longlonghair: (any length thoughtful)
[personal profile] longlonghair
Rapunzel is home early, tonight. It's one a.m., and normally she would be on her way to being asleep by now, but tonight was supposed to be special. Tonight was about dancing and catching up with friends one didn't see every day, and remembering their beginnings in Fabletown. Remembrance Day.

She had started her evening by writing a check; most fables use this event as a reminder to make sizable donations (according to what they can afford) to the business office to help keep Fabletown and The Farm operating smoothly for the next year. She can afford a tidy sum, after all. Four years in Milliways had made only a small dent in years of accumulated wealth from selling her hair.

Next, she had bathed, done her nails and donned the dress, the make-up, the shoes and jewelry. She had observed all of the rituals women indulged in for the special night with her date. Her date. She laughs to herself as she returns into her apartment while others (including her date) continue drinking, dancing and reminiscing in the ballroom, floors below. Joel had been her 'date' for evening, as he had been in many different years past. He had dutifully danced with her twice, then disappeared to the bar with some of the other men. She didn't mind; why should she? He was a friend and a convenient escort and nothing more (no matter what the gossips said). She had only seen him a couple of times after their second dance, and the second time had been to tell him the she was going to go home right after he cut her hair at midnight. After the toast.

The toast. That had been the hardest part. Every year, fables all over the Mundy world gathered together to remember those they had lost when the Adversary had taken over the Homelands, and those whose fates were still unknown, that they hoped to one day see again. Every year, the gala was never complete without the recited history, without the toast: Next year, in the the Homelands. Voices and glasses are raised and every one drinks.

Rapunzel removes the earrings from her earlobes and drops them carelessly in a decorative glass bowl. Slips off the gown and the gloves, steps out of the shoes. Tonight had been an especially trying one for her. It had become a sort of balm for them over the years--the toast has always been a sort of promise that they would never give up trying to return to their 'real' homes. What had they really done to achieve that? Not much, that Rapunzel could see.

At this time every year, even when she had been at Milliways, Rapunzel had made a silent toast to her fallen family, friends, servants and countrymen. It was a day to allow herself to mourn again for her slain children and husband. Her feelings for Alex were never diminished by the time she spent honoring the dead, but she also didn't flaunt it in front of him. Tonight, she had raised her glass with the others and drank the champagne, but had not repeated the words. There would be no going back to the homelands for her; her goal now was to try and get back to Alex and to Milliways. The only door she had ever found to Milliways had been from Fabletown; she wouldn't leave it for a land of ghosts and memories, now--even if it was possible.

After divesting herself of the evening's finery, Rapunzel goes to the small cupboard where she keeps a selection of spirits and liqueurs, and takes out a very good bottle of brandy. One of Alex's favorites. She retrieves a framed picture from its hiding place of six months, and props it up on the counter where she can see it clearly. Filling a tumbler with a healthy splash of the amber liquid, a deep breath is drawn in. The glass is raised as Rapunzel keeps her eyes on the image of Alex, smiling back at her.

Next year, with you, love.
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March 2011

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