A/N This was originally supposed to be the alternate ending to my first Leviathan fan fiction, Every Breath is for You. However, I felt that the original ending that I had written was already good enough and plus I was really attached to it, so I did not have the heart to let it go. I have been meaning to type this up for around two months, but I dislocated my shoulder and haven't been able to type quickly and efficiently, so I just didn't. Why did I do it today of all days then? Well, I just got my sling off today and I can move my arm into typing position (I'm an anal typer that has to type the right way). So this is how I'm going to celebrate! Hope you enjoy this alternate ending turned One-Shot!
I walk into the room where the Emperor and the Empress are waiting for me. I really hope they are not mad at the fact that I am dreadfully lat, but I find the two sitting comfortably on the loveseat set in the room. The Empress is sitting with her legs drawn up on the sofa, leaning comfortably into her husband. I was utterly surprised at the Empress' extremely short hair and the fact that she was wearing trousers. I sat in the armchair across from the couple uncomfortably, feeling their eyes resting on me as I tap the head of my recording frog, Fizzy, who is currently on my shoulder. I really do not know where to start.
"Hello," I say, trying not to sound like and amateur, even though I am. "My name is James Wellstein. I am so happy that you have agreed to have this interview." It had been very surprising when I, personally, got a call from a Count Volger, who was representing the Emperor, expressing the interest in an interview conducted by myself. I thought that it had been strange that they had requested me, especially since I had written a grand total of two articles in my lifetime. I was sure that it was a joke. The Empress and Emperor had gotten such horrid media attention that I hadn't even begun to imagine the possibility, yet here I am.
"We thought that it was time to forget what everyone has said about us in the past." The Emperor says solemnly, his eyes focusing on his wife now rather than on me.
"Aye," She agrees, "It's quite daft that social standing has to take precedent over love."
"The whole world was very surprised when you threatened to abdicate the thrown in favor of her Highness. Why did you?" I ask, trying not to look down at my notepad. I do not need to look at it. I am not going to forget my questions.
"I gave up so much for my country." He said, running his hand through his mahogany hair. "I thought that it was time that they do something for me in return."
I couldn't help it. I looked down at my notepad before asking the next question. "Your wedding was one of the most talked about events in the century, and the both of you... How can I put this kindly? Spat in the face of the Austrian monarchy." I say, trying not to be too opinionated on the matter. A good reporter is never biased, but the controversy of their wedding had been quite known.
"To hell with them!" Aleksandar exclaims, smiling. The Empress throws her head back in laughter and looks into her husband's eyes. The way that they look at each other makes it seem as if they haven't seen each other in years and must make up for every moment lost.
I gently clear my throat and give them both my most winning smile. "Your first act as Empress was to let women vote. What do you plan on doing next?" I ask.
The Empress fidgets in her seat a moment. Emperor Aleksandar gives her shoulder a small squeeze of encouragement. "It's still quite daft that women can't do the same things as men can. I suppose the next step would be to allow women to join the army."
"We can't simply let more women go through what Deryn went through in order to follow her dreams. So, we have been trying to get the council to agree to pass the law that women can enlist, but they still seem adamant about keeping things the same." Aleksandar adds.
"This is another thing I wanted to ask about. You implemented a constitutional Monarchy, and you now have a people's council. The last time that sort of government was used was during the French Revolution and it did not work very well for the French. Why use it in Austria?" I ask, truly curious as to the why he chose that particular system for the new administration of the country.
"The people of 18th Century France were not as educated as they are today. I just thought that it would be better if I worked with the people rather than with the aristocracy." He replies easily. I am surprised at the Emperor's knowledge of politics. Normally, rulers are indifferent to politics and have advisors to dictate their every move.
"I take it you don't need many advisors your Highness." I say. I should have gone into politics.
The formally present smile disappears form the Emperor's face, and he is suddenly very serious. His eyes dig into my own and he honestly makes me want to run away from the room in fear. "Throughout my entire life, people have told me what to do. They have dictated every move that I have to make, but that does not mean that I do not care about my country. That does not mean that I do not take interest in politics, and it does not mean that I simply shrug off my responsibilities."
"Here we go again," The Empress says, rolling her eyes. "Another round of 'the responsibilities of Aleksandar Ferdinand.'"
The Emperor shoots her a glare that could probably melt steel. I clear my throat once again. "So," I say awkwardly. I let my fingers rise up to the collar of my shirt and undo the first button. When did it get so hot in here? "Do you have any plans for the future? What's next?"
The Empress turns to face me and I am dazzled by her bright smile. "We're going to start a family now." She says. Her slender hands find her husband's and their wedding bands glisten together in the fabricated lights of the room. "In fact," she continues, "we're expecting right now."
I can just feel my mouth drop and my eyes popping out of their sockets. This is really going to be front page news.