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(fic)Lord Trant's Wassailing - Not a rock, I'm just Ruth
All Me, no apologies
just_ruth
just_ruth
(fic)Lord Trant's Wassailing
MERRY CHRISTMAS, ANNE!

Title: Lord Trant’s Wassailing
Author: Ruth
Rating: G
Pairing: 3/4
Warnings: Set in the Crook-a-back Jack universe
Archive: Gundanium Line
Feedback: Anglofans@aol.com
Disclaimers: Gundam Wing and its characters are owned by the corporation Sotsu/Sunrise, Bandai and others and are being used for entertainment purposes only. You honestly think anyone would pay me for this? Various old carols and song from assorted sources.
Symbols: _italics_
Summary: Lord Trant would a-wooing go, but he chose the wrong lass to woo!
Thanks to lil_1337 for the beta
*******

_Sing Heigh-ho! Wassail, Wassail
Let the winter winds blow and wail
We’ll fill the night with song and tale
And celebrate Wassail, Wassail!_

There once was a fiddler and a fine fiddler too. He’d been a soldier in the war. He’d done deeds he was proud of and deeds he was ashamed of, for that is the way of war. Because he’d gone against his father’s wishes, he had no home to go back to so he made his living playing songs and telling tales. His hair was the palest sunshine gold and his eyes a bright blue-green.

He'd had adventures and in the course of those adventures, his fellow soldier who was his friend and dearest love, a brown-haired, green-eyed trainer of horses, had to come and rescue him. The two went on to save a kingdom and returned to the place they had started from better than when they left. Now, the fiddler, Quatre, had no where to go, so his friend and dearest love, Trowa brought him back to the horse farm run by his sister and her husband. It was near to the solstice, and the snow had fallen. The wind was cold and it was with some surprise when they saw a hooded figure striding along the rutted path, his sturdy boots crunching in the snow.

It was not that the figure was a surprise, they’d seen the like before, it was his song that was ringing a hair off-key in the clear air.

_“Now see yon Highlander there so tall and handsome built.
I wonder if it’s true what they don’t wear beneath that kilt?
Ring-ding diddle-diddle dario!
Ring di diddly di oh!. . .”_

“Hello!” called Trowa.. The man started and turned. His hood dropped back showing a bare crown ringed by a tonsure of fine biscuit-brown hair and a long face with bright blue eyes and a wide mouth made for smiling.

“Hello!” he waved. “Welcome strangers! Joyful solstice to you or a merry Christmas if you so please.”

“Both?” Quatre exclaimed. “You’re an odd sort of priest.”

“No priest at all lad, just a friar - Brother Bartholomew’s my name and I tend the chapel at Woodswylde for the priest who comes once a month to give the Eucharist.”

“Good to meet you brother, can we give you a lift?” Quatre smiled.

“Ah, bless you, yes! I’m in a hurry to get to the Widow Bloom’s farm and. . .”

“_Widow_?” exclaimed Trowa. “Cathy’s a widow? What happened to Arturo?”

“You know Arturo?” Bartholomew blinked and looked Trowa up and down. Trowa was dressed in travel worn leathers of pine bough green, sat a chocolate bay of clearly fine breeding and led a dapple mare that was in foal. “Would you be Dame Bloom’s brother Trowa?”

“I would.”

“And I’m his friend, Quatre,” his companion rode a brick-red mare and he led a copper-penny chestnut with flaxen mane also in foal. His equally as worn leathers were in deep blue. “I’ll ride double with Trowa and let you ride Maggie here.”

“No, thank you, I’m no horseman, but if one of you will take me up behind. Thank you, Master Trowa!”

Once the friar was settled he hung on to Trowa’s belt and told a tale that brought no joy in the telling.

Sickness and fever claimed the old lord and the Duke Dermail appointed a new lord - Lord Trant.

Lord Trant was no better nor no worse than the old lord, until he went a-wooing. He had sought the hand of Marshal Noventa’s granddaughter and the Marshal sent as his herald a young knight named Nichol. Trant had ridden out to meet him and escorted him in to his hall.

A young orphan maid, no more than seven, was scrubbing the stones inside the main hallway and rather than step around her, Lord Trant kicked her aside like she had been a foot stool.

“If that is how you treat a servant,” exclaimed Sir Nichol, “how will you treat my Lady?”
“Come man!” laughed Trant, “are you saying you have never kicked a dog?”

“I have not. Such things are not permitted in Marshal Noventa’s lands. I shall not stay the night, but I shall return with my report at once!”

Trant pleaded and pressed the knight to stay, but no, there was no stopping him. Trant flew into a rage and bad it would have been for the serving maid but she had vanished like a dust mote in a sunbeam.

“The chief housemaid was quick to hide her in the chapel,” Brother Bartholomew shrugged. “I found her a new place to live.”

“Where?” asked Trowa.

“Sven Blacksmith has five strapping boys and his wife at the time was pregnant with a sixth. She had always longed for a little girl and was willing to give the maid a home where she’s surrounded by much love,” Brother Bartholomew grinned. “Brave will be the knight who has to woo _that_ princess! Dragons will be easier to vanquish than her father and brothers!”
He continued the tale. Summer had been long and hard that year. Arturo had been a strong man, but when it came time to bundle in the hay harvest, the heat of the sun struck him down. He was mourned and buried, the priest coming in ahead of his usual month to do the service. Everyone agreed Dame Catherine had loved him truly and mourned the greater because she had never been able to give him a child.

