Fanart, Fanfiction, Fangirling with a side of sass.
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Swashbuckling Au Fanfiction
Fanart, Fanfiction, Fancreations
I have no excuse.
Jaime was wiping down the tables in his family’s tavern, trying to ignore the loud, drunken members of the Cardinal’s Guard in the corner. He was happy their family Inn was becoming fashionable with the wealthy and titled of this country- His mother’s recipes certainly deserved the renown, and they kept things far cleaner than any of the other establishments in the city- but Cardinal’s pet lordlings rubbed him the wrong way. It was because of their presence that it was the son of the house who was personally serving this evening. His parents were attending a party held by the leather worker’s guild, and when you owned an inn, connections were the lifeblood of your business. Neither Jaime, nor his Parents, nor the servants themselves wanted anyone else manning the serving floor with members of the Guard around. They were always trouble, and even more trouble when their servers were women. The Cardinal’s Guard were always rude, always arrogant, always leering. Their tongues wagged almost as much as their swords, which they seemed to feel the need to resort to at the smallest altercation. Their duels were dangerous and destructive, and their haste to take insult with the staff had cost them much in both coin to appease the insulted nobles, and good workers who had decided they were better off in humbler, quieter inns.
“Boy!” One of them called out to him angrily, “More beer! Quick as your feet can take you, or a blow to hasten your feet!”
Jaime gritted his teeth. Awful as they were, he could not risk a noble’s ire, much less a member of the Cardinal’s personal guard. His elite force of swordsmen were his pride and joy, and in this city, they could do no wrong. Best to hurry it up and hope they passed out soon. He made his way into the back, snagging a small packet of sleeping solution from where his mother kept their healing spells. He slipped it into the bottom of the tankards as he poured the patrons’ beers. His mother would disapprove, but his sister Milagro, something of a magical prodigy, could whip up another batch in no time at all. Besides, the patrons were too drunk to tell their own mother from a prostitute, much less notice the drink was stronger than usual.
He walked back out into the dining area, keeping his face carefully blank. If he could just get through the next 10 minutes or so without event, the Cardinal’s mangy pets would be out cold. He ignored their jeering as he approached the table, simply muttering,
“My apologies, Sirs.”
It was unfortunate for Jaime, that despite his efforts to keep his cool, he failed to notice the outstretched leg of one of the guardsmen. He tripped and fell heavily, the tankards of beer drenching not only Jaime, but two of the Guardsmen.
“Cur!” snarled the first, “You’ve ruined my new doublet! This doublet- this doublet cost more than this entire flea-ridden hovel! You whoreson!”
He felt one of the man’s companions place a heavy boot on his back, though Jaime, flat to the floor, could not even see which it was. Too furious to apologize, Jaime merely struggled against the weight pinning him down.
“Hold still, you insolent whelp!” The posessor of the boot slurred.
“You’ll be feeling my blade, you ill-bred dog,” the first voice snarled menacingly.
“Not this evening, Gentlemen!” This voice was light and feminine, and there were several yelps very close by, before a loud WHUMP! and suddenly the booted Gaurdsmen was….hauled up off his back?
Jaime scrambled to his feet to see a caped fighter had swung from the balcony, literally kicking Bootsy across the room as her feet slammed into his stomach. A snarl to his left drew his attention to a very wet and angry guardsman…whose shirt had been sliced off of him, a star cut into his chest. The third guardsman lay unconscious on the floor, a purpling bruise on his forehead. Impossible. She was a legend. But who else was quick enough with a blade to do such a feat while flying through the air?
The Silver Star, scourge of the Cardinal, stood balanced on the edge of the overturned table, grinning widely from under her mask. The famous argent star symbols on the leather of her gloves and mask glinted magnificently in the candlelight. Her fine brocade jerkin and pansied slops were black as the night sky, her velvet cape and plumed cap of the same color topping the look off magnificently. Whoever the woman beneath the mask was, she clearly knew how to make an impression.
“I thought you might be uncomfortable in a wet shirt,” She informed the first guardsman, “So I courteously removed it for you. I’m very particular, about courtesy.”
