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FIC: Seals of Love (10/10)



Title: Seals of Love
Genre: Much Ado About Nothing

Rating: T (some implications)
Author: tkel_paris
Summary: Written as a Christmas present for sykira. A what if inspired by my writing “Glance of Love” and the indications of what might have been for Benedick and Beatrice had their merry war not been triggered.
Disclaimer: Good lord, I'm writing fanfic about a Shakespeare play! Do I need to write that I own nothing? Especially when it's inspired by a particular stage performance?
Dedication: sykira. You're welcome, love. :D And huge thanks to tardis_mole for helping me rework the play, and to bas_math_girl for her help as well.
Author's Note: When my Muse got the bug that later became “Glance of Love”, she got a few other ideas as well. And there are TWO more where this came from. :DDDDD

Oh, and a shout-out to
hezikiah, for posting a youtube video of her daughter. It inspired me to make a little addition to the end. Please thank Nora for me. :D



Chapter One / Chapter Two / Chapter Three / Chapter Four / Chapter Five / Chapter Six / Chapter Seven / Chapter Eight / Chapter Nine
DVD Extra the First / DVD Extra the Second / DVD Extra the Third / DVD Extra the Fourth


CHAPTER TEN: STRIKE UP... PIPERS

Claudio sat in silence amongst the gathering, not listening as the Prince spoke with the Friar. The day he had begun to think would never happen was here. A year to the day after his greatest misjudgement. It had been a long and difficult year, and more than once did he want to sink into drinking and end it all. Especially when he learned Benedick's choice of punishment.

Claudio had walked beside Don Pedro and stopped before Benedick and Leonato. The rest of their Houses were also gathered, along with the villains of the plot to disgrace Hero. Those three were to learn their punishments today, the day after the would-be wedding, and Claudio and the Prince would learn the weights they had to bend under.

Leonato spoke to the entire gathering, which included gentlemen and ladies of the town and surrounding area who had witnessed the challenge at the church. “My nephew, who hath been bestowed additional honours, shall now announce the brave punishments intended for those who wronged Hero yesterday and the night before. And then he shall declare the recompense required of the Prince and the Count for their unwitting parts in the matter. Nephew, proceed.”

Benedick stepped forward, military persona and stride firmly in place, to face Borachio and Conrade. “For thy actions, Borachio and Conrade, all coin earn'd from thy master's commands recently must be paid to Margaret to compensate her for beguiling her into giving unwitting assistance to thy plot; thou shall face imprisonment for a year, and then the Prince or the King shall determine where thy shall go after. And I urge the Prince to see thy social rank stripped.”

Both flinched, Conrade more so as his rank was higher. Yet neither did more than nod before lowering their respective heads in shame.

Benedick then slowly walked to stare down the wounded Don John, taking in how his eyes were black and swollen, his nose ruined, and he could barely stand straight from the final wound Bruno delivered. He had to suppress a smile as the snake tried to conceal his unease and uncertainty. “Thy final punishment shall be determined by the King, thy sire; here in Messina, thou shall be given labours I know thou hath done everything to avoid during many actions to complete under guard and beaten for failure to complete them as commanded.”

Claudio kept his mouth tightly closed, noting the Prince's lips thinning. No one was kidding themselves if they thought Don John would long survive his latest villainies. But that was a punishment that only the King could command. Benedick was ensuring that the man feel shamed as long as may be, in the only way he knew would make any influence on the bastard.

Finally Benedick approached the Prince and Claudio. The two stood taller, prepared to face whatever he had to say.

Prince, address the people of Messina to explain how the deception was put together, and how a man of thy honour and wisdom was able to be persuaded to contribute to the attempt at publicly disgracing my cousin and my uncle. Beyond that, I may require consulting with the King to feel that honour is completely satisfied.”

Don Pedro nodded. “I shall explain that I gave my word. And what of Claudio?”

There I shall require thy assistance that the punishment shall be carried out, for his penance is more severe.”

The two men paused, but the Prince nodded.

Claudio, for your actions which have disgraced thy honour, be discharg'd from the Prince's service, including from all military action, for one year. During that year you shall enter into service as a footman in Leonato's House.”

The observers exploded into whispered discussion, but the members of the Houses were silent. Even Hero, whose expression showed that she had been warned about Benedick's choice.

