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Chapter Text

“Henri!” I ran down the hall, hoping to grab you before you left for yet another campaign.

You stopped and turned around, and I could see how gallant and royal you looked, in a surcoat with the arms of the House of Lancaster, with your posture, the dashing scar across your cheek, and best of all the smile you gave me.

“Kate!” You said, extending your arms as I reached you. I wrapped my arms a around you, as usual wanting to never let you go. “I’m sorry I have to leave so soon.”

“I understand,” I said, having just recently learned the difference between “I” and “me.” I rested my head on your chest. “Take your care,” I said.

“I think you mean ‘take care of yourself,’” you said with a slight chuckle. You added “It’s close enough,” when you saw my frustrated expression.

“Goodbye, Henri,” I said as we released each other.
You didn’t say goodbye. Instead, you stooped down, kissed the top of my head, and replied simply and truthfully, “I love you.”

Chapter Text

Sometimes you’re the most annoying person I know, and I know some real pieces of work. You’re somehow impressive, really. And sometimes you’re incredibly embarrassing. For example, my birthday. I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you thought I wouldn’t hear you over the noise of all the guests. So you shouted.

“Edward!”

I could hear you and I stepped forward but that didn’t stop you from shouting more.

“I love you! Happy birthday!”

Pretty sure everyone could hear that.

I love you too, but you’re annoying. ...Or is it the other way around.

Chapter Text

1400

I had never felt so betrayed in my life. Appropriate, since this was my death. As soon as I saw you and I realized what was happening, as soon as I knew what fierce hand it was, all I could think were three words.

I loved you.

They tore from my throat as I felt myself falling. “I loved you!” I screamed, although I could barely hear it.

I had loved you so much. You had loved me, I believed. Or maybe you were so easily manipulated as to forget that love.

You stared at me, wide-eyed, looking horrified at what was happening. Shocked at yourself for having done it.
“I loved you,” I whispered as everything went black and then a brilliant light in front of me and I was no more.

1415

I was shuffled into Purgatory after filing the paperwork. I should have expected bureaucracy, even in the afterlife. There I saw you, no doubt there to remind me of how I ended up here, about to cross the river to purge my soul of what I’d done to you. Funny, I’d repented of what happened that night, but not the other things- not sincerely, anyway. But I’d done something horrible and deserved what I had coming.

But instead when I reached you and the gruff old Roman guarding the place told me to get going, you held out your arms to me.

“Edward!” You said, a smile on your face that could light up this dreary place. “I missed you. What took you so long?”

I wasn’t sure what to say. “I died in France,” I said. I didn’t want to mention who’s son I’d been serving. You didn’t seem to care. Instead, you wrapped your arms around me.

“I loved you,” I mumbled. “I really did.”

“I know,” you replied. “It’s all over now, Ed.” You held me at arm’s length. “I was freed today,” you said. That’s why I came here. I was given the chance to welcome you, even though I’m no longer beholden to this place.“

"How were you given the chance?” I asked.

You smiled that radiant smile. “I just told Those In Charge that I loved you.”

Chapter Text

We’d been trying to understand each other for so long. Every evening we were holed up in the library, going over English and French- not what you’d expect a newly married couple to do. Or a king and queen for that matter.

We went over lexicons, documents, manuscripts, and argued over what an apple should be called. Tonight both of us were too tired to have much of a lesson. We’d both been busy all day and I for one looked forward to just going to bed.

But tonight was a breakthrough.

I had put my head down, wondering if I’d ever understand you. My lovely, smart, clever wife that I was in love with but could barely talk to thanks to the language barrier (besides the shyness I still felt around you).

“I love you,” you said. The words hung on your lips and came slowly, like honey dripping. “I love you very much, Henri.”

Just yesterday you would have the words in the wrong order. But now…

I looked up. And I couldn’t stop smiling. “I love you too,” I replied, reaching over the table and taking your hand. You smiled too.

“Do you understand now?” You asked.

“Yes,” I whispered, tugging on your hand and prompting you to scoot your chair closely. “I understand now.”

Chapter Text

I looked down into the murky depths of my cup of tea, waiting for you to return. Two days seem to drag on forever, no matter how much I get used to it. So I just sat in front of the fire, Lady dozing at my feet, and I waited.

I heard the door open and turned around to see you, tired and a little beat up, but you were there and that’s all that mattered. I got you some tea and you took the cup, gratefully, and sat next to me.

“I missed you so much, Harry,” I said, refilling my cup.

“I missed you too,” you replied. You regaled me with tales of what had transpired when you had met with your most worthy rival the Earl of Douglas, and how you got each injury, your voice high and fast as it always is when you’re excited. You're so stupidly beautiful like this.

“I love you,” I said, for reason other than something inside told me I should, because it was the truth, and you always deserve the truth.

“I love you too,” you replied, and that warmed me more than even a good cup of tea could ever hope to do.

Chapter Text

22- Muffled, from the other side of the door
---

"Richard, you can't hide in there forever," I said, knocking on the door again.

"I'm not hiding!" You shouted, your voice muffled by the door, which I knew you were sitting against.