“You chit!” He roared at her, lunging forward with his blade.
“Well, that is no way to speak to a lady,” she tut-tutted, effortlessly dodging his clumsy thrust. “I’m afraid I have no choice but to fight you, now.”
With a neat flick of her wrist she twisted the Gaurdsman’s blade from his hand, catching it deftly. She had her own blade at the Man’s throat in the next moment, though Jaime had not seen her move her hand.
“I have a message for your Captain, and the Cardinal. I would like you to tell them that not even in the Capital, are they safe from the Silver Star.” She paused for a moment, before smiling wolfishly, and adding, “If you please.”
The man looked as though he would rather swallow his own piss than do her any favors, but he had a blade at his throat. Trembling, he nodded slightly, trying desperately not to slice his own neck with the movement.
She moved the blade aside for a moment, and the man spat at her feet. She clucked her tongue.
“I see your discomfort is still making you irascible.” She sliced the man’s pants off with a series of lightning-fast strokes. “Better?” She asked him, whipping his blade into the tavern’s floor, it’s edge just centimeters from some very sensitive areas.
Humiliated, he yanked his sword from the ground and ran from the pub, trying to cover his shame with the scraps of cloth left of his fine clothing.
The rest of the patrons in the inn burst into applause. The Silver Star was a legend, stopping the Cardinal’s plots at every turn, the best Swordsman in the world, fighting a hundred men without a scrape. Jaime had never believed the stories, but he would not have believed a swordsman could be too fast even to see if it hadn’t happened two feet from his face. The Silver Star whipped her hat off with a flourish, bowing to the crowd. She turned to him and smiled.
“Are you unharmed?” She asked him, her voice much softer. “How are you feeling?”
“Wet.” He blurted out, before his brain caught up with him. He bowed deeply. “Pardon! That is to say, unharmed, My Lady. I am indebted to you.”
She laughed though, waving her hand at him. “No need for formality, please. Actually, I believe I am indebted to you, I’m afraid I’ve left your tavern…a little worse the wear.”
He surveyed the wrecked table and spilled beer. The servants were already beginning to clean it up, now that the Guardsmen had left. Through the fog that was his mind right now, he noted the other patrons’ marked interest in their conversation.
“Ah,” He started unsure, “Milady, if we might- ah- perhaps you might be more comfortable in one of the parlors…”
She quirked an eyebrow, grinning at him, “Actually, if you might show me to a back entrance…?”
“Of course!” He agreed hurriedly- Idiot, she wasn’t here to chat with you!
He waved for her to follow, going passing through a few rooms before reaching the small door that led out near the chicken coop. She turned to face him, pulling a two gold coins from her pouch. He had known she was nobility- only nobles were permitted to carry swords- but to flash such large money, like it was nothing…
“That’s far too much, Milady,” He refused her firmly, “That’s enough to buy you half the tavern!”
“Please,” She urged him, grabbing his hand and folding his fingers around the coins. Her grip was unbelievably strong, he didn’t think he could have resisted had he put his whole strength into it. She was suddenly very close to him. Her nose and chin were delicate and angular, offset by plump, full lips. The mask covered most of her eyes and cheeks, but he could tell that her irises were a light shade, even in the dim light of the lamp. He tried not to notice her perfume, sweet and a little spicy. Commoners who enjoyed living did not sniff nobility. “Although I doubt the Cardinal will condescend to harry you- I’ve caused far too much trouble, far too many places for that- I have caused a great deal of mess for you.”
“You saved my life,” He protested , “I can’t possibly-”
“Then let me buy your compliance,” She interrupted him, placing her hands on his shoulders and leaning up to lay a kiss softly on his jawline.
Completely bewildered, he stood there frozen while she darted away, her form fading quickly into the darkness. He was still standing there when his Mother got home.
“Jaime! You’re soaking wet! And you reek of beer! What on earth happened?!”
“I have no idea,” He told her honestly, finally walking inside to bathe and change his clothes, leaving his flabbergasted Mother at the doorway.
So, one of two illustrations, and a sneak preview of the next chapter!
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