Title: Far From Home
Author: C. Rosevere (chrisrose)
Written: Jan. 21, 2014
Spoilers: Reign episodes 1x01-1x08. Set after 1x08 "Fated", and a sequel to my fic "Common Ground"
Summary: Mary and Bash can't run away from trauma and the truth. Mary/Bash, Mary/Francis mentioned.
Author's Note: You might want to read my short fic, "Common Ground", first, or you'll wonder why there are references to two characters knowing eachother who never actually interacted on the show. So, a little AU I guess.
FAR FROM HOME
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Mary woke, and waited for her heart to slow down. She tried to control her breathing. Tried to focus on the moon above her. Once she would've enjoyed the adventure of sleeping in the open air...
Then the moon was eclipsed by him. Even in the darkness, she could see his eyes... looking concerned, as usual.
Mary sat up and smiled at Sebastian. She took a deep breath. Her heart wasn't slowing.
"Mary?" He asked, obviously not convinced by her smile.
"You always let me sleep too long anyway." Mary knew she sounded more grouchy than grateful. "Try to sleep now." She added gently. "I'll take a turn on watch."
"No need." His smile didn't convince her either. "Soldiers aren't likely to ride through the night."
Mary guessed she was shivering, because Sebastian grabbed her blanket and covered her back and shoulders.
"I'm fine. Thanks." She felt his hand on her neck, only for a moment, and shivered again.
Mary watched as Sebastian sat on the ground, facing her. Their knees were almost touching. She shifted backwards a bit, tucking her knees under her chin.
"Why do you stay awake then, and keep watch?" She instantly regretted asking. An unnecessary question, sure to bring an uncomfortable answer.
"I don't. I'm just a light sleeper."
He was always honest with her, except when she wanted him not to be.
Sebastian laughed, and Mary was surprised to hear herself laugh too. They had been on the run for seven days. It felt longer. Laughter sounded strange to her ears, after everything that had happened. How could she forget, even for a moment, that there was nothing to laugh about?
"It's alright." Sebastian said quietly. "You have to...You can't live that way."
"Reading my mind, Bash?" She forced a laugh. "Can you predict the future too?"
"Mary." Sebastian's hand covered hers, then let go. "If you want to talk, I'm here."
They hadn't spoken much, about her reasons for leaving. He hadn't pushed. Respected her need for silence. But the nightmares were getting worse, and Mary had to admit she was more on edge than ever. Maybe...maybe it would help...
"You shouldn't be here. I wish you hadn't come."
She was shocked by the words, and grabbed his hand without thinking. The hurt look in his eyes...
"Bash, I didn't mean...I'm so grateful. I couldn't have made it this far...But you shouldn't have come with me. You can never go home again."
Aylee would never go home again.
Mary closed her eyes. She couldn't control her thoughts. That last memory of Aylee... At least she had saved Francis. Better he hate her than die if she married him. How many would die whose lives were touched by the Queen? How many more loved ones would she lose? How many times had Sebastian's life been in danger, because of her? And she had put him at risk again. Francis had seen her ride off with his brother. They hadn't run away...together. Surely Francis wouldn't... but he had threatened Sebastian before. After the kiss. But since then, nothing had happened between them. Nothing would happen.
Going alone may have been foolish, but it was selfish to leave with Sebastian. He always tried to protect her. He had sacrificed too much.
"I was leaving anyway." Sebastian squeezed her hand and spoke lightly. "Rather be out here. I used to travel more often, you know. I was getting restless." He gave her a rakish grin. "Although I'm glad to have the company. No other woman would shine so, in these wild woods, away from all comfort and luxury. Moonlight becomes you, Mary."
Mary felt her face burn. Hopefully he couldn't really see her that well in the moonlight. Of course he wasn't serious with his flirting, only trying to distract her.
Sebastian released her hand. Mary pulled the blanket tighter around her.
"Oh yes, I've been such good company, so far." Her voice shook slightly. "Can't blame you for wanting to get away. Life at Court is so dull and uneventful."
Mary thought she was laughing, until she realized she was crying. Sebastian's shirt was getting wet, and he was holding her in his arms.
He didn't speak, but she felt a soothing touch on her back, and her hair. Eventually, Mary lifted her head and pulled away, avoiding his eyes.
"I became acquainted with Aylee...before..."
Mary looked at him, startled. Sebastian reached over and brushed a few blades of grass off her shoulder. He watched them fall to the ground, then searched her eyes.
"I won't talk about her if..."
"No, it's alright. Tell me." Mary moved closer to him again. Their knees were touching.
"We only spoke for a little while." Sebastian said softly. "But I could see her honesty and courage. She had a loyal and sympathetic heart. I understand why you..."
"Aylee was a good friend, and I put her in danger. She'd still be alive..." Her voice was thick, but she wouldn't cry again.
"Mary, listen to me." Sebastian's eyes locked with hers and she couldn't look away.
"Bash." She wasn't sure what she was asking. His hands gripped her shoulders.
"You had nothing to do with Aylee's death. It was a horrible accident. Whether Nostradamus predicted it, or not. It wasn't your fault."
"It was!" Mary shook her head, and Sebastian's hands moved to hold her face, gently forcing her to look at him.
"No. She confided her fears about the prophecy. But she wasn't ruled by fear. Not even ruled by a sense of duty to her Queen. Aylee loved you. She wanted to be there for you, Mary. It was her choice."
How could her heart speed up even more? And then he spoke again, and it felt like her heart suddenly...stopped.
"Whatever happens, remember," Sebastian's voice was low. "This is my choice, Mary. I want to be here with you."
Mary didn't ask why. She could see the answer burning in his eyes.
"Bash...I'm glad you're here." Was she crying again, or was his shirt still wet from last time?
"Try to sleep now." He said gently, and pulled the blanket over them. Suddenly she felt exhausted.
"Can't sleep...if you're watching me." It was a lie, and she felt him laugh a little.
Mary smiled and waited until Sebastian closed his eyes. She listened to his heart, and focused on his breathing.
Maybe the next time she woke...
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Author's Note #2: Right after Aylee's death in 1x08, I thought about doing some sort of tribute to her in a sequel to "Common Ground", in which I had Bash & Aylee bond over their love of Mary. It seemed fitting that Mary & Bash should talk about Aylee, while Mary was dealing with her prophecy-related traumas. It took me this long to actually sit down and try to write the thing, 'cause I don't usually write serious stuff, and I haven't even written a humor fic for awhile and felt rusty. And there are already tons of great Mash fics set after "Fated". Mine's just a moody little conversation thing. Nothing essential. Oh well, I'll post it anyway. Let me know if you think I should stick to writing humor...if anything. :P
So there's a reason I didn't categorize this as "romance" first. It's a pre-romance? I've become a big Mash shipper, and I tried to put in these hints of Mary being drawn to Bash, but I felt I had to write Mary as being afraid to let herself get too close. "My" Mary is scared Francis might kill him (he did threaten his bro in episode 1x06) so she's suppressing her feelings for Bash and telling herself she's still in love with Francis. Even though she can't be with Francis without killing him. So Francis should really *not* kill Bash! Let Mary be happy, eh?