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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! And now... for the chapter you've been waiting for... ;D Hope I didn't disappoint. Readers who haven't seen any version, I apologize for the lack of a picspam. Again, I felt I lacked the images I wanted.


Sigh No More, Ladies / Seals of Love / Light of Love / We Go Together / Come Away Death / Sonnet Rap /  The Rain It Rainth Everyday / Who Is Hero? / Pardon, Goddess of the Night



Chapter 10: It Was a Lover and His Lass

It was his chamber they walked to. It had to be, for Beatrice's was still in effect also Hero's and that lady would need the chamber that night. As it turned out.

Benedick opened his door and let her in. As he closed the door, he cringed. “Sorry,” he muttered, looking at the items he'd left strewn about before hurrying to the wedding. “I will not make a habit of this.”

Beatrice had to smile. “I cannot speak against a room not clean.” She met his eyes. “I fell to slumber in an adjoining room to my chamber, uncaring that I had not prepared for bed and thus was not Hero's bedfellow.” Her voice trailed off and she lowered her gaze, wishing she had stayed at Hero's side and thus could have stopped everything.

He paused in putting his sword and hat down where he had set them out before, looking at her. “Do not condemn yourself, Beatrice. Not even I thought the prince's brother was capable of such villainy.” He took her hands in his. “I will not desire you cast blame upon yourself.”

She sighed after a long moment. “I will require time to let it pass.”

He waited to see what she wished to do next. They were alone, and anyone who knew where they were also knew what the... outcome would be. The details were not for anyone other than themselves, and Benedick's impatience to discover those details was starting to wear him down.

And yet how could he make the first move without some sign that it was welcome? After all he had vowed, he could not.

His silence puzzled her, so she looked up. And her breath caught as she met his eyes. All ability to speak fled her as the fire that had burned the night before between them gained strength.

Unable to bear the wait, Benedick lifted her hands to his lips, one by one, to place a kiss filled with even more emotion than last night's had been. “Wife,” he whispered, pride and awe and love in his voice.

Beatrice's face flushed. She slowly freed her left hand so her hands could work his gloves off. “Husband,” she answered, just as hushed from the disbelief that this was truly happening. “Is this a dream?” she asked breathily as she freed one of his hands.

He swallowed hard as her hands began to free his other. “If we are dreaming, pray we never wake.”

The words made her breath quicken. With the gloves discarded to a table, she moved to his sash, her fingers trembling despite her best effort to focus. His fingers took the freed sash away, letting her move to his dress jacket. She worked in silence, dragging her eyes away from his so she could see not only what she was doing but also drink in the sight of his body as it was revealed to her.

Of course she had a tie, shirt, and undershirt to get through first. And the wait was making more than just her fingers tremble from nervousness.

He swore his body was burning from the inside out, impatient to help her and yet unable to do so. Not when he had vowed to not do anything that might be seen as imposing himself on her. He had to ease her mind, but what could he do? Even if he felt at liberty to undress her, he doubted his fingers would be able to obey him.

Oh, his mind slowly realized through the haze of her unbuttoning the shirt, humour. That was his way of handling stress. Perhaps it would help here. “I pray thee now tell me, for which of my... bad parts...” He had to smile as her face broke out into amusement, cracking her nervousness. “...didst thou first fall in love with me?”

Beatrice could have kissed him for reminding her that words were their way of reaching out, of bonding. “For them altogether, which maintained so politic a state of evil that they will not admit any good part to intermingle with them.”

His eyebrows raised. Her words might seem harsh to anyone else, but it was a sign of how comfortable she was with him that she felt able to poke fun at his less admirable qualities without concern – even now.

But,” she added, determined to make him answer like with like, “I pray you, for which of my good parts did you first suffer love for me?” She neatly finished on a squeal, the delight of being loved taking away much of the sting of the day.

That got a rise from him. “'Suffer love' – a good epithet! I do suffer love, for I love thee against my will.”

