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Iyla sat on the familiar surface of the prince's bed and wondered how many times she'd gazed up towards that same cieling and watched him charm new things there. She'd added her own touches sometimes as well. The fairy turned over, careful of her wings and laid on her front, burying her face into the surface of the pillow. Her head still rung.


~~~~


Gabriel shut the door and approached his father. "Can't find it." He shrugged casually. "So... what was it you needed to talk to me about?"

Jude lowered a hand to the ground. "Come with me." 

Gabriel climbed aboard with agility, remaining standing even as Jude stood. He could tell from the look on his face this was not going to be a short chat. 


"Gabe, have I told you what my first job was?"


"Yeah. You were Like a low-level diplomat, right?" 


Jude paced along the outer edge of the gardens. The fountains were off since it was nearing nightfall, and the chirping of Chicadas filled the silence between them. 

"No better than a messenger boy really. The palace servants had more power than me in many ways." Gabriel was quiet, wondering why his dad was bringing this up now. "I mean, I didn't mind it so much. Pay was... Average. Saw nice places. It's how I met your mother." Jude sat down on the edge of a fountain. 


"I didn't think i could do this job. Scared the crap out of me in the begginning. But after... After the revolution. After knowing that I was going to be a father and a husband... It changed me with that kind of resposobility on my shoulders." 


Gabriel gave a small thoughtful smile and lowered his gaze to the palm pattern beneath him. "Where are you going with this?"


Jude looked off at the sinking sun on the horizon.

"I guess what I'm saying is that you need to find something fight for. You'll find what you're looking for then."


Iyla took wing and approached the window, unlatched it with practiced ease then flitted outside, careful as always to remain unseen. She could hear Jude's voice as well as Gabriel's, though the latter's was significantly quieter. The blue orb of light flew until she could see the father and son in discussion. She found it surreal seeing someone whom was already a giant in her eyes in the palm of someone.


Jude was silent, letting it sink in. For a moment, in the thoughtful expression on his son's face, he caught a glimpse of the toddler who couldn't figure out how pat a cake worked. But when he raised his head, Gabe bore the understanding of a man. 

"...thanks, dad."

Though the words were few, the bond between them said all that was needed. 


Iyla's perch upon a large leaf of a maple tree gave her the ability to watch the pair and smile, her glow increasing with her happiness. She liked seeing her friend happy or at least more placed at ease.


"Hey, um..." Gabriel suddenly looked embarrassed. "Could I ask you something?"


"Of course."


The prince undid the rope that covered the belt on his trousers. He attached a small hook at the end, whispered an enchantment, and flung it farther than humanly possible to latch onto Jude's vest. Pen had her way of independently traversing the giant, Gabriel had his own. He took a flying leap and began hoisting himself up the rope. 


"Well, I've been thinking lately- urgg." He grunted. "You know how mom's real short? But you're a friggin giant?" 


"...yes?" Jude arched an eyebrow. 


"Not that I-mmpnf- mind being me, but I just thought.." With a final exertion, he pulled himself up to The king's shoulder. Gabe wiped his brow and sniffed. "I thought I'd be a bit...More like you." 


Iyla leaned in with intent eyes, nearly falling from the branch with a squeak. She clung to a spindly tree limb upside down, wings twitching as she listened in intently to the pair of men, wondering if Jude would have the answers his son so desperately sought.


Gabriel glanced aside, hearing a rustle that sounded suspiciously like a certain fairy. Not being able to see past Jude's head, he shrugged it off. 


Jude didnt answer immediately, a by taken off-guard. 


"I... " he was all too aware of his son's expectant eyes. "I don't know, Gabe. We've speculated, but... I was human-sized for a time. When you were, ah, concieved I mean..."

Gabriel turned away to hide how crestfallen he was. 


"You drank an elixir, right?" 


"That was the first time. Your mum cast a spell on me the times after that when we-"


"I get the picture!" Gabriel quickly cut him off, not wanting to know any details of his parents getting frisky. Ugh. Nauseating.

But one detail stuck out at him: his mother! He had to get her to tell him the spell she used! 

He swung the rope over Jude's back and slid down nimbly. 


"Um, Gabriel?"


"Great talk! Love ya!" 

He sprinted around the rim of the fountain and hurried inside. 


~~~~~~~


"The emerald one, Esme."

Preparing for the charity function she was to attend the following day took a fair bit of time to do. With her maids in the room to rpovide her with insight into her appearance, Penelope seemed well on her way to being ready. Indeed she'd already picked out her dress.


The maid bustled about in her dressing chambers, intent in thier exuberant eyes.


"Your highness! This is most irregular-" a young hand maid nearly bumped into Prince Gabriel on her way to retrieve a pitcher of water. She stammered, trying to explain that he was not allowed to enter while ladies were not entirely decent. He just smiled and brushed past her when she was finished. 

Penelope's back was to the door., busily explaining her vision for the decorations. Gabe put a finger up to his lips to stifle the maids' knowing smiles as he crept up behind her. He latched into her from behind in a loving bear hug. 


Pen let out a small squeak and jumped a metaphorical ten feet in the air before she could find her heartrate again.

"Gabriel! You scared the daylights out of me!"

She could not hope to keep up an irritated facade for laughter suited Penelope far more than grumpiness. She squirmed a bit and turned to face her son, placing her hands on the youth's chest as she looked up towards him. She saw so much of his father in him the more time passed.

"What brings you up to see your mum, kid? You have a good talk with your dad?"


Gabriel laughed victoriously and stepped back, getting out of the servants' way as they passed by. 

"We had a nice little chat, yeah. Mentioned how I've been wondering why I'm six feet instead of sixty," he said casually, them lowered his voice so only Pen could hear him. "What spell did you use on him?" 


He finally figured it out.

Pen's lips twisted up a smidge before she dismissed all of her maids and told them to close the doors behind themselves. Once alone, the queen fiddled with her skirts and stepped away from her son

"...I guess you want me to teach you, eh?"


"I'd like to give it a go, yeah." Gabriel shrugged and picked up a stained glass figurine designed to refract colored light around the room. The beams of color went haywire as he turned it over in his hand. 


"I'm curious." 


Though some hesitance did exist, Penelope could not deny the longing in her sons eyes which softened her own uncertainty enough to give in.

"We'll need privacy and a lot more space. I'll show you but you need to promise me that you will be careful. And you will not use that form for the wrong reasons."

Pen turned to head for the door then paused and looked over her shoulder

"...And you won't tell your dad until you've got things mastered. not to mention you'll need to get used to acting around humans in a good way..."

And like that, Penelope was rambling, features clenched as she made a verbal checklist.


Gabriel lit up like a firecracker. 

"Yes!" He allowed himself a moment of enthusiastic exclamation before sobering up to prove his maturity. "Can we go now?" He himself was surprised by how exciting the prospect of being a giant was. He foresaw it as mostly recreational if he did manage to tuck that skill under his belt. He wondered what Iyla would say. Would she even talk to him then? 


"We'll try your father and my room. I'll get the guards to keep him out."

A mischevious grin took ahold on the woman's face as she took her son by the arm and led Gabriel along. The vast, steepled hallways stretched onward until at last the doors to their chambers lay in way. Two giant gaurds stood at attention. After a few orders from their she entered through a smaller door in the bottom of a big one.


The vast floor proved ample space and Pen stood tall...well, relatively speaking.

"First, I need you to concentrate. Magic is a manifestation of will, primarily, and since you have fairy blood in you, your will is a bit stronger. You will need a target. And this target will be yourself. Imagine your target growing, becoming bigger. Go on, give it a try."


She stepped back a few paces. 


With his dad's height in mind, Gabriel stood across the room from her to be safe. He followed her instructions to a 'T'- he shut his eyes, took deep breaths to center himself, and focused his energy on releasing that dormant seed of growth within him. He opened his eyes after a moment, but nothing happened. 

Again- he opened his eyes, but his mother was normal size. 

He tried harder, but he felt nothing! Surely there would a be warmth or glow or... Something! 


Gabriel sighed and opened his eyes. Then froze and dropped to his knees.


"Holy shit, mum- you're tiny!" He lowered himself to the floor, beaming proudly at his own feat. "I can't believe I did it... If I had known if would be that easy, I would've done this forever ago!"


"Voice down!"


Penelope stressed the point. Though she'd reached a point where loud voices really didn't phase her that much, they could still hurt at this close of a range.

"How's it feel, my quite literally grown up boy?"

She cracked a cheeky grin. From this angle, she really could see the man her son had become. Pen wondered what it would be like for Jude ever seeing their son like this.


"Sorry!" Gabe lowered his voice to a whisper. He had the mind-racing of a boy younger than his 19 years. He lowered himself flat to the floor, leveling his eyes to his mom's. 

"It's really, really weird, seeing you like this. But cool!" He started to reach, but hesitated, respect kicking in. "Uh..may I?”


Inwardly, Penelope praised her sons' ettiqute as a giant. She gave Gabriel a maternal smile glowing with sunlit warmth and nodded, awaiting how he'd grab her

"Remember to test your griP. start looser then tighten and listen to the person you are holding."

She advised.

"And good for you for asking first, very well done.”


Gabriel took a moment of awe to notice that his middle finger was longer than his own mother. He watched himself intently, entranced as he closed his hand gradually around the tiny woman. 

She weighed hardly anything! He breathed heavily as he sat back with a thud and raised her to eyelevel, uncurling his hand. 

"I-I don't know what to say!" He laughed, blushing out of inexperience. 


"You're doing a fine job, sweetheart."

Penelope smiled and stared forward into familiar eyes, now so immense. Amused by his expression, the queen gave his thumb a proud tap of her slight hand. It was so odd to feeling the voice of her own son rattle her bones as it did. After a moment of searching the boy's face, she found a warm wetness gather in the depths of her sky blue eyes.

“You really have grown into a man, Gabe.” She wiped her eyes with her palms. "I keep expecting to look at you and find that little kid. It's the wierdest thing.”


"Aw, mum..." His expression morphed from relief to a subdued tenderness for the woman who raised him. Gabriel lowered his hand a little as he curled his thumb inward, improvising on the spot with a delicate stroke along her arm. 


"...I'm sticking around for quite a while , if that's any consolation.," he finally said.


Penelope placed her hand palm down over Gabe's thumb, giving him a focused look

"Even if you are humoungous you are still my little boy.” She insisted, more silly than dead serious but with the edge of sincerity that followed her relentlessly. 

"Got that, squirt?”


Gabriel buried a hearty laugh in his shoulder. 

"Uh-huh..." He grinned ear to ear, then held her close as he rose to his feet. Approaching his parents' familiar luxurious bed, Gabriel uncurled his fist upon the right pillow. 


"I can finally lay down on this bed for real!" He flopped down on the green silken sheets that had swallowed him up too many times to count. 


"Lucky bum."

Penelope snorted and promptly headed over towards her son's head to start to work harrassing him, starting out by braiding his hair.

"It's my friggin' bed and I'm still too little for it.” She chuckled, dextrous hands set to their task. She lowered herself down onto her rump. "So...About that Iyla girl. Who is she?" 


Gabriel tried to get a look at what she was doing to him, only to receive a reprimanding tug in reply. His chuckle faded fast when she mentioned Iyla. His parents were more curious than he gave them credit for. 

"Take it easy, it's nothing romantic. Iyla knows we're just friends." He said truthfully. Still, he changed the subject to try and avoid further questioning. "Wait, why can't you just grow yourself? I mean if you can grow dad, and I can shoot up pretty easily…"


"My body can't handle it.” Pen answered, still mulling over his words about Iyla. "You've got your dad's blood which is probably the only reason why you were able to. Wasn't actually that sure this would work intially."


He tilted his head back on the pillow to look at her quietly. Was that wistfulness in her voice? 


"Oh. I um... How often do you shrink him down? Or was that a one time thing?" He wondered aloud. "Not that I want to know ANY of what you guys do…”


Penelope, having lost hair to braid, stood to her feet and gave the tip of her large son's nose a pat.

"It's more of a special occaision thing. I'm quite content with your dad being his natural size for most things. In fact, I'm pretty sure snuggling with an affectionate giant is pretty much the nicest thing for a girl to experience." She chuckled. "Not too often, though. Life gets busy. But..."


Pen leaned over, brow raised to look her son in one of his large oceanous eyes, ensuring he saw her expression. "Enough about that, you clever little bugger. There's something you're not telling me about your friend. You know your father and I love you no matter what choices you make, alright?"


He nodded thoughtfully, seeming to take her words into consideration for events and people known only to himself. Maybe he could use his growth capacity to charm a few chicks! 

For some reason, Iyla next flashed through his mind, how at ease she seemed to be snuggling up against his neck, on a rainy afternoon for instance or a slow trot back to the palace. For the first time, he wondered how she felt like that. 

...Nah, they were practically siblings at this point.. Right?


Gabriel's gaze snapped back to his mom. 

"Good because I've been having horribly violent sex with her." He said sarcastically, smirking faintly. "Why are you so interested in her all of a sudden?”


Not missing a beat, the queen simply shrugged her shoulders an gave a dismissive wave of her hand. "As long as you don't knock her up, there's no problem."


She swatted Gabriel's nose then walked around to his shoulder, hiking up her skirts in order to scale his shoulder. She figured that his neck would get sore, laying like that. Once she found a good spot atop her son's chest she brushed her skirts down, hair a bit askew.

"I'm your mother. I'm going to be interested in the company you keep in case I need to start sending guards after the bad ones.”



His breathing quickened when he felt tiny footsteps walking all over him. But he wasnt panicked, since he had a fairy walk over him several times a day for years now. It was just weird knowing it was his mom. He chuckled lightly, confident that Iyla's identity would remain a secret. . 


"Trust me, Iyla's a good friend. She's always there for me.... So I'd rather not see her beheaded if it's all the same to you." He relaxed against the pillow, staring a the ceiling after feeling awkward when he tried to look down at her. 


