Aug. 20th, 2005 @ 03:29 pm
Lancelot carries five flagons of ale over to the large table at which all the Knights, except for Galahad and Gawain are sitting.
"Where are those two anyway?" he asks with a faint growl.
"Where do you think?" asks Tristan in return. He smirks very slightly. "In another week, you will owe us all money, Lancelot. They have stayed together for a bit longer this time round, hm?"
Lancelot rolls his eyes as he sits next to Arthur. "We'll see, we'll see."
Arthur sips at his drink. "This is quite terrible of us, you do realize," he remarks. "To be placing bets on their happiness?" He shakes his head, knowing that his words won't quite get through to Lancelot and Tristan.
Bors smirks. "Happiness, sex life, s'all the same, isn't it?"
Dag gives the barest hint of an amused smile as he reaches for his drink.
"I think we should be content for them," Arthur comments. "It's the decent thing to do."
," says Lancelot exasperatedly. "Not everything can be dealt with by your outlandish Christian sensibilities, you know." He smirks. "Besides, we need to be entertained somehow."
"Peacetime too boring for you?" grunts Tristan, shaking his head. "I've been watching them, you know. Not like that
, Lancelot." Tristan looks pensive. "They talk a lot more than they used to, during training, during mealtimes." He grins. "I think that augers badly for your wager, Lancelot."
Arthur gives Lancelot a light shove as he reaches for his ale and sips at it, knowing that it's pointless to try and stop them from gossiping like little old wives.
"How badly?" Dagonet inquires. Dagonet's wager had been quite outlandish. It had been 'never'. "And wouldn't you say it doesn't show favourably for you either, Tristan?"
Lancelot good-naturedly jostles against Arthur's shoulder before giving his apparently undivided attention to the conversation between Tristan and Dagonet.
"I think a year is as good a bed as any," replies Tristan calmly. "They will see the four seasons out and that will be enough."
Arthur smirks and places his hand atop Lancelot's under the table as it traverses up his leg and dips in to his inner thigh. They've had more than four seasons to the two of them.
"Oh? And when happens when the last season is up?" Bors asks curiously.
Lancelot's hand curls over Arthur's thigh and he shoots him a brief sideways glance, thinking much the same thought.
"Yes, Tristan," says Lancelot loudly. "Where is the law that states four seasons is the limit?"
Tristan takes a slow swallow of his drink. "They will have seen fights and peace and they will have been close to death and this thing between them will run much the same course."
Bors snorts. "Back to whoring every last woman in the tavern, you mean? I've never seen anyone go at it like the two of them when they were split the last time." He raises a mug. "I lost track of the women they bedded."
Arthur arches an eyebrow. "I hardly think that will happen. They're older this time."
"Gawain may be more sensible but I doubt that the pup is," grunts Tristan.
"As long as there is one sensible party, they may surprise us all," says Lancelot, his fingers tightening on Arthur's thigh for a second. "Except for you, of course, Dag."
Dagonet chuckles. "You don't see what's so clearly obvious, Lancelot. Tristan, you too. For a man with such abilities, it passes your sight," he says with a shake of his head.
"And our pup is growing up too," Arthur insists. "He's no longer the boy he was."
Lancelot laughs. "Such faith you show in us all, Arthur. Yes, I suppose that Galahad is growing up and there is no one better to guide him than Gawain."
"Perhaps," says Tristan. "But I do hope that they do not endanger our lives and theirs because they could not tear their eyes off each other in the heat of battle."
Lancelot slides his hand higher up Arthur's thigh and, hiding a rather mischievous grin by raising his flagon to his lips, he leaves it to Arthur to respond to Tristan's statement.
Arthur sighs. "Honestly, Tristan, lovers on the battlefield have worked before and it will work again. If anything, Galahad will become so driven to protect Gawain that he'll improve, if anything."
Bors grunts, turns to Dagonet. "What's it they don't see?"
Dagonet simply smiles calmly. "That they're more in love than they or you know."
Lancelot nods solemnly. "History has a habit of proving Arthur right, Tristan."
Tristan rolls his eyes. "Well. Let's see if the future proves him right too." He stands up and knows he does not need to ask the following question. "Anyone for more ale?"
There's a chorus of voices all around and everyone agrees. Arthur turns to Dagonet. "More in love than they themselves know?" he asks curiously.
Dag simply gives a mysterious smile. "You've noticed it, I know I have."
Lancelot tilts his head to the side and looks at Dagonet gravely before he looks at Arthur.
He clears his throat. "Is it obvious, Dag?" he asks, not entirely sure whether he's referring to Galahad and Gawain or himself and Arthur.
"Yes," Dagonet simply smirks. "In all senses of the way obvious can be when dealing with a situation like this," he arches a knowing eyebrow at Lancelot.
Arthur clears his throat nervously.
"I think we should do something kind for them," he insists.
