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Title: Falling
Fandom: Versailles
Rating: Teen
Genre: Drama
Word Count: 1444
Chapters: 2/3
Characters/pairing: Fabien Marchal/Sophie de Clermont.
Warnings: Pregnancy, if you feel that warrants a warning.
Summary: Sophie’s relation with Fabien has consequences. A sequel to A Bewildered Heart

It was in the early afternoon when a horse was heard outside the parlour window. Sophie had been reading as Madame Marchal mended linen, but now they both looked up.

“It’s Fabien!” Sophie exclaimed, earning her a sharp glance from Madame Marchal. She hadn't felt this happy for a long time, but when Fabien entered the room she schooled her features, and took care to rise with dignity. Fabien greeted his mother first before he turned to Sophie.

“I trust you are well, Mademoiselle de Clermont?”

“Very well, Monsieur Marchal.”

She found nothing else to say, but when Madame Marchal went out to order a meal, Sophie stretched out her hand, and the smile she had tried to suppress broke free. Fabien grasped it quickly, his hand warm and real around hers.

“Are you sure you are well?”

“Oh yes. Your mother is very kind. How long will you stay?”

“Not long; I have to go back tomorrow.”

Then the door opened and Fabien let go of her hand and stepped away. The evening passed quickly, and there were no more opportunities for Sophie to talk with him alone. She wished she could ask him to come to her room later, but she slept next to Madame Marchal's bedroom, and the risk of being heard felt too great.

Sophie woke up early when Fabien’s horse whinnied in the yard. She sat up in bed, wide awake at once. He was already leaving, and without telling her goodbye. Without hesitation she grabbed her robe but in her haste she forgot her slippers as she ran down the stairs. But when she reached the open door, she only caught a glimpse of Fabien before he disappeared behind an outbuilding. She almost called out after him, but managed to stop herself. Tears of disappointment prickled in her eyes as she stood in the doorway. Not until a shawl was wrapped around her shoulders did she realise she was cold, her feet feeling like ice.

“What are you thinking? You’ll catch your death if you run around like this!”

Madame Marchal continued her scolding as she led Sophie into the kitchen which was already warm from the fire. Sophie sat down in front of the stove and her shivers subsided as she huddled miserable into the shawl. Madame Marchal sat down beside her.

“You and I need to talk about a few things. I had hoped my son would see fit to inform me, but it seems he likes his secrets too well.”

“I don’t understand,” Sophie said warily, though she knew what Madame Marchal must be speaking of.

“Oh, I think you do. I knew for certain when I saw your face yesterday, but I had my suspicions before. I imagine the king’s mistresses are provided with more luxury than I can give. And it would not be among Fabien’s duties to provide shelter for any nobleman’s misstep. Apart from his own.”

Sophie looked down at her hands. She had dreaded this, but now she found she was glad to have it out.

“I didn’t know if you knew, or not.”

“So you waited for Fabien to speak.”

Sophie nodded and Madame Marchal put her hand over hers. When Sophie looked up to meet the older woman’s eyes she saw no judgement there, only concern.

“He is a man, and what do they know about a woman’s life and sorrows? I guess he assumes you have already told me. But you are good at keeping your secrets too. It has surprised me that you speak so little of your life. You carry a lot of silences, far too many for someone so young. And you seem very alone. Tell me, do you have anyone at all who cares for you?”

“No, no one,” Sophie whispered. “Only Fabien.”

Madame Marchal sighed. “I know my son, and he is a hard man. Not someone a beautiful girl without protection should be subjected to.”

“He never did anything I didn’t want.”

“I don’t think you would have worn your heart on your face when you saw him, if he had.”

Whenever Sophie had thought of how Madame Marchal would react when she learned the true nature of her relationship with Fabien, she had expected recriminations, perhaps even to be driven away Now she felt an almost overwhelming relief, and her voice shook when she spoke.

“You are too kind to me. I don’t deserve this.”

She had not meant to, but when Madame Marchal put her arms around her, Sophie started to cry. Madame Marchal rocked her gently, her hand stroking Sophie's hair, but it only made Sophie cry harder. She could not remember ever having been comforted like this. Her mother would have allowed her a few minutes before she would have grown impatient, but Madame Marchal let her cry until there were no more tears left. Then she washed Sophie’s face and put her back to bed.

“Don’t worry child. Everything will be fine.”

Then she left Sophie alone. Exhausted by her crying fit, she would have liked to sleep, but she thought of what Madame Marchal had said and seen. It was true, but Sophie didn’t want to accept it. Falling in love with Fabien was the last thing she needed, but she had. She had been falling for a long time, so slowly she had been able to deny it until now. She could not deny it anymore, but it was a revelation which brought no happiness at all.

As time passed, Sophie’s body started to change. Her tummy grew larger, but the rest of her body grew rounder too. If she had been at court, she would have continued to lace herself into corsets and stiff bodices, but here she saw no need for it. Madame de Montespan had created a fashion for loose robes, hanging in soft pleats around the body to hide a growing belly, and Sophie found them very comfortable and wore them daily.

A fine spring morning, Sophie was alone in the house. Madame Marchal and the cook had gone to the market and Jeanne had a few days of leave to help her sister who had just had her first child. Sophie felt no energy for either sewing or reading and was dreamily looking out of the window when she saw Fabien on his black horse. He was not expected. Sophie knew he could not have come all the way from Versailles in a few short morning hours, so he must have been close by and decided on a visit.

Sophie rose and brushed imaginary lint from her gown. It was made from fine wool in a pleasing shade of yellow, but it was not what she would have worn if she had known Fabien was coming. For him she was prepared to suffer the growing discomfort of wearing a corset, but now there was no time to change. She had not even put up her hair yet; it was only loosely braided down her back. As Fabien dismounted, she ran her hands over it, hoping she wouldn’t look too disheveled. She hadn’t needed to worry, when Fabien entered the room she could see he was pleased with what he saw.

“Are you here all alone?”


Fabien closed the door, and then bolted it, making Sophie’s breath catch in sudden anticipation. He took three long strides to cross the room to her, his hands cupping her face, as he leaned down for a kiss. His fingers on her skin felt like small jolts of fire, and she kissed him eagerly back. When he broke the kiss to look at her more closely, he was smiling.

Sophie smiled back, delighting in the feeling of his hands skimming over her body. It had been too long, her breath quickened, and she was not sure if it was she or Fabien who was the most impatient to get hindering clothes out of the way. Their embrace was hurried, but not without tenderness. Fabien's hand caressed her rounded belly, and hesitated for a moment, but Sophie pulled him closer, her fingers urging him to continue.

Afterwards he held her close, and Sophie dared to whisper;

“Don’t leave again without saying goodbye.”

He nodded into her hair, and his arms tightened around her.

“I won't.”

Something seemed to have changed between them and Sophie was on the verge of telling him how much she missed him, perhaps even more. But then there were a noise outside, and they sprang apart in the realisation they would soon have company. Sophie fled up to her room to make herself presentable. The moment was lost, and perhaps Sophie felt, that was for the best.
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