"Dexter, how could you even say that?"
"What? What is so wrong with choosing for ourselves?"
"Because it's not the way things are done. She put us all in danger."
"But you're fine. Everyone's fine. In fact, everyone's better than they ever were!"
Dexter and Daring Charming had been arguing all the way home. From the moment Dexter had took his last look at Raven Queen, and the moment Daring saw Apple off, they had been at it.
"Dexter, how could you be so…stupid?" Daring began to shake in his seat. He saw Raven tear her page out of the Storybook of Legends. He saw Apple's face go pale as Raven had denied her own story. But…Daring was safe, he had signed the Storybook before Raven's little tirade, so he was safe…wasn't he? Of course he was…that's how it works. Right?
"It's not stupid."
The Charming brothers had spent their whole lives together, they were born to be kings, but what did that mean, exactly? Their father, King Charming had always told them, that a king must be ready to face all challenges, and a king must be willing to think of his subjects, no matter the cost.
Isn't that what Daring was doing? Raven's actions put all of them at risk. It was a miracle no one had disappeared. Think of it, a world without him, or Apple, or the Dwarfs…was that what Raven really wanted?
Dexter did his best to live up to his father's words. Think of everyone, not only yourself. Well, Dexter knew there were others who doubted their legacy. Did those people not count? Did the students who tried to hide from their legacy mean nothing to anyone? It was a king's job to watch over all of his subjects, not just the ones who had a happy ending. What Raven did…it was the most incredible thing he had ever seen. Grander than his father's stories of facing dragons. Grander than his brother's deeds of bravery…Raven had defied her own fate.
Daring shook his head. While Apple's fate might have been in jeopardy, his was perfectly fine…after all he signed the book. He was fine.
He was fine.
It didn't take long for the carriage to reach their home. A grand kingdom right in the center of Ever After. This was where Daring and Dexter had grown up, the place where Daring learned to use his sword, the place where Dexter learned of his father's stories. The place where they had become who they were, and the place where they would change.
After Legacy Day, Dexter had noticed his brother had been acting strange. When any girl fell down, he would rush to her side and take her in his arms, saying "I've saved her!" Perhaps a little too loudly, as if he were trying to prove something to himself.
Daring had noticed his brother changing with each passing day. Where Dexter had been shy, he had grown bold. Where Dexter had been timid he had grown strong. Daring couldn't even remember the last time Dexter had argued with him. This was all Raven's doing, she had convinced everyone at school to deny who they were, and her influence had even taken hold of his brother. That witch.
They hopped off the stage coach and made their way to their castle. Treading carefully over the carpet (the servants were always adamant about tracking in dirt). Their father would have to hear of this. They walked to the throne room, the place that they feared to wander as children. Upon a large throne, sat King Charming. If he were to stand he would tower over the both of them, he'd even tower over Headmaster Grimm.
"Father." They both said as the bowed. The first rule of talking to their father, was to bow, and then wait until he spoke.
"My sons." King Charming had the voice of a lion, he could even be heard by an army during the most fierce battle. He stared them down, his eyes the color of the sky. They knew what he wanted. He wanted news of their Legacy Day.
"Father," Daring began. "There has been…an occurrence at school."
King Charming leaned forward. "What do you mean."
Daring closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He spoke of Legacy Day, of Raven Queen, of her…defiance, and with each word Daring spoke, Dexter felt a smile form on his face. What was that feeling bubbling up inside of him like a wizard's potion? Was it pride? Was it excitement? Daring spoke of ruined destiny and irrevocable chaos, but Dexter knew it by a different word.
He knew it as freedom.
"B-but you have nothing to fear father," Daring said as he thrusted his chest out, "I already signed the Storybook of Legend before the witch could commit her act. So my destiny is already safe." Right?
King Charming leaned into his chair, he turned to Dexter, as if to say, "Is this true?"
The King narrowed his eyes. "Leave me. There is much I must contemplate."
And with that the boys bowed and left their father's chamber.
"There, Father will see to it that Raven is summarily punished." Daring said.
"Raven did nothing wrong, Daring."
Daring scoffed, "She placed our destinies in danger. And for what?"
"Well, didn't you say you're destiny is fine? I mean you did sign the book right?" Dexter asked, his voice filled with a sarcastic undertone.
"W-well of course!" Daring felt the back of his neck grow hot. "I-I'm fine. But it's Apple and the others that I fear for."
Dexter rolled his eyes. Their father was powerful, but he knew, just as well as Daring, that there was nothing their father could do. He couldn't make Raven follow her destiny, no matter what promises her made, or what threats he spoke of. Raven was willing to risk vanishing forever, just to change her fate.
To change all of their fates. To give them a choice. Dexter felt himself smile, there wasn't anything anyone could do.
The two princes walked down the corridor to their old rooms. One felt his body grow numb with the thought of a destiny that was denied. The other felt his heart pound at the idea of a new chapter that had not been seen.
A brand new chapter was starting.