The Prince and The Woodcutter
By Auburn Red
A Maurice fanfic
Disclaimer: None of these characters belong to me. They belong to E.M. Forster and Merchant-Ivory. I however created Georgie Hall-Scudder.
There was a time when Maurice felt uncomfortable when his son called him, "Maur."
After all, he had been brought up to treat his elders with respect and formality. His parents were referred to as "Mother" and "Father," never a familiar term like "Mummy," and "Daddy," or "Ma" and "Da" like Alec referred to his parents let alone by their first names. He never even knew his mother even had a first name until he was 11 or so and certainly would never dream of referring to her as such. Maurice tried unsuccessfully to break him of the habit and God only knows why he ever started, except perhaps he heard Alec call him that often enough. He thought about teaching him to change the habit but "Da" was already taken by Alec and nothing else seemed to work. Maurice remembered that he had been brought up to respect his parents, but he couldn't remember any emotional closeness with him. As a child, he had been reared by a nanny and had never expressed any personal feeling for his father beyond obediance and a stiff formality. As for his mother, he never became close to her until after his father died and he had to assume the role as "the man of the house." He couldn't remember a time of hugging either of his parents or enjoying a late night conversation as he was doing now with Georgie. He couldn't remember holding or kissing them the way his son grabbed his neck and practically covered his face with kisses or times of rough housing between them and Alec. Maurice considered being called "Maur" an acceptable trade for feeling this close to his child. "Maur" he was and to Georgie "Maur" he would remain.
"Maur, would you tell me a story?" Georgie asked as Maurice covered him up with a blanket and kissed his forehead. He leaned so close to Georgie that his shoulder length golden hair rubbed against the five year old's cheek. Georgie Hall-Scudder giggled and tugged at his adopted father's hair.
"Of course," Maurice answered."What would you like to hear?" This was one of his favorite times of the day. Alec enjoyed it too. They often told Georgie different stories. Alec liked to tell him oral stories of fairies and legends or sing him some of the country ballads that he had been brought up learning. Maurice on the other hand loved to read Georgie poems such as by Lewis Carroll, or A.A. Milne or fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm. Sometimes they would tell him oral stories from their own imagination.
" 'The Prince and the Woodcutter,' " Georgie answered.
Maurice rolled his eyes and gave an exaggerated sigh. "Not that story again. How many times have you heard it?" But he smiled.
"But I like when you tell me it," George said. "Please?" He gave such a pleading look as his large blue eyes widened that Maurice couldn't help but laugh.
"Well alright," Maurice said. He leaned closer to his son and began the story:
Once upon a time in a far-away kingdom there lived two princes. One prince had hair the color of chestnut and lived in a big fancy palace in the country. The other prince had hair of gold and lived in a smaller kingdom near a city. The two princes met in a school which taught all young princes how to be kings, such as making decisions, studying the history of their kingdoms, and other things that would teach them to be great kings one day.
The chestnut haired prince and the golden haired prince realized that they loved each other as other people do. They had read many old stories from troubadours and realized that they had those feelings for each other. But it was dangerous. There was a law that said that men and women could only love each other, princes could only marry princesses, common men could only marry common women and so on and so forth.
The golden haired prince realized that it didn't matter to him. He was consumed by thoughts of the chestnut haired prince and took him out to the fields beyond the kingdom where they could be together, dance, sing, and laugh without worrying of other people in the kingdom noticing. But the chestnut haired prince became frightened especially after one of their fellow princes was sent to a dungeon after getting caught with a guard. The chestnut haired prince became so frightened that he grew cold and unloving. He pushed himself so far away from his golden haired friend that he cast a spell upon himself so his heart would be as ice and he would be like stone. He married a princess from a neighboring kingdom and moved to his fancy palace in the country.
The golden haired prince was devestated. He felt sad and alone without the other prince. He visited his friend's palace, but it didn't feel the same. The golden haired prince sought the advice of the wisest men in the kingdom but none could help him relieve his loneliness. He fell under a spell of his own, it was a peculiar sleeping spell that though he was awake, he could feel nothing around him. His heart was in danger as being as cold as his friend's until one night a peculiar thing happened.
The golden haired prince looked out of the window of the palace and saw another man. He wasn't a prince like himself or his friend. He was a woodcutter who lived in an enchanted wood. He saw the prince from afar and fell in love with him. When he saw the prince's face, he desired to climb the tallest tower to rescue him. So, he took out a magic rope that he had from when he was a child and threw it up the tower. Then he climbed the tower and gave the prince a kiss right on the lips. This kiss was like magic. But the spell had not yet been broken. For the prince needed to be kissed twice before the spell could be broken.
At first the prince became afraid of the woodcutter because he was unlike anyone that he ever knew and so he ran away from him and retreated to an ancient temple where the old heroes of the kingdom were celebrated. The woodcutter at first became angry, then worried about the prince, and followed him into the temple. He touched his hand and the prince fell in love again. He gave the prince another kiss, one deeper than the first. The spell was broken and the prince's heart melted and he woke up. He was willing to run away with the woodcutter and live in his wood. Now it was the woodcutter who was frightened. He wanted to go cut wood in another kingdom, but he remembered the kisses that he gave his friend and how the prince was willing to give up his palace in the kingdom and he knew that he loved the prince too. He returned to the prince where they lived for the night in a house by the water and the next day went to a far away part of the wood that hadn't yet been discovered by others. The two decided that they never shall be parted and they never have been even to this day.
Maurice finished his story. Georgie had fallen asleep. Maurice leaned down and kissed his son one more time. He stood up and left the room. He closed the door and sighed leaning against him when he felt two arms wrap around his waist and a weight pressing on his shoulder. "You told him that story again," Alec teased.
Maurice shrugged. "He likes to hear how his fathers met."
"That he does," Alec said. "Not like he ain't going to hear that sort of thing from anyone else." His voice had a tone of bitterness in it.
"I know, but some day maybe it will be easier on him if he ever becomes a target of these awful people and their heartless laws," Maurice countered. "He will know that his fathers love him and each other very much."
Alec said and kissed his lover. "One thing I know is this woodcutter is glad that he broke that spell."
"And so is the prince," Maurice agreed kissing Alec back.
The two joined hands and linked arms then they returned to their bed safe and secure in the knowledge that they, and Georgie, never shall be parted.