Author: vinniebatman aka batmanvinnie
Fandom/Spoilers: SGA AU. Contains characters from the show, but that's about where it ends.
Prompt: Written for the birthday of one of my favoritest people in the world, suki_blue ! I heart you...
Rating/Warnings: Adult at some point. Hey, it's a present, and what says "I love you" better than gay pron?
Disclaimer: If I did own SGA, God, the amount of naked hot gay luvin' would be overwhelming! But I don't, so let us mourn appropriately.
Summary: In order to be crowned King, Prince Rodney must undertake a terrifying quest.
A/N: Okay, so I was working on another story, but it just wouldn't work out, so I decided to scrap it and start anew. then this story just kept growing and getting longer. I don't know how long it will take, so I decided to go ahead and post the first section to get peoples reactions.
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Once upon a time, in a Kingdom far, far away, lived a noble Prince who faced a grave quest. Like those before him and those that would follow, the Prince of the wild, pristine lands of
Okay, so deaths of the King and Queen didn't seem that tragic to poor Prince Meredith. After all, they'd spent more time worrying about the decorations for the various national holidays than they ever did about their children. A part of Prince Meredith (who preferred to be called Rodney) was saddened by his parents' sudden deaths due to a strangely comical ballroom dancing accident involving a melting ice sculpture and an improperly secured granite statue. But a larger part of Rodney was annoyed that his work would be interrupted.
You see, unlike most of the Lords and Ladies of his land, Rodney didn't really care about status or power. He instead preferred spending time in his workshop, understanding the science of star movement and inventing things to aide his people, instead of flouncing around the kingdom dressed like an insufferable idiot. His main goal had been to avoid marriage throughout his father's reign, and then upon his father's death, pass the throne on to his sister. Princess Jeannie was a kind, sweet girl who actually liked people and wanted to ensure the kingdom thrived. Unfortunately, she was still only 16 and thus unable to claim the throne. Upon the realization that he would need to take the throne and actually deal with people, Rodney had locked himself in his workshop, hiding behind working models of inventions and papers littered with theorems.
The morning after the hilariously tragic incident, Rodney awoke to the sound of someone rapping at his workshop door.
"Rodney, quick! The Guardian approaches the Castle!" Rodney knew from the thick Northern accent that the speaker was Radek, Rodney's chief adviser. Radek wasn't the bravest of men, flinching in the face of most danger. But he was also smart and very loyal, Rodney's one true friend.
"Okay, alright, fine," Rodney groaned, lifting his head from the table. Eyes barely open, he shuffled through the workshop and opened the door. Radek lifted a large clay mug and offered it to Rodney. With a grunt, Rodney accepted the mug, quickly drinking down the caffeinated beverage. As the last of the rich, brown drink slipped past his lips, Rodney lowered the mug with a smile.
"How did I live before the discovery of coffee?" he mused.
"I simply remember it as a very dark time, your Highness," Radek recalled with a shrug.
Upon noticing Radek's formal dress, Rodney winced. "Damn, she's here, isn't she?"
"Very nearly," Radek shrugged. "But look at it this way: once you are King, you can trade with the people of the southern kingdoms for more of the bean."
Rodney's eyes lit up and he snapped his fingers. "Good point."
Caffinated and temporarily awake, Rodney handed Radek the mug and headed toward the throne room.
"Uh, Prince Rodney?"
"You have paper on your face."
Reaching up, Rodney felt his face and pulled off the sheet of paper, stuck to his face by ink that had been wet when he'd fallen asleep at his desk. "Oh, maybe I should go bathe."
"I had warm bath drawn for you. Now go, Jeannie has picked out your outfit."
Twenty minutes later, Rodney stood in the Grand Hall dressed in the traditional tunic of his people, complete with tights. He hated the tights; they were itchy and, well, tight. The Grand Hall was draped in rich red and white fabrics, the national emblem of the leaf proudly displayed throughout the Hall.
What a waste of time, Rodney snorted mentally, and money. The Western Plains could have used this money to pay for a new irrigation system. His parents had spent months redecorating the Grand Hall. His mental diatribe was interrupted by a loud creaking as the massive doors were opened to allow the Guardian entrance. A thin woman of medium height, nothing of her form was especially interesting. It was the way she carried herself, her face framed by chestnut curls as she seemed to glide closer to Rodney, her white gown and aura of serene power drawing the eyes of all gathered.
Once she arrived to the dais where Rodney stood, she smiled gently and inclined her head respectfully. "Prince Meredith, I am Elizabeth, Guardian of the
"Oh, hi, I'm Rodney, I mean, I am Prince Meredith, but I prefer Rodney," he babbled.
Off to Rodney's side, Radek cleared his throat loudly.
"Oh, right, sorry," Rodney apologized, gesticulating wildly. “I'm not so good at... people. I mean, I try but then they open their mouth let out a stream of stupid and I just... yeah," he finished lamely.
"Look to me!" a voice cried from the back of the hall. The crowd parted in shock, revealing the pudgy man with an ill-kept pony tail, the one who had interrupted the Guardian. "I am the Prince's cousin, Lord Kavanaugh! Look to me and perhaps find me worthy of being the next ruler."
"Oh but I am, Your Greatness! If you declare Rodney unfit, the crown falls to his sister, but as she is too young, it will then fall to me!"
"No. Just no,"
"No," she ground out, turning back to Rodney. "You have it in you to be a great ruler, but are not as yet. Instead, I challenge you with a quest, one that will test you in many ways and truly prepare you to make the difficult choices a ruler must. Once you complete it and return, I will grant you my blessing. Until then, your sister will act in your stead with my aide, to give legitimacy to her choices."
