Title: The Cruel Fever
Summary: So many things remain unsaid, burning without resolution.
Warnings: Angst and mildly mature in nature
Word Count: 1000
Author's Notes: This is sort of cannon, a bit AU. It follows sometimes after the episode 2.04 where Guinevere was kidnapped by Hengist and saw Lancelot again. 2.10 then had some apologies between A/G, basically stating that the hurt has been on equal ends. Maybe there was a reason why, well at least in my little AU head. So here we go…
The Cruel Fever
He knocked repeatedly. As no answer came, he entered through the back, the door just ajar.
A splash of water. And then another. It was too late to retreat.
Aware of an uninvited presence, she reached for the towel.
He turned away.
“Arthur!” She yelled, stunned.
“I’m sorry.” He gruffly apologized, noticing momentarily how she tightened the towel.
“What are you doing here?”
He pulled away his red tunic, thrusting it her way, eyes averted. “Put this on.” He wore just his thin white one now.
Inclined to argue, she nevertheless grasped the tunic. It reached far past her thighs. Self-consciously crossing her arms over her middle, she questioned, “Be so polite to answer. Why are you here?”
Her skin was wet, dark curls damp. “There’s a man of disreputable behavior in Camelot.”
Recalling what happened when he stayed with her during the jousting match, she asked nervously, “Another assassin?”
Arthur shook his head. “No. This man likes to have his way with women.”
She shirked away at that, holding the tunic close against her breasts. He couldn’t help notice how the ties had loosened on her smaller body. It showed the beginning curve of her woman’s chest. He cleared his throat, feeling flames of desire hitting it. “Don’t be concerned. The patrol is out. They will find him. And in the meantime I thought it best…
That I stay with you tonight.”
He concluded, “For your safety of course.”
She nodded her head slowly, looking down at the floor and then back to his sea infused eyes. “If you think that’s best.”
After a long day of palace toiling she had been looking forward to laying upon softness, but now… “Well you take the bed.”
“No. It’s yours. I’ll sleep on the floor.”
Gwen nodded and moved to her bed, pulling at his tunic’s hem with uncertainty. Everything had been prickled between them ever since…
“Good night My Lord.”
He bit so hard against his bottom lip he nearly made it bleed. Good night was on the tip. Ready to be politely stated. But her house was too warm from a rash explosion of sun commanding weather, the wood locking in the heat and the curtains allowing it to blow aggressively through. “Do you think of him?”
Gwen had yet to lay down. Her fingers tensed over the thin layer of covering. “Who?”
He let out a tick of displeasure. “Don’t play coy with me.”
“Then tell me who you mean.” She came back harshly.
“Lancelot. The hero.”
She stilled, a rush of breath escaping her lips in the darkness. It had been hanging stalely in the air now for weeks, the circumstances around Hengist’s capture of her. “Lancelot has his own life.”
He could barely refrain from snickering, boyishly, feverishly. “Seemed after what happened in the tunnels you’d be unhappy to be apart from him.”
“He gave me a helping hand. Was I to be rude about it?”
Arthur moved up to sit on the floor, tension flaming in his limbs. “You weren’t so kind to me.”
She got to her feet, saw him doing the same. “You said you were only there because of Morgana’s concern.”
“And you think that was the truth?”
“Only you know that.”
He grasped her waist, getting her to gasp. “All I could think about was finding you. I was worried out of my mind!”
She felt the lock of his hands, the rush of hot air against her cheek.
He gathered some of the tunic material into his fingers.
It rose up, exposing the skin above her thighs to a bit of cooling air. Feeling him pull her in more, she twined her fingers within the front frayed fabric lines of his white tunic.
“Do you still desire him?” He asked, a steaming whisper, delivered against her ear.
His lips were hotly impatient. They descended, a fire finding its object to flame. Wet. His mouth. Fueled with cinders of meaning. So many boundaries always put in place. Now he wanted to take away her thoughts of the other man. Burn them away.
Set love into flames. Kindle the passion.
It took long moments for her eyes to reopen, shock at his feverish kiss. She caught her breath, heat flooding it. “I made plain my feelings for you. Gave you a token of luck. And you made plain your expected role.”
“So you do want him?” He was tempted to lift his finger, trace it over her lips.
She shook her head. “Am I with him now?” She thought further about it. “You have no right to be so angry.”
The veins in his temple raged. “I’m not the one who desires more than one.”
She flamed at that, but before she could counter, his lips found hers again. Calescent wet heat. He tugged her body in hard against his, but then scaring at some rejection, he parted from her. “I lied. There’s no disreputable man. I just-
She grasped his hand, pulled him back to her. Answered his kiss with her own. Fevered. Pulsing. “You should not have lied. My feelings have always been for you. But I do not find myself awful for caring about him too. Reacting honestly to his chivalry. You told me we couldn’t be together.”
The veins knotted again, burning. “What if we could? What if I was nothing more than a farmer?”
“You’re not that.”
His lips found hers. One last time. The whisper so desperate. “But what if I was…Guinevere?”
She pressed against him. Hot and damp friction. “You’re not Arthur.”
His eyes pleaded with her. But she turned away. He was prince and she was handmaiden. He had a role she could not now join him on. So she’d suffer with the fever.
The door slammed closed as he left, rejected. Still burning. Calescent with no cure.
Until future days it would keep them apart.
The cruel fever of separation.