The words were a reminder of how easily they had allowed the bitterness of their misunderstanding to cloud their respective judgments. Still she smiled, making him raise his arms so she could remove the undershirt. “In spite of your heart, I think. Alas, poor heart!” She could not help but plant a gentle kiss over it, as a mark of gratitude.

He grinned, unable to resist briefly kissing her lips. Only the knowledge that she had to have more to say kept him from deepening the kiss. He was uncertain how she might react if he did.

She blushed, but carried on. “If you spite it for my sake, I will spite it for yours, for I will never love that which my friend hates.”

Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably,” he reflected quietly. He was surprised he was not shaking from the effort to restrain himself, to not encourage her to do more.

Her smile faded as her hands rested on his hips, hesitating over his belt.

His face fell. “Beatrice... what troubles you?” His whisper was a bit alarmed, worried about her changing her mind about being ready for them to make a heaven in their laps.

Beatrice pursed her lips, taking a deep breath as she reminded herself that she had faced her uncle's efforts to fit her with a husband, faced an angry Claudio, and managed to tell Benedick the night before why she could not simply accept him then. She could speak her mind on this. “The acts that men think are their right, whether wedded or not.” He should understand my meaning, she thought.

Benedick closed his eyes, for the first time feeling shame over his bachelor past. But he could not lie to her – it would hurt them both. “I cannot deny that... I have done such in the past.”

She averted her gaze. She had expected this, but it did not lessen the sting by much.

He quickly and gently grasped her shoulders. “But three things I can swear to thee as the truth: firstly, only thy body shall ever bear a child of mine.”

Her eyes instantly met his. “You are certain?”

I was... careful.”

So none of your oats were sown in fertile fields, is that what you mean?”

His skin changed colour slightly. Still, he nodded. “I was not about to inflict upon a child the fate of being labeled a bastard. I know it is not the child's fault, but it is neither fair to risk placing a child in such a situation. I fear that despite all Don Pedro's father did, Don John set himself on a course of villainy. And I suspect Don Pedro knew it, even if he was unaware of it.”

Beatrice sighed, feeling a little better. “What else?”

Secondly, as long as we both live, I will save myself for thee and thee alone.”

Her mouth parted in surprise. “Never again? You will not-?”

Never!” he whispered emphatically, looking right into her gaze. “And that last part is that I have not committed such acts in a long time.”

Beatrice scoffed. “And what does that mean for a man?”

His gaze turned solemn. “I cannot speak for any other man, but it has been over five years for me.”

Her jaw tried to fall against her chest. “What about the previous years?”

He cleared his throat. “I... slowly lost the desire to act upon my... needs... in that way.” He kept his hands on her shoulders to keep from doing something nervous, something that would keep them from recovering the earlier mood. “I reckon it was my body coming into agreement with my heart – whereas my mind required something more to admit the truth. And for my pride to be humbled enough,” he added on a heavy exhale.

Beatrice tried to wrap her mind around this. It was incredible and very singular, but perhaps more proof that they were an excellent match in all respects. “And you have left it all behind forever?”

He let his fingers drift slowly up her shoulders. “I will live in thy heart...”

She shivered, her eyes flickering down briefly to his arms.

His fingers ever so gently stroked her throat toward her jaw. “...die in thy lap...”

Her gaze was held captive by the intensity in his.

He cupped her face with infinite tenderness as he leaned in. “...and be buried in thy eyes.”

Beatrice's breath grew a bit louder, her control weakening every moment.

Benedick's control finally snapped. He pressed his lips to hers, stopping both their mouths.

Her hands drifted to touch his back, and the soft action drew a groan from his body. The vibrations made her moan in answer, and his hands lowered to find how to remove the dress from her body. He intended to go slow, but as more of her skin became available to touch and her hands grew bolder in where they touched, what was left of his restraint became a distant memory.