"Yes you are," I replied. I knew what you were going to do- the only thing you COULD- but you didn't want to do it. Who would. You were king now, but in two hours you would no longer be, you would cease to exist as you always had. No wonder you were hiding from the fate you had built.

"Richard..." I began, leaning my head on the door. "Richard, please, listen. Remember who you are."

"I'm nothing anymore," you said, and I could have sworn your voice was muffled by more than the barrier between us.

"You're someone I love, does that count?" I asked. I knew you hadn't thought of that- you never think of anyone but yourself and you forget what we are in your life- there I was, disparaging you, my own love. Maybe I was no better than you.

"Yes," you replied. "It counts." Now I knew you were crying. "I love you, Ed." You couldn't choke back a sob, and instead just slumped against the door. "I never have forgotten who you are. I love you." Your voice was still muffled but it remained the clearest thing for the rest of my life.

Chapter Text

1. Pick up milk and eggs - M

2. I will arrive when I get there. If I’m not there, call and talk to whoever picks up

3. I’m going to assume that’s Cass. - Portia

4. Note: food should not be fuzzy and white. You should know this by now. - Portia

5. Sorry

6. Cassius- PLEASE pick up milk - M

7. I’m serious we’re out of milk - M

8. (on two post-its) CASS JUST GET THE MILK WHEN YOU GO OUT STOP OPENING THE FRIDGE AND IGNORING IT YOU IDIOT - Portia

9. Love you too

Chapter Text

“Back in the Victorian era, there was an entire language centered around flowers,” Fluellen said.

“Really,” Gower replied, absentmindedly as he looked for a price tag on the dragonia he’d been thinking of putting in their living room. They were in the garden center of the home improvement store, which was pleasantly cool and damp, with the smell of fresh dirt.

“Yes! Look you, each flower has a meaning. You can make a whole message in a bouquet.” Fluellen nearly flapped, but he remembered he was holding the flower starter he’d picked up- a daffodil. “A red tulip is a declaration of love, but trefoil means revenge. A daisy means you’ll think about something.”

Gower gave up looking for a price tag but he put the plant in the cart anyway. “So, what does a daffodil mean?” He asked. He knew daffodils were Fluellen’s favorite flower.

“In Wales, we say that they mean you’ll have more gold than silver in the coming year,” Fluellen said. “But the Victorians had other meanings for them.” He handed Gower the cardboard pot. “My favorite is that ‘the sun is always shining when I’m with you!’“

Chapter Text

Hal knew he should have headed home at least half an hour ago, but he was beginning to care less and less nowadays about rules- especially those set by Dad. This evening, he and his best friend Ned were out in the field, lying on the soft, cool grass of a small hill, watching the sunset. Crickets chirped, other insects joining in for a steady natural white noise around the two boys. Ned reached over to hold Hal’s hand.

Hal liked this, breaking the rules. Sometimes it was worth it, because under the pressure of working with Dad and helping take care of his younger siblings and studying, Hal needed a world without responsibilities, without rules. This was practically being a juvenile delinquent in Dad’s mind, but Dad was neurotic and obsessed with rules. Someday Hal would care about rules and obey them, but not tonight. Tonight was perfect for breaking the rules.

Chapter Text

“Are you w-warm enough?”

“Yes, Harry, I’m fine!”

Harry sat down on the bed. “S-sorry,” he said. “I d-don’t know w-what else to d-do.” It was a cold evening and that was all he could think of.

“You don’t have to do anything,” Kate replied, looking up from the book she’d been reading. “There’s not really anything you can do.” Harry took her hand but looked away. She squeezed it reassuringly.

“I’m j-just–”

“Nervous?” Kate offered. “Excited?”

“And w-worried,” he admitted. He would only say that to her. Only she was allowed to see him at his most vulnerable, which was in times like these.

“Oh, don’t be,” she said. He had a right to be all three though, especially since it looked like there wasn’t much longer to wait.

“H-have you d-decided on a name?” They’d been talking about that for weeks.

“Philippa if a girl,” Kate replied. “And I agree, Archibald if a boy.”

Harry smiled. He just couldn’t believe it, another child. Soon little Harry and Lizzie would have a new baby brother or sister. He leaned over and kissed Kate’s forehead. “I l-love you,” he said, the emotion building up inside making him shiver.

“I love you too,” she replied. She looked at the goose-flesh of his arms. “Are you warm enough?” She asked, half-teasingly. “Because you can share this blanket.”

“I am a l-little c-cold,” he replied, and he settled down next to her and pulled the blanket over them.

Chapter Text

“Come on, Henri, we’re going to be late,” Catherine called.

“I’m coming!” Hal stood in front of the mirror, adjusting his robes for the hundredth time. He’d been fussing so long that his valet had given up and left the King to do whatever it was he wanted. Hal could never get his royal finery to look right on him. Something always looked out of place. He’d been king for ten years now– had it really been ten? and he still didn’t feel like he belonged in a royal robe.

“You said that fifteen minutes ago!” He saw Catherine appearing behind him in the mirror. “We can’t keep the court waiting.”

