Rebellion Halted

Disclaimer: I don't own anything from the BBC version of Henry IV Part One and I'm not making any money from this fic

Summary: AU. Hal reveals to Hotspur his father's offer of surrender. Despite Hotspur's reluctance to believe in Hal's promise, Hal 'persuades' him

Warning(s): Spanking; some violence; spoilers for BBC's version of Henry IV Part One; AU; obvious historical inaccuracies; lack of Shakespearan language

Author's Note: This really is the final instalment in April's month of mini ficlets... though I might make a series with a similar theme.

This story is only intended as fan fiction of Henry IV Part two, with Tom Hiddleston and Jeremy Irons. Although I've tried to keep the language old-style, I didn't even try to mimic Shakespeare's language... since I couldn't do that.

Hal felt like he might collapse from the blood loss. He stared at Hotspur, sword raised as he waited for the other man to attack.

When Hotspur came at him, his movements were desperate... but Hal had expected that. His father had offered the rebels a chance to surrender and leave in peace. Now that the two of them were facing each other in combat, Hal knew only one of them was going to survive.

Hotspur lunged at Hal with his sword and the prince side-stepped, drawing his own blade round to clash against Hotspur's. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw movement... but when he stepped back and had enough room to see more than just Hotspur, he couldn't see anyone.

Hotspur was quick to come back at Hal, whose wound strained as he continued to block. Old lessons raced through his mind as he found himself on the defensive... which he knew wouldn't help him win this fight.

There was no triumph on Hotspur's face, even though he was winning the battle. The desperation he was obviously feeling seemed to give power and strength to his movements... and Hal knew he was going to have to put his enemy on the defensive if he was going to have any hope of winning.

Hotspur swung a strike at Hal's head and Hal dropped, his vision threatening to darken as pain sliced through him. He rolled and came up behind Hotspur, but the other man turned in time to catch the blow on his sword.

Knowing he had to distract Hotspur, Hal took a step back and blocked the blade before speaking. "You could have surrendered. My father would have kept his word."

Hotspur stared at Hal... as if he didn't understand the words. "You are trying to deceive me," he said. "There was no offer of surrender."

"Did your father and uncle not tell you?" Hal had said he'd face Hotspur in single combat... but he was wounded and he knew he would finish the battle with more wounds, even if he did defeat Hotspur. Besides, if his father had offered surrender Hotspur hadn't been told of... Hal wondered if he should allow Hotspur the same chance to surrender.

"I was told you intended to face me in single combat."

"And my father offered peace with no consequences if you surrendered."

Hotspur shook his head. "You're lying to me."

"I give you my word. I am not."

"I know of your reputation, Prince Henry. I am sure you are not telling me the truth." Hotspur swung his sword at Hal.

Stepping back and to the side to avoid the strike, Hal was reluctant to follow through with killing Hotspur. He was better at reading people, at least when he wasn't drinking, and he thought the other man wanted to surrender... but couldn't trust the word of the Prince of Wales. "If you would surrender... I will allow you to leave unharmed." He couldn't make the same promise for Hotspur's father and uncle... but they had sentenced Hotspur to death alongside them by withholding the King's offer from him.

"I know you will not."

Hal sidestepped another slice aimed at him from Hotspur... but as he found himself behind the other man, he struck him on the backside with the flat of his blad.

Hotspur jumped and spun round to face Hal, who knocked his sword to one side. He brought his sword down on the flat of Hotspur's blade and curved the blade under the other's weapon, jerking his sword up and forcing Hotspur to lose his grip on its hilt.

As the sword fell to the grass, Hal grabbed Hotspur and spun him round, forcing him against the trunk of the closest tree. Keeping Hotspur pressed there, Hal brought his sword back and hit again with the flat of it.

Hotspur jerked and Hal hit him again... and again. Each dull slap of the flat blade echoed through the clearing... though it wasn't loud enough to drown out the sounds of the battle.

Hotspur tried to push away, but Hal pinned him there. "I would kill you if you would prefer that... but I would rather punish you than take your life." He brought the blade down in a harder strike and felt Hotspur jerk under his hand.

Hal continued the thrashing, until he felt Hotspur stop fighting and slump against the tree. With one last strike from his blade, he released his hold and stepped back. "I have taken my vengeance... and now I have no reason to pursue you."

Hotspur reached down and took up his sword... but he didn't use it and put it away. He glanced around and then at Hal, studying his face.

And then, he was gone... as fast as a gazelle leaping away in the forest.

The End