Title: Princess Heechul
Genre(s): humor, crack
Word Count: 1,912
Summary: Heechul comes down with a cold and demands that Hankyung tell him a story. What results is a tale of the beautiful Princess Petal, a prince from a far away land, a pumpkin-eating bunny, a strange turtle, a polite horse, and a fabulous unicorn.
“I'm so bored,” Heechul complained, stretching out across the bed and letting his arms fall dramatically onto the mattress.
“I don't know what you want me to do about that,” he told the other man, voice patient as always even though he found it a bit preposterous that he had to stay home with his sick roommate while their other roommates went out to dinner without them.
Any outsider would wonder why a twenty-three year old man with a cold needed a babysitter, but Hankyung was confident that if they knew Heechul, they'd understand. Not that the other man was incapable of taking care of himself. It was that it was nearly impossible to tell him “no.”
So when Heechul had whined to him about his sore throat and achy limbs, shooting him a shameless “aren't-I-so-pathetic” face, Hankyung knew that he'd end up sitting at the other's bedside that night while Heechul languished and complained.
“You're supposed to be taking care of me,” Heechul huffed, kicking the blankets off his thin legs.
“I am taking care of you,” Hankyung reasoned, running his fingers through his light brown hair. He pressed the balls of his sock-covered feet into the wood floor, anticipating further demands from his companion.
“You should entertain me,” Heechul told him, sending him a charming smile. Which actually was charming despite the redness of his nose from constantly wiping it with tissues.
“Would you like me to dance for you Princess Heechul?” he asked sarcastically. Though his words held no real bite. They both knew that.
“Well...” Heechul teased, smiling wickedly before bursting into laughter, “Why don't you just tell me a story or something?”
“I don't know. It's your story.”
Hankyung sighed but settled back more comfortably in his chair, stretching his sweat-pant covered legs in front of him and propping his feet on the bed.
“Once upon a time-”
“You're going to tell me a fairytale?” Heechul interjected incredulously.
Hankyung shot him a pointed look and continued when it was clear that Heechul was at least listening for the time being.
“Once upon a time,” he continued, “there was a beautiful princess named Petal. She was the most beautiful and alluring girl in her kingdom. In fact, she was the most beautiful girl in the surrounding kingdoms as well. She had long, lustrous black hair, big dark eyes, and milky white skin. Eligible princes from miles around sought her hand in marriage. However, Petal's parents, the king and queen, found that none of them were worthy of their daughter. So when they were contacted by the royal family in a far away land whose riches were greater than even their own, they readily agreed to the match.”
“They are sending off their daughter to a complete stranger just because the guy's family is rich
?” Heechul squawked indignantly.
“Needless to say, the princess was unhappy with the arrangement. She refused to marry a man whom she had never even met. So one night, with the cover of darkness, she slipped quietly out of the castle with just one bag and into the stable to retrieve her trustworthy horse.”
“She only has one bag? I highly doubt that a princess would only bring one bag to-”
“This is my story, remember?” Hankyung reminded him, “And she was so against marrying a strange man, she was willing to leave her luxurious possessions behind in order to avoid her fate.”
Heechul huffed, but was quiet.
“So Princess Petal climbed onto the back of her trusty steed and rode off into the night, her silky hair flying behind her. She rode for hours through the woods in order to avoid having anyone see her. Because surely her parents had everyone in the kingdom looking for her as soon as they realized that she was missing at daybreak. She rode all through the night and on through the morning, only stopping at noon by a stream so her horse could drink and so she could take a nap.
'I don't know what to do or where to go,' she said to her horse as she stroked his velvet-soft nose.
'I'm sorry. I cannot help you Princess. I have never been this far from the castle.'”
“The horse talks
“That's completely unrealistic,” Heechul scoffed.
“It's a fairytale
,” Hankyung reminded him before continuing, “However, just then a small voice sounded from by their feet.
'I can help!'
The princess and the horse looked down to see a small, green turtle looking up at them with black, beady eyes.
'How can a little turtle help me?' the princess demanded.
'Be nice,' the horse reminded her.”
“Where does a horse
get off telling a princess what to do?”
“Just listen, Heechul,” Hankyung sighed, “The turtle blinked up at them, shuffling toward the princess' feet until she got the hint and picked him up.
'I've lived in these woods my entire life,' the turtle said, 'I can help you find your way around.'
The princess looked at the shelled-creature skeptically.
'You should bring him along,' the horse said, smiling at the turtle.”
“So the princess climbed onto her horse's back and nestled the turtle into the folds of her skirt as they continued on their journey.
The turtle directed them through the forest to a pumpkin patch since the princess hadn't been able to grab much food before she left.
'Thank goodness I'm starving!' Petal exclaimed, sliding off the horse's back and onto the ground. She crouched in front of a pumpkin and proceeded to break it open as her horse nibbled on a pumpkin himself.
'Hey! That was mine!'
Petal looked down and saw a bunny with big, round eyes and a quivering, pink nose, staring up at her.
