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Title: Glance of Love
Genre: Much Ado About Nothing (2011 performance)
Rating: T (with two chapters rated M – one for paranoia, the other with... more cause)
Pairings: Bendick/Beatrice, Claudio/Hero
Summary: One chance look shared on the night before the ill-fated wedding day drew a pair of dueling lovers together... a bit earlier. Thus altering the lives of those around them as well.
Dedication: To Shakespeare for writing the play. To the people who arranged to put on the amazing performance, to Digital Theatre for putting out a download, and – most of all – David Tennant and Catherine Tate for the silent exchange that inspired this fic – as shown here (and all pics within - unless otherwise noted - came from the same source):
http://eternity-online.net/screencaps/maan/images/maan155.jpg
Disclaimer: I didn't have the money to see this in person. So I own nothing except this idea. :( And a copy of the Digital Theatre download. :D
Author's Note: Title is a play on the song that was playing as this moment happened. My muse is a definite minx for coming up with this... and a few other MAAN-based ideas. :D

This would probably make more sense if you've seen that MAAN production, but I wrote it with the aim of trying to make things clear to any reader. Still, I know my peeps who had the great fortune to get tickets and see the play – or fans like me who had to wait for the Digital Theatre download – will get every last reference I make to the performance itself. I suppose this is also for the fans who either can't afford to get the download and the ones whose computers can't make it work – every Doctor/Donna fan should get to see this play.

Readers, this is the result of being an unrepentant Doctor/Donna fangirl, adoring the dynamic Tennant and Tate have in anything they do, and having an imagination that went into overactive squeegasm madness over several moments I refer to. :D Heck, spoiler footage of The Kiss powered me to reach NaNo winner status in under fifteen days. That and an Internet blackout at my house that prevented me from watching it over and over again. :D

Happy Birthday, sykira! Do remember to double-check the earlier posts - I discovered that I needed to go back and edit minor things for accuracy - and because I felt some things needed adding. Will have that done within a few days of this post. Definitely before Chapter 10 is posted. :D

Note on the pics: I'm using them to highlight the emotions they're experiencing and some of their actions, not for accuracy of what they're wearing or where they are. :) And I urge anyone who's unclear about the clothing to check chapter 3 to remember what Benedick and Beatrice are wearing. You may want the reminder. Sorry no caps from this scene from the performance, but my source had none. :( And I have too many things to do to crop the photos. So enjoy the spoilers from the performance. ;D


Sigh No More, Ladies / Seals of Love / Light of Love / We Go Together





Author's Note: The lack of dialogue is meant to convey the events of the scene I copied – with modifications, of course – as there was virtually no dialogue in the original. For the actions... well, imagine the trashy scene of a nightclub and you probably can't go wrong.



Chapter 5: Come Away Death

The club pulsed with music as the disco lights shone – rolling their effects over the room. The tune changed to a slightly darker tune, although still utterly suitable with its beats. It was more than loud enough that you had to be right next to a person to speak with them at all.

Innogen accepted a light from the dancer, now clothed again. Sweet boy, she thought, as they chatted a little. She hoped he would find contentment in life. It would be more difficult because of his preferences. She could tell – she had watched some of his natural reactions, which clued her in even through his excellent smile.

At a table, Margaret was tossing back shots with Borachio, munching on bar nuts and giggling as he entertained her with silly stories. She thought he was in love with her, and felt a delightful clouded sensation in her mind and body.

He was grinning because she was swallowing his lines like a hungry fish. She had almost enough drink in her that she would be completely malleable to his purposes. Soon Don John would bring Claudio and the prince to the club to witness 'Hero's' betrayal of her intended. She was almost ready to play her unwitting part in the scheme.

Out of their sight, sitting at another table, were Benedick and Beatrice. He had managed to convince her to split a sandwich with him, and have a fizzy pop. The noise of the club had the benefit of having to sit close together and lean in so they wouldn't have to yell. He told her all sorts of stories about life as a soldier, even some of the unfortunate drinking sessions he either witnessed or was a part of. She looked on him with a new respect for admitting his mistakes and learning from them, which relieved him and showed that there was perhaps very little he could not speak with her about.

In return, she talked about growing up on the emotional outskirts of her uncle's household. He found himself more in awe of her ability to keep to her beliefs and conscience in the face of such pressure from those who raised her almost as their own. And thus more determined to prove his worth – their marriage would free her from the chains of her uncle's rule.

The two lead members of the Watch briefly visited them before moving on to check on the rest of the action, only briefly interrupting them. Two older men who smiled through most of their talking, and were perhaps too silly to truly be handling the duties of protecting the town.

It did remind them that it was probably time to move on. Beatrice was feeling the effects of the vodka and Benedick had a new headache from the music.

Nearby, Hero and Maria – one of her waiting gentlewomen, and sister to Margaret – danced to the music. They copied each other, mixing moments from a variety of sources – including things from across the Atlantic. Some were more suited to All Hollow's Eve than the night before a wedding, but the two were having too much fun to care.

