The Girl in the Tower
Summary: A very fluffy and cracky Castiel/Alex Winchester fairy tale based on Rapunzel. Alex Winchester is my OC from the story Song Remains the Same. This is just for fun and also because I'm weird/insane/love fairy tales. Carry on then!
Once upon a time in a faraway place... a husband and wife lived in a quiet cottage in the meadowlands. John and Mary were young and in love, had a baby boy named Dean, and he was their delight. A fine, strong, bright-eyed child, he brought new joy to their simple and quiet life. However, they longed for another child, yet they found over time that they could not conceive. For three years they tried and failed and they grew hopeless that they would ever have any more children.
There lived a wandering sorcerer in the lands named Azazel, and when he learned of John and Mary's plight, he thought to himself, I will use this to my own gain. One day, while Mary was alone in her garden, Azazel went to her and made his offer. He told her that he had the power to give her everything her heart desired: another child.
Mary was astonished and couldn't believe the things that the mysterious visitor said to her. He told her the things he had done, the magics he had performed, the miracles he had given other families all across the lands. She was enraptured, she became hopeful and excited.
As with all magic and spells and dark wizards, there was a catch. Azazel told her that, of course, he would need payment for his services. Mary, not yet understanding what he meant, eagerly told him that he would have whatever amount he wanted if he could only have success. The sorcerer smiled at her. "It's simple. You must only promise me one of them."
Mary grew confused, asked him what he meant by 'one of them.'
He told her that she would conceive and bear twins—and that in payment, she would surrender one of them to him, and that he would choose, not she. Mary would have the child she desired and he would have the child he desired. He assured her that once he had what was his, he would disappear forever and never darken her doorway again, leaving her with the family she had dreamed of.
Mary wasn't sure—but she so desperately longed for another child, a brother or sister for her beloved Dean, that she agreed. She made a blood pact with Azazel and he left. A month later, she was with child. Mary did not tell John about what she had done. Secretly, foolishly, she hoped that Azazel would change his mind, or that she could find a way out of the arrangement.
Nine months afterward, the twins were born. The first, a boy—Sam. The second, a girl—Alex. The family was delighted, especially John, who delighted in his little girl, and Dean, who was excited to be a big brother. Mary, however, remembered what she had done and was anxious. For the first month of the twin's life, Mary went nowhere, kept the children with her all day and night long as she watched for the appearance of Azazel who she was sure would come to claim what was his. And yet he never came. And as the months continued to pass, Mary began to forget about Azazel, thought perhaps he had changed his mind. As time passed and life was just as it had been before, she made the mistake of feeling safe, no longer fearing that her son or daughter would be taken.
The night of the twins' six month birthday came and went, Mary put her children to bed as she did every night. Neither she nor John heard the sorcerer come in the dead of night. The following morning, the baby girl was gone, taken without a trace. The family was distraught. Mary remembered her agreement, she remembered Azazel, and she cursed herself...
In a land of Novak, far away from where the baby girl's true family lived, Azazel built a tall tower for his new daughter who he would raise as a sorceress to carry on his legacy. She was a strong and healthy child with curious hazel eyes and a full head of dark hair. Paranoid that she would be taken from him, that she would learn of her true heritage, the sorcerer locked her away in the tower, planted lies about the danger of the world below into her mind to make her afraid of ever leaving her safe, high tower in the forest.
He gifted the child with magical abilities, but clever as he was, he protected himself, in case someday she turned against him—he tied her magic to her hair, so that if ever she should betray him, all he would need to do was cut it off to save himself. As her hair grew longer, so would her abilities. Azazel went to his stolen daughter every night at dusk, using his magics to ascend the tower. He forbade her to speak to anyone but him, should anyone ever wander by the tower. He taught her the ways of sorcery, and the child learned quickly.
Alex was a restless and curious child, questioning her father much of the time about why she couldn't go explore the world below, why she must remain in the tower. Azazel told her the world was dangerous, full of people and things that would harm her: monsters, dragons, trolls, monsters, ghosts, spirits, the undead. She never saw any of these things for herself, and as she grew older, she wondered if it were the truth at all. At night she would sit in the wide window ledge and watch the stars and fireflies and wonder how such a beautiful place could really be dangerous.
Sometimes she thought she remembered a woman with hair like the sun, a strong-looking man with a broad smile, a boy with bright green eyes, and the feeling of truly belonging. She wondered who they were, or if she were imagining them. She longed deeply to meet someone besides her father, who made her spend many long hours practicing spells and magic. She daydreamed the days away and spent much time at the window, watching the world from a distance, wondering what grass might feel like underneath the toes of her feet.
The years passed and the child grew into a young woman. Her dark chocolate hair grew longer and with it, her abilities stronger—she kept her hair plaited in an ever-lengthening braid that stretched almost all the way down to the ground below when she dropped it out of the window of her tower.
