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Jun. 5th, 2005

Start of a fairy tale alternate universe X-Fic idea I had last month while trying to entertain a bunch of 5 and 6-year olds that kept on saying "We're BORED!" every ten minutes beforehand. Feeling very 'Meh' about it now that I'm getting it down on paper, so I don't know if it's going to be a derailed fic or an actual WiP. We'll see how it goes. As of now, big time need to go back in and add stuff, it feels like things are going too fast without much explanation.

Once upon a time, these things did start with once upon a time, didn’t they, he wondered, reaching for a leather bound book. Once upon a time, there had been a king. He was a just and fair man, treating all of his subjects with the same care he showed his only child. The kingdom flourished under his rule, peasants lived in as much comfort as possible for their ranks, the wealthy shared their goods with the common folk. The years were filled with peace and the king’s army was only used to defend the borders. Knights were noble and loyal, ladies were fair, the world was filled with light.

Then darkness filled the land,
he sighed, running his fingers and feeling the raised letters by memory. The king was assassinated and his only son, Prince Scotius, sent into exile lest he rise up against the usurper. Various attempts were made on his life as he grew older, his small band of rebels growing in numbers. The war between good and evil waged on, the prince trying his best to rule over the people that followed him. He frowned, his hands falling from the book and clenching tightly into a fist at his side.

“Until I lost my vision to this blasted curse!” he bellowed, picking up the book and hurling it across the room. Slamming his fist against the table in frustration, he lifted up his head when he didn’t hear the echoing thump the book should have made as it hit the wall opposite him.

“You should be lucky that I have an uncanny knack for catching things, my prince,” a baritone voice said from across the room. “That book would have hit your mother’s vase.”

“Hang the vase, Henry,” Prince Scotius said dejectedly. “Hang it all. I can’t rule like this.”

Henry set the book down and shrugged, a move that the prince could not see. “Should I leave you alone as you wallow in self-pity or would you like company? Just because you cannot see doesn’t mean you cannot still rule.”

Scotius sighed. “I suppose you’re right, my friend. Still, what person will follow a leader that cannot see the perils that lay before his people?”

“Loyal ones, my lord. And of those you have many. These people will follow you to the ends of the earth if you command them to.”

“What if I said that I don’t want them to? Henry,” Prince Scotius frowned, his back curved as if under a great weight. “I grow tired of this fight. Magnus’ armies grow thicker in numbers by the year and my scant band of followers always grow smaller with each skirmish. I cannot see, and if I remove this blasted blindfold, I’ll incinerate anything in my line of sight.”

“Don’t give up hope. Speaking as your medical advisor, there is still a chance of getting the antidote to this curse. I’ve been combing your father’s libraries and I’ve come across something that resembles your malady.”

That made the prince look up. “You have? What is it?”

“There’s a passage about a man that had his vision replaced with the rays of the sun. A blend of rare herbs and minerals ground into a potion supposedly cured him.” Henry crossed the room and put a massive hand on the prince’s shoulder. “There is hope, my lord, I know it.”

“Leave me, Henry. I have to think about this.”

Henry bowed. “As you wish. Don’t think for too long, I have no idea how long it will take for the curse to become permanent.” With that, he left the room, closing the door after him.

“He is still in shock, my lady,” Henry said to the woman that was waiting beside the door. “Give him time.”

The woman frowned. “If I give him any more time, then his sight will forever be gone from him. We need action.”

“I can’t agree with you more, yet this is taxing for him. He’s only eighteen, this compounded with everything else that was suddenly thrust upon him is a lot to take in.”

“This is all my fault,” the woman said, biting her lip and looking down. “If the assailant hadn’t resembled me enough to get close to him, this wouldn’t have happened.”

“Don’t say that. Lady Emma, know that it wasn’t the fault of one person. We are all to blame.” Henry’s eyes grew dark, a frown marring his features as he reached up to pinch the bridge of his nose with his index finger and thumb.

“You are a good man, Henry McCoy,” Emma said, reaching out to pat his arm. “Scotius is lucky to have you as his friend. We will find a cure, I know it.”

The two of them walked down the winding hallway, stopping at the entrance of Henry‘s medical laboratory. “I told him about the passage I found in the Archives, it’s the closest thing we have to a lead.”

Emma nodded. “Then that is what we will act on.” Stepping in, she sat down on an empty cot and folded her hands in her lap.

“You do know what you’re saying, correct? Many of these herbs are in well guarded places filled with danger.” Henry sat down on his stool nearby and ran a hand through his hair.

“Yes, and I am willing to face whatever threat for him. I love him, Henry. I will do anything for him.”

Henry gave her a faint smile. “Scott is indeed a lucky man to have found someone such as you. What do you propose we do?”

Emma took a breath and let it out slowly through her nose. “With him unable to see, you and I will have to be his eyes here. We can’t afford to send anyone else, Magnus is looking for a weakness.” She frowned, her fair brow wrinkled in thought. “I don’t know what to do.”

“You could send me,” both of them turned to see a woman sitting near the window, previously ignored as she quietly tended to the injured man laying on the cot before her.

Henry shook his head. “No. I refuse to send you out on such an errand, no matter if it’s for the prince. It is too dangerous.”

“You don’t have another choice. What else is there to do besides sit and watch Scotius’ sight fail for good?” The woman wiped her hands on a cloth and stood up. “I’m a nobody, I wouldn’t bring any attention to myself.”

Seeing that there was an argument brewing, Emma stood. “If you agree on anything, please let me know. I’ll be with Scotius.”

Once she was gone, Henry sighed. “Jubilation, I can’t allow you to do this.” He flinched slightly when her small hand touched his shoulder, but relaxed under her touch.

“Why not?”

“Because there is a need for you here.” He gestured to the cots filled with sick or injured men.

“Everyone is on their way to health. You can handle this much.”

“You will be unprotected.”

Jubilation gave him a half smile, letting her fingers trail up from his shoulder to his face, the trailing bits of hair that had fallen out from his neat qeue brushing against her knuckles. “You seem to forget that I was once a street urchin. I can look after myself.”

“What of the dangers that surround each ingredient needed? Will you be able to look after yourself then?” He spoke softly, trapping her smaller hand within his much larger one. Tilting his head up, he caught her gaze as he cupped her cheek with his free hand. “I don’t know what I would do if you were harmed.”

Still don't know about it. There will be much tweaking of original idea and plot, plus tying in a couple of other characters in. As of the characters now, I've got their ages ranging from Jubilee's 17 all the way up to Hank's 19 (just because of a want to do teen!Hank with a side of a different-for-me-to-write Hank/Jubes pairing.)

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