Author: Umeko PM
Why did D'Eon choose to continue wearing a dress? That and other insights into the various characters of this anime.Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst - Chapters: 32 - Words: 48,836 - Reviews: 50 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 07-08-12 - Published: 06-04-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6023654
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: The characters of Le Chevalier D'Eon do not belong to me. May contain spoilers for the anime.
One thing I believe any fan of this anime is bugged by is why the hell D'Eon chose to live out his life as a woman at the end. I mean, he could have easily changed his name, lived as a man in England or anywhere else outside France. This is a little peek into what may have been his motivation in taking on his sister's identity.
High angst warning, I may consider doing similar pieces for the others and turn this into a series.
This is inspired by the scene where D'Eon and the former Queen of England are looking at the sea.
D'Eon: Sunset Solace
My bonnie lies over the ocean, my bonnie lies over the sea;
My bonnie lies over the ocean, please bring back my bonnie to me
"You and Lia are not like us. Your souls did not merge like ours have done. You could move on, you know." The knitting needles in my companion's hands click away, starting a new shawl. "Lia's soul is at peace… you have to let go."
I only smile and shake my head. It is not that simple. "How's France? You have been quiet since you returned yesterday," she changes the topic, sensing my discomfort. "France has changed so much that I do not recognize her," I reply, settling myself into the empty chair next to her. I gaze at the beautiful vista before us. A scattering of ships are bobbing on a calm sea, hailing from ports far and wide. I wonder how many are French. "An old friend of mine died on the guillotine…"
"Was it that red-haired page-boy who was with you then? We're so sorry…" she takes my hand in hers, offering me whatever meagre comfort she can.
There was no need to be. Robin's as sharp as a tack. He probably knew what he was getting into when he started down that path. "How's George?" I ask after her husband. She shakes her head sadly. "He is not well. The doctors fear the worst. My, it is getting a little cold out here…" she rises to her feet slowly and keeps her knitting. The years have added grey strands to the brown of her hair despite her attempts to dye it back to youthful brown. Her movements are slower now, though as graceful as ever. If Lia had lived, would she have aged as gracefully as her friend? Would she have married, borne children and knitted shawls for their babies?
We're no longer young. The cold winds blowing off the sea wreck havoc with our bones. Still, I have no desire to sit indoors by the fireside.
"I'll like to stay a while longer…" Understanding my wish to be alone, she smiles and glides regally indoors. I am left with my thoughts.
So why did I, baptised D'Eon de Beaumont, a former member of the Secret du Roi, continue to wear skirts and live as a woman? I cannot answer that myself. D'Eon de Beaumont is dead. King Louis XV announced my death so many years ago. I might have used my late sister's identity to flee France then, yet I continued to dress as a woman in England where I am a guest under the roof of the former Queen Mary and her sister.
When I first turned up at her doorstep so many years ago, with only the worn-out, threadbare dress I was standing in to my name, she had taken me aside and said to me. "D'Eon, you are still a young man. You have to consider your future…"
She also gave me a sword that day. "You're a knight. You should not be without a sword." She loaned me some money so that I might purchase some new clothes. I went to the tailor's but returned with two dresses and a shawl from the dressmaker. When I returned in my new dress, she did not say anything. Queen Mary and her sister both understood. I then applied for the post of French tutor to her royal brood. I tutored her children, several nieces and nephews in the French language. They all called me Mademoiselle Lia. I put away that sword. My old master Teillagory would be mortified by the amount of dust that had collected on it in the depths of my clothes trunk.
I take out the silver pocket watch that was once Durand's. It still bears a bit of dried blood on it that might have been Robin's. Durand had an attachment to the old thing although it was broken. I was surprised Robin had kept it all this time although he had cast aside all other vestiges of his past identity to take on Maximilien's mantle. I had picked it up from the cobblestones after it had fallen from Robin's pocket as he was marched up to the guillotine. At least his death was mercifully swift.
"Maximilien…" Lia had pleaded as she lay dying in her own blood. God knows how long she lay there before her lover finally found her. I pray my beloved Anna did not suffer as she did.
