A/N: Hello everyone. For those just coming in, keep in mind the struggle it has taken me to actually complete this monster lol For those coming back, I have once again revised this story to better fit what I had in mind for it. It's been a long time and I wanted to make significant changes that better suited the plot. The bulk of the chapters are still the same, though I have made sentence structure changes as well as dialogue tweeks and the like. You'll see once you start reading. I have since completed the first 6 chapters and they will be uploaded now. The rest will be done shortly. I am determined to complete this story and since I will be going away to school at the end of the summer I want this off my bucket list.
Once again, patient readers... please enjoy a fully updated version of Just A Silly Fairy Tale:
The sun lit up the tower at dawn, eliciting the young woman in her cool, dark room to sit up from her bed. She knew that if she decided to oversleep her family would punish her by taking what little she had away. Her brown eyes opened as she stretched, yawning and rubbing her face to rid it of sleep. She usually didn't sleep well; she was constantly dreaming. The majority weren't dreams filled with pleasures—mostly nightmares, but some ended on an optimistic note. She grasped those for dear life every day.
She sometimes dreamt of being with a husband in a lovely cottage in the forest away from her so-called family, and others plagued her with monsters and darkness and the unknown. Yet the dreams she kept reliving recently were stranger than anything she could ever wish for. There were bright lights and stars, and so many beautiful colors to intersect her subconscious. It filled her with joy, because it made waking up to another morning in her family's house a little more tolerable. The previous night she dreamt of something else entirely… something that not only consisted of stars and colors.
The young maiden considered the man she could only recognize by the long brown coat and chocolate hair; she considered that it might have been her dead father, since she couldn't remember his face from the visions in her dream, but she pushed the thought of that aside. Knowing that he wasn't coming back haunted her all the time. She missed him more than anything.
Pulling her blonde hair into a bun, the young girl slowly got dressed and preceded to clean herself up. Even though she remained in the house for the day, she applied just a bit of makeup, just enough to give her some sort of pride. If she applied anything more to accentuate your natural beauty, then her sisters would forcefully wash it off with water and soap, leaving her eyes as red as though she had cried all night long.
A few hours passed before most of the household tasks were finished, as she was expected to complete. The dishes were cleaned, clothes were washed, the floors were swept, and every other chore imaginable was done before her family woke up. She walked outside in the back yard where the horses neighed for oats, poking their heads out of the stalls to greet their caregiver. "Morning, ladies and gents," she said with a small smile.
Pulling a strand of blonde hair away from her face, the young woman brought out the food, hay, and brushes to begin her daily routine. As sad as it was to think it, she knew that the horses were the only creatures that she felt actually listened to her. Not only that, but she enjoyed their company. Their docile behavior wouldn't allow such cruelty.
"He was a slender-looking bloke," she said, brushing her favorite mare's white coat. "And his hair was just… I don't know. It was sticking up as though it were thorns in a rosebush... yet it looked so soft to the touch. But was struck me the most were those eyes… They were an earthy, lovely shade of brown, almost like hazel nuts. I couldn't make out much of his face, but by the look of those eyes… I found myself getting lost in them as though I knew him somehow. Of all the things to dream of, I think of this strange man I don't even know. Maybe I know him?"
The mare tilted her head towards her caregiver, almost as though she were expecting to be petted. Of course, the human girl obliged. "Aw, what would you know about dreams like that, eh?" she said jocularly. "Horses like you are born with the freedom to prance in the meadows. Why have dreams when life is so carefree?"
A shout from the second floor of her home interrupted her giddy thoughts. "CINDERELLA!"
She could only sigh and shrug. "I'm coming!" She finished brushing down the mare and rushed back to the house, awaiting the orders of her family member.
The Doctor awoke groggily, his head aching and body moaning in agony. All he could think about was the state of the TARDIS. She was hurt badly, but it was nothing she couldn't repair over time. A thin layer of smoke blanketed the air, with a few small fires eating away at the ground. Everything was in disarray: books, old technological devices, assorted items from alien worlds, emergency supplies that ejected during the crash, and several other things that the Doctor didn't want to clean up. He sighed at the damage and mess that had been made.
