Well, thanks for clicking! I'd be surprised if anyone actually clicked, but I had to contribute something to the fandom. So long story short- I found this series last week and finished it in 2 days. Live action TV doesn't usually urge me to do anything, much less write a fic for it. But this serial was good! A lot better than a lot of "hot" crap I see on TV now.
I hope you like this and please review (though I doubt I'll get any, but either way- it's a boost in the fanfic count)
Some minor warnings: some nonexplicit noncon later on
Disclaimer: I do not own The 10th Kingdom
For Virginia Lewis, it is just another day in real life.
Well, it would be if it wasn't for the "cub" in her belly, the Murray slaves, the bursting beer bottles, the police in her apartment, the unpaid taxes, and her newest lover.
But she could worry about all that later. Everyone in the apartment was busy getting rid of the beer (something they had apparently been doing since the first day she left) and on account of her father, the Murrays would probably pay for everything.
"Thank you, Virginia, is it?" the officer asked, patting her on the back. She nodded.
"Well, just remember that hiding your dad from us is illegal."
She smiled nervously as the officers took their leave, bottles of beer trailing after them. I came back for this? She shook her head before making her way into her own room, ignoring the Murray's frantic inquiries for their "master."
You know why you came back.
"Oh, my love! What a delectable room you have!" a flamboyant voice called when she pushed open the old door.
"You call this delectable?" she laughed.
"Oh yes, oh yes I do!" he said, picking up a teddy bear from her bed and shoving it into her arms before deciding that it wasn't the right bear and promptly replacing it.
"The fashionable way the pillows are thrown, the frames on the ground, the mess of toys, oh- it's absolutely recreational!" he finished, making sure to roll his 'r'.
"It wasn't like this before- it's just... messy."
She pecked him on the cheek and scanned the room. The trolls did this, I bet. Something caught her eye (well, a lot of things caught her eye because of how trampled or misplaced they were but this was different) and Virginia stooped to pick it up.
Wolf was beside her in an instant, eagerly looking down at the object: a battered three ring notebook with the words Property of Virginia Lewis scribbled on the cover.
"You wrote a book?" he asked, amazed.
"Ugh- no, I'm not a writer. It's just a diary." She felt her ears redden at the statement.
"You guys probably call them journals. It's- it's not important."
"A book that dictates the thoughts of my beloved? Her desires, emotions, hurts, and joys? Huff puff! I can't imagine anything more romantic- we must take a look!"
With a laugh, she shoved him away, just for him to bounce right back. Actually, it might not be such a bad idea. Remember some things and let go of some other things...
"Okay, Wolf- first things first- I look at it. You go somewhere else."
"Awww- but, my love-"
"Fine," he sighed, turning away and leaving the room sulkily (and probably getting trampled by Murrays upon leaving).
Once she was sure he was gone, Virginia gulped and flipped to the first page of the notebook. The loose leaf paper seemed so old beneath her fingers. She smiled when she saw the first line: Dad, if you're reading this, STOP.
She flipped to the next page. I want to be a princess! A pretty one, like Snow White or Cinderella. Then mommy will come back.
"You don't seem very happy, Virginia."
"Mmm." She ignored his worried gaze as she scrubbed behind his ears. With each of his movements, a bit of water sloshed out of the tub.
"I just thought of some things."
She ignored him. And his gaze wouldn't leave. She never really could say no to puppy eyes, much less wolf eyes.
"The diary- it made me think."
"You can tell me. I won't tell anyone, Virginia- I swear if on my wolf pride."
"Okay." She sighed and put down the sponge. How to begin?
"When my- my mom, the queen, left- I've told you, didn't I?" No reply.
"Well- well, before she left, I always had this feeling she didn't love me as much as say Bettie's mom loved her. And..."
Her throat was drying and her eyes felt hot. It must have been the steam.
"Dad never said but I thought it was because of me. She left because I wasn't pretty enough or good enough, really... she- she tried to kill me. Tried to drown me in this tub."
Her throat was cracking. The steam must have been too strong. Instead of his eyes, she was staring at her own reflection.
"I- I miss her. I always did, still do... and before all this, I guess- I always just thought I wasn't good enough for anything."
She heard him move in protest. "And now I feel like crap because all the diary did was talk about how much I suck."
"You saved us all," he said quietly.
"But before that... there's no making up for it all."
The water sloshed.
"Would it make you feel better if you washed my tail?"
She laughed, wiping the tears away. That stupid grin, that silly stare, that dumb tail. She never loved anything so much in one minute.
"You perverted wolf."
In third grade, she had a crush on Billy (forgot his last name) and didn't really remember why. Maybe it was because of how funny he was or how clean he was in comparison with all the other boys.
And on Valentine's day, she left a special cupcake just for Billy Blank. She remembered him being terrified that a girl would do it and smashing the cupcake in the trash bin. And everyone laughed (except the teacher).
It wasn't because he thought girls had cooties, Virginia was sure, it was because he was sure she wasn't good enough.
Around seventh grade, she had her first boyfriend. Then second, then third, and on and on. That was life. You find someone to get you through one day and they leave you the next. It didn't matter- just find another.
Her grades were mediocre (as expected) and her family wasn't exactly respected. She could never pay for the school parties or field trips and somewhere along the line, her grandmother's lectures about Tony got her thinking- what if it was genetic? It was just genetic to be good for nothing.
And maybe that was why she let Danny Leil have her in tenth grade. Why she went around on his motorcycle, took cigarettes he gave her, tried to run away with him at the end of the year.
"You're the best, Vir," he'd say, "I love you so fucking much." "I'll never leave ya, Vir." "Love me too, Vir?"
But she never really "loved" Danny. She was always staring at Eric Thrum, the golden-locked boy with the kind eyes, perfect grades, and star smile. He was prince Charming. And only in her dreams would they be together.
But Danny was the one that had come. And that meant he thought she was good enough. Eric never even glanced her way.
She didn't have many friends and those that she did have weren't the best. Danny helped ease the loneliness- he was there when she wanted to cry, he was there when she needed a ride, when she got in a fight with her dad.
But her grandmother told Danny Leil to stay away, told her that he was nothing good, that he made Tony look like a saint.
And Danny went on to date a cheerleader. Virginia didn't go to homecoming or prom in the following years.
She dated any guy who asked, really. They must have thought she was "easy," she was sure- and maybe for a while, she had been. She never even bothered applying for college.
Being a waitress and spending her life thinking about dreams was good enough for her. At least for a while.
"Did you know the girls at school used to whisper behind my back?" she asked him, lying against his chest.
"Did the diary remind you?"
He pulled her closer as the curtains billowed by the bed. "Yes."
"They said my mom didn't love my dad or me. Someone even called her a whore."
"Cripes! How old are they?"
"I don't remember- it was during elementary or middle school- could've been nine or fifteen."
"Well, they're wrong."
"Someone even said I'll end up just like her."
"Well... I'm glad you didn't."
"But what if I do? Wolf, what if... what if I make the kid go through what I did?"
His arms tightened around her. "Now you're being ridiculous, you most certainly are."
"Well, I'm a pessimist."
He chuckled. "You most certainly are."
I always thought of myself as a Cinderella of sorts. That one day a fairy godmother or Prince Charming would come and sweep me off my feet, just save me and whisk me away to a wonderful world. And we, me, mom, dad, grandmother, would all live happily ever after.
Her handwriting had changed so much since the days the diary was in use. Virginia was about to tear the new page out before deciding against it- she needed to remind herself. She had to do this. She brought the pencil down again.
Then I realized life wasn't a fairytale and that even if it was, I wasn't the princess or the saved damsel.
That was when she realized the only thing she could do in life was make sure the taxes were paid and that she wasn't fired from the Grill in the Green. Because she didn't have the ability to date a guy who would actually marry her, didn't have the money to start her own business, didn't have the guts to move out, and didn't have a way to make her mother come back.
