|Lord Eward Mountford-Miles (lord_eward) wrote in toujoursliberer,|
@ 2008-06-01 18:51:00
A brother's return
Subject: Lysander gives his brother the fright of his life.
Who: Lysander and Eward Mountford-Miles
Where: The MM estate.
Warnings: None... unless you count tension!
[Ooc- co-authored by lysandermm and lord_eward]
With the hunt over, Eward had returned to his manor completely shattered. There was no doubt that it had been an interesting event and the fact that he had awoken that morning to Katherine in his arms only heightened his sense of pride and satisfaction. He didn't even notice Edith's snide glances or Abigail's worried looks. A constant cloud was around his head and as he prepared for the night, making his senses foggy and disjointed as he said his goodnights. It was as if he had walked around in a constant daze since his arrival.
His own bed was welcome to him; though the beds at Bailston were comfortable nothing could beat his own, though he knew only one thing - or rather person - could make it better. He had half a mind to call for her but he worried he'd appear too desperate. They had only left company that morning. Things were fresh. He had to allow things to play out how Katherine would allow or want it to.... so, resigning himself to a night alone, Eward settled into his bed and swiftly blew out the candle to his right, trying to become comfortable in the cool sheets covering his body within the darkness of the silent room.
Lysander had waited, patiently, alone in his room. Suprised that no one even set foot in his room the entire time he had occupied it, he deducted that they all felt it was haunted. Edith knew he was there, but she hadn't visited him for fear that someone would see her and then the plan would be ruined. But they finally had returned from the event and he watched from the shadows of the hallway, Eward enter his room and he waited. He saw Abigail go to bed, and Edith stomp to her room. Perhaps she was still keeping up appearances.
Sneaking to Eward's room, when Lysander deemed it long enough, he slowly opened the door and stepped into the dark room. He saw Eward's body outlined in covers on the bed and a menacing smile came over his face. How easy it would be to just kill him right here and now. But Lysander didn't want to kill him. Oh no, far from that. He just wanted him to suffer the way Lysander suffered all these years. Instead of just waking him up immediately, he decided to have a little fun first.
Sneaking over to the window, watching Eward the whole time, deciding that he was, in fact, completely passed out, Lysander opened the window, letting the cool night breeze waft into the room. Quickly moving into the shadows, he watched Eward like a hawk.
The soft breeze that filtered over Eward's body stirred him gently. It was cold and unfamiliar and as he opened his eyes he saw the wafting curtains from the open window. He hadn't left it open had he? Knowing he was too cold to sleep, Eward raised himself with a grunt of disapproval and stomped over to close it, yawning as he did so. The catch had probably withered with age and was unreliable.
He was about to get back into bed when he thought he heard breathing other than his own - soft, light breathing that he had not noticed before with the wind blustering into the room. Eward became so quiet he could hear the blood in his ears, his body stiffening. Someone was there.
"Edith?" he asked, his tone implicating a warning. "Come out, I'm too tired for games."
Lysander had trouble not chuckling when Eward had gotten up to shut the window. Obviously he did a pretty poor job since Eward had heard something in the room and was now alert. Oh well, he had to find out sometime.
"Edith is in bed," he said, still remaining in the shadows. "From what I understand, she's pretty exhausted from the hunt. Sorry to disappoint you, since I know how you love to torture your siblings," he ended with a sarcastic tone said through gritted teeth.
The moment he heard a man's voice Eward ran to his chest of drawers and grabbed a candlestick, raising it above his head as if he were to crash it down on anyone approaching, his eyes desperately scanned the room. What the fuck was going on?
"Who are you?" he snapped, bracing himself for a fight as his breaths came quick and fast. "What are you doing in my room, what do you want?"
"If I had any intention of hurting you, Eward," he started quickly, but his tone not changing in the least bit, "don't you think I would have already done so while you were sleeping?" It was a fair question and he knew it was what his younger brother was thinking. "And no, I didn't come in through the window, I just thought it would be quite fun to mess with your head. All in good ol' brotherly fun." Right after he said that, he stepped slowly into the moonlight to reveal himself.
Eward was shaking; he had no clue what was going on but it was scaring the hell out of him. Though he had been asleep moments before he was fully awake now. The man was talking of brothers and hurting and what the hell why was he moving closer? Eward raised his makeshift weapon higher as the man stepped forward but the silhouette was so familiar he found himself faltering. He felt as though he were talking to a ghost - and he may well have been for all he knew.
