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Realistic or Modern Royal Metanoia {Closed}

Sub Genres
  1. Adventure
  2. Magical
  3. Romance

maddymew

Member
Too soon, they were parted again, and Fern had to leave the palace. Before she departed, she sent a small pouch up to Ewan's room. It was filled with the pearls she had worn the night before, as a memory. Two weeks passed, and she sat down at her desk in the evening. Headphones over her ears as she listened to some soft orchestral music.

Dear Ewan,

How are you? I know Celeste has been visiting, how is that going? Is she nice? Have you shown her your garden? Your flowers are bursting this time of year, I bet it was a beautiful date. Have you been eating? I know you skip meals when you're nervous, and it does no good for anyone that way. Peaches says hello--he caught a hawk yesterday and we're nursing it back to health, much to his dismay. I do hope everything is going well. How is your father doing? I heard he's back in the hospital. I'm praying for his health daily. Tell me, do you have a favorite ballet? If you do I'd like to know! Maybe I can practice it. I've heard that the Company will be putting on Swan Lake first this year.

I'm rambling and it's late so I'll stop here for now. I dearly hope all is well.
With love,
Fern.
 

BoneBrain

Everything's Shiny Cap'n
Ewan read over the letter once, twice and then a third time. His heart happy to see the script of his friend. With content noise he placed the letter in the holder on the wall that was also drying some flowers. Excited to respond Ewan pushed aside some of the mess on his desk, and got out his own paper.

Dear Fern,

Your letter could not have come at a more perfect time, so thank you for brightening my day with your kind words. I'll start by answering your questions, firstly I'm alright, the castle feels emptier now that the season is well on its way. The paper has been filled with announcements of engagements and the queen is quite happy to accept all invitations. I think she hope's I'll become more inspired if I see marriages and I quote "how breathtakingly beautiful they are." (Ewan chose that spot to draw a little circle and fill it with a frowning face.)

As for Celeste... it's difficult to say how that's all going. In public she is quite kind eager to listen, however she rarely seems to have time for me, or any interest in the dinners alone my mother has offered to put together. She's told me floral scents give her quite the headache and so she has not been able to visit the greenhouse. I did bring her a tincture which calms headaches but I am not sure if she uses it. I promise to eat right after mailing this, so take comfort in the meal you've helped me to remember.

Sending best wishes to Peaches in return, maybe even a head scratch or two, poor thing unable to complete his kill. I'm certain the hawk must be relieved, I send my wishes of health to the bird as well. May he be off and away by the time this letter reaches you. Father seems stable at the moment, his memory keeps fading however and mother's taken up all his duties as well as hers. I've been assured he's not in pain. It was interesting the other day he called me Reginald, which is my uncle. I didn't know what to do in that situation, should I have corrected him or just played along?

I've been playing close attention to ballet ever since you told me about it. I remember so clearly even now, seeing you dance. I truly hope your talent can be shared with the world soon. I saw one on the TV the other day, La Sylphide I think it was called. Is all ballet quite sad, are there any happy light hearted ones you might recommend?

I like your rambling. How are you Fern? I hope in the passing days you find something every day to make you smile, maybe take a picture of it and send it to me so I can smile too. I hope you like the petals I pressed for you. I took the pressing the day you left. They are Stargazer Lily petals. I think some would look lovely in your hair next time you dance.

Yours,
Ewan

With a small smile Ewan stashed the petals in the fold of his letter and felt much lighter than he had in days when he sent if off and away.
 

maddymew

Member
The letter arrived a few days after, and Fern rushed up to her room and opened the letter eagerly. She read it through several times, then placed the pressed petals down on her desk carefully. Smiling all the while, she penned her reply right away.

Ewan,

Thank you so much for your sweet gift! The petals are beautiful, I'm going to pin them to the lamp by my nightstand, so I may see them every day upon waking, and night before I fall asleep. If you can, please press some garden roses next time you have the chance. I just adore that soft pink color they have. I think they would look wonderful next to the lily petals. I am well, just doing my lessons dutifully and practicing, always. Mother and father have started to receive proposals, but have turned them all away. My youngest brother just turned 9 last week, so attending his party was wonderful.

As for ballets, most are tragedies, but there are a few that would be lighter in theme. Coppelia and La Fille Mal Gardee are two I can think of.

I hope your mother is well, and that her strength can continue under such pressure. I am so sorry to hear of your father. Next time he mistakes you, I would say to go along with it, as it is easier on him that way. As for weddings, your mother is right, they are beautiful. But they are also a spectacle for the public. I wouldn't worry too much about that.

Regarding Celeste, I am so sorry my dear friend. You deserve someone who cherishes you without the eye of the press pressuring them. Maybe you should speak to her about what exactly she wants from your relationship. Why does she want to marry you? What does she plan to do as queen? What is her goal regarding governmental affairs? Ask her to speak plainly so you don't misunderstand, you know how many people can try to sugarcoat their words. If what she tells you isn't satisfactory, then I would say you shouldn't go through with it. I know political marriages aren't always a picnic, but her goals should be the same as yours, otherwise she won't be able to help you rule. And she needs to value you as a partner, too. If she won't work to get to know you, even just a little, you'd be dooming yourself to unhappiness.

I'm sorry, I'm rambling again. You're a grown man and can think for yourself. I hope that all your plants are thriving, and that you find some peace in a quiet moment soon.

Please be well,
Fern.

She included a picture of Peaches sprawled out on her bed, as well as a picture of a bright green dragonfly and one of her and her brothers at the birthday party. Fern sent off the letter at once, though it was late in the day.
 

BoneBrain

Everything's Shiny Cap'n
Time passed as it always did, the summer sun shifting to the cool crisp tones of autumn. Ewan did his best to winterize the plants on the grounds and tend to those that needed a little extra loving. All Hallows Eve was fast approaching and the castle was dressed for the season. Carved pumpkins from family and staff sat on the stairs, lit by electric candles. Cobwebs were hung from the rails and ceilings, as well as skulls placed in the helmets of suits of armor. All this in preparation for a number of events, the first being a school fieldtrip to see the castle and the royals. Ewan was asked to be present for most of the gathering and help explain the finer points of royalty to the star struck students. Deciding it was time to turn in for the evening and look over his notes for the following day Ewan bade his father good night.

In his room Ewan made a noise of delight at the familiar unopened envelope he spotted on his desk. Rushing forward, his notes for the next day already forgotten, he tore into the envelope and found the photos and letter Fern so loyally continued to send to him. Ignoring the thumping of his heart Ewan settled back to catch up on his dear friends adventures. When he finished he looked over the photos, lingering over the one of her smiling up at the camera. He stood then, carrying the photos and placed them on the cork board he had hung over his bed. Placing the new photos and mementos along with the past. When he was finished Ewan settled down to respond as quickly as he could.

Dear Fern,

So happy to hear from you once again, I sorely missed your comforting words while I was away. I've been home about a week now, getting the castle and the plants prepared for the fall. I wish we lived somewhere tropical so I would not have to winterize so much. Other than that all is well here, Fathers once again in a good patch of health since his last treatment. He's been falling in love with mother all over again and I must say it's quite endearing to see him this way. Mom does her best to indulge him despite the extra work. Sophie is onto her next partner this month, I must admit I was rooting for this last one, he had quite the movie collection. This new one, Robert, I think is his name; he seems like more of a party person than she is, which is saying something.

How are you and Peaches? Have plans been solidified for your return next season? I was thinking that when you return perhaps you could arrive a week or two earlier than the rest, so we may have time to spend together. My understanding is the Ubor ballet would have their final show during that week prior to the season, I know I told you this already but I've so been enjoying the seats in the royal family box there. I've seen two shows now and both were breathtaking.

On the matter of Celeste, I heard from mother who heard from the eldest Lady Cardiff. that she'll be back for this season. Since her leaving a few months ago the world has been rather silent on her, honestly its been a relief to not hear from her. Everything felt quite forced when I had to interact with her. I still think it was all quite amicable despite the pressure from both our families, perhaps she felt the same.

I've included some more Roses for you to add to your collection, a deep red, they looked wonderful next to the candle light the eve I cut them.

I miss you.

Yours,

Ewan.
 

maddymew

Member
Fern was thrilled to finally receive a reply. She quickly went to her room to write, nearly tripping in her haste. Clearing away the things on her desk,s he sat.

Dearest Ewan,

I have a surprise for you! I'm afraid this letter will be rather short because of it, but I hope you enjoy it. Here's a clue.

The sun descending in the west,
The evening star does shine;
The birds are silent in their nest,
And I must seek for mine.
The moon, like a flower,
In heaven's high bower,
With silent delight
Sits and smiles on the night.

Farewell, green fields and happy groves,

Where flocks have took delight.
Where lambs have nibbled, silent moves
The feet of angels bright;
Unseen they pour blessing,
And joy without ceasing,
On each bud and blossom,
And each sleeping bosom.

I hope you have a delightfully frightful Halloween--the masquerade ball this year is themed after Greek mythology, right? I think you would make a wonderful Oxylus. I know it's silly, but I hope they play Monster Mash, just once. It's the perfect song to get everyone into the Halloween spirit.

I miss you, always,
Fern
~

Fern was overjoyed when her family agreed to let her go to the costume ball. It was an open invitation every year--so long as you could present proof of noble family lineage. She was so excited to surprise Ewan with a visit, and hoped that her clue was enough for him to guess her costume once he saw her. The weeks passed too slowly, but finally All Hallows Eve arrived. She was let into the beautifully done up ballroom with the rest of the guests, and after the Queen's opening speech, the dancing began. Fern smoothed down her dress and adjusted her half moon mask. A man dressed as Pan asked her to dance and she accepted, hoping Ewan would see her.
 

BoneBrain

Everything's Shiny Cap'n
Soft music greeted the royal family as they were welcomed to the ball with polite applause. The great ballroom was decorated to high heaven with glorious fluffy clouds hanging above them. Occasionally the clouds lit and rumbled with streaks of lightning, on the floor stone pillars hosted the art of local carvers who had been commissioned to make likenesses of the gods themselves. Ewan thankfully had been left to his own devices for his costume and after researching Oxylus a little more he came up with a plain toga, mask made it appear one of his eyes was no longer there and the piece du resistance was the sandals that he wore. Instead of a leather sole he had found a pair of sandals online that looked like they had tufts of grass for the soles.

Sophie had sighed dramatically at his plain attire as she allowed her makeup artist to powder her ensemble once more. Sophie had chosen the goddess of love herself, Aphrodite. Her skin had been dusted with a light pink sheen, and her robes looked more like artfully places silk bedsheets that might fall off at any moment. Queen Sara had done her best to not comment on either of her children and focused on holding onto Archie's hand tightly so he might not wander off.

The night was in full swing already, with masked dancers moving over the dancefloor. Ewan looked over the dancers without really taking in any of them, his mind drifting back to the night were he had been reunited with Fern. The thought of his friend made him think of the food tables and with a small smile he shuffled over to find the assortment of finger foods. Lifting his mask to rest on the top of his head Ewan helped himself to some finger sandwiches. He turned munching thoughtfully and froze, his eyes seeming to zero in on one of the dancers. Her dark hair was bunched in an intricate weave down the side of her head and her dark dress seemed to remind him of the night time itself. The dark wings of her dress seeming to make her movements even more graceful.

She was back.

Fern's poem and surprise clicked into place leaving Ewan with the biggest smile he had ever worn in the public. With a final bit of his sandwich Ewan slid the mask over his face and waited patiently for the song to end. Applause filled the room when the band finished and above them the clouds filled with lights and speakers rumbled out their appreciation too. The dancers parted from their partners making their way back into the fold. Tracking his friend Ewan filled a small plate with a few snacks before weaving his way through the crowds and trapping her politely on the shoulder, holding out his offering.

"Hungry?" He asked.
 

maddymew

Member
Fern turned at the gentle prompt, a smile upon her own features. She gave him a curtsy, and took a small sweet cookie from his plate.

"Very! Thank you." She ate the cookie as she stepped forward, grasping his free hand gently within her own. Their hands were hidden by her wings, and Fern spoke after swallowing. "I've missed you, my dear Oxylus." She teased. "Do you enjoy my surprise?" He nodded emphatically, and Fern laughed. She released his hand, urging him to eat. "You are even skinnier then when we last met. Honestly, I need to remind you for every meal, don't I?" Fern fussed over him as the next song began. The princess and her newest escort took to the floor alone--as Aphrodite and Ares. They began a tango together, and Fern sighed. "Your sister is beautiful." She told Ewan wistfully, absently fiddling with an earring. "I wonder what it's like--to have people look at you because you are beautiful."

She shook herself out of her thoughts and smiled up at him. "At least she's been keeping the press off of you. How was your time away from the castle? And the tours? There's so much I want to catch up on." Fern gently pulled Ewan out onto a balcony, which was sparsely populated with other couples. She draped one of her magnificent wings around him, creating a curtain from the outside world. The music from the ballroom and the mystic decor would have--in a different situation--created an almost romantic atmosphere.

The other couples were in their own shaded corners, whispering sweet nothings and even kissing passionately. The party's theme seemed to have put everyone in the mood for romance. Trying to distract herself from the others, Fern took off her mask and leaned forward onto the banister. She looked over at Ewan, a small twinge hitting her heart. "So, what are you going to do about Celeste, Ewan? What will make you happy?" Fern blushed a little at her own abruptness, and continued quickly. "I'm sorry, I know that's a heavy question. I've just been so worried about you. I'm worried she's using you--and it makes me so upset. I wish I could meet her, and tell her all the things she's missing by not treating you properly."
 
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BoneBrain

Everything's Shiny Cap'n
Fern's joy at his presence was contagious, she seemed to glow as she tucked into the cookie he offered her. She was a flutter with conversation and he was happy to let her speak away as she fussed over him. When the new song began and Sophie took to the floor Ewan rolled his eyes at the extravagant affair and wondered what Fern saw that made the scene so beautiful. Quite frankly he didn't see it, but he supposed as Sophies brother that was probably for the best. Fern's wondering about others looking upon her as beautiful had him frowning slightly. What on earth did she mean? Did she not know how beautiful she was? Before he could comment Fern was leading him outside to the balcony. He found himself tucked under the wing of her dress and found it quite cozy against the autumn air.

"Oh, well..." Ewan paused considering the past few weeks. "We went away down south, mother had a few treaty renewals and I got to spend some time at the beach. I brought home some kelp that washed ashore. I had to sneak it into my luggage though. The tours have been fun, the kids all seem to love the greenhouses." He leaned in closer and reached out and took another treat that they had placed between them on the rail and ate as Fern seemed to be collecting her thoughts and he let her work through what she wanted to say. Finally she asked about Celeste and he found her worry over him quite touching, and a warmth settled over his heart. Feeling safe and comfortable with her Ewan leaned to the side until his head rested against her shoulder.

"I don't love her. I don't think we could make each other happy. She's polite and kind but also distant, if I was being completely honest I think she has other things on her mind than marriage. Mother want's us to keep trying, she's told the story many times of how she grew to love dad after their arranged marriage. I don't know how to go about this however." Ewan snorted suddenly remembering the suggestion of Fern months ago. "Perhaps we should get married then." He said in a light teasing tone, as he nestled gently against her, drawing the wing she draped around them closer, he let out a long sigh and closed his eyes.

"I would never wish the duties of queen upon you though." He said thoughtfully. "We need to make sure you get into the ballet, so I may view every show, 'queendom would not allow for such trivial hobbies'." Ewan ended his statement with his voice going an octave higher, mimicking the tone of the queen herself.

The gardens down below them flickered with fairy lights and the golden glow of pumpkins, occasionally a guard shuffled by on his patrol. Overall the night was peaceful, the flow of the music and decor made Ewan think of ancient days of oracles and legendary hero's.

"Promise me you'll never let your dream die." He whispered to Fern.
 

maddymew

Member
Fern grew quiet as Ewan spoke, her smile fading after he began to recount his thoughts on Celeste and his station. Great emotion came over her, and his concern for her dreams nearly drew her to tears. Emboldened, Fern carefully wrapped an arm around Ewan's waist, and replied softly.

"I won't. Just as long as you promise to continue caring for your plants as you do now, no matter what." Steeling herself, Fern smiled back as Ewan lifted his head and gave her a soft, happy grin.

"I promise." He said. Taking a breath, Fern continued.

"Ask me." Ewan gave her a quizzical look, and Fern couldn't help but laugh and shake her head. "If it will make you happy, Ewan, ask me to marry you. I will gladly become queen, and support you with all I can. We can make our engagement just long enough for me to dance in one ballet. If I can be on that stage for just one show, my dream will be complete. You saved my life, Ewan. If this will help you take back yours so you can become the king you most want to me, then ask me." Ewan pulled away from her in shock, his eyes wide beneath his mask. Her wing fell to the ground with a flutter.

In the dim light, he was lit up softly, like the warm embers of a dying fire. His wild hair framed his face and glowed almost like a flame. His simple garb made him stand out all the more--how authentic he was. He didn't need all the trappings that came with royalty. He never had. The only thing Ewan had ever needed was damp soil and a true expression of feelings. Tying her life to his like this, if she could even begin to pay back the debt she owed, it was enough. If Fern could make him smile, make him feel more at ease and help Ewan preserve himself despite the crown.. it was worth it. More than worth it. Maybe it was the lovers that surrounded them that influenced her. Maybe it was something else. But Fern stood steadfast in that moment, and held out her hand for him to take. She gave him her best and biggest smile, encouraging him to follow his heart.
 

BoneBrain

Everything's Shiny Cap'n
His mind reeled with the concept. Marry Fern? Why of course, it made complete sense. Their connection and friendship was strong, their mutual respect for talents and passions was the perfect combination. How this strong woman would make such a sacrifice is beyond him.

"T-truly?" He asked, letting out another noise of surprise when she nodded emphatically, her eyes wide. Fern reached out towards him and Ewan automatically placed his hand in hers. Around them the couples barely took notice, so wrapped up in each other. The golden glow of the candle light made Ferns dress shimmer and Ewan found he wished to look over her without the barrier of his own mask. With his free hand he lifted the barrier off his face and looked the woman offering herself to him in the eye.

He could picture it now, the two of them nestled away in his tower, Fern surrounded by music and plants as she danced. He sat nearby watching her a smile on his face, Peaches asleep in his lap. The image filled him with a sense of hope that he rarely felt for the future. Perhaps this existence would be more than tolerable, perhaps they would enjoy it? Love it? Realizing he had been silent for far too long when Fern bit her bottom lip, her expression turning nervous as the seconds dragged on. Ewan stood, and gathered his dear friend in his arms, embracing her in a warm hug. His head bending so he could whisper in her ear.

"Then, Fern LaRose. Would you do me the honour of being my wife, and a queen?" Ewan asked gently. He thought to get to his knees but found he'd much rather hold her. "I don't know about saving your life, but you certainly would be saving mine. The more I think about it the more I know this feels right." Ewan pulled back slightly so they could look into each others eyes, awaiting her response.
 

maddymew

Member
Fern laughed with joy as Ewan enveloped her in a tight, warm hug. He seemed to crackle with new energy as the realization of his own words sunk in. Ewan pulled away to look into her eyes, and Fern smiled brilliantly.

"Yes, Ewan, I will marry you!" She responded "And I will gladly take all that comes with it." Ewan hugged her again, and Fern hugged him back just as tightly. When he pulled away from the embrace again, Fern gently placed a kiss upon his cheek, both blushing madly at the contact. "A kiss is only appropriate, no?" She teased, and he finally laughed. The music in the ballroom changed, and Fern grabbed her mask. Putting it back on her face, she took Ewan's hand and nearly dragged him back inside. "Dance with me!" In that moment, Fern almost wished Ewan had more training, so she could express to him how excited she was. An energetic tango would fit wonderfully with her mood. But he wrapped his arm around her waist and they began to move with the crowd of dancers, Fern beamed. They danced through several sings, just laughing and smiling in each other's arms.

When they moved away from the dance floor for a break, one of the guards appeared before them and summoned Ewan to the place where the king and queen were resting, a small alcove with a couch. Princess Sophia was there as well, and Ewan laced his fingers with hers as they walked through the room. Fern was held back, but Ewan gave her a small smile as he moved away. Fern found herself standing beside Sophia's newest fling, and the pair smiled awkwardly at each other.

"Don't you love when they're called away randomly?" The man joked. Fern laughed politely and replied.

"Yes, truly, it isn't a mood killer at all, right?" He laughed in return, then sipped on his wine glass.

"So...are you a permanent fixture? Or are you just arm candy for the evening?" Fern blinked in surprise at the blunt question. "No offense!" he said quickly "Just wondering. Being the real deal for royals must be...a lot." Fern gave a small smile and a shrug.

"It is. But it's worth it, too, to make him happy. Or to earnestly help." He nodded, looking a little absent.

"I know I'm just around for a good time, but I wish her the best. I think.. I think she'll settle down when she finds what she's looking for. I'm not sure she even knows what that is, though." Before she could respond, a well built man dressed as Dionysus came through. Flashing a brilliant smile, he handed Fern a glass of white wine, and bent a knee before her.

