Il Était Une Fois…

It takes some time for the story to get going, as Leopold keeps interrupting Lelouch in the beginning with all sorts of questions, like what kind of characters there are and how he’s going to start the story (as he hates the phrase “Once Upon a Time”) and such.

Not so long ago, in a land not so far from where we are now, there used to live a pauper. With neither family nor land to his name, this pauper grew up, birthed by some cruel twist of fate into a life of difficulty and loneliness. But the child – how could he possibly know of the unjust deprivation that he had been gifted? When he had nothing to compare it to, having begun with a perfect lack of love and affection, how could he know what he was missing?

That wasn’t to say that he was unaware of love. He knew what it was like to love things. From a young age, rather than with the girls of the village as the boys of his age usually chose, the Pauper fell in love with music. He fell in love with the creation of. Everything about it seemed magical to him, and to him, in his dark life, music was the one and only solace available to him.

Okay, so, I have three drafts of this story, and it’s not coming out, so I’m just going to give a summary of the story, rather than tell it because oh, my god it’s not coming out.

One day, through some twist of fate, the daughter of a peer in the kingdom notices the boy and takes an interest in him. Pretty soon, she finds out that the boy has a talent for music, and takes it upon herself to make him into a sort of a pet-project. After the approval of her parents, the Duchess Magnificent became the benefactor of the Pauper, clothing and feeding him and paying for his education. And soon enough, after a few years, the Pauper had grown to be such a beautiful musician that he was invited to play for the King himself. And that is when he lost his heart for the first time in his life, and took someone else’s in exchange.

The Queen loved the Pauper’s playing so much that, after some amount of persuasion, he was made the Master of the Queen’s Music, as while the King was the sovereign power in the state, it was her Majesty that lived and died for the arts. It was lucky too, that their daughter, the Princess, had also attended the same school that the Pauper had attended, so that he wasn’t completely alone in this new world of blue-blood and old money.

And as time passed, the Princess and the Pauper fell in love and wished to wed one another. The King naturally opposed, but after the Queen pointed out to him how happy their daughter was, he eventually conceded and granted them their blessing. But it was also at this point that the Queen became ill. The King tried everything that he could to save her. He brought in physicians and doctors and learned men from all corners of the world, until finally, there was no one left save for an old witch living in a nearby forest. Calling upon the witch, the King begged him to save his wife. The witch agreed under one condition. In his desperation, the King readily agreed.

Three days after the witch’s arrival, the Queen passed away.

The Kingdom fell in great despair and great disrepair. With not a penny left to his name, the King was forced to face the ire of his people. The Princess grieved over the passing of her beloved mother, and the Pauper did his best to help his future father-in-law and the love of his life. Alas, the King eventually passed away, leaving only the Pauper and his Princess. But before they could even wed, the Princess mysteriously vanished, leaving the Pauper heartbroken, as he had by then had a taste of what it was like to love and to be loved, and truly knew and understand the depth and pain of what loss was.

Then one day, the King of a neighboring kingdom approached him and asked him to be his knight. Taking him to two fairies that he knew, the King had him healed from his broken heart, and soon enough, the Pauper became the strongest knight in all the land. At which point he finds out that the Princess had wed the King, and had become Queen by that time, and she had been forced to wed him as the witch – who was actually the neighboring king – had given him the condition of allowing him to take whatever treasure he chose. And the King had chosen the Princess – the most brilliant jewel and envy of all the world.

By which point, Leopold is extremely upset as he had been explicitly promised a happy ending. Leopold accuses Lelouch of lying to him, when Lelouch tells him that the story isn’t over yet before asking him how he would write the ending to the story. Leopold replies that the Princess and the Pauper should run away together to a secret island, explaining that their love will protect them as love is the most beautiful and most powerful thing in all the world. Lelouch agrees, and so, the story ends with the Princess and the Pauper running away together and living on the secret island together for the rest of their lives.

By this point, Leopold is half-asleep. He tells Lelouch that he’s glad he’s here with them, and Lelouch tells him that he’s glad that he’s here too. And then Leopold drifts off to sleep, and Lelouch is there, lying in bed and staring at the ceiling for some time before he realizes how much he loves Leopold.

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2 thoughts on “Il Était Une Fois…

  1. Sean says:

    Really enjoyed this side story and the start painted a nice picture of Leopold displaying his curiosity with all the questions. When I’d first read the part in the main chapter with him requesting a story, I’d wondered if Lelouch might end up telling Leopold what happened with him and C.C. in the guise of a fairy tale and was glad to see that was the case really. It actually provides a lot of backstory hidden there though of course most of it we already knew, but doing it this way allows Lelouch to explain it all to Leopold in a way he might understand even if he isn’t telling him the reality behind the tale.

    Very much liked this and glad you shared it. 🙂

    Like

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