Title: We All Want to Know How It Ends
Warnings: Violence, Bad Humor, Magick(if you find that offense), Mild Swearing(I think at some point), SLASH
Summary: Samuel, Prince of McKinley has been sent on a quest to find his true love...or something like that. The title is a line from Heiswe's 'Happily Ever After, which you should listen to AT LEAST ONCE if you're going to read this. Look for the acoustic or the original version, that's the one I prefer.
Disclaimer: None of it's mine...seriously. The plot isn't even my idea. I just wrote it for someone else. If I owned it, Pezberry and Hevans would happen so fast your head would spin.
A/N: This was written for a prompt in the Second Annual SamKurt Meme. That's the thread I co-started with the OP's prompt. If it's not all there, or you just plain can't find it, I'll post it here so you can finish it. I've posted the first bits there and then a link to this story, so if you can't find the rest on there, don't worry! I'll finish it on here!
This is unbetaed so any mistakes are mine, despite trying not to make any!
Con Crit is welcome, even if it's on something you don't like but please don't be mean-fanfiction is meant to be fun!
Part One - The First Quest
Sam groaned internally as his stepmother's sickeningly sweet voice floated through the door of his father's study where he hid.
"I know you're in there, darling!" she called and Sam gave up, knowing that she would find him eventually. He was twenty years old, for heaven's sakes, and he needed to man up eventually.
He still didn't see why his father had had to remarry, especially to someone who was two years younger than his oldest son and (in Sam's opinion) a trollop to boot.
"Samuel! There you are!" Santana's voice pulled him out of his thoughts and he stared at her stonily as she approached with a vicious smirk gracing her lips.
"Stepmother." he replied monotonously, placing the book he'd been reading on a nearby table so as to better remove the temptation to throw it at the girl.
"Oh, Sammy, don't be like that, darling. I just need a teensy, tiny, itty-bitty little favor." she drolled, dragging a finger down the front of his tunic in what she apparently thought was a seductive manner while glancing up from beneath her lashes the same way.
"Yes, stepmother? How may I be of service?" he gritted out, taking a step back from her finger, which curled into a clawed fist before dropping to her side.
"I have a friend in need of rescuing. From a tower at the edge of McKinley. Apparently, she's gone and gotten herself trapped in said tower and is under the Curse of the Fair Maiden, which is nearly unbreakable by other means." Santana replied, scowling as she turned away and began to pace the study furiously.
"And I come into this how?" Sam asked, hoping she wasn't about to say what he thought she would.
"You're going to fetch her for me." Santana said, a wicked grin curling at the edges of her lips.
"Yes. Or I'll kill your siblings and make it look like an accident." Santana threatened and Sam knew she had him. He would never voluntarily allow harm to come to his siblings and she knew it.
Her finger curled into the V of his tunic as she pulled him closer, almost pressing their lips together, so close he could feel her hot breath on his lips as she spoke.
"Her name is Quinn." she murmured, pulling away and scrunching her face up as she shrugged. "Just so you know something about the girl you're falling in love with."
In the square...
"...that the youngest brother finally took off the Cloak of Invisibility and gave it to his son. And then he greeted Death as an old friend, and went with him gladly, and, equals, they departed this life."
Kurtis clapped wildly as Blaine the Bard finished his latest telling of Death and the Three Brothers, even more entranced by the hugely enigmatic(if abnormally short) young man.
"And what would you know of Death, minstrel?" a sharp voice cut through the applause and Blaine straightened up even as Kurtis' head turned toward the familiar voice.
"Sire." Blaine said in reply, bowing deeply as the prince strode through the rapidly dispersing crowd. Kurtis made to move away, but something tugged at him to remain and watch what was bound to happen. "How may I be of service to you this fine day?"
"It's been too long, my friend." Sam said, chuckling as he pulled Blaine in for a warm hug that Kurtis envied more than he could put into words.
"That it has, Sam." Blaine said, grinning cheekily and Sam flicked his head, flicking his wispy blonde hair from his eyes. "So, what can I do for you?"
"Sadly, Blaine, it's not your assistance that I require but rather your devoted enthusiast, Kurtis of Dalton. I need his assistance on a quest for my vile stepmother and, as of late, where you go, he seems to follow."
That statement broke Kurtis out of his thoughts. Was he truly that bad? Did he truly follow Blaine around like a lovesick schoolgirl?
"Kurtis! What a coincidence-Sam here was just looking for you!" Blaine's voice drew Kurtis' eyes up to meet murky, if startlingly green ones.