Ursula stood at the edge of the dance-floor, watching her elder daughter and her lady relaxing in their movements. Innogen joined her, and they spoke a bit of the next day.

Beatrice had the urge to move to the dance-floor, just to burn off some energy. Also, the spark that she felt from sitting next to him was getting hard to ignore.

More than bit dismayed, Benedick stood with her. He tried to talk her into just simply heading back to her uncle's, but she wasn't inclined to listen. Instead she joined Hero and Maria, her movements not as coordinated as theirs – despite the time she had spent having water and food.

Nearby, Borachio had coaxed the extremely suggestible Margaret over to a pillar. Any moment now, his master would bring the prince and Claudio over, and the deception would reach its peak.

Don John entered first, managing to catch Borachio by the shoulder and quietly hint that he needed to do something to ensure even the not nearly as drunk Don Pedro would see through the deception. He had just noticed – and cursed himself for forgetting – that Margaret was shorter and had darker hair than Hero. Even their dresses being alike would not hide that. He had to coax Don Pedro and Claudio over behind some of the pillars, to give Borachio a chance to make the acting more believable.

Benedick watched Beatrice's movements with mixed emotions. He did not notice that her dancing might be called by others the least appealing on the floor. The sight of her body in motion did rather unspeakable things to his... and they were not even touching.

Borachio stumbled over, leaving Margaret leaning against the pillar for support. He had a goal in mind. He noticed Beatrice in his path, and played the fool for a moment.

Only Benedick was having none of that. He got right between the two, glaring at the man.

Borachio drew back sharply. O lord, this could be bad.

Fortunately for him, Beatrice scolded Benedick, insisting she could protect herself and that a drunk was no threat. That began a new argument – which required them to be in each other's faces to be heard, prompting all sorts of reactions inside them.

Praising his luck, Borachio quickly turned, and found himself facing Innogen. She tried to send him off, but he quickly saw Hero and play-flirted with her a moment. Then he grabbed the veil off her head and walked away with it toward Margaret.

She only noticed that he had a prize for her, not seeing where it came from or recognising it. It seemed a sign from above of his intentions, so she made her way to join him on the dance-floor.

Maria had broken away to leave with her mother at this point. They were not sure where Margaret was, but they thought she had already left for the night. So they departed quietly.

Beatrice was not so drunk that she did not notice a man stealing what was her cousin's property. She reached out for it, but could not move quickly enough. Benedick, misinterpreting the cause of her imbalance, caught her again.

MAAN_A4_BenedickstopsBeatrice


While Borachio placed his stolen ware on Margaret's willing head, Innogen quickly led Hero out of the nightclub. Something being stolen was a sign it was time to call it a night.

Beatrice broke away a moment from Benedick, irritated by his protectiveness. And momentarily baffled by noticing that her cousin and the other ladies were gone. She went off to the side a bit, but he followed, not letting up on his case for them to depart right away. After all, wasn't the music awfully loud?!

Borachio tugged Margaret's pliable body back to him where she had parted, sensing that it was time to 'dance' with her, his front to her back, in a way that no lady of Hero's standing ought to permit with a man not her husband. She needed no prompting to perform.

Don Pedro and Claudio saw it, and Claudio especially was frozen from shock. It couldn't be!

To keep them off-balance, Borachio quickly led Margaret away into the shadows. Claudio exclaimed and tried to follow, but his drunkenness made that impossible. Although Don John had to follow enough to ensure he did not catch them. Which he did not – he soon lost track.

Benedick managed to placate Beatrice enough by backing off from one argument, admitting he was overstating things out of concern for her, that her mood lifted. Suddenly letting out a delighted cry, she went to the center of the dance-floor, trying to coax him to join her. His hesitation, driven by the feelings that watching her earlier ignited, made her laugh and remind him that they had not truly danced even before their merry war began.

Don John noticed then that Beatrice and Benedick were still around. O that was not good! Either one of them could unravel things. But he remembered how Benedick reacted rather strongly to Borachio going near the niece of Leonato. Noting Conrade walking nearby, he managed to motion – unnoticed by Don Pedro – to his gentleman to walk close to her. He prayed it would be enough to keep either from looking in the wrong direction. Or from attracting the attention of Don Pedro or Claudio.

Conrade was uncertain what his lord was planning, but he would go along with it. He approached the dancing Beatrice, laughing and ready to chat her up. As little as he understood such a lady, she had a certain spark in her that was appealing.

She pushed him away even before Benedick rushed forward, again coming between her and another man he saw as a potential threat to her in this state. She opened her mouth to protest, but this time she got a clear look at his face, saw his wish to keep her safe... and it was overwhelming at such proximity.

Benedick had his mouth open to caution her, certain his reputation on the battlefield would be enough to send Conrade off. But the sudden awe in Beatrice's eyes silenced any words.

Conrade moved on, seeing that his job was done. He had not expected such a scene, but it appeared it would be enough.

Don John cautiously approached as Don Pedro motioned Claudio back to them. Now here was a sight he had not expected. Was his brother's lieutenant so keen on the Lady Beatrice? Never had one man's possible attachment to a lady served his purposes before.

