Author's Note: It's seriously a record for me. I just finished watching all Reign episodes yesterday and am writing fanfiction for it today. That never happened before. It started as a drabble but then I couldn't just leave it alone and now it's a one-shot. The strength of Mary and Sebastian right?
Timeline: This took place 2-3 weeks after season 1 episode 2
When Mary began wearing soft leather gloves inside the castle no one questioned it. Many ladies in the court followed her example, despite the displeasure of such an impractical fashion trend on the eve of summer.
Every day Bash would somehow catch her alone— it was a talent, really— and with quiet admission, Mary would lift her left hand to him and he would hold her wrist and slide the glove, very gradually, off her hand. The wound left there from her generous offering over his late cousin's grave had not been deep but he insisted on redressing it daily for her. Today he found her walking at the edge of the lake with her ladies, who quickly departed with poor excuses and much giggling as he approached. They were scarcely out of earshot when Mary wordlessly offered her gloved hand to him as if it replaced voiced greetings. He gave her a long look before pulling off her glove as was custom, then unwrapped the fabric he knotted there the day before with a care befitting any queen. Bash was pleased when he saw the wound she had sliced was finally beginning to scar.
"Does it still hurt? When you clench your fists? Hold anything?" his focus was so intent on her palm he might as well have been asking her hand.
"No." she replied, watching him through her lashes. She only looked at him like that when she thought he wasn't aware, but he could feel her gaze like he knew her presence anywhere in a room.
He didn't look up, not yet, relishing her attention. His finger traced the tip of the scar to its end, diagonal across her hand, and then back.
"Bash," she began warningly though he could hear the smile in her voice, "If I didn't know any better I'd think you were using the excuse of playing doctor just to hold my hand."
To this he smiled, the crease of worry on his forehead smoothing in exchange for a dimple in his cheek. It was a treat to be on the receiving end of a cheeky Mary and he latched onto the moment immediately. "In truth, your grace," his eyes flicked up to hers and he delighted in her embarrassment of having caught her stare, "I would gladly give any excuse to hold your hand." She flushed, a color so becoming of her, and emboldened by her favorable reaction he lifted her left hand, palm up, to his lips and gently placed a single kiss upon the center of her healing scar, his eyes never leaving hers.
Mary let out a soft, shaky breath, and he was overwhelmed with a sense somewhere between pride and disbelief that he could inspire such an affect on her. She pulled her hand out of his, using the excuse of knotting the fabric back around her hand to break their gaze. "You are... kind, sir."
He lowered his head closer to hers, "'Sir' now, is it?" he teased, not yet ready to end their playful tirade.
Her eyes flickered to his, and as if deciding that was unsafe, went back down to her knotting. "You're right, 'Sir' is a title ill-suited to audacious, impulsive, quick..." Her words trailed off as Bash's hands went to cup hers, stilling her flustered struggle with the fabric, but rather than helping her, he went to pull the other glove off. His mood sobered instantly.
Mary noticed, her eyes softening as her eyes moved to search his face. "Bash?"
His attention remained on her right hand and he turned it over to trace the brand-like scarring left from a poisoned necklace in her hand too recent ago. "You've a scar on both hands since your arrival here. Both inflicted because of me."
Her shoulders relaxed and she gently pulled her right hand away, clasping his hands and her gloves in her left. His eyes stared unfocused where her palm and the brand had been moments before and it wasn't until she placed her branded hand on his cheek that he met her gaze.
"These are not scars, they are memories. A memory of you saving my life," she rubbed her right thumb over his temple, and he stiffened visibly, "the other done freely by my will, not yours," he took a step back from her, pulling his hands from hers and away from her touch, unconvinced by her gentleness.
"They are scars nonetheless— scars I could have prevented—"
"Do not torture yourself any longer with these thoughts," she said, her voice holding a firmness absent before, "Both are now a part of me, one of which you had no control over and the other which I had complete control." His eyes swept back to hers as if she had commanded it and she met them levelly. "I do not regret them. Do not regret them on my behalf."
She was always so confident when comforting another. He looked away again, and she took a step closer, voice gentling, "Bash."
He wasn't sure if it was the touch of her cool fingers against his or the unsaid request in his name, but he met her eyes once more and she smiled, all softness, all glow. He couldn't look away if his life depended on it. Her fingers traced his calluses, the many scars on his own hand from many a day dueling swords, playing sport. "These," Mary started quietly, "are memories as well. They forged who you are, each telling a story of their own. I cherish them, because they are part of you."
Scarcely ten minutes had passed since he had come to Mary and for the second time Bash was overwhelmed by her. There was a beauty to her spirit, to her soul, that can never be replicated by the beauty of her appearance, excruciatingly lovely as she was.
And as if she heard his silent plea, she placed his hand over her heart, then her hand atop his, and leaned in to give him a soft kiss. Bash waited but a moment before deepening the kiss, restraining against the urge to crush her to him, to impress upon her how deeply he felt for her, and her mouth yielded to him. His free hand cradled her face, moved down to her neck, wrapped around her waist, and then back again as if wanting so badly to be in all places at once. Mary pulled away all too soon, her eyes twinkling and a giggle on her lips.
"What?" he asked breathlessly, still holding her tantalizingly close.
"You kiss..." she began, all smiles while trying to find the words, "as if it'll be our last. With everything." he mirrored her smile, still breathing heavily and he leaned his forehead against hers as she went on, "Like a man...dying of thirst." she teased, unknowing that her comparison was the exact he made to his mother some weeks ago. A lifetime ago.
"Then quench it, Mary."
She smiled, this time releasing his hand over her breast in favor of cradling his face, as he does with her, and leaned in to fulfill his request.
Author's Note: Thank you for reading! I appreciate any feedback you have for me.