writer's note: This was an idea originally intended to showcase the existence of Stromboli (a character seen in Shrek the Third) and combine that with elements from the Pinocchio novel. While I believe references to the 1940 film definitely exist, there's nothing that supports the entire backstory of the wooden puppet is exactly like the Disney movie. Thus characters like the Blue Fairy and Jiminy Cricket aren't in my interpetations of how the story happened in the Shrek universe-- since the former never made an appearance (replaced by her novel counterpart who's not a Fairy Godmother) and the latter was only a joke in Scared Shrekless. Although, since the "Puppet Master" is supposed to be Stromboli (like the Disney movie), he technically should be intergrated somehow. And since he's one of my favorite Disney villians, I thought I'd dedicate a story to his likeness in the Shrek series. However, while writing, I created a character who would take the place of Jiminy Cricket and the Blue Fairy during Pinocchio's escape. A puppet girl named Bianca. Initially she was just a replacement for the Harlequin puppet from the book, but she evolved into much more than just a plot device. She was Pinocchio's love interest-- one that would be torn in separation from him after his departure. I'm not going to say much, as I don't want to spoil the story. 

I present... "Pinocchio & Bianca"

While walking to school, Pinocchio saw an advertisement for a puppet show. Run by a mysterious puppet master named Stromboli, the performance starred numerous puppets whom Pinocchio had known before. Wanting to greet them, he went to the show, spending the five coins he got from Geppetto on a ticket. Sadly, this meant that the last of Geppetto's money was no longer used for good work, and instead on petty entertainment. The wooden puppet didn't care though, as he was too excited to meet his old colleagues and show off his new form. Upon arrival, he took a seat to view the show for himself. Excited to witness the event, Pinocchio was maintaining his jumping by placing his hands on his kness. Soon enough, the curtains opened to reveal the most beautiful puppets Pinocchio had ever seen. They were crafted with almost perfectly humanoid figures, and wore outfits only created by the most professional of sewing masters. The one who caught his eye the most however, was his old crush-- Bianca. Made of the same wood as Pinocchio, she was perhaps his closest acquaintance during their time as trees. The two had grown close, until an axeman had taken Bianca with him in order to collect firewood. Left alone, Pinocchio had stood in his spot for three more years, until Master Antonio almost used him as a table leg. Eventually the tree stump was given to Mister Geppetto, who turned the wood into a puppet. Thus, Pinocchio had been born. A similar process was done with Bianca, having been sold to the puppet master, Stromboli.

At that point, Stromboli had been used to giving life to planks of wood and tree stumps. Using them for his own benefit to create one of a kind shows, the greedy woodcarver made extreme profits off of them. Most grim of all however, is what he does to the puppets once they grow "too old". Unless they are truly making him a profit, old puppets, sentient or not, would be used as firewood. Thankfully, Bianca was never on the verge to suffer the fate as others in the past-- as she was perhaps the greatest attraction in all of Stromboli's shows. Although only time could tell until the masses grow tired of her acts. This thought scared Bianca, but she continued working for the puppet master as it was her only job and home. However on every night, Bianca would pray to her star, wishing for someone to free her from the clutches of Stromboli. Unbeknowst to her, the day when Pinocchio saw the show would be her sign. Gazing upon her new form, Pinocchio fell for Bianca all over again-- awestruck at her dancing and acting. Dressed with a flashy Baroque dress while wearing revealing stockings and near see-through thong. She had really grown up in the eyes of the wooden boy, keeping him fixated throughout the show. His constant staring eventually caught the attention of the other puppets on stage. Instantly they began greeting Pinocchio saying remarks such as "Hey Pine Boy!", "Still looking at Bianca I see!", "Woah... Look at his nose...", and "You sure that nose isn't to big for her?", among other insults. The flow was quickly ruined, as the performers were too busy making fun of their old "friend". Hearing the ruckus, the fat puppet master ran up to the stage to yell at the puppets.

Pinocchio had seen probably the largest person he'd ever seen-- big strong arms, a large gut, and vicious garlic breathe. Looking right at him, Stromboli turned his head with fire in his eyes, ready to turn the interrupting puppet into fire wood. Grabbing him by the neck, he spoke Italian slurs at him, with a crowd of laughter believing it to be part of the act. The unintelligible cries from Pinocchio himself helped the laughts get even louder. For a moment, Stromboli saw the roar of joy from his audience, and realized that using this particular puppet could help create more comical shows-- as a result, an even greater amount of people would tour from Italy to see his shows. Now calm, the puppet master set Pinocchio down, and claimed the show to be over, saying that in the next few days, he'll set up a new performance in Grosseto. True to his word, he packed everything up, and threw Pinocchio in a chamber with the other puppets. Unfortunately, Bianca was placed in a "special" area in Stromboli's wagon. Three days had soon passed, and Pinocchio was ready to go on stage for the first time. While short, his rehearsal times were more than enough, leading to a rather interesting event. Starring as a "puppet with no strings", he began to sing gleefully about his pride of roaming freely. That was until his female co-stars began to seduce him, which he knew would be part of the act. But as soon as Bianca entered, Pinocchio got out of his character, gaining a sort of pleasure from her surrounding him. His left eye began twitching, his hands flickered, and worst of all, he screeched in pleasure. 

