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Cross posted from Madrona

Title: Too Much Partying
Author: kira
Word Count: 881
World: Capital city of Madrona
Main Characters: Prince Julian, Princess Friederike, Queen Margarita, King Maximilliano
Borrow: yes
Summary: The prince has a cold and is tired of everything…
Author’s Note: Thanks to my beta Kat for reading this over for me.


Prince Julian stood out on the balcony, watching the snow fall. He was tired of the endless partying, the boring nobles who came to wish him well on his upcoming marriage, his sister’s new baby, and just about everything he could think of, especially his cold. Said cold reared its ugly head again and the crown prince sneezed and wiped his dripping nose with his handkerchief. He shivered even though he felt warm enough to be out there without his winter furs. He half sighed, half coughed, his breath coming out in a warm puff that briefly hung in the air as a small white cloud.

Inside the palace, Princess Friederike Sophia was busy looking for her intended. She knew he was cranky and out of sorts as he was not feeling well, and she was rather worried about him. Unfortunately, his presence was required at the ball tonight as his parents were giving it in his honor. She searched high and low for him, with no success and was about to head back into the ballroom, when she noticed an open door leading to the balcony. Drawing her wrap around her shoulders, Princess Friederike stepped outside. There in the shadows was her beloved. “Your Highness…? Julian…?” she said softly.

“Fritzi?” Prince Julian sneezed as he turned to face her. “You’d better get inside, before you catch yourself death of cold.” He sneezed again.

“I was about to say the same to you.” She smiled and took his hand. “Please come inside, Julian, everyone’s looking for you.”

“I’m tired of all the stupid parties.”

“I know, I am too, but duty calls.”

“Duty can stuff itself.”

“Julian!”

“Sorry, but I’ve got a terrible headache, my head’s all stuffy, and my nose keeps dripping, and all I really want to do is get back into bed and sleep.”

“I know,” she soothed, “but you need to make an appearance.”

“What do you think I’ve been doing all evening?”

“Please, Julian, do it for me, if no one else.”

He sighed, bringing on a coughing fit. “Fine,” he said. “I’ll go in, but one dance and just with you and then I’m done.”

“Agreed.” She brushed the snow off his shoulders and smoothed the lines of his dress uniform. “I’ll make your excuses to the Queen.”

“I’m old enough to tell my mother I don’t feel well,” Prince Julian said, although he dreaded the fussing that was sure to follow that statement when he finally told her. Taking her arm, he went back inside with Princess Friederike. They entered the ballroom together and to make it easier to make their way through the crowds, Prince Julian swept his beloved out onto the dance floor. They swirled and danced with the rest of the revelers slowly making their way to the dais where the King and Queen of Madrona sat, watching the festivities.

Upon reaching the dais, they bowed deeply to the King and Queen. “Your Majesties,” they said.

“My son,” Queen Margarita said. She nodded for him to continue.

“Mother,” he said softly, looking up at her. “I’m not feeling well and rather than make everyone sick, would it be possible to retire early to my rooms?” He coughed.

Queen Margarita beckoned him forward. She placed a cool hand on his forehead, not liking how warm he felt. “You may go, my son. Feel better, Julian.” She stood and raised her voice over the music. “My fellow revelers, I regret to inform you that my darling Julian, in whose honor this ball is being held, is not feeling well. He does send his apologies and wishes for everyone to carry on as if he were still here.” She smiled at her guests. “Carry on.” She sat down and took her husband’s hand, giving it a gentle squeeze.

“He’ll be fine, my dear,” King Desiderio Maximilliano said as they watched their son and his intended slip away into the crowd. “Let her first duty as his intended to nurse him back to health.” He winked at her.

“Maximilliano!” Her cheeks heated up.

“My darling, they’re good kids and won’t do anything foolish.”

“I know, dear Husband.”

Bringing her hand to his lips, he kissed her fingers. “Come, let’s dance.” Getting up, the King helped her to her feet. He helped down off the dais, before sweeping her off onto the dance floor.

While the King and Queen danced the night away, Prince Julian and Princess Friederike made their way to the royal family’s private quarters. When they reached his room, the Princess summoned some servants to help the Prince change into his bedclothes and get into bed.

“Good night, Julchen,” Princess Friederike said. She leaned over and kissed his brow.

“Night, Fritzi…”

“Sleep well, my love, and I’ll see you in the morning.”

“You too…” he murmured as sleep overtook him. For the first time since he became ill, he slept soundly, dreaming of his beloved while the snow covered the palace in a blanket of white. When he woke up the next morning, Prince Julian may have still been sick, but he was feeling a lot better than he had been. Feeling rested, he was ready to face the myriad of parties his mother had planned for the rest of the holiday season.

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