I don't know why but whenever I can never really seem to get these two characters out of my head, no matter what I do. It's like they just loiter in the cupboard of my memory palace and jump out like a jack-in-the-box when I least expect it. Certain characters have a tedious tendency to do that and then burden my day with an attack of the plot bunnies, where I'm tragically unable to write the plot down. Damn you bunnies!
Anyway, this is called Love in Limbo.
DISCLAIMER: If I owned these two there affection towards each other would be displayed far more graphically than portrayed by Miss Sage herself. All character rights belong to her, their magnificent creator.
Septimus was beginning to worry. In fact, the whole castle had been hearing rumours, which they had no way of knowing if they were true or not, that Marcia Overstrand, the Seven hundred and seventy-sixth ExtraOrdinary Wizard had been taken ill. Everyone knew that if she didn't recover within the next few weeks her position as ExtraOrdinary Wizard would be immediately replaced by her Apprentice, Septimus Heap. Of course, Septimus himself wasn't ready to have that much authority and power; he was after all, only fifteen. But that wasn't his main concern. Marcia was asleep – and yes she was sleeping because she's still breathing – and no matter what Septimus did he couldn't seem to wake her.
People had offered to help try and wake her, but it was no use. Marcia Overstrand was not waking up for anybody.
It was then and only then that Septimus felt the desperate need to consult his Alchemie friend, Marcellus Pye.
He was her only hope.
Septimus hurried down Wizard way, not stopping to answer the questions frequently asked by passerby's. He really was turning into Marcia. He made a sharp turn into Snake Slipway and soon found himself stood outside Marcellus's house, Oh Marcia would love this, he thought as he knocked impatiently on the large wooden door. It seemed to cower underneath his touch.
He heard Marcellus's cautious footsteps, and the long drawn out process of having to unlock the doors many bolts.
"Marcellus, hurry up! It's Septimus, it's about Marcia." He said, and the door was open faster than it had ever been opened before, revealing a man dressed from head to toe in a black Alchemie uniform, with red seems, not to mention his dreadful shoes.
"Apprentice! I wasn't expecting you!" Marcellus's voice cheered, as he opened the door a little wider before ushering his Apprentice inside. Septimus ducked under his arm and made his way into Marcellus's living room.
"Marcellus it's about Marcia. She's been asleep for three whole days now, and no matter what I try I can't seem to wake her!" Septimus rambled on, causing Marcellus to raise a confused eyebrow at him.
"What do you mean, she won't wake up?" Marcellus asked carefully.
"She's just lying there – no she's not dead – but she just won't wake up!" Septimus finished, and flopped rather ungraciously onto the sofa, resting his hands over his eyes as if to sooth an oncoming headache.
"Ah. I know exactly what to do!" Marcellus stated cheerfully, and after some time rattling about in his cupboard he came back with a potion bottle. "Let's go! No time to lose!"
Back at the Wizard Tower in Marcia's bedroom, Marcia had attracted quite an audience. Sarah Heap, along with Silas, Jenna and Nikko had all gathered around Marcia's bed. Alther was perched on the other side and Snorri, Beetle and Hildegarde stood patiently at the foot of her four poster bed. Well, at least she looked comfortable in her silk and satin purple bedding; man the woman was prone to luxuries. By the time Marcellus had barged into her bedroom with Septimus in tow, Marcia had been asleep for 78 hours and counting.
Everyone parted, like the red sea, in order to let Marcellus and his 'Apprentice' through the crowd.
"Marcellus, please explain what exactly you're doing?" Septimus queried, searching for answers.
"Septimus, I need a chair." As soon as the words left his mouth he was immediately presented with one. Carefully Marcellus sat down and examined Marcia's state. "This potion can make whomever drinks it enter the dreams of another. It is extremely dangerous and very hard to make, may I stress you never attempt this ever. I am going to wake Marcia up once I've entered her dream, well at least try to anyway. It'll be a difficult process."
"I should do it." Septimus protested. "I'm her Apprentice."
"On the contrary Septimus, the castle needs you here; if this doesn't work Marcia and I will be stuck…in Limbo."
"But why is she asleep?" Alther asked watching Marcia's face, he could sense a nightmare flickering behind her shut eyelids.
"She's in a block."
"A what?" Silas questioned.
"A block. It's better if I explain after we both wake up; I've got to save her right now." Marcellus stated, and made himself comfortable in Marcia's purple cushioned chair, and raised the potion to his lips.
"Marcellus, be careful." Jenna said, before he slipped into a deep sleep.
"Marcellus! Marcellus! Open the door!" Marcia was banging on his door in Snake Slipway when Marcellus turned the corner. She looked distressed. "Marcellus!"