“Yes we can,” Hal muttered, now turning his frustration onto his belt. “I am the King and I–” He shut up as Catherine pulled him away from the mirror and straightened his robe herself.

“There,” she said. “Now may we get going? We have to get Henri from the nursery, you know.”

“I know,” Hal mumbled. He glanced in the mirror again and saw some hair out of place. It wasn’t vanity, no, he needed to have everything under control and to look the proper king all the time and he still didn’t feel comfortable dressed up like this. Like a little boy playing in his father’s clothes, though that was a strange simile considering…

Then there was the problem of the scar. God, was he ugly. He could change his clothes and his hair (Catherine had been begging him to do that for a while, she thought his current haircut was awful) but he couldn’t change his face. The disfiguring scar on the right side of his face, from the nose down the cheek was a constant reminder of his first battle, his mutilation and near death–

“God,” Catherine breathed. Using his robe as leverage, she strained up and kissed his lips. “You are so beautiful,” she said, kissing his scar.

Well, if she said so, that must be the truth then.

Chapter Text

You came to see me, in prison, as I was starving and cold and had lost all hope.

“Edward…” I said, my throat dry and in pain with each syllable. Your name was worth it, though.

“Richard,” you said, creeping closer as if you didn’t want to approach me. “I- I’m sorry they’ve done this to you.”

“Sorry doesn’t help,” I replied, the bitterness stinging in my throat. “I gave it all up. Bolingbroke is now king and I am nothing.”

“You’re not nothing.” Your voice was small and loving, like it had been in other nights, when I was king and at least you loved me.

You reached your hand out to me and I took it- you were warm and healthy and I missed you.

“Take care of yourself,” you said, before letting go of my hand and disappearing into the night.

It was the last thing you ever said to me.


 

Tears burned in my eyes as I turned from the cell and left. I couldn’t bear to look at you again, not after all I had done to you. The worst part was not seeing your emaciated body crumpled up in the cell, it was facing the hurt in your eyes. You loved me and I had betrayed you through my own stupidity. Now I would pay the price for it with your life.

I wanted to go back in time, to when we were happy and you were oblivious to the future and your shortcomings. The night the two of us snuck put from the palace– the king and a duke, unguarded– and lay in the soft grass of the meadow, looking up at the stars, your hand in mine. Or the times you’d pull me aside to kiss me before anyone saw. It all came flooding back, spilling from my eyes.

“I- I’m sorry,” the jailer said. “I’m on orders from the king-”

Damn the King! I wanted to scream. Damn our cousin, he had not turned against the king but against his own family. I hated him. And I hated myself. But you were wrong.

So very wrong.

Because I still loved you.

Chapter Text

Aumerle poked at the fire again, stirring the embers and trying to get it going again. It had been dying a slow, pathetic death for a while now and the room was getting colder by the minute. He hated winter with every fiber of his being at the moment. There was nothing good about it. 

“You’re going to have to talk to Henry at some point,” he said, continuing the conversation that had dropped off after he’d gone to confront the weak fire. 

“Oh, so I can’t just leave him like that?” Richard asked from the bed. He was sitting up, looking over papers spread out in front of him. “I was hoping to avoid the problem and he’d go away.” His voice was sarcastic, but there was something that made Aumerle think that’s what Richard actually wanted to do. 

“Yeah, you can’t,” Aumerle replied, not taking his eyes off the fire. His fingers were too cold and he didn’t want to admit he’d rather just go to bed than work on whatever issue the lords were ragging on Richard about this week. Richard wasn’t a particularly good king. He also probably wasn’t that great a person, he was something of a jerk and a snob, but Aumerle loved him, unsure as to exactly why but he was beginning to think he saw something in this foolish monarch. They still had work to do, though, especially if they wanted to convince the lords that the kingdom wasn’t as much a wreck as it seemed. Good luck to us, Aumerle thought.

“We have any more wood?” Aumerle asked, unable to repress a shiver. He might as well have not asked, since it was obvious there was none beside the fireplace. It would take to long to get some more, they’d have to call a servant and–

“If you’re so cold, why didn’t you say something?” Richard asked. Aumerle turned away from the fire, which he might as well at this point have declared legally dead. “Come here,” Richard said, reaching out an arm. Aumerle stood and went over to the bed as Richard put the papers on the floor in a neat stack. He beckoned Aumerle to join him and he did, curling up next to him. Richard pulled the blanket over them and took Aumerle’s hands in his. “You are cold,” he said. 

“Well, yes,” Aumerle replied, then yawned. He closed his eyes. Richard was so warm… before he knew it, he was asleep.

Chapter Text

The street was so packed it was hard to move. Grace and the Doctor had apparently picked a bad time to travel– funny, when you have a time machine. Of course, the TARDIS wasn’t a time machine and she rarely went where, or when, you wanted to go.

“I told you this would be a bad idea,” Grace said. “We shouldn’t have joined the crowd.”

“This was not my intention.” The Doctor took her hand so they wouldn’t get separated. 

“Also, I thought you said Rome,” Grace continued. 