Rodney's adam's apple bobbed noticeably as he swallowed, eyes widened with alarm. "What's my quest?"
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Two weeks later, Rodney and Radek were on horseback, finally entering the south lands. Earlier that morning, they finally reached the mountain range that separated the northern and southern lands.
"She's insane!" Rodney wailed. "I mean, she might as well have asked me to- to-to-."
"Stop talking? Be nice? Stop complaining?" Radek supplied.
"Oh, very funny, scullery maid. That's right, when we get back, you're going to be a scullery maid!" Rodney fumed, loosening his grip on the reins long enough to shake a finger at his friend. “Complete with a skirt and little ruffly things!”
"That is, if we get back," Rodney added, his voice softening as his lips fell into an unhappy slant. "She is insane; I mean, come on, she gives me a shiny rock and tells me take a company of four men so that I can use said rock to destroy the Wraith. THE WRAITH! The scourge of all our world, the darkness of the south lands!"
"They can't be that bad," a voice interjected. Rodney looked ahead of himself to one of the four soldiers riding with him.
"What did you say, Lieutenant Ford?"
Rodney winced at the steely tone of Colonel Sumner's voice. The Colonel was definitely not a happy man, though he was rather attractive.
In a scary way, Rodney added mentally. Rodney's attraction to men was part of the reason Rodney wanted to pass the crown to Jeannie; he didn't like women, which would make it impossible for him to produce an heir. Sure, he could just pretend and agree to an arranged marriage, but he didn't think he could pull off liking someone, especially a woman he was being forced to sleep with, long enough to be aroused enough to actually... finish the deed.
The young soldier cleared his throat before speaking again. "I said the Wraith can't be that bad, Sir. I mean, they've been kept back by the peoples of the south for generations."
"Really? I heard it's because the leaders of the southern kingdoms formed an alliance with the mountain people. They say the women are as strong as normal men, and that the men are giants," countered Lieutenant Cadman, the only female in their little expedition.
"So you're saying you aren't as strong as a man?" Lieutenant Ford teased.
The female warrior rolled her eyes. "Don't push it, Ford; just because I can't dig a ditch as fast as you can, I can still thrash you in the training circle."
"And it's true," Colonel Sumner confirmed with a chuckle. "Your Highness, one of the best things your Grandfather did as King was allowing the women into army."
"Yes yes yes, I get it, he was a great leader and I'll never live up to him," Rodney griped. He’d been keenly aware since his early years that he was a disappointment to his father as the only male heir.
"Have you ever seen a Wraith, Colonel?" Sergeant Stackhouse asked, drawing attention from Rodney's admission.
"I have. Twenty years ago, the Wraith gathered their forces to push through the south mountain lands. General Hammond of the United American Territories sent out for aide to all the mountain, hill and northern peoples, and I was one of many who responded. The Wraith are tall, of great strength and they never stop, never rest. They take their strength and sustenance from their victims, draining out their very life, leaving only a dessicated husk behind."
"My that was vivid," Rodney whimpered.
The group fell silent until Stackhouse broke the tension.
"Wow, they sound like my first wife," he quipped.
"Shut up, Stackhouse," Cadman yelled.
* * * * * * * * * *
It took three days for them to clear the mountain pass. When they finally emerged from the chilling winds and snow, they were surrounded by rolling, tree-covered hills. They moved quickly, hoping to reach the river before nightfall, but the plan wasn't to head directly through the valley to the mountains where the Wraith lived.
"Okay, so explain to me again why we're taking the long way to the Wraith lands?" Rodney whined, his entire body sore.
"Because Wraith have agents everywhere, so we must be sneaky," Radek repeated tiredly.
"Oh yes, they'll really be afraid of our shiny rock and four fighters," Rodney grumbled. Stupid shiny rock; it’d better be good for something.
"The Wraith have long kept their attentions to the south for a reason your Highness," Sumner started.
"Yeah, it's called a mountain range," Rodney snorted.
"No, it's because of the Ancienty City. The Wraith remember when the Ancients flourished and covered the land, forcing the Wraith to slumber for ages. They know what kind of power the Ancients can offer, even if they are few in number now."
"Yes yes, the Ancients were all powerful," Rodney scoffed. "But come on, the people of the Southern Hills have beds."
"But if we stick to the forests and avoid others, we may escape the Wraith's notice," Stackhouse explained. "You never know if someone has turned traitor and reports to the Wraith."
"Fine," Rodney assented, sighing heavily. "We'll stay away from the Southern Hill people."
Rodney frowned, images of soft beds and a warm bath floating through his head. "Well, it's probably a good thing we aren't seeing them, anyways. I've heard they have strange accents, wear skirts and like sheep too much."
"Hey, be nice to the..., what do they call themselves?" Cadman asked.
"Scots," Sumner answered.
"Yeah, be nice to the Scots; at least they play football," Cadman urged.
"So do the Americans," Ford countered.
Sumner snorted. "No, they call it football, but it's very different and strange. They don't even use the right ball. Hell, it's not even the right shape."
"Okay, so it's different," Stackhouse conceeded, "but that doesn't mean it's a bad thing."
"The games take forever," Sumner revealed. "By the time they finish one game, we could have played two."
"Oh who cares, I mean, okay, so they're stupid. But they're the ones that harvest the coffee beans," Rodney snapped.
The four soldiers fell quite. In the past seventeen days, they'd learned that while Prince Rodney could live without bathing and a cushy bed, he could not function without the dark liquid.
"Good point," Radek conceded. The four soldiers nodded in agreement as their horses continued to plod along.
It was Cadman who finally broke the silence. "Hey, your Highness? Which would you rather give up for the rest of your life: chocolate or coffee?"