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fic: the trees of all the worlds

Title: the trees of all the worlds
Fandom: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Pairing: Grant/Strange
Rating: G
Content notes: choose not to warn
Length: 300
Author note: Written for the Tree challenge at [community profile] fan_flashworks and prompted by differences between book and TV canon; thanks to [personal profile] owl_by_night for her encouragement with this one.
Summary: Three drabbles about trees

In the first world, what brings you together is the flash of your scarlet uniform among the new spring leaves. When the French take you prisoner, Wellington sends his magician to rescue you. Despite involving a coffin and a life-size clay figure, the rescue is a success. Afterwards, the two of you sit on a rock, very much at your ease, discussing the finer points of English watering-places over cold chicken and claret. Later, you hear with little surprise that he has moved a wood of pine and olive trees in Navarra by magic, and resurrected seventeen dead Neapolitan soldiers.

In the second world, the trees are singing; you know it is his doing. You speak sharply to him; the noise of his magic endangers you all. His man is killed by the French, his books blown to smithereens. He is more alone in this world than in the first one; he has more need of you. His misery cracks your reserve. You clasp his arm, and try to comfort him. Later, you take the gun from his shaking hand. You weep to discover him alive at Waterloo. You stare at an empty prison cell from which he has vanished.

In other worlds, you come together in a score of different ways: fast or slow, alone or in company, in the Peninsula or elsewhere. You are sometimes – not always – made lastingly unhappy by desire, and so is he. In one of these worlds, you watch him asleep under a tree by a stream as the insects sing in the noonday heat and your horses crop the grass. Looking at him makes you ache, but there is a pleasure in it, now the longing and suspense are almost done. When he wakes, you will ride on together, towards your story’s end.

Also posted at http://fengirl88.dreamwidth.org/225999.html with comment count unavailable comments.


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