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04 February 2013 @ 09:55 pm
Title: Change
Pairing: Cesare/Lucrezia.
Summary: Cesare and Lucrezia spend two different nights together, one dipped in darkness and the other bathed in light.
Author's Note: I have had this idea in my head forever, and now that the previews for the new season look like they are in Cesare and Lucrezia's favor, I figured I had better get on this. Enjoy!

“We have changed, Cesare,” She whispers in the dark.
She is lying next to Cesare on her bed, her face turned away from him. He had snuck in after Joffre’s wedding ceremony and has not left since. It is raining outside, with intervals of thunder and lightning, somehow perfectly correlating with their moods. The whole house is quiet, save for Lucrezia’s room. It is mostly dark inside, the only light coming from a single candle on the bedside table. Thunder erupts from outside, but neither Lucrezia nor Cesare flinch. It takes much more to get a rise out of them now.
“How so, sis?"
He turns his body so he is facing her and bears his weight on his elbow. It has been so long since they have been alone together, and Cesare tries to relish the moment. The vision of Ursula living in solitary is haunting his thoughts though, and the frustration of it all is wearing on him.
“I am not your shining light any longer and you are not my knight,” She says sadly, idly tracing her gold nightgown.  Her expression is wistful and he wonders why she feels so far away when they are but inches apart.
“You are wrong,” He counters huskily, reaching for her hand. “You are still my shining light.”
She does not respond right away. “Maybe, but there is now someone much brighter in my place.”
“There seems to be one in yours too,” He says almost scornfully, “As you so elegantly pointed out.”
“He has helped me.”
“In what way?”
“With my husband,” Her voice changes, the tone dipping into a sorrowful sound. “He saved me.”
He looks at her darkly. “I would have done the same had you told me.”
She looks over at him. His face is serious, his jaw set in a manner she recognizes from their childhood. It is the same expression he displayed when boys started to notice her, and it is the same expression he kept on her wedding day. Her heart leaps and for a moment it feels like that day in the meadow, before she was married and before he was in love. Before their father was Pope and before their family lived in fear. She misses those days right before Rodrigo Borgia was declared Holy Father; she misses the way she used to view the world.
She misses so many things.
“I did not want you involved and I did not want to disappoint Papa.”
“You could never disappoint Father,” Cesare says, “And I always want to be involved in anything concerning you. I meant what I said Lucrezia.”
She looks over at him, her expression confused. “What was that, brother?”
“A dinner knife,” Despite himself he grins at the memory, and thinks of that treacherous yet victorious night when he committed his first murder. “I recall vowing to cut your husband’s heart out with a dinner knife, had he proved ungallant.”
Lucrezia smiles fondly but does not say anything, just keeps tracing the gold lining of her dress. Finally, she says, “It is over now.”
“Is it?” He glances over at her. “Your eyes tell a different story my love.”
She nods firmly, but Cesare knows her better. He moves in closer to her and softly touches her hair.
“Let me help you.”
She shakes her head quickly and turns away from him. “There will be no more talk of my marriage.” She looks over at him and with the speed of a lightning bolt, all traces of her misery and grief are erased. She smiles encouragingly at him and he is unable to take his eyes off her.
“Tell me of your nun.”
Her words trigger a kind of aggravation that resides deep within his belly Your nun. He almost chuckles at the thought. He, a lonely, misplaced Cardinal in lust with a lost, misguided nun. He aches at the irony of it.
He pushes back his thoughts and remembers where he is. This time it is he who turns away. “There is nothing to tell. She would rather live in solitary than be with me.”
“I am sure that is far from the truth.” She looks so hopeful, the glitter in her eyes are so bright that it makes Cesare almost feel it himself Almost. “Sometimes us women just have a peculiar way of showing our true emotions.”
“She does not know me, sis,” Cesare scoots closer to her. “How can I love a woman that does not know me?”
“Perhaps it is her beauty that you desire.”
“I always desire beauty,” He replies, “But beauty does not last,” He leans in close to her ear and whispers hoarsely, “Unless you are a Borgia.”
The words create goose bumps on her skin but she pushes him off playfully. “Oh Cesare, be serious.”
He smiles but does not say a word. Silence fills the dim-lit room and Lucrezia stares down at her wedding ring. She begins to twist it around her finger, but it gets stuck on her skin.
The pinch stings.
“What are you hiding from me?”
