Once Upon a Time, there was a young King who was looking for a wife. He had fallen in love with a fair maiden who could spin gold out of hay and married her. They had a beautiful baby boy who was full of life and hope. His name was Tyler.
And Tyler knew exactly how his story was supposed to go.
He knew that Three Good Fairies had come to his introduction to the kingdom, bearing gifts of magic.
He knew that Flora had given him the gift of Curiousness.
He knew that Fauna had given him the gift of Talent.
He knew that Merryweather had given him the gift of Life.
He knew that he was stolen away at the same ceremony because of his mothers selfish wishes when she was young.
He knew that he would be locked in an abandoned castle for twenty one years.
He knew that the little man called Rumpelstiltskin that took him away was always watching his prize.
He knew that in order to keep him there, there was a spell and a giant dragon that swooped the sky constantly.
He knew that in the middle of winter he was to be rescued by a lovely damsel by the name of Jenna.
He knew that by twenty two they would be married.
He knew that by twenty four they would have a child.
And he knew that when their child was twenty five he would hand his kingship over.
And then he would die peacefully in his sleep.
And the only reason he knew this was because Rumple had made it so.
Tyler was always escaping, even with the addition of Maleficent (the dragon) who just picked him up in one of her massive claws, dropping him gently (as gently as a dragon could) and giving him a sad look.
Rumple knew everyone's wishes.
And Tyler had wished that he'd know if he'd be rescued. So he decided to make a deal. He wouldn't leave (until his Lady Jenna came to save him he found out) and Rumple would tell him if he would be rescued.
But Rumple didn't know, he only knew wishes, not the future, so he had just laughed and said,
"Why not something better, my child?"
So he had given Tyler the key to his entire life.
For a price of course.
Not leaving the castle.
But it could be broken, of course, with none other then True Loves First Kiss.
But that would never happen, until Lady Jenna saved him.
So, Tyler couldn't leave.
And nobody would beat the dragon to get to him anyway.
So he was in his tower, getting ready to explore his broken castle.
He walked down the long spindly staircase, dragging his hand along the rugged wall.
He wandered down the corridor, took a left here, a right there, another right.
He noticed the sky darkening with heavy clouds and almost groaned.
Rain, just what I need, I can barely do anything when there isn't rain, he thought angrily to himself. He kept going though, watching the skies for Maleficent and hoping she wouldn't appear to make him go back.
He kept walking, climbing through the crumbling ruins in the mountains until he got to the only other useable room in this shell of a castle.
This room was empty, it was simply a place where Tyler would scribble on the walls, mainly tallies. He knew that Lady Jenna would come winter, what day was unclear, so he kept a tally.
He'd sometimes bring his lute there to sing and write songs, seeing as how he couldn't do much else.
But today, he was only there to add another tally on the wall.
So as he was climbing the stairs back to his room, the rain let loose and Tyler grinned to himself.
He sat himself down in his room, pulled his lute out from under his bed before plucking some notes, checking if it was still in tune.
And he began to sing a soft, sad, lonely tune.
Little did he know, his door was still cracked open and the sound carried its way down across the valley into the ears of a young Prince.
The Prince looked up and called out to the person, but there was no answer, so he simply pulled on his impatient and antsy steeds reins following the lovely voice.
Hopefully, he thought, the owner of the voice will be kind enough to let me stay until the storm passes.
The young Prince began wandering over a valley to the ruins of a castle, the tower in the west alight with fire and the beautiful voice.
He got off his steed, hushing her cold whinnying.
"Shh Spooky, just a little while longer, you can even get the blanket this time, if it's not soaked through,"
The horse huffed and trudged along, ignoring her owners triumphant grin.
They made it to what might have been a ballroom, relatively closed off from the elements. There, the prince dropped his pack and unloaded his steed, covering her in a blanket. She whinnied and laid down, watching her master curiously.
"I must go and find the voice Spooky, it is wrong to use their castle and not tell them,"
The horse bucked its head in a way that said 'Go on then' and the Prince was climbing and sliding over boulders.
He finally made it to the base of the tower and looked up as lightning crashed.
In the sky was a large shapeless thing that was darting closer.
The Prince flattened against the stones, watching the dark figure swirl around the top of the tower. He gulped, brushing the rain off his forehead and opened the creaking door, the voice getting louder and words becoming coherent, the sound of a lute flowing through his ears.
