AN:

I found the KOH page on this site and just had to share this quote, which totally sums up my opinion of the second half of the movie:

'Balian gave up a chance to marry his love interest, become leader of the army, and so in effect defeat the evil Guy de Lusignan and stop the war from occurring. However since the only way to bring this about would be a coup that's just "not honorable" according to Balian's limited world view, he doesn't take the offer and so the rest of the movie is constant warfare bringing about the suffering of everybody. Nice job.' It just made me laugh so much. There are some awesome points on there and it's really a great site for movie fans. If you haven't been on it, go! The link's on the first line Anyway, now for my story! This is just a little brother/sister thing between Baldwin and Sibylla. Baldwin is my favourite character, as I think he is to several people. It also says on the site: 'One Scene Wonder: King Baldwin, despite his very limited screen time, is arguably the best thing in the film. Double points for wearing a mask his entire part, limiting acting instruments to voice and gestures.'

I DO NOT OWN KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. Oh, and I'm basing this on the Director's Cut – which is wayyyyy more awesome than the theatrical release.

She could not shake the sense of impending dread, no matter how hard she tried.

He is my brother, He is my brother.

The mantra did nothing to ease her. When had she become this way? What had happened to them, in those years since his illness began to progress?

They had once been the closest of siblings. Their shared love of riding and racing had, much to their mother's dismay, not worn out as Sibylla aged.

Only a year between them.

A year.

Such a scarce difference. In spite of that, he, the younger, was on his deathbed – and she could not bear to face it.

While she was the elder sister, they had taken their turns at being nurturer.

She had, in his youngest days, been a second mother, tending to every bad dream and tear with love. All the same, he had been her fierce protector, even as a small boy. In defence of her, he was ever formidable.

Nonetheless, though it pained her to say it, her nurturing had faded at the time he needed it most. It was the very care she held for him, the care she should have given, that stopped her from crossing his threshold. She could not look upon him, especially in those days without the mask. She could not see her beautiful brother's face marred by misfortune, by a curse he could never deserve.

So, he had doubled his duties to her, to make up for what she now could not give. He had tried to shield her from a distance, at times succeeding, at other times failing just as much as she.

When she had married William at fifteen, he had been scrupulous, even at fourteen as he was, in ensuring that the man was everything proper. Having confirmed that, in autumn of 1176 their marriage went ahead. He was a kind man, honest and sweet. Though she did not love him, truly love him, she counted herself lucky. By June the next year though, poor William was dead, leaving her with a son: Baldwin.

Her mother had insisted on the name. Tradition called for it. She had never told him, not once, that even if tradition had bade her choose something else, she wouldn't have – he meant so much to her, that she would have flouted every tradition known to honour him as she wished.

The truth of it was, no matter how painful it might be to see the shell he had become, he was her brother and she loved him to the very depths of her heart. They had been children together, though their parents had tried to prevent it. Boys must play with boys; she remembered Mama saying, and girls with girls. Suffice to say, the young princess had not agreed. Moments after being released from the conversation, she had interrupted Baldwin's sword-lesson to take him riding.

The pair were each as stubborn as the other. Of course they had clashed, over silly, trivial children's things such as who owned what toy and who was the best at climbing. Still, underneath it, there had been an unwavering affection.

What had happened to that affection, she did not know. It was still there, somewhere. That much was obvious. But how can you love someone you refuse to see? The situation was too complicated for even her to understand.

Although Baldwin had always been careful to exercise the right amount of masculinity around his friends, he and his sister could often be found curled beneath the same sheets. She would kiss his brow as he drifted to sleep, a simple, childlike gesture. It was how it was, back then, before things became twisted by illness.

Baldwin at nine would forever be frozen in time, as a blonde-haired boy with dimples and a ready smile. Active, free and boisterous. How one day can change the world. The day Godfrey had discovered her brother's condition, she hadn't understood. Her mother had flown into a rage; her father had cloistered himself away. They each prayed in their own ways, while she became terrified.

Why will they not let me see him? Why? Tiberias and Godfrey had pushed away her questions more times than she could remember.

