The Microfic/Drabble Meme!
Requested By: Forced Simile/Ribbon-Scythe (FFN/LiveJournal)
Prompt: "I hope you dance"; (possibly taking place after Oscar "saves" her and Fersen by dancing with Marie at the ball)
Pairing/Characters: Oscar, Marie Antoinette
Fandom: Rose of Versailles
The music swirled around her, around them. She forced herself to smile, "Let me be your only partner tonight."
The grateful look in Lady Antoinette's eyes was worth it. "Okay," the young queen agreed, a gentle, beautiful smile on her lips; the regal air about her never wavered, never faltered for even a moment.
Perhaps, Oscar thought as she bowed low and took the queen's hand in her own, they were making progress. If she continued to look so dignified, so lovely, nobody would suspect that deep down, she was pining.
Soon, it was only the two of them and the sound of the slow song that was playing in the background. Notes rose and fell, the tempo slowed and sped up, and they danced.
She knew that they were talking about her. Everyone talked about the man-who-might-be-a-woman and Queen Marie Antoinette. Over Marie Antoinette's shoulder, she caught the lonely, relieved eyes of Count Hans Axel von Fersen. He smiled at her and raised his glass, but when she next turned around, he was gone.
Oscar wasn't one for dancing, and she had never danced at any of the balls before, preferring to lean against the wall with a glass of wine to watch the goings-on of the other aristocrats. André usually came with her when he was able; sometimes he was asked to dance by one of the bolder, younger women, but she herself had never found the action particularly worthwhile. Not after far too many lessons and no desire to dance with women.
But here she was, dancing with the queen of France. Well, for one night—one short night—Versailles would have something new to talk about. A small genuine smile broke across her lips, and the lovely queen returned it tenfold.
When the song ended, they stopped with the last bit of sound from the orchestra. Another deep bow from Oscar, and Marie laughed.
"Thank you, Oscar," she said. "If you weren't here to distract me, Count Fersen and I would surely have all but danced the night away with one another."
"It was my pleasure, Your Majesty," She cocked her head to the side slightly, "They won't talk about the two of you for a little while, at least."
"They always manage to find something new to talk about, even if they must invent it themselves." A small smile, and then her expression turned serious. "Oscar," she said, pulling the colonel of the royal guard aside, "I can't thank you enough." She sighed heavily and hid her face behind an elegant fan. "I could dance with him all night, every night."
Oscar wasn't surprised, but why, why was she always subjected to this? Why did she have to stand there while Marie Antoinette confessed about her love for Fersen? She didn't want to hear it, she really didn't. Fersen was an amazing man. He was loyal, kind, he worked hard, he had a nice smile… There were so many good things about him that completely eclipsed the bad, if one bothered to look hard enough to find anything that could be considered as such.
She tried her best to keep her expression neutral. "It is easy to see why you love him so, Lady Antoinette," she told her.
Inside, though, she was trembling. Why couldn't she have what the queen had? Oscar François de Jarjayes was not a jealous, envious person. But sometimes, she craved something. She wasn't sure what it was, exactly, but she wanted it, longed for it, thirsted for it. Maybe it was love.
"You really should dress up like that more often, Oscar," the queen was saying, but Oscar was looking around the ballroom, hoping to find André or Rosalie. Either of them would be a delightful distraction.
But neither one of them was in sight.
Fersen was gone. Marie Antoinette did not need her any longer.
"Like…this, Your Majesty?" she asked, looking down at her dress uniform.
"Oh, certainly!" The blonde smiled at her peaceably. "It makes you look so dashing! Can't you hear all of the women vying for your attention?"
"They'll not get it," she half-joked, smirking slightly.
Marie laughed, "Oh, Oscar!"
The colonel never joked with the queen, but she was getting desperate. The floor was getting terribly crowded, and she was starting to feel hot. The atmosphere was absolutely stifling, she thought to herself as she resisted the urge to tug at her stiff collar. She felt like she was being suffocated.
"You know, Oscar…"
She raised an eyebrow. "What is it, Your Highness?"
She smiled sheepishly. "I'm terribly tired. Aren't you? I think I'll retire for the night. They'll probably think it's too early, but… I have had a long and tiring day."
"I understand." Deep down inside, she was thanking God for sparing her from more stories of how wonderful Fersen was.
"Good evening, then… And please, do me a favor?"