'That was my pumpkin!' the bunny reiterated, pouting adorably in a way that only bunnies can. And while the princess was getting tired of woodland creatures telling her what to do, she could at least appreciate a good pout- she was the master of getting what she wanted with sad puppy dog eyes.
'Who are you?'
'This is my pumpkin patch,' the bunny said, 'I am the Pumpkin Prince.'
'You see?' the princess announced, 'Without ever meeting
the prince I'm meant to marry, I could end up engaged to a bunny!'
'Hey!' the bunny pouted again, offended.
'No offense,' the princess amended uncharacteristically.
'Hmph,' the bunny sulked, 'And I was going to help you.'
'You were?' the turtle questioned, interested.
'Please excuse the princess,' the horse jumped in, 'We've been traveling for days and she's tired and hungry.'
The bunny eyed the princess and sighed, deciding to forgive her for her earlier actions.
'Earlier today I saw a handsome man riding a unicorn!' he said excitedly, 'He stopped here to eat pumpkin just like you did.'
'A unicorn?' the turtle asked, intrigued.”
“Yes, Heechul,” Hankyung replied, “A unicorn. And while Princess Petal was slightly hesitant to believe the bunny, the idea of a unicorn (and a handsome man) excited her. So she decided to bring the bunny along with her to help her seek out the unicorn and mysterious man.
The bunny sat in the folds of Petal's dress with the turtle and directed the horse in the direction where the man and unicorn had headed earlier that day.
They rode through the afternoon, deciding to stop for a rest once dusk was upon them. However, as they began looking for a place to set up camp, they noticed that there was smoke coming from up ahead. Intrigued, they followed the glow that they could see through the trees and eventually came upon a campfire around which was sitting a man. A tall, fabulous unicorn with long legs and a purple, sparkly horn stood at the edge of the stream, drinking the water. It became clear that this was the pair that the bunny had been referring to.
'It's him! It's him!' the bunny exclaimed, bouncing in the princess' lap.”
“Duh,” Heechul rolled his eyes, “Who else rides around on a unicorn?”
“The handsome man looked up at the sound of someone approaching and immediately stood to greet the beautiful woman who had arrived at his campsite,” Hankyung continued, undeterred, “Petal was rendered speechless for the first time in her entire life- awestruck by how handsome the man was as he neared her.
'What brings you out into the middle of the forest, my lady?' he asked, taking her hand and helping her off her steed.
'I am running away,' she announced, batting her eyes at him.
'Why are you running away?' he pressed, leading her horse to the stream where his unicorn was standing, observing the visitors.
'That's not important,' she told him, 'Why are you
out here in the middle of the woods?'
'I am on my way to wed a beautiful princess.'
'What's her name?' she asked suspiciously.
'Princess Petal,' the man said, eyes gleaming with love for a woman he had never even met.
Petal was stunned. This was the prince whom she was to marry? This was what she was running away from? Suddenly, she felt a bit foolish. She wasn't betrothed to a bunny king or a king of vegetables. She was engaged to be married to this incredibly kind, handsome man.
'What's wrong?' the man asked, seeing her stricken look.
'I think I've made a mistake,' she confessed, ashamed, 'I'll just go.'
Petal led her horse away from the stream and mounted him, setting the bunny and turtle in her lap as she turned her horse back in the direction of the palace.
But her horse wouldn't budge.
'Go,' she hissed, eager to get back to get away from this prince who would, no doubt, find her very foolish if he knew who she was. But still, her horse wouldn't budge. Instead, he turned around and walked back to the confused prince.
'This is Princess Petal, your highness,' the horse announced. Petal wanted to flee.
'Your horse talks?' the prince asked in wonder.
'You have a unicorn,' Petal shot back.
The prince shrugged.
'So you are the beautiful princess to whom I am engaged?'
'Yes,' she admitted.
'Why are you running away?'
'I didn't want to marry a stranger,' she explained, hoping that the prince wouldn't he offended.
'I hope I haven't disappointed you, Princess.'
'No,' she shook her head, black hair shining in the firelight, 'I think we should travel to the palace together.'
The prince beamed and couldn't help but lean up to kiss the princess even as she sat atop her horse. The bunny hid in her skirts while the turtle stared unabashedly. And they lived happily ever after,” Hankyung finished.
“Well, what happened to the unicorn?” Heechul asked.
“I dunno,” Hankyung shrugged, “He went with them to the palace I guess.”
“And the random turtle and bunny?”
“They went too.”
Heechul was silent for a moment, thinking.
“That was really cheesy,” he announced finally, “And what kind of moral was that anyway? Just cross your fingers and hope your parents pick out an attractive spouse for you? Live by other people's rules? Don't piss off bunnies in pumpkin patches?”
“I don't know Heechul,” Hankyung sighed, “I just made it up. I didn't really have a moral in mind.”
“I know what the moral is,” Heechul said solemnly.
Hankyung waited, watching as Heechul grinned mischievously.
“Turtles are perverts,” he cackled.
And that was as good a moral as any.