Once Up A Time
There was an enchanted forest filled with all the classical characters we know.
Or think we know.
One day they found themselves trapped in a place where all their happy endings were stolen.
This is how it happened...
Magnus Bane, otherwise known as Prince Charming (for reasons he only somewhat understood, though he never exactly denied the nickname, secretly having taken a liking it due to who came up with it), raced through the countryside on his fastest steed, his breaths coming out in slightly panicked, rapid huffs despite him not being the one doing the running. How could Alec have done that? Why did he believe Magnus to be more important than himself? This is all my fault... Magnus thought as he rode into the forest from the road he was on. If he had never met me, this never would have happened.
Some part of him disagreed with his thoughts, saying that then Alec probably would've died at the hands of the Queen's men and would've had no chance whatsoever, but he couldn't control the guilt threatening to envelope him and make him break down. He had to save Alec. He just had to. If he didn't... Magnus didn't want to think about that.
He directed his horse along the correct path in the forest to where he was going almost instinctively, despite there being no road, only glancing down at the enchanted ring once before looking ahead again. "C'mon..." Magnus mumbled under his breath, urging the horse onward.
Finally, finally, after what felt like centuries of agonizingly fearful moments, he caught sight of a crowd of people surrounding something. "Please..." Magnus mumbled as he dug his heels into the horse's sides and pulled the reins back, jumping out of the saddle and taking off running towards the group of dwarfs, nearly stumbling over his own feet in an uncharacteristically ungraceful way.
They all turned around to face the prince as he stumbled towards them; their expressions were all set with grim expressions, causing Magnus to feel an even stronger wave of panic wash over him. "You're too late..." One said at the same moment as Magnus saw the clear glass coffin, thick, gold vines snaking up its sides and over parts of the lid, obscuring none of his beloved Alec's pale face, despite the vast amount of them. "No... No! Open it! I...I can't be too late, I can't be." His voice broke as a tear slipped down his cheek, leaving a shimmery silver trail of water in its wake.
"I'm sorry... but, he's gone." Another dwarf said and Magnus glanced at him briefly, more tears threatening to spill from his unusual golden, almost catlike eyes. "At least let me say goodbye..." He whispered. another tear rolling down his cheek. The dwarfs all looked down for a brief moment before carefully all helping remove the lid of the coffin and laying it down at the foot of the coffin.
Magnus took a cautious, shaky step forwards, the dwarfs moving aside for him as he fell to his knees beside Alec, giving them space. He looked just as he always had: his dark hair slightly too long due to him never cutting it, framing his pale face like a halo of onyx, his face pale and marked with multiple small scars from different occasions, his long, dark lashes casting small shadows onto his cheeks. Alec looked almost as if he were simply asleep, having a pleasant dream. But Magnus knew better, there was no faint flush of pink on his cheeks like there always was, his chest wasn't rising and falling, no soft snores escaped his lips every few seconds, and he was much, much too still.
"Oh, my Alexander..." The prince sobbed out and reached up, cupping the man he loved's cheek in his hand, silently begging him to wake up; to just open his beautiful blue eyes one more time. Blue tendrils of magic twirled around his ring-clad fingers, spreading across Alec's face and down his neck, continuing to envelope him completely; Magnus' magic was trying to find something to fix, some kind of wound to heal so that Alec would be okay, but it found nothing. Alec was gone because of a godforsaken cursed apple, his magic was too wake to fix this. He was too weak. "I'm sorry..." Magnus whispered and leaned forward, pressing his lips to Alec's one last time, feeling more tears slipping down his cheeks as he did so.
Then, as Magnus was about to pull back, he felt a wave of magic, with power he had only ever felt when his own father had used his magic, explode from around them. He pulled back with a gasp just as Alec's eyes flew open and he sat up so fast that he almost collided with Magnus. "Alec!" Magnus said, his eyes shining with pure happiness, a few more tears gathering in his eyes and rolling down his cheeks. "Oh, thank god..." He muttered, once again cupping Alec's cheeks in his hands, stroking them with his thumbs, his magic now trying to make sure if there was anything still wrong with Alec but finding nothing.
"You... You found me..." Alec whispered, staring at Magnus in wonder, as if the other coming for him was what he had wished for the most, yet never expected to actually happen. "Of course I did, Snow, did you doubt that I would?" Magnus asked, using the nickname Alec had given himself while running from his own family's kingdom.
"Well, it took you awhile..." Alec said, reaching up and placing his right hand over Magnus', looking him right into the eye and the prince realized for the first time how uncertain Alec had been. "I got a bit caught up... But, no matter what, I'll always find you. No matter when, or why, or where; I'll always find you and make sure you're safe. I promise." Magnus swore and Alec smiled again, leaning into Magnus' touch.
"Who says I can't keep myself safe?" Alec asked, a tiny smirk spreading across his face and Magnus raised an eyebrow at him. "Says the guy who was just lying in a glass coffin... d-dead..." He replied, stuttering over the last word, tears once again filling his eyes.
"Hey, I'm fine. You saved me, and I'm never going to leave you like that again, ever. Okay?" Alec said, releasing Magnus' hand and bringing it up to wipe the tears, which had escaped and rolled down Magnus' cheeks, away. "You promise?" Magnus whispered, knowing full well how childish he sounded saying that. "I promise." Alec said and kissed Magnus again.
"The love I have for you..." Alec began, grasping Magnus' hands tightly in his as he looked him directly in the eyes, his own blue ones shining with happiness. His hair was cut shorter now, only a few small, dark strands falling into his face, and Magnus resisted the urge to brush them out of his eyes as he picked up where Alec left off.