"Anything you wish."
"I hope that you will dance with me at another ball, should I need you to distract me from…certain thoughts, or rather…a certain person."
Oscar forced herself to smile. She understood perfectly. "Of course, I would be honored to do so." She bowed slightly and excused herself. She needed air, and she needed it badly.
Once outside, the cool evening breeze brushed against her face, and she sighed with relief, allowing her lungs to take in as much air as they could hold. She was starting to feel inexcusably tired. And hurt. Yes, the hurt was there, simmering just under the surface of her heart.
It hurt to see Marie Antoinette hurting. It hurt to see Fersen hurting. And what hurt more than anything was to see the two of them hurting each other. She leaned against the balcony and watched a few couples that had wandered outside together down below her.
She couldn't say anything to the queen. What could she say to those who loved one another? She had seen their love with her own two eyes. It was unlike anything she had ever seen before in her entire life, and suddenly, terribly, she wanted it for herself.
She couldn't say anything to the queen because she would be a hypocrite; if Fersen were hers, she would never let him go.
She chewed thoughtfully on her lower lip and watched a young man drape his cloak over his companion's shoulders.
She wanted that. She wanted someone to want to dance with her no matter how bad she was at it. She wanted someone who would want to dance with her all night every night. She wanted someone who longed for her presence, who pined after her, and she wanted someone that she could think all of the same things about.
Closing her eyes, she made herself stop thinking. All she was doing was wanting. How selfish was she? Couldn't she be happy for two people who, despite the wrongness of it all, had found each other?
Yes. Yes, she could. But it wasn't easy. It wasn't easy at all.
Suddenly, there was a hand on her elbow, and, startled, her eyes fluttered open and she jumped.
The hand steadied her, "Whoa, Oscar, it's just me."
She could only blink at him.
He gave her a small smile. "I didn't know that I was so terrible that you'd rather throw yourself off of the balcony than talk to me."
The corners of her lips twitched upward just the slightest bit. "You'd be surprised," she said, and he rolled his eyes and put his hand to his heart as if he were terribly wounded.
"Rosalie's gone home," he told her reluctantly. "Several hours ago, as a matter of fact. She got a ride with some neighbors."
Her eyebrows shot skyward. "How late is it?" she found herself asking. She felt completely drained.
"It should be daybreak in a couple of hours…"
Tiredly, she nodded her head and headed for the door to go inside. André trailed along behind her until they reached the carriage, and then he held the door open for her while she climbed in.
"Say, Oscar?" he asked. "You were outside for a long time. Are you cold?"
"Liar," he said bluntly, a smirk on his face as he shrugged out of his coat and threw it at her.
"Protesting will not get you anywhere, Oscar," he said, and closed the door, leaving her alone inside while he untied the horses and got ready to drive her home.
She pressed his coat to her face, shocked to feel how warm the material was. Maybe she had been outside longer than she thought.
Oh, but what to tell the queen the next time there was a ball and Fersen was there? Frustrated, she groaned into the cloth covering her face. She could potentially be dancing with the queen at every single ball until…until eternity! Oh, it just wasn't fair.
No, that wouldn't do at all. She didn't think she could bear to hear about what a lifesaver she was, or see the gratefulness in Marie Antoinette's eyes over and over and over.
She would have to talk to Fersen about it. Maybe…maybe he could simply stop coming to balls. Not that she could blame him for wanting to go.
After all, she decided. If she were in love with someone as much as he was with Marie Antoinette, she would want to be everywhere they were. There would be no way she'd listen to the advice of a genderless military officer.
Slightly upset and confused, she lowered her head against the window, cushioning it on André's coat. Not even a minute passed before she found herself asleep, the strains from yet another minuet penetrating her restless dreams.
This one didn't turn out as good as I hoped it would. I have so much trouble making stories short. Anyway, in the manga, when Oscar dances with Marie Antoinette, Rosalie and André are at the ball too. Rosalie runs off crying (after seeing Oscar dance with the queen), and André goes to comfort her while Oscar continues to dance. We all know Oscar has nothing to worry about. On the way home, she and André stop to talk to Fersen, and he says he's leaving for America.
Also, you guys in the Rose of Versailles section. If you haven't already, feel free to request a 'fic from me if you'd like to. The information is in my livejournal, and I'll put the link in my profile.
Thanks for reading! Feedback is much appreciated.