Lord Trant came to the funeral and set his eyes upon her. As summer turned to fall, not a month went by without him inquiring as to her health and offering his comfort to her. Dame Catherine was polite but refused his advances. As fall turned to winter, his manner became harsher and brisker, clearly he little liked her ‘nay’ and his patience was wearing thin.

‘Twas the butler himself who brought the friar the word. In his cups last night, Lord Trant had declared that come the solstice he would go a wassailing to Dame Catherine’s and he would drink of her wassail cup. Will she, nil she, he would have her in his bed that night and he’d bring his guard along to enforce his plan! Bartholomew was rushing to warn the widow and fine a way for her to hide until the Lord’s fit passed.

“Let him come! His wooing will be over quick enough,” growled Trowa, putting his hand on his sword.

“Trowa! You can’t fight him and you can’t kill him,” argued Quatre. “Duke Dermail would let loose his soldiers in revenge and the whole village would be burned to the ground!”

“‘Tis true, Master Trowa, very true,” Bartholomew nodded briskly, “but here we are at the good woman’s gate and it’s a more cheerful face I’m sure she’d rather see ride up to her door.”

So the three arrived at the door of the house, singing:

_“Here we come a wassailing among the leaves so green.
Here we come a-wandering so fair to be seen.
Love and Joy come to you,
And to you this carole too.
And we bless you and pray you a happy New Year
And we pray you a Happy New Year."_

Trowa's sister, Catherine, was so glad to see them she began to cry and welcomed them in. Brother Bartholomew held his news until the two young men had been warmed and fed and their beasts groomed and stabled. The servants were alarmed and Catherine outraged. All agreed that they couldn’t draw sword or staff against the Lord, but what was to be done?

“I have it!” cried Quatre. “He means to come a-wassailing? Well, then, so he’ll find a wassail.”

Lord Trant was dressed in his best. Tonight the widow would be his; she’d surely yield to his request and he’d have a fine bride who would bring a dower of a fine horse farm as well. Perhaps he would still have influence in Duke Dermail’s court - the nobles of the court were said to love racing. He gathered five of his men around him. If she objected, that number should be enough to change her mind!

He rode up to the house and discovered to his dismay that every window streamed with light. Music and laughter rang within. He pounded on the door and was ushered in by the friar of the Woodswylde chapel. To his horror, it seemed the whole of the town was in the widow’s house. A great cauldron of spice-scented liquid bubbled on the hearth and trestle tables held a selection of dishes that the good wives of the village had brought with them.

A golden haired young man with a fiddle struck up a tune:

-“Wassail, Wassail all friends gather ‘round,
Our toast is fresh made and white our ale is spiced and brown!
With bowls of oak and rowan tree
With Wassail we’ll toast to thee!

Welcome now our own true Lord
Welcome to our bread and board
Wassail bowl now drink you down
And give a blessing to the town.

There’s young Davy of mighty arm
Quick to save his lord from harm
Take wassail from your sweetheart Ann
And give a kiss as only you can!

Wassail, Wassail all friends gather ‘round,
Our toast is fresh made and white our ale is spiced and brown!
With bowls of oak and rowan tree
With Wassail we’ll toast to thee!

Here’s to Merry Jack sure of foot and hand
They say the finest archer in all the land
Take wassail now from your wife
And give her a kiss to mend all strife

To Tom now bring a bowl of wassail
And by the fire he’ll tell a tale
Merry stories to tell has he
To make the dark of the long night flee!

Wassail, Wassail all friends gather ‘round,
Our toast is fresh made and white our ale is spiced and brown!
With bowls of oak and rowan tree
With Wassail we’ll toast to thee!

Here’s to Robin, his mother’s pride
take wassail bowl from your new bride
Blessings now we shower on thee
For by May-Day your first child you’ll see!

Joseph! Join us now to sing
And let your voice now with us ring
Give us a ballad, give us a round
Then take wassail and drink it down!

Wassail, Wassail all friends gather ‘round,
Our toast is fresh made and white our ale is spiced and brown!
With bowls of oak and rowan tree
With Wassail we’ll toast to thee!”_

Lord Trant’s face turned red as his men laughed and joined the party.

“Lord Trant!” called Catherine, still wearing widow’s black but with holly in her chestnut curls. “My brother has come back from his travels. This is Trowa.”

Trant looked into the hard green eyes of a man who had the look of a mercenary or a soldier. So much for carrying off the woman! Trant greeted him curtly.

“I’d come to ask you to come and live in my house,” Trant said gruffly.

“I’m honored my Lord,” said Catherine coolly, “but no, I have not mourned my husband enough. Will you drink from my wassail, my Lord?”

“No!” barked Trant. He turned, but his men were too busy to pay him mind. He rode off in a huff.

“He won’t wait for long, good lady,” warned Brother Bartholomew.

“I know, what should I do?” Catherine sighed.

“We could have had land and houses in the Kingdom of Sank,” said Trowa. “We can have them yet. We must wait until the foals are born and then we can head back to Sank away from Trant and Dermail.”

“That’s a good thought,” said Catherine, “and I shall think about it, but for now. . .” She handed her brother the bowl of wassail. “Now I shall celebrate that my brother is home!”


_ So Sing Heigh-ho! Wassail, Wassail
Let the winter winds blow and wail
We’ll fill the night with song and tale
And celebrate Wassail, Wassail!_

-fin-

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Comments
darthanne From: darthanne Date: December 21st, 2006 05:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! *Hugs* I loved it. It's so good to see something more from this universe. And knowing you wrote me a christmas fic has quite made my day. *is very happy*
just_ruth From: just_ruth Date: December 21st, 2006 11:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're welcome! I was glad for the inspiration. :)
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