Title: The Midnight Waltz
Author: Ruby Standish
Characters: Michael, Lucifer, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Zachariah, Anael, Camael, Metatron, Balthazar, Aziraphale, Castiel, Dean, Sam, Chuck, Lilith, Bobby(Robert), Death, Becky(Rebbecca), and mentions of other characters.
Pairing: Per-slash Dean/Castiel and hinting of per-slash Sam/Gabriel
Warnings: Some joking of adult themed subjects and a little bit of strong language.
Spoilers: Not really, if you watch the show then you're good to go.
Author’s Notes: This was written for the dc_everafter challenge for the AU of 'The 12 Dancing Princesses", I would like to say thanks to amyeyl for since a wonderful pictures of the twelve princes. They look so cool standing right next to each other @_@
Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural or The Twelve Dancing Princesses in any way, shape, or form and am not getting paid for this in anyway, unless you count the fun I had writing it.
Once upon a time, there was a kingdom and it was ruled by the just and kind King Chuck. Everyone in the kingdom cared for the king as well as the king's sons; there were twelve of them and each one was as handsome as the next and just as kind as their father. Although two of them were half-brothers to the others; by a different mother, they each got along with the other and they were all the joy of their father's life.
There was Michael and Lucifer, the twins and the oldest of the sons; they took it upon themselves to help with the military network of the kingdom seeing as their father would prefer not to fight if it could be helped and they protect their younger brothers. Next was Gabriel, the third oldest but most of the time he acts like the youngest; always eating sweets and joking around, and taking off horseback riding without telling anyone first. Raphael and Uriel were next, half-brothers by their father King Chuck; they arrived with Chuck after he was away at war for almost two years and although they were not her sons, Queen Rebbecca took them in as her own without a second thought. Zachariah, the master of numbers, he have taken it as his duty to keep the treasury in working order, helping his father when it comes to the gold and silver. Anael, the most romantic of the twelve, always chatting with the ladies of the court and is always trying to hook his brothers up with the “woman of their dreams”; when he isn’t changing the color of his hair. Camael seems to have gotten their mother’s green thumb, spending his free time in the gardens. Although he’s seventh in line for the throne, Metatron can always be found with King Chuck, learning the ways of running a kingdom. Balthazar is the planner of any celebration they throw in the kingdom and can play any instruments that is thrown at him. Aziraphale, the lover of books, he spend more time with the people on the pages of a story than with actual people. Last but not lest is Castiel, the youngest of the princes and although he doesn’t remember their mother, everyone say that he has her kind heart and love for anything living.
The people of the kingdom, whether they live inside the outer wall of the palace or outside, love the royal family and everyone in the kingdom led happy lives. That was until the terrible day of the queen’s pasting, the whole kingdom suffered a great lost but no one felt it more than the king and his sons. A darkness settled over the kingdom for two months before the king’s cousin, Lady Lilith moved into the castle. Though he was sadden by the lost of his wife, the king believes that his sons still needed the touch of a woman to help raised them, most of all Castiel who was still very young at the time; but he had made a vow that if anything should every happen to her, he would never marry again. So he went to his cousin for help, she was only too happy to move to the castle and help with his sons.
Although she could never replace their mother, the princes listened to Lady Lilith and give her their full respect and together they lived in peace but sadly, not all was as it seemed.
″My Lord, may I have a word with you?″
King Chuck looked up from the piles of papers covering his desk, he sighed seeing his good friend and count physician, Robert of the Singer family entering his study; he had a lot of work to do but he was thankful for the break none the less. ″What is it my dear friend?″ He asked setting the current paper down, singling to the chair across from him.
Robert took the seat offered to him folding his hands in his lap, ″Your Highness, it have come to my attention that there seem to be something wrong with the princes.″
″All of them sir.″
″They seem fine to me,″ Chuck said sitting back in his chair. ″What is wrong with them?″
″That's just it, I'm not sure but I have been informed by members of the count that the princes have been falling asleep during their duties, as well as their training; in fact just the other day I tended to Prince Aziraphale for a cut that he got during sword training.″
Chuck smiled at that, ″Well; we both know that Aziraphale would rather be throwing ink around than steel.″
″Sir, he was wounded by Michael's sword, the prince told me himself, he started drifting off and his sword slipped from his hand wounded his brother.″
″What?″ Robert fully had Chuck's attention now, he knew how much his eldest son cared for his brothers and that he would never hunt them on intentionally.
