A TALE TOLD
Tina Cramer and Dawn Yzaguirre


  (Based on an original story concept by L. Campanelli and M.M. Shelly Moore as related in the book “The Unseen B & B”)

Original Story Premise & Overview

Catherine comes down with a bad case of the flu and must stay home to recover. Vincent visits and when he asks Catherine if she would like him to read to her, she tells him she would prefer it if he made up a story. As Vincent tells the tale, Catherine envisions herself and Vincent as the heroine and the hero of the story. When Vincent completes his story with an unsatisfactory conclusion, Catherine insists that he provide the happy ending they both desire.

Author’s Notes:

We basically wrote this story to satisfy our own need for Vincent and Catherine to have an episode where they gain ground toward their happy life together. This is the type of story we think everyone truly wanted to see filmed for a Classic B & B 3rd season. The above referenced outline was taken from the book, The Unseen B & B. We just used it to fulfill one of the dreams we wanted to see come true for the characters.

We both feel like this is one of the uncovered gems that never had a chance to be put on film. The thinking here is that the story Vincent tells Catherine should be based on the Grimm version of the fairytale, Sleeping Beauty. We see Paracelcus playing the part of an evil sorcerer who casts a spell on the princess and puts her into a deep sleep. So you need to be keeping that in mind as you’re reading this.

We felt that you had to have Vincent playing the part of the prince/knight in shining armor to wake that princess up, right???????????

Anyway, we saw this as an opportunity to take an unused idea for the series and make it come to fruition. Neither one of us could leave it alone. As usual, no copyright infringement is intended.

And now their happy life begins.

Tina and Dawn
 


Chapter 1

It had been a long, hard Thursday in the New York City District Attorney’s Office. It was almost quitting time. Catherine Chandler sat at her desk surrounded by case files. She massaged her temple. She had a pounding headache. She felt terrible.

Joe Maxwell, her boss, walked up to Catherine’s desk. “Radcliffe, you don’t look so good. Lunch not agree with you.” He laughed.

"I'm not sure, Joe. It's probably nothing."

"Well, you actually look sort of green. Maybe you ought to take the rest of the afternoon off. You know I'll need you to be a 100% for the Mariano case starting next week."

"Thanks, Joe. Your concern for my well-being is touching." Catherine said sarcastically.

"I'm serious, Radcliffe."

"Well, I am a bit tired. Maybe if I go home, I can sleep it off. I'll check in with you later."
 
 

Chapter 2 (Catherine’s Apartment)

Catherine emerged from the elevator looking tired and weary from her long day. She fumbled with the keys to her apartment and finally got the door open. After sorting through the mail and checking the messages on her answering machine, she headed directly for the bathroom and a nice, hot shower.

After showering, she put on a terry cloth bathrobe over a pair of sweats and a t-shirt. She opened the medicine cabinet and pulled out a bottle of Tylenol. She still couldn’t shake this feeling of tiredness.

She decided that she should probably stay home tomorrow. Before lying down to take a nap, she picked up the phone and made a call to Joe. She left a message on his machine.

"Hi Joe. It's Cathy."

"I think I've got the flu. I don't think I'll be in tomorrow. I'll check in with you then."

After leaving Joe a message, Catherine headed directly for her bedroom. Maybe a nap will do the trick she thought. She knew Vincent could feel her uneasiness below but she simply couldn’t worry about that now. She was much too tired to care at this particular moment. Her head felt like an atomic bomb about to explode.

Meanwhile below, Vincent and Father were playing a nice, relaxing game of chess. But Father realized that Vincent’s mind was not on the game.

"Vincent…Vincent!!!" Father shouted at him.

Vincent looked at him as if coming out of a trance. "What, Father?"

"Are you OK, my son? What is it?"

"It's Catherine."

"What's wrong?"

"She is not feeling well. I must go to her."

"Do you think it is anything serious?"

"I don't know. I can sense her discomfort."

"Well, if it is anything serious, Vincent, promise me you'll let me know. I'll do whatever I can to help."

"I will, Father." I will."
 
 

Chapter 3

Vincent stepped onto the balcony. The snow had been falling. It was icy and cold on the open balcony floor. Vincent tapped quietly on the French doors to Catherine’s bedroom. But Catherine did not answer. Vincent tapped a little louder on the window pane.

He could see Catherine in her bed under the covers trying to sleep but she seemed to be tossing and turning quite a bit. She looked very uncomfortable. Vincent was now very concerned.