The burning desire to find that truth behind Lia's death, was it my own or Lia's soul guiding me towards the truth? I could not be sure even now. Lia's soul had been with me for those months as we sought out the truth. I had been one with her, sharing her emotions, her memories… I understood her torment, the pain and rage her soul was seared by. It would be selfish not to let her rest in peace. Yet at the moment I put the torch to her funeral pyre, I was struck by a profound sense of loss. That night I severed the last link that held her soul from its rest. With my own hands, I burned that link. From the moment forth, I was truly alone. I still could not let go. Letting go is too difficult.
If I had been a stronger person, I would have continued with my life in England as a man. It would be easy to seek employment as a scribe or mercenary soldier. I could even have travelled across the ocean to seek my fortune in the New World. The truth is: D'Eon de Beaumont is nothing without his sister. Even as a child, I was always hiding behind my sister. Lia was the better swordswoman, the smarter one. I would have given up the sword a long time ago if Lia had not insisted on dragging me to Master Teillagory's every other day as a sparring partner.
If it weren't for Lia, I would have probably wound up a lacklustre soldier or a nondescript clerk. I would not have met Robin or Durand if weren't for Lia's death. Well, I might have met Robin since I did call on Anna at the palace but our relationship would probably be limited to casual acquaintance. I could have lived out my life in France and died without taking one step into the world beyond Paris and Versailles. I would never have travelled to Russia or England. I would never have met Empresses Elizaveta and Ekaterina or Queen Mary.
The first time I wore a dress, it was to connect with Lia's soul on Queen Marie's instructions. I had no memory of what happened then when Lia took possession of me. The second time was at Empress Elizaveta's masquerade ball. That time she did not awake. The third time was at the French embassy in London. I was aware of Lia using a poem to save Robin in the room above our heads. Afterwards, I did not change out of it immediately, choosing to sit a while in my room, thinking of her, the glimpses of her memories and what had happened. I felt her agony when Maximilien died.
We were unable to save Durand. We felt him die on the sword we wielded. Master Teillagory chose death in the end, throwing himself between Robin's gun and the Duke of Orleans. Robin did not recognize me when our paths cross that final fatal time. The round blue eyes I recalled were drained of all life. His imprisonment had taken a toll on him, leaving only a shadow behind. D'Eon, Lia… We had tried to stop him then, but he had chosen to run off into the night with that damned book. We lost him in that instant when our paths diverged.
I know Lia is at peace. I have not felt her soul since that night. No matter how many times I don a dress, I no longer feel her. No matter how often I look into the mirror, I only see myself. In my younger days, I favoured the bold reds and bright violets Lia so loved. As the years passed, my wardrobe faded into soft teals and dull greys. Each passing day adds more white hairs to my head and lines to my face. I am no longer a young man.
I had gone back to France, hoping to see again the land of my birth. I was disappointed. Paris was overrun by the worst rabble. The lovely manor house where Lia and I were born and raised had been gutted by fire. Only the charred shell remained. Versailles had long been abandoned by the remaining royals. The palace grounds were overgrown. The grand marble fountain was dry and cracked. I realised in that moment that I was nothing but a nostalgic old man clinging onto a faded past.
Oh blow ye winds over the ocean, oh blow ye winds over the sea;
Oh blow ye winds over the ocean, please bring back my bonnie to me…
The sunset slowly paints the sea a blazing gold. I cast my eyes across in the direction of France, searching, searching for what? I have been searching for an answer all these years but have found none.
I pull my shawl tighter around myself. It is getting even colder. I hear Mary calling from within. Dinner is waiting. Finally I relent.
"Coming." I turn my back on the sunset sea. Perhaps someday, I will find my answer. I will put aside my dresses for a man's breeches. I will step out into the world again as a man named D'Eon de Beaumont. Till then, I will continue walking into the sunset of my life in skirts and bearing the name of my dead sister.
Tissues anyone? I struck me that maybe the whole reason why he wears a dress to the end is because he can't let go of what happened, especially his sister.
D'Eon: I sound like a loser…
Lia: Well, I hate to admit it, but you always were clingy as a child…