The Fairy was in her cottage.
This last sullen attempt at protecting her life has failed, and now she is tasked with accepting it.
So, in her nature as a much tamed thing, she does. she was the only collateral left for her own gifts, and it was only right, of course, that she be taken.
She knew her place in this, and could only be grateful that the Fairy herself was familiar.
But she should’ve thought better of the woman before her, as she went and asked, “What do you want to do?”
She didn’t know how to respond really, she always tried to be good, and she supposed there was nothing a thing like her could want.
She was a Princess after all, bound for life by unrepentant privilege, the pure promise of her position. There wasn’t much room for wantonness.
“Why would I want for anything?”
The woman, the Fairy, looked sad for a moment, “really now, you're much too young to be without need.”
“Am I? I’ve never heard such a complaint before.”
“That doesn’t surprise me one bit, needs and wants are often more worrisome than anything to humans, though I haven’t a clue why,” her mind seemed to wonder before she said, “I suppose it’s rare for a Princess such as yourself to make tea, isn’t it?”
“Well, not really. It’s hard to be anything but short staffed when on the run.” the Princess hadn’t thought it a dig before she said it, but the light burn on her skin told her it was. But as a much tamed thing she didn’t flinch.
The Fairy knew her plight anyhow, and relinquished her pain, “oh, I’ve been pernicious haven’t I? Really you can take your time.”
The Princess took what time she could in fetching what the Fairy had requested, tea and such, to placate the Fairy’s whims. She didn’t much like the strange offer she’d made, as to imply want in her, was the most dreadful insinuation to the Princess.
When she’d finally done it, presenting the woman with all she could like, the Princess rested, divesting herself of even those strange thoughts.
The Princess served first, as she was the host, though she was sure that the Fairy would’ve forgiven her any transgression in that moment. Though she had no clue why.
The Fairy took the first sip, knowing that not one among the curses on the Princess would let her be poisoned.
She waited for the princess to drink as well, a bygone way kept the Fairy from such a long lost impertinence as speaking before all present had taken a taste. The fire on her skin would’ve told her if the Fairy were so inclined, to take her hesitance as dishonor.
But soon she relented and drank.
The Fairy was sated by her acquiescence, smiling properly for the first time since entering her dwelling. That sensation she’d long since known to be her impropriety ceased, and she sighed. The little fire leaving her skin letting her be tame again.
Only for the Fairy to open her mouth, “I’ve asked before but I warranted no answer, what do you want to do?”
“I thought I’d answered you before, I’m a Princess, what more could I want?”
“If being royalty were enough you would not be as gifted as you are, Now would you?”, The Fairy stated, looking her over.
“I don’t want to be greedy. I have so much,” the Princess said, hoping that she would listen.
The Fairy smiled, “we all think our parents were greedy sometimes dear, it doesn’t stop us from making the same decisions.” She drank deeply from her cup.
The Princess felt no burning this time, the implication for once wasn’t hers to carry. The Fairy took it.
“What a shining endorsement that is though, make your mother’s mistakes! That’ll treat you!”, the Princess declared, feeling not a tingle for her experimentation.
The Princess flinched for a moment, before fear fled from her, “what do you think it is when a queen wants her daughter to be perfect?”
“Human vanity, of course.”
“I suppose it is, maybe that’s what had her picking out my hair and skin. A doll before I was even born.”
“Maybe. you were always going to be beautiful dear.”
“Didn’t stop her off the insurance. Did it?”
“No, it didn’t.” There was guilt there, but it wasn’t just this. It wasn’t just beauty, and they both knew it. The Princess drank the dregs of her cup, before offering it up, it was the Fairy's turn to pour.
So she did, and like anything else, she did it with an even keel and decadence that bordered on traitorous. Like the wealthiest merchant.
It was a strange thing to think about someone in an act of service, and the Princess wasn’t used to the dissonance. She didn’t know what kind of person could be. The ritual was done again, before they resumed their conversation.
“You will be much better loved if you are meek. Is what she said to me, and then I was.” she could ask did you make her say that to me? But the Fairy doesn’t think that way, it was certainly her mother still who said it. “I will always be tame, out of everyone else's consideration, because of what you gave her to make me this way.”
“I know,” the Fairy said, before looking her in the eye, “But this doesn’t get to the heart of it. what do you want to do?” The woman was over sharp, and the Princess was apt to tip her cup down her gullet.
She only looked at the tea instead, in attention of the warmth, pleading with herself, the Fairy, and the ghost of her thoughts to become an offence, so she could feel the fire and look away from such things.
“I don’t know.”
“That’s alright. You are allowed to want things, even if you can’t name them yet.”
The Princess didn’t know what to say next, so the Fairy spoke again, “You're at the cusp aren’t you, tell me, if you managed to outlive your debts, what would you have wanted?”
The Fairy left her to the thought, as she drank her tea ever slowly.
She held her cup, feeling the warmth leave into her hand, and to the air, she thought to drink, before saying it, “I don’t want to be a girl of which my mother would be proud. She is dead, and she doesn’t deserve to be proud of me.”
“What harshness from the youth!”
The Princess drank it, the tea bitter and cold, and smiled for her turn.
They drank again.
“I have no choice but to love my brother, and my father, and his wife, but whatever you can offer to have me as anything but their pawn, would suffice.” she said, feeling the steam on her face, she was tired of her curses, they took from her like anything else.
“What about sleep?”
“Sleep, with neither age nor rot, you could be without them and their wants for as long as you’d like, and it wouldn’t even be rude!”
The Princess was amused at the thought, knowing that it would be hard to marry her off like that. She knew it would hurt, but she'd only ever been forced to be polite, and it might be worth it to live a little later.