She called out quietly into the black night, "Vincent?"

Vincent entered the apartment. Catherine had left the balcony doors unlocked and Vincent entered her bedroom. He removed his cloak and boots and moved to sit beside Catherine on the bed.

"Catherine, you're ill. I could feel your weariness and discomfort."

"I'm so glad you came." I think I'm coming down with the flu."

Vincent placed the back of his fur-covered hand on her forehead. Catherine definitely had a fever. She was burning up. "I believe you are correct. Are you chilled?"

"A little." At that response, Vincent wrapped another blanket around her.

"We must get this fever down. I'll be right back." Vincent rose from the bed but Catherine reached out for him.

'Vincent, don't leave me." She whispered.

"Ssh, I'm just going to get a wet washcloth for your forehead. I won't leave you. I'm right here." And he gently set her head back down on the pillow.

Vincent spent the next three hours applying a wet washcloth to Catherine’s forehead and watching her fitful sleep as he was desperately trying to get her fever down.

Catherine finally fell asleep. It was almost midnight. Vincent silently watched over her as she slept. He continued to hold her in his arms as her head lie across his chest.
 

Chapter 4

The alarm clock read 8:30 a.m. Catherine had slept most of the night and it seemed as if her fever had broken. She was cuddled close to Vincent’s warm body and nestled herself in his arms.

Bright sunshine invaded the bedroom. Vincent finally awoke and realized where he was. He looked down at this woman that he loved with a contented sigh on his face. He smiled down at her. Oh, to have her with him like this for always.

.

Catherine began to stir in his arms. Vincent released his arms around her and laid her head back against the pillows.

"Vincent, Vincent?" Catherine whispered in a very sleepy voice.

"I'm here, Catherine."

Catherine sat up in bed as she wiped the sleepy dust from her rested eyes. She seemed to be feeling much better.

“Thank God...I wasn’t dreaming...you’re really here.”

“I know…I’m here…I’m real.” Catherine squeezed his arm to reassure herself that it was so.

Catherine turned to Vincent with a look of panic on her face as she realized that it was daylight outside.

"Vincent, do you know what time it is?? How long have I been sleeping?"

"Long enough."

"How did you know??? How will you let everyone know where you are?"

"Father knows where I am."

"He knows." Catherine gave him an astonished look as she rubbed her sleepy eyes.

"There's no need to worry. I wanted to stay to make sure you were all right.

Are you feeling better?"

"Yes."

"Well, you should be. You've been sleeping for quite a long time."

"Oh, Vincent, you should have gotten me up."

"But you were in such a deep sleep and you needed the rest. Your fever broke a few hours ago. I wanted to stay with you in case you needed anything."

Her eyes looked up at Vincent as if to say all she needed was him. Unspoken thoughts engulfed their bond and there was a long silence between them.

"I wish you would not have let me sleep so long."

"Ahhh, but you looked so peaceful sleeping there. Almost like an angel. I hated to wake you up."

"You were watching me sleep." Catherine gave that thought ample time to sink in. That thought, however unnerving, was in its own way quite thrilling to Catherine.

"You mean you stayed here in bed with me as I slept??” Catherine asked questionly.

“Yes…” Vincent said breathlessly.

Catherine’s breath quickened as Vincent answered her question. Catherine was amazed. Only in times of dire need did Vincent allow himself to be that close to her.

“Vincent, you must be exhausted."

"Actually, I'm fine."

Some more quiet moments passed before them. Vincent began to rise from the bed but Catherine stopped him.

"No, Vincent, don't. Please stay." She reached for his hand and pulled him back next to her.

“But Catherine…” Vincent asked quietly.

“Please, Vincent. Please stay for me.

"Would you like me to read to you?" Do you feel up to it?"

"Oh yes. Only I have a better idea.

Why don't you tell me a story?"

"Tell you a story. You mean as in "Once upon a time..."

"Yes, as in “once upon a time.” You could make one up. You have made up stories before, haven't you?" Catherine says lightheartedly. "I've heard you tell the children stories at night. You do remember how, don't you?"

Vincent smiled down at her with an amused look on his face.

"Yes, I do remember how.”

“Alright, I’ll do it but you must promise me you'll try to sleep again after I'm finished."

"I promise." Catherine looked up at him with all the love she possessed burning in her eyes. Then she settled in against his chest and Vincent begins to tell his fairytale about a beautiful princess who fell asleep by having a spell put on her by an evil sorcerer.

"Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, there were a king and queen who said every day, “Ah, if only we had a child.” But they never had one. But it happened that once when the queen was bathing a frog crept out of the water onto the land, and said to her “Your wish shall be fulfilled, before a year has gone by, you shall have a daughter.”

What the frog had said came true, and the queen had a little girl who was so pretty that the king could not contain himself for joy, and ordered a great feast. He invited not only his kindred, friends and acquaintances, but also three wise women, in order that they might be kind and well disposed towards the child. There were thirteen of them in his kingdom, but, as he had only twelve golden plates for them to eat out of, one of them had to be left at home.

The feast was held with all manner of splendor and when it came to an end the wise women bestowed their magic gifts upon the child – one gave virtue, another beauty, a third riches, and so on with everything in the world that one can wish for.

When the eleven of them had made their promises, suddenly the thirteenth came in. He wished to avenge himself for not having been invited, and without greeting or even looking at anyone, he credited with a loud voice, “The king’s daughter shall in her fifteenth year prick herself with a spindle, and fall down dead.” And, without saying a word more, he turned around and left the room.

They were all shocked, but the twelfth, whose good wish still remained unspoken, came forward, and as she could not undo the evil sentence, but only soften it, she said, it shall not be death, but a deep sleep of a hundred years, into which the princess shall fall.

The king, who would fain keep his dear child from the misfortune, gave orders that every spindle in the whole kingdom should be burnt. Meanwhile, the gifts of the wise old women were plenteously fulfilled on the young girl, for she was so beautiful, modest, good-natured, and wise, that everyone who saw her was bound to love her.

It happened that on the very day when she was fifteen years old, the king and queen were not at home, and the maiden was left in the palace quite alone. So she went around into all sorts of places, looked into rooms and bedchambers just as she liked, and at last came to an old tower. She climbed up the narrow winding-staircase, and reached a little door. A rusty key was in the lock, and when she turned it the door sprang open, and there in a little room sat an old woman with a spindle, busily spinning her flax.

“Good day, old mother,” said the king’s daughter, “what are you doing there?”

“I am spinning,” said the old woman, and nodded her head.

“What sort of thing is that, that rattles round so merrily,” said the girl, and she took the spindle and wanted to spin too. But scarcely had she touched the spindle when the magic decree was fulfilled, and she pricked her finger on it.

And, in the very moment when she felt the prick, she fell down upon the bed that stood there, and lay in a deep sleep. And this sleep extended over the whole palace, the king and queen who had just come home, and had entered the great hall, began to go to sleep, and the whole of the court with them. The horses, too, went to sleep in the stable, the dogs in the yard, the pigeons upon the roof, the flies on the wall, even the fire that was flaring on the hearth became quiet and slept, the roast meat left off frizzling, and the cook, who was just going to pull the hair of the scullery boy, because he had forgotten something, let him go, and went to sleep. And the wind fell, and on the trees before the castle not a leaf moved again.

But round about the castle there began to grow a hedge of thorns, which every year became higher, and at last grew close up round the castle and all over it, so that there was nothing of it to be seen, not even the flag upon the roof. But the story of the beautiful sleeping Briar Rose, for so the princess was named, went about the country, so that from time to time kings’ sons came and tried to get through the thorny hedge into the castle. But they found it impossible for the thorns held fast together, as if they had hands, and the youths were caught in them, could not get loose again, and died a miserable death.

After long, long years, a king’s son came again to that country, and heard an old man talking about the thorn hedge, and that a castle was said to stand behind it in which a wonderfully beautiful princess, named Briar Rose, had been asleep for a hundred years, and that the king and queen and the whole court were asleep likewise. He had heard, too, from his father, that many king’ sons had already come, and had tried to get through the thorn-hedge, but they had remained sticking fast in it, and had died a pitiful death.

Then the prince said, “I am not afraid, I will go and see the beautiful Briar Rose.” His father might dissuade him as he would, he did not listen to his words.

But by this time the hundred years had just passed, and the day had come when Briar Rose was to awake again. When the king’s son came near to the thorn-hedge, it was nothing but large and beautiful flowers, which parted from each other of their own accord, and let him pass unhurt, then they closed again behind him like a hedge. In the castle yard, he saw the horses and the spotted hounds lying asleep upon the wall, the cook in the kitchen was till holding out his hand to seize the boy, and the maid was sitting by the black hen which she was going to pluck.