While funny to the audience, Stromboli grew frustrated and ran to the stage to attempt strangling him. Of course, he soon stopped and brushed it up as a part of the show. No amount of yelling could stop Pinocchio's feelings-- this was possibly the greatest mood he's had. What ensued was no longer an innocent, funny show; it was a lewd act starring two sentient puppets. This was made even more uncomfortable with their constant quotes-- "Hope you're alright with splinters." said Bianca, followed by Pinocchio responding with "It's okay... I like them when they're given by you.". The audience was now muttering, and Stromboli began examining their behavior, realizing the potential in those two becoming his greatest stars. With both of them being in his shows, he could make much more than he already had. Once their strange act was over, the crowd went crazy, and threw as much shillings and flowers as they could. Pinocchio was amazed-- this could help him pay back for wasting his coins on that dumb ticket days prior. All he had to do was ask how much he could take on his way home. In his mind as well, maybe Bianca could go with him. The two did share a pretty special moment, and it might've been a sign that the two were meant to be. However he was hesitant to ask her right away, as he was too nervous as to what she'd say. "I'll ask her later" he thought, "It's time for me to celebrate!". Later that night, he went to Stromboli's "first class" room, where there was a stash of golden coins, plenty of foods, and various pieces of wood. The man appeared extremely proud of the two, congratulating them while counting his money.

"Bravo my two glorious stars! You were sensational! They loved every minute of you!" exclaimed Stromboli, throwing his knife around while eating his assortment of meat and vegetables. "Pinocchio & Bianca! The greatest puppets in all of Italy! Rolls right off the tongue eh?". He kept showering them with compliments, and promises of fame and fortune (or so he claimed). Pinocchio felt wonderful hearing his words, and so did Bianca. Although the puppet boy still remembered his idea to go home as soon as he got his share of profits. "Golly Stromboli! It's gonna be a wonderful time! But I got someting to ask. How much am I going to get payed for? I have a poor old man at home, and we can barely get bread." said Pinocchio, in an attempt to gain pity from the puppet master. "Oh yeah! I almost forgot." Stromboli replied, searching for as little gold coins as he could. He thought five gold coins would be enough, putting them in Pinocchio's tiny hand. "For you my boy!" said Stromboli, as he gave only one to Bianca. She knew how lousy the payments were, but she didn't want to ruin the joy for Pinocchio. Once he got his share, he asked if he could return home to Geppetto. Believing his question to be a joke, Stromboli laughed hysterically, saying "You can't be serious Pinocchio! We have only just begun our world tour!" in an attempt to keep him aboard. Pinocchio denied his question being funny, and after trying to do more convincing, he was instantly thrown into a high cage. He even told the puppet that if he refuses to perform, he'll turn him into good firewood. The puppet master slammed the door, and went back to steering his wagon to the next town in Tuscany. 

Seemingly alone in his cage, Pinocchio got a surprise visit from Bianca. "Hey. I'm sorry about what happened earlier. I should've stood up, but I know how he acts. It's horrifying. You must leave right now." said Bianca, showing her support to help the wooden boy escape. Confused, Pinocchio asked about having a key, as there was no such object lying around the room. Much to his surprise, the puppet girl pulled out a key under her skirt, waving it slightly. She unlocked the cage, freeing Pinocchio, coming close together once again. The two shared another moment, doing their best to share a kiss-- which was difficult considering they both had square mouths. Sadly for both of them, this didn't last long, as Pinocchio had to go home to his father Geppetto. "Will.. I see you again Pinocchio?" asked Bianca, showing signs of sorrow. "I don't know. Maybe someday. But I'm not so sure." replied Pinocchio, believing that after this, he may never see Bianca again. Before he left, the two shared one more kiss, and the wooden boy made a run for it through the window. The puppet girl looked out, and waved goodbye, which made Pinocchio even more depressed. Now there was no looking back-- he could only move forward. Little did the puppet know was that this was only the start of a much greater adventure. 

