So many hearts for the latest episode! Obviously, Mary isn't going to marry Tomas, because Prince Charming is going to swoop in and save the day (and give kisses. Love the preview!). Anyway, this has nothing to do with that episode, just something I was tossing around in my head for a while. Kindly enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own the song referenced in the title and description, or the show Reign, or any of it's characters.
Sometimes, Mary was convinced she was part seer. What was it she had said to her uncle all those months ago? Something about being a glove the French would take out when it got cold? Sure enough, leaves fell from trees, snow fell from the sky, and etiquette lessons fell from king appointed tutors. The French court had a complicated, intricate system of courtly behavior that continued to flummox Mary. Who to curtsey to, who to refer to as what, who sat where at state dinners, what order ambassadors were received in. It all simply made her head spin. Her only reprieve during these long days was when she and Francis would steal away for a stroll in the gardens-a stolen stroll that more often than not led to stolen kisses. Slowly but surely as the pressure on Mary mounted to learn the ways of the French court, as the inevitability of their marriage became stronger, the guarded look in Francis's eyes began to melt away. He may not love her yet. Yet Mary mentally repeated fiercely, but someday soon he shall. She was already in love with him; truly, she had loved him since they were children, but now that childish love was blossoming into something more intense, more passionate. It was becoming more and more difficult to contain herself when he kissed her; those kisses made her entire body throb and long for more. What more consisted of, she wasn't exactly sure, but soon enough the King would set a date for their wedding, and it wouldn't be long until she found out.
Mary realized her mind had drifted away while her tutor was droning on about the Royal Family's ancestral tree. Determined to be a good French queen, as well as Scottish, she forced her mind back to the task at hand. Only a few more hours and then I shall find Francis. With that happy thought in mind, she returned to her lesson, smiling to herself.
That same afternoon, Francis took a few moments to himself to calm himself and organize his thoughts. He'd found his father and mother engaged in a heated argument-hardly unusual except this time it sounded as though they were arguing about his wedding. It sounded to him as though his father was winning. It had been clear these past few months that progress was being made. Supplies to Scotland was being sent out in every increasing amounts, and Mary was obviously being groomed to become Queen of the most fashionable court in the world. If things continued in this manner, then within six months Mary would be his bride; he was sure of it. And not a moment too soon, he thought, shifting on his bed. Francis hadn't been with another woman in months, not only out of respect for his bride-to-be but because there wasn't another woman in all of Europe who held the fascination that Mary did. He wanted her, and only her.
It wasn't long after he lied down and shut his eyes that his chamber door opened softly and then shut. Francis smiled to himself-had his fiancee defied her etiquette training and come to see him?
"It's been a long time, your Highness."
He sat up quickly. "Natalia. What are you doing here?"
"I should think it'd be obvious, my lord." The lady loosened the robe she wore, and gently lowered one shoulder. "I've come to play."
Francis stared at the bared breast. "We can't continue to do this. I told you that."
She pouted, and swayed closer. "I don't see why not. Your father has a mistress, and then others in addition to her. Kings don't answer to their wives, isn't that right? Why should that not apply to future kings?"
With that, she slipped her robe entirely off, and he sat frozen. Truly, he didn't want to resume his affair with her, not when Mary was so close to finally being his, but, blast, it had been a long time since he'd been with a woman, and Natalia was as woman as they come.
She slid closer to him, stepping in between his legs. "No." He said, standing and crossing to the other side of the room. "Natalia, it is over."
Natalia just smirked, and glided over. "My lord, please, let me give you a hand with that."
There was a knock on his chamber door, and he hastily threw her robe to her. "Cover up." He commanded.
Opening the door just a crack, he was hit with deja vu, as a smiling Mary faced him from the hallway. "Francis, your father has asked to see us." She beamed at him, though it slowly turned into a frown as she took in his flushed face and rumpled clothing. "Are you alright?"
"Yes, yes, I'm fine, I was napping." He lied quickly.
"Napping is one term for it, I suppose." Natalia said, approaching the doorway and popping into Mary's point of view. "Your grace." She smirked as she curtsied, and then walked down the hallway.
Francis closed his eyes in horror. "Mary, I swear to you nothing happened."
His fiancee simply looked at him in hurt bewilderment, and then turned on her heel and strode off towards the king's reception hall. Oh God, what had he done?
Mary stood, barely composed and shaking with rage, next to Francis as the king spoke. Henry talked about the current political climate, how he appreciated her patience, and then the sentence she'd been waiting to hear since she'd arrived, "Your wedding will be in February. I look forward to welcoming you as a daughter in law."
She curtsied to him. "Thank you, your grace. I will write to my mother the good news."
Without so much as glancing at her intended, she exited the room quickly, determined to get back to her chambers before she dissolved into tears. The footsteps echoing on the stone floors told her she would not make it.
She stopped and whirled about furiously. "I have been in long, dull sessions every afternoon for the last month, trying to learn how to be a good Queen for you. I have given up freedoms, given up privacy, and given up hope of returning to my homeland for longer than a visit for you. And you, you couldn't even wait until we were actually married to begin your infidelities!"