"And I, I can feel the pull begin,
Feel my conscious wearing thin,
And my skin, it will start,
To break up and fall apart,"
He carefully went up the stairs, pushing his hair from his eyes as he made it to the top.
He knocked on the door, the voice and the lute stopping their sad melody.
He carefully opened the door to an empty room.
He stepped inside, water dropping from where he stood upon the rug covered floor.
The room itself was black, red swirling around the walls. There was a bed with long red curtains and black sheets, candles littered the side tables and hung from wires on the ceiling. He was careful not to knock any as he took another careful step into the room.
There was a dresser in the corner, covered in wilted flowers and rocks, a crown resting dusted on a pillow on the floor.
There was a fire roaring in the corner, where a chair was turned toward it.
"I hope you're happy, dripping water all over my carpet,"
He turned quickly to see a boy around his age staring at him, holding a lute out in front of him, as though it were a weapon.
"I am most sorry, I merely came to ask if it was okay that I used your castle to retire until the storm passes,"
The boy was hidden in the shadows but as he stepped forward, the prince almost forgot to breathe.
He had soft brown hair, dark brown eyes underneath fluffy eyebrows. His jawline was soft and held a soft stubble. His neck and hands were covered in thick black paint and it added an almost intimidating air around him. Despite the fact he wasn't wearing armour, or shoes or how lanky he looked. But the Prince thought it suited him. The black paint really intensified all his features and he knew he was smitten.
His clothes were slightly ratty and too small, may have even been beautiful and fit him a of couple years ago, but worn and faded from continual use.
His eyes were untrusting, he held himself bravely and the Prince noticed that he was slightly taller than him.
"What is your name?"
He cursed at himself, completely unaware that his mouth had opened and how rude he asked it. Not to mention how his brain seemed to have disconnected from his mouth and it was just running on its own. The only thing his brain had bothered supplying him with was, he's the most beautiful thing in the world.
"You mean you do not know?"
Tyler asked, staring at the stranger in his bedroom with bewilderment.
He was used to young ladies and men coming into the castle, fighting the dragon in his honour and losing terribly, retreating shamefully to their kingdom.
So he was more then a little confused at the sight before him.
But Tyler had to admit, the man before him was quite the sight.
Dressed in a Kings clothes obviously, the crest of his Kingdom one he had never seen, a puddle of water pooling underneath him that Tyler had come to detest. His hair was cut on the sides, left to grow on the top and back and it was light blue. Blue. Tyler wondered how he got it that way. Sitting on his head was a slightly askew crown made of rings of black thorns and pastel pink and purple flowers, jewels nestled in between the petals. His slightly squinching light brown eyes twinkled through the hair plastered to his forehead.
"You didn't answer my question,"
He stated with a smug grin.
"And you're still dripping water all over my carpet,"
Tyler added, sliding into the light, gently knocking a floating candle out of his way., moving out of its swinging path. The prince grinned and began taking off his soaking coat and boots and leaving them outside by the door.
"My name is Tyler,"
The Prince asked, gesturing to the crown covered in dust.
"Well, yes, technically. . . I take it so are you?"
He nodded and turned to introduce himself,
"Prince Joshua of the Kingdom of Fae,"
Tyler felt his eyebrows shoot up, a confused smile slipping onto his face.
"You're a. . . A fairy? You don't look like the fairy from the tales. I'm not supposed to get a fairy,"
He mumbled the last bit to himself. He decided to use his power of Sight that Rumple had given him to check up on his story.
But it was blank.
No imagery, not even a whispering of the narrators input.
Tyler was suddenly nervous, a tinkle of excitement running through his veins.
Prince Joshua was not supposed to be here.
"Yes, I was on a mission, for my Seelie Queen, my Mother, to visit a kingdom not far from here, but the rain started pouring and my horse, she doesn't much like the rain, so we stopped at your castle,"
"Really? Quite the tale. You don't look like a fairy,"
Prince Josh sighed and shook his head. Tyler watched in wonder as his hair changed from its pretty blue colour to an olive green.
"Proof enough your majesty?"
"My Blood. I can change it when I'm neutrally emoted, but most of the time it changes depending on my mood, if I'm feeling something strongly,"
He said with a smirk directed at Tyler's jaw hanging open. He quickly closed it and raised an eyebrow.
