A/N: So this one is a bit more dialogue-heavy and I don't know if I'm going to do a second part or not. For now, I will have this marked complete, but that doesn't necessarily mean that I'm finished writing Jarlos Drabbles. I've run out of ideas or I have no inspiration for the prompts I wrote down, so we'll see. Without further ado, please enjoy!
Summary: Set in an alternate universe, Queen Fairy has chosen a suitor for her daughter, Jane. Will Jane accept the son of Queen Cruella, Carlos De Vil?
Arranged Marriage AU
"I've picked out your suitor for you," Queen Fairy told her daughter as they sat down for breakfast. Jane blinked at her mom in surprise.
"You did? Who is it?" She asked as she raised her biscuit to her mouth.
"Remember you said that I could pick because you trusted my judgment?" Queen Fairy asked. Jane's eyes narrowed in suspicion as her mother dodged the question.
"I did. You were able to see right through Chad's acting. Why?" Jane inquired as she lowered her biscuit.
"I spent many hours pondering who would be a good fit for you and I observed the suitors for weeks before deciding on this young prince."
"And this young prince is?" Jane prompted.
"Queen Cruella's son, Prince Carlos De Vil." Jane blinked at her mom in surprise.
"Prince Carlos? What made him stand out?"
"He's not like his mother in the slightest. I don't understand how that insane woman could raise a respectable son like Carlos, but she did. I've seen him blossom being away from that woman and he has the sweetest personality. He knows how to stand up for himself and when I've asked him questions about politics or war strategies, I was impressed with his thoughtful answers. He's a well-rounded person." Queen Fairy sipped her tea.
"I didn't expect you to pick Prince Carlos. I'll get to know him and tell you my answer in two weeks." Jane nodded. Queen Fairy smiled at her.
"Of course. You did say I could choose your suitor as long as you found nothing wrong with them. I know you'll make the right judgment. Give him a chance."
If Jane was honest with herself, she didn't know how she felt about her mother asking her to give Prince Carlos a chance. She'd met his mother and wondered how Queen Cruella still had a functioning kingdom. The woman was crazy. Jane was nervous to meet with Prince Carlos. She fiddled with her ring finger as she walked out in the garden where they were to meet in twenty minutes. A quick scan revealed that Prince Carlos hadn't arrived so she settled on the bench. She gazed around the garden, attempting to push her nerves down that threatened to overwhelm her. A bark sounded further in the garden followed by laughter. She rose, curious about who else was in the garden and turned the corner to see a young man laying on the grass. A tan dog lay on his chest and licked his face.
"Dude, come on. You're going to make me late." The white-haired man chuckled before he picked the dog up and sat upright, "You know that I have to be on time. I want to make a good impression." He bopped the dog on the nose. The dog barked at him and wagged his tail.
"No. I want to be there in case she shows up early. I never thought she'd pick me to spend time with but let's not look a gift horse in the mouth. Enjoy it while it lasts. I hope she's as nice as Evie." He exhaled.
"Excuse me," Jane spoke, jumping in surprise when the man bolted up and whipped around.
"Ah, hello. Can I help you?" He asked, his hand rubbing the back of his neck.
"I'm supposed to be meeting someone here today and was wondering if you were him. Are you Prince Carlos?" She questioned.
"I am. Are you Princess Jane?" A faint blush stole across his cheeks as he hastily straightened his clothes.
"Indeed, it's a pleasure to meet you, Prince Carlos." She dipped in a curtsey, Carlos bowing at the waist.
"It's wonderful to meet you, Princess Jane. Wait, Dude!" He hissed that last part as Dude ran up to Jane and stood on his hind legs, placing his front paws on Jane's dress. Jane's mouth opened in surprise when Dude pawed at her for attention.
"I am so sorry. I meant to have him in my room before I met you. I didn't realize the time. I'll take him back if he's bothering you." Carlos shot a glare at his dog.
"It's fine. He's not bothering me." Jane bent down and stroked Dude's ears, making him release grunting noises. She giggled as Dude shook his head and moved on to scratch his back.
"He's not normally so welcoming to strangers," Carlos said, a slight frown on his face.
"Well, I do live in this castle so he may be used to my scent. He's been with you the whole time you've been here, correct?" Jane asked, looking up at Carlos.
"He has." Carlos nodded.
"How long have you been here?"
"I've been here for a month and a half. I've talked with the other princes and they were saying that none of them have seen you in the entire time they have been at this castle. Is there a reason you don't meet them? I've seen some of your suitors leave without ever seeing your face." Carlos inquired. Jane gave a small smile.
"You can't tell the other princes, but every suitor has to pass my mother first. If she doesn't approve of them, they go home. If she thinks the prince may make me happy, she observes them. If she approves of them, I get to meet them. I have the final say, but you are the first prince that my mother has approved enough to see me. I trust her judgment and frankly, I wouldn't want to meet all the princes when they first come. I have in the past and experienced some horrifying situations. My mother does this to protect me, but she teaches me to see people as she sees them. To read between the lines and decipher a person's true personality." Jane explained as she gave Dude one last pat on the head.
"You let your mother choose who you marry?" Carlos asked, "That's bold."
"She doesn't choose. She weeds out the rocks to find the diamond. My mother gives me the choice to accept the diamond or not." Jane clarified. Carlos blew out his breath.
"If I let my mother choose, she'd have me marry the richest and most influential princess."
"So she'd have you marry Princess Audrey?" Jane stood up. Her eyes widened as Carlos's face paled, his freckles standing out.
"Yeah," He grounded out, "She wants me to marry Princess Audrey."
"You've met her, haven't you?" Jane unsuccessfully repressed a smile.
"I have." He nodded, unwilling to add more.
"She's an interesting person, isn't she?"
"Interesting is one way of putting it." Carlos groaned, causing Jane to giggle.
"She's one of a kind."
"You know, Princess Audrey was the first princess I met outside of my friends." Jane's eyes widened.
"No, Audrey? I would never introduce someone new to Audrey first. She'd scare them away and they'd never want to meet another princess again."
"That was similar to my experience. The only reason I'm here is that Princess Evie convinced me not all princesses were like her. Princess Evie had high praise for you." Carlos informed.
"She did? I'm honored. Princess Evie and I had a rough start, but after we cleared up a few misconceptions, I started seeing her as a friend. She's a wonderful person. You're friends with her?" Jane asked.
"I am. She's my first friend. My mother didn't want me too far from her so I didn't have many friends growing up. Evie's mom and my mom met for a meeting and that's how Evie and I met. I showed her my room and a couple of projects I was working on at the time. She showed me her sketchbook and we promised to be best friends and met whenever we could. Mal didn't like Evie at first, but she eventually came around. Now I have a brother and two sisters to go to." Carlos admitted.
"A make-shift family. That must be nice. I've been an only child and my mother encouraged me to play with the other kids, but I was too shy. I'm more of the type to read a book rather than socialize. But Ben was kind to me and I consider him to be an older brother. The problem is he's so busy so he rarely visits." Jane said, "What are your brother and sisters like?"
"So different from each other," Carlos smiled softly, "As we talk, do you want to walk around the garden? It's a gorgeous day." He offered her his arm.
"I'd love to." She grinned at him and looped her arm through his, "So your family has different personalities?"
"Oh yes. Mal and Jay are extremely confident, but I think Mal's was more she has to be confident and show no weakness. It's the way she was raised. Now her confidence is more real because she knows who she is. Jay's confidence stems from the fact that he doesn't care what anyone else thinks of him, except his family. He knows who he is and doesn't take kindly when someone tries to change him. Evie's always kind and it was amazing watching her change. She went from a person who always had to be perfect in every situation to a person who accepts her faults and works with them. We've grown since we were younger." Carlos explained.
"What about you? Have you changed?" Jane questioned.
"I like to think so. I don't hide from confrontation anymore and I've got a dog. I know the rumors that circulate about my mom and unfortunately, many of them are true. They are exaggerated, but not as much as other rumors. It was interesting to hear the rumors about myself. But the point is, my mom has an unhealthy obsession with dogs, especially dalmatians. I used to be terrified of dogs. I thought they would attack me on sight. Dude helped change that. I have no idea how he got in the castle, but once I discovered he was not a rabid pack animal, I bonded with him. I'm lucky that my mom never visits me in my wing of the castle. Dude's had plenty of room to roam and all the servants love him so I know they'd never tell my mom I have him."
"What type of rumors have you heard about yourself?" Jane asked.
"That I was a carbon-copy of my mom and I would skin any dog I came across. I think I shocked everybody, even the servants when I arrived with a dog. Several princes cornered me and told me that rumor and threatened to take Dude away. I told them what I thought of their presumption and how they shouldn't believe every rumor that they happen to hear. They didn't like that answer, but Dude started barking and they backed off. It was weird because the next day the three of them were asked to pack up and leave. Not that I was complaining, I thought you'd seen them and told them no thanks. It wasn't until later that I discovered many of the princes left without meeting you."
"My mother's servants are very loyal to her. She helped them out and cared for them. She has several servants that help with the weeding out. I'm guessing that they reported the incident to my mother and she summoned them to talk with her. She must not have liked what she saw if they left the next day." Jane giggled.
"That's incredibly smart. I've had a few chances to talk with Queen Fairy. I knew after the first meeting that she was much more intelligent than she let on. I admit that I had misconceptions about Queen Fairy because of my mother." Carlos shook his head.
"What did Queen Cruella have to say about my mother?" Carlos hesitated.
"Not nice things. My mom rarely had good things to say about anyone, but she seemed to especially hate Queen Fairy."
"I wonder why."
"Honestly, I have a hunch. my mom assumed Queen Fairy was an airhead and controllable. She did negotiations with Queen Fairy and ended up getting burned as a result. Mom always muttered to never trust anyone because everyone wore a mask after that. I know my mom wanted to take land from your mom, but Queen Fairy ended up taking my mom's land. My mom got bit when she tried underhanded tactics and she's burned with anger ever since."
"Why would she want you here? If she dislikes my mother?" Carlos laughed sheepishly.
"She doesn't know. She thinks I'm trying to woo Princess Audrey."
"Prince Carlos! Your mother doesn't know you're here?" Jane gaped at him in shock.
"No. But I already told your mother so she's helping me out. I don't want to go back to her castle. My mother's not the easiest person to get along with. She only asks for me when she needs to use me for something. Plus when I came here, Princess Audrey was visiting so I didn't lie to her when I told my mom I was going to see Princess Audrey. I caught a glimpse of her and that's all I needed. Considering how my first talk went with her, I don't think she wanted to see my face anyway."
"How interesting." Carlos nervously glanced at Jane's thinking face.
"So you know more about me now, but I still know very little about you. How do you know Princess Audrey?"
"Her mom and mine are friends. They thought we'd get along so we had many play dates together. I was extremely shy and hated confrontation so Audrey decided what we did and how we played. We did get along in the beginning, but everything changed when Ben was introduced to us. Audrey got in her head that Ben and she were destined to marry and any other girl he talked to was the enemy. Ben and I liked talking to each other because we had similar interests and Audrey did not like that. She didn't realize that we swore to be brother and sister for life since we didn't have siblings. But Audrey didn't listen to us when we told her."
"Wow. Why is she so attached to Prince Ben?"
"Because Ben is perfect. Or at least as perfect as a human being can be. He always sees the best in everyone, even Audrey."
"I'm impressed with Prince Ben despite not meeting him." Carlos chuckled, "You said that you've met Evie before. How did you meet her?"
"Oh, I ran into her when my mom went to visit Princess Evie's mom and she took me along. I don't know what my mom had to say to her, but I'm glad she took me with her. Princess Evie thought I was a servant at first and ordered me around. I'd started to get more confidence before I met her and I told her flat out 'no'. She was shocked and didn't take well to that. I didn't know she thought I was a servant, I thought she was another Audrey. I may have been rude to her, but I was tired of being pushed around. My mom came out to tell me that we were staying the night and Princess Evie realized I was Queen Fairy's daughter. She apologized and explained why she thought I was a servant. It's hard to stay mad at Princess Evie. She's so sincere that I agreed to spend the next day with her. We became really good friends by the end of it." Jane said.
"Evie told me that she'd become friends with you and that she'd accidentally mistaken you for a servant. I'm glad you became friends with her. She hasn't had too many friends growing up."
"I know. She told me about how she met Princess Mal and I'm surprised she was willing to stay friends with her."
"Mal's grown up so much since she was younger. She broke away from her mother and became her own person. She recognized that she was following in her mother's footsteps and tore that string. She's a different person now." Carlos nodded. They'd circled the humongous garden twice now and Carlos led her to the bench she was originally sitting at in the beginning.
"Oh, my mother wanted me to tell you that she's invited Princess Mal, Princess Evie, and Prince Jay to visit. I don't know when they are supposed to arrive, but she thought it'd be nice for you to have friends around you." Carlos lit up and vigorously nodded his head.
"I haven't seen them in a while so it'll be great to see them."
"You only talked about Prince Jay briefly. What's he like?"
"Smooth, lady's man, talented, and has all the girls falling at his feet." Carlos ticked off.
"Oh yeah. I've had girls approach me to ask about Jay and wonder if I could introduce them. What they don't know is if I introduce them to Jay, there's a ninety-nine percent chance he'll give them the cold shoulder. He doesn't like it when someone goes through me to get to him. If they had the guts to talk to him face to face, he's much more willing to entertain them. He may look like a scoundrel, but he cares deeply for those he considers his family. Everyone else he doesn't care about and they can say whatever they want about him. But as soon as they insult us, he goes beast on them. He's a wonderful brother to have. Don't tell him I said that. His ego's inflated enough as it is." Jane giggled at Carlos's grimace.
"Princess Jane?" A servant scurried into the garden and stopped several feet away from the two of them.
"Yes, Jesse? What is it?" Jane questioned.
"I hate to bother you, but Queen Fairy wanted you to know that Prince Ben has arrived and is asking for you."
"Ben? He wasn't supposed to be here for another week." Jane hastily stood up, "I'm sorry Prince Carlos. Thank you for spending time with me. I've enjoyed our walk and look forward to when we see each other again."
"The pleasure was all mine Princess Jane. I'm looking forward to seeing you again." Carlos bowed to her. His beautiful smile had her grinning back as she departed with her servant. Before she got out of earshot, she heard him heave out a breath and tell Dude,
"I don't think I messed it up. She said she wanted to see me again. That counts for something right?" Her grin grew as she walked away.
"He's rather charming isn't he?" Jesse commented. Jane sent a sharp look at Jesse, but he only smiled.
"Very charming. I'm impressed with him. I know you're going to tell my mother whatever I say." Jesse continued smiling, not denying it.
"He's well rounded and I'm positive that he likes you. But time will tell."
"Indeed." Jane smiled as she shook her head. Carlos made an amazing first impression, but she still had to see if he was as wonderful as he seemed. Like Jesse said, only time will tell.
I had a blast writing this and I hope you enjoyed it! Jarlos Drabbles will be marked as complete from now on, but that doesn't mean I won't post a chapter in the future! We'll see. Thank you for your support!