Anonymous asked you: The Evil Queen holds a Battle Royale to select her new Husband. Kingdoms from all over send their Princes to battle for Regina's hand in marriage except for the White Kingdom's entry: Princess Emma.
AN: Okay… First off, Anon, I don't know why you have not gone to Queen Nan's story Enchanted. It's far better than anything I could ever bring you. But I like this prompt and I hope you enjoy.
AN2: I have been working on this on and off for quite some time and it is still not done. However, I have a ten-chapter head start and I figure if I start posting, then that will motivate me to finish (though I think I am getting close).
Regina sat straight as she listened to the court go off subject, and make fools of themselves (as per usual).
"Well, it's because she's a woman!"
"She needs a King!"
"No, we need a king!"
"She needs to be married at least. She reigns the only kingdom with a single ruler."
"Does that not make her more powerful?"
"She should be married yes, but we do not need a king. She is the greatest ruler our country has ever known."
That particular comment drew her attention away and made her think a moment.
"She needs to—"
Regina stood, "My Lords, I'm hearing your words, and while I think we can all agree that we have gone completely off topic, I think that I hear your major concerns." She poofed from her perch in the courtroom so as not to disturb her six advisors, three on either of her sides, onto the main floor where the court had argued. "You want me to marry. Yes?"
"Yes." Every single one of them said without hesitation.
Graham her most noble of knights-turned-advisor, leaned from his seat on the perch as low as possible and asked, "Your Majesty? What are you thinking?"
She put a hand up telling him that she was going to answer that as she addressed everyone.
She considered all the middle aged, sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical, bigoted men of her court and wished she could fire them all without causing a big hullaballoo. But she couldn't, so she had no choice but the one she was making.
"I've something in mind. Something you might all like. Something that will make for a good competition between those Kingdoms that need us the most to become the biggest and strongest kingdoms…"
"And what is that, my Queen?" one of them—Lord Sitonmyass-number-7 asked.
"We have a Battle Royale if you will, a competition for my hand." She turned to her advisors, knowing they were talking just as all the other men, but their talk was of concern not of encouragement for this idea, "We shall talk in my study." She gave all six of them a look.
"I'll do it." Emma stood up, shutting the feuding round table up.
Snow and Charming turned to Emma, "You'll do what exactly?" Charming asked his daughter hesitantly.
"You need me to do it, and I don't mind." She smirked as she pushed her chair out of her way and started walking in the circle the round table provided, "In fact, I'd be happy to beat every last one of those fools and marry the Queen of the Shadow Lands."
Snow looked to her stubborn child, "Emma, you don't know of what that particular queen is capable."
Emma's wide-eyed, frustrated look fell to her mother, "And you and father don't know of what I am capable!"
Charming put his hand up, "If you're doing this to get your mother's and my attention, you have it."
"I am doing this, Daddy dearest, because you need someone. And it is supposed to be my responsibility anyways. I am the single heir to this throne. Finding a suitable knight or a Lord for something as important as this… I won't let that happen when I know I can win." She huffed, "It's my responsibility." She said again.
Charming slapped his hand against the wood of the table top, "Spit on your responsibility! Emma—"
"NO!" She finished her circle, slammed her hands against the wood of the table top, mirroring her father, "I'm entering myself whether you find another representative or not." She took her hands from the table, crossed them and looked to the side before she muttered, "Though I've just stated why you shouldn't do that."
"Why?" His eyes narrowed angrily.
"Because I am good enough!"
Snow stood and walked to her daughter, "This is not your normal Battle Royale, my darling. She is vicious, venomous."
"Then if I get bit, at least I'll die worthy." The look in her eyes told her parents there was no use fighting. She nodded once before walking out of the room that held the round table.
Snow turned to Charming, "She's your daughter."
Charming chuckled and pulled his wife in for a hug, "She's ours. She's inherited both our stubborn personalities." He kissed her hair, "We'll figure something out."
"A Battle Royale? You cannot be serious, my queen." Graham was the first to speak as he and the rest of the advisors entered the private study of the Queen. "Hell, if you want them off your back about the marriage thing, I'll marry you!"
Regina gave the former huntsman a smile, "Dear, dear Graham. You are too precious for me to keep you locked up. You deserve love." She combed her fingers through his scruff before patting his cheek.
"As do you." Baelfire stepped forward. "You have a good heart. You don't deserve this, my Queen. You've done countless things for us. Let us stop you from this…"
Regina turned to the boy she found in the woods, fleeing from a dark fate when they was only children. She smiled at him as the memory of her father, the king, insisting on his schooling and the best of the best for him came to the forefront of her mind. "Bae… You are not looking after me like a Queen, but like a sister. As family."
"Someone should." He gave her a look.
The Genie of Agrabah stepped forward, "He is right, my Queen. If you do this… there's no love. And you have seen true, unbridled love. You have felt that love. You have that love now. And you deserve to keep that love."
Regina turned to the Genie she'd let free with surprise, "Genie! How could you possibly know if I've found love?"
"I can see it in your eyes, my Queen. Marry that man. Don't do this."
Regina shook her head, "I can't…" She lifted her eyes, "I must do this. If I don't then they might try a coup or something worse."
"And so what if they try a coup, my Queen? Do you not think that Graham and myself alone could not take the lot of them?" Hook, decided to join the conversation, "I've only one hand and I know I could take two or three of those wretches at a time. In fact," He turned to the others, "I hope they do try to seize your power. I'd love to start from scratch with the court. These Lords are utterly pompous and dull." His accent thickened with his last sentence.
"Hook, you devil. You shouldn't say such things." Regina grinned, "Though there is no opposition here."
Pinocchio came forward. He looked at his queen's eyes, "Why are you so resigned to doing this? If the Genie is right, if you have found love… Why can't you marry?"
Regina stood, "That is none of your concern."
"Actually, my queen, it is my concern." Regina stared at the man's nose waiting for it to grow, and he rolled his eyes, "I'm not lying. It's my concern. It's all of our concern."
"What the man-puppet, and everyone else is trying to say is that we care about you. And if you have someone you care about then you need to be with him. You deserve your happiness as much as the next poor wretched soul." The sixth and last advisor finally butted his way into the conversation.
"Don't 'Jefferson' me." The hatter grinned madly as he looked into his queen's eyes, "You know it's true. We want to do something for you just like you have done for each of us. You've taken us all in. You've helped us, rehabilitated us to humans," he looked to Graham, gave him a pointed look then moved on, "Turned us back into men from being puppets from being boys from being puppets…" he patted Pinocchio's back, "You've released us, freed us from our prisons," he looked to the Genie who nodded his direction, "You've protected us from your mother and certain… crocodiles."
Hook gave the hatter an unimpressed look.
Jefferson raised his hands in surrender before moving on, "You've made us family," He looked to Bae, "And you've reunited us with the only family we have…" He finally looked at his Queen again, "You cannot stand there and make the decision to go through with something we all know is going to drown you. Man-puppet can tell you, drowning is not the ideal way to go."
"Why do you always have to call me Man-puppet when you get going? I have a name…" Pinocchio looked to his friend's face before shaking his head and turning back to the queen, "Although, the Mad Hatter does have a point. Drowning is not the ideal way to go."
"I am not Mad!"
"You're a little wacko." Hook said.
"At least I'm fully functioning!" The Hatter looked to the man with one hand.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Hook stepped towards the hatter.
"Exactly what is sounded like." Jefferson put his hands up, "Are you gonna hurt me," he began wiggling his fingers in a teasing way to the man with a hook for a hand, "I'm shaking with fright! I'll never be able to get away from Hook!"
"Settle down, you two." Graham tried.
"That's it. Bring in the knight in furry armor, the wolf whisperer to come protect you."
Regina rolled her eyes as everyone now butted into each other. She spoke softly, assuring no one would actually hear her, "I do hope that you all don't mind, but now that this is settled and I am hosting this competition, I will be retiring to my bedchamber; I've suddenly got a headache." She poofed out of the room.
Baelfire was the one to notice that the Queen was gone, "Gentlemen! Look what you've done." He pointed to the remnants of purple and black smoke.
There were 8 kingdoms in all coming in to fight for Regina's hand. They were a rather odd collection of kingdoms, but they were all kingdoms that needed Regina and the Shadow Lands for something. And Regina knew that. She wasn't doing this because she needed any of them. She was doing this for reasons no one would ever have to know—or should ever know. She sat straighter in her seat as the gates opened.
The announcer had vocally prepared for this day for a while. He was all too excited to start his yelling so everyone could know who was entering the kingdom.
"Prince Artie," He started as the prince came riding in on his horse, a carriage following him, "Representing his cousins King Shrek and Queen Fiona of the land of Far, Far Away." Artie and the Ogre couple garnered much applause.
The announcer continued this trend with each representative and the kings and queens lining up side by side.
"Prince Alexander, representing his parents King Thomas and Queen Ella and sister, Princess Alexandra of the Eastern Kingdom in the Enchanted Forest." another loud applause from the public and the court.
"Sir Gustave, a favored knight of King Henry and Queen Danielle of the small land of France." It seemed that there was a small competition between the two cinder girls turned queens' representatives just from the applause alone.
"Prince Arely, representing his fathers, Kings Ariel and Eric and Princess Melody of the Caspian lands." Everyone adored Prince Arely; he had quite the reputation.
"Sir Patrick, a favored knight of King Edward and Queen Nancy in the Southern kingdom of the Enchanted Forest." Music came along with the King and Queen of the south; they really loved singing and dancing. This made Regina roll her eyes and rub her temples.
The announcer didn't know what to do with that interruption, so he waited as patiently as possible before, "Prince Dunstan, representing his grandparents King Tristan and Queen Yvaine of Stormhold." Regina had heard of the King and Queen of Stormhold; she knew that they were practically eternal because she was a star. She watched the still youthful couple with intrigue as she waited for the next one.
"Prince Chip, representing his mothers Queens Belle and Red of the Western kingdom of the Enchanted Forest." Prince Chip was another that everyone adored. He was adorable, hence the adoration. His mothers raised him well just as Arely's fathers raised him well. The difference between the two was Chip didn't want to play around like Arely did. He wanted his true love. Arely would be fine if he never actually found one steady love.
"Princess Emma—PRINCESS?!" The announcer shrieked as he looked at his list then down to the royals entering. Sure enough. There she came on her white steed, her hair so perfect people could die and go to the heavens with a single glance of her golden curls. After a collected gasp, the announcer continued, "Princess Emma representing her parents, King Charming and Queen Snow of the Northern kingdom of the Enchanted Forest."
The advisors all turned to one another as they listened to the last competitor's announcement. They glanced fleeting, curious glances to their queen whilst trying to keep their composure. Graham and Hook saw her white knuckles as the hand closest to them grabbed the arm of her chair subtly. Pinocchio and Jefferson saw her darkened eyes, the Genie saw the emotion that actually made her eyes darker. And Bae saw her biting the inside of her lip and cheek; something he learned she did when she had a secret that was about to come out.
One of the Lords of the Court, Lord Big Shnoz, stood up, "What is the meaning of this?!" He yelled after the insane applause died down. "Do you honestly take this for a joke?"
Charming glared at the man and made to move forward from the carriage, but Emma had jumped off her horse and was already staring the man down, despite being on the floor and he in the stands.
"Do I look as though I am laughing, Sir?" She asked with a glare.
Big Shnoz leaned over the railing of the balcony that held his seat, "No. You look as though you've inherited your father's tact though." This gained a chuckle from the crowd.
"Tactless I may be; talentless I am not. I assure you I will win this little game you call a 'battle'." Her smirk was too much for the man to handle.
"You, Princess cannot represent your kingdom!" He yelled.
"Who says?" Emma's fists landed on her hips with all the attitude the princess could muster.
"The Queen of the Shadow Lands." Big Shnoz, without intention and only anger, mimicked the young princess's position.
This was when Regina decided to butt in, "I've said no such thing." She held up her hand, stopping him from any sort of retort, "If the White Kingdom wants to submit the Princess to the competition, who am I tell a woman she cannot try a man's game?" She looked around, "After all, am I not also playing a man's game?" She smiled, causing a few chuckles from the crowd, "I will let this Princess stay. We shall see how long she lasts."
"And if she does last?"
Regina turned to her advisor, "Then Lord Smith, she is the most qualified. She will have been the only one to handle all of our… 'games' as the White Princess put it." She gave him a fake smile before turning to the crowd and standing, "Now that that is settled, let us invite our friends in and tomorrow, let the games begin." She raised both arms and the crowd applauded louder than ever.
AN: The Kingdoms are taken from many a medieval themed movie and "Once." I will list them by representative; all of the titles listed are obviously AU: Artie, "Shrek;" Alexander, "OuaT;" Gustave, "Ever After;" Arely, "The Little Mermaid;" Patrick, "Enchanted;" Dunstan, "Stardust;" Chip, "OUaT"/"Beauty and the Beast;" and Emma is obviously, "OUaT."
Read and Review! I want to know your thoughts! (I know this chapter is a LOT of setup, but I still hope you enjoyed!)