He hadn't heard the term 'Your Majesty' directed at him, unless it was Rumple, who did it to spite him.
"Tyler. . . My name is Tyler,"
"You've already said that,"
Tyler blushed and wanted to smack that smug grin off the pretty intruders face.
"Well Prince Tyler, what has you caught up in this castle? Your kingdom is in ruins,"
Prince Joshua asked staring out at the soft down pour of rain.
"An ugly man by the name of Rumplestiltskin. And the dragon he has obtained to keep me here,"
"Dragon? Her name wouldn't happen to be Maleficent would it? She's a resident of my kingdom that's been missing for years. She's actually the Queen of the dragon folk, she wouldn't hurt you. Surely you would be smart enough to know not to make deals with Rumplestiltskin?"
Joshua asked with a frown.
"I was young, as we all were once,"
And that was the start of their friendship.
Prince Joshua would turn up every couple of days to visit Tyler, being careful to avoid Maleficent and Rumple's watching eyes.
Tyler had never had a friend before. He wasn't very good at it, but Prince Joshua was patient, and listened to him sing, listened to him talk about his unusual power that had him stuck in the castle.
Joshua tried not to hate the way Tyler would talk about Lady Jenna, like she was the answer to everything and the love of his life. He also tried not to detest the fact that Lady Jenna would come and free him, and he'd lose the best friend he'd ever had, the only friend that didn't hate his race.
So Joshua would visit as often as he could, greeting Tyler and bringing things from the outside world, just to see his friend smile or blush.
Sometimes expensive things, like a new lute or some fancy coat. Or sometimes it was simple things, like flowers and papers filled with songs from the world, making him blush and give his bright haired friend a bone crushing hug.
Tyler and Joshua were sitting in the castle when suddenly there was an almighty roar from Maleficent. His hair turned a dull yellow, Tyler had known him long enough to recognise what colours represented what emotion. He was nervous.
"Move foul beast, for I am here to rescue the Fair Prince!"
Maleficent roared loudly and Tyler rushed to his window, almost squealing in excitement.
Joshua was less excited, but moved to the window nonetheless.
Down below was a young woman, long blonde hair and piercing blue eyes, wearing a suit of shining armour and holding a sword.
Tyler looked at her and saw his life come back, the comfort of knowing exactly how his story went was welcomed.
But as he looked to Joshua, hair was now a dark purple, who was staring at the dragon in worry, he felt the excitement and butterflies that Joshua had first brought him. Joshua's eyes widened as Maleficent roared again, reptilian eyes darting everywhere, this time a cry of distress as Lady Jenna advanced.
"She's going to kill Maleficent,"
Joshua mumbled in horror, stumbling down the stairs, hair turning to a dark red.
Tyler had one more look out the window toward Lady Jenna and took off running after Joshua. Joshua was running toward Maleficent, standing in front of her and blocking Lady Jenna's blade.
"What are you doing!? This is a monster and you are defending it!?"
Maleficent whimpered out a growl, nudging his head to Joshua's figure and bumping him. He turned to give her a smile as Tyler ran out calling his name.
"You must not hurt her, leave Maleficent alone,"
Lady Jenna scoffed.
"It is the one keeping Prince Tyler here! If I slay it, he is free!"
She sneered, drawing her blade once again. Joshua's hair turned to a dark orange, signifying his frustration and worry.
"You're. . . You are a part of the Fair Folk? You are the Prince of that scum. You are Filth,"
Joshua bit his lip, hurt flashing across his features, keeping his sword up and Tyler tried not to yell out to stop Jenna. Tyler felt his heart contract painfully at the hurt on his friends face. How could she be so horrid! Maleficent bared her teeth angrily, black iridescent scales spiking up and Joshua nudged her out of the way.
"What I am does not matter, but Maleficent is being kept here of her own will, she does not deserve to be slain,"
Lady Jenna laughed, hitting her sword against his own.
"It seems that all filth joins together in the end, doesn't it? Well. If I can't slay one piece of dirt, I'll have to slay another. We don't need another pest like your precious dragon, and we certainly don't need scum like you. So draw, Fairy,"
The way she spat 'fairy' was as though it were an insult.
Tyler felt rage bubble up in him, but his fear over clouded it.
