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FIC: Thou Wilt Quake For This (4/9)

Title: Thou Wilt Quake For This
Genre: Much Ado About Nothing
Rating: T (except for the DVD extra)
Author: tkel_paris
Summary: Benedick and Beatrice have found themselves forced to marry. While their family and friends are determined to make them fall in love, a chance emerges to expose the villains who trapped them. Can they succeed and protect Hero?
Disclaimer: I don't know who owns what where Shakespeare is concerned. However, Josie O'Rouke owns the version of MAAN I'm basing this on.
Dedication: sykira. You know why. May you have plenty of Benedick-flavored dreams after reading this. ;D
Author's Note: This was the third idea that came rather quickly when my Muse was originally prompted by THE scene in MAAN. And a huge thanks to tardis_mole for beta reading. I needed to figure out how to make this plot bunny work, and that wouldn't have happened in a timely fashion without you.

This chapter is a little short, but I think it's perfect the way it is.

Thou Wilt Quake For This

Started February 26, 2014
Finished October 9, 2014

Chapter One / Chapter Two / Chapter Three


Beatrice returned to her earlier place in the parlour, where Don Pedro and Claudio happened to be. She was willing to speak with them to ease her temper before she had to see her uncle again. She was praying for a little peace. Thankfully the lords were willing to be cheerful and let her exercise her wit on whatever matter the conversation took.

Unfortunately Margaret's running to her side ruined that wish.

“What mean you interrupting, Fool?” Beatrice snapped.

Margaret leaned in to whisper. “My lady, I passed my Lady Hero and my mother walking about in the gardens near the painters' improvements: their whole discourse is of yourself, my lady. Steal to where you may overhear, for I know you cannot bear to have others speaking of thee behind thy back.”

Beatrice needed no further encouragement. “I thank you, Margaret; you may indeed be a worthy waiting gentlewoman to my cousin.”

As Beatrice ran in her flats, she did not see Margaret sharing a satisfied look with the lord left behind with barely a word of apology. The second trap was now to be sprung at any moment. They had no doubt that between Hero, who had known Beatrice all her own life, and Ursula, who had known both Ladys for all their lives, that it would be well placed.

Beatrice nearly slid trying to stop her running, and hid briefly behind the painters' cart before hiding by closer pillars.

“No, truly, Ursula, she is too disdainful; I know her spirits are as coy and wild as haggerds of the rock,” proclaimed Hero.

Beatrice groaned silently, not seeing the paint cans nearby.

Then she heard Ursula ask, “But are you sure that Benedick loves Beatrice so entirely?”

Her foot hit the paint cans before she could think when she tried to get closer. Beatrice paused, hoping to get the pain in said foot under control.

“So says the Prince and my new-trothed lord,” said Hero.

“And did they bid you tell her of it, madam?” asked Ursula as she went about putting the cans away.

Beatrice stumbled into the open from the pain, and realized she had to hide under a handy painters' cloth.

“They did entreat me to acquaint her of it; but I persuaded them-” Hero squeaked, pausing in her speech until her voice sounded a bit further away than before. “...if they loved Benedick, to wish him wrestle with affection, and never to let Beatrice know of it.”

Having knelt slowly, the words made Beatrice turn sharply. What?! She hoped she would not be noticed as she crept closer.

“Why did you so?” asked Ursula. “Doth not the gentleman deserve as... full and fortunate a bed as ever Beatrice shall couch upon as they are to marry?”

“O god of love! I know he doth deserve as much as may be yielded to a man.”

Ursula squealed suddenly, making Beatrice wonder what was happening. She had already stopped, not willing to risk moving any further.

Hero continued, after an answering brief squeal. “But Nature never framed a woman's heart of prouder stuff than that of Beatrice; disdain and scorn ride sparkling in her eyes, misprising what they look on, and her wit values itself so highly that to her all matter else seems weak: she cannot love.”