"Highness." Kurtis replied automatically, half bowing and half curtseying, as though his body wasn't sure what it wanted to do.
"Call me Sam. Please call me Sam." Sam begged and Kurtis nodded.
"Only if you call me Kurt."
"Done. Now how much of our conversation did you actually hear?"
Kurt flushed bright red at being caught eavesdropping and his audience chuckled.
"I should think that means all of it, Sam." Blaine said, clapping Kurt on the shoulder and leading the younger man after Sam as he walked away, chuckling.
The Castle Courtyard...
"No. Absolutely not!" Kurt replied to Sam's request, shaking his head violently.
"Kurt, come on." Blaine pleaded, clasping the younger boy's arm. "Just this once."
"Do you know why I was exiled from Dalton? Do you know how it feels to be abandoned by everyone you love and kicked out of your own home? I swore when I found a place that accepted me, I would stop this madness-"
"But it hasn't stopped, has it?" Sam interjected and Kurt's eyes locked on his face questioningly.
"Highness?" he asked breathlessly.
"I had a friend once, like you. He swore off all magick, being the son of a preacher, and refused to practice. The problem with magick is that, if you don't learn to control it properly, the magick learns to control you. My friend managed to kill his own father with a stray thought during prayer because his magick grew uncontrolled until became so dark it killed him. His home caught fire and burned everyone inside it alive."
Kurt couldn't breathe. He couldn't think.
"No. No, I have a handle on it." Kurt protested and Sam cocked his head.
"How long has it been since you cast a spell, mage? Months? Years? Anything unusual happening lately around you? Any unexplainable accidents? Things vanishing and showing up somewhere else? Odd weather?"
Kurt shook his head but couldn't help but wonder...lately the skies where he went had been overcast, murky and roiling; and hadn't his pouch made an odd appearance just the other day...inside a pumpkin?
"Let's say that what you say is true and let's also say that I hypothetically agree to come with you on this quest. What are my chances of coming out alive?" Kurt asked hesitantly and Blaine clapped him on the shoulder happily.
"That's the spirit!" he said, turning back to Sam. "You'd have to find the Graces first."
"I thought about the Fates, rather."
"No. That's no good - no one's been able to locate them no matter who or how hard they've tried. I'd say go with the Graces."
"Very well. Come along Kurt-we must ready ourselves for our journey."
Three days after the conversation, a very disgruntled mage was bundled upon a horse whose name was Lydia despite being a boy-horse and set off with Sam to locate the three Graces.
"This will never work, you know." Kurt snapped at Sam's cheerfulness at being on the road, too tired to care that one word from Sam-one gesture-and his head would roll.
"Nonsense, Kurt, we're almost there."
A day and a half later found the duo standing at the edge of a large, dense wood that looked more intimidating than friendly.
"I never thought that 'The Woods of Darkness' meant literally dark. I just thought that the wood was dark in color or something." Sam said, scratching his head as his brow furrowed adorably in confusion.
"Does this mean we get to go back ho-"
"Help! Help me please!" a voice screamed from between the branches and both boys stood, silently waiting to see if it was real. "Somebody! Anybody-help me!" the voice called again and Sam drew his sword, pulling an exasperated sigh from Kurt.
"Fine." Kurt snapped, tying the horses to a sturdy branch before rushing after Sam's back as the boy ran into the darkness.
In the Woods of Darkness...
"I don't like this." Kurt whispered, pulling his cloak around him tighter to keep the chill of the shadows out. "I don't like this at all."
"Hush." Sam hissed in response and Kurt was just about to tell him off when the voice from before broke the silence.
"Help me!" it yelled once more before an agonizing scream cut through the woods.
"Samuel!" Kurt yelled as the boy took off into the darkness once more. Kurt chased him, just keeping his back in sight. He'd just decided that his lungs and heart were going to burst from his chest when he smacked into a sturdy, well-muscled back and fell to the forest floor. "Sam, what-"
"Shh." Sam whispered, not moving and Kurt pulled himself upright, finally taking in his surroundings.
They stood at the edge of a clearing that was draped with vines in many different thicknesses and covered with everything from thorns to gaping wounds that pulsed angrily as if they had their own heartbeat.
But that was impossible...
Kurt's eyes were drawn to the middle of the clearing where a body lay, broken and covered in dark spots that Kurt was sure he didn't want to know what they were.
Sam made to move forward but Kurt's hand shot out and grabbed him by the wrist pulling him out of the clearing.
"Don't." Kurt said, voice shaking. Memories were coming back from his time in his hometown with Elder Schuester before things had gone to hell in a handbasket. "Don't move. Don't breathe. I know what this is."