The passion that nearly spilled into public the night before flowed freely between them. They were in a locked chamber together, and they were married. It was only natural now, and that did not account for the years of pent-up feelings igniting into a wildfire. And as more skin-to-skin contact was possible, additional kindling was thrown into the maelstrom.

Neither dared break the frantic kiss. Neither dared to not let at least one hand be touching the other. It seemed like they would wake from a dream if either of them did. As difficult as it was for them to sit on the bed without parting, they managed by moving ever so slowly.

It also heightened the sensations, lengthened the caresses. All of which sent them further down the spiraling path toward the inevitable.

Neither noticed that her hair was still done up as they slowly adjusted to lying – with him on top. After the night before, Beatrice had no objections to being 'trapped' – for he was as helpless against their shared love as she was. Again, making them equals even with her innocence in the actual practice.

He had to try to control himself – the next moment could hurt her, and he wanted desperately to avoid that if he could. He moved slightly, hoping to not alarm her with the impending change about to happen.

But she was overcome with passion and could not bear even a hint of teasing. She reached down to gently caress him.

He broke the kiss. “Beatrice!” he gasped.

I cannot wait,” she pleaded. “Can you, Benedick?”

No, he could not. So as their eyes locked, he propped himself on one arm so he could slide a caressing hand down her trembling body.

She moaned as he stroked her skin, and tried to guide him closer. Now, she mouthed, now!

He nodded, braced himself to see a bit of pain in her expression, and claimed her maidenhood.

She expected at least some discomfort, but along with that was something that had been hinted at by some of the married women in her uncle's house – that which could only happen when you loved your husband. But before she could marvel at the feeling of becoming one being, she lost control over her body as wild moans escaped her.

He had not anticipated that her body would be instantly receptive because of the passion. He followed her into the spiraling ecstasy of a heaven that he had not imagined could exist in this world.

Their minds slowly lifted themselves out of the warm, delightful haze. Still joined, they recovered their breath. His face rested against her neck, his arms unable to hold any of his weight. Her hands gently stroked his hair and his back, drawing the occasional shiver from his body – which felt unspeakably wonderful to hers. She beamed, and whispered, “We just made the beast with two backs.”

He let out an amused snort. He was no longer surprised she was aware of some of the ways soldiers talked – who knew what she had listened to without anyone knowing as she grew? “Yet one more way we are excellent at together.”

They managed to tighten their embrace, and yet not move from their position. When they could think again, they would see what they would do next, but neither expected to move from the bed until the morning. Another round might be in the cards for them.

Parting for anything other than dealing with the realities of their mortal lives seemed a cruel thought. And they needed each other's strength to see through the morning – no matter what had been decided in their absence.

Although they did have to part very slightly. As they did, Beatrice flinched.

Benedick cringed. “Did I hurt you?”

No.” She started laughing as she turned her head to show the clips she had forgotten to remove. Both had forgotten that Beatrice's hair was not ready for bed.

But being them, they burst into laughter about their oversight. He rolled them to their sides so she could free her hair. Which took a while since she had trouble keeping her fingers steady and he did not want to accidentally make any of her hair come out.

At last, Beatrice put all the pins and clips aside. As soon as she did, Benedick's free hand instantly began running slowly through her hair. She looked at him curiously.

His whole being gave off the air of hopefulness being restrained. “May we... began again?”

She grinned and moved to trap him to the bed. If the way his eyes widened was an indication, he was delighted to see her gaining confidence. Of course the next step was to begin in a new way.

The first of many new ways, they hoped.


Chapter 11: Sigh No More, Ladies (Reprise)



Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
doctorsgirl26
Sep. 23rd, 2012 07:56 pm (UTC)
I'm excited because we are coming to the last part and sad at the same time. I love this so much and don't want it to end. You have done an amazing job getting inside the character's heads and showing things from their points of view. Amazing work!!
tkel_paris
Sep. 28th, 2012 03:33 am (UTC)
Thank you! *hugs*
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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