AN: A majority of the dialogue is from Sondheim's Passion. I wanted to stay as true to the story as possible and just add Fosca's thoughts and feelings and such. However, in addition to Fosca's thoughts and feelings, I'll also be adding a few scenes.
For anyone who hasn't seen Passion, here is a link to add to the end of the regular youtube link for the playlist: /viewplaylist?pAE12887D61A91E1B
Patti LuPone is simply amazing in her portrayal of Fosca. She, very likely if not definietly, was my inspiration for this piece.
"I know how to walk. My cousin likes to treat me like a child," Fosca heard herself say. She wondered idly why she wasn't accepting his help when she was feeling so weak, why her fingers ached to touch his.
"I hope I didn't frighten you the other day," she told him. Her thoughts racing as her fingers reached out for his arm, betraying her. She walked ahead of him to hide this strange and sudden weakness.
Why did she so badly want to touch him? Why was it important that she hadn't scared him? She scared the rest of her cousin's men, why did he matter? She knew that he was different, but he shouldn't matter. So why had he been so present in her thoughts since she had seen him through her window the day he arrived?
"No, not at all," Captain Bachetti answered her. She turned around as a smile spread across his face.
And why did that smile of his make her knees feel weak? Why did his voice, his presence, make her head swim and feel cloudy?
What was this sensation he filled her with? Why did every step spur on a strange, but not all-together unpleasant, pulsing between her legs. Her clothes felt too tight as they clung to her, protesting. For what?
"I'm not afraid of death. I rather think I'd welcome dying," Fosca confessed, turning away in an attempt to ignore the foreign messages her body was flooding her system with. "It's everything that follows that I dread: being shut up in a coffin, smothered in the earth, turning into dust… These images send me into a state of terror."
Her head swam again, her stomach flipping, as he brushed lightly against her, catching up. "Even talking of this makes me-"
He reached instinctively for her arm but she withdrew, determined to keep some kind of dignity and sure that contact would spur these strange symptoms on. "Surely if you are sick there is always the hope that you will get better."
Fosca couldn't help but scoff at the notion, "Hope, in my case, is in rather short supply." The doctors have given up, her cousin had given up… She was here to live out her few remaining years, that was it.
"Well, then, one must look to life for whatever pleasures it can offer," he told her.
Still not understanding why, she hungered to hear his voice again. She hungered for his deep, smooth voice to continue, enjoying the sensations akin to shivers down her spine. She moved her weight from one leg to the other, the foreign pulsing between her thighs making her feel sticky and hot. "And what might they be?"
"Helping others, for example."
"Helping others!" Fosca nearly laughed again. She wondered why she was so close to laughter with him around. Nothing was funny. Could it be nerves? What did she have to be nervous about? Her appearance, to be sure, but she had long since grown used to her cousin's men shying away from her.
"I have worked in poor houses, Captain. I felt no different. Pity is nothing but passive love. Dead love."
He brushed lightly against her and her knees began to crumble, her mind swimming. Her eyes fluttered closed as the area between her thighs throbbed.
Suddenly, she felt one muscled arm encircle her waist, the other steadying her arm and gripping her hand and holding her upright.
Reluctantly, she accepted his help to a nearby bench, gripping his arms tightly to avoid falling again. She knew he was trying to help, but when he had touched her, had helped her, she had felt wildfires dance across her skin and her knees had all but given out again. And that throbbing! What is happening to me? she asked herself, falling lightly, still supported in Captain Bachetti's strong arms, onto the bench.
"These thoughts are bad for you," he told her, looking into her eyes.
She felt as though she would melt, the way he was looking at her! But she didn't understand it. What did it matter that he was looking into her eyes? Why did she feel hypnotized under his gaze? She shifted slightly as she sat beside him, hoping he wouldn't notice the way the friction made her breath catch just a little.
"You must concentrate on everything around you that suggests life. These trees, these flowers, the warm smell of the air." He rose to gesture, pointing to the things he mentioned.
"You make it sound so simple, Captain." Fosca argued, her body protesting the loss of contact for reasons that she still pondered. "As if a flower or a tree could somehow make one happy."
"There is no absolute happiness in anyone's life, Signora. The only happiness we can be certain of is love."
"What do you mean? Are you speaking of friendships? Family?" Fosca asked, knowing even as she did so that this was not what he was referring to.
"I'm speaking of a superior kind of love, the kind between two people," Captain Bachetti corrected.
"Two people …" she echoed, wishing fervently that he would sit with her again and take her in his arms as he had moments ago. The ache between her legs dulled slightly. Until she scooted around to get a better look at the captain.
