Author: Elizabeth Wilde
Distribution: Anyone who has my fic, anyone who asks for it, wilde
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the 10th Kingdom characters, its story, or the song "Gunning Down Romance" by Savage Garden. Just borrowing! Don't sue, k?
'Ship: hints of Wolf/Virginia
Classification: extreme angst, drama
Summary: "Maybe in her world such things happened all the time. In his world, happily ever after meant all or nothing."
Rating: PG-13 [generally disturbing content]
Spoilers: the whole miniseries
Feedback: to wilde biteyourtongue.net
Author's Note: Fixed an issue where none of the punctuation was showing up for reasons I can only guess at. Sorry about that!
~Love and other moments are just chemical reactions in your brain
And feelings of aggression are the absence of the love drug in your veins
Love come quickly
Cos I feel my self-esteem is caving in
It's on the brink
Love come quickly
Cos I don't think I can keep this monster in
It's in my skin~
"It took you long enough." The Queen watched Wolf as he entered the room. His expression and posture were those of a man who had no hope left, no will. She smiled. He was ready, or close enough to be of use to her. "But we will ignore that. Tell me, where are they?"
He ducked his head and stepped closer to the Queen's chair. "I do not know, Your Majesty."
"Don't you? You'll have to find them, then." A cold smile adding false kindness to her face,
the Queen motioned for Wolf to kneel by her chair. The woman's voice fell to an icy whisper.
"And you are prepared to do whatever it takes, whatever I command you?"
"Yes, my Queen."
She searched his eyes, noting the hollow, naked pain and fought back a surge of contempt. The
girl meant more to him than the Queen at first surmised. No matter. If he truly intended to follow
her commands, all would be well and the girl would be a complication no longer. "You will not
betray me. If you do betray me for love of the girl, you will die along with her. You have
potential, but I have no great fondness for you. You can be replaced easily enough by someone
with more ambition. Am I understood?"
Wolf nodded silently. With every ounce of his being, he tried to conceal from the Queen his pain,
but he knew he was failing by the predatory glint in her eyes. She had complete control of his
destiny and they both knew it. Some saner, more controlled part of his being begged a
reassessment of the situation. Wolf swallowed hard and forced his heart to cease its constant
attempts to ply his mind. "Yes, Your Majesty. Clear as crystal."
"Good." She sat back in her chair and ran a hand over his hair as she might any household pet.
"Go. Search for them. When you find them, bring them here. How you get them here is your
business, but leave them alive. For now," the Queen finished softly, tinted lips curving up.
"As you command." Wolf rose and crossed to the door, hesitating for only a second before
stepping back out into the world. Some dark tendril in the core of his being urged him forward
while his heart cried again to wait, to think. But where had thinking gotten him? He growled
low in his throat and continued resolutely forward. He would find Tony and Virginia and he would bring them to the Queen. He would obey.
~Love and other socially acceptable emotions are morphine,
Cleverly concealing primal urges often felt but rarely seen,
Love I beg you
Lift me up into that privileged point of view
The world of two
Love don't leave me~
Virginia had rejected him. Wolf could care less about the money and time invested in the venture, but his heart belonged to her and she had rejected him. For her, perhaps it meant nothing. For her, perhaps it was commonplace for men to throw themselves upon her mercy only to be crushed under her heel. Maybe in her world such things happened all the time. In his world, happily ever after meant all or nothing.
He had tried once to explain to Virginia that you either found true happiness in the Nine
Kingdoms or you were as good as dead. Wolf fed his determined anger with the thought that
Virginia had stolen from him his chance for true happiness. They could have found the sort of
love lauded in song and story and whispered of throughout the ages. But Virginia had rejected him.
Wolf clenched his fists. Wolves mate for life. Whether he liked it or not, Virginia had his
heart for life. If she was unwilling to see that, to see how much he loved her and needed her,
Wolf reasoned, she would simply have to be dealt with as the Queen wished. Who could blame him for following orders?
His heart wanted to try again, wanted to forgive Virginia and beg her again to try to love him as
he loved her. She had made it abundantly clear, however, that she did not share his feelings.
The black snake wound its way deeper into his heart. He would do as the Queen asked.
As he entered the swamp, Wolf sniffed the air, knowing without question who awaited him there.
