To be a Prince is to be a terrible thing. A Prince’s love is reserved for the wealthy, the powerful, the daughters of noblemen, or the distant exotic flower taken to unite two countries or resolve some kind of conflict. Many-a-times a Prince’s marriage is based on politics, not love and it was this that Sasuke feared the most. To marry some that he did not harbor an affection for, did not wish to spend the remainder of his life with, or rule his country with when the time came were the thing of nightmares to him. He was not the type that made decisions easily, and always asked for a second opinion. For a future King, it was not a good quality to have poor confidence in one‘s decisions, and so he wanted to be able to trust his Queen’s opinion, to trust her judgment, and point of view. If he were to be forced to marry a woman he did not know, or simply did not care for in the least, all decisions he made would have to be made on his own, and that would make being King so much harder. And then there was the matter of an heir. The very delicate matter of an heir. Every King needed one if his bloodline was to remain on the throne for generations to come. It was a shame to not produce an adequate heir in the first year of marriage for a King and if the woman he took as his Queen was such a person that he didn’t like, he wouldn’t even want to take her hand much less share his bed with her.
Sasuke closed his eyes and massaged his temples as his mind was overcome with fears and thoughts of his inevitable betrothal in the next year. He didn’t even want to be King, he didn’t want the throne that was rightfully his brother’s. Itachi had renounced the title of Crown Prince for reasons still unbeknownst to the rest of the royal family, and disappeared shortly after and so since Sasuke was the only other son he became his father’s heir, and took on the burden of learning to be a proper King…seventeen years late. His father was aged and his diminishing health had started to impair his judgment and wisdom. Many of the decrees and orders he signed he did not even bother to read, and because of this, England was slowly falling into ruin. If it were not for Sasuke’s age, he would already be king but, thank the Lord, he was only seventeen, a year short of coming of age. This gave him more time to learn the ins-and-outs of being King and ruling England. It also gave him time to fret, worry and fear the close coronation.
He heaved a large sigh, and lifted himself from his favorite reading chair and stepped over to lean against the window frame, running long, graceful fingers through his ebony hair. In the courtyard, servants bustled about with wash and ingredients for tonight’s supper. Menservants carried worn swords to the blacksmith to be repaired and refinished, and more bore articles leather and chain mail to the armory. Stable boys rambled amongst themselves and chambermaids followed diligently behind his mother and her ladies in waiting as they made their way to the gardens beyond for afternoon tea no doubt.
As he watched his mother’s tall, regal figure disappear under the arch that led out of the courtyard, he smiled. His father’s good health and mind may have been slipping, but his mother’s longevity and sanity was still very much intact. She was a very strong, and open-minded woman who loved her family and her country with every fiber of her being. She wasn’t the type to stay out of royal councils or war meetings or sit by and keep quiet while the men talked and made decisions. She had as much say and influence over the people and laws then the King. Her eyes and ears were quick and her tongue was sharp. She knew her politics and she knew battle strategy just as well as the best general his father had. She could wield a sword with the ease and grace of a master swordsman, her dagger-throwing was deadly and accurate just like her archery. Her face could grow cold as ice or warm as sunshine in an instant. She was an incredibly kind and well-rounded woman who knew what it meant to be Queen and how what it took to rule a country. He admired his mother more then any other member of his family. She had taught him just about all he knew about everything from moral principles to the best way to strike your opponent square in the back with just about any sharp object. When other men had been taught combat by their father, or a general, he had been taught by his mother and that made him the best fighter in the land no matter the weapon. He learned to observe and find an enemy’s weak spot and then strike when the opportune moment arose. He learned to think of his sword as part of himself and of his mind. His arrows flew so fast, his hands became blurs as he fired them and no soldier alive was fast enough to dodge them. His fighting skills his sharp mind made him the fiercest fighter in all of England. Even as much as his father disapproved of his views, he had to admire Sasuke’s battle skills. At least he could hold his own in war. Because of his mother, he was always victorious in his battles because she taught him to learn his enemy’s mind whether it be a single opponent or an entire nation. “To learn the mind is to learn the weakness.” Was what she had always told him and he was glad to have his mother’s wisdom when the crown was placed on his head.
As he watched to bustling activity of the castle courtyard, a knock came to his door. Without so much as turning his head, he said, “Come in.” From the reflection in the window, he could see it was only a young servant. When the boy just stood there, twiddling his thumbs with a nervous look on his face, Sasuke straightened and turned.
“What is it?” He asked, looking straight into the boy’s eyes, his expression blank. He wasn’t known to be very emotional around anyone but immediate family.
Several times, the boy opened his mouth to speak, but no words came out. His eyes scanned over everything in the spacious room that wasn’t Sasuke. After a sigh, Sasuke folded his arms, he hated dealing with new servant boys.
“Well? This had better not be important or you’ll find yourself back at the workhouse with the filth. Now quit fiddling and speak up.”
Finally, the boy’s scared eyes lifted to Sasuke’s, and he spoke with a small, squeaking voice: “Y-your Highness, Her Royal Majesty wishes to speak with you.”
