firefly! that's your commanding officer! (underdebate) wrote,
firefly! that's your commanding officer!

fic: waiting for home (macbeth) | PG

I have an immense amount of love for The Scottish Play, you guys. Yelling at people about Macduff: the life.

waiting for home
macbeth, malcolm, macduff, fleance
648 words

King, and not.

They find the child wandering close to the castle's grounds.

Once, his clothes may have been noble, but they are little more than rags now. His face is cut, as are his palms; the knees of his pants are stained with blood and dirt. Hair the colour of flax is clumped with dried mud, and bruised eyes stare out from beneath it, blue as a clear morning.

He is emaciated and weak, but his feet seem to move of their own accord.

"He asks for the king, milord."

There is a falter in Malcolm's mind as he realizes the question is for him. He stands in the middle of the throne room, pale robes a contrast to dark hair, and feels as though he is pretending to be king, just as in England, pretending he was not.

The circumstances are unusual-- he wants to know what this boy has to say.

Macduff stands off to the side, preoccupied in conversation with an earl of some lesser standing. The hall is empty save a few nobles.

"I am here." What else can he say?

When the boy is gently led in through the great doors, Malcolm bites his tongue and tries not to sigh. Pangs of guilt and sympathy wash over him, although he cannot say which of the two is misplaced.

The boy seems to recognize his surroundings-- and not. Things have changed. Half a year and too many wars.

"Where is Macbeth?" The first question is a surprise, and the boy is staring at him with wet blue eyes, because he is the king but not the king he remembered. He knows all assembled are paying attention now. Malcolm steps toward the boy, and for a moment wants nothing more than to soil his robes and wrap him up in his arms. He, instead, stops an acceptable distance away--

--any animal will run when their space is intruded upon.

"What is your name?" Malcolm's brows furrow, but his voice is soft, comforting.

"Fleance." He is quiet and strong.

Macduff is there, and the realization clicks faster with him than with anyone else. He steps close to Malcolm's side-- close, but not close enough. "Banquo's son."

Oh, god above.

The boy nods. A look of worry crosses his face again. "Where is Macbeth?" he repeats.

There is something small in Malcolm's heart that wants to rend itself in two. He closes the distance and gently places his hands on Fleance's shoulders, cupping his neck as if to hold him close. "Macbeth-- died months ago. Your father knew him, didn't he?"

He doesn't receive an answer, but a half-nod. "Who are you?"

"A son of Duncan. I returned to Scotland after Macbeth's death to claim the throne."

The boy doesn't know what to say to that. His eyes are wet. After a moment, he says, placidly, as if not wanting to delve too deeply into the memory, "My father was killed by a troupe of bandits. We were in the woods."

Macduff, to his right, nods softly. "He was buried well, may God rest his soul." Fleance glances in his direction, but can't hold his gaze for any length of time. "We thought you dead."

He blinks softly at the floor. Malcolm gently touches his hair, pulls his fingers through the mud caked on it. "What can we offer you?"

And for a moment, it seems as if Fleance isn't sure what the correct response would be-- a place to sleep? Somewhere to bathe?

"I would appreciate food. I.. anything. Cool water. Please."

Malcolm finds Macduff, later, and he knows every inch of him looks helpless and worried.

"What horrors did-- did that beast--"

Macduff takes him by the arms and holds him, iron firm. He presses their foreheads together. Then he lets go.

"Macbeth sent murderers to Banquo not long after his coronation. They left his mutilated head in the dirt, for the crows. We-- there was no sign of another body. We assumed the worst."

Malcolm breathes slowly.

"He's here. We can only do what we can."

Tags: char: fleance, char: macduff, char: malcolm, fandom: macbeth, subtext of my heart, works: fanfic
  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded