Disclaimer: I own nothing. Unfortunately.

Pairing: Bash/Mary

Summary: In a past life, he thinks she would have been a witch, ensnaring him with her powers and he would be the fool and let her. Bash/Mary

Author's Note: So, I really shouldn't be doing this, as I've got two stories that I'm supposed to be writing but I can't help it!

Hi all! This is my first Reign fic! It's both exciting and terrifying. I'm new to writing period pieces, so this may not be all that accurate and I'm incredibly nervous about venturing outside my usual fandom (can you tell? I'm hiding behind the couch.) This story is Mash (Mary/Bash) because I just really love them. I'm so excited to be able to write for Reign, so hopefully you all enjoy! Of course, in this story, I've got a little headcanon, where Mary has been at the castle for a few months and Bash sees and observes her…hopefully it translates into the story, but if any of you have any questions, please feel free to PM me! Thank you so much for reading and I hope you guys enjoy!

Any mistakes are mine and mine alone. Reviews as always are greatly appreciated, but please, no flames.

The scent that lingers


She smells like lavender (not roses, never roses) and there's something about lavender that makes him straighten his back, that makes him stare and linger longer than he should.

There is something in the way her skin feels underneath his fingertips, soft, pale and smooth, that makes him want to trace unknown shapes over her body.

There is something that ignites in his very being, every time his lips touch her hand. It's a gesture out of respect, but he wonders if she realizes that he lets his lips linger just a moment longer than necessary. A moment longer than he should.

(His mother notices and she looks away, despair in her eyes and her warning echoing in his head, take care my brave son, or you will bleed for a girl who will never be yours.)

He sees the things she hides from her ladies-in-waiting, things she hides from Francis. He sees the ache of loneliness in her heart; he sees the yearning for a home she probably doesn't even remember but has always been taught to fight for. He sees the fierceness she doesn't bother hiding from him, but most of all, he sees her hope for a future that is uncertain.

"Your Grace looks sad." He whispers to her as he passes her in the hall, her ladies-in-waiting giggling and looking at him with wide-eyes. He closes his eyes and feels his chest shutter as her scent envelopes his senses.

"And what would you know of sadness?" She asks him, cocking an eyebrow at him.

"More than you would know."

He steps away from her then, shaking his hands and head, trying to get rid of the incessant need to feel her hair between his fingertips.

(In a past life, he thinks she would have been a witch, ensnaring him with her powers and he would be the fool and let her.)

There is something carefree about her when she is alone, without her ladies, without her guards, without Francis, just her and the moonlight. He watches as she tilts her head and undoes her hair. He watches as the black waves tumble over her shoulders and cascades down her back like a black waterfall.

She lets out a soft moan as she runs her fingers through her hair, massaging her scalp from the harsh style it was in.

(He notices that she prefers wearing her hair down. He notices that he prefers it down too. It makes her look wild, more unkempt; it makes her more Mary and less Your Grace or his future Queen.)

"Without your guards, Your Grace?"

She doesn't jump, she doesn't gasp, instead, her hands fall from her hair and she places them on the ledge in front of her and turns her head, eyes twinkling and a slight smile on her face. "Somehow, I feel that even without my guards, I'm never truly alone. Isn't that correct?"

Ah, he muses, as he walks closer to her, blinking against the sudden cool wind, she did notice. "I apologize if I have made you uncomfortable, Your Grace."

She lets out a laugh but its harsh and bitter to his ears and something twists in his chest at her blatant pain. "Out of everyone in this castle, you are the last person to make me uncomfortable."

"Your Grace favors me." He can't help but smile as he takes the place next to her. He looks at her and sees the hair on her skin rise and bumps overcome her body. (He tells himself it's from the cold and refuses to let himself think otherwise.)

"My name is Mary." She tells him, frustration lacing her voice. "You've used it before. Why have you suddenly started calling me Your Grace?"

She spits the word out and he's taken aback. "Mary," he says, her name rolling off his tongue like it's always belonged there, "what has caused you to become so…furious?" He sees her shiver and he unclasps his cloak, deaf to her protests as he places it over her shoulders and clasps it for her. Without thinking, without thought for his sanity or her reputation, his hand reaches out and tucks loose hair behind her ear. (It's silky and smooth and he hears a sharp intake of breath but he doesn't know if it came from her mouth or his.) "Or perhaps," he continues, his voice hoarse, his hand resting on her neck, feeling her pulse quicken and pound rapidly against his hand, "who." (It's not a question, but rather a statement that both of them know too well.)

And she talks, taking out her frustrations about his brother (half-brother, the darkest part of his mind tells him, half-brother and you owe him nothing; I owe him everything) and the Queen. She describes how helpless she feels and how scared she is. (He doesn't realize how young she really is until she confesses that, until she tells him in a soft, slightly broken voice, that she's scared.) She wraps herself in his cloak tighter and he ignores the cold air chilling him, because seeing her wrapped in what is his, warms his body more than any fire could.

"You have nothing to fear. I will not let anything happen to you." He lets his silent and reverent secret slip and he closes his eyes, wishing he could take back his confession.

There is silence and then he feels a warm hand touch his cold one. Long, pale fingers, intertwine with his and out of practice and respect, he brings her hand towards him and bends his head, lips brushing against her knuckles and lingering there.

"I sometimes wish you were the next King of France." She whispers quietly.

His head snaps up, eyes wide. He thinks he misheard but by the blush on her cheeks and the way she bites her lip, as if in disbelief, makes him realize that no, he didn't imagine the words come out of her mouth. They did. Her eyes look terrified, as if she could be executed for saying, let alone thinking, that. (He thinks that if it were up to Queen Catherine, and if word got back to her about this, she would have no problem sentencing Mary to her death and it's that thought alone that will make Bash protect her more fiercely than before.)

"As do I." He replies. "More than you would know."

They don't say anything after that, but he notices that she doesn't let go of his hand, instead, letting their intertwined hands fall in between them, their secrets clasped tightly.

"Your cloak." She says, her fingers fumbling with the clasp.

He stops her and shakes his head. "Keep it. It's yours."

She smiles at him and inclines her head, straightening her back. "Thank you…Bash."

"Always, Mary. Always." He promises.

He watches as she turns away and walks away from him.

(It won't be the first and it most certainly isn't the last time she walks away from him but he will always watch her, because it's the only thing he can do.)

The next day, after a tiring day of riding, he's surprised (and a little hurt) to see his cloak in his room, folded neatly on his bed. There is a piece of parchment on the cloak and he slowly, bones and body weary, walks towards his bed. Sitting down, he grabs the paper and allows a small smile to grace his face.

I have noticed that you are quite fond of lavender. Mary.

He lies down on his bed and grabs his cloak, draping it over his stomach as his eyes close with tiredness.

(He sleeps to the smell of lavender and dreams of a girl with hair as black as night, a smile as bright as the sun, and who has his heart wrapped tightly in her hand.)

EEEK! So…what did you all think? Like I said, this is my first fic for Reign and I just really love these two! And of course, for some reason this story is what came out when I started typing. I sincerely hope you all enjoyed it!

Thank again for taking the time to read!

Much love,