He wanted to let Rose experience the beautiful sight of her solar system's sun up close, like she did in his 9th regeneration… only without the thought of her planet being destroyed. That and Rose was intrigued about the opportunity, since she never got to appreciate the sun's beauty at such an angle. The expression in her voice upon seeing the sun for the first time without the thought of danger made him smile:
"Amazing, isn't it?"
"I… I couldn't even imagine, let alone appreciate, the sun looking anythin' like this. All I see is a big yellow circle in the sky all the time… an' to think that this is what I've been missin'. Is this what most stars look like up close, Doctor?"
"Oh, yes… most stars shine as bright or brighter; but this one is especially beautiful, and possibly the most beautiful star I've ever seen."
"… And why is that?"
"Because people like you get to see it everyday. That, to me, makes it special."
He never thought that a solar storm could disrupt them so suddenly, because before he knew it, a tendril of the star's massive power and heat hit the TARDIS. Solar storms were hard to predict, but even so he mentally kicked himself for not putting up better shields in case of such an event. Regardless, he had more important things to worry about.
"Ow, my head…" he complained, rubbing a possible bruise near his forehead as he checked himself for other injuries. No broken bones, every limb in place, two eyes, two ears, one mouth, one nose. Everything was in order. But then he realized that he was alone. "Rose? Rose, are you okay?" He didn't receive an answer. He quickly stood up while gingerly stepping over a damaged pile of metal, scanning the control panel and area around him for any sign of his companion. "Rose? Rose, where are you?" Again there was no answer.
The Doctor felt himself panicking. He wouldn't forgive himself if Rose was dead or missing, and no matter how hard he searched there was no sign of her anywhere. "Rose!" He kept calling her name despite knowing that she was gone, and instantly his instincts told him that she was in danger. "Oh, Rose, please don't be hurt…"
He knew the TARDIS crashed someplace, and he remembered that he managed to steer her towards the Earth. The only question was where and when he was. He hoped that by doing that, he could track Rose down and get her safely back to the TARDIS. He checked his monitors, and instantly the scene outside the safety of his spaceship appeared much more foreign than what he had hoped.
17th-century France (or what looked like 17th-century France) filled his screen judging by the architecture and clothing, and in the distance he could see a tall, elegant castle. It all seemed eerily familiar to him, as though he had seen it someplace before. That wasn't a new concept to the Doctor, a 900-something year old alien who had seen more than anyone, to forget where he had been before once and a while. The landing place of his TARDIS in which he crashed looked to be in a high-class neighborhood, and despite the sewage it was well kept with horse-drawn carriages carrying wealthy-looking people.
"Now how did you manage to get me here...?" he said to himself, his question directed at the TARDIS. The TARDIS gave a sad warble, obviously in pain from the solar storm. "You're sensing a disturbance in the chameleon arc? Did something tamper with it?" The TARDIS gave a groan, a few sparks flying out from the ceiling and from the other side of the control panel, and he sighed, feeling defeated and lost. She was in no condition to answer his questions. "Oh… what am I going to do with you?" Stroking his ship for a brief moment, he cleaned himself off and felt it necessary to at least check the chameleon arc on the TARDIS's word and figure out where Rose was… if she was anywhere in that particular time period at all, that is.
He trudged over to the chameleon arch, which hung at eye level looking broken. He whipped out his sonic screwdriver to at least do some kind of repair. Immediately he considered the possibility that it had malfunctioned judging by the wires and its electrical guts spilling from all sides. Solar storms can mess with technology in damaging ways, and he cursed at having to find rare parts to fix it once his TARDIS recuperated. But he noticed something else: DNA samples. Blonde strands of hair were entangled in a few parts of the device. The Doctor's eyes flew open in sudden realization and shock. He knew what had happened to her.
Not only did he come to the realization that she was a completely different person, but was somehow in the world in which he found himself stranded. He dislodged a few stray hairs from the arch, and followed a few that floated to the floor.
Miraculously, and suspiciously, Disney's Cinderella lay almost unharmed in its DVD case at his feet. Lifting an eyebrow, he picked it up, wondering what it was doing there. Then he remembered.
The previous night he and Rose—mostly Rose—wanted to watch a film that they hadn't seen in a while, and she begged for a princess film. And of course he kept Disney's Cinderella in his endless movie collection, which she agreed to watching despite him not being as enthusiastic. And there they sat for two hours as Rose grew weary, until eventually they drifted back into the control room to park the TARDIS near the Earth's gravitational pull. Rose might have forgotten to put the DVD away, hence why it was found in the rubble.
