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[Thread] Guinevere and Galahad, night in Camlann
Guinevere rode Arthur's horse silently across the grounds of the castle, the only sound being the gentle trotting of the horse's hooves on the cold ground. Her mind raced as she hastened to the farmhouse at the edge of the castle grounds. Galahad lived, and here in Camlann. She had always had special appreciation of Galahad during her days in Camelot, always acknowledging, if silently, that he was, indeed, a knight far superior in skill and loyalty to many others his age. Regretfully, the fact that Guinevere had bedded the young knight's father remained to be of any help to her in befriending Galahad.

She approached the small house and dismounted the large black steed, tying his reins to a post beside the great wooden door. Pressing gently on it, the door swung open on its creaky hinges, and Guinevere hurried within, closing it behind her. There was a small fireplace, and she immediately set to work piling up the wood that had been left there for such a purpose. With a fire at last burning, she began pacing the farmhouse nervously. Guinevere trusted Galahad with her life; she hoped that he trusted her enough to meet in secret.

Tags: guinevere, galahad

From: [info]blessedboy Date: 12/22/2007 14:49:35  

Galahad was feeling particularly dumb tonight. It wasn't an unusual feeling to have, really; not in this strange land, any way. Still, he felt like smacking his head into each tree that he walked past, simply because he had been so stupid. There were only three women that he had any sort of a problem with -- two he knew on sight, and the third was Morgan Le Fey.

The frown on his features were nearly permanent now that things are settling in his mind. He could feel his stomach twisting tightly as he walked towards the house in complete silence. His Queen made him nervous for a number of reasons, and already he can feel the anticipation making the muscles in his shoulders and back growing tight. Pausing in front of the door, he took a breath before pushing it open slowly and peeking inside. Seeing that she was already there, he slipped inside and shut the door behind him. Moving forward slowly, he could already feel his throat growing dry. He bowed down, resting his right knee down on the floor as he dipped his head low.

"My Queen," he spoke respectfully despite their troublesome past. "I am glad to see that you have made it here with no problem." He spoke to the floor, not lifting his head or moving until he was given permission to do so.
From: [info]ladyguinevere Date: 12/22/2007 14:58:57  

Guinevere had let her mind wander as she waited in the farmhouse, pacing back and forth at length in her anxiety. She had no idea what would be accomplished by meeting with Galahad, save for not feeling quite so alone any longer. There was no way for them to entirely disarm Morgan le Fay, especially considering that they were the only two to have access to do so. Will it that the others would have joined him, Guinevere mused to herself.

The queen jumped in surprise when she heard the creaking of the door, and she spun around to find herself looking at the tall, thin form of Sir Galahad. She had little time to look upon him, see how the months had treated him, before he was on his knee before her, bowing in respect. As he spoke, Guinevere bent down and took his shoulders in her small hands. "Up, you," she insisted, shaking him just a bit. "You needn't bow to me, Sir Galahad. We are both here safely, and we are allies, equals. None shall bow before me now, not when there are more important things to attend to."
From: [info]blessedboy Date: 12/22/2007 15:06:56  

Even though he had only seen her for a brief moment before kneeling, Sir Galahad admitted to himself that she didn't look any different than she had before. It didn't really surprise him, but he found an odd sort of comfort in that. Perhaps it was because they were from the same place; that even though they have had their differences, it was still nice to see someone he recognized.

His eyes shifted from the floor to her hands when she touched his shoulders, but he stood as he was told to do so. His eyebrows popped up rather quickly as she shook him, and he let out a soft laugh. "Very well then," he nodded, just once, and tried to ignore the tugging at the back of his mind when she had called them "equals." It was still something he was getting used to. "So tell me of your problems so that I might be of some service to you." His eyes went over her features then, taking in the curve of her mouth before his eyes slid up to look into her eyes. "When did you get here, and how did you arrive? I fear I have so many questions, I am not quite sure that I will be able to fit them in all in one night."
From: [info]ladyguinevere Date: 12/22/2007 15:18:36  

Guinevere offered the young knight a small smile, knowing that with all of the confusion in being in this new land he must not have been ready for anything else to change, least of all his queen calling him her equal. She took his arm and led him towards the fire where it was warmer. If they were to discuss their situation at length, it would do them no good to be freezing.