"I don't wish to fight you,"
"Oh, but now you must,"
And with that, she slashed at him, Joshua only just blocking it before it hit his shoulder. Lady Jenna sneered, before twisting again and aiming for his side.
Joshua blocked again, a look of determination and slight fear on his features.
"Please, don't fight-"
Tyler whispered, watching in horror as Joshua struggled to continue blocking. If he refused to fight back, she would surely kill him.
Suddenly, one of Joshua's blocks was too slow and it ripped through his clothes, severing the sleeve and cutting into his shoulder. Joshua gasped at the pain, gripping it with his free hand. He gritted his teeth and said,
"Please, Lady Jenna, I mean no tro-"
But there she was again, blade swinging toward him. He managed to dodge, but only just, before her next swing was upon him.
Maleficent was crying out in distress and Tyler didn't know what to do. Joshua's hair was now light blue, a symbol of his distress and fear and Tyler was panicking.
He blocked a jab, but was not quick enough, the sword digging into his side.
Lady Jenna pulled back and watched as Joshua struggled to stay upright, blood pouring from his side and his shoulder.
She swung again. Josh took a step back, blocking her hit. She swung again. Another step. This continued, Josh's grip on the blade slipping with blood.
Tyler was frozen, watching in horror as Jenna backed him against a wall.
He missed another block that hit his thigh. He slid down the wall. Her next swing knocked the blade from his hand and Tyler finally unfroze, rushing toward them.
"Disgusting. Look at you, an all powerful fairy, losing to a human. You're a disgrace to your own species, even if your entire species is disgusting and plaguing this earth,"
She knocked his chin with her bloody blade, forcing him to look at her. His hair had turned white, chin jutted forth bravely and defiantly.
White meant purity, innocence, goodness.
Tyler slowed and watched in slight horror as his hair had begun bleeding into black.
Black meant he was tense.
Black meant he was suffering.
Black meant he was dying.
Tyler started sprinting, screams drowned out by Maleficents panicked roars, as Jenna held up the blade, Joshua looking directly into her eyes as a show of defiance.
Lovely, beautiful, brave, kind Joshua.
"Really, you should be thanking me,"
She says with a nasty grin. And then she was swinging the blade down, and Tyler had launched himself at her, tackling her to the ground.
But it was too late.
Blood poured from where the blade now was, stabbed through his centre, pinning him in place. Tyler felt hot tears burn his eyes as he shoved Lady Jenna away, scrambling to sit beside Joshua.
"No. . . No, please, Joshua, please, no, don't, you can't, please-"
Tyler choked on a sob. He watched Joshua's mostly white hair bleeding into black.
"Prince Tyler, I do not understand, you can not trust a fairy. They are greedy and secretive and-"
He looked back down at Joshua's pretty face twisted up in pain, who was now pulling the blade out of his stomach with a sickening noise.
"They can't lie. Fairies can't lie. He couldn't lie to me,"
"I couldn't. Not even if my blood allowed lying,"
The words he spoke were heavy, and Tyler couldn't breathe. He knew it was true.
The blood began pouring out quicker, so Tyler pressed a hand to the wound, trying to stop it pouring out to no avail.
His eyes were blurry, trying to focus on Joshua's blurry face. Joshua took one of his shaking hands in his own and Tyler tried not to throw up at all the blood lathered on their hands.
"Sh, it's okay,"
Tyler shook his head furiously.
"No, no it's not, I gotta, I gotta help you, we can fix this,"
Joshua shook his head sadly, coughing up a spray of blood. It dribbled down his chin and was in between his teeth as he smiled up at him.
Suddenly an idea popped into Tyler's head. Call for him and he shall appear?
"No! I can fix this! Rumple! Rumpelstiltskin! Rumpel-"
Joshua struggled to sit up and stop Tyler.
"Yes, oh my, what a terrible situation indeed,"
But he had a horrible grin on his face, his scratchy voice showing his sick glee. Tyler pulled Joshua's head into his lap, trying his best not to jostle him.
"Please, you have to, you have to fix this, please, I'll do anything,"
Rumple pulled a fake pout onto his ugly lips.
"But you have nothing I want. You're already my prize, the Kings Son, a prince,"
Tyler looked helplessly at sick grin on Rumple's ugly face then at Joshua, whose hair was almost fully black.
