Title:Letters to Nothing
Summary:Gwaine is trying to figure out how to tell Percival how he feels. It does not go to plan.
Warnings:pre slash, some swearing (cos Gwaine)
Author's Notes:Part of this is a letter, right?. I tried....
Percy Perce Percival,
I am writing this because I find I am, despite what everyone mistakenly believes, the worst kind of coward.
If I were not craven I would be saying this to your face, but I cannot bear the thought of having to look into your eyes
if when you tell me no.
We have been friends for such a short time, yet I feel I have known you forever. We have laughed together and bled together, but slowly I have come to realise that I am greedy. Despite what we have, I find that that I must tell you that I
want need more, even though this may destroy the friendship upon which I have come to rely so much. I can only hope that you may feel….
“Goddamnit!” Gwaine swore savagely, crushing the piece of paper in his hand. What did he think he was doing? What right did he have to ask this of Percival anyway? Percival was perfect in every way Gwaine was not. He was open, honest, trusting, he listened. Not to mention his body, yes, yes his body was perfect too…And there he went again! Percival deserved so much more than Gwaine could ever offer. He was nothing but a drunken layabout, a braggart and occasional (when required) thief, not to mention serial womaniser..and mananiser who would only end up breaking Percival’s perfect heart.
Gwaine snarled at his own stupidity, as if Percival would ever give the likes of him that heart to break…. Angry at the pointlessness of it all, Gwaine hurled the crumpled piece of paper at his door. Except, this piece didn’t bounce off the door to join the other abandoned letters littering his floor, no, this one bounced solidly off Percival’s nose as its original intended recipient elbowed the door open, and then dropped down to land in one of the boots Percival was carrying.
“Oh!” Percival said in surprise, then as he looked around the room taking in the scattered papers and Gwaine’s ink-stained state. “I, er, I didn’t mean to interrupt. He plucked the offending piece of paper from Gwaine’s boot, before bending to place both of them on the floor, just inside of the room. “I’ve just been down to the market and the cobbler had your boots ready, so I just…anyway.” He tailed off, holding the piece of paper out to Gwaine. “You’re busy, so yeah. I’ll go.”
Gwaine stared at the proffered letter and took a deep breath, and then another. If he was ever going to do this… “Read it.” He told Percival.
“No, it’s yours.” Percival shook his head, still holding the paper out for Gwaine to take.
“No, it’s yours.” Gwaine said, refusing to take it.
"But you wrote it.”
Gwaine resisted the sudden urge to bang his head against his ink-smudged table. “Yes, but I wrote it to you.”
Percival looked at Gwaine, suddenly pale and nervous looking. “But I’m here now, why don’t you just tell me what it says?”
“Because I want you to read it! For God’s sake Percy, read the damn letter, please!” Gwaine snarled back in frustration. Why was this thing so bloody hard?
Percival flushed red, then white again and his hands were trembling as he unfurled the letter. His brow scrunched in concentration, his lips moving as he read the words on the page.
Gwaine was nearly exploding in nervous anticipation as Percival’s lips moved, silently sounding out the words and what was taking him so damned long? Was he doing it on purpose? He’d never seemed a cruel man before.
“Look. Okay!” Percival burst out into the horribly long and tense silence. The desperation in his voice making Gwaine blink. “I can’t read, you’ve got me alright? I’ve been trying to learn, but it’s hard and…and I’m stupid.” The big knight suddenly shrank in on himself. “Lancelot was helping but, he’s gone now and I know you have to tell Leon or Arthur. I just thought maybe I could figure it out and…”
And this was not where this was supposed to be going. It took Gwaine several attempts to switch his brain from the anticipated rejection from Percival to realise he’d somehow managed to embarrass his best friend. No, he looked at Percival as the man wrung his hands together, not embarrass, mortify. Percival was mortified, and Gwaine realised, scared too.
“You’re not stupid.” Was the first thing he managed to get out, and then the rest of the words seemed to come more easily. “I wasn’t trying to, I mean, I just wanted you to…but that doesn’t matter. I can show you how to read.” He stood, closing the gap between them and squeezing Percival’s arm in support. “I hadn’t even guessed that you couldn’t, but it’s no big deal. Look. Sit down, sit down.” He almost fell over himself as he tried to ease Percival into a chair. “We can start now.”
“But your letter?” Percival asked.
Gwaine sighed, the time was gone, if it had actually been the time at all. He could wait, he would have to wait. “You can read it yourself.” He smiled, “Once I’ve finished teaching you how to read my horrible handwriting.”