Title: Fancy Seeing You Here
Description: tag: LIZ <3
Prince Henry - November 6, 2011 02:38 AM (GMT)
late October 1514
The Harvest was only days way, and in that time it seemed the entire palace had been filled to the very edges of the walls with nobility, city commoners and farmers alike. The royal family only welcomed them with dances, plays, masques, and in the tiltyards Henry made sure the jousts, sword fights, rooster fights and dog races went on as if coin duplicated itself. But the costly bills were not even in a far corner of the prince's mind, and instead made sure it would only dampen and burden that of his brother's. Inside the castle the queen's Spanish influence was nearly rampant in the celebrations and Arthur's unsure attempt at frivolity, but out here, it glistened with Henry's touch. Everything was the finest it could be, from the cushions the nobility were provided with to the very tents players and opponents used to ready before each match. Henry's, of course, was the largest, the fine fabric of the tent billowing only slightly in the autumn breeze as his servants and liveried pages secured his chest and back plate around his torso.
Outside, he could hear horses running and lances shattering. Swords clashing and armor breaking. Henry's events were not all for game and sport, but little law was laid out in the tiltyards. Men with broken ribs or bleeding wounds were often carried away, only at the excitement of the crowd and the possibility of... quite anything. A man could lose his own life out there jousting, should a wrongly aimed lance find the very right spot on the skull. The prince hardly shuddered at the thought; this was of no real concern to him. He had been unhorsed before, thrown on his back, but mortal injury did not seem an entire problem. Perhaps not even a possibility. He was Prince of England, after all. Standing tall in the middle of his tent, Henry watched the men around him move with quiet purpose, the high mirror placed in front of him offering various vantage points. A few approached with his shoulder plates, light in weight to allow the prince movement atop his charger. Remaining still upon the thick crimson rug beneath his feet, Henry's lips twitched with a small smirk as he watched the two pieces of armor were fastened and secured over his broad shoulders.
"Not so tight this time," he suddenly spoke, tilting his chin towards a servant working to fasten the leather wraps around his forearms, readying for the armor plates to be secured on top of them. The boy nearly a head shorter than the prince nodded and whispered a compliant "yes, your Highness," and made quick of mind that the leather ties were not in any way tight around the prince's forearms. Once his arms were sufficiently armored, the gentlemen of his household -even Compton- moved to the plates for his thighs. Henry did nothing, only admired his reflection as the servants did their work, leaving the prince shining in his newly polished armor. The sword fight was still at least half an hour from starting, but the prince was sure to look his best as much as he could. A small smile of approval touched his lips and he nodded to his men, using a single hand to motion for a chalice of wine before it was swiftly brought. "Tell me," he spoke aloud, still eying himself in the tall mirror. "Should I name this match in honor for Katherine?" And that blasted babe in her belly. "And the unborn prince?"
Elizabeth Grey - November 7, 2011 04:02 AM (GMT)
What was not to like about court this season? Elizabeth certainly found herself plenty of enjoyment, what with the Harvest and Queen Katherine's new pregnancy and the pageantry that came with them both. All in all the merriment was so delightful, it was easy to forget how many times that the English people had gotten their hopes up over such news. That was probably for the best anyhow, as it was hard to find a person who did not want their sovereign to be content and happy. The King himself, it seemed, had single-handedly pulled England up from the darkness that had plagued them for so long and Katherine had been the strong, unwavering rose throughout it all. Even Elizabeth, who sometimes cared more of her own affairs then that of the king, found herself hoping for a happy ending this time. If anyone deserved it, it was His Majesty after all.
Today in particular she had found herself enjoying all of the festivities that Prince Henry had gone about setting up. She and a few of Mary's other ladies had been out nearly all morning, enjoying the autumn sun and crisp air--which was a welcome constrast to the dark court. But Elizabeth needed a small break from gossip and laughter of her friends and so she had set about taking a walk amongst the colorful tents where the men prepared for their violent entertainment. There was nothing better than watching men in this setting, she thought to herself with a whisp of a smile across her lips. One hand was clasped gracefully in the other as she walked and her chin was slightly up--in a way that only Elizabeth Grey could do. She was a stark contrast to the armor and weaponry in her gold and teal gown, her femininity oozing without her even trying. Most likely, she was catching glances of men-- but she would not meet their eyes to be absolutely sure of it. There was no need to bring more attention to herself, after all.