"I haven't been with Natalia since you arrived!" He replied. "You must believe me!"
Her eyes were bright with tears. "She was naked in your bedroom. I've learned enough to know that would ruin a reputation for a woman, and it has ruined yours for me. I believed you when you said you would give this a shot. I won't make that mistake again."
With tears streaming down her face, she ran down the hall, blinded with tears of grief. The nun at the convent had been right-love mattered to her. And she was so in love with Francis, so in love that she spent nights and days dreaming about him and his kisses. No other man had appealed to her. Foolish she chided her self. She was clearly a fool for thinking it was the same for him.
Francis stared after her until Bash came behind him and clapped his hand on his shoulder. "Well what are you going to do about that?" His half brother asked.
He considered the agony in his chest, and the overwhelming urge he felt to chase after Mary and make her feel his love. No, better to give her time to calm down. She'd see reason eventually. She had to. "Get very drunk." He replied. "And you're coming with me."
Long after the candles in her room were extinguished, Mary lay weeping into her pillow. She had not told her friends what had occurred, nor written to her mother as she'd said she would. All afternoon, through dinner, and now into the night, she had sobbed her broken heart out loud. To be married to someone who would cuckold her so blatantly-the thought was unbearable. And yet she had to do it, for Scotland, for the alliance. She would have to swallow her pain, and live each day in love with a man who did not feel the same way. How long would it be before even the perfunctory kindnesses he showed her, as she now believed his past actions to be, would become the barely veiled animosity his father showed his mother? In the convent, the nuns had told her of the English King Henry who had left his good Catholic wife for the heretic Anne Boleyn, and how Catherine had maintained her love for him until she died of grief. Was that to be her lot in life as well?
If it was, she was determined to be as graceful and steadfast as Catherine was. After all, she did not marry for her sake, but for her country's. She would provide Francis with the two sons necessary, one to rule France, one to rule Scotland, and then she would return to Scotland. Maybe the knowledge of Francis' lack of love would hurt less with distance. Mary wiped away her tears, and took a steadying breath. She was a queen, and she would behave as one.
A sudden, loud rap at her door frightened her. Then she heard the low voices, two low voices she recognized. Why on earth would Francis and Bash be at her door so late? Furthermore, why was Francis there at all? Didn't he have some harlot to tup so she could be left alone in her misery?
Queen she reminded herself, and flung the door open. "What do you want?" She demanded softly, not wanting to bring the guards running.
Francis grinned at her from under Bash's arm. "There's my fiancee!" He looked at his brother. "I'm marrying her."
Bash swayed on his feet, and grabbed the doorway to steady himself. "Only if she forgives you. Will you forgive my little brother, Mary?"
They were both drunk, loose limbed in the way Francis had pretended to be to rescue her from the English ambassador. "Go away!" She commanded. "Go find Natalia. I've no patience for this behavior."
Francis giggled (giggled!) and pushed through her door. "You heard her, Bash. Go find Natalia."
Bash hiccuped. "I might do that then. Have a good night, and Mary?" He grinned his smug charming grin. "Welcome to the family."
She barely resisted the urge to throw something at his head. She settled for slamming the door behind him, and shoving Francis away from her. He landed on the rug covered floor, and frowned up at her.
"Mary, Mary, so contrary." He said. "And yet you're the one I want."
"I told you Francis, I won't be fooled again."
"No." He protested, stumbling to his feet. "Oh your walls are spinning." He stumbled again, reaching for her. This time she stepped away, and he hastily turned to sit on the bed. "Mary, I didn't. I wouldn't."
"You would." She hissed. "You have!"
"Before." Francis said, closing his eyes, and then opening them to look into hers. "Before you. Before I knew you. Before I lo…"
Mary's heart leapt, but she squashed down that spark of hope before it warmed her cold fury. "She was naked in your bed chamber."
"I didn't know she would be! I was just laying there, thinking of you. Thinking of your soft hair, and warm smile, and pretty eyes, and how good you smell, and the way you feel in my arms."
Damn his blue eyes and easy smile. Even with his hair a mess and clothing askew, he looked like an angel. "How did Natalia get naked in your chamber then?"
"I was laying on my bed, thinking of you." He smiled besottedly at her, and lest he lapse into another description of what he was thinking about and distract her, she cut him off. "Yes, yes you mentioned that part." Her face was red, she was sure of it.
"She came in. I thought she was you...but no. You came in later. After she took off her clothes and…" he gestured vaguely. "I told her to leave."
Mary sighed. She believed him. Why did she believe him? Was it the earnest look in his unfocused eyes? The way his story didn't change after he imbibed what smelled like half the wine in France? Or was it because she loved him, and deep down desperately wanted him to love her in return?
"Very well, Francis. I shall take your word for it." Tomorrow they would discuss this further, but it was evident from his rambling that he was lost for tonight.
"Come here, Mary." He reached out a hand. "I want to touch you."
