FRAGMENTS OF A DYNASTY
Summary: Jane Grey think about her lack of backbone and finally manages to stand up for something she believes in. Lyrics from Within Temptation's Stand My Ground.
Pairings: implied Jane/Edward, Thomas Seymour/Elizabeth, and very little Guilford/Jane.
Jane Grey is meek.
That is what they say about her. "Oh the Lady Jane Grey, she is a very meek girl, very obedient," and then they forget about her. Just as they forget she has sisters. The Greys maybe heirs to the throne through the Princess Margret but they were non-existent in comparison to the actual Tudor family and their many friends, allies, and enemies. So if one person does recognise the small girl they merely comment that she is meek.
They were right.
She was a very quiet meek girl.
She never disobeyed.
Though she had her moments. Those moments when she stood up and refused to do something. Where she was stubborn as her Great Uncle, the King and caused her mother to turn red in fury. Those moments do not last. They are very rare. It has been so long since she had a chance to be a strong defiant woman like her cousin Elizabeth.
She remained this quiet meek girl when they sent her away in the care of Thomas Seymour. She did not say a word when she observed her cousin being herded into the corner and harassed by Thomas Seymour. She did not stand by the Queen when her heart had been broken. She did not insist on her own household when her parents took her back. She did not argue against her scheming parents and Thomas Seymour when they discussed marrying her to Edward. She remained this quiet meek girl who studied.
She laid there for her mother to beat her. She did not speak to her soft-hearted father who might have interceded on her behalf. In fact she has never truly had a conversation with her parents. The closest she has ever known had been her nurse and the Queen who is now cold in the ground. She remains the little girl who follows her cold distant parent's orders to the letter.
She refuses to get married.
The next morning she could not get out of bed because she was so badly beaten. It takes months for the bruises to disappear.
She does not run away or plead with the King, her good friend and beloved cousin Edward, she does not find alternative living arrangements with her other cousins, she does not send her soul to hell by committing suicide to escape this arrangement. She just stands there stiffly as a strange man holds her hand and swears to be a loyal loving husband to her.
She tries to stand up to his strange husband of hers.
She ends up pinned to the bed as he has his way with her.
She cannot bring herself to do anything against those who are plotting against her. She allows the Duke, her father in law, to lead her down the aisle and onto the throne. She allows a crown to be placed upon her head and she allows the councillors go on with their business as she sits in her chambers crying. She does nothing but read, sew, and obey like a good little wife, daughter, and girl.
Mary takes her rightful place and Jane happily stands down.
She happily lives in the Tower of London with her books.
She happily stays away from her husband and never conceives a child.
Then her fool of her father tried to rebel against Mary. They tried to put her on the throne again. Everything began to change. They tested her for pregnancy, they discussed religion with her, she was moved about, and she was put on trial...
Then Mary's council came to visit her.
She had a choice.
Convert to Rome and be allowed to live in peace or remain a 'heretic' Protestant and die.
Die or give up her beliefs.
There was no one to make her choice – well that is not true, everyone was encouraging her to convert.
She could not do that.
She had been taught by her teachers, her loving queen, her strong cousin Elizabeth, her wonderful Edward to be a good girl of the Reformed faith. They were all so strong. People like Anne Askew had died for the faith. Queen Katherine Parr stood her ground against the raging King Henry VIII for her faith. Elizabeth who danced circles round those lords and bishops to keep her faith. Edward who stood strong and stubborn against his Catholic subjects.
She chose to die.
It was her own choice.
She stood there on the scaffold and she smiled serenely. She had finally stood up to someone. She had finally made a stand for herself. She was finally a woman.
She knelt on the ground and rested her head against the block.
She thought about Edward and how proud he must be that she stood her ground for their beliefs.
She gave no thought to the pools of blood around her that belonged to her husband.
Stand my ground, I won't give in
No more denying, I've got to face it
Won't close my eyes and hide the truth inside
If I don't make it, someone else will
Stand my ground
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