This plays with the timeline a little, giving at least a day between "Strike up, Pipers!" and the marriage of Beatrice and Benedick.

Based on a tumblr prompt: Imagine Person A gives Person B some kind of gift made of fabric (hat, shirt, stuffed animal, etc.). Person B takes the gift home and notices it smells like Person A.


"By this day, she is a fair lady."

Benedick entered his chamber, an unapologetically silly smile on his face. He glanced over at the darkened sky behind the window and shrugged. "By this night she's still a fair lady," he amended.

His vows were to be recited in but a few hours, and, despite his deepest desire to remain with his love for every moment until the ceremony was to commence, he had reluctantly agreed to spend the rest of the night away. Beatrice had begged a few hours to sleep, so she could be a presentable bride. He'd scoffed at that; she was perfection to him.

Sparing him a complete separation, Beatrice had given him the parcel which he still held in his hands, begging him not to open it until he was alone. He smiled at the memory of his fair Lady, uncharacteristically shy as she pulled the present out of its bag.

Her eyes were merry, despite the sweet and small smile forming on her lovely lips. "I protest, my love, I do have some accomplishments that are superior to my abilities as a poet."

Benedick smirked. "Other skills, you say?"

Her cheeks burned with maiden pride, and she swatted at him. "I would hope you could say the same," she said. "For your sonnet seriously made me reconsider your proposal."

Flashing his palms outward, Benedick's smile was softer, and yet still flirty. "I assure you, my lady, despite my incompetence as a wordsmith, my feelings are sincere."

She smiled prettily. "Of that, I have no doubt." An odd sort of vulnerability feel over her lovely features, she held out a small wrapped parcel. "For my betrothed."

Benedick stared at it, surprised and humbled at the gift. "Did you patron my favorite shop?"

"No!" she exclaimed, a little offended. "I made it."

He froze, his expression dubious and a comment about Beatrice's craftiness was on the tip of his tongue. But upon seeing her nervously tuck her bottom lip under her teeth, he smiled. "Then I am sure to adore it," he said, his voice soft and true. Taking the gift from her, he stepped closer. "For my Lady treats me far better than I deserve," he said.

Benedick's memory of the moments afterward were blurred. Nevertheless, they made his heart quicken, flashes of vivid hair in his hands, blue eyes sparking, and slight, evocative moans echoing in his mind. He sighed deeply, wishing the morning would come so he could see his beloved once again.

He glanced down at the parcel, pulling on the neatly-tied string. Instantly, a wave of citrus-based perfume floated upward to him, carrying his mind back once again to earlier that evening, Beatrice consuming all his senses and thoughts.

"Oh, my Fair, Beatrice," he muttered, pulling the long scarf from the wrappings. She was correct: she was skilled. He smiled; of course she was. Beatrice was many things, and he was just beginning to learn of them. His heart quickened when he thought having a lifetime to discover her secrets.

The wrapping fell to the floor as he gathered the soft yarn to his face, breathing in. Oranges and ginger invaded his mind, and he exhaled slowly. Reverently, he placed the navy blue and white scarf about his neck, feeling as if Beatrice's arms were wrapping around him. He smiled again, knowing in the back of his mind, Don Pedro and Claudio would find great sport in mocking him. But he cared not. He was in a far superior state of mind than he'd been just a week ago. For he was about to marry the fairest lady in Messina, nay, all of Italy. He laughed to himself and walked over to the window.

Across the courtyard were Leonato's family chambers. A room where Beatrice spent her formative years was among them, and for one final night, she stayed within its walls.

Benedick gulped, a surge of fear and excitement racing down his spine. He took a deep breath and clutched the scarf close to his nose again. As if Beatrice herself whispered soothing words into his ear, the scarf proved successful in calming his nerves and restoring the smile to his face.

In less than twelve hours, he would be with his Fair Lady, and he smiled widely to himself, nearly impatient to make it a reality.