"Beautiful Nyx, thank you for blessing us with this wonderful evening!" Fern laughed and the man stood, winking at her roughishly. He gave the man beside her a salute and said "May you have a great party, my good man! Rock on!" He then flounced away, and the two looked at each other before bursting into laughter.
 

BoneBrain

Everything's Shiny Cap'n
Family meetings during events were not a rare occasion, often Sara wished for her children to schmooze with politicians or to gather information on certain parties. Occasionally Sara did her best to play matchmaker for her children and encouraged them to dance with potential suitors. Ewan was no stranger to the guiding words that left the queens mouth on night such as these. Before this night Ewan had taken the reprieve from the rest of society quite happily, however on this night he was eager to get back to Fern. His fiancé.

"Ewan where were you before that dance? I must admit I'm disappointed you were skirting your duties." Sara looked over her son and lifted a hand to adjust the gold leaf crown around her auburn hair.

"I was on the balcony, speaking with an old friend." Ewan said a dull tone entering his voice. He wasn't sure why he didn't wish to share his news just yet. There was something special about Ewan holding the news to himself for just a little longer. Before long the two of them would be surrounded by duty and planning, for now, he reveled in the peace.

"Well, perhaps we can focus on a little more than one person this eve. Duke Henry Greenwood is here this evening and it is imperative we secure his vote for future funding. I expect you to make yourself known to him, also-" Sara was cut off as her husband stood abruptly.

"My word this is quite the event. Where are we dear?" Archie asked whirling around to look at his wife, the motion made him draw attention to the robe he wore, looking down at his attire he frowned. "Good lord, I'm in a dress. Who did this to me?"

"Mom dressed you like that Dad." Sophie piped up. Archie looked over to his daughter and his brow furrowed at the word dad, it seemed he was mulling over the idea of having a daughter before it clicked. Archie gave Sophie a charming smile and nodded.

"Of course your mother did. She's good like that." Archie stepped off the platform holding the royals seating and began to meander towards the dancing crowd. "Look dear! A band!"

"Oh for the love of..." Sara got to her feet and gave her children a quick look. "Focus, the both of you. Archie, honey wait!" Sara left the siblings then and went to supervise the old king as he took in all the great sights of the ballroom.

Ewan looked over to his sister and caught the tail end of her stuffing a light pink stained handkerchief into her clutch. He wasn't sure if it was the extra lighting but for some reason her eyes looked a little glassy. His brow furrowed and he was about to ask her what was wrong before she stepped away from him.

"Catch you later Ewan. Don't do anything stupid alright." Were Sophie's parting words before she swept past the guards and went to collect her man. Ewan remained where he was watching as Sophie laughed brightly at something he said and convinced himself that she had in fact not shed a tear. Ewan straightened his mask before departing himself, moving away to seek out Fern. He found her standing alone near the guards and offered his arm to her.

"We've been given a mission." Ewan told her, "It seems only right you join me on this. Practice for the future. A Duke Henry Greenwood has been spotted by my mother and it seems apparent we make him feel most welcome." He whispered the words to her, leaning down to make sure on her ears caught his words as they navigated the crowd. "Tomorrow we will announce our news, tonight, if you are allowed I wish to spend with you here. Stay the night with me?" Ewan asked, wanting more time with Fern for them both to discuss and understand one another before they embarked on this newest adventure.
 

maddymew

Member
Fern didn't have to wait long, the king toddled off towards the dance floor seemingly midway through the conversation. Ewan returned to her after, and she slipped her arm through his as they began to walk. He relayed his message to her. Ewan's last words caught her off guard, and she gasped quietly.

"Your highness! I didn't know you could be so forward!" Ewan looked at her quizzically, unsure of her meaning. Fern couldn't help but laugh, and when she finally calmed, Fern tugged his head down gently by the long nose of his mask. "Your highness, that question... it's usually proposed when someone wishes to be intimate with another." Ewan's eyes grew about the sizes, and he coughed in surprise, blushing madly. "I will happily spend the rest of the night with you, your highness. But I do have arrangements at a hotel for after the ball. I do hope you understand." She couldn't help but tease him lightly.

Ewan's ears were still red by the time they found their target. They moved towards him, and Fern spoke quietly to Ewan. "Don't let go of me, and keep the conversation to about a half hour, alright? That's about all I can do for two people." Before Ewan could question her, they arrived, and she curtsied to the Duke. "Good evening, Duke Greenwood. May the blessings of the Kingdom be upon you." He nodded to her, and bowed to Ewan.

"And with you."

Fern straightened, then quickly hugged Ewan's arm, her fingers tight around his forearm. A warmth flooded from her fingers into him, and suddenly the Duke's eyes were unable to look away from the pair. People around them began to look towards the group.

"Your Janice costume is wonderful, my lord!" She bubbled "How clever of you! The god of choices and doorways. Very fitting, considering your position." He flushed a light pink, looking very pleased with himself.

"Why thank you!" Fern had simply to motion and a waiter seemed to appear out of nowhere with drinks. They took one each, a deep red wine, and clinked their glasses together.

"How are your grandchildren? The youngest just turned three, hasn't she? I bet she's beautiful."
 