″That's not all sir, Zachariah have been falling asleep at his desk in the treasury, Camael was found in a rose bush, why just the other day I found Prince Gabriel falling asleep in the stable.″
″You know how much he love those horses,″ Chuck said.
″He was standing up sire and in the middle of brushing out his mare's hair.″ Robert said.
The king took the information that his friend was giving him, all of his sons were good men, always trying to make him proud of them; if it was just one or two of them he probably wouldn't think anything about it but since it's all of them, there was something going on. He sighed leaning forward and resting his arms on the table, his elbow hitting one of the piles knocking the paper onto the floor. Robert moved to pick them up setting them back on the desk. He stopped with one sheet in his hand, Chuck watched as his old friend eyes read over the content, ″Perhaps the answer to your question is the same answer to mine. Why am I paying so much for shoes? Last I check I had sons, not daughters.″ Chuck stood moving to the window, his hands behind his back, he heard Robert's soft chuckle behind him. ″Laughing matter aside, have you confronted any of them about this?″ Chuck asked staring out over the village.
″I asked Prince Gabriel about it but he only laughed it off and said it was nothing,″ Robert said.
″That's Gabriel for you though,″ Chuck said turning back to find Robert reading over the rest of the papers, ″always the joker, perhaps we should talk to some of my more serious sons.″ Chuck headed for the door, grabbing some of the papers from his desk as he walked by. It was still fairly early in the morning so he knew that some of his sons might still be in the dining hall having breakfast. He headed through the halls with Robert just a few inches behind him, he knew that it was only out of respect that the physician stood behind him even though Chuck have told him many times that he didn't need to.
They reach the dining hall in no time, finding four of the princes still eating breakfast; there was Michael, Anael, Balthazar, and Castiel. They all stood when Chuck entered making small bows at their waists towards him, ″Please, there's no need for that,″ Chuck said waving for them seat back down as he moved to the side of the table where he could see them all.
″Good morning father,″ Castiel said.
Chuck smiled to his youngest son, ″Good morning Castiel.″ He hope that if any of his sons would tell him what was going on, it would be Castiel. Robert entered the room with moving to the side of the hall, his hands behind his back, his eyes looking over the princes.
″Is something the matter father?″ Balthazar asked.
Chuck took a deep breath before setting the paper on the table and pushing it towards Michael who the closest to him. ″I have been informed that some of you have been negligent your duties; falling asleep during the day, perhaps one of you would mind explaining why to me. Also why I'm getting since large bills for boots?″
He watched his sons exchanges glances as confused looks started forming on his faces, Michael was the first to speak, ″It's really nothing father, we've all just been having trouble sleeping at night that's all. As for the boots, perhaps Balthazar should stop throwing since wonderful parties.″
″We're growing boys father,″ Balthazar got out between laughing at his brother's joke, ″Our feet just seem to be growing faster than the rest of us.″
Chuck studied his sons, Castiel wasn't even looking at him but at his plate; playing with his food. ″Castiel do you have anything to say?″
Castiel looked up from his food, ″No father, it's as Michael said, we're all having trouble sleeping at night. I believe there might be something keeping us awake.″
″Maybe it's a ghost,″ Anael said waving his hands up and down making a moaning sound.
Chuck shook his head as his sons started laughing again, he was pretty good at telling when one of them was lying to him but from what he could see, Michael and Castiel were telling the truth. ″I want each of you to see Robert today, perhaps he can find what is keeping all of you awake at night, ″Michael; see to it that your brothers are told.″
″Yes sire,″ Michael answered nodding his head to Chuck and then to the physician.
Chuck nodded to each of his sons in turned before leaving them to their breakfast, with Robert following him, ″See what you can do we them Robert,″ he said turning to his friend in the hallway. ″The anniversary of their mother's death is coming up; perhaps the memories of it are causing them not to sleep.″
Robert nodded, ″If that's the case sire, I can give them a tea that sure help them relaxed that they have before turning for the night.″
″See to it; now if you'll excused me, I have some bills I need to take care of.″ Robert gave a quick bow to him as he turned down the hallway back to his study, he would figured out what going on with his sons, no matter how long it took him.