Sighing, Guinevere responded, "I suppose it is best I answer any questions you have for me, and I ask you do the same for me. If all we gain from tonight is knowing where we stand, then that is progress enough." Guinevere stared into the fire, the flames dancing about the hearth. "I have been here for nigh a year, since Arthur's death. In my grief, Morgan le Fay and Mordred abducted me from the palace and demanded that I not call for help, for they would kill me. I could not resist them, not with you and the others gone to pay final respects to Arthur, or with your families. They took me here, and made Mordred king, but he has been in a slumber for some months now. When he wakes, I am to be his queen."

Guinevere glanced over at Galahad carefully, his features lit in the glow from the fire. He reminded her painfully of Lancelot, and she immediately looked away.
From: [info]blessedboy Date: 12/22/2007 15:37:42  

Galahad adverted his eyes when she smiled, again bowing his head just slightly when she offered it to him. It was hard for him to pinpoint his feelings on even being here with her, let alone the idea of them being equals. She had never said such things to him before, and again he can't help wondering if this land makes people go mad. He didn't struggle as she took his arm and led him forward; he was thankful for the warmth of the fire.

Tilting his head slightly, he watched her for a while while she spoke. He thought back to his time in Camelot, of his King's death and the Queen's betrayal which immediately brought the frown forth on his lips once more. He shifted his gaze to the fire, focusing on the flames while she finished speaking.

"I will answer whatever questions you may have of me honestly," he offered finally. His shoulders slowly started to relax, though he still stood with his cloak on with his hands tucked behind his back. He stood, still, as a knight would in the presence of his Queen despite her words earlier. He knew no other way. "I cannot promise you perfection in this matter, however I will do everything within my power to make sure you are taken care of." He glanced at her then, wondering why she looked away from him so quickly. His brows drew together. "My Que..." He cleared his throat, and his voice dropped to a softer timbre. "Guinevere," he spoke her name so softly, almost as if whispering to an angel, "I will find a way to stop the marriage if you so wish it." His eyes dropped to the fire once more. "I may not fully understand such things as love and marriage, but I can plainly see that it is something you do not wish." He absently wondered if such was the case between her and the King; if they had such an unhappy marriage that she would seek out companionship with Galahad's own father. Again the frown settled upon his features at such thoughts.
From: [info]ladyguinevere Date: 12/22/2007 15:53:48  

Guinevere felt that the walls she had built up to others, walls of ice and hate formed by Morgana and Mordred, might be melting, both from the fire and from Galahad's company. "I thank you for that," she replied warmly, appreciative as ever that there was a person in this land who would be honest with her, who was out for not their own gain, but for a mutual goal.

She turned quickly to look at him then, as he spoke of her marriage. "Galahad," she said quietly, weakly, touching his shoulder, "I could not ask you to do such a thing for me. There are far more suitable ways to end this than to merely break my engagement to Mordred, and ways that are far easier. What is necessary is a means to undermine Morgana's power over Camlann in Mordred's stead. If we can manage that, then perhaps we might be able to return home."

Guinevere moved away, her back to Galahad and her eyes on the fire once more. Home to her was Camelot, but it was not Camelot without Arthur. It never could be.
From: [info]blessedboy Date: 12/22/2007 16:04:40  

"You are most welcome," he offered in kind. With the passing moments, Galahad was finding that it was much easier to speak with Guinevere than with any other woman he had spoken to previously. Again, he wrote it off as being a comfort since they were both from Camelot. No matter what the reason, Galahad wasn't about to start questioning it.

His eyes were again drawn to her hand before lifting to her face as she spoke so seriously on the subject. "Again, I apologize for my lack of knowledge on such things. Perhaps I was simply unaware of what you wish of me, though now I do believe it had been made clear." Going home sounded mighty nice, and even more so now that he knows how foolish he had been in front of Morgana.

Watching her turn away, there was a strange sensation that crept into his belly ever so slightly. It was something that he was unfamiliar with, yet he stayed where he was just for a moment. Finally Galahad moved forward and pushed his cloak apart as he stepped behind her. Awkwardly he reached forward and set his hands on her shoulders. He was nearly trembling, though not from the cold. "We will fix this, and we shall see Camelot again." Again he spoke softly, wishing to comfort her, though he wasn't sure of what he was doing.
From: [info]ladyguinevere Date: 12/22/2007 16:23:37  

"It is not your lack of knowledge, Galahad, but our mutual confusion over what must be done," Guinevere mused softly, angry with herself for not having thought sooner of ways to be rid of Morgana. She had countless opportunities to find the lady's weaknesses, to pursue avenues that might lead to freedom from her and from Mordred. And yet grief and desolation had consumed her, turned her from a young and vivacious queen of Camelot into a quiet and bitter princess of Camlann.

