Title: For King and Country

Author: MuttsandMoggies

Category: Covert Affairs/AU/ Historical fiction

Rating: T+

Summary: 1193, England's King Richard is missing. The king's mother, the formidable Eleanor of Aquitaine, charges the Earl and Countess of Langley and their household of spies with the rescue of England's king.

Disclaimer: The framework belongs to history, the characters to the USA Network and the brilliant Covert Affairs writers. The unmitigated gall of throwing them all together in yet another long and convoluted story, that's all mine.


Author's Note: I'm usually the first to back away from AU time bending fics. They're not canon! It's not right! If the CA creators had wanted this alternate universe they would have written it that way from the outset, damn it!

That said, I've gone and done the unthinkable and combined my two passions, history and Covert Affairs. I've taken our beloved CA characters and dropped them into twelfth century Europe. Mea Culpa. Medieval Europe was rife with political intrigue, treachery, and geo-political power struggles to rival our own 21st century troubles. So, really not so different after all.

I created then deleted a Dramatis Personae page. I've tried to keep the characters recognizable, but if you're really confused, let me know.

So now, for something completely different, but not really, I give you...

For King and Country

Prologue

The Year of Our Lord 1192,

Acquileia

Perched upon the rocks, the small company of knights watched in shock as the ship broke apart on the rocks. They stood, immobile, in spite of the wind and wild surf that tore at their sodden garments, staring helplessly as a dozen of their companions, battered by the waves, and weighed down by their maille tunics, fought tide and tempest in their struggled to reach the shore.

"Richard, I can't just stand here and do nothing. I'm going back in," Arthur FitzRoy said, as he tore off his surcote. "We have to do something."

The taller man held him back. "Don't be a fool! We barely made it to the shore, ourselves."

"There must be something we can do! Chivalry dictates -"

"Devil take your bloody code of chivalry, Arthur! We need to get home."

"You do!"

"I need your counsels. I'll not risk my neck or yours for a passel of imprudent sailors. They knew the risk when they took my coin."

"So, you would leave them there to drown?" the knight said, disbelieving.

"They are lost. The best we can do is pray for their souls, and thank the Lord that we have survived."

"I cannot stand idly by and watch good men drown."

"Fine! Throw yourself in after them, if you think it will help! I'm certain your lady will take great comfort in knowing you died for a handful of flea-bitten, pox-ridden sailors. You've no sons to inherit your lands. Your dear countess is barren, so whoever marries her will likely take her dower lands, and then dispose of her. But you'll have paid your way into heaven, so -"

"Enough! You don't play fair... Your Majesty." He spit out the last two words.

"When has life ever been fair, Arthur? You, more than any of my men, should know that by now."

A faint and distant clanging pierced the din.

"Do you hear that? Church bells sounding the alarm. I daresay, a rescue is at hand. They may even find a rowboat and some poor wretch to aid those men.

More like they are rushing to salvage any treasure from the ship and ignoring the sailors' desperate pleas, Arthur thought, but he kept those thoughts to himself. Richard liked his illusions. Presenting him with reason only served to unleash the famous Plantagenet temper. Thus it had been with the late king, and so to it was with his heir.

"Come, let us find a way off of these rocks, and meet the good people of this town."

"Yes, sire."

"Oh, and remember. Here, we are but simple knights returning from the Holy Land. No 'majesties' and 'sires' until we are safely away. Understood?"

"Understood." Arthur FitzRoy, Earl of Langley, muttered a quick kyrie, and crossed himself. Casting one last grief-laden look at the men struggling in the surf, he hurried to join his brother.


And away we go :) Are you with me for the ride?

Thanks for reading. Please review.