The moment the boy finished his sentence, Sasuke’s expression turned to steely annoyance, and he turned to pull his cloak off the back his chair. Without a word to the poor, frightened boy, he strode past him and out the door to the gardens.
As he passed through the halls, throne room, dining hall and courtyard he received bows, curtsies and “Your Highness” from every person he passed. To be honest, he didn’t enjoy the constant praise. Of course, it was polite and proper to bow to the Crown Prince simply because he was the Prince but he hated it. He hated how people parted for him to walk through, and how they would drop anything they were doing simply to bow to him, but he was Prince and things were likely not to change.
When he reached the gardens, he found his mother and her ladies in waiting sitting under the great willow tree that stood just opposite the fountain working on their embroidery and chatting quietly. When he walked up and bowed to his mother, her companions grew quiet, gave him shy smiles and muttered “Your highness.” before lowering their eyes.
“You wished to see me?” He asked, lowering to one knee, so that he could speak to her easier. “I apologize for my late appearance, the boy you sent me seemed to have a problem finding his voice.”
“Oh my son, he’s new, give him a chance. It simply isn’t everyday a boy goes from assisting masons to serving the royal family. He’ll become better, you mustn’t fault him.”
“You’re far too kind mother.” He replied with a smile. “Now may I ask what it is you wanted to address to me?”
Finishing her last stitch, Queen Mikoto laid her stretcher-bar down and told her ladies she wouldn’t be long, before taking Sasuke’s arm and using it to lift herself from the cushion she had been seated on. When she had stabilized herself and brushed her dress off, she linked her arm with her son’s. “Come Sasuke, there’s something we need to discuss.”
As they reached one of the many cobblestone paths that riddles the gardens, she removed her arm from Sasuke’s and strolled alongside him.
“You’ll be eighteen in the winter.” She told him, giving him a side-glance, and when he answered her yes, she continued on. “And then your father’s crown will be passed to you right along with all the responsibility and debts of England. I know how undesirable being King is to you my dear, but there is no other choice, Itachi is gone and you are our only other son. However, before you can become King, you must have a wife. Have you given this any thought?”
Sasuke had been dreading this conversation ever since he was told he was to be King instead of his brother. He turned his gaze to the ground and watched their feet as they walked. The only thought he had given it was how much he would hate it if a wife was assigned to him, not the matter of finding one himself.
“No mother, I haven’t. I’ve been fearing it.” He confided to her. He had sooner throw himself off his tower then reveal these thoughts to anyone but his mother, so he was glad for their solitary stroll.
The Queen frowned at his answer and placed a jeweled hand on his shoulder. “Is it the choosing of a wife, or the marriage itself that you fear?” She asked in a gentle, curious voice.
“Both I’m afraid. I fear marrying a woman that I don’t love. I know this is a silly notion, but I fear it nonetheless.”
His mother stopped and stepped to stand in front of him. “My dear, that isn’t silly at all. Of course you would fear spending the rest of your life with a stranger. Marriage should be spent with someone you cherish, but sometimes, our position forces us to put our personal feelings and wishes aside and do what’s best for the people. I did not know your father when I married him nor did I like him, but my dear, I grew to love him, I learned to see all of his pleasant qualities and deal with the less-desirable ones. You have time my dear, the only reason for an arranged betrothal is in the instance that you do not find a suitable wife. And I have the utmost faith in you my son. You’ve always been a wonder with the ladies.” She finished, with a smile, squeezing his shoulder and then turning to walk again, moving her arm out so that he may take it,
“You may not have given this much ponder yet, but as your mother and Queen, I have and so I have arranged a grand ball three nights from tonight. All the nobles and aristocracies will attend as well as those from Spain, France and Italy. You’ll have yourself a bountiful pick darling. Of course, because you couldn’t possibly pick a wife in one night, it will last four days and all of your delegates will be staying in the palace so that you may better know them. By the end Sasuke, I’m quite sure you’ll have found someone wonderful.” Upon finishing her plans, she gave Sasuke an expectant look, wanting to know his thoughts, but her satisfied, expecting look disappeared when she spotted Sasuke’s narrowed eyes and wrinkled nose.
“You don’t approve?” She asked, stopping once again.
“I…Whatever you believe will make things easier mother, I will happily oblige.” He told her, smoothing out his features and giving her a small smile, although he didn't like the idea one bit.
She returned the smile and reached up to put a hand on his face. “You’ll have a wonderful time sweetheart, don’t let it become bothersome..” And with that, she stepped back and laced her fingers in front of her. “Well my son, I have to be getting back to the ladies, we haven’t yet finished discussing your outfit.” She told him with an impish smile and gracefully glided away, leaving Sasuke with a horrified look on his handsome face.
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Story notes: This was written after I saw The Other Boleyn Girl.
Chapter notes: I hope you like my weird twist on Sasuke and his life. :)
Chapter end notes: I really hope you'll leave me a review so I know if this spin is liked. So that little box you see down there? Why don't you leave me a little comment? Thanks :)