So as soon as Melody came up with this idea, I knew I wanted to try it...though time is always an issue, and beyond that my brain has been rather too scattered to write anything lately. But finding myself waiting for a sibling last night, I randomly threw some words together and I ended up with several tiny vignettes...read them carefully (but mercifully...I didn't get time to spend to make it very pretty :P), and I hope you enjoy them. XD
|via pinterest originally via some movie XD|
"It's too early in the day for killing princes." I grinned.
Medraut glared at me, and I flipped my sword around, my grin widening. "If a sense of humor were a requirement in captains of the guard, you would have lost your job years ago."
His sword hit mine and I scrambled to block his attack. "Cause," I added, so soon as I had my balance, "You have absolutely none, you know."
"As you say, your highness," he said, and suddenly threw himself forward in a fierce attack I knew I was not going to block. "It is not a requirement."
"I'm thinking of making it one," I answered the moment I had breath to speak, slightly crosser than usual to find his sword once again at my throat.
He looked mirthlessly back at me as I stepped away from his sword, defeated once again before the entirety of my father's royal guard.
"It's too early in the day for killing princes."
The boy, sharp-tongued and flippant, yawning behind his bound hands, hard eyes glittering with something between laughter and fury...the girl, as crushed and broken as the hem of her royal gown, wet face pleading.
Mercury drew on his black gloves silently, ignoring both. The iron key opened their cell easily enough, and the boy came to his feet with haughty grace, chin high with all the pride of his blood. His sister crumpled at his feet, hiding her face. Good. Who had told them false he did not know, but better to keep them both deceived until the end. It was not his concern why they were his mission, only that he carry it out. And as was obvious from their faces, doing it this way was easier than telling either of them it was indeed to early to kill the prince. He was here for the princess.
"It's too early in the day for killing princes!" Rather more breathless than was strictly elegant or courtly, Queen Illea hurried after her husband, billowing skirts crumpled in her hands.
"Did you hear what the boy has done?" fairly bellowed the king, and she winced as maids down the hall ahead of them disappeared silently into side rooms.
"Yes, but my dear, let us think things through."
"Think what through?" He paused only long enough to throw his hands up and give her a look of disbelief, before rushing onwards towards the prince's chambers.
Hubert was never strictly reasonable, but being woken before daybreak to hear that the Captain of his Guard had been fired by his own son had made him less reasonable than usual. Between the two of them...Queen Illea shook her head. It was far too much for any queen to handle. The sooner she married off the prince the better.
"It's too early in the day for killing princes!" The Lady Arianna giggled behind her white-gloved hand, but Princess Sophia shrugged, evidencing an entirely dainty lack of care. "When one's looks are counted more dangerous than knives, what is one to do? I shan't shut myself up in a tower, and should Prince Alex chose to pierce his heart on my beauty, does time of day truly matter?"
"Have some mercy on the dear boy!" laughed Lady Susanna, and the princess looked wide-eyed at her in the mirror.
"Why, do pray tell?"
"Have you not heard? The Prince is in disgrace with his father, and the queen means for your visit to make things better, not worse."
The princess sniffed. "I go to see if the rumors are true and to satisfy my curiosity, not to play mender between him and his father."
Both ladies shook their heads, but the princess glanced back at the mirror, smiling archly. Should the prince chose to fall to his fate, she would not be to blame for the stumbling of his heart.
"It is too early in the day for killing princes," I muttered again, groaning as I untangled myself from the blankets which Medraut had unceremoniously dragged from my bed, dropping me among them to the floor.
"Someday, your highness, you will realize your enemies find no time too early, and when that time comes, perhaps you will pay more attention to your training." He stood to attention at my door, waiting as I got to my feet and pulled on wide leather breaches over my sleeping pants.
I sighed wearily, pulling my cotton shirt over my head and reaching for one more appropriate for the training grounds. "Did I not fire you recently? And yet here you are again returned to pester me?" I stopped abruptly in lacing up my shirt, the position of the sun on the wall finally catching my attention. "And an hour earlier than usual, at that!" I cried, my face wearing its most wounded expression.
"My place has been restored at the order of your father, and the time has been changed at the request of your mother, who I believe has plans for your afternoon. Someone to visit you, I believe."
I groaned. "Another tea, Medraut?"
He shrugged noncommittally, and glanced pointedly at the sunshine, moving slowly upon the wall. I lowered my voice so none other could hear it. "Was your day off fruitful, Captain?"
He looked at me, humorless yet, and did not answer. Then even asking was dangerous. But surely he would tell me if he had failed.
"If my enemies are to be so disgustingly punctual, perhaps we should try midnight training sessions," I added then, as petulantly as I could. Perhaps then we could speak more freely.
He bowed his head slightly. "I have thought so myself, your highness, but considering we have only just now worked up to dawn awakenings, it may be some time before you are ready."
"Then I hope my mercurial enemies await my readiness," I said, sharp-tongued now, and not entirely caring as I caught up my sword from beside my bed. At times he treated me as if I were the fumblehanded lackwit I appeared to be.
"I most fervently hope the same, my prince," Medraut breathed, and the heart-tones of his whispered voice sent a chill through my center.
If whatever plot he had found was dangerous enough to scare him into speaking, I should be frightened.
Suddenly I did not trust his earlier silence.
"You must tell me if she is alright," I said, infusing laughter into a voice that wanted to shake.
He looked sharply at me, furious warning in his eyes.
"Your favorite horse," I added, smiling carelessly. "The one that lost its shoe."
He still glared at me, but there was a reluctant softness to his face as he answered brusquely enough, "Limping, your highness, but very much alive. Quite pleased to be turned out to pasture with the horse that usually keeps her company."
I rolled my eyes, knowing that was the most I would get from him until such time as he chose to tell me otherwise. We played a dangerous game, he and I, but so long as she was alive and her brother with her, and Medraut and myself continued free, perhaps both our kingdoms would last a little longer.