Guinevere held her features steady, finding herself overwhelmed. Galahad, who she had not assumed would come to her aid, after how she had adulterously loved his father, was slowly becoming the friend she had needed in her time since Arthur's death. She was a lonely woman these days, with little to keep her going, and had perhaps become colder than she'd imagined. The icy exterior that she'd held up, the powerful air about her as queen, was shattering bit by bit.

In a moment of weakness, Guinevere spun around and threw her arms around Galahad's chest, crying uncontrollably. It had not been an option to weep before Morgana even though she reminded Guinevere of Arthur. But Galahad did the same, and he would not revel in her sadness as the enchantress would. "It will never be the same, Galahad," she whispered of Camelot, her words choked and almost inaudible.
From: [info]blessedboy Date: 12/22/2007 16:35:56  

Galahad gave another simple nod, hoping that by the end of the night they would have formed some sort of plan. Mordred was not the problem, but Morgana was. How foolishly he had spoken to her; how kind he had been. It lead to more confusion later, and Galahad has yet to clear his mind of the encounter. Perhaps time would consider him a fool yet again, because he selfishly hoped that by seeing Lady Guinevere -- by focusing on her problems rather than his own -- that he would finally clear his mind of the encounter.

"We will figure it out," he tried to assure her. "...Together." As much as he loathed the idea of being equal with his once Queen, Galahad would not turn away from her. He had given her his word, as a Knight of Camelot, that he would help her. He fully intended to do so still, and was doing his best to keep his mind focused on that task, and that task alone.

...Which was easier said than done, especially when he suddenly found Guinevere thrown against his chest. His eyes went as wide as the full moon as she wrapped her arm around him, and at first he just...Stood there. he could feel the muscles growing tense in his back once more, and as she started to cry so fully...Galahad swore that he could feel his heart breaking for her. Swallowing thickly, he awkwardly slid his arms around her and pulled her a bit closer. This was yet another situation he had never found himself in before, and as she whispered, his lips turned down into a frown once more. Cupping the back of her head, Galahad tilted his head down to speak to her softly.

"I know that things will never be the same...Guinevere..." It still felt odd to speak her first name out loud. "But we cannot change what has happened. We can only look to the future; to make life better not only for ourselves but those around us." He wasn't sure if his words were helping or not, but they were spoken from the heart. "We can make things better...We could change the world, Guinevere."
From: [info]ladyguinevere Date: 12/22/2007 16:49:06  

Part of Guinevere felt awful about surprising Galahad as she did, knowing full-well that he had not anticipated her breakdown. She hadn't expected herself to become so emotional, let alone him expecting it of her. She bit her lip and allowed herself to cry. It had been months since she'd truly wept, for Arthur's death had been so shocking, so much a dagger to her heart, that crying had just not been an option. There was such else to do that allowing herself to weep would be far below her.

Guinevere swallowed, bowing her head against Galahad's chest. "You are noble, and a good friend, Galahad," Guinevere murmured, "but without provisions, without resources, what can we do? How can we force Morgana and Mordred from their throne?" She sighed. "If only the others might have found their way to us. There would be much we could do with a greater number." Guinevere chose not to mention names; it would not do to create any tension with speaking of Lancelot and the other knights.
From: [info]blessedboy Date: 12/22/2007 16:59:24  

Galahad, honestly, just wanted to make it stop. It made him terribly uncomfortable to even hear her crying, and even more so as he held her. He wished that he could simply take her pain from her and if he had the knowledge of how to do such a thing, he surely would have done so by now. Still, he would do the right thing and simply hold her until she was finished. While it was an uncomfortable situation to be in, Galahad figured that she simply needed someone to be there for her, as he said he would be.

A slight touch of a smile curved the corners of his lips at her words and he tilted his head slightly so that he could finally look at her. "You are far too kind," he offered in soft reply. He continued to hold her with one arm, while lifting the other hand to wipe away some of the tears from her cheek gently with his thumb. "That I do not know, but I will do everything within my power to help you find a means to this end." This was not the first, nor the last, time that Galahad wished that his father was here. He left that unsaid, however, simply because of her past with his father. "We will find a way to fix this, for I cannot simply stand idly by and watch them consume your soul." His fingers slid beneath her chin so that he could tilt her head up so that he could look at her with serious intent. "You are better than this -- than them -- and you deserve better. If I accomplish nothing during my time here other than forcing them from their thrones, then I shall know that my time was not wasted in vain."
From: [info]ladyguinevere Date: 12/22/2007 17:40:16  

Guinevere withdrew from Galahad a bit, glancing appreciatively up at him in the firelight. She saw in him everything that she imagined the other knights had been at his age, devoted to learning and to noble service, ready to take the challenges their lives as knights would give them.