BoneBrain

Everything's Shiny Cap'n
"Oh simply splendid! Yes, Emmaline, has her mothers eyes." Duke Greenwood said fondly, thinking of his granddaughter, he took his mask off, and let it rest on the top of his head so he might better look at the captivating creature in front of him. "The rest of course are blooming into quite the young brood. Spitfires; the lot of them." Greenwood chuckled and lifted the glass to his lips to take a hearty sip. It was not long into the conversation before he was close to needing another.

"That's wonderful to hear." Ewan said joining in the conversation a little late, the warmth under his hand had him looking directly at Fern, despite his conversation being directed elsewhere. Fern truly took to the center stage well. Her dark braided hair gleamed in the light as she gently brushed away a stray hair. Ewan found himself about to reach and fix another strand when he remembered the words she had spoken to him earlier. He was not to let go. It was hard to focus on the task at hand with Fern at the wheel, but Ewan did his best to direct his attention to the man they were to focus on. "I hear Lady Greenwood has made quite the appearance in the galleries. I had the pleasure to view her latest showing a few weeks prior. So lovely that our neighbours Astros have quite the gallery to show her paintings."

"Indeed! Her talent has certainly been flourishing as of late. I'll be sure to tell her of the crowns prince's approval." Greenwood said, the tinge on his cheeks growing darker as Fern's and Ewan's attentions held him rapt.

"I hope that we may see even more of her work in Ubor's own galleries. I hear we are in the works of updating the one downtown, providing our arts board is able to of course." Ewan said, his mannerisms quickly sliding into the mold he had spent almost thirty years becoming. With the public seeing only the stiff business like manner, it was hard to see how out of character this was for him. His mind worked hard to keep up with social decorum which he normally did not care for, hours of lessons provided him with the know how of gauging expressions. If Ewan's teachings told him anything, it was that Duke Greenwood was indeed pliable.

"I did not realize there were blockages to our updating efforts." Greenwood said, pausing for a moment to thank another waiter who offered him another glass of deep red wine.
 

maddymew

Member
It had been a while since Fern had used her power on a person other than herself. Ewan was as quick as he could be, but flattering the duke took up some time, and then speaking of the council took up even more. It was almost fourty-five minutes before Ewan and Fern were able to secure a promise of the duke's vote. Fern could feel her legs beginning to shake slightly under the strain, but by keeping quiet the last leg of the conversation, she was able to keep her power on Ewan long enough to complete their mission.

They bid the duke goodbye, and Fern hastily clutched onto Ewan's arm with both hands, sighing heavily.

"Ewan, please, can we go somewhere quiet? I need to recoup for a bit." Ewan looked worried, and nodded quickly. He escorted her out of the ballroom and into one of the palace's many sitting rooms. Fern gratefully sank into a couch, pulling off her mask. Ewan left her to fetch a maid, who was sent to the kitchen after water and some food. He came back and sat beside her, pulling off his own mask and peering into her face with concern. Fern gave him a tired smile and reached over to take his hand, squeezing it gently. "Don't look so sour, I'll be fine, I promise. The after effect of my ability is just fatigue. The longer I use it and the more I use it on the worse it is."

Fern reached down with her free hand and undid the straps on her heels, kicking them off her feet ungracefully before letting out another small sigh of relief. She sat up more, leaning her head against the back of the couch and closing her silver covered eyes for a moment. Ewan's thumb was softly drawing circles on the back of her hand, and after a few moments she spoke, her eyes still closed. "I can feel you staring at me, Ewan. What's wrong? We got the vote as your mother asked, aren't you pleased? I just know your brows are creased like they always are when you're anxious."
 

BoneBrain

Everything's Shiny Cap'n
The flush had left her cheeks and it was clear Fern had taken up quite a bit of her energy to help the cause of the royals. While Ewan was grateful certainly, he had to admit he did not enjoy seeing her so drained. He didn't even realize his fingers were stroking over her soft hand until she called him out on his anxiety. His hand lifted to the eyebrows she had called out and he smoothed his thumb over the furrowed brow, he let out a little sigh as he sorted through his thoughts.

"Rest now Fern. I did not realize your power would take so much out of you. I suppose I feel guilty, I do not want you thinking I am taking advantage of the powers you've been gifted with." Ewan said, his gaze jumping to Fern's face as her eyes flew open and her expression turned to gentle exasperation, Ewan plowed on before Fern could assure him otherwise. "I promise you this, while you are my wife I will do my best to ensure you are not put in situations where you feel forced to use your gift. I am grateful however for what you did, I do not think I could have gained his favor without you." Ewan's eyes lowered a little ashamed that he had not been up to the task.

Wanting to show his appreciation for her, Ewan moved to kneel in front of Fern, taking her feet into his lap. His large hands were firm against the arch of her foot as he worked to massage the pain away, Fern's head leaned back and her eyes closed again at his ministrations.

"How you walk on those I will never know." Ewan said looking down at the heels tossed to the ground, as he spoke a maid entered the room with the requested food and drink. If the woman thought it strange to see the prince on his knees before a guest she made no reaction. With a curtsy she left the two of them in peace. Ewan looked over at the try and spotted a decadent looking baked brie, with cheese knives and crackers to lather the melted goodness. He hummed happily at the bottle of red wine accompanying the meal, he decided to rub Fern's feet a moment longer before getting them their food.
 

maddymew

Member
Ewan was so full of guilt and regret at her simple action. He seemed truly pained to have caused her even the slightest inconvenience, and took to his knees to gently rub her feet as retribution. She was now very glad she had gotten a pedicure before the ball--though her callouses must have been quite unpleasant to touch. He did so for some time, and when he stopped Fern leaned forward and took his face into her hands, a smile on her face.

"Ewan, I only wished to help you. I felt no pressure to use my gift. I know you are not like the others--I know you couldn't be even if you wanted to. That's why I wanted to help. It's not in your heart to be so shrewd and cold. This is hardly the worst I've been, please, believe me. A few more minutes here and I'll be good as new. It was no trouble at all, truly." Ewan looked up into her face skeptically. Fern gently leaned her forehead against his, stroking his stubble with her thumbs. "Besides, is it not natural for a wife to aid her husband?" Fern pulled away, Ewan blushing softly as her hands left his face. She gestured for him to come up again and he sat beside her. They pulled the table closer and began to eat, the wine paired beautifully with the soft cheese. They talked idly, and Fern reached over with her napkin, intent to wipe off a small bit of cheese that had landed next to his lips.

Suddenly, the door to the lounge swung open, and none other than the king and queen themselves stepped in. It seemed they were also wanting to take a break, but stopped upon seeing the other pair. Ewan and Fern froze, her still leaning over him, with her shoes strewn about the floor. Fern blushed madly at the realization and quickly shrank back into herself under the queen's piercing gaze. The king looked about amiably and shuffled towards them.

"Look my dear! Brie! How long has it been since we had some? Maybe we can get some fruits to go with it..." He sat down in a chair across from the lounge and began to help himself, shaking a little as he moved. Before anyone could respond, he let out a small cry of dismay as he dropped the knife. Fern was closer, and so she vaulted herself across the table just in time to catch it before it came to his open toes. The blade was dull, but her palm dribbled small drops of blood as she gripped the serrated edge tightly.

"Your majesty," Fern said gently "Please allow me to make a plate for you." She placed down the dirty knife and quickly ripped a small piece of fabric from the hem of her dress, grimacing inwardly at the fit her mother would throw upon seeing it. She wrapped up her wound and began to prepare cheese and wine for him, desperately trying to avoid both Ewan's and the Queen's stares.
 

BoneBrain

Everything's Shiny Cap'n
Archie was absolutely delighted at the prospect of a meal being prepare for him and he rubbed his hands together as Fern sorted out her small wound and then began to fill a plate with the melted cheese. His limbs shook a little as he accepted the plate from Fern and set it gently down in front of him. Archie was about to lift a cracker when he noticed his wife had not sat down next to him.

"Where is my wife now?" He muttered looking to the left and the right, but missing her standing behind him. "I could have sworn..."

"Right here Dear." Sara said, approaching the table and taking the seat next to her husband. Archie, placated, returned to his meal merrily. "What have we here?" Queen Sara asked, her tone filled with the saccharine sweetness that years of politicking had perfected. "I thought we would not see you back at the castle until the next season, Miss LaRose. I had heard from your mother you were preparing for a most successful second term." As Sara spoke she ignored Archie as he labored over scooping more cheese onto his cracker, when he finished he lifted his sweet prize and offered it to his wife, intent on feeding her. With a frustrated sigh Sara's attention was diverted. It was clear to both Fern and Ewan that she debated a long moment on indulging the man she loved or shooing him off to return to more pressing matters. After a moments hesitation she relented and leaned forward to daintily take the offering. She chewed, her eyes closing as she savored the taste.

Fern, naturally rushed to also pour another glass of wine for Sara, offering it to her without word. Sara took it and swirled the ruby liquid in her glass before sipping.

"Mother." Ewan began, his voice sounding a little resigned. He had not wished to share their news so early, but it seemed the truth was the correct course of action to him. "Fern and I have grown quite close since our reunion."

"Ah yes, your letter writing." Sara said patiently. While certainly she held the brunt of the Ubor's expectations and her load often came off as displeasure and impatience towards her family, she did truly love them. In this moment, she was not a queen, she was a mother.

"We've been discussing the future at length recently." Ewan continued after his mother gestured with her wine glass. He reached over to grip Fern's hand, then noticing the wrapping around her hand. She hissed out at the pressure and Ewan abruptly stopped his speech to lift her hand and peer at the wrapping. He had been so focused on his father and mother's arrival that he had not noticed her injury when she had caught the knife. "Your bleeding." He stated, getting to work on unwrapping the bandages to peer at the cut. While the wound was just surface level it still made Ewan go white. He was never one to handle blood all that well, he froze, his eyes stuck on the small drops of blood in her palm.

Sara however was quick to come to action, calling out for a maid, when one appeared in the door way she relayed her orders. "We shall need our first aid kit, Hannah, and some of the salve Ewan made recently." With a nod the made left and came hustling back a few minutes later. In the time it had taken her to return Sara had Ewan with a glass of water and was clucking over the cut. "It's not too deep. Why didn't you say something child?" Sara got to work cleaning and rubbing the salve over the cut, while Archie discovered the roll of gauze in the kit. He let out a hoot of joy as it unraveled to the floor. "Ewan cut us some of that gauze will you, enough to wrap three times I think." Ewan quickly got to work, happy to have instruction to keep his hands busy. A few moments later he handed over the gauze over and smiled weakly at Fern as Sara began to wrap up the hand properly.
 

maddymew

Member
Fern was terribly flustered by the queen tending to her wound. Ewan looked weak at the sight of her blood. Finally, the queen was done wrapping her hand, and Fern clutched it close as the queen settled back across from them.

