Author's Note: I saw The Lion in Winter (1968) recently and was inspired to write the only slash story I've ever written.  I think it's mostly because Richard and Philip are the only pair I've seen that seems truly plausible to me – probably because they actually have a history together.

Brief background: The year is 1183.  Richard, later Richard the Lion-Hearted, is an English prince of 26 years of age.  Philip became the king of France when he was 14 and is 17 in the movie.

And Re: the slash – there's nothing more than kissing.

He raised a hand to the heavy wooden door and sighed deeply before rapping lightly on the hard surface.  There was the soft patter of hurried footsteps and the door swung open.  Philip stood there, dressed as he had been the night before in a loose white shirt and a bright blue over-robe, dark blue pants and a knife hanging conspicuously at his waist.

            Inclining his head gracefully, he greeted his guest. "Richard."  It was a word said blandly, carefully infused with no emotion, unlike the hope and warmth he had heard the night before.

            "Did you mean it?" he asked brusquely, pushing rudely into the room and pushing the door shut as Philip backed away a few steps, surprise apparent despite his attempts to appear serene.

            "Mean what?"

            "What you said," Richard stepped forward menacingly. "Last night, about us."

            A slow, sly smile curved Philip's lips and he leaned towards Richard, his gray eyes glittering. "Do you think I did?"

            In an instant, Richard's own knifepoint was hovering near Philip's throat.  The slanted eyes glanced down at it quickly but the smile stayed. "Do you?" he pressed, still leaning forward.

            Tightening his grip on the knife's hilt to keep his arm steady, Richard slowly ran the tip of the blade down Philip's throat.  The King's head tilted back and Richard smiled at the sharp intake of breath that accompanied the cold steel's path.

            "You didn't."

            "Didn't I?" Philip said cryptically. "Are you sure I wasn't telling Henry the truth about us?  About how I felt about you?"

            Richard's eyes flashed and the blade pressed into Philip's throat.  He forced himself to loosen his grip and stepped back from the King who raised one hand to rub at his neck.  When he drew his hand away, they both saw the thin smear of blood that ran across his finger.

            "I could have you hanged for that," Philip remarked, still staring at the blood.

            Richard laughed. "You couldn't."

            Philip brindled at the dismissal. "I am a king!"

            "No, Henry's right," Richard said slowly. "You are just a boy."

            The sharp eyes glared at him. "I am a king!" Philip snapped.

            Richard slid his glance over Philip, taking in the clenched fists, the set of his jaw and the anger pulled taut in every muscle of the man's body.  He drew himself up stiffly, frustration burning in his eyes.

            Richard smiled slightly. "True, you are a king.  But you are still a boy.  My boy," he added.

            "As I told your father," Philip spat, his lip curling angrily. "I am no man's 'boy'!"

            "Are you really?  You think you are free from me?"  Richard stepped forward predatorily and watched as Philip, uncertain for the first time that night, backed away.

            "I'm not yours," Philip snapped, anger still a shield before him. "I belong to no one."

            "Then we are equals."


            "Then tell me you love me," Richard said quietly, giving up his insults and threats.

            Philip deflated with a sigh. "Not yet.  Not now.  When the time comes, I will tell you."

            "And when will that time be?" Richard asked.

            Philip shrugged and twitched away as Richard reached for him, striding across the room and turning to look at Richard over his shoulder.  The seriousness of his face was countered by a sudden glimmering his eyes.

            "When I am ready."

            Richard approached him again, still aggressively pushing forward, not caring that the clatter as he dropped his knife to the hard stone made Philip flinch. "And when will that be?" he repeated.

            Philip turned and faced him, head tilted disdainfully. "When I tell you so."

            "I will not wait, Philip."

            "You'll have to."

            "I don't think so," Richard replied, adding insultingly, "Boy."

            "Then make me," Philip practically purred.  Richard knew what the King was doing at that moment and allowed himself to smile marginally.

            "Don't tempt me, Philip," he said warningly.  The French King merely cocked his hips saucily, both hands resting on them as he glared back at the English prince.

            "I'm not tempting you, Richard," he replied innocently. "Perhaps you're seeing something we're there's nothing."

