[livejournal.com profile] realmofthemuse: 2.10.L: Death & Relationships

Oct. 27th, 2009 09:48 pm
foreverwarrior: (Miranda (Guinevere))
[personal profile] foreverwarrior
“Death ends a life, but it does not end a relationship, which struggles on in the survivor's mind toward some resolution which it may never find.” I Never Sang For My Father


I didn't want to see him. I couldn't see him. I wanted to remember him as hale, healthy and whole, not laying on his deathbed suffering a mortal wound. It was because of me he was wounded. Mordred, damn him, had called my honour into account and Arthur could not stand idle any longer. Lancelot offered to take his place, but Arthur wouldn't hear of it. Later, Lance had told me that Arthur knew of his Immortality, and that trait would be seen as an unfair advantage. Arthur, himself, being an honourable man would not let another fight for him, especially when his wife's fidelity was called into question. It was a conflict of interest of monumental proportions should Lance fight in his stead. The guilt rested squarely on my shoulders. In my logic, twisted by grief, Arthur would only recover if I never entered his rooms. I counted myself a thousand times a fool for not listening to Merlin's warning.

"Gwen." Only when we were well and truly alone would Lance ever unbend as to use my nickname. "Guinevere, you must go see him."

I stopped my pacing in the torchlit corridor to face my protector, my champion and my best friend.

"Do not ask that of me," I answered softly. "You know I cannot."

"Guinevere," he chided softly, taking a shoulder in each hand. "He is your husband, and your King. If you do not make an effort, and he dies, you will be forced to bear that for eternity."

"Or until someone takes my head," I replied wryly.

"You are too much of a warrior for that to ever happen," Lance answered. "Do you want to carry the guilt of not saying 'good-bye' when you had the chance?"

It was a point he didn't have to make twice. I simply nodded, my unbound hair falling to cover my face and my shame. In a rare gesture of affection, Lance leaned forward and gently kissed the top of my head. It was nearly my undoing, but as Queen, I had to be strong, as strong as my King had been weakened. Stiffening my resolve, and my spine, I slowly opened the door to the solar.

The walk from the door to the bed was the longest twenty paces of my life. Arthur's face was pale and drawn. Merlin could do nothing to slow the poison Mordred had used on his blade. The blade itself had sliced into Arthur's belly, leaving him to languish for nearly a day and a half. I cautiously approached the bed, not wanting to disturb him lest he slept.

"Ahh, Guinevere," he greeted me, his voice barely above a whisper, and his eyes open only a fraction.

"Hush, my love," I replied, easing myself into sitting on the edge of the bed. "Save your strength. You'll need it to get well."

"Guinevere, I have never known you to be in denial," Arthur said. His voice was halting and with each breath, I could hear the death-rattle in his lungs.

"It is not denial, but faith," I answered, taking his hand. I tried to tell myself that it was warm when it clearly was not. Death's icy grip had already begun to claim his fingers.

"Then you must have faith that Heaven awaits me," he replied. "The one who has died for my sins awaits me there. If you have faith, believe in that."

Arthur had always been patient with my disagreement for Christian doctrine. He had never berated my pagan upbringing, nor did he condemn me, and for that he would have my eternal loyalty.

"You will hold the Grail, Arthur," I promised vehemently. "One day, you will hold it."

A vague smile crossed his lips. "And I hold you to your vow, Guinevere Pendragon."

Breath ceased to fill his lungs as his hand went limp in mine. "Go to him, Arthur." I whispered, fighting a losing battle with tears.

I slowly eased the ring bearing the crest of Camelot off his finger. I knew it would pass to Mordred who was Arthur's closest kin. I wiped my tears on a flowing sleeve before leaving our rooms. Lancelot, Merlin, and Mordred were all awaiting me in the corridor.

"The King is dead," I announced, pausing to give the ring to Mordred before soundly backhanding him. "Long live the King."

The passing days were a grief-stricken blur. Arthur hadn't been buried on Avalon a week when Mordred condemned me as unfaithful and removed me as Queen in the same breath he proclaimed himself King. Lancelot and Gawain escorted me to Gawain's family holdings on Orkney. It was there that I began to formulate a plan to retrieve the Grail for Arthur. In truth, it would take nearly fifteen hundred years, but I did indeed keep my promise to my husband and my King.

Quinnleigh Kincaid
Highlander OC
810 Words
[livejournal.com profile] her_championis Quinn's headmate & mine to use.

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