A/N: Begins after Ep 2x3: The Beautiful Deception. Yes, that ep (and Ep 2x2: Paolo) really inspired me. I watched them together and tend to think of them as one ep… Anyway, Lucrezia goes to Confession…

Please note that I am not Catholic. If I get anything with the process of the Confessional wrong, please forgive me. No disrespect is intended.

BORGIAS BORGIAS BORGIAS

Knowing her brother was on the other side of the confessional's thin wall, Lucrezia took her seat, and spoke the formal words.

"Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been a few weeks since my last confession."

"And what sin have you committed in the last few weeks, my child."

"I was… intimate with a man to whom I am not married."

"Pray for forgiveness, and give alms to the poor children of the city as your Penance," Cesare replied.

"There is more…I left a candle burning in my brother's room." She paused, giving him a moment to figure it out, before she actually said it aloud. She loved how clever her oldest brother was.

Cesare closed his eyes, and gave a soft sigh. When he'd seen the burned rope, he'd wondered; well aware of the state his sister's mind and emotions had been in since she'd first seen Paolo's dead body. "Continue."

"I left it burning through the rope holding the chandelier over his bed where he lay with a whore. A common whore who he could be with, when he killed my love for being common and daring to be with me. He's such a hypocrite… To hear them… See them… And know he'd killed my Paolo for nothing more than being common – as that girl was common… The chandelier fell and almost killed the girl, hurt her badly, but I didn't mean it for her… She'd done nothing wrong; as Paolo had done nothing wrong. I didn't mean to hurt her…" Lucrezia's voice broke.

"I know you didn't. You were out of your mind with grief. God will understand that and forgive you."

"Do you understand? Do you forgive?" she asked softly.

"Of course I do, my love," he said in the tone he reserved only for his little sister. No matter what she did he would always forgive her, for his sins would always be worse. He wondered if she would understand and forgive if she ever learned of his sins.

She took a deep breath and after a few seconds got her composure back. "My Penance?"

Cesare hated what he was about to do, but knew he had to. If Lucrezia was going to forgive herself she had to feel that she'd done her Penance. As she heard his decision, she closed her eyes. It was so much harsher than any he'd ever given her before, but then, this sin was so much worse. And what he'd given was still much less than her what their father would have done. As if he'd read her thoughts, he continued, "and you will never, ever, speak of this to our father. If ever asked, you will say you were so grief stricken you can't remember your own actions."

"Yes, Cesare."

Leaving the confessional, Lucrezia walked through the Church, and out into the courtyard. She sat by a fountain, knowing Cesare would soon join her.

She thought back to when she'd just returned to Rome, and told him she was pregnant – by a man not her husband. They talked for a few minutes, then he'd told her that he'd be in the confessional at a specific time that night.

BORGIAS FLASHBACK BORGIAS

Knowing her brother was on the other side of the confessional's thin wall, Lucrezia took her seat, and spoke the formal words.

"Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. It has been many months since my last confession." She sensed Cesare's sudden stillness.

"That is a long time."

"I was away from Rome."

"Were there not Confessors were you were?" he asked.

"Yes, but…" She sighed, "Cesare, since you attained the rank to hear confessions, I have never Confessed to anyone but you."

They were silent for a moment, lost in their own thoughts. Cesare thought how Juan would tease him for being happy that Lucrezia Confessed only to him, but he also knew Juan would be jealous. Jealous that Lucrezia trusted him enough to Confess to him. He doubted she'd Confess to Juan if he was the son their father had placed in the Church.

Lucrezia wondered if Juan had ever confessed to Cesare. She supposed he might have for a night of carousing, or other such expected things that Cesare already knew about. But she seriously doubted he'd go to Cesare for anything real.

"I asked my love to arrange for my husband to have accident. I was unfaithful to my husband - many times. I asked others to lie for me to hide my sin. I did not love or honor my husband. I carry a child that is not my husband's," she confessed.

"Did your husband love or honor you?" Cesare asked, even knowing the answer. He would use her answer to excuse the light Penance he would assign her. This was the first serious sin she'd ever confessed to him. Everything before had been so minor, almost innocent, really. Unkind thoughts or words. Minor selfishness. Nothing compared to his own sins. And yet, he was the one hearing her confessions and forgiving her. He'd always appreciated the irony of it. This still didn't truly come close to his own sins, just closer than she'd ever approached before.

"No, he did not. He was a brute who hurt and used me," she replied. "He loved his horses more than me, and treated them better."

"Pray for forgiveness every day and dawn and dusk for a month… A short prayer will suffice…"

They finished the formalities, and she left.

BORGIAS END FLASHBACK BORGIAS

Lucrezia knew some would think she went to Cesare because he'd give her a lighter Penance. She also knew they were wrong. She would still only go to him even if he gave her much harsher Penance than any other Confessor would. He was her brother. She loved him. She trusted him.

Trailing her hand through the water. Hearing the familiar footsteps she turned and smiled at her oldest brother. She extended a hand, and he brought it to his lips as she stood. She rested her hand on his arm, and they walked away together.