"What a dark twist in the story, whatever shall he-"
"Shut up! Shut up! Shut up. Shut up,"
Joshua's hand reached up to grab at Tyler's chin.
His voice croaked.
"You've got everything you wanted now. Lady Jenna is here, Maleficent will be free, Rumple will lose you and you'll live happily ever after,"
Tyler shook his head.
"I don't want that,"
Joshua looked at him, eyes struggling to stay focused, conveying their confusion.
Tyler thought of the excitement in his gut when Joshua wandered into his room. He remembered the warmth of his hands as they held hands, rushing away from the prying eyes of Maleficent. He remembered making Joshua blush, hair turning the colours of a sunset. He remembered Joshua smiling up at him as he sat on Spooky for the first time.
He remembered hearing stories of adventures he had been on. He remembered tracing the scars on his skin from sword fights. He remembered hearing about how he had been captured and tortured simply for being a fairy. He remembered the rage at the people that had hurt his best friend.
He remembered staring into his eyes. He remembered discovering his love of the unknown. He remembered watching the stars with him, Joshua naming his favourite constellations.
He remembered how much he couldn't live without Joshua when he had to return to his kingdom.
He remembered launching himself into Joshua's arms in relief and feeling excitement and safety and home in his flowery scent.
And he leaned down and pressed their lips together, salty from Tyler's tears and the metallic taste of blood from Joshua's mouth.
The world paused.
He heard the silence, felt all his muscles become weightless and saw a flash of light erupt in front of his closed eyes.
The world came crashing back down in a crash of sound.
He heard a scream from Rumple, the grumble of Maleficent and a gasp from Lady Jenna, but he ignored them all and sobbed.
He pulled away and rested their foreheads together, breathing heavily as he tried to control his sobs.
He was gone.
Joshua was gone.
Dead, because of me.
He should have kicked him out of the castle that night and not befriend him. He has his own story that he was supposed to stay in, but he didn't.
He came in and changed Tyler's story. He wasn't supposed to do that. Bad things happened.
"Oh deary dear. What a tragic event. He's gone. Because of you. Such a pretty prize he would have made too,"
Tyler felt his stomach twist at Rumple's words.
Suddenly there was a hand on the side of his face, pushing him away.
He opened his eyes and almost cried in happiness.
There Joshua was, lying in blood and bruises and dirt, but his eyes were open and there was a smile on his face, bright enough to put the sun, the stars, the moon to shame.
"You saved me Tyler,"
Tyler grinned through his tears, watching as Joshua's hair turned bright pink. Tyler knew what that meant.
But he never thought it would be directed at him.
Suddenly Tyler remembered.
Merryweather had given him the gift of Life.
Tyler let a grin split his face as he leaned in to kiss Joshua again.
He whispered. Joshua gave him a weird look and Tyler rolled his eyes before elaborating.
"Merryweather, she gave me the gift of Life,"
Josh took a second to take it in, before grinning a smile that gave the most beautiful flower a run for its money.
"No! This isn't supposed to happen! He can't be your true love! No! You're not supposed to leave! You're not following your story! Think boy!"
Lady Jenna was standing in shock, a disgusted look on her face.
"That's is just improper. You can't kiss a boy! I'm supposed to save you! Not some filthy Fairy!"
Tyler pulled Joshua to his feet before turning to Jenna and saying matter of factly,
"Just so you know, even if Prince Joshua had have died, I wouldn't have gone with you. I would rather have rotted in this castle and have been miserable, than go with you. And also, you can watch me,"
And he turned to Joshua, placing a hand on his neck and bringing his lips up to meet his own, grinning at the outraged scream he got in response, before turning to Rumple.
"And as for following my story,"
He punched the little man in the jaw, watching as he tumbled down the ruins.
He turned to Joshua and took his hands in his own.
Joshua raised an eyebrow as Tyler said,
"This is my story Joshua. And I'll do what I please,"
He nodded dutifully before smirking,
"And where do I fit into it?"
Tyler smirked back as Maleficent nudged Joshua's hand happily. He reached around and clambered onto the dragons neck.
"Well, you're clearly the damsel in distress,"
Joshua laughed, taking his hand and swinging onto the dragon, Tyler's arms wrapping around his waist. He wasn't going to let Joshua slip away, not in life, not even in death.
Tyler wasn't about to let go anytime soon.
"I'll be happy to be your anything,"