Years had passed since Pinocchio's spiritual quest. So much happened, and some would torment him for the rest of his life. He got hanged by two rotten animals while getting his money stolen; he was incarcerated for his foolishness; one of his closest human friends turned into a mute donkey; and he even got swallowed by the Terrible Dogfish, In the end, Pinocchio reunited with his father Geppetto-- and thanks to a spirit named Celeste (the Fairy with Turquoise Hair), he grew to become a better person overall. He even gained more confidence, having a large social life and many quirky friends. Still, the puppet would think about his time reuniting with Bianca. Often looking at his star, wishing to see her again. In the heavens, Celeste had been looking after Pinocchio as his guardian angel, and realized his desire to see Bianca. She began examining what had happened to the puppet girl after their departure. Bianca abandoned Stromboli after months of abuse and harsh working conditions-- taking notes from Pinocchio and deciding to ditch him entirely. Soon all of the other performers left the puppet master with almost nothing sustaining a decent lifestyle. This led to Stromboli teaming up with other fairytale villains to get revenge against their respective foes. He did redeem himself, but no doubt Pinocchio inspired his acting peers before his grand journey. Feeling he deserved to reunite with Bianca, Celeste spoke to the puppet girl one night. She had been residing in Netherlands as a resting spot for her own adventure, with a similar yearning to see Pinocchio. On one night, she heard Celeste speak to her.

"Greetings Bianca. I know of your struggles, and I can help you find Pinocchio. You must travel across the seas to the British Isles. That's where you'll find him now. He's waiting for you." said Celeste directly to Bianca. Having been made aware of his location, Bianca was thrilled. Instantly she caught a ride on a boat carrying goods for Far Far Away. While the trip seemed long, it was sure to be rewarding once she arrived to see her love again. After several days of waiting, she awoke to find herself on a shore near the extravagant buildings of a beautiful kingdom. Quickly running out of the boat, she searched high and low to find Pinocchio. She was then told by an ogress named Fiona that Pinocchio is currently working at the Happy Apple-- located in the center of the nearby forests. Purchasing a map to the estsblishment, Bianca found herself in front of the building. Nervous, she slowly walked towards the entrace, opening the door while shaking. Just from walking in, she could hear the loud music and laughter of the kids having a fun time running around. After looking through, she layed eyes on Pinocchio, dancing with funny looking animatronics. Her perspective locked on the wooden boy, amazed that she has finally found him. Once his performance ended, Pinocchio was awestruck to find Bianca standing in front of him.

Overjoyed, he ran over to hug Bianca and spin around gleefully-- both extremely thrilled to reunite after the longest time. "I... I can't believe this..." muttered Bianca, still trying to process the event. Pinocchio shared her mood, and the two sat down to begin chatting about their endeavors. Both were a bit shocked to find out how much they had been through after they left Stromboli's troupe; Bianca didn't go through as much as Pinocchio, but she did meet some strange creatures during her travels. Highlights included meeting Hans My Hedgehog, almost catching fire from a Phoenix, and getting herself thrown in a Polish jail. Apparently, she had been framed for soliciting after a toy Shepherdess who looked just like her was forcing people to fund repairs for her Chimney Sweep boyfriend. Luckily she wasn't sentenced for very long, as the authorities were able to arrest the true culprit. As an apology, the gurads in Warsaw gave her 50 gold coins. From then on, she sworn to use the coins to help herself get a good home, and hopefully earn enough to find Pinocchio. Upon hearing this, Pinocchio eventually told her about his own adventures, which proved to be a rather shocking quest. The puppet had gone through troubles as punishment for being a fool, and Bianca hoped that he had learned his lesson. She was relieved when he said he's become a much more diligent person-- as well as confident. Pinocchio's "manly" posture upon saying that made Bianca giggle, which helped spark their sensual feelings established during their only performance together. Since they were still at a family restaurant, they couldn't act up there. Only until nightfall could they truly reconnect.

As Pinocchio ended his shift, he returned to his home in Far Far Away, where he was living with Geppetto. He introduced Bianca to him, and the old woodcarver was happy to finally meet his son's "long lost love". While an hour passed, the three were enjoying each other's company, eating biscuits and drinking some nice "Johnny Appleseed" brand cider. During their chat, Geppetto's many clocks reached 10:00 pm, and he requested that they go to bed. Pinocchio agreed and asked if Bianca could stay for the night. Despite being skeptical about this proposition, he approved after remembering Pinocchio's story about their "night show". The two soon went upstairs, entering a rather peaceful bedroom-- with an asethetic themed to nighttime, a bookshelf with many classics, and even bedsheets with stars. Much to their liking, the bed was full sized on their end. Realizing what they could do, they both jumped into the bed, and began making out. Each kiss symbolized a day which they were far apart, leading up to over 409 kisses. It seemed like so much, but they didn't mind. They continued their process until they both fell asleep, laying in each other's wooden arms. What was once an agonizing separation became a relationship that was built to last for a lifetime. Pinocchio and Bianca both continued their love after their reunion, eventually becoming show partners once again. This time for the joys of others and not cold cash. They were happy, and nothing could drift them apart anymore. 

The End

Just for fun, here's a custom infobox for Bianca. Also forgot to include that she has brown hair with blonde tips, green eyes, and a smooth Italian accent. It's kind of a contrast to Pinocchio's more comical, raspy voice. 

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