"Can you do a spell?" Sam asked quietly.
Neither boy noticed the vines sliding slowly, almost undetectably across the ground and up around their legs.
"I-I can tr-" Kurt's response was cut off by his scream as he was yanked upside down through the air, away from Sam.
"Kurt!" Sam hollered, tripping as he moved to go after Kurt, only noticing the writhing vines when they slid over his pelvis and torso, wrapping themselves around his arms and beginning to tug slowly in opposite directions. "KURT, HELP US!" Sam managed to holler before a thick vine wrapped itself around his mouth, cutting him off.
Kurt was fighting above the clearing, trying to remember his lessons with Elder Schuester desperately, struggling as he heard Sam get cut off by what was surely more vines.
"Kurtis, do you remember what I taught you yesterday?" Elder Schuester queried of the eight year old who was bouncing excitedly on the balls of his feet as the elder tended to his garden.
"Nothing is what it seems. Never take anything at face value until you can safely prove that it is harmless." Kurt quoted and Elder Schuester smiled, placing a hand on Kurt's shoulder warmly.
"Very good, my boy. Now I'd like to give you an example of that-follow me." Elder Schuester replied, crooking an aged finger at Kurt and walking through the garden toward the woods.
After what seemed like a very long time to Kurt, they arrived in a clearing where a beautiful plant was sprouting from the ground and twining its branches up nearby tree trunks, circling them almost determinedly as it sprouted purple and red blossoms along their lengths.
"It's beautiful." Kurt murmured, absolutely spellbound as he reached out a hand to touch one of the stems, startling when Schuester's hand grabbed his wrist tightly.
"Do not be deceived, Kurtis. This plant is deadly to almost anyone who crosses paths with it." he said, dropping Kurt's wrist and, very suddenly, Kurt could see that the vines-if that's what they truly were-actually were writhing, wrapping themselves around the groaning trees and squeezing as if trying to squeeze the very life from the wood.
The vines were covered in razor-sharp thorns and Kurt couldn't help but shudder as he took in the vile-looking boils infecting the plant's flesh, throbbing and glowing violently red.
"What is it?"
"It's called 'The Devil's Snare' and only sunlight can kill it."
As the vines wrapped themselves tighter around Kurt's torso, he went still, dropping his arms so that they hung down, prepared for what he had to do the moment the vines stopped moving around him.
The vines stopped.
Kurt took a deep breath and searched his brain desperately for words as the vines began to squeeze his torso again and he could only hope that he could overcome this before it killed them all.
"Devil's snare, vile killing vine, how doth thou truly like to shine? The damp, dark place your home is in, shall be no more let sunshine in!" Kurt hollered, the last of his breath squeezing itself from his lungs as the world began to grow dark at the edges.
He'd just closed his eyes in defeat when the area behind his lids was illuminated and he felt the vines retreating, heard a pained squealing, smelled something like flesh burning as he fell to the ground, gasping for breath.
He blinked wildly, trying to see something in the bright light when it was extinguished suddenly as the squealing died out slowly.
Spots danced in front of his eyes as he took in the clearing now.
The body still lay in the center but Sam was pushing himself up off the ground and stumbling toward him and Kurt had never been so happy to see someone in his entire lifetime as Sam's arms wrapped themselves around him, filling him with warmth and love.
"I could kiss you, mage." Sam whispered, and Kurt's face flushed like a tomato as he pulled himself from the prince's embrace.
"That poor boy." Kurt said, remembering the body in the clearing and making his way to it hesitantly. A tuft of soft brown hair peeked from beneath the scorched vines and they moved as the duo approached warily.
Sam brought his sword back up and Kurt readied himself for another spell when the pile of vines groaned in agony and an arm shot out from beneath them.
"Thank you..." a voice murmured, pushing the vines away from its body and sitting up shakily. "Whoever you are, thank you."
Kurt's brow furrowed as he took in the boy's appearance-the untidy brown hair, the soft brown eye, the curve of the jaw...
"Finn? Finnegan of Dalton?" Kurt asked in disbelief and the younger man looked up in confusion.
"Do I know you?" the boy asked, scrubbing a hand across his face and through his hair, making it stick up even more.
"Finn, it's me!" Kurt said joyously, collapsing down beside the boy and running his hands over the boy's face.
Sam wasn't sure why that caused a spike of jealousy to flow through him.
"It's Kurt!" Kurt said and a light dawned over Finn's face as he took in Kurt's, placing his own hands on Kurt's cheeks and pulling him in for a gentle kiss.
