Disclaimer: Ah, no. Not mine, I'm just having fun. And fully expecting to get haunted by the ghosts of two queens for doing this to their fictional afterlife.
Prologue – The People You Meet…: Anne knelt on the rough boards of the scaffold, waiting for the executioner's blow. The last thing she heard was the swish of the blade through the air, but she never felt it. As she'd been told, the executioner of Calais caused little pain.
She fell into blackness and she rather felt she would fall forever. But she didn't, and presently she found she was lying on what felt like carpet. And yet, if she was lying on something, and could feel, then she must have a body. Which meant she should be able to open her eyes and see where she was. She did so, and blinked into the sudden brightness.
Not that it was particularly bright; it was just that even the many candles which lit the room were bright after that total darkness. She sat up and glanced around. The room appeared to be a sitting room of some sort, well-decorated and comfortable. The room's most striking feature was that one of the walls was made entirely of mirrored glass. Anne stood and went to it, staring at her reflection. She was in a simple emerald green dress, her pearl necklace with its golden 'B' around her throat. Her hair fell loose around her shoulders, but in the dark waves sat a small golden tiara. Her reflection was something between the girl she'd been and the Queen she'd become.
Her reflection wavered, and then disappeared. Suddenly, as though looking through a window, she could see her beautiful daughter. Elizabeth, crying in the arms of her half-sister, of all people. "But why is Mama dead?" Elizabeth sobbed.
Anne could see Mary hesitate, caught between hatred of Anne herself and a clear desire not to make the little girl any more upset than she was already. "Your mama did things against the king, and she had to die for that reason. It is the law, sister," Mary said gently, stroking Elizabeth's red locks.
Anne breathed a sigh of relief, glad that Mary obviously cared enough for Elizabeth to keep things simple, and not vilify Anne more than that basic explanation required.
"She begged Papa to listen, and he didn't," Elizabeth mumbled, and Anne saw Mary flinch.
"He never does," her one-time stepdaughter whispered bitterly. Elizabeth did not hear her, but Anne, watching, did, and she felt a rush of guilt. She had not pushed for Mary's bastardy, that had been Henry's idea, though she could remember the night when an odd madness had taken her, and she had been convinced that only the deaths of Katherine and Mary would allow her to bear a son.
The image changed, and she saw Henry writing at his desk. She leaned forward and she could see what he was doing. He was ensuring that their daughter would be now known as Lady Elizabeth, bastardized and barred from succession. She bit her lip to avoid screaming in rage, but could not help saying, "Why, Henry? Why punish Elizabeth when she is innocent of everything? You hate me, but she doesn't deserve to be harmed because you've decided to hate her mother."
"Did Mary deserve it?"
At first, Anne thought the question had come from her own subconscious, but she still answered aloud. "I didn't ask him to bastardize Mary, I didn't think of her status either way, I admit, but I…" She trailed off when she realized that the voice had not been in her head, and that, moreover, it was a familiar voice.
It seemed as though ice filled her veins when she recognized the calm, accented female voice. God, no. She couldn't possibly have to… How was she supposed to handle eternity with… She turned around, facing the woman who had once been her greatest enemy and was now… what?
"Hello, Anne," said Katherine of Aragon.
A/N: OK, I have to warn any readers right now, this fic is not a priority for me at the moment. I currently have a multi-crossover series that I'm working on (and trust me, it's six fandoms, it takes a lot of work), but this idea would not let go of me. I've never been able to decide who on the show I wanted to root for, and even in history I'm not entirely sure who I prefer, Katherine or Anne. Anyway, let me know what you think.