Claudio found it a cruel and fitting choice. It kept him near to Hero, which ensured he always remembered what he had done to bring himself into the situation. To top things off, he was forced to live at the bottom of the ranks, and had to quickly learn the rules of servants from their side.

He had been aware that there were rules of conduct, and been aware of his role as master to enforce them, but he had no idea that he could be beaten by both the housekeeper and the butler for even the slightest infringement of the servants' rulebook, and often by both of them for the same infringement. It only took three before he made a point of memorizing everything he had to know as a footman.

But between his own need for redemption and the steadying presence of the Prince, he had held on through the worst that Benedick and Leonato had thrown at him. Not to mention the other members of the Houses, who all ensured that he endured the worst of the tasks that a footman could be given.

To add to his mortification, he soon learned something he had not known about Leonato's House, and Benedick's and Beatrice's. Something that added to his shame.

One thing Claudio did not know how he would manage was hearing people talking about him, and being unable to respond unless given permission to speak. The housekeeper had chosen to enforce that rule on him after his latest infraction. He still felt sore from the beating, and his nose had only just recovered from Beatrice's punch.

Today the talk was between Angelo, Ursula, and Margaret. They entered the room where he was sitting cleaning. Margaret had accompanied Leonato, Innogen, and Hero to witness Benedick and Beatrice receive the full garments and honors owed them as Duke and Duchess. Maria and Balthasar, newly married just three days prior to the departure for the Court, joined them. Claudio had gathered that the intention was to also allow Bruno, now having gained respectability as the King had the authority to make the lad's stepfather his legal sire, a chance to observe the sort of world he might be able to be part of depending on how he grew up.

Margaret had been told that Angelo thought and felt no differently toward her. She had been 'child of mine heart and soul since I laid eyes on thee, and no villainies could make thee otherwise.' It seemed her true origins were to remain secret for the sake of her family and Leonato's House. Claudio considered it wise, for it also further thwarted Don John's wishes.

Daughter, what did thy see? How was the Court?” asked Ursula.

Yes, tell us, Child, for we wish to know how our new Lord and Lady fared,” added Angelo.

Claudio continued the shoe cleaning he had been tasked with. He made it look as though his attention was only for his chore, but his ears were attuned to the conversation. It sounded from the eager interest the couple showed that they had had a considerable hand in raising Beatrice.

Margaret's tale was a grand one of the pomp and ceremony, and of what the Court itself was like. She added with great energy how some member had been aghast at Benedick's insistence that Beatrice walk alongside him to receive the honors.

His grace, our Lord Benedick, held his displeasure under regulation, but even I could mark it. He turned to the Court and began speaking of the history of Beatrice's family, of the honours earn'd ever since the first gained the family's great house; that she had learn'd all she could of her history to feel connection to her august ancestors, and that study included the family of her late mother, that of the Governor's sister: what a rich history that is! There, too, reminded Benedick, is a family where the honours were earn'd with generation adding to those already given.”

Claudio faltered his task. Now his attention was fully on the conversation.

Margaret continued, after her parents murmured something that Claudio did not catch. “O how so many looked green after he finished that retelling! The King himself recalled bestowing one such honour each on a young Leonato and Beatrice's father, speaking of what an honourable sacrifice it was that Benedick would resign the crest of his father to bear that of Beatrice's. And yet Benedick viewed it otherwise, and dared to say so: 'My lord the King, the Lords and Gentlemen of the Court,' said he, 'there was no sacrifice; I hath older brothers who shall carry my father's traditions, but as youngest son I had to make mine own way in the world. The expectations of home were not where mine talents lay nor did they seem to suit the sort of man God hath moulded me into; 'twas only when I found in Lady Beatrice a rare intelligence, wit, and wisdom capable of ruling a land in her own right that I felt I not only had found mine path but true honour. Beatrice's refusals of past suitors was as much to ensure she was respected as her family's last scion as to protect her family's legacy from being subsumed to some other line; I vowed to take up its mantle so a noble lineage would carry on, and our sons shall bear it proudly. Call me a fool in love, but do not cast into doubt all I hath done before and since wearing my lady's crest.'”