"Yes. Love that fills every waking moment. Love that grows every single day. Love that thinks everything is pure, everything is beautiful, everything is possible. Love that fuses two into one. When you think the same thoughts, want the same things, live as one, feel as one, breathe as one.
"Love that shuts away the world, that envelops your soul, that ennobles your life. Love that floods every living moment. Love like…" he trailed off as he fell into the recesses of his mind, his silence a harsh contrast to his excited rant.
"Love like -?" Fosca supplied, reminding him of her presence.
"Like wine. An intoxication. A great blindness, if you will."
"Yes, I have read about that kind of love," Fosca nodded, smiling as she rose-the throbbing increasing with her movement- and crossed to him. "But you speak of it as one who lives it."
And then she understood. Her speaking of what she had read, Captain Bachetti's ranting about love, it clicked. She realized with a sudden flash why her body was reacting the way it was, why she was so concerned about him and what he thought. She understood why her fingers had reached for him, why her head misted when he brushed against her, why her knees grew weak, why she didn't want him to see her as a weak woman despite her illness. She knew why her body had protested his releasing her from his strong arms. She still wasn't sure about the heat pulsating between her thighs but she assumed that it, too, was due to what she felt for him.
She had fallen in love with him. Straight away. Fell in love, in lust really, with his looks, and then, as she had spoken to him before and again now, had fallen in love with him. And he was speaking as one who lives love. Of course he had someone else. She felt a surge of another foreign emotion. This must be jealousy.
Fosca stumbled slightly as she walked past him. She ignored the fire between her thighs, the flipping of her stomach, as she looked at the ground murmuring, "I don't feel well. I must go back."
Captain Bachetti reached for her again to keep her from falling and was surprised when she pulled away, almost angrily. "I'm sorry."
"You can be incredibly cruel, Captain," she told him, wrenching away from him.
"To speak to me of love," Fosca began, her voice thick as she spoke past the growing lump in her throat. "To dangle words like, 'happiness,' 'beautiful,' 'superior.' You can't be that naive."
"Forgive me. I didn't mean-"
Fosca continued, ranting now as she rounded on him, "You with all your books, your taste, your sensitivity… I thought you'd understand. The others - well, they're all alike. Stupidity is their excuse, as ugliness is mine. But what is yours?" With every step's friction, she was reminded what she felt for him, what her body was screaming for.
Then, her demeanor changed radically. Her anger already ebbing away, she began again, "I've watched you from my window. I saw you on the day that you arrived. Perhaps it was the way you walked, the way you spoke to your men… I saw that you were different, then. I saw that you were kind and good. I thought you'd understood."
Fosca was facing away from him again, looking to the encampment. "They hear drums. You hear music, as do I. Don't you see? We're the same. We are different, you and I are different. They hear only drums."
She spun to face him, wringing her hands nervously in front of her as she refused to meet his eyes, "All the time I watched from my room, I would think of coming downstairs, thinking we'd meet, thinking you'd look at me, thinking you'd be repelled by what you saw."
She looked at Captain Bachetti again, her eyes pleading, "Don't reject me, don't deny me, Captain. Understand me, be my friend. They hear drums, we hear music. Be my friend?"
They were just feet apart now. She knew what she wanted from him, what she had been vaguely warned about in her condition, and it was not merely friendship. But that's all he would ever give her and so that is what she asked for. She held her breath as she waited for his answer, hoping he would at least give her this.
"Yes. Of course. You have my friendship," Captain Bachetti told her, undeniably surprised at her outburst.
Fosca couldn't help herself, couldn't control her emotions and hormones. Her body again betraying her true feelings, she reached out, grabbing his hand with both of her own, "Thank you, Captain!"
"Your hand is on fire," he commented, concerned. He brought his other hand to cover both of her small ones.
She looked down at her hands, still clutching his, as though she hadn't realized she had done reached out. His skin on hers sent her body into a frenzy; her head swam, the throbbing burned. She shrugged his comment off as she fought to ignore her body's pleas, "It's nothing. I have a fever. I always do."
Too soon, her cousin and doctor reappeared, her cousin offering his arm. She didn't want his arm, though. She wanted to stay with Captain Bachetti, with Giorgio. She wished she hadn't tried to appear strong, wished she had taken Giorgio's arm earlier when he had offered it.
"Shall we make our way towards the castle?" her cousin asked, his arm still out for her to take as he expected her to.
Then he spoke. He said her name. Not just "Signora Ricci," but her name. And, oh! it was music when it left his lips.
