STANDARD DISCLAIMERS APPLY: I don't own Rose of Versailles and all characters featured from it. Rose of Versailles is copyrighted to Riyoko Ikeda. This is for entertainment purposes only, with no profit gained. No copyright infringement intended.
Series: Rose of Versailles
Summary: When he first saw her, he thought she was a reincarnated Venus that fell from the sky. (Anime-based.)
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Oscar may sometimes be referred to as 'he' or 'boy' but that will mean it is being said in André's point of view. This is my first attempt at writing a Rose of Versailles fanfic. Hopefully, my writing will suffice.
Where was his grandmother? The people from the funeral told him she was working at the Jarjayes estate. The carriage driver dropped him off at the gates, where he was supposed to meet her. He waited for what seemed like an hour before his childish impatience drove him to look for his grandmother himself.
He slipped past the gates unnoticed, eyes sparkling with admiration at the land's grandeur. The gardens were in bloom and a fountain glittered with clear water. It was a fragment of a dream he never knew could possibly exist in the land of France. It was grander than the Jarjayes manor at Arras and almost like how he imagined castles his mother used to tell him in bedtime stories.
A gay smile bloomed on the young boy's face. It would be fun living here, he decided, with the absence of the smell of soil found in the countryside that was replaced with the fragrance of exotic flowers. An instinctive warning told him that he was not to enter through the front doors of the mansion. Somewhere at the back, maybe, there was an entrance and he could start looking for his grandmother there.
He ran to the east side of the mansion, where tall trees grew near the walls of the magnificent abode. He was admiring the elaborate landscaping of the gardens when suddenly, from one of the trees, fell a golden-haired child.
There was no scream from the fall, only a loud thud that determined the final halt of her downward motion. The child didn't move, and the boy was conquered by a childlike terror that caused a hesitation in his decision to approach the unmoving body.
The steps he took were slow and careful until he was finally granted a view of the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. It was Venus who fell from the sky, he thought, because she was just how his mother described the roman goddess: a nest of golden hair, fair white skin, a perfect nose, and cherry lips. The only difference was this Venus wasn't wearing a dress of white. She was clad as most men were.
"Are ya…are ya dead?" he asked, quite timid, afraid that she may really be.
She stirred at the sound of his voice and her eyes fluttered open, revealing a pair of sapphire drops hidden under its lids. A groan escaped from her lips before her attention became directed towards him. Her gaze scrutinized his being for a few seconds before she finally said, "You." The voice was demanding and authoritative, as if used to issuing commands to her subjects.
"Y—yes?" he stammered, unsure of how to address a goddess.
"Who are you? I haven't seen you around here before."
"André Grandier, miss."
"Despite her tragic accident, she managed a short laugh. "Miss? I'm a boy! You're the only one who thought I was a girl at first! I should tell Nanny this!"
"Are ya sure?" he asked in disbelief, quite disappointed that what he thought was a goddess didn't really exist.
"Father says I am then he must be right. Nanny disagrees with him, but it must be because I'm the youngest of six and the five are all my sisters," the child who self-declared she was a boy continued without pausing, changing the subject in the process. "What are you doing here?"
"I—I'm looking for my grandma."
"Ah, so you must be the grandson Nanny was talking about." The wounded boy groaned, now more aware of the biting pain. "André, right?" the boy asked, a bit demanding.
"Go inside the house and look for anyone," he gritted his teeth. "And tell them I'm here. I think my arm is broken and I can't move at all."
André ran as fast as his agile legs could carry him and he entered the house through a back door, alarming the servants that saw him.
"Theif! There's a thief!"
He ignored the sudden cries of fear as he tried to look for his grandmother. Fortunately, his grandmother found him before the servants rose in full-panic.
"Grandma! There's a blonde boy that fell from a tree outside! He told me to come here and tell somebody!"
"A boy? That could only mean…young lady Oscar?" her face paled at the realization and she immediately turned to a servant. "Call master immediately! Tell him young lady Oscar fell from a tree!"
"The boy…" André began, hoping to correct his grandmother. He was ignored, however, while his grandmother issued orders to a few more servants. He gave up trying and instead prepared himself to receive any instructions in order to help.
"Get a doctor!" his grandmother said to one man. She rushed outside the house with André running behind her. Two male servants followed, ready to help their young master in case they were needed.
"Under a tree, near the right side of the house," he explained as he ran ahead, guiding his grandmother and the other servants to the location of the said accident.
He found the young noble still unmoving, lying on the ground in the same place that he last left her.
"Young lady!" his grandmother shouted. Like a mother hen fearing for its young chick, she rushed to the side of Oscar, frantic and anxious. "Does anything hurt? Arms? Legs?"
Oscar tried to smile but failed. "I think it's only a broken arm. My body aches all over though."
"Lady Oscar! That is why I forbade you from climbing trees!" she scolded. "John, Mark," the aged woman called the two servants. "Carry the young master to her room and be careful about it! Especially the arm!"
André watched as both men gently lifted the fallen lad, observing the other boy's struggle to stop tears from falling. He never fell from a tree before, or broke any part of his body, but he was pretty sure it was beyond painful.
