AUTHOR'S NOTE: I do not own the characters within this fiction. This fiction will also display pairings and themes that are not presented within the CW show. This is entirely my own creation from episode 6 onwards. I would also be greatful for any reviews or feedback on this fiction.
Falling Out Of Favour
It was a monotonous day. The grey and ornate clouds had spread over the grounds of the French court. Mary sat at the far end of the grounds on a hard wooden bench surrounded by trees. She watched the grounds workers running back and forth across the lawn as they hurried to finish their work before the storm hit. She sat twirling a daisy between her fragile fingers. Her mind ran wild with thoughts of her country and how she would secure its safety from the English. Since the French had last made her home safe, she worried even more about losing control again. She wanted her people to feel safe at her reign. Her mind snapped back to reality as she heard leaves crunch closely behind her and she glanced to see Sebastian strolling through the trees. She wondered if her thoughts were loud.
"Enjoying your walk?" Mary called and Sebastian turned slightly taken aback. His eye's pierced through the dull atmosphere trying to find the source of her voice. It was foggy out and his vision was clouded.
"Mary?" He called back bewildered. A smile crept up on her face as she turned back to face the pond. The lily pads on top were starting to move on top of the murky water in the light breeze.
"Over here." At her reply he rolled his eyes. That still didn't help, 'here' could be anywhere. He stepped out from behind the trees and glanced left and right. He still didn't capture her presence. He walked out into the open, pondering if he'd exited the wrong way. He glanced towards the pond in front and saw her sitting alone. Her hair looked delicate lying down her back. He checked that no one else was around and began to approach her. He moved around to the front of the bench with caution and edged towards her.
"Isn't a little cold out here for a queen?" He said gesturing to her bare arms as he sat comfortably beside her. The two smiled at each other momentarily. Sebastian took a sharp notice of the goose pimples on her pale arms, her short arm hairs standing up. He wanted to hold her to warm her up, but knew he couldn't. His mind began to run wild in her presence.
"It's a little chilly." She admitted and looked away from the delicate flower in her hand and down at the leaves blowing in the wind in front of her. She smiled as she watched them traveling across the lawn, getting stuck between strands of long grass. "It would seem we're heading into winter." She acknowledged.
"Apparently." He sighed and leaned back on the bench. He was now sitting slightly behind Mary and he happily watched her as she played with the daisy. They sat for a few moments in silence. He felt his heart instantly warm up as he realized that the delicate daisy within her finger tips was a metaphor for her. His attention was captured by her rosy lips. He went back to the moment of their first kiss and he fleetingly touched his own lips with his fingers. As Mary shifted in her seat he glided the finger through his hair and balanced them on his lap.
"Tell me, Bash." Mary began and he glanced at her indelicately. "What is it like to be free?"
"It depends on what you mean by free." He trailed, engaged.
"I mean you can do what you want without consequence."
"Oh, well then it's troubling." He smiled slyly and Mary sighed, also smiling.
"How so?" She enquired glancing and him. They locked eyes momentarily and she swiftly glanced away. He wished that she didn't stand on ceremony. He wished that she'd be more comfortable with him.
"Being deemed a bastard by everyone, is by far the biggest downfall of my freedom." Mary turned to face him, her eyebrows arched matter of factly. Her eyes lost in his. "Of course it's true, but it's the only reason that I am free." His eyes fleeted down to his lap.
"Are you happy, Bash?" She probed indulgently.
"I could be happier." He mentioned looking at her again and she shifted awkwardly in her seat. He wanted to place a hand on her shoulder to comfort her, but he knew better. He loved that she cared.
"Then would you ever consider losing your freedom?" At this Sebastian wondered what she meant by losing his freedom. It would only happen if he fell out of favour with the king or was legitimized.
"The only way that would happen is if I were to be legitimized, which will never happen." Mary went quiet at his annoyed tenor.
"What do you do with your time here?" She enquired quickly, but more innocently.
"Sometimes I fence, others I go riding and… after that?" Mary looked back at the daisy between her fingers. "Nothing." Mary knew that having freedom in Sebastian's circumstance could be lonesome.
"I'd give anything to be free." Mary responded solemnly.
"It all depends on what freedom is to you. It means something different to us all." Sebastian caught Mary's attention thoroughly with his statement. "Would you give up your crown?" Mary started. "I mean for your freedom." He quickly added whilst nodding.
"No, my people need me," She started her tone proud, "But I would like more power in my decisions. Being queen isn't easy, Bash. I find myself begging for help from other countries because I can't defend my own. I have no concrete control over anything, especially here…" She paused realising she was saying too much. "What I mean is, you don't get judged for what you do. You can leave the castle whenever you feel like it. You can interact with whomever you desire-"
"And you can't breathe without someone reporting it." He sourly replied standing up. "Don't be fooled Mary. Just because I'm free it doesn't mean I'm any less lonely. I may not be restricted like you are, but everyone avoids me. I'm just as lonely as you are." He finished and Mary suddenly felt reserved.
"I'm sorry Bash," She said, empathy echoed in her tone, "I didn't mean to offend you."
