Jack felt the constant presence of his name, his parentage. Felt it like a brand, or a impulsively purchased tattoo. He could fidget all he wanted, cloak it in finery, but some part of it would always be visible, always give him away.

Even if his face weren't so famous, even if he could disguise himself better, he would never be able to hide while Silas was looking for him. He would make some mistake, some outward sign that he was the child of privilege, and some helpful commoner would turn him in gladly for Silas' offered reward.

He read about this kind of thing in his history books. The good ones. In other words, the ones that were banned officially. But Queen Rose had made sure a couple of copies were preserved in the treasury so her own children could learn history's harsher lessons -- without actually living through the lessons themselves, she had hoped. Jack was never studious, it was no surprise, but he remembered the tale of the Frenchman fleeing for safety in the Age of Revolution. He was offered eggs for breakfast and didn't know how many to ask for, so he said he wanted a dozen.

His past. His upbringing. Emblazoned on him for all to see, as if his family crest were tattooed on his forehead.

Jack liked to think that he wasn't that great a fool. But he really wasn't as sure as he would have liked. He wasn't sure at all that he could really shed his name and flee his past.

He might have to live with it forever. His royal blood a permanent ink on his body. A mark like a glyph in a language he had long forgotten how to read.


Author's Note: Originally written for comment_fic on livejournal. Prompt was Jack, tattoo