Return to Sleeping Beauty Chapter Three

Sleeping Beauty

Author: Michelle
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: The characters are not mine, they belong to that Mr Whedon fellow. I just borrowed them and put them into a fairy tale. Which as it happens is also not mine.

As soon as her lips touched warm skin, the spell of enchantment came to an end and the Princess began to stir.

"Frogs all gone, dragon eat them. Good dragon"

At this Tara couldn't help but let out a hearty laugh. Of all the things that had gone through her head as to what would be said, this was not one of them. The sound of the rich laughter emanating from nearby pulled the Princess Willow fully out of her slumber.

As blue eyes met green it was as though the world around them melted away into nothingness.

"I knew you'd find me" Whispered Willow, "You always find me. Although using the dragon to fly overhead that one time during hide and seek was just plain cheating and cheaters never prosper you know. It's all written down in the law under 'C', right below..."

Graceful fingers being placed over the Princesses mouth stemmed the flow of words that had been kept in for so long. Tara couldn't control her shaking hand as her fingers lightly traced Willow's lips.

The two Princesses soon found themselves moving closer to each other, their eyes never straying from the others'.

"Can I kiss you?" whispered Tara, as the gap between them got ever smaller. An almost imperceptible nod was her answer and she leaned the rest of the way in as lips met for the first time.

Pulling back slowly Tara looked at Willow who still had her eyes closed and a most breathtaking smile on her face.

"Never did I know such beauty existed." Tara said, her voice almost inaudible. "I often dreamed that one day." Her voice trailed off as she once again found herself entranced by green eyes.

"I dreamed as well." Started the Redhead, "I dreamed of you. I dreamed that one day you would come and rescue me, not from a dragon, cause you know, you flew one, but from a mean old troll who ate babies and.Do you have a dragon?"

"A d-dragon?" Tara asked, somewhat amused by the question. "No, um, I have a horse though. She's called wings and when I ride, I sometimes feel like I'm flying!"

"A horse?" Willow squeaked "As in really big arm eating pony?"

Tara was about to laugh at this, but the look of fear in Willow's eyes instead made her want to comfort the redhead.

"Well, W-Wings won't hurt anyone. She may be a big pony, but she uh, she h-has an aversion to meat. An allergy. S-She's a strict vegetarian"

The look of relief that flooded across Willow's face made Tara smile and it was then that she vowed to herself that she would never let anyone hurt the vision sitting in front of her.

The two Princesses conversed for four full hours, yet still they had so much to say. As they were talking the rest of the Palace had awaked with the Princess. In the Great Hall the King opened his eyes and asked the Lord Chancellor to read his last sentence over again a little more distinctly. The Lord Chancellor, dipping his quill into the now dry inkpot, asked the Archbishop in a whisper how many t's there were in "regrettable." The Archbishop, taking a pinch of snuff that had long turned to dust, answered with an almighty sneeze, which in turn was drowned out by the striking of all the clocks in the palace, For they had a lot of lost time to make up for.

The Queen, who had fallen asleep whilst discussing with her maids-of-honour the right shade of mourning for a Royal in a trance, very soon lost her patience and sent one of her attendants with word to the kitchens, that she was hungry.

The Princess Tara heard the commotion of Palace life resuming and helped the Princess Willow to rise. Despite everything that she had seen this day, nothing could have prepared Tara for the sight and she was once again struck speechless.

As she realised what was about to occur, Tara felt her shyness creep in and slowly lowered her head allowing her loose hair to fall forward and cover her lightly blushing face. She looked up as she felt a gentle hand come to rest on her cheek and her hair placed lovingly behind her ear.

"Please. Don't hide from me, I've been hidden for too long" Willow whispered

"I found you." Tara replied, "As you said. I will always find you!"

Taking each other by the hand, they walked to where Willow knew her parents would be waiting.

As they entered the Great Hall, all sound ceased around them. Tara once again felt her cheeks redden, as she was semi pulled towards the King and Queen.

Tears were shed as the Princess hugged her parents and Tara even felt her own eyes welling up with emotion. She was surprised when the King turned to her and pulled her into a warm embrace.

"My Dear. We can not convey how happy we are that you are here," expressed the King causing Tara's cheeks to redden further.

"Father!" interrupted Willow reclaiming the blonde's hand, "If you are half as happy as I am, then you are truly happy indeed" Turning to Tara she continued, "Even though we met but a few hours ago, you already hold my heart." Carefully she raised their joined hands and placed a soft kiss upon the fingers wound within her own.

Deciding that now was the time for laughter and merriment, the Queen called out to the Pageboys standing at the far end of the Hall. The young boys dressed in their finest opened the doors to reveal a great dining room lined with mirrors and table laden with a great feast. Violins and hautboys' (an Oboe to you and I) Played music that hadn't been heard for near to a century, yet still it was excellent.

The two Princesses were too immersed in each other to think or worry about anything else. Therefore Princess Tara could be forgiven for forgetting that her attendants must have ridden back to her Palace by now to tell her parents what had occurred. The King however had an uncanny habit of remembering details, especially when another person's well-being was in question. Before dinner, whilst everyone was making his or her way into the hall, he had dispatched a messenger to carry word that Princess Tara was safe.

The messenger had left immediately and found that the undergrowth parted before him, much as it had for the Princess. As he reached the edge of the forest, he found a search party attempting in vain to break through the dense barrier. The Princess's father standing was standing to one side strongly encouraging them.

As soon as the message was relayed the King began trembling in relief, for he truly believed his only daughter to be lost to him. And so he was escorted into the dining room of the Palace where he saw the unmistakable happiness on his daughter's face and embraced both her and the Princess Willow.

"I found her Daddy." Whispered Tara as the old man wrapped her in another hug. "The o-one I've been l-looking for." She paused and looked him in the eye. "I love her!"

Her father could see the sincerity in her eyes and turned to speak to the King.

"I am an old man," he started, "I have reigned quite long enough I feel, and now I find I care about little, other then to see my daughter happy."

"I think I can promise you that," said Willow's father, smiling as his gaze moved towards where the girls where once again lost in each other. "I have dreamed long enough and am too old for ambitions, what matters ruling to either of us, when we can see our daughters reigning together?"

And so it was agreed, then and there, the two Princesses would reign together. The Archbishop even oversaw a ceremony for the two that very day. The next morning Princess Tara introduced her Willow to Wings and the two rode into the city where the populace greeted them warmly. Here they spent the rest of their lives, reigning in prosperity and honour. Living together, Happily. Ever. After.


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