loved_by_two: (Guine Living Life : Dea_Liberty)
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Guinevere sat on the highest of the walls and looked down out over the forest. Her hip was still on fire, but she hadn't wanted to go to one of the healers and be faced with them summoning Arthur or Lancelot. She wasn't prepared to deal with the anger again from the two of them. The look from Lancelot and the things Arthur had said to her had made the wound in her heart even deeper. Instead of responding to the hurtful and unkind things Arthur had said to her, she had let him walk away, not letting the tears fall until all of the knights were gone. She had no right to call him back, no right to argue his words. Maybe they were both right about her.

She needed someone to talk to, to confide in, but she couldn't seek out Arthur, obviously. She had already caused him enough pain. From the way she saw things in the meeting, Lancelot wouldn't want to see her right now, and much as she loved him like a brother, his first loyalty would always be to Arthur and the knights, and she could respect that. In fact, she wouldn't have it any other way. She didn't think Galahad would even want to talk to her...and she definitely couldn't go to Vanora. She thought briefly of seeking out Evelyn, but she was very much focused on trying to find a way to get her and her husband back to their own time. She wasn't sure she could send for her father and confide in him as his disappointment in failing in her duty as first woman of their people would be the final blade in her heart.

She was very much alone right now. She didn't think she had felt so alone since the time she had to decide if her love for Lancelot or her duty to the kingdom meant more to her.

That time...that time she had chosen love...and look at the tension it had caused between her and those she loved. Again, she had thought that she was doing something to help and it had almost gotten Lancelot killed.

Guinevere shook her head and leaned on the wall. The night was chilly, but she didn't want to return to her rooms and get changed into something besides the bloody battle leathers she was wearing. Arthur would be in his study and she just couldn't deal with more hurt from him right now---especially since she knew she deserved his anger. She would just storm in and confront him and...make things worse. There were reasons she was a warrior and not a healer. She would only end up hurting him more and she couldn't bear to do that, not to Arthur. The last thing she had ever wanted to was hurt Arthur...or make him feel that she didn't want to be with him. She loved him so much and to know that she had made him feel alone...that made her ill.

She hung her head and tried to make sense out of everything that had happened in the last few weeks.

"I could. I could tell both of you what I want - but you know what? At the moment, Lancelot wouldn't care because, I'll admit it, I wronged him. And I've wanted you beside me for weeks - but that wish hasn't ever been granted; what's the hope for getting it this time? You'll be where you want to be, as has always been the case. I refuse to set myself up for a fall."

"I've always been here in one way or another," she said softly into the darkness. That wasn't exactly true and she knew it, but right now the bleeding of her heart was making it hard to be logical.

It was true, she may not have always been in plain sight, but she was always nearby. She had never travelled far...but how could they have really known that since she never said anything? How could they have hoped to know where she was when she had went out of her way to avoid them and avoid making things more tense between them? Ever since that last big dinner where they had admitted that things weren't right with the three of them, she hadn't wanted to leave, had wanted to be near by, just in case they wanted her... needed her to be there with them, but at the same time it had just hurt too damn much to see them so near and feel like she had pushed them so far away. She had, she knew that now.

So, she had taken the coward's way out and had hidden or had avoided what she thought might turn into painful silences. She had stayed outdoors as much as she could and had mostly avoided their rooms. She would creep in late and night, and leave again before first light. She avoided any of the common areas during the day and ate with the warriors in the evening.

She had worked out with other knights and kept her skills honed. She had trained the fresh warriors that Merlin had picked out and sent her. Doing this kept her somewhat near the castle, but it also served to keep her out of the way and kept her from inadvertently hurting Arthur and Lancelot again, or so she had thought. Alright, she hadn't done much thinking about all of this. She had just reacted, and not well. Her reactions without thinking had only served to make everything so much worse.

Unfortunately, she had become just as invisible as she had felt with herself. She had felt like they needed to be blind to her presence, and maybe things would work out between the two of them. Unfortunately, she hadn't thought fully on the effect that it would have on the two of them if she let them think that she wasn't there or she didn't make her presence known. She hadn't made things any easier on them by being quiet and purposefully hiding in the background. Okay, she had done more than just hide in the background. She had pretty much disappeared day after day. That wasn't exactly the best way to try to fix things between them and she realized that now.

She had never felt more out of place here than she did now--- and it was her own damned fault.

She sighed and leaned her entire body against the wall as pain flared in her side. Maybe fighting with the other knight so soon before riding out wasn't the smartest thing she had ever done, but fighting something to a standstill had always helped. It had also always helped her to deal with the crushing self-hatred she had felt. Arthur was going to be pissed when he found out about it; and he would have every right to be. The only saving grace was that it didn't inhibit her ability to ride and she could still move to fight. It was a good thing that her main movements when she went to war was to attack from the trees with her bow and then move in with her sword and hatchets. It would give her wound time to heal a bit without endangering her.

She knew Arthur didn't realize that he had made it sound like it was her fault that he had let Lancelot down...and she had never thought to tell him that she wanted him by her side. More than a small part of her thought that he was right in his assessment of her actions and the situation. She also knew that he would never forgive himself if he thought she thought he was blaming her for what had gone wrong between him and Lancelot. Even if she felt he had every right to feel that way, he would beat himself up about it. He was a loving man and even if she deserved his anger, he would never forgive himself if he thought he had upset her and if he knew she blamed herself about so many things.

"From the very beginning I have stood beside you, Arthur," she said now, tears finally free to be shed. "From the very beginning I have always been at your call, your command and your side. My first loyalty has always been to you. I guess I forgot that you don't always know the things that I don't say...and I wish I could change what I did. I was blind and I was foolish and I am so sorry." Guinevere shook her head, her chest hurting. "I let you down, I let Lancelot down and I don't know how to fix what I did...or what I didn't do."

Guinevere bent over, sobbing now that she didn't have to worry about anyone hearing her. She felt like her entire world was crashing down around her and her heart was being pulled out of her chest by invisible fists.

"And I've wanted you beside me for weeks - but that wish hasn't ever been granted; what's the hope for getting it this time?"

Those words stabbed at her and she couldn't make them stop. They kept circling around in her mind and stabbing ever deeper every time they settled in. The fact that he had said them and believed them to be true made it all the worse in her mind...sort of like when he had so readily believed that she had betrayed his plans to Gerard and caused Lancelot to be taken all those months ago. She hadn't realized that he felt that way...that she had made him feel that way. Self-hate was tearing at her again as she realized she had done the one thing she had never wanted to do, ever. She had made Arthur doubt his importance to her.

Guinevere gasped as she stopped fighting the sobs that she had been holding in since that remark by Arthur and the looks full of words that she had been getting from Lancelot at the meeting.

She slid to the ground, smearing blood on the wall, and wrapping her arms about herself as she curled up in the corner and let the sobs tear out of her. No one could hear her (as far as she knew) and Arthur had made it clear that the last thing he would do would be to come look for her. She had tried to respect that he had his own thoughts and his own way of dealing with things that hurt. However, this time, instead of helping, she had only made things worse for them. She thought that if she stayed out his way and let him work through things, he would see how much she loved him and wanted to make things easier on him. It had backfired.

"Damn it. I should have just kidnapped him and Lancelot like Tristan suggested I do before and this mess probably never would have happened." Okay, maybe Tristan hadn't suggested the kidnapping idea, but he certainly hadn't dissuaded her when she came up with the idea and was trying to decide how to best implement that plan.

If she was anyone else, she would run far from here to hide in the forest for the rest of forever. She wasn't anyone else, though. She was Guinevere...daughter of Merlin, wife of the reluctant king of Briton. Whether he was a reluctant king...or a reluctant husband, she probably would never know. She would never ask him because she was afraid of the answer that she might get from him right now...and she would deserve it.

She didn't have that luxury. She had to stay and fight even a losing battle. She had to stay until she at least brought Lancelot and Arthur back to each other. She no longer had any right to their hearts herself, but she'd be damned if she let the love the two of them had for each other fade into apathy or disappear all together. She knew she had no right to still want them with still love them as much as she did...but she could at least try to undo the damage between the two of them that she had so obviously had a large hand in.

