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Chris Colfer, bestselling author of The Land of Stories, finds himself (along...
 
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Author's Chapter Notes:

In which there's something we must learn...

 

Chris awoke the next morning to find a familiar pair of hazel eyes gazing worriedly down at him.  His heart gave a momentary flutter before he realized that they weren’t the eyes he’d been hoping to see.

 

“Oh, I’m glad you’re finally awake,” Blaine said.  “You were unconscious for the whole journey to Snow White’s palace.  Her royal physician said you were suffering from hypothermia, but that you’d be fine once your body temperature returned to normal.”

 

“Where’s Darren?” Chris asked.  “Is he okay?”

 

“He’s recuperating in another wing of the palace.  He got a little bump on the head, but apparently it wasn’t too serious.  The royal physician said he must have quite a thick skull.”

 

Chris chuckled at that, feeling weak with relief at knowing that Darren was alright.

 

“He’s been asking about you,” Blaine continued.  “He wanted to come and see you, but the royal physician insisted that he stay in bed, just to be safe.”

 

Chris sighed.  Now that he knew that Darren was okay, he realized that he actually was not looking forward to their next encounter.  They’d had no chance to talk since the Evil Queen’s revelations, and Chris dreaded seeing the pity he was sure would be in Darren’s eyes.     

 

Noticing Chris’s expression, Blaine asked, “What’s wrong?”

 

Chris felt odd about opening up to a virtual stranger, but from what he knew of Blaine, Chris thought he’d be a pretty good listener. 

 

“Did Kurt tell you about the Mirror of True Love?” Chris asked.

 

Blaine’s face lit up with a huge smile.  “Yes.  He said it showed that we’re meant to be together.  Which, of course, I already knew.  But it’s nice to have it confirmed.”

 

“Did he tell you what it revealed about me?”

 

“No.”

 

“Well, basically, Darren’s my true love, but I’m not his.  Which I sort of already knew, but that is not the kind of thing you want to have confirmed.  Especially not in front of the object of your hopeless affection.”

 

Blaine’s eyes filled with compassion.  “Oh, Chris, I’m so sorry.”

 

“Yeah, well, it sucks to be me.  And the worst part is, the Evil Queen said that now that Darren knows how I feel, he won’t even want to be my friend anymore.  Which I really hope isn’t true, but I’m afraid that it might be.”

 

“You should go and talk to him.”

 

“Oh god, it’s going to be so awkward!  I just can’t right now.”

 

“Well, I’m going to go and at least let him know that you’re okay.  He’s been really worried.”

 

“Thanks, Blaine.”

 

Blaine gave Chris’s shoulder a reassuring squeeze before walking out the door.  Chris lay in bed awhile longer, trying to make sense of all of the different feelings churning within him – relief that Darren wasn’t badly injured, anger at Sue for using his heartbreak for her own aims, worry over how they’d get home now that the Wishing Spell was no longer a possibility, and, over it all, a numbing sense of grief at the loss of something he’d never really had.

 

At last, Chris forced himself to get up.  He’d never been one for wallowing in self-pity.  He told himself that no matter how bad things seemed right now, he would get through this, just as he’d gotten through all of the other challenges he’d faced in his life.      

 

Chris decided that the best thing to do would be to focus on helping someone whose circumstances were even worse than his own at the moment, so he made his way down to the dungeon to see Kurt.

 

“Hey,” Kurt greeted him.  “Thanks for coming to visit me.  The guards won’t let Blaine in.  I think they’re afraid we’d use the opportunity to plot my escape.”

 

Chris smiled at him.  “Well, wouldn’t you?”

 

“Probably.  If we could stop kissing long enough to speak, that is.”

 

Chris’s smile faltered.

 

“What’s wrong?” Kurt asked.

 

“I just wish I could have what you and Blaine have.”

 

“Why can’t you?”

 

“You heard what the Evil Queen said.  And the Mirror of True Love never lies.”

 

“The mirror may never lie, but the Evil Queen sure as hell did.  I’ve seen the way Darren looks at you.  It’s exactly the same way Blaine looks at me.  In fact, it’s kind of spooky how similar it makes them seem.”

 

Chris was saved the trouble of formulating a reply by the arrival of Rachel.  She flounced in, looking extraordinarily pleased with herself. 

