|Stories and Responsibilities
Author: Elise Davidson PM
They had grown up quite differently. Bertie supposes that a childhood in Australia wouldn't have been that fun anyway. Mild slash IF you squint really hard.Rated: Fiction K - English - Angst - Lionel L. & Bertie/George VI - Words: 814 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 2 - Published: 06-17-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7092532
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title: Stories and Responsibilities
Author: Elise Davidson
Warnings: Slight angst, I suppose. Just a random sort of deal.
A/N: Kind of a weird one-shot I had an idea for. I've got other things on the brain for this fandom, but this one sort of popped out. Yay real life for your inspiration. There's slash if you squint, but not really.
"Will Their Majesties be staying for dinner?"
Though it was the first time Mrs. Logue had invited them for dinner, it wouldn't be the last. Taxing his schedule was, however, Bertie found himself turning it down more often than not. Or rather, Elizabeth would turn it down.
There had been at least one occasion that there had been no previous engagement other than the fact that Bertie desperately needed rest from what David had so carelessly termed as "kinging".
Bertie felt his lips curl into an involuntary grimace, and he lit a cigarette. He could practically hear Dr. Logue—no, Lionel—preaching of the dangers before snatching it from his hand. The smoke twirled around his messy hair, and he rested his forehead against his hand. The sun had long gone down, but there were masses and reams of documents to be read through. Bertie knew that staying atop of Hitler's plans and whereabouts were of the utmost importance.
It didn't stop his eyes from drooping.
Bertie rubbed the bridge of his nose, his mind still drawn inexplicably to the hesitant offers from Mrs. Logue to stay for supper, even to simply stay for tea. The times Bertie and Elizabeth had managed to stay were few and far between, and times were simply not getting any easier. He was tired of the war, tired of the climbing casualties…not to mention he was extraordinarily weary of struggling to make Elizabeth take the girls somewhere safe. For god's sake, Buckingham was surely on the bombers' list of targets.
Just the thought made the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end.
Bertie ran a hand through his hair, carding his fingers over the oily strands. He needed a shower, desperately. Needed to get away from the strict regiment and tireless schedule, wanted his itinerary to disappear so he could just breathe.
The invitations were consistently standing to have dinner with the Logues, even just to lounge about and talk about the mundane things. Bertie found he had little idea of what the commoners might talk about; his conversations were of war and politics on such a regular basis, that the mundane and silly seemed a warm welcome.
Bertie stacked the papers on his desk. He remembered quite a few times when Lionel had forgone the usual exercises to simply talk of Australia. Stories Bertie could scarcely imagine, of animals far bigger and much stranger than any he had ever seen outside of a conservatory, for example.
Lionel had even drawn out a few long-forgotten stories from Bertie, such as playing siege with his brothers when he was little, when they weren't stepping about the broken glass of their deranged nanny. When Bertie's braces didn't get in the way, when David wasn't leaving crown and country for a woman that Hitler himself would've taken as queen.
When Johnny was alive.
Bertie glanced out the window, the starkness of the black tape on the windows making him feel trapped and as if there were a great weight about his shoulders. He closed his eyes, if only for a moment, allowing Lionel's fantastical stories to spin images before his vision. Swimming in the ocean with other children, poking at frogs that were so brightly colored that they all but screamed to stay away. Marsupials, if Bertie could believe it, that simply ran about the desert, untamed and wild.
Bertie sighed and turned his eyes back to the papers. The telephone was only in the next room and he knew he could call Lionel day or night. He hesitated, however. He hated that blasted telephone nearly as much as the absurd microphone. There wasn't even a speech coming along soon; there was truly no reason to call him.
His feet were still taking him to the telephone in the face of his better judgment.
Bertie looked at the phone with trepidation before he turned away with a mutter and a shake of his head. Lionel's stories were just that; stories. And Bertie had been born a prince, forced to be a king, and with those titles came certain burdens. He didn't have the childhood that Lionel had experienced, just as his daughters wouldn't have it either.
Bertie leaned back in his chair with another mutter that was much weaker than the first. It probably wouldn't have been that enjoyable anyway.