"Lysander?" he breathed, his voice trembling as if he couldn't believe he was saying his name again, addressing a man he'd believed to be dead.
"Brother!" Lysander smirked, folding his arms over his chest. "You seemed suprised to see me, as if I was a ghost or something," as he continued his smiled fell slowly. He took another step towards his brother, grabbing the candlestick out of his hand and throwing it across the room away from them.
Eward couldn't move. Ice had spread through his body and he was rooted to the spot, blue eyes wide as he stared forward. The trembling in his body didn't stop, not even as Lysander grabbed the candlestick from his grasp and threw it away. Eward gave a muffled sigh.
"I thought you were dead," he whimpered, his nose stinging and driving his eyes to water. "They said you were..." Suddenly a thought hit him and he had to know. "Father...."
"Yes. Father is dead. Do not worry about him returning to you. But I didn't die. I am sorry that I had scared you so, little brother," Lysander shrugged and looked Eward over. "You've not changed much over the years, I have to say," he moved towards where Eward kept his spirits and poured himself a bit of rum into a small glass. "Care for a drink?"
Still rooted to the spot Eward watched Lysander as if he had never seen him before, as if he had just appeared out of thin air - which in all fairness he just had. His mouth was dry and he felt nauseous, dizzy yet elated at the same time. His brother wasn't dead. Lyssy, his big old croaky brother was back...
Doing something completely out of his usual character Eward sped forward and grabbed Lysander in a tight embrace, throwing his arms around wherever he could reach and clinging onto him like he was a lost six year old who had just found a parent. "Lysander."
That was certainly something he did not expect. He had prepared himself for many things; Eward attempting to kill him, calling for help, or even begging for forgiveness. But he certainly didn't expect a hug of joy. Nearly spilling his drink, he raised his arms and looked down at Eward like he was some yucky bug on his shirt.
But he was his brother, after all, and so Lysander hugged Eward, not quite as enthusiastically as his little brother was gripping onto him, and downed the rum in a single swallow during the embrace. "You're glad to see me, then."
Finally breaking the hug but only slightly, Eward looked at Lysander with tears in his eyes. So many years had passed since the day of his brother's supposed demise and Eward had still not truly come to terms. He had managed, yes, but never truly forgotten the grief.
"They told me you were dead," he stammered. "They came here and they told me.... I didn't want to believe it, I refused and yet you're here... how are you here?"
Lysander looked at Eward in disbelief. Was he really trying to cover the fact that he had hired someone to kill him? "I don't know how I am here.. I spent 6 recovering in France to be able to come home. Two of those years I couldn't even get out of bed..." Lysander peeled Eward off of him and took a step back.
"Six years of thinking, how could he have done this to me? Six years of wondering what did I do to deserve this?" His face grew angry and he snarled, "I didn't deserve it, Eward!"
Eward's heart went out to his brother. He knew the circumstances of which Lysander had supposedly been killed but there was no way in heaven or hell he thought Lysander actually knew about it. Panicked, Eward stared at him with wide eyes, his body trembling. He shouldn't jump to conclusions... he might be bluffing.
"Did.... didn't deserve what?" he asked, blinking.
A smile appeared on Lysander's face as he shook his head. It didn't make look any less angry, though and he sighed. "Oh, little brother, what do you THINK I am talking about, hmm?" he asked, trying to keep his voice as calm as possible. "No. I'll tell you what I'm talking about... I'm talking about.. you had me killed! Don't try to deny it," he gritted his teeth and put his hand up to stop Eward from speaking.
Taking a deep breath, Lysander put his hand back down and looked away from his brother. "It's in the past now," he started, he wasn't going to do anything just yet. "I have made my peace, and I have come home."
Eward swallowed. "Brother I can explain," he began desperately, worried and panicked beyond belief with his mouth running away with him. "I did not try to kill you... it was all a misunderstanding, I... I would never arrange for your death. I would never try and kill my own flesh and blood you were everything to me!"
He didn't believe a word. Everything that came out of Eward's mouth should have just been, "Yes, brother. I did try to have you killed. Too bad it didn't work, I was pretty happy being the selfish prick that I am!" because that's all that Lysander heard. But it was obvious he was trying to make ammends, obviously scared shitless that he had just appeared out of no where.
"Eward, I said I have made my peace. It's over now. All I want to do is settle back in. Get to know my family again. Marry a salty young wench," he added that last one to make his brother laugh, giving him a false sense of security.
Eward did not laugh - where he might have found it funny in normal circumstances these were far from ordinary. As Lysander did not believe him neither did Eward believe he had made his peace; he certainly wouldn't if he believed his brother had plotted to kill him. Especially if they had almost succeeded! He needed to explain....
"Won't you allow me to tell you..?" he asked, almost begging.
Lysander groaned. Silently he wished he could shut up Eward the way he shut up Edith. But, even though being with Edith was inappropriate, it would be even worse with Eward, and there was no way in hell he would even consider it. Shaking off that thought, and decided to visit Edith later, Lysander rolled his eyes and shrugged.
"Fine, I suppose you should get it off your chest," he poured himself another glass of rum, this one a bit more generous, and sauntered as well as he could with his limp over to a big chair, which he plopped down on it, looking to Eward to begin explaining. This outta be good.
Eward's throat threatened to tighten but he refused to let it hamper his speech. He felt very exposed standing there in the dark, half-naked while his brother sipped his drink in a chair. There was no question who was master of this house now.
"After Peter died I became angry," he began, his voice shaking. "You were holed up somewhere, Father would not speak to me... I went to a tavern in the city to get blind drunk, I was out of my head and I said how much I - I said how much I wanted you to die. I was ranting about how all I needed was for you to go the same way. How perfect it would be if you were eradicated because then I would be next in line. I am not proud of it," he said, his tone disgusted, "I tried to forget I ever said those things, keeping the house straight while you and father were gone... when the word came that you had both...." Eward paused, unable to say it, "I just.... I couldn't take it. Ask Abby or Edith, I was... holed in this room for a week. Then, just after the title passed to me a man came to the door, he - he told me to pay him for his job... I asked what job I could have possibly given to him and he told me I owed him a thousand pounds for killing you in France as I had expressed my deepest wishes to him. I was blackmailed, Lysander," he continued, "I had to pay him or he would ruin the family name.... in essence I did kill you. I did, and I blamed myself all these years but not out of any coldness. Not out of malice, I never, ever wanted..."
The tears which had been threatening to spill finally seeped out of his eyes and down his cheeks and he didn't bother to wipe them. "I am so sorry."
Lysander listened, sipping his rum slowly. It seemed a good cover up if Lysander had ever showed back up and Eward needed a story to prove his innosence. Decideding that Eward was pretty broken up over the situation, he decided to put off any torturing or repaying for a while. He'd get his revenge, yes, but not this night.
"See, had I been you, I would have slit the bastards throat if he came to my door and told me that. But that's me," he finished his rum and moved to stand. "But it's fine, Eward. You've grieved long enough."
Was that it? Six years of probably wanting to kill him and all Lysander was going to do was stand up like Jesus and forgive him? Well, perhaps not exactly like Jesus - he was mentioning the slitting of throats after all and if Eward realised what he was doing with Edith he'd certainly know he was far from saintly.
With a little sigh Eward couldn't believe it. "What... I mean..." he started, trying to think of the words to say. "How are you here in the middle of the night?"
"I've been here since before the hunt.. I just didn't know how to come to you about all of this. So I figured I'd let you have your fun and then come to you afterwards," he nodded matter of factly, reaching out and patting him on the shoulder. "I know it's hard for you to understand all of this, but it will all fall into place in time. I assure you."
With a sigh Eward flopped to sit down on the bed, not believing that Lysander could have the gall to come into his home and lie in wait as if to strike at the opportune moment. Putting a hand over his mouth, he didn't even have the capacity to think of what Lysander's little comment could mean, the double entendre it could hold.
"Alright, fine. If it unsettles you so much to have me in your room, then I will say goodnight and speak with you tomorrow when you are in a better state of mind," moving to pour himself another helping of rum, he turned and toasted his brother and downed it, setting the glass down on the table and made he way to the door.
"Wait! Lysander don't leave...." Eward said suddenly. "Please... I.... I didn't mean to upset you I just don't know how to take this.."
Lysander turned and looked at Eward, smiling slowly. "I'm not upset Eward. I just realized it was rude of me to wake you. Get some sleep. I will see you at breakfast." Lysander nodded and exitted the door.
For some reason Eward did not believe Lysander and that unnerved him more than he thought it would. Watching his brother leave, the stark contrast between last night and this evening was so large it was ridiculous. A night of complete bliss followed by the shock of his life - there was no comparison to which Eward would want to re-live again. At least Katherine did not leave such a sense of dread building in his guts.....