as Second Dad. Don't tell Danny Muse. At least not yet. :P

By the way, all bets are off on Steve Muse though.

Steve Muse: WHAT?