Questions that were asked: where is his other haaand?
Necessary and inevitable result: riotously self-indulgent fic.
the thing i render
The Borgias. Lucrezia/Cesare
NOTE: I can't even blame history for this one. I'm in a weirdly out-of-character internal fit of pique over how little I can blame history, so bear with? This took me forever to sit down and finish, I think in part because I was so *internal facepalm* at myself over it, and I don't even think it's good right now, but it literally wouldn't let me write anything else until I finished it. These wretches and their faces. My point is, though, this exists entirely within the realm that the show seems to have crafted. There lies my blame, bless all their hearts, they are ruining me systematically and I can't do anything except write so I don't die; thus, INAPPROPRIATE ADORABLENESS AND ABUSE OF GRASSY LOCALES ENSUES. I am not proud, you guys. I am really not.
It’s been deceptively cool for the last few days—as if the weather has been sitting at their father’s side and taking cues from him, grey-clouding over the sun, ominous silence sitting in the air. Their father has been directing them all, all around her, her mother and her brothers. Not her, though, never her: she has sat in her study with Adriana da Mila and tried to con catechism and Latin alike, failing to block out the odd silence around her.
Today, though, the cold has broken and the sun shines, and whilst Adriana walks back and forth through the library in search of a Vulgate with an unbroken spine, Lucrezia lies on the grass in the courtyard and tips her face toward the sun. There is no sin in this, she thinks: days like today are God’s doing, and the ecstasy of warmth freckling her cheeks is a prayer in and of itself—an easier one, not bearing words, and she shuts her eyes, her heart a thing of airy joy, sunbright in her chest.
A swift shadow casts over her face only momentarily, and she feels a body sink into the grass by her side. She doesn’t crack her eyelids. “What are you escaping?”
It’s her brother’s voice; she knew it would be, and she smiles. “Lessons of our Lord, in Latin.”
“Ah.” She feels him half-laugh out a breath, the sound ruffling through the warm air. There is grass between her fingers, spikily soft as she imagines a lion’s mane might be. “You look so satisfied, sister,” he says. “I’ve seen cats on the Tiber banks looking less smug on fishing day.”
To look at him—sitting beside her with his knees drawn up, legs long enough to outpace her even when she’s lying down; she thinks, shading her eyes, that she could draw the contoured crook of them without looking twice if given charcoal—is to turn her face from the sun, but she forgives him. “I’m sure,” she says, cocking an eyebrow. “There’s fewer fish than there are corpses in the river these days, I hear.”
“From whom?” He leans in. “Who’s been telling my sister such vile tales?”
She smiles to herself. “This lady and that. You clearly haven’t spent enough time in the company of women, Chezza.” He blinks, and she bites back a giggle, propping herself up on her side. “They love to hear each other squeal, you know.”
“You should know better than to believe—”
“Them? Of course. It’s you I’ve been waiting to listen to.”
“Sorry, Crezia, I’ve no grim Tiber tales to tell you.” He shrugs, tipping his face up toward the sun. The warmth smooths over his face like fingers: he has been distracted in these days past, and she is glad to see it slip off his features. “I came unprepared.”
“Don’t be foolish. That’s not what I meant.”
“What did you mean?”
“I’ll know when you tell me.”
“An answer! Father’s in a mood.”
“Father.” His mouth quirks slightly to one side. “Let’s leave him be. It’s a nice day.”
“Cesare!” She reaches out, tugging the neck of his doublet sharply between her fingers. He’s not expecting it, and the look of gratifying surprise that passes over his face is a reward; he swallows back an undignified yelp, his throat rasping against her fingers, and then tips forward, toward her, ungainly and sudden. Her elbow skids along the grass, and then her brother is on top of her, knocking the breath from between her ribs with an undignified grunt. “You’re heavy,” she yelps.
“This is your fault,” he says, swallowing laughter and not moving away.
His weight shifts against her, the press of his limbs moving into something comfortable and familiar. Beneath him, over the grass, her legs shift apart to make room for his, sprawling beneath her skirts. The deep blue velvet of his doublet has soaked in the sun; it is warm beneath her fingers. She moves one hand up to touch his face. “Are you going to tell me?”
When he exhales, she feels the roll of his ribcage over hers, bones jointing against her own, and she shivers in spite of herself. “There’s nothing to tell,” he says and, looking her in the eye, his voice turns oddly serious and soft. “Nothing to say at all.”
She blows an exasperated puff of breath into his face, and he smiles, easy and untaught. The expression on his face is fresh and unfeigned and she traces the effortless curve of his lips, gladder than she would ever say out loud to see it come so easily. He shakes his head, just slightly, face turning in toward the curl of her fingers and staying there, and she catches his breath in the curve of her palm. Her fingers skid down the edge of his jaw, shaven but subtly rough against the press of her fingertips like the lick of a cat’s tongue. There are so many questions building on her tongue, but the sun beats down and her brother lies over her, pressing familiar and close, warm as the last stray remnants of summer. Somehow, maddeningly, she believes him—even when she doesn’t, when she shouldn’t. She curls her other hand, pressed between their bodies, into the front of his doublet, tugging even though there is no way for him to be closer than he is.
She feels his own hand slip down her side, over the curve of her hip to the juncture between the two of them. His hand moves against her, blunted through her skirts, pressing gently, and her lips part, parched and breathless. The sun is glinting in at the edges of her vision, blurred and bright and dazzling: she keeps her eyes on him as his hand shifts and a gasp slips between her lips. Braced beside her cheek, his hand fists delicately into the grass beside her long tangle of hair. Her bones arch up to meet him, and her skirts bunch and shift: her knee clasps to his hip and one leg is bared to the sky and to his hand.
His finger track a ticklish path up the inside of her thigh, and she swallows a gulp of laughter with her sighs. Her heart is beating time with his hand; she can feel it in her throat and the base of her stomach. She is in his hands, and around them there is no sound but the whisper of their silent, shared breaths.
A sharp unswallowed sound of delight catches on her lips, and she furls her hand into his doublet, kissing him suddenly and sloppily on his upper lip, and he laughs into her mouth, and the silence is broken, truly. His hand disentangles from her skirt to light on her waist, and he ruefully shakes his other hand, taps her on the cheek. There is grass printed on his palm, stuck between his fingers.
“You’re a mess,” she says teasingly, and he presses his hand to her face, brushing green-tipped fingerprints onto the curve of her cheek. Better the stains of the earth on his hands than—she bites her lip; she has let the question abide. “If you won’t tell me now what’s been amiss—later?”
She feels him still, and then she feels him shrug, his smile turning wry. “You’d expect nothing less, would you.”
“Of course not,” she says, and he drops his forehead in against her temple, laughing low in his throat.
“God help us,” he says, and his laugh catches against her hair. “God help us all.”