|Galahad's Truths - Part 5 (of 5)
||[Oct. 27th, 2004|09:24 pm]
"After tomorrow, this was all just a bad memory."
Story: Dark Knights Series – Galahad’s Truths Part 5
Author: Sue Ductive
Pairings: Lancelot and Arthur (implied), Galahad and Tristan
Rating: PG to R
Summary: Galahad knows that he should trust in himself even though the truth might be painful. But how can so much heartache come from love?
Series/Sequel: Dark Knights Series. Galahad’s Truths
Author’s Note: My humble thanks and appreciation to Anne Fairchild for all of her efforts with this story. Thank you, Anne! Thanks to Neldluva for cracking the whip at my grammar gremlins.
Dark Knights – Galahad’s Truths - Part 5
They rode in silence to the scouting site; both lost in their own thoughts. On past missions, Tristan would routinely choose a spot high in the hills yet hidden by trees and crevasses. He would be able to see if anything was coming in either direction towards where the knights would set up camp for the night. He had saved all of their lives several times over by doing this.
They found a place just off of the trail to tie up the horses, and then made their way to a ridge that was shielded by some brush. The two weary knights settled in for a quick meal of bread, dried meat, and water. The was not much talk between them.
At length Tristan spoke. “Might as well teach you a thing or two about scouting missions while we are out here. I chose this spot cause you can see for miles in either direction. Even in partial moonlight, you will be able to tell if any men or horses are coming or going, yet it is close enough to return to the camp to warn the others if there is any trouble.”
Galahad was listening to him and nodding that he understood. But his mind kept returning to Gawain. How his friend had been so worried about him, how he had squeezed his arm protectively and watched as Galahad rode off with Tristan. Galahad did not know if he was doing the right thing. Was all of this worth it? He wasn’t sure. His earlier resolve now seemed to evaporate into the thin, cold air of the starless night.
Tristan was looking at him. “You all right, Galahad? Not having second thoughts, are you?” Tristan asked with his head cocked slightly as he stared straight into Galahad’s eyes. “All that I told you about me, all that I have been through, are you to disappoint me too, Galahad? Or will you be loyal to me?”
Galahad thought that Tristan looked so vulnerable just then, so …young. This was not the Tristan of his dreams. That image was shattered by the revelations of this other, imperfect Tristan. The one that had held a dagger to his throat. The one that had asked him to give up his friendship with Gawain. Yet, the look of defiance still lingered in the older knight’s eyes, the look that was burned into Galahad’s memory from the first day they had met. He knew that his Tristan was not the thing of a boy’s imagination, this Tristan was real, and needed him. “I will not disappoint you,” said Galahad, with more conviction that he truly felt.
“Good!” Tristan whispered as he moved closer to Galahad and put his arm around the younger knight. He put his other hand on Galahad’s throat, where once he had placed a dagger. Tristan leaned in and kissed him tenderly on the lips. Galahad never expected such a gentle kiss, did not think it possible. Tristan’s hand traveled off of Galahad’s throat and down his body. “We are going to become one tonight, Galahad. And I promise you that I will always be with you, always take care of you. Just give yourself over to me.”
Galahad found himself eagerly returning the older knight’s kisses. The hesitation of just a moment ago seemed to vanish as his head began swimming with a desire that he had never felt before. Not one woman, or one hundred, could arouse these feelings. It was Tristan that he ached for, that made his breath shallow and raspy. That made his mouth search for more kisses, more flesh…
They undressed quickly and soundlessly. Tristan stretched out a bedroll and they both lay together on it, holding one another, enjoying the warmth of a touch, the pleasure of a simple caress. Their eyes never left each other’s. Kisses melted into lips and skin, desire burned hot and needy.
Galahad felt fear rise in his belly, he did not know much about these types of couplings, but his instincts told him that this would be painful. Tristan kissed away his fears and left him with more need that he had ever known. The need for release, the need to become one. Tristan saw to it that Galahad would not experience too much pain on that fateful first time, but nothing could completely prepare him for the sensation. The feeling of being entered, of having another inside of him.
Galahad closed his eyes and let the sensation consume him. He thought it odd that he felt so relaxed, so natural, lying there underneath another man. He felt vulnerable and exposed yet so aroused. This was all so new, yet somehow comfortable.
Tristan was on top, directing the rhythm, the thrusts, the strokes…determined not to hurt his love, only to show him pleasure. Soft moans sounded in ears, fingers were entwined in thick manes of hair. Release. The moment was fleeting, yet eternal. They were one.
