Mary becomes quiet all of the sudden, her eyes following the rolling hills outside their moving carriage.
"Is there something wrong?" he asks her, his fingertips on her shoulder.
"No, it's just…I think I recognize those hills…." Her brow is scrunched up in concentration, and then her voice brightens with recognition. "And those trees, Francis I used to play here!"
"Are you sure?" he asks, he never knew the location of the convent where she grew up, nobody but his parents knew, but they had told him she could never visit her because it was weeks of travel away. This place is a mere two days away from court.
Mary doesn't seem to pay attention to him, staring excitedly outside the window.
"I'm almost certain," she tells him after a second, turning to him with a smile. "There should be a creek right over there, and the convent somewhere behind."
He sees the longing flash in her eyes, the way her smile turns just a little sad.
"Would you like to visit?" he asks at once, he vowed to himself that not once would he see her unhappy. "See the sisters and the other girls again?"
"Can we do that?" she turns and asks him, her hands grabbing his arm.
"I don't see why not," he tells her, his own smile spreading his lips as he sees her so excited. "We can do whatever you want."
The smile grew on her face as Francis asked the driver to take them to a convent around these parts, and the carriage lurched to the right not long after, the scenery becoming more and more familiar to her, as she pointed out several spots and mentioned things long since pass to him.
"And there, that's where we kept the goats, Sister Eugene taught me how to milk them and how to make cheese," she told him, pointing at where several white goats where mulling about. "And look," she grabbed his arm and pulled him further to the window, not noticing the amused look on his face, "somewhere up that hill there's this huge rock we used to climb, I remember falling the first time and scrapping my hands and knees. The sisters were so worried they ran over to me but when they got there I had already wiped the blood off on my dress and was trying to get to the top again."
He smiles at her, completely picturing her as the little wild girl he once knew, not letting small matters like being a Queen deter her from climbing rocks or trying to play ball with the boys back at the castle. It's so completely her he only regrets not being there to see it.
She finally notices his amused smile and looks down at her hands a little shyly.
"I'm glad you were happy," he tells her, taking her cheek between his hands, his thumbs rubbing small circles over the rosy pink that's settled over them.
"I never stopped missing you," she tells him, stretching to him and pressing her lips to his because now she can, because he's her husband and nothing could ever keep them apart again.
"I used to lay awake those first few nights. I could not sleep because of all the noise from the other girls and the noises of the farm, and I used to wonder if you were falling asleep too, or if your father had kept you up with him at some meeting…and after a while you were like some sort of faraway dream, I grew up and only wondered if when I came back you would be the same as I remembered."
He nodded at her words. "And what did you find?"
"That everything was so much better," she tells him smiling, as the carriage lurches to a stop.
She widens her eyes at him, turning back towards the window, and he can see from over her shoulder how little girls in matching brown dresses run towards the carriage.
The girls have their mouths open at Mary's dress and crown when she steps out of the carriage, he following suit. Some of the older ones have the recollection to curtsy but the smallest one just tell her how pretty she is and pull at her cloak to hand her a flower, and Mary's ensuing smile as she leans down to thank for it makes his heart constrict in the thought of their own future children.
"What's all this uproar about?" he hears a loud but sweet voice ask, coming out from the stone building. "Dear God, if its Mary! Girls come here!"
At once the children run back.
"Sister," Mary smiles, and he can see a clear bright shine in her eyes as she takes everything in.
"Please don't," she asks right away as the nun lowers her head in respect.
"My child, I thought I'd never see you again!" the woman says clasping her hands fondly, "and you've brought company. Your majesty."
"How is everybody? Where's the Abbess?" Mary asks with a wide smile on her face, one that fades away as she sees the expression on the plump nun's face.
"It's freezing here, let's go inside," she says instead of answering, leading the way back to the convent.
He lets them go first while he gives instructions to their guards to keep watch from afar to not scare the children.
He walks in, Mary's back to him, the sad atmosphere inside something palpable.
"…it was just a few weeks ago, the disease took her so quickly…"
He instantly walks up to Mary, treading his arm around her waist.
"The girls are not allowed to go as far as the graveyard, so they made her a little memorial of sorts," the nun explains to Mary, who turns to him, a sheen of unshed tears bright in her eyes.
"I'll be right back," she tells him, squeezing his hand, and he nods, thinking that perhaps they shouldn't have come at all.
"Take your time," he tells her and watches her leave after the older woman.
She's quiet as she's left alone in front of a small wooden cross with the abbess' name carved at the base, her old rosary hanging from it. She remembers how she hugged before she left for, how she told her what she hoped with all her strength was true. He will love you.
"You were right," she says quietly with a smile, laying down the flower one of the girls gave her in front of the small memorial. There are other various flowers and trinkets the youngest girls have left there, even a toy rests by the side of the sister's name, prove of how much she was loved.
A sudden scream of "Mary!" shakes her from the memories, and she looks up just in time as a certainly taller redheaded girl flings herself into her arms. She eagerly hugs her back.
"I mean, your majesty," Rose says, stepping back and dropping into a curtsy, which Mary immediately pulls her out off.
"Come on, I want you to meet someone," she says, going back inside.
"Francis, this is Rose," she says, turning the girl around, her hands affectionately on her shoulders; the girl turns beet read. "And Rose, this is my husband, Francis."
"Your majesty," the girl says again. He simply smiles at her.
"Rose here is a very good friend of mine," Mary confides in him, and the girl in questions looks up at her with bright admiration in her eyes, as if Mary hung the moon in the sky every night.
He supposes it's not that different at how almost everyone else looks at his wife, the strength and energy she radiates touching everyone around her, making them follow her. He knows he would, to the end of time.
Its a few hours later, after Mary has sat down with most of the girls she used to know and said hello to all of the inhabitants of the small convents –she even checked in on the goats- that they leave.
Not before he notices Mary pressing a small puch into the new Abbess' hands, with a soft "take it as a present from a girl you helped raise" leaving her lips.
She's quiet on the ride to the manor where they'll spend the night before returning to court in the morning, but there's something lighter about her, too.
"She was so kind to me," she tells him breaking her silence. "They all were, but I remember how she held me as I cried my eyes out the first night I got here."
"I'm sorry," Francis tells her, he never knew said woman, but if Mary's memory is anything to go by, or how reverently she is thought of back at the convent, then she certainly must have been remarkable.
"She's with God now, and I know she's happy," she says with a small smile, "just as I am," she adds, taking his hand between hers, a promise fulfilled from a long time ago.
And she knows their honeymoon is over, and they'll be returning to court very soon, but she also knows the absolute bliss of being married will never end.
A/N: This is the last chapter of Bliss, and my last fanfiction for Frary. I made a post on my tumblr concerning my decision to drop the show since 2x09, but even afterwards, I still foolishly cared about Frary. Still looked up their scenes because I couldn't let go of them. Now, the writers have damaged them beyond repair and I can no longer write for a ship that makes me so sad.
I'm very sorry about "Heartfelt Lies", which will not be updated again. And if I ever manage to look past what the writers did to them and write for the idea of Frary in my head, I'll let you guys know. Thank you for all the reviews and the support, it meant a lot. :)