N.B: I know it's very much AU but it had to be for this rather crazy idea I had to work. This is an AU, by the way, in which Romeo and Juliette survive and have a daughter named Fia – whom, of course, Mercutio takes to and gleefully tries to corrupt, with Benvolio freaking out. Ergo, Mercutio reading a bedtime story to Fia and Benvolio reacting...not well. It should be obvious from the story, but just so you know.

And as always, reviews/monosyllabic thoughts are always appreciated. Hint, hint.

Summary: AU. A warm, touching tale about the innocent love between a little bee and a pretty pink flower and how true love conquers all. Oh wait, it's told by Mercutio. Never mind.


The Flower and the Bee

Once upon a time in a magical field in a magical forest where magical things happen, there lived a very pretty flower. Now, this flower in question was surrounded all around by loads of pretty flowers and all that jazz, but this flower was the tallest and prettiest of the whole lot with her lovely pink petals. Her father, the Flower King, was very fond of his little flower and so sought to protect her from all things that might cause her harm, especially from the honey bees who wanted her pollen.

"Mercutio, what are you –?"

Benvolio, shush! I am telling my favorite goddaughter a story. And it's a very pretty story, too, with flowers and bees and cats and all that happy crap. Plus a happy ending. Besides, Fia wants me to continue, don't you, changeling?

"Yes, Uncle 'Cutio!"

It is decided! Now shut that lovely mouth of yours and let us continue on.

So the Flower lived happily with all her flower friends about her. But despite all of the nice things that came from being a flower princess of the field, she felt lonely sometimes. At night, when all the other flowers were asleep, she stayed up looking at the stars and wondering what her life would be as, say, a bird, flying high and free in the sky instead of living the life of a flower and being grounded, so to speak. Thus she dreamed of wanting something more. But what? She didn't know.

Unbeknownst to her, however – but knownst to us – the solution to her problem would come in the shape of a little honeybee, who too wanted more from his life.

Now, this little bee lived in the opposite side of the field where all manner of wildflowers grew, and he and his cool bee friends would buzz about, having a jolly time pollinating all the flowers of that field.

"Really?"

Indeed, my fiery changeling. That's what bees love to do best of all, and they do it well. They gather up the pollen of the flowers and take them back to the beehive to make their honey, and quite delicious honey, too.

"All right, enough, story time's over. Come, let's get you to bed before Mama and Papa return –"

Benvolio, Benvolio. You beautiful, sensitive idiot. What on earth are you saying? This is simply a touching, innocent love story about a bee and a flower. How harmless can you get? And yet you act as if I'm regaling her tales of Sodom and Gomorrah.

"Listen, if her father finds out that you've been telling her all of these 'harmless' stories to her, he'll flip. Let's just quit before you damage the girl's fragile psyche."

First of all, Romeo's an overprotective git. Second of all, Fia is her father's daughter. Ergo, her psyche is already fractured. What's a little more assault to injury going to do to it, anyway? And besides, Fia wants to hear more, don't you, my sweet?

"Uh-huh!"

See? No harm done. Now, no more interruptions! Onwards with our tale – er, where was I?

"The bee and his friends were collecting pollen from the flowers. But didn't the flowers get angry at the bees?"

Oh no, little one, the flowers didn't get angry. In fact, they love it when bees buzz around them, because once the bees get their pollen from them, some of that pollen falls to the ground and in a short while sprout into new flowers. That's how there are more flowers in the world than there are bees to buzz over. It is part of something called Nature. Thus the flowers are happy and the bees are happy, and everyone is happy.

"Ooh…"

Of course, there were some flowers that were not as cooperative and they rejected the young bees quite cruelly. There are even some that aren't even flowers, but that look like one, and they lure little bees with their pretty petals and, when they get close enough, they go CHOMPand they eat the bees.

"Oh no!"

Yes, indeed. Those are called Venus Flytraps. And young bees learned to beware of those. This little bee in question, however, had not been as cautious, and the Flytrap nearly swallowed him whole! Thankfully, though, he escaped just in the nick of time. But he was sad that what he thought was a pretty flower turned out to be a mean and vicious carnivore.

"Ughh…"

Benvolio, you're looking very beautiful at the moment…!

"Shutting up now."

Hmm. Too bad. Ahem. So the bee took to buzzing around at night, pondering what love was and all that boring philosophical grown-up stuff. On one of these nights, then, he wandered far, the farthest he had ever wandered, and found himself at the other side of the field. All bees were not allowed to venture into the other side of the field because that was the Flower King's side of the field, and he and the Queen Bee agreed not to trespass on each other's property. When the bee realized this, he became very nervous, and was about to return when he caught sight of a beautiful flower gazing up at the starry sky.

"Oh, it's the Flower! And then what happened?"

The bee fell hopelessly in love with her, of course!

"Ohhhh…"

Indeed, little changeling. The bee, completely taken by the flower's prettiness, decided to go and introduce himself to her. The Flower was very surprised to see him, because she thought she was alone. But the bee apologized to her for startling her and told her that she was very pretty. And the Flower fell in love with the bee as well, thinking he was very cute."

"Aww…"

Yes, it was very sweet. But then a mean, orange tabby cat came, called the Prince of Cats, and whom the Flower King ordered to guard the Flower at night. He was a very jealous cat and he took his job very seriously. And soon the Flower and the bee heard the cat coming back from his rounds!

"Oh no!"

But the Flower had an idea and she suggested that the bee hide in her soft, delicate petals. The bee, of course, quickly agreed. Successfully hidden among the folds of the Flower's petals, the Prince of Cats carried on, wary but unsuspicious. Safe, the Flower told the bee that it was too dangerous for him to linger because her father hated bees and so she advised him to go. The bee agreed, but only after making her promise that they would see each other again. Thus the Flower gave a little of her pollen to the bee, who very happily accepted the token.