"Alright, alright.” Pen raised her hands and grinned, head tilted to the side. "No beheading. Is there any chance I'll ever get to meet this very good friend of yours in the near future?”



"I dunno. Maybe." 


He actually had no intention of facilitating the meeting. But he hoped his lack of enthusiasm would throw her off-course. 

Gabriel tilted his head down somewhat awkwardly to view her. 

"Ah, this is so weird! I can feel your little knees poking through." He tried to mask how he was used to have a tiny person sit atop him. 



As another bout of teasing, Pen dug her knees in that much more and pulled a mischevious grin.

"Lower your hand a big closer to me, would you, honey?"


Gabriel groaned. 

"You are so weird.."


Hesitantly, he raised his hand to his mother, Half resting on his chest palm-down beside her.


"Hate to break it to you, sweetie, biut it's genetic.” She pounced like a startled spider, turned his hand and tickled the youth's palm relentlessly.


Almost immediately, the fingers twitched inward as he cringed inward upon himself in an involuntary belly laugh.

"Wha-HAHAHAAT!" 

He turned onto his side. She slid off, but recovered with disposable speed. 

"Mooom! Cut it-" another round of light laughter as his life line was tickled by experienced hands. "Cut it out!" 


Gabriel froze, looking towards the arched entryway. Were those footsteps? Worst of all, his father’s?


Penelope clung to her sons's hand which currently had her caught in its grasp. Noting the rumble of new steps over Gabriel's laughter fatigued breathing, she ceased her tickles.

Well... crap.


Gabe was sitting up in a flash, eyes scrunched shut in concentration. The a footsteps stopped outside the door.

Think tiny thoughts, think tiny thoughts, think tiny thoughts!


He felt nothing, but the footsteps that entered vibrated the bed now ever so slightly.


Gabe opened his eyes. The gargantuan form of his father strode past the bed and went into the spacious walk-in closet he and Pen shared. 


"Thank God..." Gabriel breathed. He flopped back down on the bed, a few feet away from Penelope. 


The footsteps grew more imminent until Jude was standing at the bedside, pausing to eye them curiously. 


"What are you doing to your poor mother?”


"ME? She's the one who attacked me!" The brash prince stood up on the springy matress, only to fall back on his bum from the sinking matress of Jude sitting down further along the bed. 


"Haven't you learned by now to let her win sometimes?" The giant gave him a smile that came from knowing someone inside and out. He turned his attention to the redhead lying nearby and smoothly scooped her up, into a soft kiss. 


"Eeergh. Get a room!" Gabe rolled his eyes and strode for the foot of the bed. 


"Ah, excuse me, this IS our room!" Jude shot back with a chuckle. 


"You know what I mean.” Gabe grumbled.


The prince grasped a fold in the comforter and slid down with impressive ease. He jumped the last five feet to the floor, and took off at a quickened pace for the human-sized door. I can't wait to tell Iy!


"Well, now that we've got a room…" Pen giggled, both of her smooth palms resting over Jude's lips and she felt her husband and king smile against her touch.


"Mmm. I like where're you're headed.." 

Jude leaned his cheek against hers while his free hand undid the buttons on his vest. He was able to relax more fully in the lighter shirt beneath. 


~~~~~~~~


Iyla rested her weary wings against the thick low hanging branches of a tree in the gardens. She loved the gathering of trees clustered off to the side behind the palace, something a bit like a small forest. She daydreamed of honey wine and dancing jigs and silk gowns like floating lotus flowers and the sound of hammer dulcimers.


"Psssst!" A darkened figure whispered in the gardens. 

It was dusk now. A pale blue glow told Gabriel where he would find his friend. He jumped, catching onto the lowest branch and hoisted himself up into the tree. "Oy. You'll never guess what happened!”


Iyla jped a bit at her friends' arrival and nearly fell out of the tree. Like an unbalanced, grumbling bat trying to right itself, wings flapping as she wasflipped upside down on her branch.

"Please enlighten me!”


"Geez, I thought for sure you’d hear me coming, Iy." He thoughtlessly picked her up and set her down on his knee. "Turns out got some of my dad's blood in me... Want me to show ya?” 


Iyla let out a long exhalation then froze, slowly turning her eyes up towards her human companion. Well, half human.

"...Um...I guess? Provided you aren't an utter fool about about it.” She warned. 


"Now that doesn't sound like me at all." He grinned. "Go on, hop off. We've got to somewhere... Private." 


Gabe dropped out of the tree, landing crouched on the ground. He slipped through the trees and felt along the stone wall that circled the garden. He found the secret exit he had made years ago, and moved the segment of stones out of the way so he could crawl through. Together, they made a dash for the Forest, laughing like children who had no other concern in the world. 


Though slightly nervous about what the prince intended to show her, a note of secret excitement and anticipation lit up in amethyst orbs which glowed with all the light of an elated pixie. On top of which, the blue glow which surrounded her grew that much brighter.


A greeting of masking trees, tall from old growth provided the ideal cover for the pair of unlikely friends. Still infected by Gabriel's exuberance, the perky pixie grinned at him.

"Alright! Show me already. And be careful!”



Gabriel slowed to a jog, finally stopping in a clearing of towering oaks that looked to be over 100 feet tall. 

Perfect.


Facing her with a slightly breathless smile, the prince took several step backwards away from the fairy. 


"Don't be scared!" He called. There was a moment of silence; he closed his eyes and concentrated. He thought of his father, out of all giants. Focused intently. 

When he opened his eyes only a minute later, Iyla wasn't anywhere in sight. The ground was much further away now, and the canopy of trees were a ceiling he was only thirty to forty feet from brushing with his head. He didnt dare move, in case she was closer than he thought. 


...By Oberon...


The fae gaped at the massive being that stood like a living mountain before her. For a moment, she remained frozen in place, eyes fixated entirely. Gabriel quite literally filled the entirity of her view, moreso than usually. She felt entirely puny, more like an insect now.


Swallowing instinctual fear that clenched her chest, the wide eyed fairy made her ascent, flying up until she was like a firefly in front of his face. She gaped openly.



A relieved smile greeted her, but it was brief. All traces of cockiness vanished. I can't even see her face!

His heart pounded like a bass drum, but he could sense her trepidation. Slowly, so slowly, he moved to raised a single finger beneath her, to give his friend some sort of comfort. 


"It-" Gabe remembered to lower his voice to the barest whisper. "It's okay.” 


Even at a whisper, Gabriel's voice was immense and seemed to coat the entire world. Taking a seat on his finger, she curiously touched the pad.

"...Gabriel, you're…"


He had an inkling of what she was going to say, but to his horror, he couldn't hear more than a faint murmuring, like a bird trying to hum a lullaby. 


"I... Can't hear you." He breathed. Her weight was nothing to him. Literally, nothing. 


Projecting her voice more than she had before, she cupped her hands over her mouth, spotting the distress which seemed to drain all colour from Gabriel's face

"I said your size finally matches your ego."

Though a nervousness wobbled Iyla's voice, she was making an effort to set her friend at ease. By her fair folk kin, he was so...so big. his eye was likely bigger than she was at this point and it disturbed her to no end.


He tilted his head a little hear her better. Once he had processed it, he laughed softly.  "Cute." 


He stared at her a moment longer, then closed his eyes and focused. His demonstration had been clear, but their interaction was severely limited like this. 


As Gabriel's body diminished, the little fairy advanced down his hand, face pale and glow lessoned. Even though it had been her friend, his monumental size had still spooked her to no end. Standing in the center of his palm, both slippered feet on his lifeline, she nibbled away on her lower lip and stared up at him. There was some comfort in seeing him back to normal, seeing the trees dwarf him again.


Gabriel lifted her up, sighing fondly at how the fairy took up more than half of his palm now. That look on her face was remedied by a swift hug to his upper chest. 


"Let's not do that again." He gave her a lopsided grin as he released her from his smothering embrace. 


Arms spread, Iyla closed her eyes and drew in the comfort of a friend's embrace before clasping her hands behind her back, giving an incline of her head in assent.


"...Yeah. It's nerve wracking enough having you this size and knowing how much of a wierdo you can be." She rocked back and forth slowly, heel to toe, one of her long ears twitching. 

"...Thanks for being careful, I suppose though."


Gabe ran a knuckle down her hair, feeling the pointy tip of her ear. "Can't have ya going deaf..." 


The childlike look in his eyes was suddenly replaced by a more mature concern. 

"Wait. What are you talking about? I'm always nerve-wracking?" He frowned deeply. "I thought we were cool..." 


The fairy's spindly fingers, nimble with magic slid across one another, cheeks a bit pink

"I'm just joking around, Gabe. It's fine, really."

She lifted off from his hand and flew a small ways, finding a wilting dandelion which she felt compelled to perk up with a little bit of magic. 


Well, that was weird... 

She hadnt been nervous around him for years... why could that change now? He opened his mouth as if to say something, but closed it again, deciding she was just a little jumpy from his size-changing.


"Once I get more practice in, i'll be able face my dad eye to eye. That'll be nice..." He ambled over to where she was meticulously tending to some flowers. He plucked the petals off another and sprinkled then over her head, one by one. 


"That'll be good."

The fairy raised her open palms, fingers spread as if combing magic through strands of invisible hair in the winds, flowers beckoning to brightness at her touch. 

"I can't imagine what it would be like having a father that massive."

She giggled. "You definitely had some interesting experiances with him, from what you told me when you were little."


"Kicked his butt at hide and seek." Gabe chuckled, remembering how he had kept him guessing for half an hour by hiding on his belt. "It can be pretty cool, I guess. Had a lot of fun growing up. But-" he sighed and laid down on his stomach to watch the delicate light show Iyla's magic produced. "It's just gotten kind of awkward. I mean, I'm a grown man now. I should be getting ready to take over the family reigns within the next couple of years. But it's hard to feel that way when he can just pluck me up and put me on his knee like when I was five." 


"You do have a point. I would think that would get in the way of him seeing you as an adult when you're so little compared to him"

Iyla answered honestly, stroking a petal with her delicate fingers

"Being smaller does make things harder to be seen as older than you really look to a bigger person."


A gentle breeze ruffled his chestnut hair as he contemplated her words. It was true, and she seemed to understand how he felt all too well. What struck him as odd was how uncharacteristically still she was when she said it. Surely she didn't think he saw her as a little kid?


"Is there something you want to tell me?" His deep voice was lowered to a more approachable tone. "I like to think I know you pretty well after nearly 10 years; I can tell when something's weighing on ya, Iy." He added, then cracked a small smile. "Or, that's a really sad flower." 


"Just a sad flower, there's no need to fret, Gabriel."

The fairy sniffed and primly insisted, working extra hard to get the flower to perk up only to turn it a bright orange colour rather than blue.

"Shouldn't you be preparing for that charity ball you're attending with your parents? you're always slacking off."


"What's to get ready for? I get fancied up, smile and nod, twirl a few girlies on the dance floor, and drink champagne." He smiled and shifted to tap the flower. "Nice." 


"It is tonight, after all."

Iyla scolded but more so in an affectionate manner

"Not that aren't plenty handsome naturally, my liege but you've leaves in your hair and dirt on your face. And under your fingernails What lad would want to dance with a boy with dirt under his fingernails? Eck."


"Tonight?!"


Gabriel scrambled to his feet, running hasty fingers to loose the debris from his hair. "Shit! I thought it was tomorrow!"


"It's tonight, you ginormous fool."

Iyla smirked, amused at his tizzy fed by nervous franticness. Flying up to rest on his shoulder, the fae woman tugged at Gabriel's earlobe

"Well? Hurry inside and get ready already!"


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

"Try not to fall off." He replied gruffly, then took off in a sprint back to the palace. 

Penelope stood dignified with her arms crossed, hair swept up and contained. She favoured a more casual attire but her fire remained. Stepping down from her throne via a long set of steps she approached her son.

"Three times this week alone. Three times, Gabriel Akil!"

She scolded. Though her son stood taller than she, no one messed with the queen unless they wished for a verbal lashing.


"Actually four, if you count the barber's shop window." 


Gabriel assumed a semi-reverent posture at the foot of the staircase. Sometimes, he could get his mother to crack a smile when she was supposedly mad at him. But today didn't seem like one of those days. He eyed the empty throne to his mother's left with relief. His dad rarely raised his voice as much as Pen, but even still... Gabriel had begun to feel a little awkward around his dad lately. 


"Gabriel, I'm serious. You're becoming a man and you need to start treating your situation accordingly. Marking of campaign signs and the walls of the people who will look to you for leadership is not how."

Penelope crossed her arms and stood directly in front of her son.

"And what are the people to think, huh? That their prince is reckless and disrepectful? Is that what you want?" 


Gabriel glanced at his shoulder, regretting having jostled Iyla. He had grown attatched to having someone always at his back.

"Some people admire my good sense of humor." He grinned half-heartedly, then sighed. "I'm sorry, mum, I am. It's just the whole 'passing on the crown' thing can be a bit..." The colossal thrones above seems to snicker at him. "...Daunting."


Penelope's expression softened, her lips pressing into a thoughtful line. She extended her hand and placed it on his shoulder

"Sort of a big thing, isn't it? To lead people. To fit the throne." A maternal smile surfaced. "Tell me about them troubles, Gabe."


He stared at the ground. He already felt his resolve to be stony and reserved melting under his mother's comforting touch.


"I don't want to be the weak link that ruins everything you've built." Gabriel finally mumbled to his shoes. He was confident in his knowledge And understanding of a King's duties; his tutoring had been through in every aspect. But carving his own legacy was nearly as frightening as not having one at all. 


"You're a good person, Gabe. And even if you are nervous, you're a quick learner and you've got good instincts."

The queen took both of his hands in hers, already so dainty compared to her sons

"Your father and I really are proud of you, even if you are a trouble maker."

She chuckled, rubbing his palms with the pads of her thumbs

"You will make a fine king some day. You will fit that throne perfectly."


Gabriel gave her a heartfelt smile that only she could coerce out of him. He gave her hands a little squeeze as he bent down to kiss her cheek.


"Does the 'fine king' get off the hook?" He gave her a silly, hopeful smile.


"Not even close, kid."

Pen chuckled and lifted her brow in a 'nice try' sort of way. Though the years had tempered this energetic creature, Penelope retained much of her former self, the very core of her being. 

"You're going to need to clean up your mess and by hand."


"No way!" He embraced her tightly in what he hoped would be a convincing hug. "Come on... How about I write a nice letter to the man and call it a day?" 


"Being lazy won't make you learn, ya rascal you."

Penelope squirmed lightly in the boy's embrace and attempted to tickle his sides

"I can always call your father down here after his meeting if you don't get off going. And I'm pretty sure a hug won't convince him."


Gabriel laughed and released her. Evading her tickling fingers, he took a few steps back across the immense hall. 


"Fine, fine..." He shot her a grin over his shoulder on his way towards the corridor. "Don't tell dad!" His shout echoed on the marble walls. 