One spring day, the young prince Castiel was riding through the forest and glimpsed a mysterious tall tower. Curious, he dismounted from his steed, swept aside his wheat-colored cape, and went to the tower, perplexed when he saw that there was no way up into it save for a few foothold stones staggered across the stone expanse. The structure seemed well-maintained and he wondered what it was for, why it was there at all. And then, a small brown head poked out of the window above. He was startled to see a person up there, much less a girl, a beautiful girl who was perhaps a few years younger than he.
She looked just as surprised to see him as he was to see her.
"Um—hello," he said, and she seemed equally perplexed, tilted her head to the side as if he were the most interesting thing she'd ever seen.
"...Hello," she echoed, curiously. "Who are you?"
The prince hesitated, because he had truthfully run away that day from the castle—his father was gone, missing for years now, and his oldest brother Raphael had finally asserted himself as ruler, was taking over the throne, forcing the rest of the brothers and sisters to comply with his lunacy. And Castiel hadn't been able to stay and watch it, so he'd fled, on a mission to find his father. He told the girl in the tower that his name was Jimmy, just in case she was loyal to prince Raphael. She in turn told him her name: Alex.
The prince heard the sounds of pursuers and he grew anxious, realizing his horse was nowhere to be seen. He beseeched the princess (he thought she must be a princess, she was so beautiful) to throw him a rope, that he needed to hide.
Castiel could not know it at the time, but Alex, who had been warned of strangers her entire life—didn't even hesitate to help this one—because from the second her eyes had first laid upon him, she felt that she knew him already.
And so she threw down not a rope, but her braided hair—and the prince was able to grab onto it and climb up the tower. He tumbled over the windowsill and helped her pull the braid back in just in time—outside, below, two riders came into the clearing.
Beside each other, peering over the ledge carefully, the prince and Alex were still and quiet. "Who are they, Jimmy?" Alex asked, breathless and afraid, staring at the strange, imposing men in awe.
"Uriel and Zachariah," Castiel answered in a whisper. "They're after me."
And then they looked at each other, breathless for the first time, close up—his eyes, blue as the crystal sea met her eyes green as a mossy forest. And they were silent, surprised at each other, fascinated with each other.
Outside, they could hear one of the men coming closer. "Castiel! Are you up there! Coward, come down!" Came a frightening, thundering voice. They heard heavy feet hit the ground. Uriel stood at the foot of the tower and began to climb up, using the footholds, his intent to see what was inside of the tower. And up above, the two young people could hear him. Castiel stood up quietly, pulling Alex with him and he, crept backward away from the window, drew his sword quietly.
Realizing that a very bad man was making his way into the tower, that this Jimmy or Castiel boy was preparing to fight, Alex became very frightened. "Sonum procul," she whispered urgently, and there was a sound far away, like something trampling through the forest.
Zachariah called out for Uriel to make haste, the prince was escaping into the forest!—and Uriel jumped off the tower and remounted his steed, followed Zachariah. The trick had worked.
Astounded at her, Castiel looked at the frightened and unsure girl. "Why did he call you 'Castiel'?" she asked the boy she thought was called Jimmy, looking at him in fright as he stood there with his gleaming sword drawn. He put the weapon away, seeing her fear, told her that he was a prince, that he'd been afraid she would know who he was and perhaps turn him in. He could see that she didn't know his name, and as they spoke and he questioned her, he realized that she knew nothing of the outside world and didn't even know there was a castle nearby.
Saddened, Castiel asked how she had gotten into the tower, how long she had been there. When she told him she had always been there, the prince was cautious. He asked her how she was able to do magic a minute ago, was she a witch? She told him she didn't know what she was. She had spent all of her life alone except for the father she mentioned, and the prince was amazing and shocked alike at this strange girl who had been set aside from the world itself. She seemed oddly vulnerable, in need of protection and help. He had met the kingdom's most beautiful girls and yet none of them had ever entranced him the way this Alex did.
The sun was lowering in the sky and Alex realized it was near dusk, that her father would be there soon, and she became afraid. She was forbidden to speak with strangers and yet she had let one come up into her tower. Before she could bid him to escape, she heard her father approaching. Alex begged Castiel to hide in the cupboard quickly. The young prince did, and when Azazel entered into the tower, Castiel watched through the crack in the doors of the cupboard. The prince recognized the sorcerer immediately and was horrified. Wanted throughout the land for crimes of dark magic and kidnapping, Azazel was a very evil man. And Castiel realized suddenly that this Alex girl was the one who he had heard about disappearing from the neighboring country of Lawrence. Many years ago, a baby was taken in the middle of the night, and the mother had accused the sorcerer Azazel of the crime… but no one had ever laid eyes on him since.
Castiel leapt out of the cupboard with his sword drawn and confronted the surprised sorcerer, told him that he knew who he was and what he had done, that Alex was not his true daughter. Azazel attacked the prince with his magics, throwing him across the space of the tower and hurting him badly.
Alex was terrified but brave and stood up to her father, protected her new friend the prince. She stood in front of the young man, told her father not to harm him, then demanded to know if what Castiel had said was true. Had Azazel really taken her away from her real mother and father?
