*** Weep For You ***

      Category: Slash, Angst, 1st Person POV
      Fandom: Shakespeare - Henry V
      Pairing: Henry V/Lord Scroop of Masham
      Disclaimer: Aren't these public domain by now?
      Archive: Anywhere, please keep headers intact
      Summary: After his lover's betrayal, Henry ponders.

      Title: "Weep For You" by mako
      Email: makolane@aol.com

      ------
      Nay, but the man that was his bedfellow,
      Whom he hath dull'd and cloy'd with gracious favours,
      That he should, for a foreign purse, so sell
      His sovereign's life to death and treachery.
      ------

      Had I met you in my youth, boisterous, misguided thing it was,
      I'd have not looked twice. You were at once too fair, too
      noble ... far too gentle for such a scoundrel as I was then.
      But with harsher duty comes finer taste and your entrance into
      our court was the beginning of my better days, or so I
      thought.

      How I wish I'd not looked but once.

      Our uncle of Exeter did the introductions at the foot of my
      throne. "My Liege, this is Scroop, known as Henry, Lord of
      Masham."

      You bowed prettily as a maid, the green of your eyes beggaring
      May's fields. "My Liege."

      I stayed silent too long I think, for you paled beneath my
      scrutiny, wondering if you'd committed some offense by your
      mere presence before us. In truth, I was struck dumb with
      love at the first sight of you, if such a thing were possible.
      Indeed, it must have be, since I'd never been at a loss for
      words before or since.

      Except when the truth about you was finally known.

      "Welcome, Lord Scroop." That was all I said but your guard
      lowered at that instant and you smiled sweetly, as if a secret
      had been uncovered -- a secret you and I shared alone.

      Did my eyes betray me? Was my heart in my voice, some slight
      inflection that gave the game away or was it just a lucky
      guess, one of many you'd make over the next year and a half,
      until your last, fatal mistake.

      "I am honored, my Liege." Another bow, a tiny smile and I was
      lost forever.

      "We have heard little from Masham of late," I said, wondering
      if those lips of yours were the envy of your less fortunate
      brothers, perhaps your sisters as well. "Of your kindness,
      perhaps you would enlighten us on the state of your lands and
      city while here at court. We would be very interested in what
      you might tell us."

      "Gladly, my Liege," you replied graciously. "But I fear you
      will find life in Masham very dull compared to London, we are
      but a lonely spot on the vast terrain of His Majesty's
      kingdom."

      "Tales of a dull hamlet please our ear more than London's
      uproar which to us is all too common. Come, take up a cup and
      tell us of your fields, of this grassy spot you so belittle
      and yet we love as much as if it were our kingdom entire.
      Come, follow us, Lord Scroop of Masham."

      I rose and you followed, the mouths of my uncle and cousins
      gaping slackjawed behind us. Even my dearest York looked more
      befuddled than usual, his innocent heart wiser than my jaded
      one -- a foolish heart that took you into its confidence at
      first glance.

      Many cups followed and you were as merry and wise as any man
      I'd known, more beautiful than any lady, so much so that I
      hesitated before inviting you to my bed. I, reprobate and dog
      I'd been in my youth felt the unfamiliar stirring of modesty
      at the sight of your bashful eyes, your dark hair curling
      alongside soft cheeks, flushed and warm.

      Dare I corrupt you, I thought, not knowing the heart I sought
      to protect had little need for such tenderness. Oh, I should
      have taken you then and there, like a whore sprawled upon the
      table, rent those fine clothes until you were gasping naked
      beneath me, begging for mercy only to find your mouth filled
      and your ass impaled -- that's what I should have done.

      But no, I loved you already and so forced myself to wait,and
      woo.

      Walks in the gardens afterwards, your manners so pleasing and
      perfect, your counsel sensible and straightforward, your
      glances passionate. My kinsmen, jealous at first, also fell
      victim to your charms, all but my uncle who was not impressed
      with what he called "these courtesan ways" you possessed.

      With a sharp tongue, I bade him to be silent, this Lord of
      Exeter who could have cut me down without effort if he so
      desired. He obeyed me, God knows why, and I spoke to him
      little more.

      Forgive me, my uncle. Forgive me my blindness.