The prince made his way to a large wooden door. He opened the door and there he first saw the beautiful Briar Rose. He entered the room and slowly began to approach her. But suddenly the evil sorcerer appeared. He leered at him then in a puff of smoke turned into a fire-breathing dragon. He lunged at him as the prince pulled out his sword. He fought valiantly but quickly found that the dragon was too strong. He knocked him off his feet then backed off. He started to rise believing that he was going to spare his life. But suddenly he lunged at him once again striking him dead with one of his claws. The prince fell dead at his feet. And the beautiful Briar Rose remained in her deep sleep forever because the prince had failed to protect her.

As Vincent is telling Catherine the story, Catherine is drifting in and out of sleep. As she is sleeping, Catherine imagines all the parts of the story with her and Vincent playing out the parts of the prince and the princess.

When Vincent finishes the story, Catherine wakes up with a very somber look on her face.

Vincent asked, "What's wrong? You look sad."

"That is the worst ending I've ever heard to a fairytale, Vincent. I thought all fairytales were suppose to have happy endings."

"Not every fairytale can end happily."

"Well, this one needs to. I think you need to change the ending."

"But...Catherine…don’t you see." Vincent protests.

“No, I don’t see...I think there could be a more fitting ending to this story. Fairytales need to have happy endings, Vincent. If you can’t believe in fairytales, what can you believe in?” Catherine asked questionly.

Then Catherine begins to tell Vincent her version of the fairytale. As Catherine is telling the rest of the story, Vincent imagines himself as the prince. In Catherine’s story, the prince awakens the beautiful Briar Rose from her sleep with a kiss.

Catherine’s Version of the Ending

He went on farther, and in the great hall he saw the whole of the court lying asleep, and up by the throne lay the king and queen. Then he went on still farther, and all was so quiet that a breath could be heard, and at last he came to the tower, and opened the door into the little room where Briar Rose was sleeping.

There she lay, so beautiful that he could not turn his eyes away, and he stooped down and gave her a kiss. But soon as he kissed her, the beautiful Briar Rose opened her eyes and awoke, and looked up at him quite sweetly.

Then they went down together, and the king awoke, and the queen, and the whole court, and looked at each other in great astonishment. And the horses in the courtyard stood up and shook themselves, the hounds jumped up and wagged their tails, the pigeons upon the roof pulled out their heads from under their wings, looked round, and flew into the open country, the flies on the wall crept again, the fire in the kitchen burned up and flickered and cooked the meat, the joint began to turn and sizzle again, and the cook gave the boy such a box on the ear that he screamed, and the maid finished plucking the fowl.

And then the marriage of the king’s song with the beautiful Briar Rose was celebrated in splendor, and they lived contented to the end of their days.

“Now Vincent, that’s how a fairytale should end…happily ever after.”

As Catherine is telling her version of the story, she looks longingly at Vincent and Vincent looks away. He feels this is something that can never be between them. He knows what Catherine is thinking.
 
 

Chapter 5 (Night on Catherine's Balcony)

Vincent and Catherine are holding hands and looking out into the city. Both of them have the memory of the end of the fairytale on their minds.

"I must leave, Catherine."

"I know you must."

"Are you sure you're feeling better?"

"Yes, I am."

"Vincent, I want to thank you for taking care of me last night." And Catherine reaches up to cup his face in her hands.

"It was my pleasure, Princess Catherine." Vincent tells her lightheartedly and Vincent pulls Catherine's other hand up to kiss the back of it. Catherine smiles and wraps her arms around his neck. “Vincent, do you know how much I love you?” She asked. He suddenly got very quiet. “When you were telling me that fairytale I imagined that I was Briar Rose and you were the handsome prince. Vincent sighs sadly. “But Catherine that was only a fairytale. I am not a handsome prince.” He told her sadly. Catherine smiles and cups his cheek with her hand. “That is where you are very wrong Vincent.” She told him. “You are my handsome prince and I am your princess.” She explained. Vincent is very touched by her declaration. Vincent stares into her eyes and then leans down and kisses Catherine softly.

Catherine is overwhelmed by Vincent's gesture. Finally!!!! Finally, he understands, she thought. He finally is able to express his love for me. Catherine then leans into him even more to intensify her response to his kiss with one of her own. They are lost in each other and in the moment.

Catherine put her arms around Vincent's neck and they embrace as their happy life begins.
 
    

P.S. NOW IF THAT'S NOT THE WAY A TRUE FAIRYTALE SHOULD BE TOLD THEN WE DON'T KNOW WHAT IS!!!!!! <G>