“This is Rome,” the Doctor replied. “Or, rather, part of its empire. The first one, not one of the later galactic ones. It stretched from England to nearly Persia. Iudaea, or Judea, was just one part.”

Grace couldn’t help marveling at their surroundings. While the buildings were nowhere near as grand as Rome (or, at least what she would have expected the city to look like, it couldn’t all have been huge buildings and white marble), it was fascinating. She didn’t have long, however, as the Doctor tugged on her hand and they were moving again, carried away by the crowd.

“I think I know where we are,” the Doctor said. “I’m almost certain…”

That’s when Grace noticed some people were carrying palm leaves. She and the Doctor finally made it to the front of the crowd, looking out into the street, just in time to see a man pass by, riding on a donkey. 

A shiver ran down Grace’s spine and she gripped the Doctor tighter. “This was the right idea,” she whispered, her voice lost in the crowd.

Chapter Text

Dr. Grace Holloway had been on the lookout for anything strange– impossible– otherworldly– since her encounter with a strange man with a blue box. Meeting the Doctor had completely changed the burnt-out surgeon’s life, no longer making her tired of life– and no longer afraid of dying. She had turned down his offer to join him, just as he had turned down hers. And that is exactly why she kept searching.

——

She had been walking in the park by her house– it brought back memories of New Year’s Eve, 1999– when she got her first real lead in two years.

“It’s not possible, things don’t just appear and disappear,” a woman said, trying to keep up with her much taller and faster companion. “Especially not telephone booths.”

Telephone booth?

“Then explain how that box was there when we passed by an hour ago, and is now not there?”

“Someone must have moved it, with a forklift or something,” the woman replied. “You can’t possibly think that–” 

“It’s not just a phone booth,” the man said. “I saw them when I was at Oxford. They’re for police use.”

Police box.

“Why does that matter?”

“Because it’s shown up elsewhere. We have an x-file on it.”

“You’re crazy.”

“I’m just telling you what I know.”

That was all Grace needed. When she was sure she was out of their sight, she all but ran home.

The woman looked at her partner. 

“How much did she overhear?”

Chapter Text

“Are you planning on going home any time soon?”

The King’s question made Montjoy stop writing. “What?”

“I asked if you were going home,” King Henry repeated. He leaned in the doorway, his lanky form at ease.

“Ah, well, I still have some work,” Montjoy replied. “I have to leave for Bayern tomorrow, then Damascus.” He looked at the itinerary on his desk. “Then Constantinople and back to Fra–”

“So the answer is no,” Henry interrupted.

“Why does it matter to you?” Montjoy wasn’t sure why this line of questioning was annoying him. He should have liked that the man he was in love with cared, although who actually knew what Henry thought. He probably didn’t love Montjoy, or really care all that much. He also didn’t actually have a home. He’d been on the road as chief herald for so long he wasn’t sure where home was.

“I just noticed you look tired,” Henry said. “You need a break?”

“No,” Montjoy snapped, then caught himself. “I don’t know where my laundry is,” he said. “I need that back, certainly.”

Henry laughed. “So,” he said. “When you’re done with this next trip, you want to come home for a while?”

It then occurred to Montjoy that “go home” and “come home” mean two different things.

Chapter Text

It’s a strange thought, having someone to come home to.

D'Albret usually leaves his office late at night, and Charles isn’t always awake when he gets home. Sometimes d'Albret finds him flopped asleep on the bed, or if he’s awake he’s at the typewriter, busily hammering out a report or working on a new poem. He’s the Assistant Internal Minister by trade but a poet at heart. They usually end up alternating nights, sometimes at Charles’ flat, sometimes d'Albret’s.

Tonight, it’s d'Albret’s– sparsely furnished, floors piled high with paperwork and files, and a permanent smell of tobacco. Charles is there already, d'Albret can tell by the thwacking sound of typewriter keys and a record playing softly in the background. His tall, lanky form is somewhat bent to reach down to the typewriter.

Charles looks up when d'Albret knocks on the door frame to get his attention.  “What are you doing out of the office so early?” He asks, somewhat surprised. Usually, d'Albret arrives around 9 at night, sometimes later.

“Just wanted to come home,” d'Albret replies, messing up Charles’ hair and kissing his forehead.

Chapter Text

“I want to go home,” Harry muttered. He pulled his jacket tighter against the cold, though he was still soaked from the rain.

“I do too,” Archie said. “Stop complaining.”

They had been caught in a storm in Shropshire on their way back North. The rain didn’t look like it was going to stop, but they fortunately found refuge in a small church. Their horses were about as pleased with the situation as Harry, who was still in pain from the wound he’d received in battle three weeks before.

There was an explosion of thunder, not too far off. Harry jumped. He hated storms but didn’t let anyone know that. Archie saw he was shaking, curled up in himself. No doubt he missed Kate and home, but he’d never admit that either– though Archie knew it. Harry was a strange little man. Reckless and bad with dealing with people, but brave and loving.

Without saying anything, Archie wrapped an arm around his best friend and pulled him close. He let Harry snuggle up under his chin, not minding that they were both still wet.