"Kurt, who is this?" Sam interrupted and bith boys glanced up at him as if just remembering he was there.
"Who are you?" Finn countered, shoving Kurt behind him as best he could on the ground.
"I'm Samuel, prince of McKinley." Sam snapped and Finn cocked his head. "Who are you?"
"I'm Finnegan of Dalton. I'm Kurt's stepbrother and I've been looking for him for the last year. You can't have him." Finn said childishly and Sam's hand tightened on his sword.
He wondered briefly how much Kurt would hate him if he dispatched this fool right now.
"Oh for-neither of you can have me because I'm not anybody's property. Finn, this is Samuel, I'm helping him on his quest. Samuel, this is Finn, my stepbrother from Dalton. Are we done with out childish tantrums now? Because I'd like to get this over with and go home."
Sudden, harsh clapping drew their attention to the side of the clearing where a young woman, cloaked in white and absolutely glowing with resplendant beauty stood, looking happily amused.
"Well done, mage." the young woman said, almost gliding along the ground as she moved closer to the trio, white cloak billowing out behind her like an ethereal mist as she came to a stop before Kurt. "No one before you has been able to defeat one of my pets so utterly as you just have. I bow to you in respect of your abilities-"
She curtsied so low that Kurt and Sam both wondered how she still stood and then drew her cloak about her once more, smiling.
"-may I inquire your name, mage? And perhaps those of your companions?" she asked, softly, dark hair and white cloak moving as if blown by a gentle wind.
"I-I-I am Kurtis of Dalton. This is my stepbrother, Finnegan of Dalton, and my...sworded-friend is Prince Samuel of McKinley." Kurt stuttered out and the young woman smiled even more warmly than before. She turned to Sam and studied him for a moment before speaking.
"You are in search of something that even you do not know of, correct?" she asked, eyes peering at Sam, almost as if they were seeing through him and he shifted from foot to foot nervously.
"I seek the Graces, milady. I seek their guidance to find a Fair Maiden." Sam said, continuing before he could stop himself. "I seek my Destiny."
The young woman threw her head back and laughed happily before responding.
"These are wise words that you have spoken, Samuel, Prince of McKinley." she said, curtsying once more. "I am Splendor. You three may call me Rachel, if you'd like. I am one of those you seek. Come along-my sisters and I have been awaiting your arrival."
Deep in the Woods of Darkness...
The woods seemed to part for Rachel and the trio followed quickly. The one time Kurt shot a glance over his shoulder to look behind him, it looked as if the path they were following had never even been there.
The group crested a hill and looked down on a quaint cottage with a thatched roof, made of materials the men could neither identify nor understand based on its appearance.
Suddenly, Rachel gathered up her skirts and threw herself down the hill, tumbling over and over, laughing all the way before landing at the bottom unharmed and brushing herself off.
"Come along!" she called playfully, turning and disappearing into the cottage with the smoking chimney and homey-looking windows.
Sam shrugged and began his descent carefully, trying to avoid slipping, soon followed by both Kurt and Finn.
The trio of boys thought, at first, that the hill Rachel had tumbled down didn't look that steep but when they'd been carefully stepping for what seemed like hours and they still hadn't made it any closer to the cottage, they grew frustrated.
"Maybe it's an enchantment of some sort?" Sam asked, looking to Kurt and Finn, who looked like he was thinking hard. Kurt threw his hands up in annoyance.
"I'm not a magick detector, Samuel! I'm not one of your hunting dogs!" Kurt replied in exasperation.
Neither boy was paying attention to Finn and the light slowly dawning on his face as he stared the hill down, occasionally glancing at the cottage.
"I know that Kurt! I just assumed-"
"Don't assume things! You make an ass out of both of us-FINN! NO!" Kurt howled as the taller boy took a running leap off the top of the hill and went down hard.
Kurt and Sam watched, horror struck, as Finn tumbled down the hill, coming to a stop at the bottom and not moving.
"Please, be alive! Please be alive, Finn!" he muttered to himself, sighing in relief when the boy moved.
Finn rolled over on the ground and stood, brushing himself free of dirt and grass before glancing up at the top of the hill.
"Come on!" he hollered up to them, waving an arm to indicate that they should get down there soon. "It's not as hard as it looks! It's kind of fun!"
Sam and Kurt glanced at each other for a moment before Sam shrugged and settled himself at the top of the hill. He covered his face tightly before rolling himself over the edge...and soon enough he was standing triumphantly at the bottom with Finn.
"Oh, you've got to be kidding me." Kurt muttered when he realized what he'd have to do to reach the bottom of the enchanted hill.