kat8cha: (Default)
[personal profile] kat8cha
Title: medieval!AU currently title less
Pairing: C/C/N
Been writing this up on tumblr, just want to compile it here for right now, unfinished

The archer was no younger than her husband, no more handsome, no more fit. Her husband was a warrior of some stature, while men might joke that he now spent more time parlaying than he did parrying but in truth no army wished to go against neither their King nor his stalwart general. Natasha felt cold and wet stone through the fabric of her dress as she braced her elbows against the window and leaned forward. The air was still chilly but it was flavored with a hint of spring.

Clint released his arrow and, even while his fellow archers cheered and patted him on the back, turned his face towards her.

--

The archer had been a member of the envoy sent to fetch her from her homeland.

The day the envoy had arrived Natasha had been locked in the solar. Her ears rang; from the angry words she and her mother had exchanged and from the powerful slaps her mother had delivered. The door was locked and she had heard her mother order, harshly, for one of the servants to stand outside and make sure she did not leave. It was not the marriage she was sulking about, Natasha had long reconciled herself to the fact that her brideshead was a bargaining chip that her father would happily throw to whatever power would benefit him. No, she sulked because her mother had forbidden her the packet the apothecary had gifted her as well as the satchel of tools that was the bare minimum for her work as an alchemist.

Such activities she would be forbidden by her new husband as well but she had hoped that if she had her tools… Once she had learned the lay of the land she would surely have been able to find a place to work. With her tools taken from her there would be little hope, such things were difficult to come by discreetly.

If nothing else it would take time.

There was noise from the great hall and Natasha moved to crouch on the rushes near the peep hole that would allow her to watch the assembly below. She could not hear much, sound carrying poorly and being dampened by stone, and her vision was limited. With care she attempted to make out the faces of Fury’s delegation. Her husband was to be Philip, son of Coul, a duke. There had been some tales of his bravery but none of his face, was he old? Young? Handsome or ugly? Did he have but two teeth or a pustule on his nose?

A face in the crowd caught her eye, one of the multitude, a man with sharp eyes and a quick silver smile. Despite the knowledge he could not see her, she returned it.

--

Duke Philip Coulson walked at the side of his king. Around them the festivities were in full swing, yet another celebration for yet another victorious return from the battlefield. The festivities should have been planned by Philip himself but he had handed off such duties to Lord Stark, Stark was overly fond of parties which meant that he, and not Phil, was the better choice to plan the feasts and tournaments. He had truly outdone himself this time.

“Have you given thought to the proposal from Underhill?” Phil questioned. Nick slanted him a look and it was difficult not to bluster. He was no good at making conversation that was not about business. “Maria’s a handsome woman.” Phil continues but he stops after that because his king’s look has turned from ‘uninterested’ to ‘displeased’.

He does not mention that an heir would be a good idea. Neither the king nor Phil are getting any younger and while they have proven themselves in battle already there are still factions within their own country as well as factions without it that wish to topple Nick from his throne. Underhill were already their allies but the bond of marriage would only make such allies stronger.

There is a roar to their left and Nick turns towards it. Phil follows him, of course, as well as the two members of the guard who have been attempting to follow surreptitiously. (Nicholas is not fond of needing a guard when out on the town but there have been attempts on his life even in the capitol and the rabble does not always care about nobility.)

It’s an archery competition and judging by the discarded targets it was a popular one. Since most peasants were required to learn how to use a bow and arrow and a large purse was being offered to the most skillful it was no surprise to Coulson that dozens of people had tried their luck. Dozens had been reduced to just two though and the crowd cheered loudly when one of them steadied his stance and began to draw. The targets in front of the two archers already held two arrows each, this third arrow appeared to be the one meant to break the tie.

Phil looked at the two archers. He was unsurprised to recognize the one drawing his bow, the man had been a part of the king’s latest military campaign. His breath catches in his throat however when he turns his gaze to the second archer’s face.

“Shooting for your dinner again, little hawk?” Phil questioned the boy. Clint, known as Hawk by most of the villagers, hopped easily to the ground from his perch on top of Goodwife Melody’s hut. He already had two squirrels tied together and tossed over his shoulder. Large game from the forest was off limits to the peasants but the Duke had always allowed the peasants that lived around his manor to hunt for small game should they wish. For most it was more trouble than it was worth but for some…

Clint always joked that he never missed. It wasn’t quite true but Coulson had seen him shoot birds out of the sky with better luck than some trained archers.

“Yes, young master Philip.” Clint’s tongue stumbled over the proper address, he lisped a little as well. Despite the score of years between them Clint had never felt the need to be proper with Phil, not until last season. “I must be going now.”

Phil watched Clint go and ran his tongue over the back of his teeth. Clint’s adventures often bruised him and missing teeth were common at that age. If there was another possible reason for Clint’s misfortunes… it was no business of Phil’s anyway.


