Author's Note: Yay! I'm back with a new fic, which is probably just going to be a one shot! Jane and Gunther, from Jane's point of view! It takes place four years after the show, and just to let you know, is rather spontaneous. But, where would we be in life without spontaneity? Okay, don't answer that. I know, it would be an all-too-normal world. And where would we be in that?
Yeah, so this is kind of a silly fic, but I was craving more fluff. And to let you know, in my mind, there has been something that happened (I might write about it in another fic) that changed Gunther's attitude. So, he's a little different than in the show, but that isn't out-of-character-ness (well, it sort of is, but just shush). It is character development! =D
Yeah, so I actually wrote this some time ago, but haven't been able to upload it. So, ta-da! Please read and review it, or else I will be very sad and think that you hate me and then I won't want to come write more random fluff for you!
The hand extended towards me was one of truce. I knew that. Of course I did. But, I couldn't help but notice the smile on his face, that handsome smirk that so much resembled gloating, beneath his sardonic slate grey eyes. His expression alone was enough to get my temper up, erupting fire like a roaring dragon. It was enough to make my cheeks flush red in anger, and cause my green eyes burn in humiliation.
I hated to lose. Especially to him. That was the worst, losing to a bog weevil like Gunther Breech.
It would have been bad enough had he simply gloated, his lips curling into a contemptuous sneer. I had enjoyed that pleasantry for most of my childhood, and it seemed natural. But now, to see that courteously outstretched hand and the innocent smile was enough to make me feel monstrously furious and very disinclined to any truce that he proposed. Why did he have to go and get nice now?
I glared at the hand a moment longer, and then ignored it, getting to my feet as swiftly and as gracefully as I thought I could manage. I tried not to trip on my sword -or my own feet- and brushed myself off with as much dignity as I could muster.
"Again," I demanded, running a hand through my wild red frizz. Gunther rolled his eyes.
"Jane," he said, in the careful tone with which one repeats something to a small child, "We've gone over this exercise countless times. You're spent! Let's give it a rest, and try again tomorrow. Please,"
I knew it was childish, but I couldn't let him beat me. I just couldn't. My pride would not allow it.
"Again," I repeated, stamping my foot. He laughed, a sound that was closer to his usual arrogance.
"Ja-ne," he said, exaggerating the word into syllables.
I raised my wooden blade, and took a strike towards his chest.
Of course, he moved like lightning, bringing his practice weapon up almost lazily, and blocking my attack with ease.
"Come on," he said calmly, as my assault caused us to move into a wide arcing circle. Our feet moved in a dance-like pattern, and our bodies swayed with the exchanged blows. The clatter of the swords was our music, and we moved in elegant time to it. "This is ridiculous, Jane. As a friend, I'm asking you to stop while your dignity is still intact."
"No," I growled, swinging my arm into an uppercut. "And since when were we friends, pig head?" The practice weapons met and locked with a resounding crack, Gunther's sword arm pressing down upon my own, his strength superior. I clenched my teeth together, as the force of it leaked over my exhausted arm, inching me down.
"So I'm the pig-headed one? Ha." He rolled his eyes. "Ah, well, I suppose if you don't want to be friends..." he grinned, "But you know, that doesn't mean that I won't stop trying."
"Don't waste your breath."
"Stubborn girl," he teased lightly. "Tell me, if I said 'please put your sword down', what would you do?"
"I'd tell you to shut up." He looked amused.
"Ouch. And here I had been thinking that you were supposed to be the polite one."
"Of the two of us, I am."
"That stings, too," he drawled sarcastically.
"Stop trying to play on my heartstrings, and get your arm moving!" I pushed up with my sword, grunting in exertion. I could tell that Gunther was not trying.
Another thing to add to my list of hated things, the fact that Gunther Breech will always be stronger than me. The thought occurred to me right as he smiled innocently.
"Was I playing on your heartstrings?" He smiled wider at his own private joke, and I could feel two spots of colour blossoming upon my cheeks. How did he always manage to do that?