"You could never offend me, Mary." His tone now changing. Mary could have sworn that she heard sadness in his voice. She watched his hair as it stirred in the wind. It balanced in front of his eyes and she wished to move it aside.
"I'd give anything to be able to do whatever ever I desired." She said still looking at him. He still wouldn't turn to face and she found herself looking despairingly at his cheek.
"But you can at court." Sebastian said. "Who says you have to sit in your rooms and read a dreary novel? What is stopping you from going outside and exploring?" Mary got up off the bench and stood quietly at his side. "You're lonely at court Mary, but I could keep you company." His hand touched hers lovingly and she moved aside carelessly. "You wouldn't have to spend your free time in your rooms and I wouldn't have to spend mine walking alone." He gestured and she solemnly looked into his eyes. They looked pleading. She envisioned a situation of them walking in the grounds together or them reading together and it made her feel empowered. Sebastian felt a drop of rain on his forehead and mistook it for dew off the trees as the branches stirred in the wind. He broke his gaze with Mary's and turned his back on her and faced the pond. He noticed round ripples appearing on the water's surface and sighed. The rain had commenced and Mary noticed before him.
"Walk me inside?" Mary asked and Sebastian felt obliged. He gestured towards the trees for shelter. They began walking between the trees for coverage from the light rain as they headed in the direction of the castle.
"Mary?" Sebastian started first after their awkward silence.
"Yes?" She answered warily.
"Would you ever consider not marrying out of alliance?" He enquired bravely.
"If my country was secure and there were no incoming threats... If I didn't need an alliance…" She felt nervous because of the numerous false starts. "If I could defend my own country… on my own… I should like to think so." Sebastian nodded.
"Do you love Francis?"
"I have to, we're engaged." She stated, her eyebrows knitting together.
"Out of alliance." His tone became aggressive and challenging.
"I don't appreciate your tone." Mary paused in her steps and Sebastian followed her actions, but a few steps on. "I don't like where you're going with this, Sebastian. You have no right to question my feelings for your brother and neither do you have the right to get involved in my affairs at court."
"Because I'm a bastard." Sebastian countered in angst and Mary suddenly felt like she had contradicted herself. "I think you'll find you interacted with me first." Mary opened her mouth to retort but he silenced her by turning his back on her and striding away.
Mary stood beneath the trees alone, feeling a sense of regret. She observed in pain as Sebastian glided away into the distance. At the same time she watched someone familiar glide towards her. It was Lola. She still couldn't take her eyes off Sebastian. She hadn't meant to hurt him, but she didn't like the way he was pressing her. She felt like the target in an archery session. Her heart sank into her chest as Lola paused at her side. She felt a comforting hand on her arm. Lola also watched as an angry Sebastian stormed away.
"What happened?" She asked and Mary smiled hiding her pain.
"Oh nothing important." Mary replied forcing her inflicted feelings out of her body.
"Mary…" Lola pressed and Mary sighed.
"I think I just ruined a perfectly good friendship."
"You have to be careful with him. He has a gentle heart." Mary turned to look at her, she noticed how gentle her eyes were. "A heart that desire's yours." Mary watched the truth in Lola's eyes propel into the truth of her worlds. She cocked her head slightly to the side.
"Can I ask you a question, Lola?"
"Of course you can."
"Do you think that Francis loves me?"
"I think… in a way… he does yes… but that's not what you want to know is it?"
"What is that supposed to mean." It wasn't a question. Lola stuttered, her bravery was too much.
"There's a reason why Francis has distanced himself and there's a reason why Sebastian distances himself now." Lola's wisdom was strong. "Here's what I think. I think the time has come for you to make the decision on where your heart lies."
"It's with Francis, I am to marry Francis."
"But you're not married yet. The affairs of the heart are not to be trifled. You love Francis because you have to and you force yourself away from Bash because of that." Lola said. "Francis released you from your engagement until the alliance is needed. Would he have done that if he truly loved you? You do realise that Francis has had other affairs? Why can't you?"
"I pained Francis, that's why he released me." Mary retorted. "Queen's aren't allowed to romance themselves elsewhere."
"You aren't Francis's queen yet." Lola said and Mary a flutter of hope.
"We all see the way you look at Bash Mary." A voice called from behind. It was Greer. "Heck, we all see how he looks at you. Even Francis has noticed."
"I could fall out of favour with the king." Mary exclaimed. "And the future king."
"And so could Bash." Greer said. "I came here to find a nobleman, a nobleman I could marry, but I've fell in love with a kitchen boy." Lola and Mary shifted in their stance, startled with what Greer had just said. "That doesn't mean I won't marry a nobleman one day, but why can't I enjoy time with the one I love whilst I can."
"Well you kept that secret hidden well." Mary protested.
"Isn't that the point? If you was with Bash, you could keep it secret." Greer pointed out.
"It could ruin me."
"I could be ruined, but I'd rather take that chance. I'm young! I want to live those fleeting moments." Greer lusted.
"If you want to spend time with Sebastian we can help keep it hidden. We're not just your ladies in waiting, Mary." Lola said.
"We're your friends. We will help you. We can help you keep the secret."
"We shouldn't be talking about this." Mary protested. "Come we're all getting wet and I'd like to hear more about this kitchen boy Greer."