The trio left the room as Ursula needed to carry some laundry to another part of the house and Claudio could not hear any more words. He was pale and stricken. Benedick's family he knew had a great history of service that earned honors, but what had he bothered to learn about Hero's? And to know that Beatrice's family was the same?

When he had the opportunity, he approached the butler for permission to study their master's family history to better serve the family. The man was shocked enough to ask Leonato himself to judge the request.

Why study my history now, Claudio?”

He heard the rebuke for what it was, but never looked away. “I hath made a painful realisation in that thy family history is far superior to mine own. A title we hath, but merely remembered from the long forgotten valour of an ancestor; it hath been inherited at birth, rendering the honours little more than empty words and dusty papers. Let me learn the traditions and history of this House that I may hope to regain some of the respect I once could claim of you, and of your daughter.”

It had been an uncomfortable interview, but Leonato had granted the request. So he was able to study in what little spare time he was granted. What other time wasn't occupied by either footman duties or study was essentially being retrained by Benedick – or by observing the Duke – in how to be a gentleman in behavior. Where he might have once considered that insulting it quickly became an eye-opening experience in learning why Benedick had spoken the way he had when he originally challenged whether Claudio was ready to be wed.

One thing Claudio had noticed was how readily most men and lords spoke of how they came to directly serve in the Prince's company. Not Benedick. He had always made a joke of it, and Claudio had been wise enough to tell that it was not the truth even before the Prince seemed willing not only to let Benedick change the subject every time but to keep to the new topic.

At last he found a moment to ask him in seriousness for the truth. For the longest time, it seemed Benedick's silence indicated he would not answer. But he did, and it slowly came out.

I grew into manhood watching my father teach us to rule and yet he kept proving that men were often unsuited to the role; I saw mine mother suffer under his rule, endure his numerous casting aside his vows and having to welcome the bastards that resulted... and endure a shame that was not hers to bare unnoticed.” He sighed. “I knew it to be wrong, but what could I say that would not make mine own life harder? I was at odds with mine father from early in life, and living among the soldiers was mine only escape in Padua. I railed against marriage because I swore I would never put a woman through what mine father did, and I watched mine brothers march right into marriages where they did not respect the lady as half themselves, brought a mistress into the house even! No, I could not do that; so as soon as I was of age I began living amongst my men so I did not have to watch the continued degregations against the women of mine family, and could not help thanking God that I had no sisters to watch endure marriage to the same sort of men. The King and Prince arrived for the marriage of the younger of my brothers, and they saw my dispute with mine father. My new sister was a sweet girl and I grieved at her situation. When the Prince offered for my services, I accepted before mine father could change the terms. I have not been back to Padua since, except to fetch mine family for my marriage for I hath successfully made reasons to be unable to return, often with the Prince's assistance. Although Beatrice and I intend to offer for mine mother to come live in Messina should she survive my father.”

The remembered pain and shame and anger struck Claudio. He had been rendered silent, trying to imagine how he would have fared if he had seen and felt the same. He only knew that Benedick was always wiser than he, for he would not have had the restraint Benedick had to ensure he lived his life on his own terms. Small wonder then that he chose Beatrice, who he heard that Benedick's father had not at all approved of despite the noble lineage; she was sanctuary for Benedick, hope in a world that often lacked it, and gave him a place to be lord and master as their judgments seemed often united.

That drove him into his studies even more, wishing to become half the man Benedick was. It gave him distraction from when suitors came to try for Hero's hand.

He felt a gentle hand grip his. He looked up and smiled. And yet he now had his reward. The Lady Hero was at last his Countess. He had earned forgiveness and her hand.

To his amazement, Hero had refused all other suitors and had watched his progress, even speaking with him while being chaperoned by others. Only a week before she had gone to her father and to Benedick, begging them to release Claudio that she might make him a full man at her side. No one had said anything about his being permitted to ask Hero for her hand again, but she swore she saw a redeemable man.

He stood and smiled at his new bride. Perhaps now he could call himself a man and a lord.

Meanwhile, Don Pedro finished his talk with the Friar and watched the man walk away. He sighed, remembering his own punishment at the combined hands of his father and Benedick. Admitting to the whole of Messina – or so it felt – that he had made a grave mistake had been bad enough on his ego, but his father had imposed one greater punishment, one that he had to live with for the rest of his days.