~~~~~


Half an hour later, the prince was trudge down towards the main part of the city donning a thin shirt and equally plain trousers. No need to be flashy when one is scrubbing off their own vandalism. 


"Iyla?" Gabriel peered around the tree branches and shrubbery that bordered the nearly vacant road. 


A girl with short brown hair sat on a bench off to the side with a pad of paper in hand and a pen. Hazel eyes honed in on he page in front of her, one of many she'd been trying and failing to prefect for a good hour now. The twinkling of that damned blue light hadn't bee helping her focus, as pretty as it was.


Iyla flitted over towards the young prince and hovered in front of his face, hands firmly planted on her hips, amethyst eyes reprimanding

"Did you learn your lesson, you great fool? Did your parents give you heck?"


"It was just Mom, so it wasn't awful." He held up two fingers beneath her for her to perch on. "I'm on rag duty. You can definitely say 'I told you so.'" 


"You are such a moron, honestly." The fairy remarked exhaustedly and took a seat on the offered fingers

"Do you have any clue as to how much of a pain you can be? Honestly."

She huffed

"I'm just glad your father wasn't around to be angry at you. He's a sweet man, from what I've observed but I don't fancy him being very nice to be around angry."

She shivered at the thougth of such a titantic being angered.


Gabe grimaced, recalling the handful of occasions he had acted out enough to make his father raise his voice. 

"It's more than a little uncomfortable, yeah." 


He shifted his hand so she was sitting in his palm. His hand had grown along with the rest of him through the years; it was much roomier, rougher than that of the curious ten-year-old she had met nine years ago.

"You know what I don't get though?" Gabriel mused aloud as he took the most discreet route possible to his graffiti-site. "I should be a bit taller than 5'11", given his stature don't you think? I mean, I thought it would kick in by now..."


"You're plenty big to me." The fairy giggled and let her wings twitch, a sprinkling of dust raining downwards.

"But I'm guessing you wish you could match your father's height, right? You could always talk to him about this one. See why you haven't had a growth spurt yet."


The corner of his lips turned up. 


"I just can't figure out how to say it. It sounds so pathetic when I say it out loud." He chuckled in self-derision and held up his hand to let her fly off him. He had reached the top of the platform now. Gabe took one last look at the facial hair vandalism before rolling up his sleeves and dipping the sponge in the sudsey water. He started scrubbing, long hard strokes against the stone wall. 


~~~~~~~


Penelope had since retired to the front porch for some tea and cucumber sandwiches. Somehow, it was easier to enjoy the luxuries of nobility when she knew she wouldn't be obligated to be confined to corsets as she once had been. Though a corner of her sandwich had been given away to the birds and the servants had been invited out for a break from their duties to share in tea time, Penelope sat largely alone on her balcony, watching the servants spend their off ours chatting and laughing on the lawn with a few blankets hauled out.


Though Jude tried to be quiet, the tremors his steps caused gave him away as usual.


"Could you at least act surprised?" He pleaded with his wife. He sat down outside the porch to speak with her. By the looks of his formal attire, he had just gotten back from his meeting with the representative from Florence. 


Penelope looked up from her tea and gave a soft chuckle, raising her brow at the giant seated close by. She counted herself fortunate that the balcony she currently resided in was roughly on eye level when Jude sat down.

"You're really not that hard to miss, dear."

After taking a sip of warm tea, she debated telling him about Gabriel's issues now or later. She figured Jude could use some down time first.


"How was the meeting?"


He smiled at the lawn with a rather tired look to his eyes.


"It was productive. The chancellor sends his regards." He nodded towards her. "As does his daughters. All four of them." He arched a brow. "Right around Gabe's age, too..." He gave her a small smirk, then changed the subject, taking off his crown and holding it in his lap. "You get on fine without me?"


"I got along quite well."

She replied, setting her teacup in its rose and gold designed saucer, matching articles. After serving herself a bit more tea with a splash of milk and three lumps of sugar, she took a sip of the perfect temperature liquid before glancing back towards her husband

"Gabriel had an incident. We talked things over and he's cleaning up his mess in the city."


The king's mild attitude vanished in an instant.

"You're kidding. Did we or did we not just talk to him about this on Monday?" He shook head in disbelief. "Oh we are going to have words tonight." he muttered. 


Penelope pressed her lips into a thin line and stared ahead towards the city that dominated the horizen.

"He says he's been dealing with some things as well. Some nervousness about ruining what we've built when he claims the throne. While he still needs to learn responsibility, maybe it would be good to try talking with his about that piece as well."


He raised his eyebrows in inquisition. While he knew Gabe could be a bit manipulative, he felt fairly certain that these were confidential concerns of his. "He and I haven't been seeing eye-to -eye lately." Jude admitted. "But I promise to talk to him. Tonight." 

He sat back, watching the servants converse openly. He was proud of the virtuous atmosphere they had encouraged. 

"He ever talk to you about that friend of his? Ayla? ...Iyla?" 


The queen nodded and removed a few strand of straggling strawberry blond hair from her forehead.

"He seems fond of her, whoever she is. I've never met the girl and he's been very secretive about her."

She tilted her eyes towards Jude's. She could see the beginnings of age on his face, experiance wisening his eyes which remained ever that beautiful blue green colour she'd always loved.

"He say much to you about her?"


He pursed his lips and shook his head. 

"Don't think he even meant to mention her. Just kinda slipped out." He eyed her with a look not form a king, but from a father. "You don't think... he's seeing someone behind our backs?" 


"Whoever she is, I would like to meet her."

Penelope smoothed the folds of her skirt out after setting her tea cup on the table to her left.

"Friend or girlfriend. If she is a girlfriend, I would have prefered if he'd told us sooner, honestly."

She chuckled and gave Jude a fond smile.

"Whatever happened to our little boy?"


A distant, tender look crossed his face. 

"He's still in there somewhere." He said quietly. 