            "Don't play games with me, Philip.  You know I can best you in anything, especially when it comes to having a volatile temper."

            "Best me in anything?" Philip asked. "How is it that I am king while you will end up bowing and scraping to your lout of a brother?"

            A red flush rose on Richard's face, partially hidden by his beard. "Philip," came out as a low growl and he stepped forward swiftly, grabbing the other man before he could retreat, pinning his arms to his sides, letting go briefly to throw the king's knife to the ground.  Philip merely stared back, unresisting as Richard leaned forward and kissed him forcefully.

            Richard heard a faint sigh escape the mouth beneath his and he pressed against Philip, bruising the young king's lips harshly.  He ran his hands up Philip's still-trapped arms, feeling the slight tension there as the king wavered momentarily, caught off-guard despite his goading.

            "I was always better than you," he whispered into the king's mouth and Philip immediately stiffened, pulling away.


            Richard smiled.  Philip was surprised; the upper hand was now his. "I'm stronger than you, faster than you, wiser than you.  And I kiss better."

            He half-expected Philip to retaliate with a biting attack of his own, but the king didn't move. "Richard," he started uncertainly.

            "Don't," Henry's eldest son cut him off. "Don't say anything unless it is that you love me or you do not."

            Philip's slightly open mouth closed and he wondered if anyone else knew about Richard's almost pathetically romantic side, the part of him that would almost beg for attention, for love and warmth.  Looking at the prince, whose expressionless face did not betray the slightest hint of vulnerability, he decided no one else knew this Richard. 

            "Why me, Richard?" he breathed, daring to take a step closer.

            "Because," and Richard inwardly cursed his own sentimentality. "I…"

            "You love me," Philip replied, and Richard felt the power he had gained slipping away as the other man – no, he was a boy, he's only seventeen after all – smirked slightly.


            "And what are you going to do about that?" Philip asked mockingly, moving backwards again as Richard's eyes narrowed.  Richard thought he knew what Philip was expecting – maybe a display of weak emotional whispers – but he knew that Philip was definitely not expecting a charge.  Catching the king across the shoulders with one arm, he hooked his leg behind Philip's and tripped him, hearing the surprised loss of air as Philip landed on the stone floor.

            Richard smiled at the shock in the king's usually shrewd eyes before pushing down for another angry kiss, knocking Philip's head carelessly against the floor, hearing – feeling – the man's breath and pulse quicken.  He pulled the bright blue robe from the king's shoulders, noticing how Philip did his best to help remove the garment even though he was pinned against a cold, hard surface.

            Moving away enough so that Philip could rise, Richard stood and waited.  The king was disheveled, but still looked composed; giving him a slanted glance as he absently brushed the dust from his shirt.  To Richard's surprise, Philip held out his hand.  Trustingly, he took it and allowed himself to be led to the king's bed. 

            "So you're not as naïve as you sounded," Richard said suddenly, with mock astonishment.  Philip shot him a glare as he settled in the rumpled sheets.

            The man – boy – stretched languidly beside him, his mouth opening to speak when Richard pressed his rough hand across it, his own voice hardening as he spoke. "I told you not to say anything."

            "So that's how it's going to be," said Philip's muffled voice around his hand. "I won't say anything."  And then his hands began ghosting up Richard's abdomen until they reached his tunic, tugging urgently. 

            Richard caught the king's wandering hands and forced them down. "You will do nothing."

            "And how will you stop me?"  Oh, Philip was practically asking for this, Richard thought.  The boy knew what this night would solidify as truth, but he made it into a weaving game of words and wit.

            "You'll see," Richard smiled as he reached back to pull the curtain closed around the bed.


            Later, they were lying heavily on the bed, quietly at peace with one another – true peace, without any masks between them, politics and family problems forgotten.  Richard sighed, tracing gentle fingers over one of Philip's cheekbones.

            "You still haven't told me you love me."

            Philip's eyelids dropped slightly and he said softly. "You don't know by now?"

            "I want to hear it from you, Philip.  And no more games."

            Philip's lips curved in a tired smile as he finally whispered the three words Richard had been waiting the whole night to hear.