He couldn't figure it out, it was a month since Robert had confronted him about the princes not being able to sleep, the physician had gave each of them a tea to help them sleep but it didn't seem to be working; if anything it was making it worst. The princes couldn't stay awake for anything: Michael and Lucifer during sword training, Balthazar during planning for the Winter Ball, Gabriel while seeing to his horse, Castiel even fell asleep during dinner on his plate; there was something going on and Chuck needed to find out what it was.
″I've tried everything I can think of Your Highness,″ Robert said.
He was having a meeting with Robert and his cousin, Lady Lilith; who up until now have remained quiet on the matter, ″What do you think cousin?″
″I believe it's no more then bad memories causing nightmares to keep them awake sire,″ Lady Lilith said giving him a sad smile. He only nodded at her answer, he had believed the same thing; the anniversary of his wife's death was only a few weeks away and given the fact that Gabriel, Balthazar, and Castiel had been with her on the trip when she pasted didn't help matter. He knew that those three blamed themselves for looking out for her and the others feel sorrow for their brothers whenever somebody brings it up. ″Surely once the Winter Ball have pasted, the princes will returned to being their charming selves again,″ Lilith stated taking the seat next to him at the table.
Chuck smiled at his cousin, ″Perhaps you're right.″ The Winter Ball had been Queen Rebecca's favorite dances out of all the ones that they held at the castle, Chuck had almost called it off the year that they lost her but his sons convinced him that she wouldn't have wanted that; so they continued to have it, only now they've added a lighting of a lantern at the beginning of the dance in her honor. Looking to Robert, ″Could it be anything else that you can think of?″
″The only thing else I can think of sire is that all of the princes are sleepwalking,″ the physician answered.
Chuck shook his head, ″Truth be told, I've already thought of that and have been locking their doors at night, as well as putting guards outside of each of their rooms.″ He looked down at the paperwork sitting on the table in front of him, ″I've even believed that maybe they were sneaking out at night to go to the town's tavern, that would explains the new boots that they're always needing to get.″ He rested his elbows on the table hiding his face in his hands not caring that he was showing weakness in front of a woman and a servant. ″What should I do? They never kept secrets from me when their mother was alive.″
Lilith patted him on the shoulders, ″Come now cousin, I'm sure the boys aren't keeping secrets from you on purpose.″
There came a knocking at the door, ″Enter!″ Chuck yelled lifting his head and sitting up straighter in his chair, Chuck knew the man that entered as one of the guards that were now assigned to standing outside of his sons rooms at night. ″Yes, what is it?″
″Your Highness,″ he said bowing at the waist, ″you requested that the shoemaker be bought to upon his arriver to the castle.″
″Yes, I did, is he here?″
″Good, bring him in,″ Chuck ordered dismissing the guard.
″Why the shoemaker cousin?″ Lilith asked.
″I wish to ask him for his knowledge on why the princes are going through so many pairs of boots,″ Chuck said standing from his seat as the royal shoemaker was bought into the room. He knew the young man well, in fact it was Rebecca who had introduced them and convinced Chuck to appoint him as the royal shoemaker. ″Good evening Samuel,″ Chuck welcome him giving him a hug stopping Samuel in mid-bow, he pulled back to see the look that was always on Samuel's face; a mixture of shyness and respect for being in the present of the king and confusion that Chuck would acted this way towards a servant. ″Come on in,″ Chuck said trying to wrap his arm around Samuel's shoulders but with the height different between them he ended up just patting Samuel on the back and moved to the table. ″You of course know Robert, and this is my cousin Lady Lilith,″ Chuck said moving back to his chair.
″My lady,″ Samuel said bowing to Lilith.
″Please have a seat Samuel,″ Chuck said.
″If it's all the same sire, I prefer to stand and please call me Sam.″
″Of course, Sam,″ Chuck smiled. ″You're probably wondering what you're doing here.″
″I wanted to ask you some questions, mainly about the past bills on these boots that you've sent me.″ Chuck said holding up the pile of papers for Sam to see.
Sam's eyes went wide, ″What would you like to know sir?″
″Clam down Sam, you're not in trouble. I just wish to know which one of my sons have been making these orders for one thing.″
Sam looked confused for a second glancing between Robert and Lady Lilith, ″Well, all of the princes have been making them sire. Every afternoon I received a letter from one of the princes, an order for twelve new pairs of boots, every letter was from a different prince.″
″Do these letters say why they're going through the boots so quickly?″ Robert asked.