~~~~~


"No way, I like your wings just the way they are, Iy. Scar and all."


Gabriel shot the fairy a smile free of mischief as he finished washing his hands. "Gah, my fingers are all pruny..." He wrinkled his nose and made a funny face at the sight of them. He grabbed a star fruit on his way out of the kitchen. He cut off a tiny sliver for Iyla a d casually cut another for himself. 

"Awh, crwap." He said through a mouthful of fruit. A gold banner waved over the main hall, announcing the King's return. 

"Dad's here." He loved his father, but he knew Iyla was not nearly as comfortable with the giant. 


The fairy stiffened, fingers mid-braid of her opal locks of pin-straight hair. 

"M-Maybe I should stay in your room, Gabriel."

Iyla had intentionally avoided all contact with giants save from an exceedingly healthy distances. 


"Mmm." He hummed in agreement, picking up his pace. He was nearing his bedroom with a determined stride when a familiar trembling of the ground alerted him of an approaching giant. He barely had time to snatch Iyla off his shoulder and hold her behind his back before Jude was kneeling down to get closer to his level. 


"Hey, Florence was quick this time!" Gabriel greeted nervously.

 

"They were cooperative this year." Jude smiled at his son with no discernable emotion behind his eyes. "Gabriel, if you're not busy, I'd really like to talk. Just you and me." 


A small squeak left the fairy as she was unceremoniously jerked behind a back and kept at an odd angle. She chose not to struggle, knowing Gabriel's actions had been for her safety. The sound of Jude's voice even at a normal level was painful and made her whimper slightly, a shake taking hold of her body as she covered her ears frantically. She disliked being this frightened but her instincts had taken over.


Gabe ran his thumb over her forehead.

"Sounds great. Just lemme grab my flask from my room." He smiled and backed up towards his door, fumbling with the handle and backing inside. 


"You okay?" He cupped his friend before his face the second they were alone. 


Iyla, though pale and misty eyed from the encounter, seemed well enough.

"...Your father is very, very loud, did you know that?" She moaned and wiped pain fed tears from the corners of her eyes. 

"I'm sorry...I shouldn't..I shouldn't react like this. I'm such a coward."


Gabriel frowned, shaking his head at her.

"Shut up. You're the bravest person I know."

He pressed a chaste kiss to her forehead and laid her on one of the many lavish pillows adorning his four-poster bed. 


The fairy laid down upon the plush surface of a silky smooth pillow stuffed with soft materials and turned on her side to avoids the bubblegum pink blush cast across her cheeks from the contact of his lips and Gabriel's kind words.

"...He's your father, Gabriel. And a good man at that. I...I shouldn't let him get to me for things he cannot help. You should go talk to him....He'll wonder what's taking you so long."


"It's not like you can help it, either..." Gabriel pointed out one last time as he drew away. "I'll be later!" he mouthed.

Perhaps it was the flowers which had attracted her attentions, ones that her reclusive xenophobic kin feared to so much as look upon. She could guess why. The giants that lived in this area were much more terrifying than the humans who scared fae kind already something terrible.

But Ilya was curious to a fault, often to the point where finding out about something took precedence over fear or common sense. 

A winged ball of blue light flitted from flower to lovely flower, drinking in the scents and giving them a little bit of her magic. She had to say that Bergen's royal gardens were almost as pretty as the ones she knew back home.

~~~~

It was boing with Meg gone. The Kaufners were gone on a year-long voyage around the country. Sometimes, Gabriel got short messages or drawings from her with leaves or flowers pressed for him. But while she was off exploring exciting new places, he was stuck in Bergen doing tutoring. 

It was a hot afternoon, but the ten year old loved nature far too much to retreat indoors. The young prince slowly meandered through the palace gardens, trying to avoid his governess' gaze and think of something as fun to do as climbing the Alps (like Meg.) 