He had to personally execute Don John. The King considered doing it himself as a self-induced penance for inflicting the man on the world, but his own hands were not steady enough anymore. So Don Pedro did it without hesitation, but the task brought him to tears; when all was said and done, Don John had still been the brother he had grown up with.

Although it made the rest of the day when the King arrived to pass judgement and opinion on the events brought about by Don John less painful to remember.

The trumpets sounded, announcing the King's arrival. Don Pedro and Leonato, at the former's insistence, walked side by side leading the large party to greet the King, who walked in with several courtiers following him.

The King smiled upon seeing Don Pedro. “My son and heir, are thee still awaiting upon the day of my eternal rest? I would hate to disappoint thee too often.”

Nay, sir, I am destined to grow old in thy shadow and grumble a silent count of years.”

Ah,” the King noted, as though unsurprised by the response or well versed in hearing such retorts. “Still not gained the eye of a woman, then?”

Not as yet. I fear all such ladies are scared off by mine too-lazy-to-die father.”

The King laughed heartily and embraced his son. “Glad is my heart that thy wit has not deserted thee. Leonato, it hath been too long. I trust that I shall see thee and thy family at the important events at Court to be soon held.”

Nothing hath been more look'd forward to, my liege. I only wish the occasion were happier.”

As do I, my old friend.” The two men greeted each other much as the Prince and Leonato had a week earlier, although a more somber note accompanied it.

The King quickly saw the pair standing nearby. “And here we hath the greatest soldier and leader of men I hath ever seen, the worthiest man to attain high rank. Benedick, hath thou not parted life under wifely thumb or away at quest of war?”

No, sir, I slapped the latter into suckling babe and gave it as an offering to wife, while I, her lesser, yearned for the other thumb.”

The King laughed. “Thy wit is ever stronger. And at last I am in the presence of the lady who brought thee into the very state thy railed against! Are you an angel to work such a miracle, Lady Beatrice?”

She laughed. “Nay, your Majesty, for most who had known of me would have declared me a demon; being so contrary to what men expected of women was perhaps the first attraction in mine husband's eye, and we determined that we were each what the other had been missing all our lives.”

Aware of the Greek story she was referencing, the King nodded and even bowed slightly over her hand, acknowledging the marvel that he felt she had worked. He had soon proclaimed her charming, her children delightful and everything young lords and ladies ought to be, and blessed their new lands for the leadership they would know. He even added, “Duchess Beatrice, if thou knowst of ladies like thee, I beg thee introduce my son to them.”

She smiled and nodded, but if Benedick's expression was any indication, she would only do it if she thought the Prince worthy of them.

Of course the visit soon turned somber, for the King asked to be introduced to those he needed to know. The phrasing was to prevent anyone from thinking he meant other than those known to be wronged by his bastard son, and anyone who could not know the truth was sent home as soon as politeness permitted and then certain members of the Houses were called forward.

Angelo led his family in, with his wife and Margaret by his sides. Maria followed, holding Bruno's hand. No one missed the King's sudden indrawn breath as he saw Margaret, nor that he could not look away for such a long moment that Margaret felt uncomfortable; only when he realized he was making her uneasy did he notice Bruno, and the boy's looks made his newly identified grandfather still.

The King was silent for a long moment as he took in the two. At length he heard the tales of what happened, first from the mothers and then from Don Pedro given what his brother had owned up to. It was made clear that Angelo still loved Margaret as his own and desired to keep her origins a secret. The King had Margaret step forward and sit beside him, speaking with her in low tones that the Prince could not quite overhear. He did understand enough to know before his father spoke that Margaret would remain publicly known as Angelo's daughter, but that the King intended to see that her children would have opportunities to rise in the world. The attentions to Margaret that he could bestow on her would be seen as the monarch trying to make amends for her being deceived and used.

Then he had Bruno step closer, and the boy's determination to not show any fear or nervousness made an impression. The King was surprised at the education Bruno showed, and learned of Benedick and Beatrice's quiet tutoring of him; that they were willing to risk so for Maria's boy spoke to their sense of right and made him more convinced that he had done well to elevate them to their new rank. He unknowingly reiterated all that Don Pedro himself had said and spoke with high hopes of what Bruno might be able to achieve now that he could claim full education and training.

