The princess may be some unknown East Asian monarchy female gijinka; while the prince is Stalin (as a young man, before growing that walrus 'tache), the way it sounds. The story is actually very well-written and sounds like "Fifty Shades of Looking for Mr. Right" all along, in a similar vein to that Sue*Reed rarity... so pls enjoy it and keep tissues at hand as well as checking your heart rate every now and then. Though you'll get a wee bit disappointed that the slaughter of the entourage, and the honeymoon in foreign countries, do not appear in the original AU so I couldn't reproduce them.
Hall of Shadows
In this kingdom there is a very clever princess. She can play any song you ask and play it backwards too! She has read all the books and forgotten them again that's how learned she is! Then she was sitting on her throne - which is also boring, and she thought; "why, I should marry!" But she wanted to marry someone who was not boring and also very clever. So she called all her servants and ladies in waiting and she told them her news. Of course they were delighted and set out at once putting up posters saying any young man who thought he was good enough could come to the castle and meet the princess. There was a line as long as the mountain road to get into the palace. But as soon as they entered they were so mesmerised by the beauty of the palace, by the time they got to the princess, all they could do was gasp and the princess did not want to hear that. She turned them all away. But still more men poured into the castle gate, weak with hunger for waiting in line so long. And yet they did not get so much as a drop of water from the castle.
When the princess was quite sure she had had enough of this marriage business, a little fellow marched up to the princess as cool as can be. His eyes shone, with pale long hair blowing in his face. His skin was fair but his clothes were shabby.
All he wore was a coat, some pants, and a pair of furry boots. Leather? Leather then. He carried a knapsack on his back.
Anyway, he was not a bit threatened by the guards in silver armour and the tall halls of golden treasures. He nodded to the servants in their fine uniform and said, "It must be boring waiting on her majesty all day!" Then he strutted on, boots squeaking on the polished floor, yet he wasn't scared a bit!
He marched into the room where the princess waited on a velvet cushion, a lady in waiting braiding pearls into her hair. She glanced up at him and was instantly taken aback. He was charming and clever when he talked to her, so the princess was not bored at all. She liked what he had to say very much. Within fifteen minutes he had captured her heart.
When they could finally see the kingdom in the distance they shouted in relief and joy. Hundreds of lights were glowing in the distance, it was a big place. At the back of the castle, in a little corner, was a small stone door left slightly ajar.
...through many long halls. Every room was decorated a different colour; crimson, then forest green, then midnight blue. The painted ceiling seemed to move in the light. Golden sculptures and marble statues stood randomly throughout the halls.
...there were only long shadows racing past. ...at the looming figures. Many were running horses, others danced madly on the walls.
"Don't cry, for they are only dreams."
"Indeed. They can be a bit discomforting."
"Her majesty's thoughts are hunting tonight. Look at all the horses."
...through many more halls before they came to the king and queen's bedroom. It was not grand and large like many of the other rooms in the castle, but rather it had a cosy feel to it. The roof was curved like a dome and the floor was soft and carpeted. Two beds like little flowers hung from the ceiling; the white one for the princess and in the red one would be...
A huge white petal lifted and out came the head of the princess.
"What are you doing here?" She said drowsily, brushing her hair from her eyes.
It was then a figure stirred in the other bed and out came another head. From behind his hair was fair and his skin pale. The boy turned around.
...into the castle.
"Who is this?" asked the prince, looking expectantly.
The princess with the shiny hair slipped from her dangling bed and went to comfort.
...those warm brown ones (eyes); full of kindness and knowledge.
...here in the Princess's bedroom. ... -the princess went to the prince who was arguing...
"I swear my name is Joseph!"
"Excuse me," said the princess, silencing everyone immediately. "I have made a decision."
"About what to do?"
"Yes, I am not going to punish." The prince narrowed his eyes. The princess continued, "Tomorrow will set off for the north mountains, my servants know the whereabouts of the general. ...will take one of the royal carriages. They will leave at noon. That is all." None was going to argue with that, not even the prince.
"Take ... down to the kitchen and give ... something to eat," said the princess, "... will sleep in the guest quarters tonight." ...to the kitchen... ...fresh noodles and vegetables. Afterwards... chocolate and sweets.
...to the tall window and the black mountain range. It was a strange time to be awake. The sky was lighter on the horizon, but the sun would not rise for hours.
Soon the prince and princess had fallen asleep for shadowy dreams haunted the walls once again. ...the dark figures that ominously moved across the room.
...the room clearer now that it was day. It was very cluttered with strange ornaments, paintings, and cabinets. The walls were crimson with gold lacy patterns decorating the corners. The roof was alive with little painted animals and flowers. One recognised a sunflower and some roses. It was very different to the art that could be seen in the Far East, an Asian peasant did not know any of the animals. One wondered how whoever painted it had reached so high.
When one looked down, one saw the bed was very high off the ground. On the floor was a servant packing an open suitcase. ...from the bed and sat ... in a fancy armchair.
The servant laid out an array of coats, dresses, robes, uniforms, and other strange items of clothing.
At brunch one could eat as much as one wanted; potatoes, eggs, pork, oranges, cakes, biscuits, pies, and many more foods peasants had never heard of. ...sweets for the journey in a knapsack. The prince and princess wished luck but the prince didn't really mean it. They called one of the servants to dress ... warmer in a dark green coat, scarf, furry hat, and gloves. Another servant brought the suitcase and led to the carriage.
It was made of magnificent gold and pulled by two black stallions with long well kept manes. The coachmen helped into the gleaming carriage and they were on their way, waved at the villagers as they glided through the kingdom and threw sweets to the children who had come rushing out of their houses to see the regal carriage pass through their street. Finally they got to the country where it was colder.
...and watched the carriage disappear into the deep northern forest.
(No references to the slaughter of the coachmen or the honeymoon in foreign lands; as for the latter, the Aus*Hun fusion beats this one because it does portray these incidents and close the circle).