Black and Gold

By: K Ryan, 2003

Rated: PG-13

Authors Note: Originally posted at The Dancing Dove, this is a moment between two very neglected people. Also ties in with my great big, scary Alex/Alan(na) fic, Little Cat. But only if you want it to.

No one wears black for traitors.

Why would they, when the only thing people have to morn is their own stupidity in letting one live so long? No one ever wants to admit to that. Now that the hero has left town, the catalyst passed away, the safest thing to do is forget, and not to over think things. Over-thinking leads to questions, and questions to answers no one wants to hear.

So, the belles choose their lilacs and their golds for the season, and the bells ring in major keys. Smiles mask confused eyes, and an influx of marriages make the temples shine. 'O Happy People!' the poets cry. The keepers of Traitors Hill rush their ugly work, so they too can exchange their guilt for gilt.

But one woman keeps to her room, in a gown that fits her perfectly.

The gown is black.

"People are starting to talk, Delia."

"Let them!"

Alex doesn't like Delia's room. It sparkles and is rose scented and has too many windows. But this is something that has to be done, for survival.

"Delia," he forces patience, keeping his voice calm. "You need to get a-hold of yourself."

"Why? Alex, he's dead. That…that slut killed Roger, and there's no point to anything any more" The lady raised bloodshot eyes, to glare at the young man, who was so disgustingly controlled. "It's all your fault."

Alex winces. He can't help it. "That's unfair."

"It's true. You were meant to kill him. I mean, her. It! If you hadn't been so busy fantas--"

"That's enough." Alex sits down on the bed, next to the hysterical woman, and shakes her. Silently and methodically. Her teeth start to rattle. "This…melodrama is one luxury you can't afford, Delia. You could kill us all, and destroy everything."

Delia, sullenly: "You're a hypocrite. If you really loved him you--"

"If he were really dead, Delia, do you think I'd still be here?"

The silence is thick enough to stand on.

Then Delia shudders, and rests her head on his shoulder. There is no hidden intent, no artifice. Just a heaviness, and a need of peace.

Alex kisses her on the forehead, a rare display of affection barely felt, and lets the woman cry. Cry so very quietly, that only he can hear.

"Just give it time, cousin. Be pretty, and don't fail him." Alex smiles with his eyes, which are a little wet, themselves. "Did you really think she could kill our Lord? Properly? He is too great for such a death, or the life he's led. He'll come back, Delia, and we'll watch the world burn."

People don't wear black for traitors.

Or the living.

Disclaimer: As usual, I own nothing.