"I appreciate your dedication, Galahad. It is a dark time we are in now, with Arthur gone and us here alone, and I've found it so hard to remain at all optimistic. Be that it might grow better with a friend here," she explained softly, looking Galahad in the eye. "We will find a way to delay whatever Morgana's plans are until we might find help, or a way to reach the other knights. If we can manage that much, then we stand a chance."
From: [info]blessedboy Date: 12/22/2007 17:47:46  

As she pulled back, Galahad let his hands slip away from her. He was thankful for the distance, as it finally felt like he could breathe once more. He felt far more comfortable now as they continued to speak.

"Shadows are only made when there is a light near by, Guinevere." It was getting slightly easier to say her name, despite the fact that he still wanted to call her his Queen. He offered a light smile before falling serious. "I..." Pulling his hands behind his back once more, he clasped them together before he spoke up.

"When I met Morgana, she would not tell me her name," he admitted softly. "At the time, I thought nothing of it. It wasn't until much later that I realized who she was." The slightest blush came to his features as he turned back towards the fire, avoiding her eyes all together now. "I found that there was no ill will coming from her while we spoke, Guinevere. She merely...She merely seems to be a lonely woman." His eyes dropped to his boots then. "She was kind to me..." He spoke the words softly, and held his tongue in regards to the way he had spoken to her.
From: [info]ladyguinevere Date: 12/22/2007 18:00:20  

Guinevere acknowledged his words with a nod of her head and a gentle smile, glad to be near such optimism after being so long alone in her anger and grief. She turned to Galahad when she realized that he was becoming stiff and utterly formal again; he had become so relaxed around her, that it seemed odd. And soon she realized why.

Her brown eyes flashed with the gold from the fire and from an inner angry spark. Taking a tentative step towards Galahad, Guinevere muttered agnrily, "That witch! I'd imagine she'd be lonely, after all the trouble and ruin she has caused others!" She threw her hands up, as if in defeat from his words. "Her kindness is one of her many false wiles. I'll be damned if she was ever truly kind to a soul in her life! Everything for her is for her own gain, to make herself feel better, to hurt others in the process, if possible. She's a miserable wretch and I..."

Guinevere trailed off, breathing heavily and looking back at Galahad. "I...I don't blame you for speaking to her. Forgive me my hatred of her. I meant not to take it out on you, Galahad."
From: [info]blessedboy Date: 12/22/2007 18:10:40  

It was easy for Galahad to be optimistic -- he woke up here, after having sustained a wound to his head. He never truly viewed himself as being "alone" though, for he does fully believe that God walks by his side no matter where his feet may take him. He had been growing more comfortable with Guinevere, though he knew that the conversation was about to take a turn for the worse.

Galahad's eyes snapped up to look at Guinevere, to listen to her rant, though he made no move to stop nor to question her. Despite their new friendship, there were things that would take time -- especially on his end of things. For a long moment he was rather unsure of what to do, and so he turned towards her yet again.

"Your words did not harm me, I assure you," he offered a light smile, though sobered up rather quickly. He felt like defending Morgana; he felt he should tell Guinevere that perhaps...Perhaps she deserves a second chance, yet he couldn't find the words on his tongue -- and all things considered, he was thankful for it. "I do not assume to understand the games she may be playing, though I do give you my word that I shall be more careful if I should ever run into her again." No, there would be no more kind sentiments coming from him should he see Morgana again! "She knew me...She knew my name before I gave it, and asked if I found her so forgettable..." For a brief flash there was a small smile that popped onto his lips, but soon enough he cleared his throat. "It wasn't until after I left her company, and received your letter, that I realized in truth who she was."
From: [info]ladyguinevere Date: 12/22/2007 18:21:56  

"I suppose it's for the better that you did not recognize her," Guinevere pondered sharply. "If she realized as much then she must have assumed you would not recognize me either, and then there is no threat to her." She sighed, watching the fire again. Guinevere knew that whatever they did must be done carefully, cautiously, for Morgana was a loose cannon; anything could set her off and ruin any plans they might make.

