|A Certain License (The Borgias fic, PG-13)
||[Oct. 2nd, 2012|10:21 pm]
Title: A Certain License
Fandom: The Borgias
Paring/Characters: Sancia, Alfanso; Juan/Sancia
Word Count: 1,017
Summary: Sancia found that being illegitimate gave her a certain license.
Sancia found that being illegitimate gave her a certain license.She discovered this at an early age and made note of it. She was smart and shrewd, practical, even. Few people could acknowledge this because she was a woman and not a true princess, just a bastard daughter of the king, but Sancia never minded much. It was easier to take advantage of people when they never suspected that she might be doing just that. Alfonso always took such offense at the word bastard, even on her behalf, but she had learned early on to accept that label. Fighting against it only made people hostile or made them pity her. If she admitted it brashly, they usually did not know quite what to do.
Her father was not the attentive sort, not even to his own heir. He was far more engrossed in killing and power struggles, stuffing corpses and setting them up like stage decorations. But her father had always provided well for her, she lived in the royal household and she could not claim to be unhappy.
Sancia had always been spooked by the room with the stuffed corpses when she was a young girl but she also found it morbidly fascinating. She would sometimes sneak into Alfonso’s chambers late at night and tug the blankets off of him. “What are you doing, idiot?” he hissed at her irritably, waking up with a start. She would only giggle and tell him to take her to daddy’s special place. He would usually go as he found it fascinating and frightening as well. He would hold a candle and Sancia would hold his hand. In the darkness of the night with the candle throwing long shadows on the walls and floor, the stench of the place seemed to take on a life of its own, materialize and become a solid shadow among the others. She would squeeze Alfonso’s hand and he would squeeze hers back. Sometimes they would compete to see who could last longest without asking to leave. Sancia usually won.
She was close to her half-brother – as close as one could be to Alfonso perhaps – and she was also controlled by him when their father fell severely ill in his old age. But she had built with him an understanding of sorts by which he always at least consulted her before making a decision on her account. It was more than most girls could ask, even – or perhaps especially – legitimate ones. She was never as closely observed as other noble girls nor was so much expected of her. Everyone knew of her heritage and since she never shied away from the whispers and rumors no one had any reason to expect of her more than she was worth, which was not a lot, in most people’s perceptions.
She had lovers as she got older. Alfonso teased her about them but he never strove to curtail her passions and Sancia was fairly experienced before the Borgias made their proposal. She was passionate and there were few things she could be threatened with to make her stop. Before she left for Rome, Alfonso took her hands in his and said with his most obnoxious smirk, “Try to no whore around all of Rome. You are about to make a respectable marriage.”
“I don’t think I’ll need all of Rome, brother,” she had quipped back at him in their usual tone of friendly banter.
“Oh yes, the brother. How could I forget?”
She laughed and hugged him. “Take care.” She would not see him again before the French had their way but he would write her a couple of times and she would answer with gossipy details that she knew Alfonso enjoyed, even if he would never admit it.
Her wedding was a farce of an affair but she knew it was best this way. Had she been legitimate and worthy of Juan’s hand, he would soon tier of her as men always tired of their wives. As it was, he remained her lover and she granted him the thrill of an adventure every time. So he stayed and she was pleased, perhaps even happy.
It would be too much to say she loved him. Sancia was never sure what exactly love entailed. Did she love her brother? Perhaps, perhaps not. She liked to manipulate him but she did not wish him ill. She was fond of him, surely, but he was her brother. Did she love Juan? She enjoyed their love making and their teasing, she thought of him often and she sometimes felt uncomfortably irritated when she knew he was out with other women. Sancia did not think that was quite enough to account for love.
But love was cliché. Just like being legitimate. Her feelings were unobserved this way, she was not vulnerable to anyone’s misinterpretations of humiliations. Not even Juan’s. After all, in a world controlled by men there were only so many routs open to a woman and Sancia found that a simple preservation of dignity and a sense of self could go a long way.
The one night she and Juan fell asleep together, she ran her fingers over his bare shoulder and down his back under the covers, then up his spine and into his hair, regarding his features, softened with sleep, with thoughtful dark eyes. He muttered something, then settled and she smiled fondly and a little mischievously at him. He thought he owned the world and perhaps he was right, but when he lusted for her, when he pressed her thighs against him, when he sent her burning, sometimes almost pleading, looks across the dinner table or the hall, she knew that sometimes, in some way, she owned him and he was at her mercy. She did not want anything incredible with this power; she did not wish to hurt him with it or even take ownership of his world. But she enjoyed having it. It was the concrete substance behind her license.
Sancia did not think she could conceive of it in such ways if she was legitimate.