LbN: This is my first Tudors fic, but it's been in the works for a while. The parts in italics are flashbacks.

"I heard you crawled here like a dog," Henry said, clearly enough for the entire hall to hear.

"Something like…" Charles said.

"Hold your tongue!" the king shouted. "You were always too useful with it," he added in a lower tone.

It took all of Charles's willpower to keep his face serious. He could hear the court snickering, but Henry's jealousy was no laughing matter—it either made men's fortunes or lost them their heads. Since he was already a duke, he only had one option left. Henry was allowing the rest of the men present to titter at Charles's expense, but really he was just trying to make him feel guilty. Though everyone else though the king was referring to Charles's infamous sexual appetite for the ladies, Charles knew Henry was more jealous than angry.

Charles threw an arm around Henry as the young prince lay there panting. He closed his eyes, only to open them a moment later when Henry smacked his stomach. "Ouch!"

"Don't mope, Charles. People will think I have a Frenchman in my court," Henry said, sitting up.

"Why do you make me leave?" Charles asked.

"You know people can't find you here. They'd talk. And with my marriage to Catherine in the balance I don't need servants spreading rumors about my male lover."

"Well can I have five minutes to talk you out of making me leave?" Charles gave him a cheeky grin.

Henry glared at him, but the corners of his mouth were twitching. "No. Go get some sleep; we're going hunting tomorrow."

"Yes, Your Highness." Charles leaned in and kissed him before hopping out of bed.

In hindsight, sleeping with and marrying Henry's sister had been one of his more stupid decisions.

"Have you come to beg my forgiveness?"

"Yes, Majesty."

Henry leaned in close to him. "Well then beg for it."

As Charles started his very obviously rehearsed apology, he managed to keep a straight face, even though he was thinking back. In a moment of inspiration, he added "Unworthy of your Majesty's love," to the end. Two could play the guilt game…

"You're not dancing, Charles."

"No, Majesty," Charles said, turning around. "But I've been meaning to congratulate you."

"Stop it, Charles, you know better. It was political, nothing more."

"It wouldn't matter even if it wasn't. You're the king of England, you must have a queen."

"Ah, that you had been born a woman," Henry chuckled.

"Even if I had, I'm still common. I'm not worth a king's love," Charles said, smiling sadly at Henry.

"But you are, Charles. You are." Henry squeezed his shoulder and headed back down to the celebration.

Henry turned away from him and stalked into the back room. "Come here!"

When Charles reached him, the king was already removing his jewelry. Knowing he was almost out of danger, Charles did the same and sat next to him.

"If you can beat me," Henry said, raising his hand to arm wrestle, "you can come back to court. Ready?"

Charles took his hand, relieved. They were away from the prying eyes—he was allowed to win if he could. And he would. Both of them knew that in the end, Charles was stronger. As usual, it only took about 40 seconds of exertion before Henry caved.

The king stood up and kicked a chair. He turned back to Charles after a moment, smiling. "Welcome back."

LbN: Hope you liked it! Send reviews please!