Now she knew her face was aflame. "That is not a wise idea tonight."
With some effort, and assistance from her bedpost, he managed to stand, and come over to her. His hands trailed lightly over her face, down her neck, and finally, onto her breasts, where he paused. Mary stared wide eyed at him. "Francis, what on earth?"
"Shhh." He whispered loudly. "Let me make you feel good."
Then he lowered his lips to hers, and under the strong taste of wine, there was his unique flavor. This time, unlike the others, his kiss not careful, he didn't stop before it went too far. This kiss was passionate, forceful. Francis took and took until it seemed like she had nothing left, and then he took more, leaving her quivering against him. His hands slid from her chest, to her waist, down her back to her buttocks, which he grasped firmly and used to press her against him. She gasped into his mouth as she felt his arousal against her stomach.
"Since you've arrived, Mary, you're the only one I've wanted like this. The only one." He said, taking a short break to gasp out words before returning to devour her mouth with his.
Somehow before she knew it, they were on the bed and he was lying completely atop her, pressing her into the mattress. She instinctively arched up against him, craving more, more of something she couldn't quite name. Her hands now were roaming as well; they found the hem of his loose white shirt, and she lifted it up, searching for the warm, smooth skin underneath. He lifted his head from her neck only long enough to tear the shirt over his head before he resumed his nibbling. "Francis, please!" She gasped, not exactly sure what she was asking for.
But at her words, he stopped completely, groaning into her neck before rolling off of her. She followed him, still seeking an end to the growing craving she felt. "What are you doing?"
"Mary." He gently pushed her hands away. "I'm not so drunk that I can compromise you." He smiled ruefully. "Well, more than I already have. We must wait."
"I don't think I want to wait." She said firmly.
"I know." Francis closed his eyes as if in agony. "My love, I know. But you will be my wife, and you, I, I must give you every respect you deserve."
He was right. He was drunk, and not drunk enough, and right, and Mary was a little angry with him for it. Then she sighed, because he'd called her his love, and drunk or not it was a step forward. "You're a good man, Francis."
"I want to be. For you." He said. "I must go."
He kissed her once more, a deep clinging kiss that she swore she could feel for minutes after, then pulled on his shirt. "I must go." He repeated.
Mary smiled at him, tingles in each part of her body. "Goodnight, husband." She said, relishing the taste of the words on her tongue.
"What that is true, I shall never leave you like this." Francis swore. With a last lingering look, he left her chamber.
For a long time afterward, Mary held the pillow to her chest, and remembered each detail of their encounter. Especially his words. Words may not mean much at French court, but her fiancé's carried a weight, and somehow, over the months she'd been there, she had grown not just to love her husband to be, but also trust him. Natalia would not be an issue ever again.
Mary didn't see Francis for a long while the next morning. He did not make an appearance at breakfast, but neither did Bash, so she assumed he was sleeping off the undoubtably terrible headache he would have had after the night before. She went about her day, walking with her ladies, speaking with servants, and finally writing to her mother all under a haze of lust from the night before. Though her body had calmed down, something had been awoken within her and she was sure that something would not let her be until Francis satisfied it. Two whole months until February. A long wait, but one that would surely be worth it.
Finally, a slightly pale looking Francis caught her in the gardens. Without speaking, he drew her behind some hedges and kissed her almost as deeply as the night before. She was smiling when he pulled away, but his face was grave. "I wanted to do that one last time. I know I behaved abhorrently yesterday. I offer you my deepest, most sincere apologies."
Too good of a man, she amended her description from the night before. "I quite liked your behavior, last night at least." She said, grasping onto his jacket and refusing to allow him to step back.
"You aren't angry?" He asked, surprised.
"I am not." Mary smiled broadly at him, overwhelmed by the love she felt. "Last night made me long for our wedding, more than I already have been. Although, if I ever find a naked woman within fifty meters of you ever again, I shall be most displeased."
He winced. "That will never happen again, Mary, I swear it. You are the only one one I want."
"Yes, you mentioned that last night." She placed her hand on his strong jaw, and rubbed her thumb over his cheekbone. "You are the only one for me." She whispered.
"Mary." Francis started, then stopped swallowing hard. He looked at her as if he was searching for some answer, and she stared back resolutely. "Mary, I love you."
She gasped a moment, utterly speechless, overwhelmed with joy. Francis looked nervously at her, and tightened his grip on her waist as though he was frightened she would run away.
"I love you too." She said in a rush. "I've waited so long to say that!"
"God." Her future husband blasphemed, and then again crushed her to him, not kissing her this time, but burying his face in the crook of her neck. "This was more than I ever hoped for."
Mary relished the feeling of his strong body against hers, knowing that he completely belonged to her, today and forever. "This was exactly what I hoped for."
Alright people, here it is! A very long (for me anyway!) oneshot. I'm sincerely hoping more like it will be up soon! Remember fellow writers: Exposition, rising action, climax, resolution. Or as I like to simplify it: Start, problem, happy ending. Write, Write, Write my pretties!
Thank you for reading and reviewing!