Chapter Text

“You look really tired,” Richard said as Ed flopped down on the couch.

“Thanks, honey, I wouldn’t have guessed,” Ed replied. “Traffic like you wouldn’t believe getting to Grand Central and then getting out of Buffalo…”

“Any news on the station? How’s Bolingbroke doing?”

“As well as can be expected,” Ed said, staring blearily at the TV schedule. If a breakthrough wasn’t made through some miracle, soon WKTE, CBS 33 would no longer be airing.

Sometimes it was hard to face that future when you were married to the person who caused it.

“He’ll do a good job, I’m sure of it,” Richard said. “He’s always managed to. Of course, he was certainly the man to hand the station over to when I left, even if I was forced to do it.”

Ed knew that Richard wasn’t being complimentary towards Mr. Bolingbroke. He was still bitter over his own resignation and the circumstances.

“Where’s Isabelle?” Ed asked, trying to change the subject.

“In bed,” Richard replied. “She wanted to stay up until you got home but she couldn’t make it past eight.”

“I’m not going to make it past eleven,” Ed mumbled, propping his elbow on the couch’s armrest, his head in his hand. He yawned, the physical expression of having been in meetings all day and then fighting his way out of New York City.

“You should go to bed then,” Richard said as Ed yawned again.

“Nah,” Ed yawned. “I think I’ll just stay here.”

Richard reached an arm around Ed and pulled him to his side. “Good,” he said. “You look really tired”

Chapter Text

Harry had returned from battle beaten up and exhausted. He tried, rather unsuccessfully, to groom his horse, even though he was having trouble standing on weary legs.

“Harry, come inside,” Kate said behind him.

“I’m fine, Kate,” he replied. Unfortunately Kate always knew when he was lying.

“Are you sure?” She said, picking up a brush to help.

“Ye-” he was cut short by doubling over in pain. He gripped the stall door for balance. Now Kate could see the blood crusted on his forehead and his torn surcoat. She took his hand and pulled him away gently.

“We can have Gilliams take care of the horse,” she said, slipping her shoulder under his arm and supporting him like a comrade in battle. “For now, we’re going in. You look really tired.”

Chapter Text

You looked beautiful in your pristine white robes, your brown hair flowing in the wind and with your head held high. You were on top of the world.

“Edward, come with me,” you said, taking my hand and leading me away from the crowds and the lists of the celebration. I followed you, my hand still in yours, up a hill where the only thing I could hear was my breath and the sound of our feet in the grass.

“Isn’t it beautiful?” You asked, sitting down on the ground. Unsure of what else to do, I followed your example.

“Yes,” I replied. The hill overlooked a peaceful valley and seemed to border the very sky. As I rest my head on your shoulder, I truly believed we were on top of the world.

Chapter Text

At this point, after being alone for so long, his heart seemed to have turned to stone– or maybe all of him had– he was numb and felt nothing and didn’t expect to feel anything ever again, certainly not love or happiness.

“I still– I still love you,” d'Albret said, though it was hard– it had always been hard to say that, even to Charles, the first and only man he ever loved.

Charles would have been crying had he still had any senses left– being separated for seven years had made him begin to think he wasn’t loved, wasn’t wanted, his country had given up trying to get him back, and d'Albret must not have wanted him any more– but at the same time he knew he couldn’t completely convince himself of that.

Chapter Text

Mathe knew something was wrong. Very wrong indeed. Anne was gone. She hadn’t been around for a while, and Mathe had smelled her but wasn’t allowed to see her, even when Richard was. Richard was important and did whatever he wanted, and since Richard was important Mathe was important and usually he got to do whatever he wanted.

But now Richard didn’t do anything. He was too busy crying, and Mathe heard words that meant very little to a dog- plague, church, burn- and all Mathe could do was try to make Richard smile again. Nothing could make Richard smile ever again, Mathe thought, when Anne’s smell faded. Richard must have noticed it, the absence was so obvious.

Richard was sitting on the floor in his chamber, and he didn’t look like the big man he was to the other humans. They called him “king” and Mathe didn’t quite know what that meant but he knew Richard and he usually didn’t look like this.

Mathe trotted over to Richard and wagged his tail, waiting for Richard to do something. Richard didn’t say anything or even move. He was doing that thing that humans do when they’re sad, make noise and have wet salty stuff on their face. Mathe could tell Richard was sad without all that. When he got no response, Mathe nudged Richard’s hand- big, nice, good petting hand- and tried to nose under it. There was no resistance, Richard was limp and didn’t want to move. That was not good for petting, and if you couldn’t pet a dog, what could make you happy?

Mathe was getting sad now too. Things were beginning to make sense. Anne wasn’t coming back. He whined and curled up next to Richard, resting his head on Richard’s leg and looking up at him. There was silence in the chamber except for Richard’s sad noises. Richard slowly regained strength enough to pet Mathe, stroking his soft head and scratching behind his ears. Enjoying this, Mathe sat up and licked the sad salty water off of Richard’s face. Richard threw his arms around his beloved dog’s neck and buried his face in Mathe’s white pelt.

