12.04.05: Remember me? ;p Well it's holidays now so I have time to write (yay!), but it has been so long since I looked at A Thousand Miles that I need something to jog my memory. That's why I'm reformatting and editing all my previous chapters before writing chapter fifteen. That way, I'll remember where I was at. :o)
Disclaimer: I don't own the title – it's from the Vanessa Carlton song. I don't own the main characters although I introduce quite a few new ones. The ones that you don't recognise are the ones that I own ;o)
Author's Note: Okay, basically this is a trory, medieval style. It's an AU okay! Uh, there's something I want to make note of… since its medieval it'll kind of be old-England style, but some of the words might have an American or Australian edge. I also know next to nothing about the medieval period, so I'm going to do my best to make up most of the historical stuff. If I get something glaringly wrong I am so sorry!
This fic may get kind of confusing in earlier or later chapters so if it does please tell me in your review and I'll try to answer any questions as best as I can. I hope you enjoy it!
PS: I've tried to keep most of the character names the same, though the character personalities may be different. Keep the AU part in mind when you read this, otherwise it probably won't make any sense.
A Thousand Miles
The Way We Were
"Are you going to die?"
A young chocolate-brown haired girl looked up at her mother with big, watery blue eyes. Her cheeks were tearstained and her hands streaked with blood. Her dress was a filthy mess and her shoes were ripped and torn, and practically non-existent. Her right elbow was roughly bandaged in an old, worn out tablecloth with a flower print, and blood was slowly seeping through the hand sewn, flowery pattern. Her mother bent down and slowly kissed the child's hands.
"I love you, Rory," she whispered, embracing her child, the shackles around her wrists clattering loudly.
"I love you too, mummy," the little girl cried.
"You two, enough!"
A guard wearing a chain mail tunic, helmet and broadsword used his large, strong hands to pry the two apart.
"Mummy!" The little girl screamed, tears cascading down her cheeks. She reached her small hand out towards her mother desperately, but another guard grabbed her around the waist and pulled her out of arms reach.
"Rory! Rory!" her mother shrieked, banging her fists against the first guard, who tugged ruthlessly on her shackles, causing her to fall to her knees. Grappling at the ground hopelessly she yelled, "You bastards! You promised you wouldn't hurt her! Damn you! Rory! Rory!" Blood dripped down from her mouth onto the ground in front of her but she payed no attention to it. "Rory!"
The woman beat her fists harshly against the half-dozen guards that were dragging her over to the centre of the stadium. The crowed cheered and carried on, as Lorelai Gilmore was led to the guillotine. Restrained by the guards, young Rory could only watch. She didn't fully understand the enormity of the situation, but she knew that something life-changing was about to happen.
Lorelai Gilmore looked back at her daughter. With the last ounce of courage that she could muster from the deepest depths of her soul, she held her head up high while they led her to the guillotine. She wanted her daughter to remember her like this; strong and proud, someone who stood up for their morals and beliefs and who did not give in to the supreme unfair power of the monarchy, someone who controlled her own destiny. And what a destiny it turned out to be.
As Lorelai approached the executioner she looked him straight in the eye. He was a little startled at this, the courage of this woman whose life he was about to take away. As her head was lowered, she fixed her gaze firmly on the people who were about to kill her. The last expression the clear blue eyes that the executioner saw before he pulled the trigger was stubborn determination. Suddenly, in that moment, he built up more respect for this woman than he had for his own mother. Then he killed her.
Young Tristan turned away in disgust. He hated watching executions. They were graphic and a waste of time. Those peasants didn't deserve their deaths witnessed by royalty. Public deaths should be saved only for those who commit the worst crime: treason against the Royal Monarchy, of course.
"Mother, must we watch such thing?"
His mother looked down at him from her elevated seat and shook her head ever so slightly, giving him a warning look. Tristan muttered to himself angrily and looked down at the chaotic crowd below. A lady had just been executed and the crowd had gone wild. Tristan wrinkled his nose; these people reminded him of pigs. Some distance behind the lady that had just been killed was a young girl who looked around the same age as him. She was a peasant girl, and she was sobbing fanatically, struggling to free herself from the guards that held her. Even from his distance Tristan could see the girl's striking blue eyes and noticed that she had quite a pretty face.
"Who is that girl?" he asked his mother offhandedly, slightly interested.
"Lorelai Gilmore's daughter."
"Gilmore..? Aren't they supposed to be nobles?" Tristan's brow furrowed, trying to remember the kingdom's complicated government system.
"Of course they're nobles." His mother sniffed rather obnoxiously.
"Then… why is she dressed in rags?"
"That is not a matter for you to have knowledge of."
"Because you aren't old enough."
"How can I be not old enough?"
His mother turned to face him, exasperated.
"Listen, there are some things you must learn. Being part of this monarchy is like riding in a small wooden boat on a very large and dangerous ocean. You could get knocked down with any wave that comes your way, unless you're strong and practical, and do what is required of you. Understand?"
"Lorelai Gilmore fell off her boat." His mother said, talking more to herself than her son. "And she dragged her poor daughter down with her."
Tristan glanced up at his mother, than quickly out to the guillotine where Lorelai's blood still dripped, then let his gaze rested on the young sobbing girl. He closed his eyes and turned around so he wouldn't have to see anymore. He didn't understand it. What could Lorelai Gilmore have done to condemn herself to such a horrible death, and to her daughter, such a horrible life?
Three Years Later…
The fire crackled comfortingly and Rory came up closer to it, trying to get warm. Now ten years of age, she was starting to take on more of an appearance of her mother, by both her looks and personality.
"Don't go to close to the fire, Rory dear."
Rory turned around and smiled at the large, good-natured faced woman who had a beaming smile, delightful hazel brown eyes and charming dimples.
"All right Sookie," Rory said, and obediently moved a couple of steps backwards. "It's just so cold."
"Your mother's got the best luck of all, that's what I think. Knowing her, she's up there looking down on us, probably with a cob of corn and a cup of tea, enjoying the show." Sookie looked up to the heavens and tutted sternly. "While we're here doing all the work! That is so like your mother!" She shook a chubby fist at the skies, and then grinned, sitting down in a large, wooden rocking chair.
"Tell me about my mother," Rory said, knowing that Sookie and Lorelai used to be the best of friends when Lorelai was still alive.
"Well, your mother was the cleverest person I ever knew. She and I were actually going to start up an inn together. I was to be the cook and she would manage all the money." Sookie smiled dreamily, the memories flooding back to her. "Lorelai came up with the most amazing ideas. Ridiculous, impossible, crazy ideas, but amazing ones none the less. She was a dreamer, but also a realist."
"How did you meet her?" Rory asked, intrigued.
"Lorelai was going to get betrothed, against her will. See, she was already in love with someone else – your father – and they married in secret and she got pregnant with you. But when Emily, that's your grandmother, found out about her pre-arranged marriage, Lorelai could come up with no other situation but to run away. She didn't want to embarrass her groom to be, but she wasn't going to stand around and be married against her will, so she ended it on her terms."
"Where did you find all this out?" Rory said softly, her eyes twinkling brightly.
"I was one of the cooks arranging the wedding. I saw her trying to run away, and I followed. Later on she confessed the whole story to me and I offered a home for her here if she ever needed one. That offer is also extended to you, my dearest."
Rory smiled. "Thankyou Sookie, I shall always remember that. My mother sounds very brave."
Sookie let out a loud, fruity laugh. "Brave? Yes, she was brave! She was magnificent! Determined, stubborn and moral: everything that a well-rounded person should be. She'd willingly plunge through fire, fly, or even walk a thousand miles with broken legs if she saw the need for it."
"When I grow up I want to be exactly like her! I will be like her," Rory promised herself.
"But sweetheart," Sookie said fondly. "You already are like her."
"Oh Sookie, that's the nicest thing anyone could ever say to me." Rory said, her eyes filling with tears, and she suddenly embraced the large, friendly lady in a huge hug. When the two parted they laughed, like old friends. Rory was already way beyond her years mentally, and Sookie thought of her more as friend than a child.
"Sookie! Rory! Where are you?" a male voice cried out.
"There you are!" Jackson panted, beads of sweat dripping down his forehead. He leaned over to give Sookie a kiss and affectionately patted Rory's head. He and Sookie were married. "I ran all the way from work to find you!"
"Well, we're right here. What ever is the matter?"
"The king!" Jackson said breathlessly. "The king has just died."
Thankyou to an anonymous reviewer for letting me know that there were no guillotines in the middle ages until the French revolution! Um… creative licence? Jks!