"Kind?" asks Lancelot, discreetly removing his hand from Arthur's thigh. "Such as?"
Arthur's lips even out, disliking how Lancelot has removed his hand. "Perhaps stop taunting them? Perhaps stop betting on them? Perhaps a gift to show we don't mind their monogamy?"
"A gift?" Lancelot looks thoroughly confused. He does not have a clue what sort of gift would be suitable for a pair of knights who have not paid a great deal of attention to anything but each other for the past while.
Tristan returns with the drinks and Lancelot raises his flagon to his lips, apparently deep in thought, as his hand, almost automatically, returns to Arthur's leg.
Arthur is quickly running out of ideas. "Honestly, I have no idea, I just thought that it might be a nice change if we were kind to them instead of being this terrible as to take bets on when they will fall apart."
Bors scoffs. "No fun in that."
"Hear, hear," mutters Lancelot.
Tristan takes out an apple and starts to peel it with a knife. "Kind? Like... letting them actually train together
once in a while?"
Arthur turns to Tristan and gives a small smile. "Yes, I suppose that would be kind, though far from productive. Something else? Suggestions?"
Lancelot thinks for a while. "Arthur, you're our commander. You are the one who is supposed to know these things," he says, teasingly.
"If you do not have any ideas, how are we poor Sarmatians supposed to know?"
Arthur can barely contain the roll of his eyes. "If I say they may train together, I will never hear the end of your whining," he mutters, looking around. "The lot
of you whining. I suppose training together in privacy is no good either, they'd never actually do any work."
"How about, as our little present to you
, Arthur, we promise to lay off the whining. For at least a week," says Lancelot with a grin.
Arthur turns to Lancelot and smirks tightly. "You promise that now, but by the third day, I'd never hear the end of the complaints." He lifts his mug and sips.
Dagonet merely chuckles. "He has a point," he says soundly. "As for the young ones, why not give them something they want? Our acceptance of their affair."
Tristan looks up from peeling his apple. He nods slowly. "Why not?" he asks.
"Although we are not calling off the bet, are we?"
"We're not," Bors agrees. "Because the minute we do, I bet they'd end it, just out of spite. The bet's still on. But I guess we can lighten up on the jokes and the disapproving, aye?"
Dagonet nods silently.
"So be it, then," Arthur remarks. "Perhaps they won't feel it necessary to hide in their quarters all the time now."
Lancelot snorts. "Don't believe that they hide in their quarters merely to avoid us, Artorius. I am sure they are quite happy to have the time together."
Arthur turns with a smirk. "Surely you aren't helping with your constant belittling and teasing. You're quite terrible to anyone who says they're in love. Is it because you're fearful of the word and emotion youself?" Arthur tests.
"What word?" asks Lancelot blithely, not quite meeting Arthur's - or anyone's - eyes.
Dagonet laughs warmly. "Love, Lancelot. He's asking if you're terribly petrified of loving someone," he jests, nudging him. "Well?"
Arthur simply watches, waiting to see what happens.
Lancelot takes a few long gulps of his ale as he considers how best to respond. "I would have thought
," he says cautiously, "that I would have been. Petrified. I don't think that I am, though."
His eyes meet Arthur's, briefly. "There are plenty of other things on this accursed island to be scared of."
Arthur smiles with a chuckle at the use of the present tense. There's still hope it seems. He salutes Dagonet with his mug.
"Cursed things," Bors grunts. "Woads, Romans. The actual thought of the pup having sex."
"Thank you for that, Bors," says Lancelot, rolling his eyes. "What a delightful mental image."
Arthur chuckles warmly. "Oh, honestly, he's grown up now, you've pushed barmaids on him before and now the prospect of him sleeping with Gawain is that terrible? I thought my Knights braver than this."
"Nobody ever told us that Knights sleeping with other Knights was quite such a normal occurrence," says Tristan blithely. "I cannot decide whether that would have made the prospect of coming here more or less palatable."
Dagonet simply laughs lightly with Arthur. "Jealous, Tristan?" Dagonet inquires evenly. "Simply that you haven't received attention in the bed in too long is no cause to frown upon them."
"Oh, I am not frowning on them," says Tristan. "The more Knights who pair off, the more lonely tavern girls there are."
"A man with a plan in mind," Arthur approves. "I always knew I admired your tactical skill." He glances to the sky. "I'm afraid I must be to bed, however. There is training early in the morning, lest you have all forgotten."
"How could we have forgotten," says Lancelot with a sigh. "Artorius, do you know the meaning of the word holiday?"
"You forget that we are indentured to this life," says Tristan, mildly. "We are luckier than many Knights before us. Arthur is our captain..."
"And your commander, and your leader," Arthur interrupts, drowning the rest of his drink. "And I would rather have you suffer upon training than have you die because you were ill-trained," he finishes sternly.
"At dawn," he orders.
"Aye, Arthur, we heard you," says Tristan. "Dawn it is, then."