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Auberon and Titania

by ExOmelas

Warning: This work has been rated 16+.

A/N: If you don't know the story of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, I'm not entirely certain how much of this will make sense. Auberon and Titania are a somewhat estranged couple. Titania is with-holding their child from Auberon (I think I remember that right). Puck makes Titania fall in love with a man who has been turned into an ass (a donkey) and this is never really dealt with as being unconsesual and reducing Titania to something that Auberon and Puck can laugh at. Also they are all faeries.


"You know, my dear, I'm starting to think you've lost your sense of humour." Auberon plonked down on his throne and started picking at his toenails.

Titania pulled a clump of donkey fur from her hair and glared at him. "You made me fall in love with an ass!"

Auberon waved a dismissive hand. "Pfft, it was Puck's idea. You know how he can be!"

Titania folded her arms. "You look me in the eye and tell me you tried to stop him, or that you didn't laugh."

There was a long stretch of silence broken only by the tinkling of Auberon's wine into his glass. Then he sat back, holding the stem of the glass between his fingers. "See that's what I mean, Titania. You used to laugh too."

Titania snarled but stopped herself from saying anything. She unclenched her muscles and forced out, "We used to prank the mortals together, darling. We used to be a team!"

A smash of glass as Auberon hurled the wine at the wall. He sprang from his throne and shouted, "Team! Who are you to speak of teams! Where was your teamwork when you took my child from me?"

Titania strode right up into his face and spat as she said, "I tried to work with you. But how am I supposed to help you when you love your enchanted grapejuice more than you love me!"

Auberon's fist clenched around the neck of the bottle he was holding but he didn't say anything.

"I can help you," Titania said, her voice shaking, "But you have to let me in, Auberon."

Auberon looked up at her, his eyes starting to rim red. His disheveled hair fell in front of his brow, so much greyer than Titania ever remembered seeing it before. His antlers were splintering, in fact a little skelf seemed to be lodged in the top of his bottle.

"How, Titania?" he whispered, "How can you help me when you can't even bear to see me?"

"I want to see you," she replied, before he could go on in this vein. "I want to see the you I remember."

Auberon looked down at the ground, his shoulders juddering as for a few moments he just breathed. His voice cracked as he tried to speak louder than a whisper, "How... How do I find him?"

Titania took his hand, the one that was holding the bottle, and helped him to put it down on the ground behind him. Then she brought both her hands up to his ragged cheeks and kissed him lightly on the lips.

Barely moving away, she said, "I don't know. I don't know how to get you all the way there. But I have an idea for now."

"What?" he said, then spluttered as a tear fell into his mouth.

"Tell me how funny I was showering kisses on that ass."

Auberon's wrinkles curled upwards into a grin and he stepped backwards so he could spread his hands wide. He calmed his breathing for a moment then began, "Oh, my dear, it was hilarious! You looked like you'd never before seen such an Adonis in your life! And the way you untangled the little mane on the top of his head... You'd have loved it. I - hold on, wait."

Auberon sprang down the steps of the dais and started to lift a painting off the wall. It toppled towards him and Titania rushed to grab it. Grinning, they set it down a few paces away.

With a complex, balletic flourish, Auberon thrust his hands towards the wall. A spark of light flew from his index finger and clung to the wall, getting wider, and wider. It was brown, but grey and blue around the edges.

"Auberon...?" Titania murmured.

Then the light sprang outwards and filled the entire space where the painting had been. The blue sky, the green grass, the brown fur of the ass she was stroking.

"It's your memory," Titania whispered, "But you never project your memories! You say it's like people being inside your head!"

"Titania, I want-" Auberon gasped and waved his hand. The image vanished.

"What the?" Titania murmured as she spun around to see what had spooked Auberon. "Oh, hi, Puck."

Puck was strolling along the carpet aisle that led along the middle of the throne room, holding the babe in his arms. He covered the babe's ears and said, "What in the nine hells is going on in here?"

Titania glanced at Auberon, who locked eyes with her and started to tremble.

"We're..." Auberon murmured, "We're going to be a team, right, Titania?"

Titania smiled and nodded. "We had better be."

"I'll prove it," Auberon said, the side of his mouth curling upwards in a brief smirk.

Titania raised an eyebrow. "Oh?"

Auberon took her hand in his and raised it towards Puck. He whispered, "You ready?"

Titania grinned as she realised what he was thinking. She could feel it, feel the bubbling excitement, the rush of his adrenaline, the hope that sparked inside him. She'd never been so overpowered by someone's feelings like that. He must have been pushing them outside of himself, and towards her, somehow. Had he always been able to do that?