"Dung weevil. Can you refrain from the speaking? Let's get this over and done with."
"Very well, Jane. But promise me you won't cry when you land on your rump in the dirt again after losing. I hate to say it, but dusty brown isn't a very appealing colour on you, and tear streaks wouldn't make it much prettier. You might just find yourself playing on my heartstrings."
"I. Won't. Lose." I said between clenched teeth. And what was with him? It was like he had stolen some ridiculous page out of one of Jester's ballads. Ridiculous!
Gunther laughed, and redoubled the force on the locked weapons. I staggered slightly, my footing uneven, my eyes focused on our crossed blades. I had to think, to concentrate and outthink him, and quickly...
I didn't even see the blow coming. He distangled his sword so quickly that, my balance already unstable, I began to wobble. His sword curved around me, knocking me lightly in the back of the knee, and with a neat wrist flick, he managed to knock my feet from beneath me and cause me to fall forwards.
As I had countless times today, I saw the ground coming to greet me, looking just as solid and dusty as ever. I curled myself into a ball, bracing myself to take the impact on my already bruised body. The humiliation was starting to burn like a candle. Again, Gunther had managed to win, and I couldn't...
The opening was a small one, a door opening before my eyes so swiftly that it was a flash decision. A chance to bring him to his knees with me. Either he would see it coming, or he wouldn't, I decided. As I landed, I slapped the ground and rolled, twisting myself so that I landed with my calf hooked around Gunther's ankles. I tugged, with as much strength as I could, and he toppled over like a statue, surprise etched on his face.
I didn't really count on him falling directly on top of me.
The weight of his body, all pure muscle, drove the air from my lungs with the force of a tornado. I couldn't breathe, and lay gasping and spluttering for breath beneath him. My hands scrabbled against him, trying to push him off of me, but he didn't budge.
"Gunther...get...get off!" I gasped. His body shook with laughter, great tremors of sound and rippling muscle.
"You were the one who put me here in the first place."
"And I'm the one telling you to get off."
"Well, maybe I'm comfortable?" He asked, adjusting himself so that his arms pinned me down and we were face to face.
Our faces were very close. Close enough that I could see every line of his hardened face, now become soft and gentle. Close enough that I could feel his warm breath against my cheek. I caught myself taking a deep breath of his scent. It was intoxicatingly lovely- a sort of musk-and-wood-and-castle-and-cinnamon sort of scent, the kind you would expect the handsome folklore knight of childhood to smell like. The scent seemed to clog my thought process.
His lengths of hair, the colour and texture of midnight, fell down like a black velvet waterfall, creating a shroud that framed our faces. It was as if it were only Gunther and myself that existed.
I squirmed uncomfortably, my face probably as red as a ruby from blushing.
"Mmm?" One of his roughened hands had placed themselves at my cheek, and his thumb was absently caressing my skin, back and forth, tracing swirling patterns. I closed my eyes a moment as the feeling sent a burst of blistering fire through my senses. The fire spread, wild and uncontrollable, spreading heat and a glow that seemed to start from a place hidden in my lower abdomen.
"I...uuh...Jane. I have a question. What...what would you do if I said that I...uhh, wanted to kiss you?" He said the last part very quickly, so that it took a minute to register.
My eyes snapped open once I realized what he was asking.
"Sorry...ummm...would that be too far?" He asked, clearly embarrassed. A pink tinge was creeping over his cheeks, and he wouldn't look me in the eye.
I felt my heart perform a lopsided cartwheel of protest, as he began to push himself off of me. It was pathetic. One minute I was furious, the next I was blushing and thinking that it would actually be rather nice if Gunther Breech stayed exactly where he was, and nicer still if he would kiss me. Very nice, indeed.
My goodness, I hate being a girl sometimes. How easy these men must have it! They don't have emotions so fickle that they are quick to confuse, and quicker to contradict. They are so unsure that I don't even know what to think!
