Author's Note: Pinocchio and The Little Mermaid have forever been in competition as my all-time favorite Disney movies. That was until I came up with the idea to combine them. Because hey, Lampwick is a rebellious redhead and Pinocchio pretty much looks like a child version of Prince Eric. So this drabble happened. The title translates from Italian to "His Voice" which is based off of the song "Her Voice" from the Broadway adaptation of Little Mermaid (this fic is best read if you listen to it). A full-length AU of this is in the works but here's a little sneak-peek.
(P.S. If anyone has a DA page, you can see some lovely art by my amazingly talented friend, badboylampwick, of this AU. They (and she) are absolutely fabulous!)
La Sua Voce
There was something not quite right with Pinocchio. Everyone in the castle knew it, but they could never place it. He just seemed . . . off. Dazed, unfocused, moaning about the castle mysteriously, opting for solitude. The prince had always been sociable, but these days he preferred to keep to himself by taking walks on the beaches near the castle.
Since that storm . . . he hadn't been the same.
But people didn't implore. Such a traumatic event such as nearly drowning- and on your own birthday! –had to given poor Pinocchio a haunting, hence the disturbance in his behavior. But soon he'd forget with the passage of days and go back to his old, charming self.
What they didn't know, however, was the fact that Pinocchio wasn't haunted by his life being nearly taken by the sea, but the fact that he had been saved was what haunted him more.
He should have died out there was the unspoken truth. The kingdom had been preparing itself to mourn their prince just before he ascended to the throne, but by some heavenly miracle he had been rescued- rescued by a man just as mysterious as the ocean.
The thing was, Pinocchio hadn't the slightest clue on who could have possibly been there to save him. At first he thought it was a crew member who dived into the waves after him but he knew it couldn't have been any of the men on the ship that night. This man who saved him had been shrouded in this mystery, this eternalness that Pinocchio got the sense that he wasn't of this world.
An angel, someone had jested. The group had chuckled.
A siren, another suggested, perhaps with a little more seriousness than the other had had. One of those merpeople had the generosity to drag him from what would and should have been his water grave and bring him to the beach rather than taunt him to join him down in the waters below.
Pinocchio had always believed in them, his father had told him countless tales about his own encounters with the people who resided under the sea and would on look to the world above their own. But. . .was it childish to admit that he thought this person, this heaven-sent man, was one of them?
Whatever this man was, a human or a merman or angel, this man haunted Pinocchio like a ghost. All Pinocchio could think about was to what he had woken up to that morning upon the sand – the blurry with sleep sight he had received of a man with bright red hair talking to him, the rising sun and sea shimmering behind him, an other-worldly glow that Pinocchio had couldn't stop thinking about.
If he couldn't stop thinking about what he had woken up to that day, the voice he had heard before witnessing that sight was the thing that he thought of all the time.
That voice was so sharp and crisp and distinct that even now he could hear it calling to him again and again. Pinocchio admitted, it had been little rough sounding, but in that time when he needed someone to reassure him that he was alive, there had never been a voice so comforting. The prince couldn't remember exactly what that man had said, but somehow that voice got stuck in his head and it become an almost obsession or rather, an obsession with what that voice had stood for.
He needed to know whose voice it was.
Naturally, if you get saved by an unidentified man who offered some comfort with his voice, only to flutter off into the distance before Pinocchio or his father could catch a better glimpse of him, you'd only be dying of curiosity to know where this man disappeared to and if you'd ever see him again.
Pinocchio had to be realistic with this. What was the chance of ever finding that man again?
And that was what brought the prince down and why he would want to be left along: he was haunted by a phantom voice and man that he would never hear and see again.
As he did almost every night since that fateful night, he walked out onto the covered walkway that surrounded the castle towards the area that overlooked the sea. Despite almost losing his life to it, the enchantment with the sea and all that it held never left him.
He looked out to the sea, watching the moonlight settle on the waves. All was at peace.
Of course, except for him.
"Oh, where are you?" he asked softly to himself. Nobody was around to hear him, and he probably sounded crazy.
There were probably a good few on the castle's staff who thought he really was crazy. There were probably some who doubted him that this man existed. Something inside of Pinocchio urged him to try and prove them wrong, that this man was real and he was going to hear that voice again.
He just didn't know when and where he'd hear it again.
All of a sudden, he heard the water below the balcony ripple almost unnaturally, as though there was something – or someone – down there, splashing around.
Pinocchio quickly looked down to see what the ruckus was but there was nothing. Although, he could have sworn he saw a flash of green dive back below the waves, disappearing into crests of sea-foam.
He shook his head, having been all too hopeful.