"One, two, three," she said.

Then they unleashed a bolt of light on Puck, who promptly turned into a very tiny donkey, with the babe sleeping soundly a little ways away.

Puck dropped to all fours and bleated. He frowned and almost... growled. Then he started yelping and charging at Auberon, more like a raging bull than a stubborn donkey. Then all of a sudden he stopped. He closed his eyes for a moment, then there stood same old Puck. The tiny, lithe sprite who could fit into any mischevious plan you asked of him.

"Realised you could just change back, eh?" Auberon said.

"Yup," he muttered. Then he turned to sulk out of the room. "You coming?"

"To what?" Titania asked.

"Pyramus and Thisbee, what else?" Puck rolled his eyes. He picked the babe back up and brought him over to Titania. She smiled down at her son, then up at his father. His eyes sprang so wide and she giggled at his sharp intake of breath. Carefully, she laid their son in his outstretched arms and wrapped her arm round his back.

"He's beautiful," Auberon whispered

Puck cleared his throat. "Uh, Pyramus?"

"What, oh, right of course," Auberon muttered. He turned to Titania. "Would you like to come watch a play with me?"

Titania nodded and smiled. "Yes, dear. What's it about?"

"Oh, nothing much," Auberon said.

"Are you hiding something from me?" Titania raised an eyebrow as they started towards the palace courtyard.

"No, it's just literally not about very much," Auberon said.

"Oh," Titania said, "Well, I guess that'll give us more time to focus on this little miracle.

They sat side by side on the wall at the edge of the green, watching the actors stumbling about... something to do with a wall. A very chatty wall. But it matters not what the wall said, although it would argue otherwise. What matters, reader, is that they sat side by side, ensconsed in each other's feelings, together.

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74 Reviews

Points: 0
Reviews: 74

Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:18 am
Thundahguy wrote a review...

I genuinely hate Shakespeare's work. My main complaint with him is how his stories are, after factoring out the deep writing style and symbolism, pretty dire, leave loose ends or are just bad. I'm a simpleton when it comes to that, but I do focus on general story structure. Reading this, however, made me smile a bit, even if it was a little corny. It did tie up the whole Oberon/Titania subplot in a way that is better than the original.

The writing was excellent and detailed, despite lacking Shakespeare's 'every line has symbolism' style. General story was easy to understand. Overall, it's pretty good.

Don't really know why you referenced Pyramus and Thisbe, which was a much bleaker story than the original Oberon/Titania ending. But hey, mischievous fairies always do like the most darndest things.

User avatar
15 Reviews

Points: 36
Reviews: 15

Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:49 am
Cub wrote a review...

A Midsummer Night's Dream is one of my favorite plays, so this interested me a lot!
Now, there were some problems.
For example, I don't know if this was a stylistic choice, but if not, it is incorrect. Titania's wife is 'Oberon', not 'Auberon.' Also, the child they were fighting for was not their son. It was a human boy taken in by them. I mean no offence here, but have you read the play? Mistakes like that make it appear like you have not--and those mistakes include your interpretation, which, no offense, seems a little bit skewed. Shakespeare wasn't showing an abusive relationship with Oberon and Titania--they were both, along with Puck, mischievous fairies. The moral laws of humanity didn't really meld with them.
As for your writing, it's reasonably good. You present various points clearly and concisely, and the story, in and of itself, is quite interesting. If you wanted to make it a simple realistic story, it could be reworked fairly easily. I also liked a couple references, for example, to the wall scene. That was a funny part.
Anyway, congratulations on an interesting story. I hope to read more from you some other time.

ExOmelas says...

Yeah, I hadn't seen the play in a while (most recently was like last summer I think) and I'd forgotten about that. I think at the point where he wants the changeling to be his child soldier though trying to make this ending less problematic (which is largely my goal) is just unworkable.

This started by a conversation between me and my friend (he's where I got the Auberon spelling from) where we were talking about portrayals of Auberon and how they often seem to have him as angry and vindictive. He tries to claim that the child is somehow owed to him and that Titania is the one in the wrong... so much so that he is allowed to manipulate her and make her fall in love with an ass. This just probably isn't on, so I was trying to make a relatively okay happy ending that involved the two of them staying together. Also in the version I saw he was a drunk, but I think that was a stylistic choice on the part of the artistic director.

Thanks for the review :)

When you cut pieces out of the truth to avoid looking like a fool, you end up looking like a moron instead.
— Robin Hobb