The closeness of her body, the feel of her breath against his face, and his own feelings overcame Benedick's reason. He cupped her face and kissed her deeply.

MAAN_TheKiss1


She was stunned, but it did not last more than a short moment. She moved her arms to wrap around him instinctively, and his hands left her face so his arms might embrace her against him as closely as possible. His feet led them toward the shadows without either being aware of it.

MAAN_TheKiss2


Claudio staggered back to the dance-floor, Don Pedro slowly trailing behind at a distance. They were looking around for the lady they assumed was Hero. Where had she and that villain gone?

Seeing that the two last possible obstacles were removed and out of sight, Don John turned and stood still, watching. He knew his gaze would lead the other men to see the heavily shadowed sight of the drunk Margaret against Borachio. He was leaning low against a pillar, and their actions were even less appropriate than before. He was certain that Borachio's cries of “Hero” and Margaret's cries of delight would be the final nails in the coffin.

It was. Claudio tried to rush forward to stop them, shouting incoherently. But for once Don Pedro's instincts of not interfering and waiting for another time to act served Don John well – he helped the mastermind lead the devastated Count away.

Benedick and Beatrice heard nothing of the commotion nearby. They were too consumed with each other's touch to notice. The love that had grown between them unacknowledged had instantly converted into an inferno.

MAAN_TheKiss3


Nearby, Margaret was now alone. One of her shoes had gone into her grasp, forcing her to walk awkwardly in one heel. She came across the two lead members of the Prince's Watch, who helped her sit and get her shoe back on. She chatted with them about how she was heading back to her lady's house, having celebrated perhaps a bit too much before the Lady Hero's wedding. The two old men, former soldiers themselves, were kindly and soon helped her go on her own way back.

She had her own fun tonight, and her lady did as well. It was a good omen for the morrow, she felt.

Only when they realized their hands were moving close to places that a couple not married should not approach did Benedick and Beatrice pull apart, guiltily and reluctantly. He started to apologize, but she waved it off, silently admitting her own fault in the moment.

MAAN_TheKiss4


Still, he insisted on escorting her to her uncle's. She was still a bit drunk, and there were plenty of hooligans around who would not hesitate to try something not right. Benedick knew well that a number of the soldiers in the camp were not necessarily good men once they had some drink in them. And he did not yet want to end their time together.

Beatrice agreed silently to that, not liking the idea of them parting company yet either. Although they made sure to keep their hands in their own respective pockets. Physical contact seemed a very bad idea.

So they walked, talking quietly as they left the noise of the club at closing time behind them. Ignoring their surroundings as much as they could. Although they waved a goodnight to the Watch, who called for them to take care going home.

Had either paid attention, they would have seen Conrade stepping out of the full shadows to light a smoke – smirking at how far Benedick had fallen from his earlier position of a bachelor – or moments later hearing Borachio calling out drunkenly to him. They would have been witnesses to support the Watch, who did overhear the entire conversation, and keep the villains from thinking they could have walked away from two older men.

That is, until the Rambo-obsessed Constable Dogberry arrived with a rifle.


Chapter 6: Sonnet Rap


Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
sykira
Sep. 13th, 2012 02:01 am (UTC)
*squeals*

You so have Benedick's slightly stiff proprietary manner and his proper-ness pitch perfect! I ADORE how protective he is :D I also have a sequence where he makes sure she gets home okay that night ♥ but yours has more touching so I think I like it better!

And the way you bring us back to the theme of the male imposing his will - you don't shy away from it with your Benedick but instead you make the point that he's not trying to be aggressive or anything, it's just his culture. I love how everything between is pivoting on that issue, it feels very true to the characters.

And KISSAGE! YES! I so hope we see some of Bea's internal reaction to that and if it is new for her -- that's something I tossed around with another MAAN writer, is she new to physical intimacy entirely? Can we presume Benedick is not? Interesting themes to delve into!
tkel_paris
Sep. 13th, 2012 02:25 am (UTC)
Oh, don't you dare remove yours! Not one line! I will say that without knowing what you have in mind. I bet yours is sweet, too. *hugs*

Yeah, the club scene is all about that, isn't it? In one way or another. :( BTW, how did I do in showing the scene given that I had no screencaps for it?

I knew you'd like that part. Hmm... Will double-check what I wrote for Chapters 7 and 10. ;D
sykira
Sep. 14th, 2012 10:53 am (UTC)
I do adore the screen caps but for me who has practically every Ben/Bea glance memorized, your writing is just as strong with or without the screen caps. You should post a link to this to the much ado 2011 LJ comm, to get more commenters maybe? If for some reason you don't want the tumblr crowd?

tkel_paris
Sep. 14th, 2012 02:40 pm (UTC)
Well, I guess the caps are for those who HAVEN'T seen the play. (That included two of my betas. :() Um... where are the links? I'm not on tumblr, so... *shrugs* BTW, I got a kinda funny review on the story over at FF.N - if you wanna see the two reviews I've gotten so far. :)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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