Tangible Schizophrenia



Author: Guede Mazaka
Rating: PG, slash and het hints
Pairing: Grégoire de Fronsac/Jean-François de Morangias, Grégoire de Fronsac/Marianne de Morangias.
Fandom: The Brotherhood of the Wolf (Le Pacte des Loups). Dunno if anyone else has written this.
Disclaimer: Not mine. Belongs to Universal, Samuel Hadida and Richard Grandpierre.
Feedback: Would be v. appreciated.
Notes: Written for the four words challenge. Translation of dialogue at end.


It was a crisp winter day, air fresh as apples caught in the act of dropping. The sky was the tender white of the inner fruit, while below on the field, the riotously-colored hunters mimicked the many different shades of apple skin.

From his superior position atop the bowl of the hills, Grégoire took it all in with an appreciative eye. He was unaccustomed to such olden, almost quaint gatherings; sophisticated Paris had sharpened his perspective to a microscopic point, nearly stripping him of his ability to encompass the broad strokes of the country.

On the horse beside him, Mani grunted softly, signifying his own enjoyment of the pageantry. Grégoire felt gladness and no small relief; his friend had been unusually withdrawn since they had arrived, since the Indian had scented les fantômes from the Marquis' lovely estate. He had made it clear to Grégoire that he did not approve of the purpose of the hunt, but nonetheless he had accompanied the chevalier. A fact for which Grégoire well-valued; though the lovely vistas rambling before him shone through the light mist, his eyes had not been seduced into dismissing the shadows lurking beyond the campfires. One of the two would have to keep a calm head at all times. And Grégoire admitted cheerfully to himself that the choice was not likely to be himself, as his wandering gaze snagged itself on a familiar crimson riding coat billowing behind an exquisite pale face. In the foggy light, silver and red-gold skated over Marianne's skin, transforming the noblewoman into a fabled creature, a firebird soaring above the ground. For an agreeable space of time, she was the fixed foot to the circling of his eyes, drawing them back whenever they dared blur away to a straining corset, a tight pair of breeches. She spurred an autofocusing of his mind as well, bringing all his thoughts around to her dancing eyes and biting wit.

Something grey flickered on the edge of Grégoire's vision; Jean-François the dutiful brother rode up to the flighty phoenix, snaring her in a short exchange of words. And to the chevalier's surprise, when the other man rode away, Grégoire's eyes traced his trail instead of his beauteous sister's. It sent an unexplainable chilling stroke down the Parisian's straight back.

This was the Age of Enlightenment, Grégoire reminded himself sternly. But his regard refused to return to the daughter, seeking out instead the tall, spare son, so like and so unlike. Very well, the chevalier could reason with his fascination. Jean-François wore startling red as well, though his riding habit recalled the bright spout of arterial blood. His features were also fine and comely, though harder and lacking in that slight tinge of innocence that held Marianne back from true wildness, no matter her little rebellions against her mother. He walked with the assurance of experience as well as birth.

"Les cheveux," Mani abruptly interrupted, jerking his head toward Jean-François. "Argent. Comme les fourrures de l'hiver."

That was it. The man's dark hair streaked itself with silver at certain angles to the light; his skin also owed more to ice than to warm cream. His demeanor…Grégoire frowned faintly, unconsciously leaning forward in the saddle.

And then Jean-François looked up, and the gazes of the two men slid into each other, striking alight some pagan candle between them to burn away the mist.

In the distance, wolves howled.

Below in the dip of the hills, the nobleman turned sharply away, his one arm slapping reins against his steed's neck as he raced off to the hunt. Breathing deeply and slowly, Grégoire urged his own horse down over the dead stubble of slope, feeling more than seeing his quiet friend follow. They did not plunge straight down the hillside, but instead guided their mounts into a descending spiral, as the men husbanded their horses' strength for later. Perhaps the sunbeams, or the wisping haze, had shifted, but inexplicably Grégoire saw great circles, nestled inside each other in an earthly replica of Copernicus' universe, flashing up and around him. One was beyond him, one he walked and one wound tightly in on itself below him. And then they vanished.

The first shots began to crackle, and Mani signaled his horse to move more quickly, more distant from the converging hunters. Patiently, Grégoire did likewise, still preoccupied with his thoughts. The great beast of Gévaudan, running its course about the countryside, penning all the people in treacherous fear. Himself, a chevalier hunting a scientific impossibility: a werewolf, by God! And a third, a skulking fiend. But seeking to do what? Distract all from the truth? A task simple and accomplished, even among the learned aristocracy here; their ill-concealed terror made caricatures of them, weakening the head that should have disciplined the body. Distract him from the truth?

Unbidden, vermilion and grey shimmered at the borders of the chevalier's sight.

If he turned his head, just to catch a full glimpse, would he see a fiery cardinal, a spirited girl too bright for her dross setting?

If he turned, would he see a feral beast clothed in elegance, a sardonic man with moon darkness in his hair and flame behind his eyes?

"Là," a solemn voice said. Mani pointed.

Shaking his head, Grégoire nodded and forced a smile, spurring his horse into a canter. His spirit desultory and dreading, he forced himself from the dancing color and into the grim forests.


Les cheveux…Argent. Comme les fourrures de l'hiver. - The hair. Silver. Like winter pelts.
Là. - There.


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