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Title: Falling
Fandom: Versailles
Rating: Teen
Genre: Drama
Word Count: 964
Chapters: 4/4
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

Under Madame Marchal’s care, Sophie quickly regained her strength after the birth. Her body returned, almost, to how it had been before her pregnancy. Sophie’s breasts had grown fuller and there were a few marks on her stomach, but fully clothed, no one would think she had delivered a child. The big changes, were all in her mind. Sophie had always assumed she would love any child she would have, but she had not predicted how strong her love for Henriette would be. It had overwhelmed her the moment she held her child in her arms, and it only grew from there.

“It’s not wise to attach yourself like this. It will be so much harder on you when you are not here anymore,” Madame Marchal told her one day when she found Sophie staring in wonder at her sleeping child.

“I know,” Sophie answered, but she couldn’t help herself. She spent as much time as she could with the baby, singing songs and talking to her, though she knew Henriette was too small to understand her. The baby grew so quickly, growing plump and rosy within days of her birth. Her eyes, which had startled Sophie with being blue, darkened; not to Fabien’s brown eye colour, but to the familiar near-black of Sophie’s own eyes. And though Sophie couldn’t feed her child, she could feed Marie, and constantly plied her with any delicacy she could think of.

The day Henriette smiled for the first time, Sophie realised she didn’t want to go back to Versailles. She had not wanted to have a child, and at first she had felt the day of her return couldn’t come soon enough. And even after she had accepted what was happening, and even looked forward to the baby, Sophie had never entertained the idea of staying. She had been happy to learn Madame Marchal wanted her to, but she had still not considered anything else than to return to court after the child was born.

Now she wanted to stay, the thought of leaving Henriette growing more and more unbearable. It was not that she was worried for the baby’s well-being. Sophie knew she would be well taken care of and loved. Fabien had promised her there would be some money settled on Henriette too, and Sophie did not doubt he already had arranged for it. But the thought of not seeing her child grow up made Sophie’s heart feel like it was crushed in a wrench.

There was little glamour and more work here than in Versailles- they were worlds apart, and Sophie had never thought she would want to trade the palace for this modest house. But it would be worth it, to be with Henriette.. And, in a very secret part of her mind, she sometime imagined it would be possible to marry Fabien, and then she could have him too, if not every day. It was a beautiful dream, but a dream was all it was. Still, Sophie could not let go of it.

When Henriette was close to three months old, Fabien told her it was time to return, and to prepare for her departure.

Sophie felt cold, and it was suddenly hard to breathe. She had known this day would come, but she had hoped it would be a little while yet.

“So soon? But Henriette is still so small- she needs me.”

And then, because there would never be a better time to ask, she plunged deeply into her dream.

“I want to stay here.”

“What?”

“I know your mother wants me here, and I love her. And I want to be with Henriette. Can’t you let me? I would work for my keep- I’ll do anything. If I can only stay here.”

Fabien hesitated for a moment, but then he dismissed her.

“You are needed at court. You will return.”

Sophie put a hand on his arm. “Please. A few years until she is a little older. A few months even. Please, Fabien.”

“No.” Then he seemed to soften slightly. “You know she will lack nothing here. And it is not so far, you can visit, from time to time.”

“But not often.”

“No, not very often.”

“And if I refuse to come back?”

Fabien didn’t answer. He didn’t need to, Sophie knew anyway. She couldn’t stay in his house if he didn’t let her. He could even take Henriette away, hide her somewhere Sophie could not find her. There was no choice but to do what Fabien wanted.

“So you demand my obedience?”

“Yes, if needed; I order you to come back to Versailles.”

His answer, though Sophie had expected it, still hit her as a blow. That was what she was, a set of skills he could use as he wanted. If he had said it was he who needed her at Versailles, then perhaps it would have felt a little better. But he only wanted her back because of her usefulness. And though he had not reminded her he owned her, Sophie knew she had no say in how he decided to shape her life. There was only one thing in her life she was sole mistress of, only one thing where she knew he would yield to her. And in her anger and heartbreak she reached for it.

“I will return, and I will do what you want. But that is all there will be between us. Anything else is over. I never want you to touch me again.”

For a moment she thought Fabien would protest, she wished he would, but then he took a step back, so her hand fell away from his sleeve.

“Very well, if that is what you wish.”

Then he left, leaving Sophie to feel she had lost everything.

AN:I know this ends in a rather open-ended way, but there will be a sequel to this story.

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