~~~~

The sunlight softened the blue fairy astronomical amounts, even to the extent of lowering her own glow, revealing a porcelain skinned, willowy figured girl dressed in a gossamer gown of white. Light blue hair like spun opals was gathered in two braids, sharp ears knifing through. Ilya's soft amethyst eyes reflected the nature around herself. The sound of loud footsteps made her jump. A human? She needed to hide quickly! But as she shifted to move, rose blossom she'd been sitting on bended oddly and she lost her footing, letting out a squeak. Willing her wings to beat but quickly found the delicate things had collided with something sharp nearby. She hadn't the time to check for she felt a terrible tearing pain in her wing. Ilya let out a panicked cry as she clung to a rose stem, thankfully having avoided catching any of the thorns with her hands.

~~~~

Gabriel raced towards the blue glow. He had always felt a connection to the supernatural world, but he had yet to encounter any fae first-hand. His little hands parted the leaves and he gasped in wide-eyed wonder. It was a fairy! Finally!

"I knew it!" He breathed, his big blue-green eyes staring. "They don't believe me. I've always wanted to meet a fairy... Oh, you're hurt!" The freckled youth outstretched a hand. 
"Don't be afraid, little fairy. I'm a nice human." He used a comforting voice, like the one mommy used when she fixed up his boo-boos. He wrapped his hand around her waist and gently tugged her from the rose stem. He stayed mostly in the tall plants to stay out of sight. His palm wasn't very roomy for her, but she was no longer clinging for dear life. 

Ilya knew she'd probably just landed herself into an even worse situation but at this point, she wanted to at least catch her breath before she got pulverized. Her ribcage expanded and contracted, sleek white fabric like spun sugar laying against it. She chanced opening her eyes to find her savior and located a pair of gentle eyes regarding her with boyish excitement and kindness as well. None the less, she shivered a bit.
"...Wait." Her nose twitched a moment before her own eyes went wide. "You're like me but you're not."
She tried to move her wing but it hurt too much and she whimpered.

"Huh?" Gabriel gave her a confusion expression. He leaned in closer to look at her wing with her. It was beautiful, and he was itching to have a longer time to study it, but she was hurting. 
"Don't worry, I'll fix you." He smiled brightly and cupped her close. He started to rush back towards the palace, but stopped short. "Delilah." he hissed. The governess was reading a book in the sun, periodically glancing up to check on him. 
She looked up from the page when she heard the prince's shuffling footsteps.

"Going in so soon?" She raised an eyebrow at him.
"I want to surprise mommy with flowers." He explained quickly. The bouquet of blossoms in his arms did seem to prove that. 
"I'm sure she'll love them." The tucked a strand of her salt-and-pepper hair behind her ear and continued reading. 

"She'll believe almost anything." Gabriel bragged, letting out a sigh of relief when he was in his own spacious bedroom. He let the flowers drop and rushed around to gather a pillow to put her on, and the basket of medical supplies he knew was in his bathroom pantry. 

Ilya took a moment whilst the boy was out of the room to gather her barings and take a look at her wings. The sight made her stomach turn and twist grotesquely. A large torn section sat on the upper left section of her gauzy wing. Her lip quivered. How was she supposed to fly like this? Even if the boy managed to patch her up, she'd need time before things healed enough for herto be able to fly again.

Objects clattered against the wicker basket as Gabriel hurried back to the bed. He sat down cross-legged in front of the pillow and dug through the supplies. He pulled out a needle, followed by a tied-off bundle of dissolvable thread. 

"I've never really done stitches before, but I've watched the servants do it a couple times." He was truthfully, a little nervous that he might hurt her worse. But if it went awful, he supposed he could show her to Mother. 

He stuck out his tongue as he struggled to thread the needle. It was tricky, but with silence and perseverance, he managed to get it through the eye of the needle. 
"Oh!" He carefully set it aside and unscrewed the cap of a dark blue glass bottle. "I'm supposed to put this on first. Almost forgot. I think it helps stuff stop hurting." He showed her the pale green paste on his finger, then reached behind her to rub it around the tear. 
"It's okay..." He tried to soothe her, but he knew it hurt. 

Ilya hissed through severely gritted teeth and felt her eyes burn. Whatever was being applied to her wound hurt and smelled awful. She fisted her hands into her dress tightly until they hurt from the strain of distraction. At this point she figured this child had proven he genuinely wanted to assist her rather than harm. He was being very careful, that much could be seen plainly.
"Ow...What is this stuff? It smells like troll dung..." 

"Cap-sah-pul-lee-nah pain-relieving balm." He sounded out the complex script written on the label. Stowing it away, he set the basket aside and picked up the needle. 
He hesitated a moment, taking in her ethereally purple eyes, locked on his. "Just hold still, please." He offered her a smile, then leaned down. 
His small hand held her waist-down still while a slightly shaky hand brought the needle too to her wing. 
The first penetration was the hardest. He felt her stiffen, but nothing violent. He continued weaving the needle in and out of the gauzy wing until the gash was sewed up completely. The stitches were a little cross-crossed, and not nearly as efficient as a professional's hand. But it would do.

Gabriel tossed the tools back into the basket and leaned over her in concern. 
"That... Didn't hurt did it?"

The little fairy lamented the loss of flawless wings. For a time, she'd fancied them to be on rival with the beauty of sapphires but now, they were blemished--and by her own doing, no less. Ilya did not begrudge the boy his valiancy. Turning her head and craning her neck to look up at the russet haired boy she gave him an encouraging smile in spite of the tinge of pain still stinging her eyes
"Yes, it hurt but sometimes things need to hurt when they are being fixed."
She inspected her wing further then rose to her feet to give a polite bow at the waist
"Thank you for your help, kind one."

Gabriel was tickled pink by the fact that he had gained a fairy's good graces. 
"No problem." He said casually, laying down on his stomach in front of her. He sighed, almost reverently. "Your eyes are purple." He realized with a smile. "That's so cool!" 
A thought struck him. "What's your name? Mine's Gabriel." 

Honestly, Ilya was not very used to people thinking that her eyes were odd or anything. Where she lived, one would be considered terribly plain with violet eyes. She lived amoungst other flower fairies so it made sense that her perception of normalcy in regards to appearance was skewed by human and giant standards. 
"Ilya." She smiled and sat with her legs to the side. The fact that she had given out even a little of her name showed some degree of trust. To know a fairy's full name was to have complete control over them.
"And you have pretty eyes too."

"My mom says they're just like my daddy's." he rested his head in folded arms. Something about the fairy made him more calm than all the warm milk in the world. Like a wafting ocean breeze on a summer's day. 
"Do you think you'll be able to fly again?" 

"Very generous of him to share his eyes with you, Gabriel."
At his inquiry, her smile faded a bit and she remorsefully took in the poor state of her injured wing. Ilya clasped her hands in her lap
"Perhaps. Give things time and I may very well fly again. Tell me, though..."
She tilted her head to the side a fraction, brows furrowed
"How is it that even though you smell like a fairy, you're ears are round and you look like a human?"
The boy did not seem like a changeling in the slightest.

His eyes lit up. 
"I smell like a fairy?" He exclaimed excitedly, then lowered his voice. "I think I've got a little fairy blood in me. My great great great grandfather or somebody married a fairy..." He paused, noticing the intent way he was being studied. "Is...is that weird?" 

Though the intensity in her eyes faded, Ilya continued to ponder just why she felt so much magical affinity in a boy this young, let alone someone with such diluted fair folk blood. She smiled and shook her head.
"Not odd in the slightest. It makes you unique."

He relaxed noticeably. Footsteps passing close outside his door made him freeze, but they passed. 

"Iyla, can I... Uhm, may I touch your hand? I-I've just never seen a fairy before and you're so pretty- and..." He trailed off and looked away, turning redder than a radish and looking rather like he wanted to kick himself for opening his mouth. 

This child was rather adorable, considering he was rather large by her standards. Ilya exntended a skinny hand towards the boy trustingly.
"You may. It is very curteous that you ask to touch a lady as well." She commended. 

Gabriel propped himself up with one arm and extended the other to take her hand. His big blue eyes lit up with sparks when he gazed at the tiny hand lying atop his palm. He could feel each individual finger. So small, delicate, and yet just as real and fleshy as his own. Was this what dad felt when he picked mommy up all the time?

The fae woman glowed faintly, her curiousity at the boy's awed reaction apparent. Yet somehow this was not something she imagined being an entirely new concept for the look in his eyes was something of comprehension rather than discovery. She eyed his hand curiously as well.

Gabriel's eyes reflected Iyla's faint glow. He felt a connection with her. Like a buzzing inside that just said this was right. 
"You can stay with me until your wing heals." He offered. "I can keep you hidden from the others... And I can show you where all the fun is around this place." He grinned mischievously, revealing three gaps where he had lost his baby teeth already.

"You are forever in my debt, young Gabriel."
The fairy smiled and bowed her head. A fairy's vow was never to be taken lightly, least of all in situations of this magnitude. 

Though Iyla could never have expected as much, the beginnings of a strong friendship had been born in the most unlikely of ways.

~~~~~~ 9 Years Later ~~~~~~~

The pristine beauty of a quiet spring day in the sprawling city of Bergen was marred by the rapid clomping of hooves of cobblestone. The rider dismounted with impressive agility- before the creature had come to complete stop. It was neatly tied off to a tree in moments. The steed bore the grooming and breeding of a palace horse, but curiously lacked the usually saddle and saddlebags. 

A strapping young man with a strong jaw and russet locks peered around the corner of the blacksmith's shop. Spotting his target across the bustling street, his bright eyes lit up. Not far behind him was a small orb of blue light. If one looked closely enough, they would see the tiny feminine figure hovering by his right ear. The man seemed to instantly sense her presence. He turned to share with her a grin of the most devious proportion before returning his eyes to the street. 

"Mum's gonna have my hide for this." He murmured, sounding rather proud.

A fatigued huff left the blue fairy who, whilst used to Gabe's antics did not look forward to dealing with him post lecture.
"Yes, she is and I will have no part in attempting to save your guilty hide from her wrath." She landed on his shoulder and folded her arms. "Or your fathers', for that matter."

The prince chuckled. 
"It's just harmless magic..." He pulled out a metal tube from inside his vest and dipped it in a vial of a shimmering amber solution. "Art, even."'

He whispered a spell and held up the metallic straw to his shoulder for Iyla to lazily blow on. Her natural potency of fae magic combined with his diluted inheritance carried the amber mixture on the the breeze to its intended target: a campaign poster for a rallying politician for representative. The substance took new form as it hit the poster with a splat: a fanciful mustache and goatee now muddled the image. It hardened, becoming near impossible to remove.
Gabriel laughed triumphantly. "Yes!" 

A few onlookers got a good chuckle but some huffed and shook their heads. Iyla had to admit that this was a pretty funny prank but it had Gabriel written all overit. His mother and father would probably kill him for this.

A gypsy girl in the crowd let out a laugh and spun out.
"I'd know that brand of trickery anywhere, your highness."
With her hair pulled up into a high ponytail and the remains of acrylic paints staining her fingers, the woman crossed her arms over a well developed chest, a genetic gift from her mother.
"Pen is going to have your sorry butt for this if you do it any larger scale...Though that's half the fun."

"I dunno, Cora, I think a mural might be in order..." Gabe grinned. 
Seeing as his cover was blown, he strode out a always to face the woman. "It's nice, isn't it? My best one yet." he blew a kiss up at the glittering graffiti. 

"Not a complete travesty. Could be better, I'd say."
She yawned feigning disinterest.
"Surely you can do better than simple posters?"

Iyla pinched the bridge of her nose. She could see this was not ending well.

"Give me a wall, and I'll paint you a masterpiece." Gabe cross his arms across his chest. Bluffing continued to get him into escalated situations, but he always found his way to the top. "It'll be fine." He murmured to the fairy on his shoulder, sensing a vaguely stressed vibe from her. 

"Oh yes, because having you confined to your chambers all day long is the very best thing and is entirely 'fine'."
Iyla rolled her eyes and retorted, sorely tempted to charm him into something less capable of trickery.

Cora let out another one of her signature laughs and gestured to a large expanse of building wall in very plain sight.
"Go ahead. I've gotta see this."

Gabriel strutted past her to face the wall. A gaggle of onlookers recognized him and began to gather at a distance. 
"I'm not in trouble until I get caught." He smirked, breathing I for he tube and willing a new pattern to emerge on the brick wall. He had only gotten two letters in when a clamoring of hooves and the sound if people making way for the cluster of horses made him turn around. 
"Prince Gabriel." The palace guards looked like they had very little patience left. "We are to escort you to the palace immediately." 

His face fell. "Crap." 

A snicker left a certain gypsy woman who let out a 'busteeeeed' before vanishing back into the crowd. With her job done, Cora returned to the group she danced with, performing swiveled movements of undulating hips and elegant arches of the back and wrists.

A small fairy girl was left to go on about how she'd told him so. Iyla was very unimpressed and made very much certain that she scolded the prince's ear off.

"Yeah, yeah..." Gabe muttered. He shrugged his shoulder so that Iyla had to focus on keeping her balance rather than chastising him. 

"Alright guys, I'll come quietly." He held up his hands and laughed tensely. He made a break for his horse, but a pair of stallions were quick to block his path.
"So you guys do learn." He slumped in submission and climbed onto the empty horse waiting for him. He was not looking forward to the lecture awaiting him. 

The fairy let out a small cry and made a foul face at the prince, giving his hair a sharp yank in retaliation.
"You're on your own." She sniffed then took off from his shoulder, reduced to a blue blur of glow and wings.

Capitol City || Chapter 1
This is an epilogue-ish story companion to the story "Wander" written by myself and my old pal :icontomoebutts:. It's very long, but I feel like even if you haven't followed the original story in depth, you can still enjoy these ever-after stories on their own. 
I've held off on posting these stories of what happens to Jude, Pen, Adrian, and Kanna (and their kiddies) for over a year, in the hopes that we would have Wander published on amazon by now... But editing is expensive and with two authors hundreds of miles apart, coordinating between ourselves can be tricky. So here is one new story from the "Wander" universe for you to enjoy.

Next Chappy
Capitol City || Chapter 2Penelope stood dignified with her arms crossed, hair swept up and contained. She favoured a more casual attire but her fire remained. Stepping down from her throne via a long set of steps she approached her son.
"Three times this week alone. Three times, Gabriel Akil!"
She scolded. Though her son stood taller than she, no one messed with the queen unless they wished for a verbal lashing.
"Actually four, if you count the barber's shop window." 
Gabriel assumed a semi-reverent posture at the foot of the staircase. Sometimes, he could get his mother to crack a smile when she was supposedly mad at him. But today didn't seem like one of those days. He eyed the empty throne to his mother's left with relief. His dad rarely raised his voice as much as Pen, but even still... Gabriel had begun to feel a little awkward around his dad lately. 
"Gabriel, I'm serious. You're becoming a man and you need to start treating your situation accordingly. Marking of campaign signs and the walls of
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Obsess-Confess
Little Miss Maggie
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Finally uploaded a pic of myself!
I'm a college student, majoring in character animation. My dream is to work at Pixar Animation Studios.
I love to draw people. The human body is a master piece in and of itself. I don't have a lot of my serious art on this account, but that might change.
I gravitate towards romantic subjects, or very emotional things. I like feeling something when I create. In a weird way, the mood of the piece possesses me while I make it.
I love art, writing, and discovering new ideas. I'm always up for a GT roleplay, or doing sketch trades.
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PL1 Featured By Owner 13 hours ago  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you for fave'ing my work~
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Obsess-Confess Featured By Owner 10 hours ago  Student General Artist
You're welcome! I didn't realize there were THAT many chapters to read up on. I started your story a while back and have been meaning to read it forever now. :)
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PL1 Featured By Owner 10 hours ago  Hobbyist Writer
XD  Yeah, there are a lot of chapters... thankfully some of them are very short, no?
And you picked the right time to catch up.  I plan to post the final chapter tonight.
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:iconobsess-confess:
Obsess-Confess Featured By Owner 10 hours ago  Student General Artist
Wow! lucky me :D haha. Yes, they are shorter chapters than I usually post. It's actually a nice surprise when I'm on the go. Makes me feel like I'm making progress. :)
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(1 Reply)
:iconessinvrok:
Essinvrok Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for the fave!
-Nora
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:iconxxsamyahxx:
xXSamyahXx Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2014  Hobbyist
thank you so much for the watch!! :iconmoesmileplz:
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:iconobsess-confess:
Obsess-Confess Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2014  Student General Artist
:)
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:iconphoenix-firemage:
Phoenix-FireMage Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Guess what?
Tonight, I was at the library. While I was in the movies section, not even looking for it, I saw the Supernatural series. I am finding this show at every corner!
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:iconobsess-confess:
Obsess-Confess Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2014  Student General Artist
:D sweet~
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:iconphoenix-firemage:
Phoenix-FireMage Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Yeah...
I've watched the first four episodes now. The first one was the scariest so far, I think...
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