Sam shook his head, ″No sir, I just know that I get the order done only to have another letter sent to me the next day and my shoes are the best sire, they should be lasting the princes for at least half a year.″
Chuck was beside himself, he had twelve sons who weren't sleeping; lock doors at night so they could get out but were still ending up with twelve pairs of boots with holes all through them. He looked to his cousin, ″What should I do? I've done everything that I can think of but this is just one big riddle that I cannot find the answer to.″
″Perhaps you should just let it be,″ Lilith said, ″it probably just something they're going through right now and they need some space.″
″I would advised against that sire,″ Robert jumped in, ″It would be unwise for the princes to continue with so little sleep, they could end up getting very sick; if not harming themselves before that.″
Chuck nodded at that, he knew that his cousin didn't mean any harm to the boys, she had become like a second mother to them and she probably wouldn’t have suggested the idea if she knew that one or more of them could get sick.
″If I may sir?″ Chuck looked to Sam who had moved closer to the table, his hands behind his back still looking like he was in trouble; Chuck smiled nodded for Sam to continue. “Thank you sire, when my brother and I were younger we were always playing jokes on our parents, get out of working by hiding….”
“Are you implying that the princes are hiding because they don’t want to work?” Lilith shouted sitting up in her seat.
“Now Lilith, I don’t think that’s what Sam is trying to say,” Chuck said placing his hand on her shoulder, “go on Sam.”
“Right, what I’m saying is he would always be able to find us, in the beginning. After a while though, as we got older, we realized how our father thought; we figured out places to hide that he never thought of looking at, he had to go ask his friends to find us. What if that’s the case here?”
“I’m not following you son,” Robert said.
Chuck did though, “You’re saying that because they’re older now, they know new places to hid, different ways to get out of their rooms, and better tricks on keeping secrets from me.”
“Well, I hate to put it that way sire but yes.”
“So I need another way to look at things,” Chuck said thinking it over, scratching his chin, “or I need another person to look at things. Someone that they don’t know,” he added when Lilith started to say something; most likely to offer her help.
“Who would you get cousin?” Lilith asked a worried on her face, her eyes going wide.
“They would have to speak to me first,” Chuck patted Lilith’s shoulder, “don’t worry so. I’m not going to let some stranger loose in my castle.”
“This is a great idea!” Chuck stood from his seat rounding to the table to the shoemaker, “Thank you so much for coming up with it Sam.”
Sam seemed confused but he still answered, “Happy to…help.”
Chuck slapped Sam’s shoulder, “I’ll even throw in a reward as well for anyone who can solve the riddle.”
“Oh well, sire, I don’t think you have to do that, there are plenty of servants out there who would be willing to help the royal family without a reward.” Lilith stood, her back straight as a rod, “If you offer a reward, there will people doing it just for the money, they won’t care about the safety of the princes.”
Chuck was touched that she was concerned with the well being of his family, his sons were grew men though and he was sure that they take care of themselves but if they were truly hiding something from him, he wanted to know. “I’ll tell you what my dear Lilith, I’ll offer three nights to figure out the answer and I will only let one person try at a time, that way we don’t too many strangers running around the castle at the same time. By the morning after the third night if they have solved my little problem then I will reward them with gold and land. If not, they will be….” He stopped to think, not really knowing what to do to someone who might fail the challenge. In most cases other kings might have the challengers put to death but he wasn’t that kind of king, so he thought of the next worst thing that could happen to someone. “If they do not solve the riddle by the morning of the third night, they will be brandished from the kingdom and their title along with everything they owned will be taking from them.” Chuck watched the reaction from each of them; Robert and Sam both seemed shock that he would even think of such a thing while Lilith looked to be thinking it over, “Does that pleased you cousin?”
Lilith eyed him for a moment, “Of course Your Highness, I only want your sons to be safe,” she said bowing her head to him.
“Good, Robert would you please see to it that Balthazar is told about the…no wait, on second thought, don’t tell any of the princes, they might see to it that the challenge is never made. Robert could you please see to it that the challenge is announced to the kingdom and that any who wishes to take it up must seek an audience with me first.”
“Yes sire,” Robert said bowing before heading out the door.
“Now, Sam, let's go talk about these letters and orders for more boots,” Chuck sung his arm the best that he could around Sam’s shoulders and led him from the study hoping to convince the shoemaker to make a deal with him, he is the king after all.