Chapter 47 - Arrival

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Waking up was liking rising out of water and gasping for air to stop yourself from drowning. I was hit at all my senses all at once, first the brightness of wherever I was, then the warmth of wherever I was, and then the sound. The sound of what felt like a million voices shouting my name. It took a while for me to adjust, watching everything come in to focus as before my eyes I was met with Alex's own dark brown orbs staring me down.

"You're fine." He whispered, his voice echoing slightly as a small smile appeared on his face. "You're home."

I furrowed my brows slightly, trying to understand what he meant by home. I took it upon myself to actually try to see the space around me and I found myself in what looked like a room out of a royal's castle. I was in the bed and Alex was sat on the edge of the bed beside me with a huge grin on his face like he'd just won something. I didn't bother asking why he looked so happy. I was too busy trying to process things. Like the white night dress I was wearing underneath the sheets. And the sheets themselves, decorated with intricate embroidery that matched the curtains by the windows opposite me. And the large dressing table to my right, with a decorated mirror and perfumes and bottles of God knows what. You're home.

"We made it." I finally said once piecing everything together. "We made it."
"Hell yeah, we did." Alex nudged me playfully before tapping the bed repeatedly and jumping to his feet. "Everyone is waiting for you in the banquet hall, so you need to get dressed. And you need your crown. I'd dress you if I was female, you know, given that I'm your guardian but I'm not, so your mother's guardian will come do it." He said, walking to the door and opening it, his grin still on his face. "She's ready for you, Miranda."

I was about to ask him what the hell he was on about when an older woman came in, dressed in what looked like a maid's clothing and a bright smile on her aging face. She stopped upon looking at me, bringing a hand up to her mouth as her eyes welled up with tears.

"You look just like her." She whispered, coming over to the bedside quickly, taking a long look at me before gushing softly and ushering​ me out the​ bed. Given that I had no idea what was going on, I just let her. I didn't argue, I didn't question her muttering to herself as she moved me in front of a wardrobe. I didn't even ask what was going on as she rummaged through the clothes inside the wardrobe and pulled out a rather expensive looking gown. "Your mother wore this on her first day at court. I figured you'd love to wear it too." She said finally, facing with a shy smile as she glanced from the dress to me and then back at the dress again.

"My mother wore it?" I repeated, far more alert now that I was actually awake. "How do you know, did you dress her?"

"Did you not hear the words of your guardian?" She asked with a look of confusion before chuckling softly. "The trip here must have hit you hard. I was your mother's guardian, God bless. I dressed her, I felt her pain, her happiness, I advised her, I fought for her." She explained as she took me hand and led me to a changing screen. "I was the one that helped her escape to Earth. I didn't have a clue if she was alive or dead... It wasn't until the Shadow came back with her body that we were sure." She trailed off, looking down at the floor for a few seconds before blinking and putting a smile on her face. "But you're here now which means she succeeded in her mission. Now, quick, quick, put this on, everyone's dying to meet you."

For someone who rarely wore dresses in the past and was now thrown into a mediaeval gown, I found great difficulty in getting comfortable. It took three maids to tighten my corset ( yes, a corset ) and tie off any loose ends and another maid to do my hair. It wasn't the corset that gave me trouble breathing, however. It was my reflection. With a tiara sitting neatly on my head as if it had always been there, and my gown fitting perfectly, with the top being the darkest shade of black and the skirt section being a gold coloured material which was designed in all sorts of folds but in a way that wasn't overdone.

All four of us were silent as we stared at my reflection, even I was too dumfounded to come up with anything to say. I couldn't believe this was me. The same girl who was a waitress at an Italian restaurant and knew nothing about fighting or royalty until a few weeks ago. That same girl was now on another planet where she is a queen and has a kingdom to rule and was dressed in an expensive dress and smelt like all things nice. That girl is me. That queen is me.

Thankfully, we were all saved the job of breaking the silence when there was a knock on the door and Miranda gave permission for whoever it was to walk in. We all turned to face Alex who had also been dressed up into royal clothing, and he had been mid-sentence when he stopped upon seeing me. A wide green formed on his face before he bowed, quite over dramatically in my opinion, then rose up and placed his hands behind his back. "Your majesty."

I didn't know what else to do besides nod my head in response with a small smile. "I'm guessing you're ready to go downstairs? I forgot how easily impatient Lords and Ladies are, your majesty."
"Alex, I think we can both agree that I'm much more comfortable if you just call me Chris." I said with a light laugh before turning to look Miranda and smiling at her warmly. "Thank you so much. For the dress and the stories. I do hope you'll be able to tell me more. You seem to know my mother quite well."
"I grew up with her, so I have a lifetime of stories to tell you." She chuckled before taking my face in her hands and planting a soft kiss on my forehead. "Now go before they start an uprising."

I nodded and quickly joined Alex's side, looping my arm through his as he led me out my room and down many many stairs. Although I remained silent, he seemed to be able to read everything I was feeling.

"Relax," he said softly, stopping me just before the doors of the banquet hall. "You're going to be fine. I'm here with you. That's my job. Serve and protect."
"That's an awful attempt at reassuring me." I replied, mostly jokingly. "How do I know they're not going to think that I'm too inexperienced to run a kingdom? Or that I've been living the life of a human for too long?"
"They won't because you're going to show them how good of a leader you are." He said, taking my hands and giving them a light squeeze. "Now, let's go in, and you slay those rich people."

I rolled my eyes, fighting back a smile before turning to face the doors as they opened. It couldn't have been more dramatic with all the people at the table turning their heads to look in our direction, whatever conversation happening before being put on hold to make room for the silence. It wasn't until I stepped into the room that there was movement, everyone getting up from the table and bowing in my direction. I couldn't help but feel a smile creep onto my face as Alex led me to the head of the table where there was a space empty for me, and the space on its left empty for Alex. To it's right were where Steve and Natasha sat, both in some kind of medieaval wear. I ignored the look that Steve gave me, knowing that if I paid attention to it, I'll look far too deeply into its meaning. Now was not the time to get distracted.

Now was the time to prepare for war.

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