mharific: Young man's hand, holding a sword (arthurian - swords drawn)
[personal profile] mharific
Title: Whither Thou Goest
Author: Mhari
Fandom: Arthurian
Pairing: Mordred/Gaheris
Rating: PG
Words: 541
Disclaimer: The words are mine, the characters are everyone.
Summary: Morgause's death has consequences to be faced.
Warnings: Sibcest, but you have to squint. I apologize for the title, but I had to call it something. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] tiamatschild for putting up with me in the interim.

Gaheris is nowhere, when Mordred finds him at last: half lying on the ground in the middle of an empty field, against a fallen stone, with his thin hands clenched in the grass and his heart beating painfully. He could run no farther. He hardly has the strength to lift his head when he hears the footsteps in the grass, the rough sound of cloth and leather as his brother kneels beside him.

"Don't run from me," Mordred says softly.

Gaheris lets his head drop again, too tired to argue. "Go away."

Then he feels fingers run through his hair, a light touch that makes him shiver. "Gaheris. Brother."

"Don't," he whispers to the stone. "Don't you understand? I killed her. I did."

"I know it."

His voice is still soft, still calm, as though it hardly matters. He doesn't take his hand away when Gaheris turns to look up at him, only lets it rest lightly against his cheek instead. For the first time Gaheris sees the changes in him, the tired eyes, the thin face. Always he's thought of Mordred smiling, in amusement or triumph or simple good humor. Without the smile, he looks older.

None of them are boys any longer. Mother is dead--

"Little brother." Mordred bends to him, gathers him in his arms as the tears start to spill.

"God, don't, no. Don't touch me."

"Don't run from me."

"Don't-- you can't--"

"I will. Damn you, I don't care what you've done."

"How?" He's sobbing now, the words coming out thick and wet and somehow shrill. "How can you not care? She's dead, she never loved me, and you never-- none of you ever--"

"Hush. I love thee well."

"Why don't you hate me?" Then he cries without restraint, pressed against Mordred's shoulder, because Mordred won't let him go. Mordred holds him as tightly as he ever did during all their secret nights, and strokes his hair, and says nothing to comfort him; Gaheris is grateful for that. He leans into his brother's arms like a child, and weeps himself dry.

Eventually, when nothing is left in him but deep exhausted gasps, he realizes dimly that Mordred is speaking.

"'Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee.'" His voice is soft, matter-of-fact, as though the words were his own. "'For whither thou goest, I will go, and where thou lodgest, I will lodge. The Lord do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part thee and me.'"

Gaheris shudders. "You're mad."

"You're an idiot." Mordred caresses his hair again. "Shouldn't run away."

He says nothing.

"I will, you know. I'll go with you."

"Where?" He laughs, painful in his chest. "Where the hell am I going? Do you know?"

"You'll have to go somewhere. Arthur won't touch you, of course. You're blood. He won't add his sin to yours." There's a wry smile in Mordred's tone. "But he'll have to do something, so I expect you'll be packed off home, like a child sent to bed to think about what he's done wrong."

"God."

His brother kisses his cheek, then his mouth. "I know. Half-measures will be the death of us. But you won't have to go alone."
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Mhari's Fic

July 2009

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