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Reality is a fanfic for The 10th Kingdom by Shay Sheridan and can be found here.

Part Continuation, part romance, part For Want of a Nail, and part AU. The basic premise; after returning to New York, Virginia wakes up in a hospital, apparently realizing that everything she went through in the Nine Kingdoms may not have happened at all... until she meets a familiar stockbroker named Michael (Mike) Wolf. As Virginia gets tangled with the Wolf family, the Canon Wolf finds himself back at the very beginning (since the show's canon events never took place) and embarking on a convoluted journey, as prompted by Snow White, and meeting the uncannily familiar Lady Virginia/Gigi.

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And those are just the first few chapters. It's later revealed that Snow White's stepmother has the power to shift realities and caused the premise since her last attempt to undermine the House of White failed. And that what the reader knows as canon is just one of the many possibilities. Luckily, it all works out in the end.

Quite a riveting story, really.


This fic contains examples of:

  • After Action Patchup: Gigi does it to Wolf after the Peep brothers give him a nice beatdown in a rather one-sided fight.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Subverted, then played straight with Gigi. She just wanted to use Wolf as an unsuitable suitor to upset her father before realizing that an adventurous, edgy man is exactly what she wants.
  • All Just a Dream: Virginia is fairly convinced that her adventures in the Nine Kingdoms may just have been her imagination. She scraps the theory eventually. Wolf was also convinced of this at one point, but Snow White quickly corrected him.
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  • Alternate History: If Red Riding Hood I had abdicated her throne and escaped into the Tenth Kingdom with her lover's pack- the result is this.
  • Alternate Timeline: And how! The mentioned possibilities are too many to count.
  • Alternate Self: Mike, Gigi, the Burly trolls, Regina, Hunter, non-criminal!Acorn, Viscount Anthony, etc. (Also, at least according to Wolf at the end, his real parents vs. Thomas and Lisette.)
  • Alternate Universe: Many of them, including canon!universe.
  • Always Save the Girl: Virginia was the only person Wolf actually wanted to save, in the beginning.
  • Anyone Can Die: See below. In the many realities, Christine died in one, Christine successfully drowned Virginia in another, and Wolf was killed off in at least 4 of them, including the current reality. Also William Wolf.
  • Ascended Extra: Red Riding Hood III/ Regina and Bedros, the half-wolf gypsy boy.
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  • Asshole Victim: The Peep brothers, Viscount Anthony, the Huntsman, Hunter, and Regina.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Virginia and Mike, Wolf and Gigi.
  • Back from the Dead: Christine and Wolf.
  • Badass Family: The Wolf pack.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Wolf and Gigi, overwhelmingly so.
  • The Big Bad Wolf: Bejann, Frida/Red Riding Hood's lover.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Wolfs.
  • Birds of a Feather: Both leads are unsettled that their AU counterparts share more personality traits with themselves than with their actual counterparts.
  • Broken Ace: Michael.
  • Bound and Gagged: Gigi by the Huntsman. And Virginia by Regina and her lackeys.
  • Character Development: Played straight with Mike and Gigi. Subverted with Wendell; not spending the same amount of time as a dog made him miss a significant portion of this.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The object Wolf was supposed to get from the Swamp Witch's castle was actually just a handheld mirror. Said mirror later cured his Identity Amnesia and brought Christine back to life.
  • Child Hood Marriage Promise: Anthony thinks Wendell wants this with Gigi, thanks to the Evil Queen manipulating him into pursuing her as a distraction from her poisoning plan.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Regina, Mike's ex, and... WOW.
  • Continuation
  • Deconfirmed Bachelor: Regina tells Tony she's Mike's wife. Subverted in that it's a lie.
  • Decoy Protagonist: In-universe. For a while, Virginia believed Mike was Wolf. And technically he is, but... isn't.
  • Defrosting Ice King: William comes off as pretty cold.
  • Distressed Damsel: Gigi to a T, and to a lesser extent, Virginia at one point.
  • Distressed Dude: Tony at one point.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Wolf does it in Kissing Town.
  • Evil Plan: Hunter's plan. He tinkered with Thomas' car so it would drive straight into a wall, killing William's heir. Then he had Lisette institutionalized and made insane. All so William would have no successor, leaving only Michael to kill.
  • First Love: Dorcas the shepherdess to Wolf, not that it lasted too long or well.
  • For Want of a Nail: In the reality Wolf ends up in, the reason the story changes is because the Trolls succeeded in capturing Wendell before he went through the Magic Mirror. It only snowballs from there, however.