While Hero spoke Beatrice was vaguely aware of the wind shifting her cover near her bottom, but she had not suspicion that Ursula was at fault instead until that moment when suddenly she was tugged into the air. She flapped and struggled against the cover as she went up and down. She was too distracted to hear Hero's continued words, but not Ursula's response.

“Sure, I think so; and therefore certainly it were not good she knew his love, lest she make sport of it.”

Indignation and fury allowed Beatrice to toss the article off, blustering until she noticed her top was in danger of falling. “O my god!” she breathed, too distracted to even hope she was not overheard.

Suddenly up consistently Beatrice tried to get either of the painters to let her down somehow, but both seemed to act like they were under orders to finish their work. She dared not think that they were somehow in league with her cousin and the older gentlewoman.

As such she heard nothing clearly – though she was very aware that Hero was speaking nonetheless – until Ursula spoke again. “Sure, sure, such carping is not commendable.”

“No,” continued Hero, “not to be so odd and from all fashions as Beatrice is, cannot be commendable. But who dare tell her so?”

Beatrice nearly panicked when she was lowered, but not enough to get purchase on the ground so she could remove the hook that was responsible for her plight.

“If I should speak, she would mock me into air,” Hero insisted, pausing only when Ursula made a laugh suddenly. Not that that lady's sense of humor was easily understood. “O, she would laugh me out of myself, press me to death with wit. Therefore let Benedick like cover'd fire, consume away in sighs, waste inwardly.”

No, Beatrice mouthed. No, he could not! He ought not!

“It were a better death than die with mocks, which as bad as die with tickling.”

Beatrice fought anew to free herself, but only for the moment between Hero's words and when Ursula interrupted.

“Yet tell her of it: hear what she will say.”

“No; rather I will go to Benedick and counsel him to fight against his passion, especially on their wedding night. Even urge him to leave her alone to spare them both pain.”

That alarmed Beatrice, and made her heart sink. No wedding night?! Where before the idea appealed slightly given her indignation, now it was wholly unattractive to her being. The idea that he would restrain his own passion felt like a knife wound to her stomach. She wanted – nay, needed – to know what he could teach her in their bed!

“And, truly, were it not for the dreadful lies that hath forced them to marry I would devise some honest slanders to stain my cousin with: one doth not know how much an ill word may empoison liking.”

If Beatrice had been able to reach far enough, Hero would have been strangled for that. But all it did was make her nearly flip over, and struggle to get herself upright again mid-air.

“O, do not think your cousin such a wrong. She cannot be so much without true judgment – having so swift and excellent a wit as she is prized to have – as to refuse to honour so rare a gentleman as Senor Benedick.”

“His acts when the slanders were made prove he is the only man of Italy. Always excepted my dear Claudio, may he never have to prove it.”

“I pray you, be not angry with me, madam, speaking my fancy: Senor Benedick, for shape, for bearing, argument and valour, goes foremost in report through all the lands,” proclaimed Ursula. “Even the Prince hath said so.”

“Indeed, he hath an excellent good name which he hath used to protect my cousin.”

“His excellent did earn it, ere he had it. When are you married, madam?” asked Ursula as the pair rushed off, just as Beatrice went toward the sky again.

Once again she could not make out the words, but she was left to wonder if someone knew of her presence and decided to have sport with her. It was cruel given all she had to deal with, but she knew she was not the most well-respected person within the house who was not a servant.

Never did she know relief so great as when she was finally lowered far enough that she could touch her feet to the ground and free herself from the hook. She needed a moment to compose herself from her anger, and then to reflect on what she heard. She had never known her cousin to speak mistruths, and Ursula was known for her own honesty.

All effort to remain calm burst away in an explosion of feeling.

“What...?!” She could barely draw the needed breath to voice her thoughts. “... fire is in mine ears? Can this be true? Stand I condemn'd for pride and scorn so much? Contempt, farewell! And maiden pride, adieu! No glory lives behind the back of such. Might it be that in temper'd zest, my heart follow on in polite refrain, and love in equal measure once what it scorn'd and derided much? But as yet it holds back in dark light of deceit; coupled are we, bound by malice and scorn, but honour hath its own revenge. I feel the burn of lost freedoms more so now than ever. The future, like mine guiltless shame, ne'ver seemed so dark for me.”