When she finally saw him again, she'd already been told why.

Leper was a strange word on her tongue then, and she never spoke it now. To a ten year old it didn't mean anything, but her parents had staunchly warned her against coming too near to Baldwin. No-one knew how the infection was spread. She was confused and scared, but just seeing him, her brother and best friend, back with her again, gladdened her. He was despondent and desperately wanting to go back to playing, but she'd been told by Mama and Father that she mustn't take him out. In his room they stayed, with attendants posted by. She mustn't kiss him goodnight anymore, they said. Obstinate, she had wanted to, but her father had prevented it. She never kissed his brow again.

The years passed. Their father died, leaving the crown to his thirteen year old son, who by now had jagged marks and raised bumps spoiling his face.

He had not donned the mask until after Montgisard.

Hearing that he was to ride out, she had run to his chambers. He had dismissed all those about him and fiddled with the undone links of his armour, unable to tie them himself. She had stepped forward, assisted, and their eyes, their identical eyes, had met.

I can't bear to see you go.

I'll return. You know I must do this, surely you know.

That doesn't mean I wish it. You promise I'll see you again?

I promise.

He had lied to her, in a way. The battle had been hard-won, in terms of his health. She had bitten her nails to their beds, scratched her arms, pulled her hair, done anything but thought about her ill brother, out there amidst thousands of angry men with swords. He was sixteen by then, and an expert swordsman and horse-rider. But his left arm was fused and he grew tired quickly. Despite it all, he conquered Saladin. Afterwards he had been full of the fight, and proclaimed himself surely better.

His words were cursed.

He was struck down by fever. It tore at him and again she could not see him (though by now it was growing harder to bear the sight). When she entered his rooms, after months of waiting, she was met not with the disfigured features of her brother, but with silver. Sibylla had not known whether to be relieved or feel horrified. All she could remember was wishing that she'd memorised that almost intact face, just once, before he hid it from her forever. In a way, he had lied to her. After Montgisard, she never did see him again.

Three years went by until, quite unexpectedly, her mother confronted her with Guy. She had been gone to France for some time, but, with her now living mostly in Acre, and with their relationship hardly close, Sibylla had not thought anything of it. Baldwin had been enraged. He and Tiberias had long been scouring the kingdom, hoping to find a good man before the Dowager Queen. With the promises Agnes had made to the de Lusignans in play, Guy could not be turned away. Sibylla was, by her mother's meddling, forced once again to marry a man she did not love. Thankfully, it would take at least a month before she hated him. She knew it lay heavy on her brother, that he had not done more to stop the union. This ill-fated match might one day be the destruction of the Kingdom. But, more than that, he said, it might one day be hers, her destruction. That he could not forgive.

After Guy, they saw less and less of one another. And yet, every time he and Reynald jeapordised the peace, she cringed at the strain it must be causing her brother, to see her hideous husband demolish his uneasy truce. Their infrequent meetings came at table, which he attended sporadically, never eating, and at official functions, when she sat by his side on a lower chair, hardly ever speaking.

Such became the state of their relationship. He, wishing she was near him and she, wishing she could be. But she could not look at him without sadness and hatred and some sort of terrible, unfounded guilt clawing at her. It was torture.

Now, though, now he was dying. Punishing Reynald had robbed him of his strength. She had almost ran to him, when he collapsed. But Tiberias had been there and she had stopped herself. She had not gone to see him then. But now was the last chance she may ever have to see him. He, her once playmate and best friend. Her brother and her long ago confidante. She would say goodbye, she would speak to him, really speak to him, as she had not done in years. See him, for the first time in months, barring the far-off glimpse at Kerak. No more hesitations or hiding or running away. She would be brave, like he had been.

Tomorrow, no doubt, her son would be King.

Today, her brother was King, and, one last time, she would kiss his brow goodnight.

H

AN:

It's a random sort of stream of consciousness thing as she's walking towards his rooms but I hope you liked it anyway. I know it's repetitive and muddled and strange but, I've been in this situation before. People think weird things all the time, but when faced with a situation like this, I can tell you it gets even worse. Please review! x