  • Gaslighting: Inversion of a sort. William conspires to keep Michael from knowing he or anyone in the family is a wolf, to the extent of sending him to a psychiatrist (the same one Wolf saw in the miniseries) for his "moon madness", giving him wolfsbane to control his cycle, and lying to him about the nature of his arguments with Thomas. Helped along by Thomas having cut off Michael's tail at birth. The inversion? Not only are the mental problems just a byproduct rather than the goal, William is doing all this to protect Michael, since he thinks Michael would rather believe himself unbalanced or insane than a fantasy creature out of mythology.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: William. Also Wolf to protect Gigi, but he gets better.
  • I Hate You, Vampire Dad: According to William, there was quite a bit of animosity between him and his son over their wolf heritage. He thinks Mike will repeat the cycle with him.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Thomas, Mike's father.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Despite the changes made in Nine Kingdoms history by Bejann and Frida going through the mirror, the overall events of the movie's quest remain the same, or at least start out that way—the body-switch for Wendell, the Queen freeing Wolf, the mirror getting broken, the shoes being stolen, the Huntsman trying to kill the gypsies (albeit while looking for Gigi to bring her back to her father), Sally coming on to Wolf, things going wrong in Kissing Town, the visit to the Swamp Witch's cottage, and so on, although the timing or other details are often quite different. And while there is a Briar Rose III instead of Red Riding Hood, the political scene for the Kingdoms seems otherwise identical. Some of this is justified by the Swamp Witch changing only small things with her mirrors (and having the Evil Queen follow the same plan again) on the one hand, and by Snow White literally telling Wolf to retrace his steps from the first journey in order to save the day. But the rest can be chalked up to Theory of Narrative Causality.
  • Jerkass: Regina, Hunter, the Huntsman, Anthony, and the three Burly siblings.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Hunter killed Thomas, put Lisette (his wife and Mike's mother) in an institution, and planned to off Mike- no one suspected a thing. He's not so magnificent when the wolf pack literally tears him apart.
  • The Masquerade: Almost the entirety of William's firm.
  • Mind Fuck: With all the could-bes, realities, and alternate selves, not to mention how it all works, the whole concept is thoroughly head-achy. Lampshaded by the characters when they say it hurts their heads to think about it all.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Regina killed Mike's last girlfriend, Cathy, and tried to kill Virginia twice. Wendell did kill his hypotenuse.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Seriously, this describes Wolf's antics perfectly. Save the gypsies? The Huntsman swears revenge on him and he gets stuck with Gigi. Save Gigi from the Peeps? See below. Save everyone in the Nine Kingdoms? Wendell shoots him in the chest.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: The Peep brothers deliver one to Wolf after he intercepts whatever they were planning to do to Gigi.
  • Only Mostly Dead: The Swamp Witch. But not for long.
  • Pair the Spares: Mike and Gigi end up together, presumably.
  • The Reveal: Snow White's stepmother was behind everything and the lady in waiting for Frida/Red Riding Hood I.
  • Rich Bitch: Regina. And Gigi, at first.
  • Save This Person, Save the World: Bedros, since saving him gives the wolves a freedom-fighter who will combat racism and bring peace and acceptance to wolves in the Kingdoms. Also what Snow White claims through her riddle to Wolf as the reason for him going through the quest again: to save Christine. Subverted in that it was actually the Swamp Witch messing with reality to try and achieve her Evil Plan that led to the retread—she merely took advantage of this to improve one of the realities, give Wolf a reason to fight, and help Virginia by making up for what she had lost.
  • Silver Bullet: Presumably from Hunter's silver gun.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: The nature of Gigi's relationship to Wolf comes off as this. It literally did go from slap to kiss in one part.
  • The Stations of the Canon: See In Spite of a Nail above—even with the divergent realities and timelines, Wolf still goes through the same places and experiences much of the same events as happened in the miniseries, although usually with a twist either minor or major. Justified by him being told to do this by Snow White as the only way to get him back to Virginia (only if the overall course of events remained the same would he be able to get to the mirror back to the Tenth Kingdom), and because only by following the original story as closely as possible could he be in a position to save Bedros and Christine.
  • Taking the Bullet: William literally does it for Mike when Hunter fires at him.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Most of the Wolf men, according to Virginia.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Viscount Anthony has almost no redeeming qualities, Red Riding Hood III/Regina is a murdering jealous woman, and Wendell to the point where he becomes Wendell the Huntsman.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Wolf because traveling to a different reality does affect your state of health.
  • Young Future Famous People: In-Universe, Bedros grows up to be the liberator of wolves.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Wolf thinks he cheated on Virginia by sleeping with Gigi, but it turned out that's literally all they did, no sex involved, so it's subverted.
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