"Signora Fosca is not feeling well."
"I'm terribly sorry, my dear," her cousin said, finally just taking her arm as she still was clutching desperately to Giorgio.
Fosca's eyes met Giorgio's, pleading that he would take it back so that she could continue her excursion with him in tow, "I'll be fine now."
"Of course, but we should head back nonetheless," her cousin decided, leading her away from Giorgio.
Fosca looked over her shoulder to see him trailing behind them slowly. She wished, again, that she could be walking with him, that it was him supporting her instead of her cousin.
She allowed herself to be led back to the main house where she was ushered to her room and left alone.
Her body still protesting its prison, she clawed at the fastenings of her dress. Fosca sighed in relief when the dress finally slipped from her form into a heap on the floor and left her in only her slip, the cool air a harsh contrast to her burning skin.
She panted as she pulled her slip over her head, stumbling to the tub in her washroom and the water from her bath that morning. At the time, it had been a hot bath, had eased the tension from her constantly aching muscles. Now, hours later, the water was cool, almost cold, as she sank into it, exhausted from the hell her body had put her through while around Giorgio. She slid even further below the water so that it covered her shoulders, her flesh still burning where he had touched her; her waist, her arm, her hands.
Then there was the burning area he hadn't touched.
She slid a hand between her thighs and gingerly pressed at the source of the throbbing, hoping to make it stop. Her breathing hitched as an unexpected wave of pleasure rolled over her emanating from where her fingers were still lightly pressing.
The wetness between her legs was very unlike the cool water she was submerged in. It was hot as she experimentally slid her fingers easily into her most private of areas making her gasp quietly. She had to admit to herself that the wet heat she'd found was incredibly puzzling to her. Then again, most of the games her body was playing with her puzzled her.
Fosca felt her heart racing, her breathing suddenly labored. Her eyes fluttered close of their own accord as she pressed harder on her throbbing sex. She was rewarded with a second wave of this foreign pleasure rolling over her. She slid under the water lacking the strength and presence of mind to hold herself up, the bathwater swallowing her cries of ecstasy.
Her only coherent thought was that of Giorgio. He swam with the white stars behind her eyes as another wave of pleasure assaulted her, making her gasp and cry out only to find water flooding her senses instead.
"Signora Fosca!" she heard a smooth, deep voice call as hands folded around her thin arms and pulled her, spitting and coughing as she struggled for breath, above the water level.
Giorgio?! she hoped, despite knowing it wouldn't be him in her personal quarters.
Sputtering, she gasped for air, both her hands flying to the rim of the tub where she leaned heavily. Her thin frame shook with the force of her coughing and-she suspected-the wave of pleasure that hadn't completely faded before she'd been hauled from the water's depth.
"Are you trying to drown yourself?" her doctor demanded angrily, pulling her out of the tub by her arms and forcing her to stand as he wrapped a towel around her shoulders.
"No," Fosca panted, still gasping for air as she slid to the floor and leaned against the tub. She pulled the towel tighter around her dripping form, wondering if she should ask the doctor about her body's burning, about the glorious waves of white-hot pleasure that had racked her body only moments before.
"No," she repeated. "I… I fainted." She wasn't sure why she lied, really. But she felt instinctively that what she had been doing was personal and didn't want to discuss the matter with this man that worked for her cousin.
"You fainted? Again? Your symptoms must be getting worse. Let me help you to your bed. Perhaps you should eat your dinner in bed-," the doctor thought aloud as he helped her to stand again before leading her to her bed.
"No!" Fosca interrupted him, seeing her chance to see her Giorgio flying away. "No, I'm fine now. I think I'll just rest a bit. I'll be fine by dinner."
"If you insist, Signora," he nodded reluctantly. "I'll be back for you at dinner, then. Please try to stay off your feet and not over exert yourself."
She climbed into bed obediently, cocooning herself in her towel and blankets as the doctor turned on his heel and left.
Fosca couldn't remember what she had expected when she had first reached tentatively between her legs, but the sheer pleasure that had flooded her system had not been it. She hadn't been prepared to see Giorgio's glistening form dancing and swimming with the stars as she trembled, succumbing to the unfamiliar ecstasy.
The throbbing between her thighs had faded to a mere dull ache now, no longer burning to a point that was almost painful. Her body was no longer objecting to her every move, didn't feel stifled and hot as the fabric clung to her skin.
Fosca quickly surrendered to the exhaustion her body had brought upon itself, still confused by everything that had transpired in the last hour. The last thing she saw before sleep claimed her was Giorgio's image, still dancing with the burning white stars.