I wrote these two pieces some 18 years ago...enjoy!
Shadows of Fear
A Ladyhawke Fanfic
Isabeau awoke just as the last traces of daylight filtered into the room. It took her only a moment to realize she was alone. Quickly she rose, pulling on the silken blue robe that lay across the foot of the bed and noting that the white woolen tunic and black leggings that had been with the robe were gone.
As she entered the main room of the small house in the forest she paused. Etienne Navarre was not yet aware of her presence.
He sat at the small panel window, his gaze fixed on something beyond the scene before him. For the first time since his battle with Marquet and the Bishop, she really looked at him. Dark circles had formed under his eyes, distinct from the bruises, and his face seemed gaunt, as if he hadn't slept.
Had he? Isabeau thought back. Every time she had expressed her weariness he'd been there sitting or lying next to her until she had drifted off and always when she'd awakened he'd been gone. Had he slept at all?
"Navarre?" Hesitantly she called his name. When there was no response she made her way to him. If he knew she was there he did not acknowledge it. She laid her hand on his arm. "Navarre?" she repeated. He turned to fully face her and her worries were confirmed. He looked exhausted.
"Good morning," he said quietly, as he drew her into his arms and his lips found hers. Isabeau pulled away from him.
"Navarre, are you all right?"
"Did you sleep last night? Have you slept at all since, since...?" she asked, concern overriding her usual tact, but still she could not speak of the ordeal.
"I have some things to take care of." It was now his turn to pull away. His gaze returned to the window.
"Etienne. Etienne, please don't." She stopped, putting her hand on his arm.
"I have to go, there are people that I have to see." He shifted out of her grasp. "I'll be back as soon as I can." He rose painfully from the bare wooden bench, using his walking staff to support him. Almost as an afterthought, he turned to kiss her. Realizing she was about to question him again, he touched his finger lightly to her lips to silence her.
"No questions now, I shouldn't be late. I'll leave the city before Vespers. We'll talk then." Once again he lowered his head to kiss her.
"Be careful," she cautioned.
"I will." What do we have to fear now." It was more a statement then a question, and then he was gone. Drawing her gown more securely around her she stood at the doorway and watched as he led Goliath from the shelter. He mounted awkwardly, trying to ease himself onto the flat padded saddle.
Isabeau thought again of how tired he looked. Something troubled him, something beyond his pain, for although the wounds of the battle were healing, it seemed that his spirits were not. What could be worrying him so? She waved to him as he nudged the horse into a trot, grimaced and slowed Goliath to a walk. He didn't seem to see her at all. Well, it could be nothing, she'd try to talk to him when he returned. With a sigh she took one final look at the receding figure, then closed the door. She went to the hearth and cut off a slice of meat from the previous night's rabbit, to serve as breakfast.
It was dusk when he returned, and if he had seemed exhausted when he had left that morning, he was even more so now. He almost seemed to be moving in his sleep as he removed the big horse's saddle, hobbling about till he turned Goliath into the pen.
She hurried back to the hearth so he would not know she had been watching for him. She only turned when he opened the door and entered the house.
"Navarre, I was worried..." Isabeau started to question him then stopped. No, this was not the time. Instead she slipped into his arms. Something wasn't right. The comfort she was looking to find was not there. Instead there was a tenseness.
"Not now, Isabeau." He drew back, but there was no harshness in his voice.
"Please, what's wrong?"
"Navarre, please don't lie to me, not so soon."
"Isabeau..." He turned from her, and started towards the bedroom, stopping only when he had reached the window. He stared out into the dark.
Lighting a rushlight from the hearthfire, Isabeau moved quietly to join him. "Please, I need to know what is happening between us. I can't lose you now, not after all we have been through together. Two years, two years when we could not speak to each other, see each other, touch each other."
Navarre turned to her. Reaching out his hand, he gently brushed a tear from her cheek. "Isabeau, I'm sorry...it's just..." He stopped again, moving to sit carefully on the edge of the bed, his face now hidden by his hands.
Isabeau sat next to him, placing an arm reassuringly across his shoulder. "My love, you can talk to me. Please tell me what is wrong? If you cannot tell me, perhaps Imperius can help you." She slid off the bed and onto one knee at his feet, gently unlacing the boot on his injured foot and sliding it off. That done, she worked more briskly on the other boot.
"I went to him today," Navarre said as Isabeau worked. "I have been to confession, but I never believed that ending the lives of those already damned could be a sin. I lit candles for the peace of Francesco, for surely he died without being shriven."
"Then these were the reasons that you could not sleep?" She said softly.
"You won't understand. I don't understand." His voice had real anguish in it now.
"I will." She tried to reassure him, but knew he couldn't be forced to confide in her any further. After several long moments, he spoke quietly.
"I'm afraid." His voice was barely audible.
"What?" She wasn't even sure she had heard him.
"I'm afraid," he repeated. "Afraid that if I go to sleep I'll awaken to find that this has all been a dream, that I'll still be cursed, as will you. Isabeau, I've had this dream so many times. They always seem this real."
"Oh, Etienne." She pulled his head down to her shoulder and wrapped her arms around him. "My love. I promise you this isn't a dream, trust me." As she spoke she stroked his hair. Then, very slowly she began to rock him, watching his reactions all the while. He did not speak or protest, and slowly his eyes began to close. Not much longer and his breathing altered, moments later and she was sure he was asleep.
Carefully she eased him back onto the bed. After pulling off the wool tunic, leaving him in his black silk undertunic, she placed a blanket over him, then she too lay down. In the light from the burning rushes, she watched as the lines in his face softened and his face relaxed into a small smile. She watched him for some time, realizing again just how beautiful he was when he slept. She had missed that. When she was sure she would not awaken him, she slid under the covers herself. Within minutes she too was asleep, secure with the knowledge that things would be very different in the morning.
A Ladyhawke Sonnet
Dawn creeps slowly across the sky, it's golden fingers pulling aside the first traces of night, and the man awakes.
Once dressed and astride his mount his eyes begin to scour the sky, searching. Suddenly he freezes; he has found what he sought.
An arm outstretched is the only call he need make, somehow she knows that he needs her. The hawk turns in mid-flight, the field mouse that was her prey forgotten. She has but one thought now; she must join the man.
As she lands, her wingtips brush his cheek. He remembers another touch, another caress. He closes his eyes as tears threaten to break from them.
Night dips it's shade and the world sleeps, save she. Lighting a fire, the woman draws his cloak tighter around her, inhaling his scent, suddenly chilled.
As a lone wolf howls forlornly in the distanceshe releases a breath she hadn't known she held. Patience, she tells herself, he will come in his own time. But, it is hard, she hates this time apart.
Soft footsteps behind her signal his approach and she turns, her face lit by a smile. The wolf stops, waiting; he seems to dare her to come to him. When she remains still it is he who gives in first, he who moves to her.
He welcomes her touch though all of his instincts say he should flee. He does not know why it is so important that she is near, but he knows it is all the same. And she can only hold him, he face buried in the blackness if his coat, wishing that he were who he should be as her tears dampen his fur.