The sorcerer wouldn't answer her question, only told her to move aside, to get away from the hurt prince. Alex refused and even though she was afraid, she followed her instincts and cast a powerful sleeping spell over her father, and then summoned the truth in his memories to her. It was a ritual she had only read about—and it drained her badly, but she saw the truth—Azazel approaching her mother, promising her a child if only she would give him one, too—the night he took her away—and Alex was shocked. Weakened by the use of magic, she collapsed, forlorn and grieved. The prince came to her side immediately, and she asked him to help her escape and find her real family. He agreed immediately and the two of them stood, only to find that Azazel had awoken.
Too powerful to remain asleep under the spell his daughter had cast—and enraged that he had been discovered and that she would flee from him, the sorcerer caught hold of her, and cut her braid off just below her shoulders severing her from her powers almost completely. And during the distraction of the commotion, Castiel pushed Azazel out of the tower window, where he fell to what should have been his death. He was not there when they looked down. Using the braid as a rope, the prince and Alex escaped—Castiel called for his horse, a noble black steed called Impala. They rode all night, afraid of pursuit. But the night was quiet.
The prince and Alex journeyed across the land of Novak and to Lawrence, and it was a journey of several weeks. The two became fast friends; the prince teaching Alex to be less afraid of the world outside, Alex teaching the prince to stop and take wonder in creation again—she loved every new thing she saw—waterfalls, fields full of flowers, wandering, leaping deer, the song of birds in the morning. She delighted in the discoveries, bringing the same kind of feelings over Castiel, whose jaded world view began to fade away, who felt himself becoming who he used to be: a soul filled with awe of the world around himself.
And as they traveled, Castiel began to love this girl he had found. One chilly starry night, the cold made her shiver. The prince sat beside her at their campsite, put his cape around her to keep her warm, and then his arm, too. After some hesitation, he asked her if she knew what a kiss was, and if he could give one to her.
She said no, she didn't know what a kiss was, could he show her? And he did. And she was surprised at it, but not in a bad way. She told him she liked it very much; could he show her again? So he did. Again, and again.
They reached Lawrence after a grueling journey and found the home of Mary and John—and when they went to the door, a beautiful woman came to the door, and upon seeing Alex, she cried out and embraced the girl, recognizing her daughter at once—a mother never forgets her child, always recognizes them no matter the time that has passed.
And Alex stared into the face of her mother, overwhelmed and overjoyed, recognizing the woman on a deep, inner level. She introduced Castiel as her friend and the one who had rescued her, and Mary thanked him through tears, called him an angel for returning her long-lost daughter. She beckoned them to come inside, and she showed them the room that she kept ready for Alex when they found her—and she revealed that all the passing years, Alex's father and brothers had searched the kingdoms for her—and even though they hadn't found her, they had learned the name of the sorcerer, Azazel, and had hunted him. Throughout the years they had become heroes in the land, saving many people as they searched for Azazel. They had slain many dragons, trolls, monsters, witches in the quest to bring back their stolen sister and daughter.
The brothers and their father returned home, dejected once again that they had not found Azazel or their sister. Their surprise was very great when they came to their house and saw a girl in the orchard on a ladder, picking apples—and Sam and Dean did not need to be told who she was, and she did not wonder who they were either. They did, however, wonder who the tall young man with her was, then as they drew closer, they recognized him as the prince Castiel of Novak.
With tears in his eyes, John hung back, then approached the daughter he had never truly known. She had her mother's eyes. John told his daughter that he had searched for her for a very long time. He looked at the prince and thanked him for bringing his daughter back, told him that whenever he chose to be on his way, they would send him with whatever gold they could muster. Castiel, however, told John that he would like to stay. And John understood then that the young man was in love with his daughter.
Time passed and at sunrise one day, Castiel took both of Alex's hands in his and asked her if she would marry him, even though he wasn't a prince anymore—he knew he didn't belong in Raphael's kingdom anymore; he willingly cast aside his title. He was no one, a mere pauper—but Alex, who had secretly dreamed of marrying him since he had first ascended the tower and looked her in the eye—was delighted and said yes.
He told her there was something he must do first—and he returned to Novak, helped his brother Gabriel to overthrow the cruel tyrant Raphael—and the kingdom was given over to peace once again. Castiel's missing father never reappeared, but stories were told that he was out there somewhere, watching over them from afar.
Castiel returned to his fiancé, and they were wed soon after in the orchard by John—she wore a white dress, he wore what he always wore. The newlyweds built a house of their own across the field from Alex's family—who accepted Castiel as one of their own.
The journey, the fight wasn't over—Azazel was still out there somewhere, and the family united to hunt him down. There were dark times ahead, there were trying times, there would be many battles and dark things that threatened to rip apart the Winchester clan. But nothing would succeed. Some things are just too strong to be destroyed.
And even though Castiel was no longer a prince, Alex always called him her prince. And even though she was not a princess nor had she ever been, Castiel always called her his princess.
They were happy… and they lived that way ever after.