Then her mind drifted to the hope she did have now. “And, Benedick... love on! I will requite three, taming my heart to thy loving hand: if thou dost love, my kindness shall incite thee to bind our lives up in a holy band; for others say thou dost deserve, and I believe it better than reportingly.”

She tried to calm herself, but joy this expansive could not be long suppressed. She shrieked and bounced like a little child, and skipped off toward her room. Time to make herself into the bride Benedick would adore completely, the version of her that he knew was within.

Chapter Five: An Honest Young Gentleman


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 18th, 2014 09:44 pm (UTC)
Wonderful! I just read all four parts in one go! I'm really enjoying this. Update soon!
Oct. 18th, 2014 10:07 pm (UTC)
My rule of thumb is to wait for sykira to review. Then I post. Unless she expressly indicates she's seen it but hasn't had the time to review. Then if I have the time I might go ahead and post. But thank you! :D
Oct. 18th, 2014 10:20 pm (UTC)
Wow you're fast! Hope she reviews soon then! I may have to watch my digital theatre copy of MAAN to tie me over until then.

By the way, I went and saw the new movie that Vincent D'Onofrio is in today. He was amazing! But, really what else would you expect from him?
Oct. 18th, 2014 10:25 pm (UTC)
Happened to be online and saw I had a new comment. Gah, I can't access Digital Theatre right now. Was told to uninstall and reinstall. Which I haven't gone because I know it takes time.

Was the rest of the movie any good?
Oct. 18th, 2014 10:32 pm (UTC)
The movie was very good. I think it could possibly win some awards.

Ugh. That stinks. I may have to replace my computer soon. It's about 7 years old and has really gotten slow. I'm going to restore it back to factory settings and see what that does for it.
Oct. 20th, 2014 07:30 pm (UTC)
My apologies, Sykira can barely remember to breathe some weeknights, much less review fanfic, so it may be a wait between chapters if y'all are waiting on me I'm afraid, some nights I don't finish work til nine, then I get to start the running a house and parenting instead of that sleeping thing other people do!
Oct. 20th, 2014 10:06 pm (UTC)
*hugs* Well, a delay of a day at least is expected. So I'll get ch5 up shortly.

*extra hugs*
Oct. 20th, 2014 10:15 pm (UTC)
I understand what you mean. I have gotten a second part time job and have decided to begin the process of getting my masters degree. It's times like this that I am glad that I live by myself!
Oct. 21st, 2014 08:04 pm (UTC)
Sometimes I envy you that. Time alone is like drips of golden glorious heaven for me!
Oct. 20th, 2014 07:28 pm (UTC)
Limed indeed! I never did hear the dialogue in this, no matter how many times I saw the play or how loud the actresses yelled their lines, nothing was audible over the uproarious audience response to CT dangling and her mad physical comedy skills! Now it makes me wonder if the dialogue reflects the same purpose as it seems to serve for Benedick--to show vulnerability in him so she isn't always on the attack as the best form of defense. It's so interesting. I did try going back to the text but I'm way too sleep deprived and brain-fragmented to comprehend it, I need to google a Cliff notes or something, so like with ch 3, this is another tab I will keep open in perpetuity! My life is so getting away from me…

Excellent job once again!
Oct. 20th, 2014 10:07 pm (UTC)
The whole point of the dialogue of Hero's was, IMHO, to get Beatrice to see how she might be hurting Benedick with her actions, just as Benedick was made to see how he might be hurting Beatrice with his. So I think the choice to have CT in the air hurt that scene.

Thanks! :D
Nov. 1st, 2014 04:30 pm (UTC)
The whole point of the dialogue of Hero's was, IMHO, to get Beatrice to see how she might be hurting Benedick with her actions, just as Benedick was made to see how he might be hurting Beatrice with his. So I think the choice to have CT in the air hurt that scene.

