Character/s: Gwaine, Percival
Summary: If you asked most people, they’d say that Sir Percival never got angry and that his patience never ran out. But Gwaine wasn’t most people.
Warnings: Um, nothing really? A bit of nakedness, and gratuitous swimming?
Author's Notes: Ugh, cutting it a bit fine to make the deadline...
If you asked most people, they’d say that Sir Percival never got angry and that his patience never ran out. But Gwaine wasn’t most people. Watching Percival was Gwaine’s second most favourite thing to do, which is why Gwaine knew that some things were absolutely guaranteed to turn his knight into a giant ball of pent up frustration.
The list was short, and Gwaine had to admit, that children being hurt and animals being badly treated were on his list as well. But Percival was also all too aware of his humble upbringing, and while Gwaine would swap his childhood in a blink for Percival’s happy memories, there were other knights who had taken to sneering at any social errors that Percival made.
All of this was the reason behind Gwaine’s current mission, the last task of which was to actually find Percival. His first stop was the stables, often Percival’s first port of call when he was upset. The familiar sounds and smells of the horses seemed to make him happy. There was no sign of him in any of the horses’ stalls though and he wasn’t out in the paddock either. Gwaine frowned, this was worse than he thought…the woodpile it was then.
Gwaine knew he’d got it right when he heard the sound of angry chopping long before he rounded the corner to find a shirtless Percival at work with an axe. Naturally Gwaine waited a moment or two - waiting for a suitable break in the chopping he would tell anyone who asked – because, really, what mere mortal could pass up the opportunity to appreciate a sweaty, semi naked Percival as he took his temper out on poor innocent blocks of wood? Still, time was passing and Gwaine had a mission to complete. He sighed regretfully before calling out.
“You know Arthur pays people to do that?”
Percival startled at the unexpected interruption and Gwaine winced as his knight nearly lost a foot. That would have absolutely ruined the mission.
“What?” Percival snapped as he used his forearm to wipe his brow.
“Arthur pays people to chop wood.” Gwaine tried again. “You’re putting some poor guy out of a job.”
Percival merely grunted, hefting the axe again.
“Come on Perce,” Gwaine switched to wheedling. “I’ve got something much better we can be doing – no, not that!” He added at Percival’s raised eyebrow, although later he mentally promised himself, definitely later, but first things first.
Percival shook his head. “I’m not really in the mood to go drinking.”
“No, not that either!” Gwaine protested. He’d learnt early on that an evening in the Rising Sun was not the way to help Percival relax after a bad day. Whilst Gwaine lived the noise, the companionship and on occasion the oblivion of a goodly number of drinks, Percival spent such an evening looking out for everyone else, making sure no one was drunker than they wanted to be and that everyone got home safely. No, that didn’t work out at all, but…”We’re going to the water hole.” He told Percival, leaving no room for argument.
And yet, Percival still did. “No. I’m going to finish off here.”
“But I packed a picnic.” Gwaine used the dual weapons of food and his puppy dog eyes, as he brandished the hamper and his eyelashes at Percival. He could visibly see the other man start to waver, so he went in for the kill. It never failed. “I’ve got roast chicken…”
Percival never stood a chance and it was only a matter of minutes before they were both on horseback and headed out Camelot.
Gwaine smiled as he watched Percival’s mood start to lighten almost as soon as they passed through the city gates. He started to smile again at Gwaine’s silly jokes and laughed as they raced their horses along the path. With the unwritten rules and unspoken etiquette left far behind Percival was already starting to enjoy himself and when they reached the secluded pool they’d stumbled across on patrol many months ago, the large knight set to pulling off his clothes with unseemly haste.
In the face of Percival’s joy and enthusiasm Gwaine couldn’t even bring himself to grumble at how quickly the beautiful and mouthwatering sight disappeared from view as Percival all but threw himself into the water. “Come on in, slow poke!” He called out, splashing Gwaine out of his reverie.
Somewhat slower, and wincing as the cold water hit his unmentionables, Gwaine joined him. Percival swam like an eel, or…something more noble and more beautiful, Gwaine couldn’t think what as Percival swam around him, slipping through the water with ease. The first time they’d come across the pool, Percival’s reaction had been identical and afterwards, as they lay drying in the sun, happily tired from all the swimming and other, post swimming, activities Percival had quietly told Gwaine of his childhood memories, of lazy summer days spent swimming with the other village children, splashing around in the shallows and catching frogs to put in his sister’s bed. It had maybe been the first time Gwaine had seen Percival truly unwind.
And it had never failed to work since then. Gwaine made sure to bring Percival here anytime the taunts of the noble born knights were getting to him. Of course, there was also the added advantage of a naked, wet Percival so Gwaine was never going to complain about the task, but still some things couldn’t be ignored. “So….” He grinned evilly, rolling over to look up at Percival, scattering the little yellow flowers that Percival had been weaving into his hair. “What are we going to do to make Sir Ector pay?”
They were still plotting pranks and punishments for the obnoxious knight as they rode back to Camelot, Percival’s wide grin and easy laughter letting Gwaine know his mission had been accomplished.