His grandmother followed her charge inside the house while André walked behind her. He didn't know what to do and where to go, having received no orders. Nobody stopped him from entering the room of the wounded noble, probably because everyone's attention was mixed with concern over their young master.
His eyes scanned the room, marveling at the velvet draperies, mahogany furniture, and the big bed inside. His grandmother dismissed the other servants and because he wasn't part of that list, he stayed inside.
"Grandma…is he gonna be alright?" he asked with genuine concern. "Ain't he gonna die?"
A laugh was heard from the child on the bed and two pairs of eyes swiftly shifted towards her.
"Young lady! This isn't something to laugh about!" his grandmother scolded.
"But I never heard anyone die from a broken arm!"
He was silenced by the obvious rejection of his concern. Oscar noticed this and guilt built inside her, worried that she hurt his feelings without meaning to do so. "I didn't mean to hurt your feelings," she asked for an apology.
Convinced that she was forgiven, Oscar smiled charmingly at him that even André was unable to resist being infected by the smile.
"I forgot to introduce myself earlier. I'm Oscar François de Jarjayes, only son of General de Jarjayes."
His grandmother frowned at the word "son" but she knew Oscar didn't like it when she argued with the General about her gender. Her young charge believed that because she was the youngest of six siblings, five of which were female, her nanny was used to them being called "ladies". Lady Oscar, at the age of seven, believed that she was undoubtedly male.
"André will start serving here starting today, my lady."
Oscar nodded in affirmation. "Then, André, you'll play with me once my arm gets healed, won't you?"
"Of course, Oscar!" he grinned cheerfully. He never had anyone to play with before because there were only a few children his age in Arras.
"Lady Oscar," corrected his grandmother. "I will not have my grandson address a noble in such a rude manner!" she sounded as if she was scandalized by the error.
"No, Oscar's okay," the young girl said. "Just call me Oscar."
Their conversation was cut short by the arrival of the doctor who suddenly rushed inside the room. The man scolded the young lady for being careless, but as he was the family doctor he knew about General Jarjayes' manner of upbringing and that Oscar was brought up as a boy. He couldn't reprimand the girl for acting like it.
Oscar was confined to her room for a week while André slowly learned the rules of the household. He became an apprentice at the stables, helped with the chores, while at the same time grew to be a friend of the sick Oscar. He visited her room frequently, talking with her about his activities around the manor, and what went in the house in order to drive away her boredom.
He saw Oscar's father only once and in that visit he heard the stern reprimands of a father concerned about his son. Oscar received an hour's worth of lecture on proper tree climbing while André watched his grandmother shake her head in disagreement. He couldn't understand why, but his grandmother disagreed at how Oscar's father raised his youngest child. Wasn't it only natural for a boy to play rough outside? If Oscar's father thought it was right for his child to climb trees, albeit with care, then they had no say against it.
"André," Oscar began, waking him up from the confinement of his thoughts.
"What is it?"
"Let's go outside today," Oscar said, as she lifted the thick blanket with her left hand. She stood fully dressed, wearing a white long-sleeved blouse and crimson breeches. She pulled her boots from underneath the bed and put one on each foot.
"But Oscar," he argued. "You ain't allowed to go said General de Jarjayes."
"Aren't," she automatically corrected. "Don't worry, it's just an arm that I can't use. See? My legs are perfectly able," she said, walking around to emphasize her point.
Oscar frowned and she looked at him with a cute pout adorning that pretty face. It made it irresistible for the young André to say no.
"If you're not coming, I won't force you. I'm going alone," she said with childish haughtiness.
Oscar ignored him, eager to seek for freedom, and took a peak outside her room. She closed the door immediately. "Too many servants outside," she said voluntarily.
Oscar ran to her room's window and looked outside, analyzing the probability of escaping through it. She shook her head. It was impossible with just one hand.
He heard her sigh then she sat down again on the bed. For him, that was almost too much.
"Alright, I'll go."
She smiled with glee, pleased at his decision to help. "I have a plan. I could walk behind you since you're taller by a few centimeters."
"But yer hair…" he tried to point out, still hoping that the young noble would somehow reconsider and cancel the absurd plan.
"Your," she corrected again. "I'll wear a cloak then," she said. Oscar walked towards the drawers, opened one, and produced a cloak that could cover her head.
"Ain't—won't that attract more attention?"
"Then I'm just going to go without it and that will have to do. Tell me when all's clear and nobody will see us then I'll follow you slowly."
He sighed in resignation, defeated by his master's determination and strong will. He went out first, making sure everything was clear, before he signaled for Oscar to follow. They left the house successfully and the young master ran laughing, glad at the gained independence. An idea came upon her suddenly and she ran under the shade of the trees, looking for fallen branches.
"Grab a stick, André, and I'll teach you to fence."
master may be a boy, as Oscar first declared, but André still
thought that running under the sunshine, spreading that childish glee
that shone brightly like an evening star, Oscar was very much like
the goddess Venus.