“Oh Mathe,” Richard said, sad still in his voice, “you understand.”

Chapter Text

“So wait– you’ve never jumped in a pile of leaves?” Henry asked. 

“No!” Catherine replied. “I’m a princess and princesses don’t–” as she spoke, her husband tackled her right into a pile of crisp, brilliantly red and yellow new-fallen leaves.

“They do now!” he said with a grin.

Chapter Text

D'Albret walks faster through the street as he tries to escape the voices he overhears these days at the Ministry of Defense, his new assignment.

“…A right asshole…” “doesn’t he know anything about politics,” “probably in it for himself anyway,” “fag.”

He who is without sin cast the first stone, d'Albret thinks, and he begins searching for a stone that will shut them up.

Chapter Text

Because he’s king, and has expensive, fashionable tastes besides, Richard sees a great deal of gold. But even the most intensely polished gold cannot outshine his most favorite thing in the world–

“Dickon!” Aumerle cries as he runs to hug Richard, his eyes shining with joy and love.

Chapter Text

Catherine and Henry looked out over the murky depths of the channel separating their two kingdoms.

“Is it true people actually try to swim this thing?” Catherine asked.

“I would certainly do it, if it meant I could see you,” Henry said, taking her hand with a loving smile.

Chapter Text

Of all things, that’s what broke him down.

It was simple, really. All Aumerle (who was on top tonight) had done was run his fingers through Richard’s hair, his fingertips just applying what was apparently the right amount of pressure.

“Oh my God, do that again,” Richard moaned.

“What?”

“What you just did,” Richard replied, his voice halfway between a gasp and another moan. He was beginning to lose coherency, soon he wouldn’t be able to speak at all, Aumerle thought with a grin. He ran his fingers through Richard’s hair again, brushing his scalp, which was exactly what Richard wanted. Then he decided to try something more. He gently ran his fingers down from Richard’s hair down his neck and over his shoulder to trace his collar bone.

“Oh God,” Richard moaned as he shivered, “that– I love you, Ned.”

Aumerle smiled again and pressed a kiss on the smooth, bare skin of the shoulder in front of him. “I love you too, Dickon.” He ran his fingers back over his shoulder to trace the outline of his shoulder blade, which made Richard shiver even more. “Now,” Aumerle said, his voice low and right next to Richard’s ear, “what else would you like me to do?”

Chapter Text

The world was too green. Richard couldn’t stand how fertile and lush the countryside was today– it should have been dark and overcast and dreary to match his mood. The world was now devoid of the most beautiful thing it had ever known.

He’d burned the church down, screamed at everyone, cried. He had run out of things on which to take out his anger and pain– if only he could get rid of all the green in the world.

Now, alone in his bedchamber he stared at one particular green– an emerald velvet dress, hanging in the wardrobe as if she were going to wear it today. He can’t bring himself to get rid of it.

Green had been Anne’s favorite color.

Chapter Text

Mulder and Scully had been running for what seemed an hour. Over hills, through puddles, all over the South Carolina countryside.

“Almost there!” Mulder gasped, having stopped for a breath. “We’ve almost made it to town.”

“If we get to town,” Scully choked, “then will you tell me what’s chasing us?“

Mulder took off running and Scully after him.

Finally, they saw it- the streetlights of a town ahead. Mulder grinned, grabbed Scully’s hand, and they ran towards the light together.

Chapter Text

“Ned! Stop!” Hal tried to run but Ned came after him, laughing and swinging the garden hose at his best friend. Hal was laughing too as well as shrieking, water warmed by the hose sitting in the sun all day splashing him.

“C'mon get back here!” Ned caught up with him, pressing his thumb at the opening of the hose, increasing the water pressure and directing it at Hal. Hal doubled up on him and grabbed a hold of the hose, struggling, getting the spray right in his face, then gaining control and shoving it down Ned’s shirt. It was cold now, and was a declaration of war.

—–

Somehow Ned saw that day, as well as every other day he spent playing with his best friend, as if it were a home movie, the moments captured even if he never expected to look back on them– at least they’d be there. He looked at the old garden hose coiled up by the wall of the garage. It hadn’t been used for some time now and was crusted over with dirt and dust.

Ned often wanted to go back to those days, before work and college and life and the station and responsibilities and Hal breaking his heart. He saw himself running away from Hal, who had just taken hold of the hose. By the end of the fight they were both completely soaked and had collapsed in the yard to dry by the sun. He had been so happy, they both had been.

He sighed and pulled out the hose and heaved it into the yard, he had to get back to cleaning the garage. Ned took one last look at the old hose and returned to the garage, wondering what else he’d find. He was just about to haul put a cardboard box of records when the door to the inside opened. Nell stood in the doorway, holding the house phone. “It’s for you,” she called to Ned.

“Who is it?”

“It’s Hal.”

Chapter Text

Harry always thought the latest fashions were stupid. Impractical, ostentatious, signs of men who thought they were better than they actually were and were determined to show it by how much they could drop on fancy robes and shoes.