"Father," she whispered through her tears now. "What would you do if you found yourself in this mess I have created?"

Ancestors, he would be so disappointed in her if he knew exactly what had been going on.

Guinevere buried her face in her knees as a new wave of sobs bubbled up from her chest. This was so unlike her! Slavery and torture at the hands of Marcus hadn't even come close to breaking her. However, the feeling of losing the two she loved more than her own life was threatening to break her.

Date: 2005-11-15 05:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The knight had found Arthur in his study, looking over the maps still, and had told him in a shakey voice, shaking equally much, that he'd injured the Queen when they went sparring - and she'd refused to see the healers.

Having pried the entire story from the other man, Arthur had thanked and dismissed him, making his way outside to find her. She wouldn't have stayed in the tavern - that was more Lancelot - but he knew where she'd be. They seemed to have this one habit in common.

From what he'd heard, she probably wasn't that badly injured if she was still riding, but he needed to check and make sure. Just in case. Sometimes, he believed Guinevere just as stubborn as Lancelot was when it came to getting injuries seen to (he refused to acknowledge his own stubborness).

He found her on the battlements, as predicted, crying. And his mind detached a little more. He couldn't deal with anything emotional right now; he didn't have the strength and he was far too tired. He approached her, leaning back against the battlements next to her.

"You need to go and see a healer," he told her quietly. "I'm not sure what you were thinking, sparring before riding out like this, but if you don't see a healer, I'm going to be forced to order you to stay here. I won't have you fighting injured, whether you believe yourself capable of doing so or not. You're only making things worse by letting yourself bleed out like this." A slight bit of concern made it's way into his voice; angry as he was, hurt and upset and needing to detach as he was, he still worried. He still loved her - just as he still loved Lancelot.

He just wasn't ready to deal with the consequences of all their actions yet. Not yet.

Date: 2005-11-16 09:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Arthur couldn't help the slight curl of his lips at those words, or the little almost bitter laugh that slipped out as he continued to look out into the darkness, into nothingness.

"Well, that's certainly reassuring to know." He had a thousand thoughts running through his mindm a thousand things he wanted to say...but only one really formed at all. "If you know, then you will not judge me when I ask...where have you been, Guinevere?"

Date: 2005-11-16 10:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Those are duties of our guards and commanders, trainers - whatever else we've collected, not of our Queen," Arthur told her quietly, voice flat, eyes just as glassy as they had been before - dull and completely emotionless. "I am only human, Guinevere; I was not made and neither was I trained to be a King. Even if you had doubts about us, I'm certain you never doubted your country - and yet you were not here to help me govern it. Even though you would have seen what it was doing to us - to, in your own words, the country's feelings itself."

He pushed himself off the wall, crossing his arms slightly, one hand snaking down to finger Excalibur before tucking away again. "We're human. We make mistakes. Take up your role as queen now."

He couldn't deal with this right now. He just couldn't deal with anything emotional - and it worked better, it would be better for everyone, if he hid behind this mask of a king for a little while longer. If he let himself feel too much now, he would break - and he didn't know if he could put himself together in time.

He began walking away slowly. "Please see a healer before you bleed out."

Date: 2005-11-16 11:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Arthur simply stopped moving and waited for her to speak, not reacting to the touch on his arm or her proximity and words. He just cocked his head to the side to let her know he was listening.

Date: 2005-11-16 11:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"I've already answered that question," Arthur told her simply, wrapping his hand around hers and squeezing slightly before letting go and making his way down from the battlements. "Now go and see that healer."

Date: 2005-11-16 11:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"You still have time to make your decision," Arthur simply told her, offering a small shrug. "This is your decision. I've proven time and again I don't make the right decisions for other people. It's your choice."

Date: 2005-11-16 07:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Then who's stopping you doing what you want?" Arthur questioned, shrugging once more, before disappearing back inside the long corridors of the fortress - and back to his study. There were still things that needed to be done before they left.


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Guinevere Castus-DuLac

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