"...Is a love that knows no bounds."
"In times of joy as well as sadness..."
"...In sickness and in health..."
"I will love you as my equal..."
"And protect you above all else."
"I will share with you my truest feelings..."
"And when you speak, I will listen."
"I will catch you when you fall."
"And when you soar..."
"I will help you reach your greatest heights." Alec finished, tears of happiness beginning to roll down his cheeks as well as Magnus'. Magnus smiled at him and Alec felt as if he had never seen anything more beautiful. The candle- and sunlight made Magnus' golden eyes glow and sparkle like gems, capturing the light in them. A smile spread across Alec's lips as the bishop spoke: "Do you, Prince Magnus, promise to take Prince Alec to be your husband. and love him for all eternity?"
"I do." Magnus said and gripped Alec's hands even tighter than before.
"And you," The bishop continued, looking at Alec now, "Prince Alexander, do you promise to take Prince Magnus to be your husband, and love him for all eternity as well?"
Alec nodded, looking at Magnus as if for him nobody else existed in the world, as if Magnus were his whole world. "I do."
"I now pronounce you one." The bishop said and a small laugh of relief and pure joy escaped Alec's lips before he pulled Magnus close to him, pressing their lips together. Immediately cheers erupt from all of the people in the room, but all Alec could hear was Magnus' voice as he pulled back from the kiss and leaned his forehead against his husband's, whispering: "I love you..."
"I love you too." Alec says in reply, but before he can say anything else, the doors flew open and the guards from both the inside and the outside of it were thrown in, as if by strong gusts of wind. The cheers cut off abruptly as the woman responsible for the disruption strutted into the huge room, her silky black hair pulled back into a neat, intricate braid, her lips blood red and her obsidian black dress billowing around her, its back dragging across the floor behind her. Her heels clicked, echoing around the room due to the stunned and terrified silence that lay over the entire room like a blanket, as she walked down the aisle, heading straight for the newly wedded princes.
"Sorry I'm late, my dears, but you made it awfully difficult to get here." The woman announced, pausing in her stride about ten feet from the platform Alec and Magnus stood on, spreading her arms out as if to say: But, well, what can you do? or maybe it was meant to be interpreted as a way of telling everyone to applaud for her.
"It's the Queen!" Someone yelled in that moment and those words seemed to shake everyone out of their stunned silence, screams immediately beginning to erupt from guests as chaos and panic began to spread. Many began fleeing towards the exits, only to freeze when Alec's voice rang out loud and clear through the room, cutting everyone off.
"She's not the Queen anymore! She's nothing more than an evil witch! She has no power over us anymore!" Alec yelled and everyone turned to face him once again. He was standing next to Magnus, gripping his sword tightly in his hands, pointing it directly at the woman who had just arrived, she however simply smirked at the long silver blade, amusement dancing across her face.
"No, no, there's no need for that, Alec. Don't say that, that's only stooping down to her level." Magnus said before Alec could continue, gently placing his hand over Alec's and making him lower the sword. Alec looked up at Magnus, blinking a few times in a kind of daze as if he had just woken up from some kind of spell. Magnus met his eyes then, silently asking if he was okay, and Alec nodded quickly, looking back over at the Queen, as someone had identified the woman.
"You're wasting your time here, you've already lost!" Alec said then, slowly sheathing his sword and standing up straighter, glaring at the Queen as if his stare alone could make her go away and never return. "And you will not ruin this wedding, it took me way too long to plan!" Magnus added, shoving Alec behind him, causing Alec to open his mouth in protest.
"Oh, I haven't come to destroy anything, my dear prince. I've simply come to give you a gift, something nobody else can ever give you." The woman said, her black eyes glinting in the lighting of the room and making it almost look as if there were real live flames burning in them. Her lips were still pulled into a self-satisfied smirk, her pearl white teeth slightly visible, two longer and sharper ones poking into her lower lip like fangs.
"We don't want anything from you. We have everything we need already." Alec said, once again pushing himself in front of Magnus, as if he were trying to protect him from the Queen with his own body.
"But you will accept it anyways, for my gift for you is this happy, happy day. Because tomorrow, that's when my real work begins. What you've seen so far? That was nothing in comparison to what is to come. You've made your vows to each other, and now I shall make mine to you: Soon you will lose all that you love, all of you will have everything taken from you. Forever. And that's when you'll all realize what I am really capable of, for I will have claimed my victory over you all. I will destroy each and every one of you's happiness if it is the last thing I ever do." The woman said and then spun on her heel, her dress swirling out behind her as she walked away, heading towards the door, her heels once again clicking loudly against the marble floor.
"Oh, no, you don't. You're not getting away from me this time." Magnus said, unsheathing a dagger from his belt and throwing it at the Queen as she spun back around to face him, having heard the prince's words. Blue flames seemed to dance up and down the blade as it flew straight towards the witch, disappearing into a column of flames as the Queen did, leaving only a black scorch mark on the once polished white marble.
"Damnit." Magnus hissed in frustration and desperation, clenching his hands into fists, squeezing his eyes shut for a moment. Alec wrapped his arms around Magnus then, burying his face in his husband's slightly glittery hair, glaring at the scorch mark where the Queen had been standing only seconds before. "It's okay... she's probably just lying. She isn't capable of going through with her threat, she isn't." Alec said, holding Magnus a little tighter, hoping to reassure him.