“The winner is… Hawk of Bart’s town!” A cheer went up in the surrounding crowd and Coulson came out of his reverie. He was sure of it now, that this archer was the Clint of his childhood. He was positive that Bart was the name of the town where Clint’s mother had taken her two boys after the death of their father. ‘Hawk’ of Bart’s town is shaking the hand of competitors and chatting with those around him with an easy smile. The face is older but the eyes are just as blue.

“Impressive marksmanship.” Fury noted and Phil cannot look at his king for fear the man would read something on his face. Nick knew him too well.

--

“Are you ever going to talk to your intended?” Phil should not be surprised that Clint was in his tent that night. While travel to the Romanov castle had passed quickly the trip back was slowed by the dowry of his future wife as well as the goods that Fury had negotiated for. Coulson had worried that his fiancée herself would slow them down but Natalia seemed happy to ride on horseback and keep pace with the rest of the column. Phil was glad, he was not sure a wife who disdained horseback riding for sitting in a carriage would have suited him. The roads around the manor were not in ill repair but it was easier to travel on horseback than not.

“I have spoken to her.” He stripped off his gloves and tried not to look at Clint seated on his cot. Looking at Clint would remind him of nights when the archer slipping into his tent had meant more than a conversation. “She does not speak much English.”

Clint snorted and Phil’s willpower slipped. Clint’s face was covered in the dust of the journey and he wore a heavy cloak due to the chill weather. Coulson would be glad to be rid of Natalia’s home country, it was too cold for his taste. “A couple of words does not count as talking, sir.”

“She is to be my wife, Clint, there will be time to speak later.” He winced after he said it. It was true enough, husband and wife need not be more than acquaintances, but he had known Clint for years and knew that such a statement would not sit well on the man’s stomach. True to Coulson’s thoughts Clint pushed himself off of the bed and strode to the tent flap.

“Of course, m’lord, pardon my intrusion.” Then, before he could gather up his thoughts and speak words that would calm the man who was more than a friend, Clint was gone.

--

Her wedding night fast approached and she had not exchanged more than a dozen sentences with her soon to be liege. During their travels she had approached him and while he had been courteous about it her advances had been rebuffed repeatedly. It was possible that the language gap was to blame, she knew a scant handful of words in his language and he perhaps a half a dozen in hers, all conversation had to take place between interpreters. Thankfully the lady Jane, a woman who had been as close to a bosom companion as possible to Natasha, was fluent in English and had been more than willing to act as go between. Natasha was sure that the handsome blonde man who rose at King Nicholas’ side and thus near to Duke Philip had something to do with it. Jane was not nearly as circumspect as she might think.

Natasha had found her eyes drawn to the Duke’s companions as well; specifically to the archer she had spotted at the entourage’s entrance to her father’s home. His name was ‘Clint’ although she heard him called ‘Hawk’ by most of the soldiers. He had a quick smile and had seemed to always be at her betrothed’s side, at least until they had some sort of fight and then whenever Natasha had seen him around the camps he had been sulking. She had thought to tease him about it but to approach him would have been… well, after she was married it would be easier. Although a male companion would no doubt be a poor political idea, her marriage seemed doomed to be loveless and there was no reason to invite spurious rumor.

“Milady.” Jane lay a hand on her arm and smiled secretively. Natasha looked up from the needlepoint she had not truly been paying attention to and saw what it was that had caught Jane’s eye. At the door to the solar stood the archer, he was clad all in mail with a helmet tucked under one arm. Natasha, shocked, set her needlepoint aside and motioned that Clint should enter.

The archer did. He knelt halfway into the room and bowed his head, when he raised it he met her gaze with his own.

And then he began to speak.

“He wishes to ask for a token of your favor, he is entering the tourney tomorrow and plans to win every bout in your name.” There was a pause as Jane attempted to hide a smile. “Though he says he is no good at tourney games.”

A token? Natasha glanced down at her needlepoint. It was nearly finished, she had always been good at such things even when inattentive, but no that seemed wrong. She motioned to the maid.

“Fetch my head scarf.” She spoke slowly, with a heavy accent, and mimed the motions so the woman would understand. The servant did, she nodded and hurried out of the room. Clint smiled up at her and, unable to stop herself, Natasha smiled back.
From:
Anonymous( )Anonymous This account has disabled anonymous posting.
OpenID( )OpenID You can comment on this post while signed in with an account from many other sites, once you have confirmed your email address. Sign in using OpenID.
User
Account name:
Password:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
Subject:
HTML doesn't work in the subject.

Message:

 
Notice: This account is set to log the IP addresses of everyone who comments.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.

Profile

kat8cha: (Default)
kat8cha

June 2012

S M T W T F S
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
2425 2627282930

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Aug. 23rd, 2017 12:46 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios