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What has Changed

Title: What has Changed


Author: Eglantine_br


Rating R


Kyd/Marlowe


Word Count 1757




What has Changed




There was a small shuttered window that
Kit had not noticed in the weary night. He pushed it open to see the
day. The freezing rain had passed, the sky was a wan blue. There was
mist was coming up, from the ground. The ice was melting. He could
smell that as well as see it. The warm air muffled sound and scent.
And everywhere was the plink of dripping water. The road would be
soup by noon.





He would be to Scadbury by noon.



Kit allowed himself a shiver of
delight. This was the same shirt he had worn the last time. Here was
the button, loose where they had wrenched it. The last time, it had
been so hurried,. Both of them had been crazed ,as if getting naked
as quickly as possible would save lives, put out fires. Both of them
has been breathless, laughing. Walsingham had been faster, he had not
waited. He had leaped, like a tiger, bearing Kit down to the bed,
Kit with things down but not off, and still wearing one boot. Kit had
thought of the mud of the road on the fine bedding. He had tried to
hold his foot up, as the heat bore him away. Soon he forgot that,
along with everything else. Walsingham, had been above him, already
panting, working Kit's body, doing the best things. Thomas Walsingham
cared nothing for boots or mud, or silk hangings, or linen sheets.
They were there. They had always been there.



Back to the day. Kit buttoned his
shirt and turned from the window.



Tom Kyd was still in bed. He had
rolled into the warm spot Kit had vacated. And he had covered his
face when Kit opened the window. Now, feeling the gaze perhaps, he
sat up.



“What time is it?”



“Seven”



“ I confine myself to the later
seven,” Kyd said. “I had been trying to forget that there was
one in the morning.”



“I would prefer to do the same, but
Walsingham's man has doings in the city today. I must met him by
eight to fetch the horse.”



Kit did not say that he greatly hoped
that the man Frizer had doings in the city. It saved riding back in
his company.



“Well, good journey to you then,”
Kyd said. “Mistress Smith will give you food to take, if you let
her. Some bread and butter if nothing else. I am going back to sleep,
until the hour is more --- ” here his words were swallowed by a
yawn. He flapped his hand at Kit, to make his meaning clear.



The stairs creaked. Kit soft footed his
way down them. Soon enough he would find where to step, and they
would be silent for him. No need to worry for it today. Kyd would
not care, and the landlady was volubly awake. He could hear her
banging pans, and talking to herself, happy in her doings.



“Oh, good morning Dr Marlowe--”
She was upon him.



It was twenty minutes before he made it
out the door. He had a leather bag containing bread and butter, (“see
that you eat that soon, the butter will not keep,”) and four boiled
eggs. There was something refreshing, Kit found, about being
treated like a rather stupid eight year old.



He was not late The man, Ingram Frizer
was waiting with his own horse, and the one for Kit. Frizer was
utterly correct. His clothing, his bearing, his words, impeccable.
Still, as always, he wore his disapproval like a cloud around
himself, clear as a blow to the gut. Kit was hurried and nearly
silent in his company. He was, as always, relieved when Frizer left.



The horse was a gentle mare that Kit
knew very well. He took a moment to stroke her nose. She pushed into
his jerkin, huffing, blowing. There had been an apple, in the past.



“Not today,” Kit said. He said it
soft, but the big ears moved. She looked at him sadly, and nodded.
She was a clever being. He slid a hand along her neck, it was warm
but not sweaty. Frizer was careful of such things. Kit swung into the
saddle, and turned her to the road. She knew the way. They were
amicable. He was able to keep a loose rein and let her find her own
footing in the icy mud.



************




In summer the approach to the estate
was a hundred kinds of green. Today it was sober in sadd cloth. It
was lovely nonetheless. The trees joined delicate hands above him,
and cast their moving shadows down, In summer the place was busy
with the sounds of birds and frogs. Now the sounds were more subtle,
small stirrings in the trees, winter birds. Kit felt his senses
expand and sharpen, as they did not in the city. He imagined foxes,
turning in sleep, dreaming of mice, waiting for sundown, for
starlight.



He could smell the smoke of the house
fires now, and he was cold.



There was a boy, waiting to take the
horse. He was slumped against the gate with dramatic adolescent
boredom. Still, when Kit dismounted, he was attentive. His hands on
the mare were good. Nothing less would be tolerated here.



The door, the knocker. Here was the
door swinging open on oiled hinges. The same hall. And here was
Walsingham, hurrying forward. He had been waiting too.



“Kit.” This kiss was a public
greeting. They could be seen.



“Come to the fire, and warm
yourself.”



He did that, obediently. This was a
morning fire, now burned down to nothing but heat, delicious against
the back of his legs. And here was wine, the glass, smooth in his
hand, shattering the light as he turned it, lifted it. The wine was
warm, and dark as blood.



“Sit down. How was the ride?”



And Kit was laughing a little, because
he could see that 'sit down' was the last thing either of them
wanted. But he would play along. He spoke, therefore, a little about
his plans for the Bartholomew's Day play. It was early going, but he
felt is was shaping well. As his sponsor, Thomas Walsingham had the
right to ask and know.



Kit smiled to see how clearly
Walsingham was not listening.



“Come upstairs? ” Walsingham
offered. His throat moved. “ To put your things away.”



Kit gave a small snort into his wine,
caught the other man's widening smile.



The wood beside the stairs was dark,
almost black. He had touched it, when he first visited, trailed his
hand along the smoothness of it, to see his own foolish hand, pale
against the dark. Today he did so again, too eager for making sense,
wanting touch of this place, of this day.



Walsingham caught him at the turn of
the stair, drew him in, for another better kiss. Kit felt his back
pressed to the oak behind him, as hands slid deliciously under his
clothing.



“I have missed thee Kit.” The voice
was a burring his ear, the warm breath made him shiver. “ -- waited
so long.”



Kit felt a faint surprise, in the small
island of himself that could still think. It was new for Thomas
Walsingham to speak so. He, Kit had been so careful, months, years
had passed, and he had bit down hard on the sweet soft words he
felt rising in himself, thinking them unwanted. Many nights, panting
in the darkness after, Kit had not said 'I love thee,' or 'stay with
me always.' Now Walsingham was murmuring “Darling, sweetheart--”
Something had changed.



They ascended the stairs as a four
legged creature, stumbling, breathless, clumsy. The little chamber
that Kit used was down the hall. He liked it well. Staying there was
like inhabiting a jewel. There was everything for comfort, books, a
soft pillow for the window ledge, a warm fire. When he came to stay,
Walsingham shared the room with him. But not today.



Walsingham's room was bigger, grander,
of course. The bed was draped in soft blue, Kit had time to see that
much as he fell back onto it. The canopy overhead was painted with
stars.



He was gasping, the stars were
spinning. He was down to his shirt only, His feet dangling, and
Walsingham knelt before the bed.



“Let me. Oh Kit, let me, now.”



And Kit was not stopping him, would
never stop this. He was not doing anything but breathing, aching,
groaning, as the canopy stars whirled, and the hands, and the mouth,
and the heat drew him in.



“You never did that to me before.”
Kit said, stupidly, when he could speak. His shirt was still on,
bunched awkwardly under his arms. He struggled out of it, tossed it
aside.



“High time I did.” Walsingham
raised himself on one elbow, trailed a finger down Kits center-line.
He had undressed himself and climbed up while Kit was remembering how
to speak.



“But you haven't---”



“Well, no. Come here to me now.”



Kit rolled to him, felt himself pulled
in warm and close. It was enough to kiss and rock together, sliding
deliciously, rising together. It was lovely to let the soft words
out, to finally hold nothing back.



Finally Kit could speak no more.
Walsingham was breathing delightful nonsense. It was so good.



Kit's head rolled on the pillow. There
was a looking glass on the wall opposite the bed. He saw them,
dazedly, in dark reflection. Here was his own skin, pale and
trembling. Here were his own eyes huge and dazed. Here was his own
hair, burning autumn brown. Walsingham, arched above him, paler
still, moving sharply now, with his eyes shut, his soft mouth open,
his hair falling to cover them both.



When it was done there was time to sit
and talk.



“What's in here?”



“Boiled eggs. Have one.”



Walsingham put the eggshells on the
bed-table and devoured the egg in two bites. Kit took one as well,
turned it in his hands, the roundness of it, a whole world. How does
one ask 'what has changed'? He liked this change. Still, something
was---



“So, sweetheart, I can think now.
Tell me more about the French play.”



In the end, Kit ate his egg, and he did
not ask.














Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
kcwarwick
Dec. 31st, 2012 10:15 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed this. I could see it all quite clearly.
eglantine_br
Dec. 31st, 2012 10:38 pm (UTC)
That means a lot to me. I am so pleased you liked it. Happy New Year!
amaraal
Jan. 1st, 2013 12:15 am (UTC)
Like an old Vermeer painting. Full of life and golden light.

Happy New Year, btw :)
eglantine_br
Jan. 1st, 2013 01:11 am (UTC)
Vermeer-- what a compliment.

I can just see Kit, kissed senseless, with his shirt all bunched up. This chapter had me scuttling to the internet, to see what the glassware, and the chairs, and the shirts looked like. So much they had, we have still, like knowing what time it is-- he heard the church bell. And so much they did not have, hardly any upholstered furniture, for instance.

But they had love, just as we do. I never doubted that, but now I am surer than ever.

Happy New Year to you...
amaraal
Jan. 1st, 2013 08:37 am (UTC)
I think love was the only thing they really had.

Isn't it weird that back then, whatever era you take - circumstances where of course different, but every day life resembled so much ours today?

And they really had to struggle just to stay alive, or so it seems to me.
julian_griffith
Jan. 1st, 2013 07:05 am (UTC)
Gorgeous and detailed and HOT.
eglantine_br
Jan. 1st, 2013 03:16 pm (UTC)
With this one I had the experience of having a person you have created-- or so you think-- get stubborn on you. I had a whole idea all planned out for TW. He essentially said 'that is not what I am going to do' and took off in the other direction. And I like him better now. I can see him better now. The hot stuff was his idea.
anteros_lmc
Jan. 1st, 2013 07:32 pm (UTC)
I just love your writing. I never tire of reading what you write. I know so little about these characters that every new installment is a revelation.

Staying there was like inhabiting a jewel.
With that one sentence I could suddenly imagine the room precisely. I love the description of the approach to the estate too, you take the reader right there.

Kit had been so careful, months, years had passed, and he had bit down hard on the sweet soft words he felt rising in himself, thinking them unwanted. Many nights, panting in the darkness after, Kit had not said 'I love thee,' or 'stay with me always.'
Ouch. Poor Kit. For all his front and bravado he is aching to be loved.
eglantine_br
Jan. 1st, 2013 10:17 pm (UTC)
I had a little help with the estate approach, I was able to find pictures of the approach to the estate online. At some point the timbers from the great house had been reused for a smaller building. They dated from the 1400s and were huge. (Those are the wood I imagined for the staircase.) Then, the smaller house had to come down, and the old timbers were found. This was in the 1920s I think.

Somebody did some checking and found out what they were, and used them to build a reconstruction of the big house. But they only built the roof and top story, just sitting on the ground. They did not build the lower floor-- weird.

Anyway, there are pictures online. Nodbear said she used to live nearby-- sort of like those signs you see, saying 'George Washington slept here.' (Only I don't think Kit did much sleeping!)

I can tell Kit must have loved the county, some of his writing is about leaves and clear water, and insects, and it is just lovely. I can imagine him, like many boys and girls, (like Shakespeare, for that matter,) down on the ground in the dirt watching ants.

I have a niece whose mother used to grow flowers. Little niece would go out and appear to be sniffing flowers-- was actually kissing spiders in flowers!!

But I digress.

I think the need to return love is the center of Kit. He is like an easter egg candy, hard chocolate shell, soft yummy inside.

And on that note...

BTW, I have been thinking of your daughter today-- it is splendid to have new rain boots!!
anteros_lmc
Jan. 2nd, 2013 12:52 am (UTC)
I googled Scadbury and I see what you mean. It looks very strange!

Anyway, there are pictures online. Nodbear said she used to live nearby-- sort of like those signs you see, saying 'George Washington slept here.' (Only I don't think Kit did much sleeping!)
There should also be a sign saying "Nodbear lived near here"!

I love the sound of your niece who kissed the spiders. I hope they weren't too surprised! I will send you a picture of daughter in her new wellies, they are blue with pink roses on :)
bauhiniakapok
Sep. 28th, 2016 11:22 pm (UTC)
I love the plink of dripping water and the soupy road and the dramatic adolescent boredom.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )