In movies and books, most stories have a happy ending. The good defeat the evil, the strong ones will rise and help to mend the broken, the hero gets the girl. Yes, all this is how many stories and practically every fairytale end.
Well, life isn't a fairytale. Bambi and Faline came to know that the day they met again as adults. They admired how each other turned out to look. Faline a true beauty with light brown fur and kind blue eyes, Bambi as a handsome young stag, ready to fight for his love.
He fought, but he didn't win. Ronno, an old fawnhood "friend" admired Faline's beauty as well, and at the end of the long fight, Bambi was lying in the water, sore, bleeding and soaking wet. He looked up to see Ronno standing at the cliff above him, giving him a triumphant smirk.
Faline dashed forward and peeked over the cliff.
"Bambi!" she screamed concerned, but was relieved when he turned to look at her. He looked terrible, but at least, he was alive.
"Faline!" he responded and tried to get up, but shrunk back when Ronno glared at him with fury in his piercing green eyes.
"You've lost" he called, his voice dripping with malicious joy. He smirked again and turned to look at Faline, who widened her eyes. "No" she whispered under her breath.
"She's mine" Ronno said calm, but with an evil tone.
"No!" Faline screamed and tried to run away. She would have rather thrown herself off that cliff than being the mate of that…that…monster and bear his fawns! But Ronno blocked her path, his glance now furious.
"I have won. You're mine, sweet Faline. And now, come with me." He paid no attention to Bambi. Princess could do whatever he wanted, Ronno didn't care. He had Faline, for now, that was enough for the maroon buck. His antlers lowered, he walked towards her.
"You wouldn't hurt me!" she exclaimed, but insecurity swung in her voice. Ronno smirked.
Faline's eyes widened and she gulped. Slowly, she stepped backwards, with Ronno following her whenever she did a step. This way, he herded her away, into another part of the forest. Away from her love, Bambi, who weakly walked out of the water and collapsed on the shore.
Sometimes, wishes just don't come true.
He kept lying there the whole day, too devastated to move. He had lost not only Faline, but also his honor. Why, off all bucks in the forest, did it have to be Ronno who took her away? He was a disgrace as a prince. How could he lose this battle?
It didn't matter for him that the water he was still partly lying in was light red and that he was shaking from the weakness and the cold. He was numb, for this moment, he wouldn't have minded if he died right then and there.
But of course, there was one stag that wouldn't let him.
The young prince looked up, his view clouded and out of focus because of the blood loss. But he didn't need his view to recognize that stag. Deep voice, muscular, tall, large antlers, proud way of standing. Fatherly concern in his eyes. The Great Prince.
"Dad", he choked and let his head sink in shame.
The Great Prince managed the incredible task to look sympathetic and stern at the same time. "Get up, Bambi", he told his son with a hard voice. Bambi shifted and stretched one of his legs, but sank back at the ache.
Bambi shifted again, this time stronger. When the Great Prince's tone was like that – sharp, loud and stern – it was clear that it wasn't something he asked Bambi for, no, it was an order. He would not watch his son lying there like a wimp. Losing was part of life, and Prince could tell that Bambi had been beaten up pretty badly. There were cuts all over his body and he looked just miserable.
Shakily, Bambi finally managed to stand on trembling legs.
"Go rest, Bambi." With that, Prince turned to go. He could've stayed, told Bambi that he loved him no matter what, but Bambi wasn't a fawn anymore. He had to learn to deal with things on his own. And losing a doe was part of it.
The Great Prince turned, frowning. "For what?"
"I dishonored you. A prince isn't supposed to lose."
"A prince isn't supposed to pity himself, either." Saying this, the Great Prince sounded much harsher than he had intended to be. Bambi flinched and trotted out of the water, his head low.
He watched how his old father gave him a sympathetic look and a little smile before he finally left. And there the young prince stood, bruised, defeated, left alone and very, very lonely. Sighing, he let his head sink and started walking towards where he had his den since his father had told him to live on his own. All he wanted was to sleep.
Maybe things would be better tomorrow.
Ronno and Faline
The buck had brought Faline very far away from where the fight had taken place. She had quit biting him or even objecting. She just looked at a little wound on her shoulder. Blood was slowly dripping from it.
Little did she know that he hadn't done this on purpose, but it was enough to keep her quiet and made her obey his every order.
"We can rest there." Ronno pointed towards little cave between two cliffs. She threw him a scared glance and quickly lied down on the ground. Ronno did the same next to her. Faline noticed that he was lying between her and the entrance, so she couldn't get away without him noticing.
"Clever" she thought.
Tiredly, she closed her eyes and thought about everything that had happened today. She couldn't believe Bambi had lost. Her Bambi, the one she had been in love with for almost all her life. And now she belonged to Ronno, the very buck she wouldn't have wanted even if they last two deer on earth. She would be stuck with him for the rest of the year if she didn't come up with a good plan. And moreover, she would have to bear his fawns.
He would take her, and there was nothing she could do about it.
Tears of desperation ran down her cheeks, and a quiet sob escaped her. She quickly looked up to see if Ronno had noticed it, but he was fast asleep. Seemingly. When she had laid down again and slowly fell asleep, Ronno raised his head.
"Oh Faline." He sighed.
He would make her see that he wasn't less of a win than Bambi. Probably. Possibly.