He stopped his thought process, suddenly struck with an impossible idea. "No… no way. That's not—"
He rushed back to the console, looking at the monitor showcasing the castle in all its glory.
His traitorous mind answered correctly: it was Cinderella's castle.
"You stupid wench, grab my laundry from my bedroom! And be quick about it!"
"Mine, too! God, Cinderella, how could you be so forgetful this morning?"
"Figures. You're such a miserable failure!"
"Forever and always—stuck in a house doing nothing but chores and cleaning up shite after dumb animals!"
Cinderella could only listen as her stepsisters made fun of her and belittled every ounce of her being. It was nothing new in the life of a maid in her home, so she tried to block them out. She learned long ago that arguing back did nothing but upset her stepmother, since she only came in time to see her yelling in her defense, which equaled punishment. She kept quiet and picked up the clothes from the sisters' bedrooms.
One of her stepsisters peered her head inside the bedroom she was in and added, "Oh, and grab our bed sheets as well!" Cinderella obeyed, as much as she didn't want to. The possibility of her getting thrown out of the only roof over her head was an option, and despite wanting to get out of the house she didn't want to risk not having any shelter. She recalled attempting a few times when she was little, yet they always found her. Always.
Sometime later after breakfast flew by and the new load of laundry was washed, Cinderella felt the presence of Drizella, one of her stepsisters, behind her while she was tidying up the kitchen and putting dirty dishes in the sink. She turned her senses off and put all of her focus on the chores she had done so monotonously for her entire life.
"Talking to horses again, Cinderella?" Cinderella felt her face flush and side-eyed her stepsister curiously. "I heard you out there, since you fail to be quiet while we sleep. I heard something about a man…" She appeared interested in Cinderella's daily thoughts, despite the torture she received. Cinderella tried to dumb down any kind of significance her sister could get out of her dream.
"It was nothing, Drizella. I just had a strange dream the other night."
Drizella shook her head with a smug grin. "Talking to horses about dreams regarding men that are way too good for a lowlife like you… What a sad existence you lead." She turned to walk away. "Though I do admit, that man you dreamt about sounds like such a gent. When you meet him, tell him to look my way, not that I would have to ask!" Drizella went away with a laugh, leaving Cinderella to smirk at the idea that her pampered, stuck-up stepsister would even dream of attracting a man with an attitude as atrocious as hers. Unconditionally she loved her, but she knew that she wasn't a lady of choice for a lot of men. She knew that by the sea of suitors that had been forced to come by the house, flirting with her rather than the women that invited them. While she always felt flattered by their advances and would have loved to leave with one of them, she was locked inside her bedroom as punishment for even looking in a man's direction. Her stepmother watched her movements like a hawk after a rabbit. No matter what she did she never got the chance to protest.
Drizella did have a point, however. If the man she dreamt of ever existed, looking in her direction wouldn't be such a bad idea. She remained strong, though, and tried to be optimistic despite everyone telling her that she wasn't anyone special or worthy of anyone's attention. After a while, though, when she felt especially low… she found herself believing their lies.
"You've got to be kidding me." He threw the DVD back down and ruffled his hair, making it stand up in all directions as he continued to think in a manic frenzy. It was mad, and silly, yet there it was: Cinderella's castle, sitting outside like it existed all along and he couldn't understand how it was transferred through… the chameleon arch? That couldn't be right, he thought. The chameleon arch couldn't just transfer information from a DVD to real life.
The TARDIS warbled again, sounding a bit better yet still worse for wear. "Hmm, that's a good possibility, old girl. We did watch the film recently, and her recent memoires of it might have influenced the arch's ability to tamper into your files and transport us into the correct time period…" One problem: Cinderella was fiction. 17th century France was much more complicated than what he saw outside (he's been there, after all), so he couldn't understand why or how the arch would have decided Rose's fate in that way.
The Doctor growled, hating that he couldn't explain what and how it had happened to her and hating that he was wasting valuable time doing so instead of finding his companion.
He sighed, looking up at the ceiling in confusion. "Rose, where in god's name could you be?"