A/N: It has definitely been too long since I posted a Reign fic, so here you go. This is just a little something I came up with to try and get the muse flowing again. I hope to get new chapter's up for "The Queen's Favor" and "Making it Right" soon, but hopefully this is a good enough substitute until then.

Disclaimer: I do not own Reign.

This was getting seriously out of hand. It was one thing for his mother to want him to be legitimized; it was another matter entirely for her to act upon the impulse. Especially when her actions moved from writing to the Pope or Cardinal or whomever and moved to telling an enemy of France when to best storm the castle and take his brothers hostage.

It was quiet in the castle. Everyone was asleep with the late hour, however, Bash found himself incapable of turning off his mind. He had heard everything; he had heard about Mary's daring attempt to rescue his brothers as well as everyone else who remained in the castle. He heard of how Count Vincent had attempted to steal Mary's virtue and how Mary had to resort to murder, much like himself and Francis. Sinning so the other's in their lives might remain pure.

Sebastian found himself clenching his fists in anger. this was his fault. If he had been faster with his horse, swifter with his blade, Francis would not have had to kill Tomas. That blood would have been on his hands, like the Blood Priest and the thief. Had he said nothing to his mother of Francis' threat, she wouldn't have had a though to legitimize him, and would not have brought the Italian's to their doorstep. Mary would have remained pure. All this blood Bash would have happily taken instead. He was a bastard after all, in the eyes of God, he didn't even exist.

His inner turmoil was cut off as Bash heard the sound of footsteps coming toward him. he hadn't even noticed he had stopped in his walk to stare out a window. Turning in the direction of the footsteps, Bash's heart stopped. She looked like a ghostly bride. There was Mary, in a white sleep gown, padding barefoot down the corridor. His breath caught in his throat as he watched her, like some ethereal vision from one of his dreams. She seemed in a daze, her head down, her hair falling to hide her face like a mourning veil, looking at her hands.

"Mary?" Bash inquired as he finally found his voice. Her response was immediate. Her head shot up, her eyes blindly searching for the sound as if she had just been stirred from a dream. Bash knew the moment Mary realized where she was, and who she was with. Her shoulder's fell a little as if a few pounds had been moved.

"Bash," she answered a slight hint of confusion in her voice. It would seem, like him, Mary had assumed she would be alone in her nightly travels through the castle. Now that he had her attention, Bash moved a few steps forward, stopping only a foot from Mary.

"What are you doing wandering the castle so late?" he questioned, looking up and down the hall, attempting to discover anyone who might be accompanying Mary in her wanderings. When he was certain they were all alone, he returned his gaze to her, "-alone?" he finished, his stance was calm but he couldn't help the sense of dread he felt at the situation. There was never a good reason for someone to be wandering the castle alone at night.

Mary squired as she stood there, wringing her hands, refusing to meet Bash's gaze. Mary finally shifted and drug her eyes up the length of Bash's body, perhaps it was his relaxed posture that gave her the courage to finally loc eyes with him. What Bash saw there was all too familiar. Mary looked haunted, as if everything she looked at was some ghost sent from the grave to torment her. It was a feeling he had felt only a short time ago.

"You keep seeing him, Count Vincent, his face, the blood," Bash saved her from having to say the words. He knew exactly what she was feeling, and he knew what it meant to say the words aloud. It made them real, and Bash would not put that on Mary, not if he could help it. He knew she would need to talk about it eventually, but right now it was still raw, the wound too fresh to do much but patch it up. She needed to heal a little first.

Oh how Bash wished he could gather Mary in his arms and tuck her into his side, comfort her and keep her safe, but his brother's warning still rang in his ears. He would not allow Bash to have Mary, and as much as Bash wished he did not care about his brother's waning, he knew Mary would never risk it. This in mind, Bash was surprised when Mary reached out and took his warm hands in her cold ones.

Bash felt empowered by this move and shifted his hold so he might warm Mary's dainty hands with his own.

"He was going to ruin me, and he was going to let his men ruin my ladies. His men were poisoned, but Count Vincent," Mary didn't finish and Bash was grateful, he wasn't sure she was ready to finish, and he would by no means force her. He made soft comforting noises, attempting to calm her down. He was almost certain she was about to cry, and that was the last thing Bash wanted.

When she was finally calmed down, Bash watched her move her gaze to their joined hands. He thought for a moment she would realize the position and pull back, but she remained. Instead Bash took their joined hands and tucked away a piece of hair that had fallen into her face. "You should try and get some sleep, it really does help. I'll escort you back and then have someone bring you warmed milk and honey from the kitchens," his voice was soft as he spoke, but he also attempted to be firm. Mary needed her rest and Bash wasn't about to take no for an answer. Thankfully Mary seemed to sense this and agreed to see reason.

Bash gave his best attempt at a comforting grin, then moved to tuck Mary's arm through his own, leading them together through the castle. There were next to no guards about the castle, though that was to be expected, everyone needed to sleep at some point, even the guards. The first he saw of anyone else was the guard who stood at the corner of the corridor which lead to Mary and her Ladies chambers, stopping a moment, Bash addressed the man. "Her Majesty is having trouble sleeping, will you please send for warmed milk and honey?" Bash requested and was thankful for the guard when he bowed and gave a low "M'Lord," before walking off towards the kitchen without question.

"It will get easier," Bash told Mary as they walked the final few steps to her chambers. Mary didn't seem all that convinced, but she nodded her head in acknowledgment all the same.

"Thank you Bash, you truly are a blessing," Mary placed her hands on his chest and placed a gentle kiss on his cheek, light as a whisper, and then she was gone. His chest seared where her hands had once been, his cheek tingling, as if every ounce of his being was reaching out in search for her lips.

"A blessing or a curse?" Bash questioned under his breath as he turned away from Mary's now closed door. He wasn't sure he would be able to answer the question. If it hadn't been for his desire for her, he would not have had to be a blessing. Mary never would have had to deal with Count Vincent or his men.

Bash ran his hands through his hair in frustration as he walked to his own chambers. Without Mary by his side, the castle now felt like a dungeon of Hell with Demons lurking in the shadows, ready to strike at him now that he was unprotected by the angel's light.

There was nothing more Bash wanted to do more than to confront his mother, put this whole legitimization idea out of her head once and for all. This impulse however would have to wait until morning, as his mother was currently in bed with his father. He may be the favored son, and she the favorite woman, but there was no saving his mother from the penalties that would be dealt, should his father discover her treason.

Instead Bash removed his sword and boots and walked himself over to his balcony. He couldn't stop his head from turning to examine the very place the Butcher Boy had thrown himself from the banister to his death.

It seemed wherever he went lately, death followed, if only he could keep the blood from dripping between his fingers and onto the hands of those he held most dear.