"…Uncle 'Cutio, why is Uncle 'Volio's face all red?"

Because he is so happy that the bee managed to hide from the Prince of Cats. Plus your very silly uncle blushes easily. It's his skin type.

"Ah, okay! What happens next?"

Calm down, changeling, you'll know soon enough. Well, the bee and the Flower arrange to meet tomorrow evening and the bee buzzes away, whirling happily in the air and does all those crazy antics you do when you meet your one true love. Unfortunately, however, one of the flowers – a pretty red one – had seen the Flower and the bee talking to each other and confessing their love for each other. Alarmed, she told her neighbor, and her neighbor told her other neighbor, and pretty soon the whole field knew about the Flower and the bee by morning!

"Oh no!"

Unfortunately so. The bee's friends confronted him. They were quite angry that he would ditch his cool friends to go hang out with a flower, and a flower from the other side of the field, no less. But the bee told them that he couldn't help the fact that he fell in love with her. It was Fate, after all. Meanwhile, the Prince of Cats had heard about the Flower and the bee falling in love – and on hiswatch, no less – and he was so furious that he decided that to teach the bee a lesson. He was going to kill him.

"What?"

"MERCUTIO!"

All right, all right! He was going to do bodily harm to him – aw, no, don't cry, Fia…there will be no deaths. It has a happy ending, remember?

"Promise?"

Promise. Uncle 'Cutio wouldn't lie to you, now, would he?

"No…"

There you go. In any case, the Prince of Cats finds the bee drifting along happily and pounces on him. But the bee dodges him just in time and finds himself face to face with a very angry Prince of Cats, who demands that he stay way from the Flower or else. But the bee cannot find it within his little heart to make that promise and tells that cat of all cats that he loves the Flower and therefore cannot leave her. It will make him and the Flower unhappy. But the Prince of Cats, furious at what he thought was the bee's insolence, pounced on him again and the bee had to flee fast.

The cat chased the bee all throughout the field and everyone watched in astonishment as they passed by. The bee thought that the cat would surely get him in the end. Until, that is…

"Until what?"

Until Queen Mab appeared!

"Mercutio what did I tell you about children and Queen Mab?"

That Queen Mab particularly loves children? I know! Isn't it strange? But as fascinating as Queen Mab's interest in children is, we're talking about bees and flowers.

"Ooh, Queen Mab is the fairy queen who enters people's dreams has them dream about stuff that makes them happy!"

Why, that's right, changeling! See how precocious our little pseudo-niece is? Gets that from her mother, I'll bet. But yes, Queen Mab arrives and her presence is so formidable – which means totally awesome – that everyone of course stops whatever they're doing to stare in awe. She helps the bee by transforming the Prince of Cats into a tiny mouse, who squeaked and ran off with his tail between his legs.

"Aww, poor kitty…"

That's Queen Mab for you, sweet. Anyhoo, she tells the bee that she can help him and his romance with the Flower by convincing their parents that the match would be desirable thing. She would do it by hosting a meeting with the Flower King and the Queen Bee in attendance, where they will talk about whether the Flower and the bee should be friends or no.

"Friends!"

I wholeheartedly agree. But, unfortunately, nothing comes without a price. Queen Mab is a very clever, sneaky fairy after all. In return for her generous act, she demanded to have one of the Flower and the bee's future offspring.

"Oh! So bees and flowers have children just like mamas and papas?"

Not exactly, cherry blossom. What Queen Mab meant was the first flower that blooms as a result of the Flower's pollen being dropped to the ground. There's no stork involved or anything. Unfortunately.

"Oh…"

So anyway, the bee and the Flower deliberate on this and decide that the price of one little flower wasn't that great a price, even though they knew well that Queen Mab was not to be trusted. And so Queen Mab went off and the meeting was settled very happily on both sides. The Flower King and the Queen Bee accepted their children's romance and allowed them to be friends forever. The rest of the flowers and the bees naturally followed suit and the Flower and the bee lived happily ever after in a field where flowers and bees were free to exchange whatever and whenever they want with each other. The End.

"That was a very beautiful story, Uncle 'Cutio!"

"Thank God."

I knew you'd like it, sweet. It's in your blood, after all. Now, let's get you tucked in –

"But Uncle 'Cutio, did Queen Mab take the flower and the bee's little flower?"

Not yet, sweetling. Queen Mab works in mysterious ways, after all. But one day, when the little flower blooms into a big flower, she will seize her chance and – pah!

"Stop it, Uncle 'Cutio, that tickles!"

"All right, enough…Mercutio, enough! It's Fia's bedtime."

"Aww, but Uncle 'Volio –"

"No buts. Come on, let's get you tucked in. And no telling your Mama and Papa what Uncle 'Cutio told you for a bedtime story."

"Why?"

Yes, why? After all, it's a perfectly harmless story.

"Sure, Mercutio, whatever you say. Now say goodnight, Fia."

"Good night Uncle 'Cutio and Uncle…'Volio…"

"…Good, she's asleep. Not a word to Romeo, you hear?"

Why on earth would you wish to conceal from Romeo that I told his daughter a bedtime story? Really, the inner workings of your mind are beginning to scare me more than Romeo's, and that's saying something. Besides, even if I do tell him and he kicks up a fuss, what is the worst he can do? We've known each other since the time we knew how to string sentences together. I know him like the back of my hand, the tips of my fingertips, the twitch on my – well, you get the idea. I can handle him, no problem.

"Oh, really? I'm very glad to hear that. Then I'm sure it'll be less of a problem for you handling Juliette when she finds out."

…Ah. Yes. Ahem. Best keep it under wraps, then.

"Thank you."


Reviews are better than Mercutio's attempts at corrupting youth.