Let me word this carefully, cause I sorta agree. (edited cause version 1 was incomprehensible!)

IMO, the choice to have Catherine Tate's Beatrice in the air DID hurt the scene in that her natural gift for physical comedy is so strong the laughter ALWAYS drowned out the dialog. Having said that, the audience was laughing to the point of tears/peeing themselves. This production, this scene included, made Shakespeare accessible, relevant and interesting to people (including me) who had previously (literally) suffered through YEARS of it in school and frankly, loathed it, because we never GOT it.
That changed for me overnight when I first saw the CT/DT MAAN, suddenly I GOT Shakespeare. Sudden;y it wasn't boring, suddenly the language was poetry. And that's even though I saw multiple performances of MAAN. Only the Dogberry stuff bored me.

So yes, while farce annoys me and when it detracts from emotional impact, it will always bother me, MAAN worked because the romance overcame the comedy. The only moment I think comedy actually harmed this version of the play was when people laughed at "Kill Claudio". That was unfortunate. It was still an uncomfortable, muted laughter, but I really believe DT and CT were trying so hard every night to have the audience NOT laugh at that point and for the most part they failed because they had the audience so riled up to expect raucous comedy that they had their laughter tromping on moments that otherwise (should have) carried emotional depth.

Overall though I think DT and CT's MAAN was a raging success. I think CT excelled at dramatic acting and broke through her stereotype of just being a farcical/physical comedy/CT show figure, and I think DT achieved HIS goal of being so funny he made people laugh until they cried. So they both had major breakthroughs in their careers.

So yeah, putting her in the air was worth the cost to the dialogue, we got the point. CT and DT had more than enough chemistry and emotional connection that we still GOT that she was deeply hurt by him in the past and her sling and arrows were primarily defensive.
And he was adorable goofball so he clearly hadn't MEANT to hurt her, and his face, ah the woobie, he kept losing as she bested him in their verbal sparring, and watching it develop was a delight even when we couldn't make out the words--which is a strength you NEED in your actors if you are going to keep to the original Shakespeare dialog these days!

It remains a MASSIVE crying shame in my book that CT didn't ride that wave to go on to develop a career as a serious actor from that because she COULD have, had she got herself grown up management, instead she stayed with the same cowboy moron and spun her wheels and went effectively nowhere and missed the opportunity, spooling around with trite emotionally-vacant unfunny 3rd tier roles in the last leg of dying shows like the american The Office, or the half-assed Big School. Are there really NO roles like DT has scooped up in Broadchurch, The Escape Artist, Politician's Husband, Spies of Warsaw?

DT is still trying to be Hugh Laurie, bless him, and break into Hollywood, but he has done some incredible serious BBC drama at least in the interim, and stayed on the map.

Edited at 2014-11-01 07:37 pm (UTC)
Nov. 2nd, 2014 03:32 am (UTC)
Wow. I can see your point. I think the audience overlooked the heavier emotional aspects until they were forced on them by the scenes. (The deception, Beatrice's whole rant against Claudio (including the choked "Kill Claudio")....)

Oh, it was a HUGE success. And you're right that CT deserved to ride it to better. Maybe enough fan pressure and better roles will come her way? *hope, hope*

*giggles* Oh, lordy. All he needs to do is release an album. What would his genre be? :P
Oct. 20th, 2014 08:02 pm (UTC)
>>“No; rather I will go to Benedick and counsel him to fight against his passion, especially on their wedding night. Even urge him to leave her alone to spare them both pain.”

That alarmed Beatrice, and made her heart sink. No wedding night?! Where before the idea appealed slightly given her indignation, now it was wholly unattractive to her being. The idea that he would restrain his own passion felt like a knife wound to her stomach. >>

This is my favorite bit, BTW, neat method to so efficiently have her do a 180 on the wedding night!
Oct. 20th, 2014 10:08 pm (UTC)
(That is a cute icon!)

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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