mharific: Winchester Round Table (arthurian - table)
[personal profile] mharific
Title: Cursed From The Earth
Author: Mhari
Fandom: Arthurian
Characters/Pairing: Mordred, Bedivere, Gawain, Sagramore; implied Mordred/Sagramore
Rating: PG
Words: 672
Disclaimer: The words are mine, the characters are everyone's.
Summary: "And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him."
Notes/Warnings: Written for [ profile] theatrical_muse #192.

He comes to me, does faithful Bedivere, on the field where I saw him last: exhausted, filthy with blood and sweat, but on his feet. He's the only one. Kneeling in the mud, a stone's throw from my father's body, I wait for him to reach me. His voice is a rasp.

"Proud of yourself, boy?"

Of this desolation? It's a taunt, no more. I don't look up.

"I was your friend, you know that? I spoke up for you. Let him come, I said, he's a boy, what harm can a boy do?"

I know all this. I've known it a long time. What does it matter now?

"If I'd known--"

You'd have bade him beware of me? You'd have seen to it that he never trusted me? Maybe you should have at that. I never wanted this. I never planned this, I never asked anything of him but he gave it to me anyway, and I don't want it, and I should have died here. I wanted to. You want to kill me now, Bedwyr, my friend? Do it.

God knows I've been waiting.

"I'm done doing you favors," Bedivere says, and sheathes his sword.

* * *

Another night, another place. The lights are hot on my face, the music's not too loud. I'm sitting by myself with a drink half gone, listening to the jokes and the flirting all around me.

"Kiss for luck?"

My heart leaps.

Sagramore is standing there in jeans and a bawdy T-shirt, hands in his pockets, tall and lean and desperately handsome as he always was. He looks down at me with a wry smile, but when I stand and reach out to him, he moves away.

"I'm sorry," he says. "I mistook you for a friend of mine."

"Sagramore? You know me--"

"The way you mistook me for an enemy, sweet man." Again he slips out of reach. "You remember."

Dead at Camlann. I knew him even as I killed him, too sick with anger to care then. But the image stayed with me, perfect: his body grotesquely torn, his face thinned and twisted by agony.

"Yes," he says gently. "It took me quite a while to die."

"God, don't--"

It's too late. The crowd's gone silent, listening. They all know now what I am.

And still there's no malice in his face, no bitterness. He only keeps back, out of arm's reach. "You'd better go, lover. You don't belong here, you know."

No one lays a hand on me as I turn, blindly, and walk out into the cold wind.

* * *

This time I know the dream by the ache in my heart, even before I hear him say, "You're quiet, brother."

God, no, I can't bear this. I stare at the fire; like everything in dreams, it's a little awry. The hearth is the one we both grew up by, in Orkney long ago. The room around it, rich and warm, doesn't match. The room came later. They're both gone now.

"Mordred?" Gawain says behind me.

"Please don't."

"Don't what?" That was Gawain. Slow to follow the track of my thoughts; or if he did, and didn't like where they were leading, he'd feign confusion anyway. It was hard sometimes to tell which. I dare not look at him. But he comes up and rests his hands on my shoulders, gentle and warm as summer sunlight. How can he be so gentle?

"You shouldn't be here," I say.

I can hear the wry smile in his voice. "I never came to Arthur. That was a tale."

God hath sent me to you to give you warning that in no wise ye do battle as to-morn, but that ye take a treaty... for within a month shall come Sir Launcelot with all his noble knights, and rescue you worshipfully, and slay Sir Mordred...

But Gawain's ghost never appeared to Arthur on the eve of battle, counselling deceit, because Gawain wasn't dead then. Lancelot hadn't killed him.

I did that.

My brother whom I loved above all else, whom I honored and admired and would gladly have died for, my only living kin beside Arthur himself, my one hope. I killed him, in the last light of a late summer day, because when it came to it, he would not kill me.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-12-20 06:29 pm (UTC)
ilyena_sylph: picture of Labyrinth!faerie with 'careful, i bite' as text (Default)
From: [personal profile] ilyena_sylph
This? Is a billion levels of amazing.


((here from tiamatschild))

(no subject)

Date: 2007-12-22 05:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ee, thank you!


mharific: Forest in mist (Default)
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