With a sigh, Guinevere mused, "Her games are growing old with me. She thinks that she has power over me -- and I do not deny that she has quite a hand in my life presently -- but her tricks are wearing so thin. One would think with all of her damned free time she'd find new ways to torment me about Arthur and Lancelot and..." she trailed off, realizing that by going on at end, she'd said what she should not have. Guinevere cleared her throat. "In any case, the lady's got everything to lose and little more to gain. We must find a way to stop her now while she is neither too weak nor too powerful."
From: [info]blessedboy Date: 12/22/2007 18:27:57  

"I could never forget your face," the words had stumbled out far softer than he meant them, and after closing his eyes (and wanting to kick himself in the arse) he quickly added, "for you are my Queen." When he opened his eyes, they were on the fire as well.

Galahad felt his chest growing tight and his jaw clenching when she spoke his father's name, and he tried to focus instead on the problem of what to do about Morgana. "I do not pretend to understand the finer details, but I must ask...Why do you stay there with her while Mordred sleeps?" He looked to her then, his brows twisting inward once more. "Why can you not simply leave? I could protect you if danger is your reason for staying."
From: [info]ladyguinevere Date: 12/22/2007 18:33:40  

Guinevere smiled softly at Galahad. Perhaps, even through their differences, he had truly valued her and acknowledged her as his queen. And maybe, she thought, just maybe, the rest of Camelot had felt very much the same, even through her deceptions of Arthur and the broken image of her that Morgana had spread to the people. She noticed how Galahad grew tense when she mistakenly mentioned Lancelot, but swallowed down the anger within herself for such a thing.

"It is not that easy," Guinevere explained mournfully, pacing in no particulary pattern around the floor. "I could leave, find places to stay, find a court to hide me, but to what end? Where would it get me in dethroning her and Mordred? If I cannot be near enough to hear of a plan if there is one, how might I ever find a way to defeat them?"
From: [info]blessedboy Date: 12/22/2007 23:48:06  

Stealing a peek at Guinevere just as she smiled softly at him, Galahad couldn't help that the right corner of his lips twitched up as well. He had sworn to protect her, before the adultery became an issue. To him, no matter how "equal" she may say they are, she will always be his Queen; just as Arthur will always be his King, first and foremost and despite the fact that Galahad truly believes he's dead.

He listened to her, watched her pace, as he folded his arms across his chest. "I am not talking of running for forever by any means. I believe such would only add to the flames of this very important fire." He shook his head. "I simply meant, until we are able to figure out some sort of solid plan...Or father more people, as you are right...Short of killing Mordred and Morgana entirely--" which was not something that Galahad found to be pleasing at all--"then we will definitely need more than just you and I." His lips twisted into a charming, boyish smile. "King Arthur may have dubbed me the Greatest Knight in the World, but there are still certain things that even I cannot accomplish."
From: [info]ladyguinevere Date: 12/24/2007 19:00:54  

Guinevere listened intently to Galahad as he spoke, and found herself impressed once more. He was slowly showing her more and more that he was fit for the title of knight that Arthur had bestowed upon him, and though he still had a bit of an overconfidence about him -- inherited from his father, Guinevere could be sure -- he was clearly a fine choice as a knight.

"I know you weren't suggesting that I run away from her forever," Guinevere confirmed for him, "for then I am a coward, a dog with my tail between my legs." Crossing her arms across her chest and bowing her head in thought, Guinevere began to muse, "If only there was a way to know how we got here, how we could get back... of course, running off to Camelot would get us nowhere, for as sure as we are standing here Morgana would find a way to follow us, but finding the other knights would be a huge step in the right direction. We are nothing, just the two of us. There isn't enough knowledge between us to formulate a solid plan, but with all your number, think of what we could accomplish!" Guinevere came close to praising each of Arthur's knights for their skills that would help her cause, but decided against it for fear of encouraging the topic of Lancelot with his son.
From: [info]blessedboy Date: 12/28/2007 20:27:59  

While they spoke, Galahad did his best to keep his attention on the conversation at hand. He wanted to believe that they could figure this out on their own, but he knew ultimately that she was right – that having the other knights here would have put them to a large advantage. “No one would consider you a coward, my Qu – Guinevere.” He caught himself yet again, and the boyish smile came back to his features. “Perhaps we could make up for our inadequacies?” There was now a plan formulating in his mind, and he didn’t hesitate to announce it to her. They do say that two heads are better than one, don’t they? “What if you keep her busy here, while I go out in search of others? I’ve heard no word of the other knights, but perhaps we could find people who would fight for our cause? Surely there are others who would want to put an end to this as well.” He thought it was a lovely idea.
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