A/N: Welcome, welcome. This is a little oneshot I wrote because I loved this movie. Ancient Rome is one of my favorite places of all times. Anyway, I thought the movie lacked some romantic interest (it's not really supposed to have any, so I am okay with that), so I created one! ...That's what a fanfic is? Oh my gods, I had no idea! Anyway, enjoy my brain.
Disclaimer: I don't own this fantasticness called The Eagle. HA! Now they can't sue me!
Honor Can Kill
"Excuse me?" The girl's mouth dropped slightly at his question. She must not have heard him correctly.
"You know exactly what I said, Aurelia." Aurelia blinked quickly and dropped her hazel eyes to the floor. Did he know what he was suggesting?
"I…I can't." The man in front of her didn't give up. He grabbed her arm and tipped her face upwards so she could no longer look at the ground.
"You love me. You've told me. Why can't you marry me?" Aurelia searched his eyes. They seemed a wide expanse of blue, an unending sea filled with torment of the past. His brown hair was messily lying upon his head, clearly showing he'd been on another hunt recently. His hands were rough and callous. They almost hurt as he brushed his palms against her smooth skin.
"Esca, it's not that simple. You know it isn't." His jaw clenched. Aurelia's heart cried out for him, to soothe him, to tell him they would be married the next day, to assure him that their lives would end happily. But she couldn't.
She closed her eyes and turned her face away from Esca once more. He sighed and ran one hand through her blond hair, savoring the golden strands. It felt like running his hands through silk.
The night sky gleamed above him. The gods seemed to smile as the stars twinkled merrily in the far distance. The moon was full. Were it filled any more, Aurelia would have been scared it would burst. It's light bathed them in an ethereal glow as they stood there before the Rubicon.
Esca gently released the girl and turned towards the black waters before him. Though one would expect the sky's reflection upon the river, it was nowhere to be found. All that was lying before him was black glass that rippled every so often because of a creature trapped within.
"Why can't you marry me?" Esca repeated a bit more softly than before. Aurelia, wrapped in a white tunic and a sheer shawl draped across her shoulders, leaned into Esca's side. She felt the rough cloth from it as she put her arms around him. She gently pressed her face into his chest and breathed in the earthy scent. Esca couldn't resist. He brushed the hair from her oval-shaped face and lightly planted a kiss on her forehand.
Aurelia owed him an answer. Though he wouldn't like it, she must reply with honesty. "You were a slave, Esca." She removed her head from her chest and turned to face him. He could no longer see the waters of the Rubicon as his gaze was centered on her. Her response hit a nerve. His eyes narrowed and his fist clenched.
"I was freed, Aurelia! By your very own cousin! Don't you know?" He raised his voice, but not enough to where anyone else near could hear him. Aurelia's eyes were indignant.
"Of course I know that! Marcus was a good man! He loved you as a brother. Don't you think I'm aware of this? It doesn't change the fact that you were a slave. The lowest of the low. A Briton nonetheless. Have you any idea what that would do to my family? Their reputations? I don't care that you were a slave, Esca. But the other politicians wouldn't think so. Gods, my father wouldn't even think so. We just got the Eagle of the Ninth back five years ago. Do you know what this would do to my family's honor?"
"Honor? Your family of politicians knows nothing of honor. They know nothing of Marcus. And apparently, neither do you!" Aurelia took a step back, stunned by his accusation. And then rage set in. She took a deep breath in and scowled at Esca. Her hazel eyes seemed to turn black in the night. Her pink lips were twisted in a snarl. How dare he? How dare he question the honor of her family?
"Oh, I know honor. I know that honor gets people killed. Honor was the thing to destroy my family's name in the first place. Honor made Uncle Stephanos agree with the conspirators, and honor was what killed him. Most of all, honor killed Marcus. His constant desire for the honorable murdered him in the battlefield. And honor…honor is the thing that will prevent our union." The anger was gone. A tear rolled down Aurelia's cheek. The droplet caught the moonlight and seemed to glisten like the stars above.
Esca suddenly realized he wasn't going to win this battle. No matter how many wars he'd been through, he still couldn't have prepared enough for the battle of his heart. He was a prince in Britannia. He could marry any girl he pleased. But Rome was a different place. He couldn't marry the one woman he ever cared for, save his own mother. He couldn't marry Aurelia. Not now, not ever.
Esca breathed in deeply. "Do you remember when we met?" he softly spoke to the girl in front of him. She smiled sadly. A smile that even through the tears reached her eyes.
"Of course I do. That is one dinner I shall never forget. When Marcus discovered he had not one uncle, but two, he came right over. You, like the loyal friend you'll always be, came along with him. My father came to the door and hugged Marcus. After all, he had restored our good name. I came up behind him, curious about our guests."
"I'd never thought I'd seen a more beautiful woman than you. Your golden hair, your hazel eyes, your purple tunic, your sweet smile. They all drew me in and made me forget everything."
"After proper introductions were made, I thought nothing of you. You were just Marcus' friend that had come along. I was more interested in Marcus. He was such a decorated soldier with so many stories to tell. I don't think you stopped looking at me all night."
"I didn't. And when you went out to the gardens behind your home, I followed. I loved you from the moment I saw you amongst the flowers and plants. You smiled at me. You said my name with such warmth; I couldn't even feel the cold night air."
"After that night, you seemed to be at our house with Marcus everyday. I never really paid any attention to you, but you always brought a gift for me. You were always kind to me. You saved me from one of Gaius' drunken rages. My love for you, when I discovered it, hurt me. It was so painful not being around you. I couldn't live with it. And we've been sneaking out to this spot every night since." They recounted their story as if they never wanted to forget, as if they were mentally writing it down. Aurelia neared Esca. She wrapped her arms around his neck and lightly kissed him. "I love you, Esca. My heart will always be married to you."
"I love you too." And Esca leaned in and kissed Aurelia once more. "We will meet again."
The Rubicon silently watched as the lovers left its shores for the last time. Oh, how honor does kill.
A/N: So? How was it? Thanks for reading!