Fandom: The Swan Princess
Word Count: 510
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: Prince Derek, in his teenage years, considers why he isn't fighting this marriage with everything he's got.
He wants to scream every time he hears the princess's name, much more so the reminder that he's going to marry her one day.
But it's almost that time of the year again, and Mother is bouncing through his door. He reiterates for her benefit, once more, that he hates Odette. Hates her. Hates her. Hates her. And that this marriage idea is going to make him ill.
In the interest of providing a totally solid front, he doesn't tell his mother that he thought Odette was a pretty kind of Evil when they last met. And he was almost jealous of those castle guards who were the objects of her noxious flirting. It was the attention he missed. They used to fight each other so passionately, as two children with wooden swords, small pebbles, slingshots, and insults. Last time, she seemed to almost bide her time at the castle. As though he were truly beneath her, rather than her greatest opponent.
He hated that even more than he hated her.
And now he is older, and one year closer to marrying her.
It's unthinkable. Always has been.
Except to everyone else in this kingdom and the neighboring one.
And now Mother is nattering about Brom being a groom.
That does it.
"If you're so intent on our two kingdom's uniting, why don't you just marry King William?"
The instant he says it, he takes it back.
Except he can't. And Mother's lip is...
... is wibbling.
The way only Mother's lip can wibble.
There is one thing he hates more than Odette, and that is seeing his mother cry.
They can't even talk about it, really. Derek doesn't remember his father, but he's heard the stories. It was romantic and scandalous, his parents marrying at such a late age.
It wasn't good politics, as his mother would say now. But it was love. The price, however, is that Queen Uberta shall only have one child, one son. Death and age have taken away the opportunity for any more.
And there's no uniting kingdoms without the promise of heirs.
He doesn't need to really pay attention to what he says next. Varieties of apologies just spew forth, an automatic state he can revert to... to comfort Mother when she's like this. The clouds clear from her eyes, and in a snap of two fingers, she is jubilant and nattering once more.
He will always tell his mother that he doesn't want to marry Odette, because honesty is important in a future king.
But he will do it, because obedience is crucial to a lone prince.
And Odette... Odette can't look down on him forever. He'll be a king in time. A great one. Because he is honest, and strong, and a good young man who loves his mother.
(Mother has assured him that all good young men who love their mothers turn into great big men who tell others what to do.)
So he will not press the issue. Though everyone knows already...
... he'd rather be slaying dragons.