“Y’know, you look like you could use a hand.”
“I could use at least five more hands to get this thing done before the end of the day.”
Faybelle lifted her head up from the floor. She may have gotten out of paying her debt back to Fairy Mob but that didn’t mean that she had gotten out of paying back her debt to Headmaster Grimm for all that trouble she caused during the Dragon Games with the Evil Queen. While she wasn’t a fan of this hard labor and fairy unfabulous mess, it was what she had to do.
She took it in stride this time, after being humbled by Daring’s willingness to take her debt for her, doing her best to make the castle really shine. Though, that didn’t mean she lost her usual attitude of being too good for this. You couldn’t teach an old dog that many new tricks, after all.
She was surprised to find the blue eyes of Darling Charming gazing down at her with her hand outstretched towards Faybelle.
Faybelle pursed her lips, and then put her rag back to the wall as she continued to rub away the dust from the wall. “I’m supposed to do this cleaning all on my own, but it’s such a fairy fail! I’ve been trying to clean these shelves forever after but it’s like nobody’s cleaned this section of the library since the dawn of the first chapter of everyone’s stories.”
Darling’s expression softened.
“Headmaster Grimm isn’t always fair in his punishments, this job really isn’t something that someone should have to do their own,” Her soft voice was like a chime on the wind. “Besides, you look like you’ve been in the need of rescue for quite some time now and that’s what I love to do! Help those that are in need of a hand, damsel or not.”
“Alright, but I’m not taking the blame if Grimm comes by and chastises you,” Faybelle said, bluntly.
“That’s fair,” Darling said.
Darling took the opportunity to pick up another rag and start to wipe down the dustier spot of the bookshelf.
The two of them began to silently work.
Well, if she had noticed the hard work that Faybelle had been doing then she knew how fairy exhausting this was! Faybelle had to take all of the books down, then she had to wipe it over, and then she had to return the books to their previous spots otherwise the Step Sisters would have her head.
There was no point in telling Darling to back off.
It wasn’t like she could get into any more trouble because someone decided to help her of their own accord.
And Darling Charming wasn’t the worst company to keep. For the most part, that girl had been quiet most of her life and the only time that Faybelle remembered that she was even still in the same school as them was when she saw Darling in the halls or out and about with others. There was no reason for her to feel worse or better for the girl.
She simply blended into the background and not a soul noticed.
It wasn’t unlike how people simply forgot to write down Faybelle’s name when they were planning for a party or some kind of event.
Ever After just had a way of pushing certain people to the background of the page no matter how hard they fought against it. Faybelle knew that very well, she became a cheerleader with the attention of getting her voice heard and noticed. It did its job most of the time if it weren’t for the page ripper that was destiny. If that sort of thing troubled the Charming, Faybelle didn’t know, but she could empathize with the feeling of being pushed aside and out of the way by others.
And after Daring went and did what he did, it made Faybelle view some of the Charming’s in a different light then she had before.
This princess turned knight had the aura of a gentle princess but in recent months, since change had come to Ever After, Darling had been bulking up and getting much stronger on the fields. She wanted to stray away from the mold and do something that made her happy, and it turned out that for her that was being a knight.
She had been masquerading as the White Knight in Wonderland for months before she revealed herself!
It had been something about the former White Knight not having any children of his own and he had been looking for someone to take the helm from him. Darling Charming happened to be in the right place at the right time.
So very far and different from Faybelle Thorn and how she seemed to wind up in the wrong places at the worst time. It wasn’t like she went out seeking punishment, all she wanted was to have a little fun and be a fablelous fairy for all to admire. If it turned out that having a little bit of fun meant trouble, well, her rational had always been: “Oh well, that’s that, then!”
It was only recently that it had gotten her into hot water in school. Headmaster Grimm was a stick in the mud and a stickler for things that Faybelle didn’t always agree with. She had only been trying to get in good standing with history’s biggest villain. There hadn’t been a lot of foresight on the subject because the students had been led to believe that the Evil Queen was out per good behavior.
Perhaps if she commanded respect from true villains then she could have felt like she was doing her mother proud.
“You’ve been working pretty hard, Faybelle.”
“I have no choice but to, Darling.”
Darling rubbed her hands together, “It’s admirable, honestly. Even after Daring offered to help you out with your chores that were left, you’ve gone and made sure to do everything on your own.”
Faybelle set down her rag and started to return the books to the appropriate shelves. She had to glance over the numbers and titles to make sure it was in the fairy right order. “Yeah, well… Daring already did me a huge favor and I don’t want to feel anymore indebted to him than I already do. He already said that I don’t owe him anything but that doesn’t make me feel any less like I do. It’s fairy law that if someone helps you out like that, you owe them some kind of something.”
“Well,” Darling mused. “You could always buy him lunch or buy him a Hocus Latte if you want to do something small. He’ll gladly accept that.”
Faybelle shook her head. “Yeah. I could always do that when he isn’t spending time with Rosabella working on her causes. I didn’t think about that. Your brother really is something, he comes in at just the right time to help a fairy out.”
“That’s a Charming prince for ya.”
“A Charming , you mean.”
Darling stopped as she was returning some books back onto the shelves. “Huh?”
Faybelle didn’t stop cleaning as she spoke as she didn’t see a point in making a deal out of anything so obvious. “You’re just as capable and heroic as Daring. It shouldn’t be said that just the Charming princes are the ones that come out when people need help. You’ve been going out of your way to help others for the past couple of months, too. I think it’s just written in your family tree to obnoxiously help people who didn’t ask for anything.”
Darling looked away. “Thank you for… saying that, Faybelle.”
Faybelle’s eye twitched. She didn’t need to say anything, she just needed to accept the compliment and keep quiet. She wasn’t used to being nice to others and reaching out to anyone felt like a stranger’s concept. “If you tell anyone that I was nice then I’ll be fairy mad at you, you hear? I have an image to keep up ever after, remember?”
“Of course,” she smiled.