Tonight at this party (why did he have to be dragged to parties again? Too noisy and exhausting and he had to be on his best behavior and not get into any fights) he saw one particular poppinjay in a circle of friends dressed in similar high fashion. Him. It was HIM.

Harry grabbed Kate’s hand and squeezed it hard, accidentally pulling her from her conversation with the Duchess of York. He hadn’t meant to do that, really, he had just needed to hold her hand…

“Harry, what is it?” She demanded quietly. Harry couldn’t get the words out yet and instead tightened his hand.

“Harry OW!”

He looked down and lessened his grip. He looked at her. “Him,” he mumbled.

“Who?”

“That… that flashy asshole.”

Kate had to stop herself from asking which one. “What about him?”

“Holmidon,” Harry finally said. “He w-wanted my prisoners. T-told me to give ‘em because he w-was from the king.” Kate knew what had happened next. Her dumb husband had refused to send them to the king, demanding her brother Edmund be ransomed and thereby getting himself in deeper trouble. He couldn’t still be mad at that man, could he? Harry was easily angered but he usually wore himself out and it no longer mattered. But Kate could tell by the look on his face this was different. He must seriously have offended Harry.

She squeezed his hand.

“H-he said he w-would take my prisoners a-and he y-yelled at o-one of our o-orderlies f-for bringing a…” Harry trailed off and Kate squeezed his hand again to let him know he didn’t need to talk if he didn’t want to to. “F-for bringing a dead body b-by him. Th-the b-bastard,” he continued. “I- he- l-look at him, h-he acts like a- a gentleman b-but–”

“He doesn’t sound like one,” Kate said.

“H-he isn’t,” Harry agreed. “I- I w-was tired and h-hurt and he d-demanded w-what I w-worked for a-and d-didn’t care ab-about the b-battle. H-he d-didn’t h-have to f-fi–”

Kate stopped him there, putting a hand to his cheek. He was getting incoherent now. He shut up. “Shall I kick his ass for you?” She asked teasingly, but only partly.

Harry looked over at the ponce. “Th-think you could g-get a-away w-with it?” Kate tried not to laugh. “You c-could at l-least tell him how un-un-mann-”

“Unmannerly?” Kate prompted.

“Yes. That. H-how unmannerly h-he is.” Harry glared at that certain lord. “C-can you think? H-he w-was dressed l-like this th-then.”

“He does that because that’s the only way he’ll look good,” Kate said, leaning on tiptoe to kiss Harry’s cheek. “You don’t have to dress so flashy, you’re handsome on your own. Especially in armor.”

Chapter Text

“Are you sure about this?” Montjoy looked down at the piece of parchment he’d been handed.

“Do I look like I’m not?” D'Albret snapped. “Just do your job and deliver this message.” He’d written another message to King Henry, again suggesting he just make it easy on himself and surrender already.

“You keep using ‘tu,’” Montjoy replied, scanning the message. D'Albret’s scowl suggested he just get going. It would be a long day ahead of him as he set out for Calais to meet with the English King again.

It was not instinctual for Montjoy to be rude– it was quite the opposite– but he’d become the conduit for an ongoing trolling campaign against Henry, one that Henry was fighting back against and doing rather well. Montjoy just hoped no one on either side would forget he was just the messenger and shoot him. While D'Albret respected the King’s determination and power– at least, the power he had before the campaign, which had by now been sorely weakened by sickness– he considered Henry the man to be an annoying upstart twerp. His father had been a usurper, and the son was now planning the same. Of course d'Albret wasn’t going to like him.

However, trolling was not instinctual for Montjoy either, and he just delivered the messages as he’d been told. The same went for Henry’s messages to the French court, which were increasingly belligerent and recently included a rather suggestive misspelling of the title “Constable.”

There was a third thing that was not instinctual. And it was apparent whenever he was in the presence of the King of England. It was attraction. He never felt that, at least he never had felt that until now.

“Thou doest thy office fairly,” said the King.

Instinct told Montjoy that he should use “thou” when addressing the King, but for reasons all his own.

Chapter Text

It had been six months since one of the most painful moments in Charles’s nasty, brutish, and short life. He’d had his heart broken, though he should have seen it coming. He’d retired from his position in the Ministry of the Interior and moved back home to Orléans to serve in the regional government and in the meantime try to keep his mind off of his sorrow.

He and his partner, Charles d'Albret had broken up six months ago. It was a mutual decision, Charles kept telling himself, even though he didn’t want to break up at all. It was dangerous trying to have a relationship like that in general since it was technically illegal, and both of them were high ranking in the government– He himself the Assistant Minister of Internal Affairs and d'Albret the Minister of Defense. They’d be found out sooner or later but Charles always felt it was worth it. What really hurt was he harbored the bitter thought that maybe d'Albret didn’t love him as much as he loved d'Albret. No, that was too harsh. d'Albret was just a very practical man who understood the risk. After all, there was no plausible deniability if you were found making out with another cabinet minister on your desk.

Charles hadn’t had the heart for work lately. It was nearing the end of November, which was always a sad time anyway, since it was the anniversary of his father’s death, which happened to be near his birthday. Charles didn’t want to be alone. Not now.

“There was a call for you,” Charles’s secretary said as he walked in the office.

He was only semi-aware of the moment, still lost in thought. He was snapped back into reality when the secretary handed him a missed call note.

“This is what he said?” Charles asked, looking up at the secretary, completely shocked.

“Yes,” the secretary replied.

Charles reread the message in his hand:

“A monsieur D.A. called to say ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I miss you.’”

Chapter Text

Charles was, as usual, sitting at his desk. In front of him was a large book. He hadn’t turned the page for several minutes and he certainly hadn’t read anything. He had scratched out the day in his calendar, as if that could rid himself of September 13. Why birthdays and death days had to be intertwined for him he’d never know. 

“There you are.” He vaguely heard Marie’s voice somewhere. He didn’t look up. “Charles, I’m looking for the accounts for last year–”

“Hm?” Charles finally looked up. “What’d you say?”

“Last year’s account books for Blois… are you alright?” Marie’s concern was obvious.

“Huh, me? Oh, I’m fine.” Charles looked back down at the book but knew Marie wasn’t going to leave unless he told her either why he was so miserable or where he’d put the account books. 

Marie often wondered what Charles was like when he was young. He was a tired old man now, though kind and hardworking. It had only been in the past few years that they’d begun to have more than a stiff, awkward relationship. While their marriage was less than optimal, they’d come to love each other for who they were.

“…Why is there a hole ripped in the calendar?” 

Charles closed his eyes and squeezed the bridge of his nose. “I’m fine, Marie. It’s just I don’t like today.”

“Bad day?”

“Very. Now, if you excuse me, I’d like to finish reading this–” but he couldn’t continue. His throat closed as he felt the tears coming again. He put his head in his hands. He felt Marie put her arm around his shoulders. 

“Hey,” she whispered. “You’re alright. What is it?”

Charles didn’t look up, still with his head in his hands. “Oh, Marie…” he mumbled. “I should have told you a long time ago…” He felt her gently stroke his graying hair and he tried to take a deep breath. “My daughter was born today. Joan. Over forty years ago.” Just thinking of the gap between when he’d first held her and now hurt. “September 13. Her mother died.” He heaved another heavy breath. “It’s…”

Charles didn’t talk about his past much, so Marie really only knew major things that were common knowledge– Agincourt, being in exile, the situation with the house of Burgundy (one side of her family). When it came to personal matters, she knew he had been married twice before and had one child, now gone, but never any names, until now. 

“I’m sorry,” she said quietly. “I shouldn’t have pried–”

“I should have told you a long time ago,” Charles repeated. He took her hand. 

“Just tell me what you need to say,” Marie said. “I’ll listen.”

Chapter Text

Will the circle be unbroken

Richard is ten and he is told Grandfather is dead. He doesn’t cry, he can’t now, he’s king. 

By and by, by and by?

Richard banishes his cousin, Bolingbroke– Henry.

He cannot cry, his cousin is now his enemy. Is a better home awaiting Richard no longer knows who he is, he knows he soon will no longer be king. He sees dear, sweet Edward cry, he himself cannot.

In the sky, in the sky?

Richard cries now, not because he has to give up the crown and his power and his status but because he thinks back to the ghosts of dead kings. He sees the cycle beginning again.

Chapter Text

I looked down at the baby in my arms– our baby. I had finally gotten her to sleep when you sat down next to me on the bed. You put your arm around me and held me close. For once I didn’t tense up or pull away, and for once you didn’t seem awkward.

“Still thinking of Joan?” You asked.

I nodded. She squirmed in my arms and I rocked her, telling her it was alright, that was just her daddy talking, and that was her name.

“I love you,” you said, with a strange sound in your voice– was it awe? I didn’t know then, but this was the first time you realized that.

It was the first time I did too.

Chapter Text

“Ned…” Your voice was muffled on the other side of the door. “Ned, it’s me, Dickon.”

I couldn’t stop the growl rising in my throat. You locked me in here.

“Ned, it’s just for tonight, I promise. I had to–”

I paced around, not really listening anymore. My wolf form made me restless and being locked in this crummy room wasn’t helping. Finally I lay down by the door, wishing you’d just unlock it and let me out so we could play, I wouldn’t hurt you. You’re my mate.

“I love you,” you said quietly. I couldn’t respond.

Chapter Text

“You’re going to lose your kitchen privileges! Again!” I shouted, throwing a dishtowel at you as you dodged out of the kitchen, laughing.

“C’mon, just let me try some of it,” you said.

“No! It’s not done! Besides, there are raw eggs in it,” I replied, trying not to laugh too. You’d tried to sneak a taste of the cookie dough I’d just been mixing.

“Nobody’s ever gotten sick from that,” you replied, trying to get past me.

I groaned. “Fine.” I scooped some of the dough up and lobbed it your way, you caught it.

“Love you,” you said, teasingly wiping some dough on my nose.

“I love you, Harry, but now get out of my kitchen!”

You ran.