      Those walks turned into secret meetings, often behind the
      turret walls, my trusted guards discreetly turning the other
      way. I remember our first embrace, how I fumbled like a
      schoolboy at your throat, covering you with kisses, your eyes,
      your cheeks and finally your lips which were honey-sweet.

      You returned my passion and what nights we spent together,
      twining around one another often until morning, your sweet
      whispers filled with disbelief that I could hold you in such
      high esteem, wondering what you'd done to deserve such favors.

      You claimed to be mine, offered yourself as my property, body
      and soul, little knowing that I, Henry of England, Lord
      Sovereign of Britain, was yours.

      Dear Heaven, what you could have done with me and in your
      defense, I must say you never did take advantage of what was
      too easily obtained. A jest would have earned you a castle,
      a sigh a dukedom -- a kiss a country. I would have laid
      France at your feet, forced the proud Dauphin to bow to you, a
      simple country lord of Masham, basking in the adoring favor of
      his king.

      I was going to win France for you ... but you had other plans.

      Those were happier days, were they not, my Lord Scroop? I
      called you Harry, you called me Sire, and the fond court
      wasn't scandalized ... except for my uncle. Again, the
      lectures he riled me with, the doubts he tried to inspire ...
      all for naught. I even threatened him with banishment
      if he would not be silent, but he continued until I turned a
      deaf ear, speaking to him only when matters of state required
      me to.

      How enraged he was, but my love for you was unalterable. I
      would have forsaken my kin, my kingdom, even my name for you
      and he knew it, and could do nothing but watch -- and wait.

      I wonder if he enjoyed seeing you hang.

      A winter to a winter you spent in my bed and by the time
      spring came, I was more in love with you than ever, feeling
      the lion in my blood, ready to gain you a kingdom for us to
      share in secret, for the rest of our lives.

      Until my uncle showed me the proof of your betrayal and all
      life's joy disappeared from my soul.

      How much did they give you, Harry? Some say it was thirty
      silver, but surely they confuse you with Judas -- not that I
      blame them. It couldn't have been so little, could it? You
      had the heart of a king, Harry, you owned it outright. You
      could have killed me a dozen times as I lay sleeping beside
      you, by God, you could have killed me with a harsh word, and
      yet ...

      You waited, until the last and worst moment. To slay me in
      front of my army in Southampton, surely sealing your own death
      in the bargain. I can only assume you hated me, since your
      allegiance to France was unknown to all I spoke with after.
      They offered you no land, no title ... nothing but a bag of
      gems and a few coins that might have been plucked from the
      mud, tossed at your feet as if you were a dog begging a bone.

      Could this have enticed you to murder me, Harry? Was it
      really enough?

      Since you are now dead on my orders, I suppose I will never
      know.

      I should be thankful for my rage, it saved me from weeping in
      front of my men. Still, my last words to you were more of a
      scorned lover than a betrayed king, for though your treason
      was toward the crown, it was the man who felt its agony.

      Such terrible, unimaginable agony.

      Later I heard whispers you'd taken to the bed of Lord Grey,
      that he was the one who turned your heart against me, but I
      will not believe this was so, never. I will think better of
      you than that, for even now my heart aches for your loss.

      Does that surprise you, Harry? Does it surprise you that I
      still love you, that I will win France, not for myself or for
      England, but for you? Does it surprise you that I debated
      letting you kill me, that you would have had my blood if you'd
      done it in our chambers, alone, just you and I? That my dying
      breath would have been your pardon and my bloodless lips would
      have kissed your sword ... does this surprise you?

      I would have gladly died by your hand, Harry, if my life were
      my own.

      But it's not, my Lord Scroop of Masham. My life never
      belonged to me. It is England's and so I go forth and do
      England's business, without regret. A king is not allowed to
      mourn, not when the game is afoot, not when France waits for
      its rightful sovereign to take its throne.

      Perhaps one day, I will look back and think of your sorrowful
      eyes, the passion your pleas for a pardon of your memory,
      since your body I could not spare. Perhaps I will remember
      the words of love you showered me with, the countless kisses
      shared as the dawn peeked through our chamber window.

      And then, I will weep for you, Harry. My friend, my love ...
      my betrayer.

      I will weep for you, I think.

      Someday.

      -----
      end

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