I may or may not be a little bit obsessed with Melissa Meyer's Heartless. I'm going to assume at least some who look at this will understand going back over words over and over again, finding the wonder again and again. Hope you like this. Please review I need to know thoughts.

"If you think you had a monopoly on loving him, then you should be the King's new fool, not his wife."

No, Catherine did not have a monopoly on loving Jest. Hatta was right in that, and not just because he loved him. And he really did love him, in that more-than-friends way, that want-to-kiss-you-to-oblivion way, that grow-old-together way. More than he could say, if he had ever tried. Yes Hatta loved Jest.

Raven did to, if not in that way. He loved Jest in the same way one loves a friend, a partner, who has shared his dangers. They were partner Rooks, they had fought and nearly died for their queen time after time. In the way soldiers care for those they fought with, so did Raven love Jest.

Others loved him too, if not as well as those three. How could they, knowing him not nearly as well? But the White Queen and her King knew he was loyal and trusted him, and their court loved that he could make them laugh. In the midst of battle he could draw a chuckle from his fellow soldiers. They loved Jest's jokes and tricks, loved his willingness to help.

The court of Hearts were fascinated by his tricks. They loved Jest a bit as well.

And surely Jest had a mother, a father? Or perhaps two of the same. One can hope he had parents, somewhere in that hazy past before he was a Rook, before his life became an unending rewinding battle. Parents who loved him.

One must wonder if Jest knew how many loved him. How willing his fellows were to open their hearts to him in secret, knowing he would not hurt them, would not mock, would not hold their secrets over their heads. How his monarchs treasured him.

How Raven would jump between Jest and a red sword, how willingly he would die for his fellow Rook, how desperately he sought a solution to their quest to steal a heart so that Jest would not lose his.

How much love and care Hatta put into that hat, glorified storage closet though it may be, how he smiled those rare smiles because just the sight of Jest made him light up, how much it hurt to see him falling in love.

Surely he knew how much Catherine loved him, for Jest loved her the same. How deeply it sliced into their hearts when his head was sliced clean, their beautiful laughing Martyr.

If only they had not gone through a door.

Murderer, Monarch, Mad.