Ale's baptism, I bet he was so sacred when it happened
Spain had the arrangements for the baptism made, being careful about the details. He had the epiphany the night before that it would be best to baptize the child while they were at sea. He could wait for them to return to Madrid and do it in a proper cathedral, but the priest serving as his personal confessor had already said he was willing to administer the sacrament, and what was really important was God’s presence, and Spain had no doubt that God had been on his side this whole campaign.
He walked down the hall to the room where the young Aztec prince was. He saw that the translator was standing outside the door, and he took that to mean that the boy was sleeping. It seemed that he had been doing that when he was not crying or asking endless questions about his new surroundings. It was a very good sign that Mexica was so curious about everything, but Spain was getting tired of the constant questions because he was not able to explain the little details of his routines that he had never thought about.
He pushed open the door slowly so that it would not make a sound. Mexica was curled up on the bed with his blankets in his arms. Spain felt a pang of sadness that the little prince wasn’t holding onto him, as he usually did when he was asleep. But, there was plenty of time left in the trip, and he had no intention of putting Mexica in a different chamber. The child stirred in his sleep and whimpered sweetly, which made Spain smile. He was so innocent still, which gave Spain even more reason to baptize him now. He wanted to save the boy from a life of savagery and there was no better time than when he was still innocent.
Spain closed the door, still being sure to be quiet. He could wait until the boy woke up, there was plenty of time. Once outside, he turned to the translator, and said, “Bring him to me as soon as he wakes up.” She asked, “What should I tell him? He will ask why.”
Spain knew that she was right, but he did not know how to explain. He said, “Tell him it is a religious ceremony.” He then paused for a moment as he remembered what was the boy’s experience of religion was, and he added, “Make it clear that no one is going to hurt him.”
Mexica awoke and his immediate instinct was to look up for his mother, since he couldn’t feel her arms around him. But after blinking a few times, he remembered where he was. He saw the walls of the very familiar loathsome little wooden room.
Then the image flashed across his mind again of his mother with Spain’s sword through her heart. The pain came back in the middle of his chest and the tears welled up in his eyes. His beautiful life with his mother seemed so far away now. He pulled in a sobbing breath.
The door opened and Mexica pulled in another sob. He was frightened with every fiber of his being that he would see Spain walk through the door. But, it was the translator who had introduced herself as Malintzin. Mexica did not trust her but she seemed to be the only person who spoke his language and had some concern for him.
She saw the tears that had started to form in his eyes and immediately walked over to him. She kept a respectful distance but said, “Don’t cry, dear prince.” Mexica shook his head. His mother would have told him the same thing. But, he couldn’t help but let tears roll down his face. He wiped them away as well as he could.
Malintzin spoke to him, and when he looked up he saw pain on her face, “Spain wishes to see you, your highness. He is waiting for you.” Mexica knew he should maintain his dignity, but the last thing he wanted to do was see the man who murdered his mother. He snapped back, “Why can’t he just leave me alone?” As soon as he said it, Mexica regretted the lack of dignity and said, “I didn’t mean that. I will go.”
Still feeling like he was moving through a nightmare, Mexica followed the woman out of the room and down a hall. The few sailors he passed still stared at him and spoke to each other in that language he did not understand. He shrank away from any of them, scared of the blood he knew was on their hands.
They reached the doors to a chamber, which were pushed open in front of him. Spain was standing behind it, and the sight of those green eyes made Mexica want to recoil and run. But, he stood still and did the only thing he could think to do. He questioned, “What am I doing here?”
Malintzin translated it, and Mexica saw anger flash over Spain’s face. He said something and the native woman flinched. She turned back to Mexica, and tried to explain, “He wants you to be part of a ritual.”
Mexica felt uncontrollable fear overtaking his mind. What did that mean? Would it hurt? Upon seeing his face, she quickly added, “No one is going to hurt you.” Mexica looked around her at Spain suspiciously, but the man seemed to be trying to put a comforting expression on his face. Mexica did not trust it, but he hardly had a choice, so he nodded.
He got as close as he felt comfortable being to Spain and then he stopped. Only then did he notice that there was another man in the room, and he was wearing clothing that seemed stranger than even the usual for these strangers.
Spain stepped closer and put his hand on Mexica’s shoulder. He tried not to cringe away from the touch. Spain looked at him and said something, which Malintzin translated, “He says not to worry. This is sacred and it is for your own good.”
She did not seem to believe the words, even as she translated them. Mexica felt fear rise again, and he could find nothing to comfort himself. He did not understand what was about to happen and was afraid to question it. Spain guided him over so that they were both standing in front of the unfamiliar man in the strange clothing.
Mexica noticed a basin of water in front of him, and he did not know the purpose. There was some conversation that passed between the man he took to be some kind of priest and Spain in a language that sounded even more foreign. Mexica did not understand and it apparently would have been inappropriate to translate for him. He decided to stand perfectly still and hope for some kind of explanation.
The priest suddenly reached down and touched Mexica’s forehead with his finger, and left something wet where it had touched. Unconscious of his actions, Mexica stepped backwards. But, he couldn’t go far because Spain’s hand stopped him. Mexica looked up questioningly and Spain only responded with a smile that was supposed to be soothing.
It did not have the intended effect; it only made Mexica feel less certain. Why was he being touched? What was on his forehead? It became even worse when Spain reached down and picked him up. It was not the first time Spain did it, but each time was more uncomfortable. Those same hands that were now holding him had killed his mother.
Spain stepped forward so that he was standing next to the basin. The priest said something and then Spain looked directly at Mexica and said something. But with no translator present, it meant nothing to Mexica. He responded, “What?” but he realized that Spain couldn’t understand him either.
He felt himself dipping backwards towards the water and took an instinctive breath before his head was completely submerged. He tried not to panic, but the thought occurred to him that Spain was trying to drown him. Was this a sacrifice to some water deity?
It lasted for only a moment before he was pulled back out of the water. Mexica shook his head to try to get the water out of his eyes. He pulled in deep gulping breathes and hoped that he would not be submerged again.
But, thankfully, Spain put him down. He wanted to run, but Spain would not allow him to. Instead, he kneeled down next to him and took a necklace from his pocket and put it around his neck.
Only then did Spain guide him back to Malintzin. Spain said something to her and she, in turn, said, “He says that your name is Alejandro now.” Mexica, shivering, cold, and wet, started to cry again and said miserably, “I don’t understand.” Breaking the usual boundaries of respect, Malintzin hugged him and said, “You will survive this and thrive, little prince.”
“They said go to LA and the Duffer brothers would want to meet you so I went and there was two other boys. There was Finn and there was this other boy. And you know, I had a great connection with the other boy but I really felt something with Finn. I think Finn and I have a fantastic bond that you really can’t find anywhere else. I’m grateful that we have a great relationship because I mean, I don’t want to be kissing someone that I don’t really like. I think Finn and I have a great bond and I’m really thankful for that.”