Speaking of his nephew, Don Pedro looked to see Bruno helping his now legal sire Balthasar in setting up the music for the reception. Near as he could tell, the boy had been accepted by his step-siblings and was proving to be everything he hoped. The King would be very pleased with his latest report on how his unplanned grandchildren fared.

As for Margaret, she was speaking quietly with Titus. It seemed after learning of Borachio's treachery the antics of a man like Titus were looked on with much more acceptance and fondness than ever before. The Prince suspected that there would be another match by next year at the latest. Surely she would follow the example of her sister, whose own happiness shone brightly. More so now that Maria had acknowledged herself four months gone with the fruit of her husband. That lady was speaking with Hero about being a wife, with an authority that even Claudio was listening to.

Don Pedro looked around and realized there was something missing. “And where did Benedick and Beatrice go to? How could they slip off so silently?”

Adrian smiled. “Practice, your grace.”

The Prince had to laugh. “I see thy parents' wit hath become part of thee, young Marquis. Pray you use it well into adulthood, for a wife of your own would be the better for it, do you not think?”

I plan to, sir,” Adrian responded with a thoughtful smile. “But not until I reach maturity and not until the girl woman becomes a woman.”

To prove you are your mother's son?” Don Pedro asked.

And my father's,” Adrian insisted, very seriously. “I would shame them both if I failed to be half my father's son.”

Or not our father's son at all,” Ignac supposed.

Here, here,” Crispiin agreed, to which their sisters' giggled.

Don Pedro was impressed. If the five-years old Ignac could make that joke, then they had all not only healed from the shock of the events a year prior but had grown further into their own intelligences. Of course, what else could be expected from the children of Benedick and Beatrice?

Then the couple entered, holding each other with one arm, and the reason for their departure was clear. Each held an alert three-month old infant girl against them, and were beaming at their respective bundles. Benedick was making faces at his daughters, and they squealed with laughter. Beatrice was giggling with a closed mouth at his efforts and yet made no move to quiet him.

Beatrice's pregnancy had started rather more roughly than her previous, and more than once she and her husband feared that this fruit of their love would not see flowering. Fortunately, the twin girls had not only survived, they came late and rather large for twins. They plainly had their parents' combined stubbornness.

Don Pedro smiled, and then realized one of the girls was looking at him and smiling. He laughed and waved at her. The girls had their mother's hair, but their faces reminded him a great deal of their father; and yet they were no less beautiful than their sisters. “How dost thou, Benedick, the married man?”

The tease was a reminder of the difference more than eleven years made on a person, and the utter difference shown in Benedick from the time they had met. He was curious to know how the Duke would answer.

Benedick's attention was slowly pulled from his daughters, and he took a deep breath. “I'll tell thee what, Prince; a college of witcrackers could not flout me out of my humour when I began this path, and cannot flout me out of it now. Dost thou think I care for a satire or an epigram? No: if a man will be beaten with brains, a' shall wear nothing handsome about him. In brief, ever since I purpos'd to marry, I have thought nothing to any purpose that the world could say against it; and therefore never flout at me for what I once said against it; for man is a giddy thing...”

He trailed off, looking a moment into the eyes of each of his children, from oldest to youngest, before staring deeply into Beatrice's. “...and this is my conclusion,” he finished, proudly.

Beatrice, having been silent to let her husband give his defense of his present state, gave him a tired smile. She found she had nothing to add that was worthy of her wit, and so she felt content to let him speak for them both.

Benedick squeezed his wife's side for a moment and then stepped away to command a certain person's attention, after he permitted the eager Maria to take his bundle. “For thy part, Claudio... I did think to have beaten thee, but seeing as thou hast completed the tasks set before thee and art now my kinsman, live unbruised.” But he slightly belied his words with a slap.

Claudio exclaimed wordlessly, but otherwise refused to react. His kinsman would be able to lord this over him for the rest of their days as he would not ever be really free from the debt, and he had not quite forgiven himself for failing Hero so greatly, and had not begun work on what had been said of his kinsman's wife and their children. So he simply accepted that, along with the admonishment, “And love my cousin!”

Hero took Claudio's arm and tugged him away, signaling that she had no wish for a male posturing match on her wedding day. And a pointed throat clearing from Beatrice ensured it would not happen.

