Notes: Spoilers for Season Two's Mad Grey Dawn. Canon-typical violent imagery. For Ladies Bingo, prompt "myth/fable".
Summary: This princess was born to love a dragon, and Tabitha’s kisses tasted like fire, burning Barbara all the way down to her toes.
When Barbara was a little girl, she read storybooks full of fairytales about beautiful princesses with golden hair and lovely smiles. The princesses in these storybooks would be saved from the scary dragon by a knight in shining armour, and Barbara’s young fingers would trace over the illustrations, following the lines of the knight’s proud back and his gleaming sword.
“I want to be a princess when I grow up,” she remembers telling her parents.
They had looked through her the same way they always did, as if Barbara were more a ghost than a person. “Not now, dear,” her parents had said, and their voices weren’t unkind but the words always hurt just the same. There was never a right time, her parents were always distracted by adult concerns, and they’d wave Barbara off as if she were a small woodland creature nipping at their heels.
Barbara read her storybooks long into the night. Her parents never checked to see why her light was on after bedtime - as long as she was quiet, Barbara’s parents never checked on her at all.
The years passed and Barbara grew up to have golden hair and a lovely smile, but she could not find her knight in shining armour. She met many pretty boys and girls and she kissed them all, but none of them were her true love. Some were a fleeting presence in her life, gossamer affairs, and others tore at her deeply when they left, taking a piece of Barbara’s poor battered heart with them.
When Jim walked into her life, Barbara knew instantly who he was. Jim was her knight in shining armour, his back proud and his police badge gleaming. She loved him with all her soul, because the storybooks told her so.
But it wasn’t enough.
Barbara believed her knight in shining armour was her true love, but Jim thought otherwise. He slipped through her fingers, and Barbara raged and cried and shook so hard her bones rattled.
The next man she met was no knight. He was an ogre, twisted and ugly inside. But the ogre showed Barbara that not all princesses were kind and forgiving, and he freed Barbara from her pain.
There had never been a right time when she was younger to get her parents to see her. The night the ogre took Barbara to visit them, they saw her finally, but by then it was too late, their blood on the floor and their eyes glassy and dull.
The ogre died that night, and Barbara was alone once again.
She was locked behind bars after that, and she waited for her knight in shining armour to rescue her, but he did not. Instead, with a roar and a cloud of smoke, a dragon swooped into the dungeon and stole Barbara away.
The dragon was named Tabitha, and she was exquisite. Her dark clothes shone like leathery hide and glittering scales, and she never looked lovelier than she did with blood on her face. She was vicious and cruel and exhilarating, and Barbara realised that a knight in shining armour was not her destiny. No, this princess was born to love a dragon, and Tabitha’s kisses tasted like fire, burning Barbara all the way down to her toes.
Tabitha taught Barbara how best to use a whip, the crack of it like a dragon’s tail whipping through the air. She taught Barbara how good it felt to be tied down, leather snug around her wrists and metal chains clanking against the bed frame. She taught Barbara to scream through her pleasure and laugh through her pain, her scales smooth under Barbara’s hands and her skin hot under Barbara’s lips.
Barbara was the dragon’s treasure, her golden hair worth more than any jewels in Tabitha’s eyes. Their shared bed was like a dragon’s nest, and Tabitha would spread Barbara’s legs and fuck her fast and deep, her claws leaving pretty pink stripes down Barbara’s thighs.
Barbara’s parents had failed her, and Barbara’s knight in shining armour had failed her too. She’d made her parents pay, but it was time for Jim to feel her wrath, and Tabitha went with her, her hair sleek as dragon wings and her smile showing all her sharp teeth.
They stole Jim, the same way Tabitha had stolen Barbara, and Barbara put on her loveliest princess gown for the occasion. Tabitha kissed her roughly while they waited for Jim to wake from his dreamless sleep, Barbara’s knee up against Tabitha’s hip and her hand between Barbara’s legs.
But when Jim woke, Barbara did not find her revenge. Instead she was the one who slept, her body and her mind made quiet, a beauty sleeping peacefully, her pretty white dress stained red with her blood.
Barbara slept for a long, long time. It was not true love’s kiss that woke her, and her dragon was not waiting for her when she opened her eyes. Fairytales did not come true, not in the way they had in her storybooks.
But Barbara was still a princess and her happy ending was still out there, waiting for her to follow the smoke back to the lair of her dragon, to be together forevermore.