Rumor had it that her friend, cousin and most importantly her prince was mulling about his tent, preparing for his own bout. Now that could be an entertaining prospect, she thought to herself as she dodged a man with his helmet on crooked. Finding him among the chaos would be difficult, but she would wonder about a bit more. Then, as if an answer to a completely trivial prayer, she saw Charles Brandon exit a tent and heading her way. With a flourishing bow, which she returned with a curtsy, he inquired after her and her being there.
"Men blugeoning each other can grow tirresome, Master Brandon." She replied with a charming smile. "And you know how I like to make my own entertainment." Her lips pulled just ever so slightly into a smirk. "That I do...Perhaps you can give well wishes to his highness? I am sure a pretty, friendly face would be most welcome. He is just there, if it interests you..." Elizabeth nodded, pursing her lips pleasantly together. "Perhaps."
Truly, there was no question in her mind as to what she would do and Brandon knew that as well, but it was still very much like her to play as if she would keep an open mind. After his departure, she made her way straight to Henry's tents, entering without so much as a request-- and just in time to hear him ask a question to his men. Standing back and away from the mirror, she finally made her presence known. "What a great brother you are to do such a thing." Elizabeth said, stepping forward and curtsying respectfully. She was sure he would notice the teasing in her voice. "I shall do my best to hide my dismay that it will not be for me."
Prince Henry - November 7, 2011 10:45 PM (GMT)
The prince's tiltyards were not decorated for the queen and his brother, the banners did not wave with their embroidered gold initials, nor did he wear any sort of motto pledging his allegiance to them. If anything, he would give a single match their honor, perhaps a few more, and would win them of course, but he doubted Katherine and Arthur would ever hear about it. Henry could name every match for his own honor and the day would go on the same. But, there were people to please, and as much as he hated to admit it, he knew the sound of the Queen and her unborn heir would coax the crowds into a mighty uproar. He imagined even the nobility's claps would be louder at the mention of them. His men around him seemed to hesitate to answer, and as if the very saving grace they were hoping for, someone else spoke for them.
Someone else with not a burly voice or humble opinion, bu instead it was a light chime coated with the apricot lips of a woman. Not just any woman, but as the prince whipped around and the leather fringes of his belt swayed with him, he could see it was the very Elizabeth Grey, sister to the man that had nearly beaten him in his earlier joust. Pah! Henry could never be beaten. His bright blue eyes watched her as she sank into a low curtsy, a small smile playing about his lips once she finally rose and flashed him a mirroring smirk. "Lady Grey," he spoke, bending at the waist and offering her a low, princely bow. "Is it brotherly of me?" He asked, standing straight and eying her with a quirked, playful brow. "I thought it more.." he paused and tilted his chin, as if searching for the word. "Expected of me. I am the prince, am I not? And England hopes I will not soon be the only one." Peering at her, he shrugged. "I am only to share her hopes."
The men around them had cast their eyes and hid a grin, and if they had not already pleased themselves with the sight of Elizabeth in his tents, then they surely were now. Striding over to her, Henry took either of her soft hands in his and brought them each to his lips, bending his neck only slightly to place a kiss atop her knuckles. His eyes were solidified on hers as his mouth whispered over her skin, and very slowly he dropped them back down and gently released them, his smile warm and welcoming. Should any other woman be so bold to enter the prince's tents, he perhaps would have not been as cordial. But as a far, distant cousin and an even closer friend, Henry did not bother with propriety. Besides; formalities came only when he wanted them to. "You will have to hide it well," he finally spoke, very slowly and more privately than before. The men around him tried hard not to stand in one place for too long, watching their prince and the Elizabeth Grey. "For there are those who will watch very closely." A tiny smirk tickled the edges of his lips and flashed a subtle wink at her, suddenly taking a step away and outstretching an arm to the nearest servant boy. "My sword," he called out, his strong hand wrapping about the sheathed shaft of the blade only seconds after.
"Perhaps it can be our secret, Elizabeth," he went on rather coyly, glancing at her only once as he unbuckled his belt and quickly fastened the sword to it. Looking back to her, his expression had hardened as he slid his fine leather belt back into the silver buckle, a ghost of a smirk across his mouth. "That while the people believe it is for my beloved sister the Queen.." he trailed off and returned the step he'd earlier taken from her. "You may have knowledge of otherwise." Swooping down into another low bow, Henry outstretched his arms to either sides and finally grinned up at her. Very smoothly he stood back straight, still closely eying her. "I am not limited, ma cherie," he spoke affectionately, "I can please you no matter the distraction."