Title: Ever and Ever
Pairing(s): kinda House/Wilson-ish ... eh, you'll see.
Summary: Fairytale!AU. Oh yeah, you read that right.
Disclaimer: Is there any gay sex on House? Then I still don't own it.
Author's Notes: Seriously, what is wrong with me? Oh yeah, actually, there are no names in this fic, but trust me, you'll get it.
Once upon an indeterminate time, there was a very handsome prince. He was a classical prince, and as such he was learned in all the gentlemanly arts except for one--the art of conversation. In fact, this handsome prince was so defunct in this one skill that it drove his not-so-evil stepmother, the Queen, to distraction.
(The question of his stepmother's evilness is in the air due to the fact that the Prince frequently and with great relish described her as the foulest of all the beasts belched from the belly of Satan himself, but most other people agreed that she was simply very devoted to her kingdom, and a damn snappy dresser.)
The Queen feared that she could never teach her unfailingly aggravating but nonetheless beloved step-son this art, for though he could play a great many musical instruments and had read all the greatest works of literature, he could not for five minutes converse with the other nobles without having a drink thrown in his face, and this was not a good characteristic for a future king. Frequently she implored, bribed, and outright threatened him in an attempt to have him go to Klinik, a baffling nearby town filled with hypochondriacs and liars, where he would surely be able to learn to tolerate the stupidity of others, but even the most severe threats could not sway him.
The Prince had always been stubborn, but he had not always been as stubborn as he now was--there had been a time when he was besotted with a lovely student of the law, and his possibly-evil stepmother had hoped that her caustic yet cherished step- son might live happily ever after, but alas, the Prince had been struck by a terrible curse which sapped his strength and eventually left him in a deep sleep.
As it so happened, the allegedly-evil stepmother knew of a manner through which the curse might be removed, for as a child she had been given an enchanted dagger that could pierce magic, but it would pierce flesh as well. She told her disagreeable but precious step-son's lover that they could save him in this manner, but that it must be driven into the very spot where the hex had struck him, and should it have struck him somewhere vital, the dagger itself could wound him gravely, perhaps permanently. His lover, however, feared for his life and agreed to use the dagger.
It was discovered that the hex had struck him directly on the right thigh, and so the mildly-evil stepmother, with the Prince's lover at her side, drove the knife into the flesh of his thigh, and in that very moment the Prince lurched back to consciousness with a scream of pain.
And so, the Prince was saved, but because the wound in his thigh had been made by a magic weapon it never fully healed, and he was left in constant pain, with a limp. He never fully forgave either his not-really-that-evil stepmother or his lover for disfiguring him, and eventually his lover left the kingdom, unable to bear his ire.
After his injury, the Prince became even more adamant that he would never visit Klinik--with his limp, all the Klinikians assumed that he was a laborer, and therefore, a native, instead of the regal Prince that he was. When he was forced to travel down to Klinik, he was so rude and surly to the people there that often after his visits, they talked of revolution.
Finally the Queen decided that, if the Prince would not go to Klinik as she wished him to, she would have to bring him some other form of companions, and she gathered up from the palace pond three small ducklings. From each of these duckling she plucked a single feather, and these in secret she placed deep inside the cane which her troublesome yet treasured step-son used to assist him in walking, so that they would always be bound to him. Then, while the palace slept, she worked her greatest magic and turned the three ducklings into companions for her misanthropic son.
The first duckling sprung into a girl with wide, bright eyes and smooth, pale skin, and the Queen exclaimed, "Oh, you are Petal -Soft!"
The second duckling sprouted into a boy with lovely yellow hair, and she smiled, "You are Sugar-Sweet."
The third duckling sprang into a serious looking man with dark skin, and the Queen gasped, "Surely, you are Thunder-Dark."
The Prince was wary of his companions, but as long as he carried their feathers, they were unfailingly loyal to him, and he began to take great delight in sending them off on strange and sometimes superfluous tasks, and as long as he was entertained, the Queen was happy, and for a while, all was well, and it seemed that they might live happily ever after.
But, the peace could not last forever, and eventually the Prince grew restless. Petal-Soft approached him, and asked, "What troubles you, my Prince?"
The Prince was cross, and confessed that he was lonely, for though the ducklings trailed after him and did as he wished, he was not content, and he craved someone to match him in a way that neither Petal-Soft, nor Sugar-Sweet, not Thunder-Dark truly could.
"Do you long for a Princess?" Sugar-Sweet asked him, and the Prince shook his head fiercely, angry.
"I long for an equal."
So between themselves, Petal-Soft, Sugar-Sweet and Thunder-Dark resolved that they would find an equal for the Prince. With this aim, they took themselves down to the town and asked each of the townspeople, "We are retainers for his Highness, the Prince of Plainsboro, and we wish to ask what you think of our Lord."
Each time, they could see in the eyes of the people the questioned the awe of their master's station, and each person fumbled for answers and platitude, and they left each encounter disappointed. Finally, as they were about to return to the castle, Sugar -Sweet spotted a young man they had not yet questioned.
Thunder-Dark scoffed at the man--"Look at him, he is so sweet-faced, he will only stumble over himself to flatter the Prince."
But Petal-Soft disagreed. "We must ask our question of every person in this kingdom," and so they went to the young man, and Petal-Soft said to him, "We are retainers for his Highness, the Prince of Plainsboro, and we wish to ask what you think of our Lord."
The young man looked up at him with what was indeed an incredibly sweet face, and wide brown eyes, and said, "I have heard that he is a very learned man," and Petal-Soft's face fell, "but I have also heard that he is a terror, that he cares nothing for anyone but himself, that he takes great delight in ridiculing those he finds beneath him."
And Thunder-Dark, Sugar-Sweet and Petal-Soft smiled, for at last they had found a man who would not fear their Lord, and would speak his mind.
"Whom are you, my lord?" Thunder-Dark asked him, and he revealed that, like the prince, he was a true scholar, and he was learned in many things. They tried to convince him to return to the palace with them that very night, but he refused, saying that he had a wife with whom he was having a disagreement, and he could not possibly leave.
Instead, the very next morning the three brought the Prince down to the pretty-faced scholar's house, and the Prince sneered when the scholar politely invited them in and prepared them a meal.
"Your food," the Prince said, "tastes like the dung from one of my horses."
The scholar did not look up from his own plate and replied, "You did strike me as the sort of man that would be familiar with the taste of horse shit."
The Prince paused.
"Do you know who you are addressing?" He demanded, and the scholar shrugged, lazily.
"I am a good man, your Highness, but what you give to me I shall serve out in return." He said, easily, and Petal-Soft saw the flicker of interest in the Prince's eye.
Soon the Prince was often abandoning his faithful ducklings, and even journeying down to Klinik, though only to waste time with his scholar. It was not long before the scholar's wife told him to be gone from their home, and finally the scholar appeared at the Palace, dark eyed, and though he hardly swept the other up into his arms, the Queen could scarce recall seeing her exasperating yet dearly loved step-son so pleased to see someone.
The sweet-faced young scholar was installed in a suite of room adjoining the Prince's, and though the Prince did not suddenly become a picture of good will, he was seen to smile and laugh so more often than he ever had since his lover had left him, those many years ago.
And the Prince, the not-so-evil Queen, the Scholar, Petal-Soft, Sugar-Sweet, and Thunder-Dark all did live happily ever after.