The emotion was too great. Galahad lay trapped in the warmth of his lover’s body and was overcome with it all. “Tristan, I am so sorry for what they did to you—those Romans,” whispered Galahad with tears streaming down his face, “how could you have endured such suffering? I wish…I wish I could have been by your side to somehow help you!”
“My Galahad,” Tristan said softly as he kissed away the tears, “do not be sad for me, we are together now, and that is all that matters. I am the one that will protect you, remember? I have told you my story not for you to feel sorry for me, but so that you will understand. I need you to understand me, Galahad. I need you to love me.”
“I do love you, Tristan!” cried Galahad. And for the first time, his love was real. Not the thing of infatuation and dreams. It was real. This was his Tristan, scars and past hurts and all.
Tristan looked at him and smiled, “I love you as well. There is nothing that I would not do for you. Now, we should take some rest. First light will be upon us before we realize, and then we must head back to camp.” Tristan rolled off of Galahad and pulled the young knight into his arms, gently kissing his head. “Sleep, my love,” he whispered.
Galahad lay on his side wrapped in the protective embrace of his love. This was his Tristan. He would die for him, he would always love him. Nothing like this had ever happened to Galahad before. Nothing ever would again. Love had found him and he was at peace.
Then the horrific dream began. A knight on the battle field facing a formidable foe. The leader of the savage Saxons, his long hair flowing around him as he raised his sword to fight, to kill. A knight on his knees, helpless, his curved sword in his hands. Tristan’s death. Galahad woke in a cold sweat and gasped. He had dreamed of Tristan’s death! His heart was racing, his head pounding. This can’t be, he reasoned, we are one and he will always protect me.
He realized that he was alone, cold and naked on the hilly slope. Just as his fears were beginning to consume him, he heard the familiar soft voice. “Something wrong, Galahad?” asked Tristan coming down the slope towards him. He sat down next to the younger knight and wrapped the blanket around Galahad’s shoulders. “I was going to check on the horses and figured that I would let you sleep a bit more, then I heard you cry out.” Tristan saw the look of horror in Galahad’s eyes and knew instantly what had happened. He knew. “You…you had a nightmare, yes? About me?”
Galahad looked into the eyes of his beloved. He couldn’t tell him the truth, what good would it do? “No Tristan, do not worry. I just was cold, is all. I…I am fine, really,” he said.
Tristan kissed his forehead and touched him tenderly on the cheek. He gazed at the younger knight and smiled. “Don’t lie to me, Galahad. I know. But it is all right. I know that I will go before you. Maybe I am selfish to let you into my life like this. Maybe I should keep my distance so the pain will not be so great for you. But I can’t. I’ve lead a lifetime hurting others, keeping them out. I just had to be close again. Even if…well, even if there is not much time left. We will make the most of the time we have together.”
A single tear ran down Galahad’s cheek. Tristan kissed it away. “None of that, then, all right? I told you last night that I do not want to see you cry for me, for any reason.”
Galahad nodded and grabbed Tristan in a tight embrace. They stayed wrapped in each other’s arms for a while, each unwilling to break the bond.
Tristan stood, pulled Galahad up, and helped him dress in the cold morning air. “Come,” he said, “we must get back to the others before they break camp.” And he leaned in and kissed Galahad softly.
They rode back in silence to the camp. In the distance they could see that the other knights were making breakfast and gathering their things for the rest of the journey. Tristan bid Galahad to stop. He put his hand on the other knight’s shoulder and said quietly, “Look Galahad, about Gawain. I was wrong. You and Gawain have always had each other’s backs in battle. He looks out for you and that is good. Do not stop that because of me. You are my lover, but I do not want you to lose your friend and protector. You shall have us both for as long as…well…you know.”
“Thank you, Tristan,” replied Galahad. “I am yours. But I need Gawain. Thank you for not making me choose. What made you change your mind?”
“Your dream,” answered Tristan, giving Galahad a sad smile. “You will need someone to look after you when I am gone. But for now, know that you are my life.”
Galahad was filled with sorrow, but he knew in his heart what Tristan said was true. Tristan was going to die soon. Not now, but before the end of their service. He would not return home. He would not go back to his clan and raise a family and watch his son be taken. He would die on the battlefield, cut down by a fierce Saxon. That was one of Galahad’s truths. And knowing that Tristan, his Tristan, loved him with his very being was another of his truths. And it gave him comfort.
They smiled at each other. They would be together while they could. They were one. The two knights urged their horses on as they raced each other back to the camp.
The first to greet them was Gawain. His protector and friend was there waving and smiling at Galahad. Gawain, the one that would always be there for him, not matter what. Gawain – Galahad’s truth.