The look in Benedick's eyes made Beatrice gently give Innogen the other twin, and his words soon made her glad for it. “We'll have a dance ere now we're both married, Claudio, that we may lighten our own hearts and our wives' heels.” He drew Beatrice into a move that had her squeal with delight. “Therefore play music!”

The sounds of Balthasar organizing the band and the equipment, and his children and stepson, could be heard over the scurrying of the guests to ensure that there was plenty of space for dancing. Benedick's hold on his wife slackened when he saw Don Pedro stand to the side and light himself a cigarette. Taking in his lord's resigned and heavy manner, Benedick joined him, careful to not draw attention to either of them. “Prince, thou art sad.”

There was no answer. Not even a look.

Benedick thought a moment but only had one response. “Get thee a wife.”

It drew Don Pedro's eyes up in questioning disbelief, tinged with the slightest amusement. He recalled with some bitter pride his own father's behest some months before, which he had kept to himself. Those exact same words. “I have none in mind that would sit well with both my heart and my father's seat,” he said. “As such none will. For a time yet.”

Then search more completely and get thee a wife,” Benedick insisted, not backing down. “There is no staff more revered than one tipped with horn.”

Don Pedro nodded, managing a smile. Even once the dancing began, led at first by Benedick and Beatrice, to show that years of marriage never had to dampen the joys a couple found in each other. Shortly Claudio and Hero joined, their movements only hindered by her dress being so much bigger than her cousin's as she had chosen to save the dress from the previous wedding day.

Soon it was a mix of everyone dancing, even bringing the babies in – gently. The children were as much mocking the adults – in a carefully disguised way, although their efforts were not so necessary since the adults were all so focused on each other – as actually dancing themselves.

The only surprise was when Balthasar announced that Sienna wished to sing and dance for the occasion, with a variation on something he had put together last year. Request granted, he started an upbeat tune. Sienna began the kind of dancing a three-years-old girl could make adorable, and then began singing. If the topic might be a little beyond her, the mispronunciations and energy made her performance utterly charming. At times the adults surrounding the dance floor sang along with her, giving encouragement.

Only Don Pedro stood to the side, watching and lost in his thoughts. The joy that his subjects found in the moment did bring a smile to his face. Especially watching how proudly Benedick looked on the dancing of his third youngest. Yes, he slowly admitted to himself. Benedick was right. He needed to get a wife.

His mind drifted back to the first time his father had made the behest.

It had been a long day. Don Pedro had to watch his father declare that Don John would die the very next day, tell him of everything he'd done so far for Margaret and Bruno, roundly scolding Claudio (and Don Pedro himself) for believing Don John, and listen to many praises of Benedick.

The King suddenly changed topics. “Now, son, I have humoured thy bachelorhood with as much patience and wit as I can muster; the time of humour hath long passed, and the lands need an heir we can acknowledge so. Thou must get thee a wife.”

Don Pedro took a deep breath and rubbed his face with both hands. “Father, I hath watched many marriages in mine years, and the one I wish to seek for is the sort that Benedick enjoys. He became the honourable man who fought for his own cousin's honour by marrying the Lady Beatrice. I cannot now marry unless it is to a woman who can inspire me to greater actions.”

I respect thy desires, but the kingdom must have an heir. Find such a woman within a year, Son, or I shall begin to search for one for thee.”

Sighing as he overheard the little girl start singing again, Don Pedro looked around. He wanted to find something to focus on rather than how close Benedick's own words had hit to the King's. Or how he mourned yet again that Beatrice had no sister, and that she herself had spurned his advances – not that he had realized he was doing so at the time – in favor of taunting with Benedick years before. Was there a woman like her with the strength to make him a man like Benedick?

He did not want a marriage like his father's. As well as the Queen was treated, the Prince wished to do better by his Queen. There would be no more bastards born, and he did not wish for a mere political alliance.

The he noticed one of the ladies visiting for the wedding. She was also not dancing, but observing from the side. He recognized her as the only surviving child of another governor of the realm. He had even fought battles against their country and won, mostly because of Benedick. They had met once, at the signing of the treaty with her aging and now otherwise heirless father over a year before. It was the very action that Claudio had distinguished himself on.