"Thank you so much, your majesty, you really didn't have to. It was nothing, just a small cut." Ewan finally looked a little calmer now that the bandage was firmly in place, and he gingerly put his hand upon her knee as they faced his mother again. Fern took a breath and began speaking before Ewan could. "Your majesty, the prince has been one of my best friends since we were very young. Now, I know my house is not in the best standing with the crown, and that is my fault. But I know I can be of use to the royal family. I've studied politics, and as the eldest in my family I help run our lands back home, and teach my brothers to do so. Our people do not go hungry, are paid well and revere the crown in earnest." She placed her hand atop of Ewan's and gave the queen a bright smile.

"I know that the prince will become a great and benevolent king. I want to do whatever I can to help him achieve that end." Fern looked to Ewan with a soft expression, mustering her courage. What would best make the queen decide in their favor? The king had taken a break from playing with the medical kit and leaned over his chair with a goofy smile.

"My sweet Sara, I do love you, you know." He placed a chaste kiss on her cheek and the queen blushed.

"Please dear, not now." She reprimanded softly. The king looked nonplussed and went back to his humming. Fern gave a sweet smile, and looked to the queen again.

"I love your son, your majesty." She declaired "I suppose I always have. Please, Ewan proposed to me tonight and I can't tell you how happy that makes me. I hope you will bless our union. I want nothing more than to be by his said and help him grow into a magnificent king." Both the queen and the prince stared at her, open mouthed. Ewan was slowly growing redder as the words sunk it. It was the truth--but not how they imagined it. Fern did love Ewan, but as a friend dearest to her heart. She smiled into the silence and held onto his hand tightly.
 

BoneBrain

Everything's Shiny Cap'n
Fern's hand was the anchor holding Ewan in the moment as she dropped not one but two bombshells for the royal family to take in. His large fingers curled tightly around her own solid grip and Ewan coached himself into looking his mother in the eyes. Archie was grinning broadly at the two of them and raised his glass of wine in the air for a toast.

"To young love! Indeed my boy, you've found a fine match." Archie said, after a moment he looked confused at the group as no one moved to join his toast. "Come now." He gestured a little more aggressively than he needed to, sending the wine sloshing over the side and down his knuckles. Sara shook herself out of her shock and moved to lift her own wine glass.

"To young love." She repeated, looking closely at the couple.

"To... love." Ewan said joining in, the confusion clear on his voice, he did his best to return to normal and focus on this new development, rather than getting lost in his own thoughts. There would be plenty of time for himself and Fern to discuss at length the details of this new partnership.

"Hmm." Sara hummed her interest quietly, as she took a moment to find the words for the two of them. "This is... well I must admit dear you were not who I envisioned for my son, the standing of your family and house aside, however your letter writing and history has shown us an entirely new side of Ewan. Which leads me to believe that there may be hope for this marriage." Sara smiled as she saw the visible relief from the two of them. Ewan's shoulders slumped and he leaned back into the sofa.

"I thought perhaps you might object a little more." Ewan confessed, his face still a rather bright shade of red.

"Ah my son..." Sara felt her heart break a little as once again her expectations proved to be stronger than her displays of love. Unwilling to sour the moment the queen rose from her spot and first took Ewan's face in her hands, pressing soft kisses to both of his cheeks. Sara then turned to Fern and took the young woman's hand pulling her to her feet. "Welcome to the family." She said pulling Fern into a hug.

The family settled down again once more, feasting on the remains of the cheese and discussing wedding planning. Sara was quite eager for the young couple to have a spring wedding, leaving them only a few months to get everything in order. There was much laughter, and later when Oliva joined them they all happily regaled her of the news. It was quite the happy scene, and a memory the children would treasure after the tragedy.
 

maddymew

Member
The group spent the rest of the ball together, and the queen insisted that Fern stay in the castle now. So they all escorted her and Ewan to her room, and Ewan stayed with her while they waited for the porters to fetch her things from the hotel. Ewan perched on the foot of the bed as Fern began to disassemble herself as much as she could. She wiped off her makeup and took out her earrings and hair accessories, then the first few layers of her grown. Fern then sat beside Ewan in the long black slip that made up the base of the dress as she began to work out the extensions in her hair. Normally, she would need a professional, but her mother found temporary ones.

"I'm sorry if I startled you back there, Ewan." She said sheepishly, looking at him over her shoulder. "I didn't mean to be abrupt, I know how much of a private person you are. But I couldn't think of any other way to get your mother to agree." The last of the clips came free, and the long, bubbled braid fell to the floor in a heap. Fern still had a large bun positioned at the base of her head, but she would need to finish her hair care later. She turned to face Ewan and gave him a small smile.

"I do love you, you know. I've told you all the time, though not in so many words." She blushed at Ewan's own embarrassed expression. "You are my best friend, of course I love you. It's natural to feel that way about someone as close to me as you are." There was a knock on the door, and Fern rose to open it. The porters came in and dropped off her luggage, one medium suitcase and a massive dress bag. Fern opened the bag and placed the extra parts of her costume inside, then rummaged around in the suitcase. She retrieved her pajamas and toiletry bag before excusing herself to the bathroom again.

She changed into her pajamas and came back out into the main room, but stopped short when Ewan let out a small laugh. She blushed heavily and looked away from him, now wishing she'd brought something more mature to wear. "Sorry, I thought I was going to be alone tonight.. please forgive my silly clothes. My younger brother got them for me last year at yule."
 

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