~I'm gunning down romance
It never did a thing for me
But heartache and misery
Ain't nothing but a tragedy
Love don't leave me
Take these broken wings
I'm gonna take these broken wings
And learn to fly
And learn to fly away~
"Your last wish is granted."
Wolf looked up to see the Queen standing in the doorway, typically icy smile lending a wintry
glow to her face. The Huntsman, who Wolf suspected was the Queen's lover as well as loyal
servant, stood behind her, a shadow. Wolf stepped forward obediently and bowed to the Queen.
"Did I do well, Your Majesty?"
"Excellent." She caressed his hair lovingly and smiled at Virginia and Tony.
Wolf noted how pale Virginia's face, how wide her eyes. She had not expected this at all.
He smiled. "I thought it would be safest to stay with them to make sure they didn't spoil
"What have you done?" The heartbreak in Virginia's voice sounded somehow familiar. "No, no, no, not you."
"It's simple, Virginia," Wolf said as though explaining his actions to an ignorant child. "I
obey the Queen." The stricken look on her face and the tears forming in her eyes were all the
answer he needed. Wolf half-listened as both Virginia and Tony attempted to appeal to the
Queen's memory, some shred of her former conscience. He almost laughed. The Queen no more had a conscience than he had any longer.
The Queen ordered Tony taken away and Virginia to remain, but Wolf broke in, "Your Majesty, with all respect, is it wise to remain with her? Already she has tried to sway you from your plans.
Perhaps it would be best to deal with her now?"
Smiling fondly at Wolf, the Queen inclined her head. "I see you are anxious to do your part.
That is to be commended." She studied Virginia for a moment, pleased at the tears running down her face. "Yes, take care of her." As she left the room, the Queen called back, "But try not
to get too much blood on the floor. The servants have a coronation to prepare for."
With the Queen gone, Virginia looked hopeful, as if it were the Queen's presence alone which had caused the change in Wolf's demeanor. "You-you didn't mean it, did you? We have to get my father and leave. Now that we have the mirror-"
Wolf cocked his head to one side and peered at her with cold, depthless eyes. "Why would I let
you go? The Queen has ordered me to finish this." He moved forward a step and Virginia
retreated, cursing when her path was blocked by a mirror. His voice sank to a threatening
whisper. "Why should I show you mercy?" Another step closer.
Near panic, Virginia held up a hand and begged, "Please don't! I love you!"
"You say that now. It's convenient for you now. Why should I believe you? I'll bet I'm not the first one you've said that to." Wolf moved closer, closer, enjoying the scent of terror and the
light of fear in Virginia's large blue eyes. "If you love me, why do you keep trying to run?"
"You aren't acting like yourself," Virginia protested, ducking behind a mirror and edging toward the door only to find Wolf already standing in her way. "This isn't you."
"How do you know that? How do you presume to know me at all?" Wolf could feel the sharpness of his canines against his tongue and smiled, knowing it was a frightening sight. "You're
shivering. Let me warm you up..." Nice, warm blood. The thought sent his pulse racing.
Virginia shuddered and began again, "This isn't you! I do know you! I do!"
"Who are you trying to convince, Virginia?" Wolf had her cornered now. She was backed against a wall and shook with fear, tears still falling unchecked down her pale cheeks.
He ran a hand down one cheek, watching as she flinched and choked back a sob. Breathing
shallowly and putting every ounce of love she could manage, Virginia begged, "Please don't."
Wolf tried to force back a sudden surge of pity, to think only of what she had done to him, done
without thinking, without hesitation. His teeth were inches from her throat and it would only
take a second to tear the flesh and feel her blood filling his mouth. He steeled himself,
knowing what he needed to know, knowing what he had to do. And then shoved her halfway across the room. "GO!" he yelled, squeezing his eyes shut. "Turn on the mirror and go! Now!"
"But my father!" she gasped, shocked at the revelation that she was still alive.
Wolf looked up at her for a moment, allowing the full affect of his glowing eyes and protruding
fangs to settle in. "You can't save him if you're dead, Virginia. Leave now." He backed up further, temptation calling at every step. "NOW!" Still shaking, Virginia darted to the mirror and activated it. She glanced back once, eyes wide, then stepped through.
Wolf watched the mirror for a heartbeat before crossing the room slowly to close the portal. His
hands twitched and his eyes burned. Virginia was gone.