I wanted a Prince Charming. I really, really did.
And somehow, the prince had actually came. He had actually came, straight out of a book almost. And just like everything else in her life, had been nothing like she wanted. He was a dog.
But he needed me to save him.
So she did. It was the dumbest thing she had ever done, but it was the best thing. And for the first time since her mother left, Virginia Lewis felt more than good enough. Because for the first time, she realized everyone's happily ever after depended on her.
It turned out mom wasn't the fairy godmother and I wasn't the one Prince Charming was trying to save. She was the wicked stepmother and he had to save the whole kingdom, including himself.
She stopped there. The next parts would be too painful to write- the blood on her mother's neck, the comb.
"Mommy, don't go," she mouthed, feeling her vision blur yet again. Fortunately, before her emotions could go any further, they were interrupted by some strange whimpering.
For the big bad wolf, it is a fairytale.
He was an optimist, always had been, and always will be. But he had never expected it to actually amount to anything. Never get this far. It was just a state of thought, a state that made life just that much more bearable.
And now for once in his life, he could walk into a store or just walk down the street without someone screaming "wolf" or brandishing a pitch fork or starting a fire. He was- he was "normal" here.
Or as normal as he could get. As far as he knew, it was a strange land where people dressed like trolls regularly and carriages rode on wheels and images moved on some half-mirror half-screen object.
The best part was that he had finally found his mate. And she loved him back. Loved him back.
It was a dream come true. Because as far as he knew, wolves didn't have happy endings. Those were reserved for knights and princes and kings and all the "good folk." And now they were pardoned, all of them, and maybe back home, it wasn't such a terrible sin to be born a wolf anymore.
But he was a hypocrite. He didn't like to disclose any of that or the details of his own life. And yet he yearned to know Virginia's, to share her pain (to invade her privacy). And because he felt so guilty about it, he conjured up a less than sweet dream at night.
When Queen Red Riding Hood I took the throne, the existence of his father was unknown to almost all. As far as the new second kingdom knew, the bastard had never existed.
Wolf had always been proud of the fact that he was related to this wonderful queen, even if his being was the result of what many would consider outright rape or bestiality.
His father had nothing but praise for the woman even when all the wolf "segregation" laws were put up. Even when there was a solid gold reward for every wolf head put up, even when there was a sudden rise in pelt trading, even when the chancellor had given a speech outright asking the people to kill all wolves on sight.
Of course, the laws had mellowed over the years, not that Wolf felt any happier or sadder. He never understood what there was to be so worked up over- hadn't it always been this way for them?
In fact, he never even wondered what it would be like to be one of the "good folk," to be a full-blooded human, to stride in the sunlight and not be turned away, to not be shot at on sight, to not have a tail to hide, to be able to stare at the full moon and have nothing terrible happen.
Those were things he never bothered with.
He never reallly wondered what it would be like to be a full-blooded wolf either, to belong to a pack, to cave in to carnal desires, to be the one going around blowing down pig houses. That is, until the fire.
His father had always been so huge in his mind- he and his mother (was she a "good folk"?). His five siblings were little blurs, two males and three females who wagged their tails like there was no tomorrow and howled with the tiniest bit of hunger. And they were all things in a swirl of smoke and orange.
And maybe that was when he realized how lonely it was. When the furry wolves shunned him, when the farming people chased him out, when there was nothing left to do but cry and eat and sleep and do it all over again with blood in his nails and blood in his teeth.
When Queen Riding Hood II took the throne, his bastard of a father had been completely wiped off the family tree.
The slogan throughout the nine kingdoms was: happily ever after. And huff puff, he sure as heck believed in it as much as everyone else. Even when a troll threw a sack over his tiny head, even when he somehow ended up in the fifth kingdom, even when the lights went out, even when the big men pressed him down, even when what little shreds of clothing he had were ripped and ripped and ripped.