 

“I had a little chat with Snow White, queen to queen, and she just happened to mention where the keys to your cell were kept, and when the guards would be on their tea break.  So here I am!”

 

Whipping a large iron key ring out of the voluminous folds of her cloak, Rachel unlocked Kurt’s cell door.  “Ta da!”

 

Kurt seemed to be frozen with disbelief.

 

“Well don’t just stand there,” Rachel ordered.  “Here, put on this spare cape and draw the hood up over your face.  You can pass as my much less attractive cousin.”

 

Kurt hurriedly wrapped himself in the cape and followed Rachel and Chris out of the dungeon.  As promised, the guards were nowhere to be seen.  The three stealthily made their way out of the castle and into the shelter of the nearby woods. 

 

“Why are you doing this for me?” Kurt asked.

 

“Well, I’ve been talking to Froggy, and he’s been helping me to reevaluate some of the decisions I’ve made.  You and I used to be friends, Kurt, and I threw that away out of jealousy.”  Rachel took a deep breath and began to sing. 

  

I'm limited

Just look at me - I'm limited

And just look at you

You can do all I couldn't do, Kurt Hummelocks,

So now it's up to you

For both of us

Now it's up to you

 

Kurt’s clear voice soared with the next verse.

 

I've heard it said

That people come into our lives for a reason

Bringing something we must learn

And we are led

To those who help us most to grow

If we let them

And we help them in return

Well, I don't know if I believe that's true

But I know I'm who I am today

Because I knew you...

 

Like a comet pulled from orbit

As it passes a sun

Like a stream that meets a boulder

Halfway through the wood

Who can say if I've been changed for the better?

But because I knew you

I have been changed for good

 

Rachel’s eyes were wet as she came back in.

 

It well may be

That we will never meet again

In this lifetime

So let me say before we part

So much of me

Is made of what I learned from you

You'll be with me

Like a hand print on my heart

And now whatever way our stories end

I know you have re-written mine

By being my friend...

 

Like a ship blown from its mooring

By a wind off the sea

Like a seed dropped by a sky bird

In a distant wood

Who can say if I've been changed for the better?

But because I knew you

 

The two voices wove in and out of each other.

 

Because I knew you

I have been changed for good

 

And just to clear the air

I ask forgiveness

For the things I've done you blame me for

But then, I guess we know

There's blame to share

And none of it seems to matter anymore

 

Like a comet pulled from orbit (Like a ship blown from its mooring)

As it passes a sun (By a wind off the sea)

Like a stream that meets a boulder (Like a seed dropped)

Halfway through the wood (By a bird in the wood)

 

Who can say if I've been

Changed for the better?

I do believe I have been

Changed for the better

 

And because I knew you

Because I knew you

Because I knew you

I have been changed for good

 

Rachel stepped forward and gave Kurt a quick hug.  “Take care of yourself,” she whispered, before hurrying back toward the castle.

 

Kurt looked a bit dumbfounded.  “Well, that was unexpected,” he said at last.

 

Just then they heard the sound of approaching hooves.  Blaine rode up on Rum Chocolate Soufflé, breaking into a wide grin as soon as he spotted Kurt.

 

“So Queen Red came through, huh?” he said, slipping from the horse’s back.

 

Kurt stepped eagerly forward into his embrace.  “Blaine…”

 

“Mmm…”

 

“I missed you.”

 

“I have something for you,” Blaine murmured, drawing a small box from his pocket.

 

“What is it?”

 

“It’s a promise ring.  I made it out of fibers from my beanstalk.”

 

“But what are you promising?”

 

“To always love you.  To defend you even if I know you’re wrong.  To surprise you… and to kiss you wherever and whenever you want.  But mostly, just to make sure that you remember how perfectly imperfect you are.  …  Now, I know it’s not something that Quinderella would wear, but–”

 

“I love it!” Kurt cried, flinging his arms around Blaine.

 

“So does this mean we’re running away together?”

 

“Are you sure you’re willing to live the life of a fugitive?”

 

“So long as we’re together, my life will be perfect.”

 

“Then yes!”

 

Chapter End Notes:

 

So this chapter had a much happier ending than the last few did.  Now there’s only one key relationship left to resolve…  Will they finally figure things out in the next chapter?  There’s only one way to find out – write me some reviews, and I’ll try to give you what we’ve all been wanting.  :D  

 

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