He did not remember much about her, although he recalled evidence of wit. Indeed, Beatrice had greeted her like an old friend and the two had bantered enough to suggest that the lady could hold her own in a debate with the Duchess. He wondered why such a lady would be alone at a wedding.

Then her eyes lifted and met his. They stared at each other for a long moment, but then they slowly smiled – him warmly, her with a hint of encouragement to approach.

Just as the crowd shouted the final word of the song with Sienna, he put out his cigarette and decided to see what the future might hold.

THE END




Although you can go back to see a certain... Wedding Night... :DDDDD

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
sykira
Feb. 12th, 2014 12:22 am (UTC)
Wow, that's very dark to have Don Pedro kill his own brother :/ I can see so much of tardismole in this story, that was kind of him to help you out, his historical knowledge is astonishing.

I love the lessons though, and much better to have Claudio wait a year and serve (literally) penance-- that bodes so much better for Hero than the original :) your story leaves me with so much deeper satisfaction in the fates of these beloved characters. I especially love the honors bestowed on Benedick and Bea :D and more babies! Love all the babies!

>>in learning why Benedick had spoken the way he had when he originally challenged whether Claudio was ready to be wed.>>

NICE, very nice! You've so cleverly woven in SO much in this story I'm in awe, it's sheer brilliance.

Thank you for this epic my darling, I love it to pieces!
tkel_paris
Feb. 12th, 2014 03:24 am (UTC)
Originally, I was going to have the King himself do it, for the reason I suggested in the story. However, I also felt that simply telling Messina's people how Hero was nearly disgraced and his own fault in the matter wasn't enough penance for Don Pedro, and I was at a loss what to have him endure. Him executing Don John was tardis_mole's suggestion, and I decided - after thinking about it - that nothing else would do, because it would leave a mark on his soul. Just as Claudio's actions will leave one on his.

I'm always impressed with tardis_mole's knowledge. I'm a better DW writer, a better editor, and a more well-rounded person because of knowing hir. And this story, as good as the idea was to begin with, is far better because of that knowledge. And something shi mentioned something in passing that I felt begged to be included because I could see Ben and Bea doing or saying it. Or even Claudio, as the "dusty papers" line is an example of. And shi thanked me for letting hir work on this; it was a good distraction. (And I think that's all I'm allowed to say about that.)

Honors and babies. Exactly what they deserved. :DDDDDDD And saying that the new twins looked rather like Benedick was born from something I noticed after seeing Richard II: DT's features can be made to look more masculine or feminine depending on the makeup and setting. Which finally explains Davina... (And I still need to watch that.) And did you like my little nod to hezikiah's daughter? :D

You are so welcome. It was a pleasure to write this. And I have two more MAAN ideas to still write... ;D

Edited at 2014-02-12 03:24 am (UTC)
morganfm
Feb. 21st, 2014 10:36 pm (UTC)
this was FANTASTIC! I was watching the entire play unfold in my head. I absolutely love DT and CT's performance of MAAN, and I've rewatched it multiple times. This adaption flowed so seamlessly with the original story, incorporating so many lines and yet making the new tale incredibly -believable. I am in awe of your skills. Well done!
tkel_paris
Feb. 22nd, 2014 05:14 am (UTC)
Aw, thank you! :DDDD I've lost track of how many times I've watched it via Digital Theatre, and that scene where they caught sight of each other on the stag and hen night... GUH! My two MAAN stories stemmed from that moment, and I have two more in the roster to write this year. :DDD
morganfm
Mar. 22nd, 2014 12:57 am (UTC)
I've literally started memorizing all of Beatrice's lines from the play because of them. I bought a copy of MAAN at Shakespeare and Company in Paris on my school trip a few weeks ago and I'm annotating it to match their version :DD
Your icon is the BEST. (btw: I was shocked to learn that in the first folio that line is given to Leonato, who shoves them into each other, but most directors go with the later edits giving it to Benedick. I completely agree with how they did it and die every time I get to that scene with DT/CT.)
I adore their first scene together with all of the witty banter, they are just so great!!! I'm in the process of dragging every Whovian friend I have to my house to watch it. XD
morganfm
Mar. 22nd, 2014 12:59 am (UTC)
oh and I absolutely can't wait to read your others!!!!!!!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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