"G'on, 'ave yer way w'im." Dark, dark shadows and red, red candles. "Don't come any closer! I- I'll eat you!" Hard, hard hands and dirty, dirty mouths. "No- I think I'll be the one eatin' you." It hurt, it hurt, it hurt. "G'on, howl!" It hurt, it hurt. "Howl!" It hurt, it-
"Shhh, shhh, it's okay," she said softly. He whimpered and whined, curling against her as she wrapped the covers tighter around them.
"It's okay," she soothed again, stroking his hair and feeling her fingers wetten with sweat.
"It's okay, it's okay."
"Virginia- I- I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry."
"Sorry?" She placed the back of her hand on his forehead, casting a look that questioned his sanity. He swatted the hand away.
"No- really, I- I didn't think! Oh, my love- I'm sorry! I should never have made you share your secrets."
"Oh- my poor darling! Wh- what pain you must have gone through!" This was followed by a mournful howl, followed by Virginia's hand over his mouth.
"Don't wake the neighbors!"
"Sorry," he sniffed.
"Listen," she sighed, "believe it or not, I used to cry a lot. Like, a lot. And when I was little, dad would hug me and just tell me it was all going to be okay, alright? I never believed him but it was better than nothing. Okay? It's all going to be okay."
She hugged him closer to her breast and frowned. "I think it'd be really fair if you told me what happened. I told you, didn't I?"
When she found out Danny Leil was dating the (forgot her name) cheerleader, she was ready to kill herself. Maybe she'd buy some drugs or jump off a building or get hit by a car or something. But she didn't.
She didn't really know why. It might have been because in that moment, she saw Danny for the good-for-nothing her grandmother had always complained about. Or maybe it was because somewhere deep down, she still had dreams- still knew she was "good enough" for this life.
And maybe that was why she moved on.
Even though he was a battered, broken mess with long, unkempt hair and a body sullied beyond repair, he didn't feel like crying anymore. Maybe in that moment, barely crawling out of the dark, dark place and hitching a ride on a cart of hay, he realized that was that.
He got away, didn't he? And he wasn't one of the "good folk." He knew it would probably never get any better. He would never get his family back or be accepted by a pack or lose his tail. But he still got away- no one would be "eating" him anymore. And he always had the bad habit of seeing the happier endings in the downer ones; he wasn't completely alone (technically, Riding Hood III was family) and being a half-wolf wasn't so bad (technically, he could still pretend to be one of the "good folk.")
And maybe that was why he didn't howl.
I saved the 9 kingdoms. I killed the queen (granted, in self-defense but still), my mother.
Virginia wiped her eyes for the upteenth time. She's not mad. She remembered us in the end- it was too late, but what matters is- mom loved me and we loved mom. I'm sorry, we're all sorry it had to end like this. Mom- whereever you are now, I hope you can read this.
She wiped her nose and smiled. You were good enough for us, more than good enough. And I'm sure you feel the same about us.
In the end, a lot of things had been the opposite of what she wanted. The prince didn't save her- she had to save him. Her mother wasn't the good queen- she was the wicked witch. And-
I used to think of myself as Cinderella waiting for her Prince Charming.
She really was quite jealous of her fiancee. He was an optimist even though he had no right to be.
I got the big bad wolf instead. And he tried to eat her grandmother the first time they met.
He told her the "tenth kingdom" was the closest thing to a "fairytale" he had ever encountered. And-
And I'm glad I did.
She brought the pencil down to scribble one last sentence, maybe the most important of them all.
Snow White told me that us damsels can save ourselves. I believe her so damn much.
He listened eagerly to her stomach, stopping to scratch his temples and pat it at different intervals. She couldn't help but laugh at the awkward display.
"Oh- he'll be a great little chap! She- he- I think it's a he!"
"It doesn't matter," she cut in before doing something she had never done in her life: she made the first move.
It was her hands that grabbed his head and it was her lips that first closed over his.
For Virginia Lewis, it is just another day in real life. For the big bad wolf, it is a fairytale. Either way, they were sure they would all live happily ever after, or at least something close to it.
Thanks for finishing! And feel free to review/share your opinion (good or bad).