Well...that was a lie. There was one thing I was sure about in that moment, and to assure both myself and him, I locked my arms around his neck and slammed him back down to me. I didn't care if anyone saw. I gave up my reputation when I first decided on knighthood, and mother and I had discussed how I could run my own life now. I felt a surge of emotion.
"I don't think, Gunther Breech, that you would get to finish asking your question if you actually did ask, and you shouldn't be moving away before I manage to form an answer."
Without even thinking, I brought my lips to his, covering them with the full love I had taken to be hate. Such conflicting and yet identical sentiments love and hate...
I pulled back swiftly to gauge his reaction, to assure myself that he wouldn't simply laugh at my foolishness.
"Not too bad?" I whispered. He didn't answer, didn't need to answer, as his lips found mine once more, moving faster and with more emotion than my quick peck.
My fingers knotted into his dark hair, pulling his face hungrily closer to my own. I wouldn't let him go for the entire world. Without him, I felt myself suffocating, drowning beneath water. And Gunther was my air.
He matched my passion, his lips moving with mine at a steady tempo, his hands clutching my face. I felt myself suddenly in wonder; a moment ago, he had been so nervous, and now he seemed his usual confident self, or even more so, pushing our pace faster and harder.
Between kisses, he was gasping my name, so wildly that I felt the most exquisite of sensations. I was suddenly aware of my own voice, ragged and tender at once, gasping his own name, and I wondered if he felt what I did. I hoped so.
Finally, all too soon, he pulled away, putting his forehead against mine and closing his eyes. I felt another warm thrill run through me, as we breathed in unison together a moment.
"Jane...I've wanted to tell you for years now... I...well, I love you. I love you for who you are, for all your faults and weaknesses, for the silly things you say and do. I admire you so much, you have no idea. I wish I could be more like you. Believe me, for the past two years, I have tried. And, finally, I wish I could be with you. Do you...do you think you could feel the same?" He was nervous again, and I could feel myself blushing from pleasure.
"WHAT is THIS?" The distinct northern burr of Gunther's mentor, Sir Ivon, rang out loudly, and Gunther immediately rolled off of me. I felt my heart leap as he grabbed my hand and squeezed it briefly, as if to reassure me.
"Sorry, Sir Ivon, sir. We fell. Swords got locked and we knocked each other down." Gunther said smoothly, twisting the truth to make it fit something respectable. He looked sidelong at me and smiled, and I could feel my cheeks colouring.
"Well, pick yerselves up. Stop actin' like foolish first year squires! Yer in yer fourth year, fer cryin' out loud!"
"What is this?" Sir Theodore walked into the courtyard, his polished armour glinting in the afternoon sun.
"Exactly what I asked, Sir Theodore, an' the lad said they fell. Hmph."
Theodore regarded us, and I held my breath. His eyes seemed to linger on my face, flick to Gunther, and back to me. I knew that he had seen my blush and the content expression on Gunther's face. I looked down, sure that he would see a replay of the whole seen if I met his gaze.
"Jane," my mentor said, his tone light but commanding, "Please go."
"Where to, sir?" I asked, confused.
"Just... go. Anywhere but here. I need to discuss something with Squire Gunther." I glanced between Gunther and Theodore; one had a look of puzzlement on his face, the other one of sternness. And then it dawned on me why Sir Theodore would want me to leave a moment and why he wanted to discuss something with Gunther, and I nearly giggled out loud from nervous embarrassment. Sir Theodore actually wanted to make sure we hadn't been up to anything dishonourable. I snorted, but hastily made it into a cough.
"Now, Jane, if you please," Sir Theodore said, sounding irritated. I got up and bowed my head, brushing myself off before I held out a hand to Gunther. He took it, and as he came to stand beside me, I leaned up and pecked him on the cheek, not daring to glance at our knight master's faces.
"I love you, too." I whispered, before leaving the courtyard with a blush and a smile painted onto my face.
Now that I thought of it, maybe I didn't hate losing to Gunther so much.