"Marce!" He called from the end of Snake Slipway, and made his way towards the distressed woman, who spun round the moment she heard his voice.
"Where have you been?" She paced towards him. "I have been knocking on your door for…I don't know how long." She jabbed her finger into his chest.
"I'm here now." Marcellus said gently. "Are you OK?"
There was a pause. She glanced around her as if in search of something, before dragging him towards Wizard Way.
"I'm fine. But we need to find Septimus, he's not anywhere." Marcia paced hurriedly up Wizard Way her hand still clutching the lapels of Marcellus's outfit, as if she was clinging to him as a life line.
"He's not here." He grabbed her hand. "Marcia, Stop."
"What do you mean, he's not here?" She looked at him through confused eyes. "Where is he?"
Marcellus laid a delicate hand on her arm. "Marce, look around. No one's here."
"Don't be ridiculous!" She spat. She looked around her and noticed what Marcellus had said to be true. No one was in sight. "W-where is everybody?"
"The real question is where we are, I mean, this looks like the castle, but it's not. There's no one here, which means this is your version of Limbo." He reached up to brush a lock of midnight black hair out of Marcia's eyes and placed his hands softly on her cheeks.
"Stop talking in gobbledygook and tell me what's going on." She begged him, her hands fisting in the cloth covering his chest once again.
"You're in a block dream; I assume you understand what that is."
"Balderdash! They're merely a myth, Marcellus."
"Well it's happening now, so they're as real as reality. Something is causing a mental blockage, denial or someone could cause it."
Marcia stared at him in disbelief, and complete confusion. "…a block?" She asked, exasperated. Marcellus nodded in reply. "What's causing it?"
Marcellus hands slipped from her face and hung loosely at his sides. He didn't know what to say to her at this point. Talking to Marcia about her emotional issues as a wizard was not exactly one of his favourite things to be doing. He sighed, catching the confused look in her eyes.
"Is there something that you're blocking?" He asked her, regretting it instantly.
"No." She answered immediately. "Why would there be?" She crossed her arms against her chest in defence, and took a step back further away from him. She was itching to get back to her rooms in the wizard tower. "And how did you get here if this is a block? Which means that this isn't a…"
"I drank a potion. You've been sleeping for 78 hours. Everyone is worried." Marcellus muttered. "We're in your Limbo. Now all we need to do is figure out what is causing this. Blocks can be caused by severe magykal or emotional trauma, something that you – only as ExtraOrdinary Wizard can endear. I need you to really think about this Marce; for both of our sakes."
Fifteen long minutes later, after discovering that the block had nothing to do with Magyk, Marcia was retracing everything personal that had happened to her in the last couple of weeks – since Jillie Djinn had been a ghostly presence on her purple sofa.
"…then I signed the papers and headed off to the Manuscriptorium to file them in the vaults with Beetle…he was quite brave to go back down there with me after…" She trailed off. "Marcellus I fail to see how any of this could possibly be useful!"
Marcellus sighed and flopped down on Marcia's limbo sofa in her rooms. "For the last time woman, you need to go over everything."
Marcia began her pacing up and down her living room again, her shoes coming into regular contact with the floor and adding to the headache that Marcellus was quickly developing.
"Well you know what happened next anyway! There was that official," Marcia made air quotes when she said official "ball that Jenna and the Heaps were planning for months. I was invited – which I have to admit was a surprise in itself – and you were invited – not that I can see why – but clearly you have some influence over that family. We were forced to sit next to each other at the banquet – another thing that I was not happy about…"
"MARCIA! Enough!" Marcellus sat up, his cheeks now a reddish tomato colour. She grimaced at this.
"Sorree!" Marcia sighed and sat down next to him, before continuing. "That was the night that we'd agreed to be friends for the sake of Septimus. After that you basically saw me every day, we had tea in my rooms a few times and at yours…I'm sure you know what happened for the rest of the three weeks. Surely I do not need to repeat myself."
Marcellus picked up his cup of tea, thankful that she had stopped rambling. He put his cup down and glanced at her, with a slight hint of affection in his eyes.
"Marcia, we've ruled out everything magykal that could potentially be causing this block, which means that it is an emotional issue that you need to talk about. Are you sure that nothing has happened to you?"
"No! I've barely had a chance to think about emotions." Marcia rested her head on the back of her sofa – thankful for once that it wasn't occupied by the loitering presence of a woman that she utterly hated.
"OK, we need to approach this in a different way if we're ever going to solve this. Name the emotions for me." Marcellus took on a tone of voice that nobody had used on Marcia since she was at school…a very long time ago indeed.
"You want me to name the emotions?" She questioned, her brow furrowing when he nodded in agreement. "…OK…happiness, sadness," As Marcia listed the emotions Marcellus shook his head as if to say 'can't be', which caused Marcia to grow increasingly frustrated – something that Marcellus had come to terms with recently. "…joy, hatred…" Marcellus cut her off.
"Do you hate anyone?" He asked, sitting forward impatiently.
"Well…a lot of people hate me." She theorised and Marcellus nodded in agreement. She huffed and slapped him in the chest. He laughed and mocked pain.
"It has to be an emotion that you feel. So, I repeat, do you hate anyone?"
"You mean apart from you?" She said tartly. He smirked.
"You don't hate me, you love me…" He froze…and so did Marcia. She gulped, and hurriedly glanced away; unable to deny her feelings vocally. She stood up and began her journey down to the kitchen in order to distract herself from the feeling arising in her chest.
It wasn't long before Marcellus had rushed after her and soon had her pinned ungracefully up against her kitchen counter.
"Now tell me just exactly what do you think you are doing?" She muttered under her breath.
"You love me." He stated his authority over her becoming visible.
"No, I do not." She looked away from him. Marcellus had once been taught by this mother a skill that meant he could tell when someone was lying. Their body language is often a vital clue, and Marcia displayed every single one of them that Marcellus could count.
"Yes. Yes you do. That's what's causing this block. You're denying something that could ultimately put your mind at ease, but instead you're letting it cause you turmoil. In your head I'm an alchemist; it would be utterly scandalous for you to fall in love with a man like me. But feelings are uncontrollable Marce; you can't control your emotions. Because you are ExtraOrdinary Wizard your mind is overridden with all the hassle of controlling the whole castle, it puts pressure on your emotions, until your body cannot cope with the stress of it all. It causes a coma, that puts you and your magyk in a make shift Limbo. But if you were just to let go and let love take its course…you'd be able to handle your duties as ExtraOrdinary Wizard." Marcellus rambled, now completely out of breath. Marcia's sharp green eyes and filled with unshed tears.
Marcellus threaded his fingers through Marcia's hair and intertwined their fingers. He took a deep breath. "Ever since we decided to be friends I've found myself wanting to be with you every day. Today made me realise that my emotions also run deeper than I have previously displayed." He paused, and took another deep breath. "I'm in love." He gripped her hand tighter. "With you."
Marcia's unshed tears finally broke free and slipped delicately down her trembling cheeks. She gasped, releasing the air that had built up in her lungs. Marcellus wiped her tears away with his thumbs, and leaned closer.
"I- I…" Marcia closed her eyes, shaking desperately.
"Shhh." Marcellus leaned closer, until their lips where merely a breath a way. He breathed her in, letting magyk flow from her into him. His senses were suddenly overwhelmed with the scent of her. She smelt distinctively of magyk, power, spice and just her. Unable to resist, he closed the gap between them, their whole bodies coming into contact with each other, locked at the lips. His hands encircled her waist protectively, and he puller her tighter to his chest. A long while later he pulled away.
Marcia sighed in contentment.
"Now all you have to do is admit it." Marcellus coaxed her. He wanted to wake up, despite the privacy of Limbo, but he new that this was just a dream. The kiss hadn't been real. This was just her admitting to herself that she was in love with him. The sooner she said it the sooner that they could go back to reality and love each other properly.
"Marcellus…" Marcia swallowed, not wanting to lose this with him. He was her rock and stability and it was her time to recognise that in him. "…I don't know why I ever blocked this. I guess I didn't want risk losing you as a friend and breach anything that we did have. Not only that but you're an alchemist and I'm ExtraOrdinary Wizard, it would be so wrong." With this statement Marcellus took a step back, suddenly extremely afraid of her next words. "Yet I don't know if I can control it any longer, all I do know is..."
She sighed. "That I love you."
And with that the spell was broken.
Marcia sat up bolt right, much to the surprises of her room's occupants. She stared wide eyed at everyone, silently panicking if she had bed hair – she had slept for 78 hours after all.
"Marcia, don't do that! You scared me!" Septimus stated, his hand over his heart in shock.
"Do you always have to get up so quickly?"
That statement caused Marcia to acknowledge the head rush that was now wreaking havoc in her head. She groaned and laid back down before she could faint. She caught sight of Marcellus sitting next to her smiling, and offering her a glass of water. That was when she remembered her dream.
"You entered my dreams." She stated, even though it was silently a question.
Marcellus nodded. "Indeed."
He winked and smiled at her; and all Marcia could do was laugh.
I apologize for the complete fluffiness of this fic, and for how I wrote Marcellus' character. For some reason I can imagine him perfectly in my head but when it comes down to putting it in words male characters always end up sounding remarkably similar to the character of Patrick Jane in the Mentalist. After all I usually only write fan fiction for the Mentalist or Gallagher Girls.
Thanks for reading this, reviews are appreciated.