His head snaps up in attention and his mouth parts in defense. “Nothing, sis."
He is lying and she knows it. He averts his gaze and rests his head on her stomach so he does not have to see the disappointment cross her face. There is so much he wants to tell her, but cannot. He does not want her vision of him to tarnish. That is one occurrence he is sure he would not survive.
“So is this how it is going to be, then? Hidden details and false truths?” Her voice raises, and because of their recent distance Cesare forgets how feisty his dear sister can be. “I sometimes grow weary of all the corruption, Cesare. I feel I cannot escape it.”
He sits up, unable to hear his sister utter such depressing contemplations. He has accepted his own damnation, but he refuses to let the one light in his world be extinguished for his sins. “Don’t you see, my love, that is why I do not talk of my ventures. You have a pure heart, and I want to keep it that way for as long as possible.”
Her eyes travel slowly up to his. “I am not so sure anymore.”
“Don’t worry,” He says gravely, “You will always be loved by me, no matter what occurs.”
She lifts her hand and gently cups his cheek. “And I you.”
He leans into her hand and says a silent prayer that her words remain true. He kisses her palm before settling back down onto her stomach. “So,” He sighs, “I cannot save you from your miserable marriage and I cannot be with my nun. What more is there to my life?”
“Me,” She says merrily, and his heart constricts. “Your family. We are Borgia’s, you know.”
As if I need reminding, he thinks. He swallows the thoughts and watches her playful expression, wondering how his interest could have ever swayed from her for the past few months.
Then again, love rendered him foolish, a lesson he will never forget.
Her words reach him though, as they always do, and he sees that she is right. This is what is truly important. He reaches for her hand and gently clasps it in his. “You are right, sis, we are the great and powerful Borgia’s.” He nuzzles his nose into her stomach, the gesture reminding him of that beautiful day in the meadow and she giggles with delight. “And so you see love, nothing has changed. We are still brother and sister, and our father is still the Pope of Rome.”
“I suppose you are right, Cesare,” She yawns and it is only then that he realizes how late it is. They have not even scratched the surface of catching up, but it has been a long day, and she is exhausted. He will have to save his thoughts for another time.
“Sleep, sweetness. I shall you wake you in the morning.”
He shifts on the bed but Lucrezia lays a hand on his arm to bar his movement.
“Are you leaving, then?” She asks anxiously. He looks at her wide eyes and unkempt hair with sorrow, and the beginnings of helplessness start to rise from his stomach. She has a look of terror in her eyes and not for the first time this night does Cesare think about how her husband has been behaving behind closed doors.
“Not if you do not wish it.”
“I do not,” She answers, her voice muffled from the pillow she is clutching. She keeps her hold on Cesare’s arm and tugs him until he is beside her. She wraps one of his arms around her waist and snuggles into his chest.
“Oh my dear sister,” He murmurs long after he knows she has slipped into oblivion, “We have not changed at all."
And in one breath, he blows out the light.
They come crashing into her room like a freshly lit canon, just quaking limbs and deafening moans.
Cesare hikes her legs up around his waist and roughly throws her onto the bed. She shrieks with delight until she sees he is not joining her. Frustrated, she groans at the loss of contact and watches as he slowly undoes the ties of his pants.
“You tease me, Cesare,” She says breathlessly, and he grins mischievously.
“Patience my love,” He replies and forgets his pants for a moment to concentrate on his shirt. He lifts it over his head and tosses it to the floor. “Good things come to those who wait.”
She lies back on her arms and watches as he works. “I have been patient for most of my life, brother. My time of waiting is finished.”
With one last tug on the strings he is free from the fabric. She sighs in relief as he is now fully bare, and crooks her finger in come hither otion. He saunters towards her and slowly climbs the bed while she slithers back in an attempt at chase.
He stops and rests his hands on either side of her legs. Mockingly, he asks, “Now who, my ear ister, is doing the teasing?”
She grows serious for a moment and stares at him, her once lustful eyes as wide as a baby deer.
“What is it?”
She tilts her head to the side in wonderment. “Do you ever wonder how we came here, Cesare?”
He kisses her delicately, his lips trailing all the way down to her neck. “I am certain I devoured your lips as soon as Father’s ceremony came to a close,” He replies facetiously. “And then came here to ravage you.”
“I am serious,” She protests, though she is not truly angry. “It is astonishing, the truth of us together.”
The sole candle in the room makes his eyes shine brilliantly, and she suddenly knows exactly how she found herself in his company at night.
e smirks, “I have always loved you, sis.”
“Yes, but this love is different, is it not?”
His arms growing tired, he settles himself down by her feet. He kisses the tops of them and looks up at her seriously. “Quite different my love.”
“What would happen if people found out about us, Cesare?”
He sighs, “The only people that know about us are God and the deceased.”
“Well then,” She says cheekily, “I wonder what ou dear eparted brother would say?”
“Fortunately for us, sis, I do not think it is possible to say much from beneath the ground.”
They laugh together, two warped souls weaving into one. They have not always been this cruel, but the world has been cruel to them and their charity is dwindling. A few moments pass and they lay there in a comfortable silence until a thought comes into Lucrezia’s head.
She shifts slightly, “Do you hate that we must sneak around, Cesare?”
“No,” He quips, “I hate your husband.”
“You hated my last husband too,” She reminds him.
“With good reason,” He answers sinisterly, remembering the weight of Sforza’s heart on the silver platter he served his sister one night after everyone had gone to sleep. “I recall making you a promise about a heart, and I never make promises I do not intend to keep.”
“Yes well, my new husband is nothing like my first, and yet you do little to hide your disdain for him.”
“He does not deserve you,” Cesare says, “I have told you before, and I will tell you every day if I must.”
He leans his head against her calf and bites it flirtatiously . She relishes the chills the movement sends up her spine and reaches down to brush his hair. She would not trade anything for this moment. She would not trade anything for him.
“I am breaking my vows of marriage.”
“Trust me, my sweet, you will not have to break them for long.”
She is aware that she should feel guilt for her sins, and try to atone for them, but her emotions died out long ago, much like her faith. She learned early on that in order to receive what she most desired in life, she had to pursue it herself.
She is a Borgia after all, and a Borgia never falters, only ambles on.
The only people she feels anything for now are her children and Cesare, but then, her brother has always made her feel things that people never have.
“Stay in tomorrow,” He says quietly, and she looks down at him in confusion.
“What for?”
“I have a meeting.”
By now she understands that ‘meeting’ means ‘confrontation’ and ‘confrontation’ means ‘murder’. Cesare is always ‘meeting’ with enemies, and on most occasions those who he sees do not return. However, his business took on a different meaning when she awoke to one of his most hated in her bedroom, menacingly standing over her with a knife. She was able to dodge his attack and summon some help, but from that night on Cesare has taken no chances.
She has not seen him, nor any other rivals of Cesare since.
“Will it be long?”
“If all goes to plan, I should be done before dinner and back here for dessert.”
“I will be here, eagerly awaiting your arrival.”
“Perfect,” He raises his head to place a kiss on her calf before resting atop it once more. His mood shifts, his breathing becoming ragged. “I have had dreams,” He whispers painfully, “Horrible dreams of you trapped in your house and me, unable to reach you.”
Shh,” She comforts and kisses his forehead. “Do not worry yourself, Cesare. I am safe.”
He continues to cling to her leg. “There is no one that knows me as you do. If you were to ever leave me, I would never survive it.”
“You will always have me, Cesare, even after I have gone.”
He rises slowly and swings one of his legs over hers, inching them apart. He crawls in between and places his arms on either sides of her face. Gently, he strokes her cheek with his thumb as he hovers and dips down to brush his nose against hers. “And you me.”
Suddenly, she is reminded of the night they spent together after Joffre’s wedding. A simple phrase she uttered that night comes to her, and she says it aloud once more, the words now expressed in an entirely different tone.
“We have changed, Cesare.”
She thinks of all that has happened since then. She thinks about who they were then, and who they are now. She has plotted and deceived; she has broken her marriage vows with her brother of all people, and continues to do so. Cesare has lied and aided in breaking the marriage vows of his sister. He has committed countless murders, one being his own kin, and plans to do the same to her husband.
Individually, they are cruel and despicable people, but together they share the purest of loves.
She thinks back to who she was that night, so harmless and naïve, and cannot imagine ever being so again.  They have gone too far, and the hope that they once held has been reduced to a single flame.
The corners of Cesare’s lips curve up in to a wicked smile. “And so we have.”
He closes the thin curtains surrounding her bed and Lucrezia lies back, deciding that since they are both going to hell, it is only fitting that they go together, and basks in the blazing light.