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Title: Guardians (because I couldn't think of anything better)
Fandom: Pan's Labyrinth
Rating: PG-13 for language
Summary: SPOILERS ABOUND. This happens near the end of the film. A faun's stubborness withers away due to a persistent fairy, loyal to their last hope of survival.
Disclaimer: All of these characters belong to Guillermo del Toro. Not me.

"Foolish child!" The faun paced the room in agitation, his limbs creaking like the branches of a very old tree. It only made sense that he should make those similar noises as well; he was very old himself. The oldest of his kind, the last time he checked. The other fauns were too busy playing their pipes, dancing, feasting, and having fun with the nymphs. Pan used to be like them, but time had worn him down, and the return of Princess Moanna to her rightful throne was all that really mattered to him now. Oh, he could drink and be merry if need be, but there was hardly an occasion to do so with Princess Moanna gone. The absence of the princess seemed to have taken all the happiness away from the kingdom. It was darker, and it only seemed to become even more dark as the king and queen's agitation grew as the full moon approached. The torches on the wall provided very little light to see by, and the beauty of the land was incomprehensible to those who had not seen it in its former glory.

"How are we supposed to tell their Majesties what happened?" Pan groaned, tugging at his fur anxiously. "They will be devastated! If they knew what happened...they would never...never take her back! And we'll be done for, all of us. Without Moanna...our Realm will cease to exist!" Not to mention the fact that they would have my hide if they knew how close their daughter came to becoming the dinner of the Pale Man, he wanted to add, but thought it best to leave that detail out.

The fairy sat perched on the edge of the wooden dresser in the extravagant room, her foot tapping impatiently. She had watched the events proceed with as little judgement as possible. She was hurt that her sisters had died, but what could she do? What was done was done. "I'm going to go and check on Moanna," the fairy told the faun. "I'll be back while you think about what you're going to do." To human ears, all they could hear were the squeaks and chitterings of a small fairy, but the faun, being fae himself, could understand every word.

"That's awfully cruel of you, Estella," Pan growled, glaring at the fairy. "You know as well as I do that we're done for."

"Maybe. Maybe not." With that being said, the fairy stood up and took off, flying out the open window to the human realm.

The girl's room was empty when Estella arrived in her mantis form, and she kept close to the corners in the ceiling and the shadows. She didn't want to be caught, not even by Moanna. Why isn't she here? Estella wondered. She should be in bed right now.

The door opened, and Estella could feel her little heart jump start as Moanna was dragged into the room by Captain Vidal, followed by three other soldiers. Moanna looked wet from the rain, tired, and very frightened. Estella crept along the wall quietly so as to get closer and to hear what they were saying.

"How long have you known about this?" The Captain demanded, holding Moanna by the arms with an iron grip. Estella could sense the rage and cruelty surging from his aura. She kept herself as close to the wall as possible. She had never liked this man. She could see the blood red of his aura in perfect clarity even now, just as she always did. She always made sure to stay out of his way. As with any other adult, he would never be able to see her for what she truly was; but she was very sure that he would have no problem smashing her even if he did know that she was a fairy.

The Captain shook Moanna, and when the girl said nothing, only letting out pants of frightened breaths, he slapped her across the cheek. Estella cringed, anger surging through her little veins. No one, no one, hit their princess. Not even a human. She kept her anger in check, though, knowing that to run to the girl's defense would only make things worse. Whatever had happened, it was quite serious, and she needed to listen. Listen, and then act, she told herself, willing the rage to calm down.

Moanna looked as if she were about to cry as the Captain forced her to look at him again. "How long have you been laughing at me? Little bitch!" He pinched her ear roughly, then let her go. "Watch her!" Vidal ordered his troops, removing his cap to smooth his dark hair back. His voice was frighteningly calm in comparison to the dark churning of his aura that the fairy could see from her hiding place.

"And if anyone tries to get in," he continued, "kill her first." He turned away coldly, leaving the room. His men soon followed, shutting the door behind them and locking it. Moanna watched them leave, her hand held to her injured cheek, and the tears began to flow. She sat down on the bed and began to sob; Estella could only watch on helplessly at the girl's sadness. They'll kill her if I don't do something, Estella thought, crawling over the small hole in the roof which she had entered from. She flew as quickly as she could to the Labyrinth, returning to the faun's quarters.

"Well?" Pan placed his hands on his hips. "I hope she's learned her lesson. I've decided I'm just going to tell the king and queen the truth. Better let them mourn properly before we all vanish."

Estella fluttered in the air before him and glared. "I went to visit Moanna."

"Yes, I know, you told me. Now come on, I need to go tell their Majesties what has happened." The faun turned to leave the room, but Estella flew in front of him, shaking her head furiously, stopping him in his tracks.

"Oh no you don't. You know what it's been like, up there, in the human world," Estella said.

"Yes, yes. Mankind and their useless wars. Why should this concern us?" Pan waved his hand, trying to make his pet move.

"Moanna's still up there, and things are getting worse! Her mother destroyed the very mandrake root that you gave her that would have brought her back to health, dying in the process. The war is becoming more dangerous; Moanna tried escaping that man Vidal's mill, but he caught them, and..." Estella couldn't bring herself to finish the sentence. She was still angry at the way Vidal had treated their last hope for their kingdom.

"Moanna failed her task! You know that as well as I do," Pan pointed out. "She ate from the Pale Man's table, she didn't complete the task within the allotted time."

"But she did complete it! We have the dagger! That's what should matter," Estella cried, coming to Moanna's defense immediately, without question.

"Your sisters are dead because of her. What about that?"

"Moanna is from both worlds. She isn't fully mortal, but she isn't one of us completely either. Humans make mistakes. They always do. So what, she made one mistake? I am sad that my sisters are gone, but...they would have been happy. If anything, they would much have rather died defending the princess than meeting the fate that you think so readily awaits us. They died protecting her, and I think there is no greater way to be killed than that," Estella declared.

Pan scowled, his fingers playing with his fur idly. The fairy's loyalty and defense of the girl Ofelia was impressive. If anything, it was starting to convince him that they didn't make a mistake after all. The real princess Moanna would draw those from their realm to be very loyal to her..."You have a point," he muttered. Estella's face brightened up with hope in response to his statement. "But you haven't convinced me completely," he told her, turning away.

"She's trapped in her room. She can't get out. Vidal called her a horrible name...what humans call a 'bitch'." The words came out with a bitter taste to them, in Estella's opinion, and she hated saying it. On the brighter side, it got a reaction out of the faun. He stiffened, and she could practically hear his nostrils flaring.

"He hit her, too. He hit princess Moanna, Pan, right across the face," she continued. Pan looked over his shoulder and Estella shivered slightly at the anger she saw there.

"He did what?" His voice was grave, and she knew that although Pan was very old, his anger was relentless. "That human...did what?"

"He hit her, and if anyone tries to see her, she'll be killed. She needs us, Pan, more than ever. Give her one more chance. We can save her, and everyone else, too. Please, give her one more chance," Estella pleaded, folding her hands prayer-like before her. It was their last hope.

The faun paced for a moment, his limbs creaking, until he finally stopped, turning to her. "I suppose I could. If Her Highness requires our assistance, then we shall come to her aid." The faun moved towards the door, and Estella let him go this time, following him closely. She smiled to herself; he acted so calm now, but she knew every ounce of his being was dying to get his hands on the human Vidal and tear him apart.

"You care for her, don't you?" Estella teased, flying close.

Pan sniffed. "She's our princess. Of course I care. I'd be a horrible agent of the King if I didn't."

"Right. Of course." Estella giggled into her hand. Oh, he would never admit his anger. He would never tell anyone how cruel he could really get, all in the name of Princess Moanna. Fauns were, according to the story books, supposed to be happy, carefree creatures that played music, danced, and ate to their hearts content. The fact that they could be murderers and far more darker creatures never occurred to anyone. Of course, they would never admit their darker feelings to anyone else, let alone themselves, so that had a lot to do with what humans thought they knew about fauns. But such is the way of fauns, Estella thought as they went to Moanna's rescue, the fate of their entire kingdom in their hands.

Date: 2007-01-22 04:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Very nice! One tiny correction, though...the monster in the hall with the food? He's called The Pale Man. That's the name the creatures in the underground kingdom use for him. (Yeah, I, um, have kind of spent waaaaay too long anticipating and researching fun facts about this, nine months...which is the only reason I know that...)

Date: 2007-01-22 04:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

No worries!!! I know he was called the Pale Man. For some odd reason I didn't call him that when I wrote it, but I'll correct it. :3

Share some of the fun facts! :D I loved the movie (and so downloaded it off of the internet) and wouldn't mind knowing more about it.

Date: 2007-01-23 06:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, wow...where to begin? Well, the most interesting fact for me, personally, was more about Guillermo del Toro's associations with Alfonso Cuarón and Alejandro Gonzáles Iñarritu and their whole little close knit group of actors that they always how at first, del Toro had the lead actress from All About My Mother cast as Mercedes and Alfonso Cuarón jumped in before he could contact her and insisted that he check out this other actress that he had used in Y Tú Mamá También instead and wouldn't lay off until she was cast (it was a cuuuute story, Guillermo apparently sent flowers to Alfonso afterwards with a teasing note about how grateful he was to have such a nagging "wife"). Um...the location where they filmed was actually where Guillermo took his daughter on their first country trip when they moved to Spain and apparently the way she kept saying it was like a fairy tale was part of the inspiration for the movie (or at least using that particular location). There's tons more that actually has to do with the film itself, like more complete stories about the underground kingdom, but 4 chapters of Music Business reading zapped my brain. I'll remember tomorrow...

Date: 2007-01-23 04:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
When I went to Germany, and we went to the Black Forest, that's how I felt about it. You could practically feel the magic teeming from that place, it was pretty I can understand why places like those can inspire the right people in creating something awesome like that.

Ooo, yes, please!!! The Underground Realm is what I'm particularly interested in; I want to write a fic, but I want to be sure I do it right.

Date: 2007-02-05 06:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ack...I never got back to you on this! Well, here are a couple things; supposedly, the reason at the end that the court in the kingdom is all sunshiney despite being underground was because of regret on the king's part for never letting his daughter see the sun and therefore driving her to escape and die. He created the false sunlight so that it would help draw her back. And apparently, while del Toro won't confirm or deny if the kingdom is real, if it IS real then the reason Ofelia saw her mother as the Queen was because her mother WAS the Queen and encouraged her to give up believing in magic and whatnot and married the Captain and bore his child all as a test to see if she really was strong enough to resist the corruption of the mortal world.

Date: 2007-02-03 09:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I like this alot.

Pan love!

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