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28 October 2007 @ 10:44 pm
A Night On The Road to Aquae Sulis  
 
Lancelot hadn’t appeared to be sharing the same pleasant memories from their last outing together….obvious by the sour expression on the lieutenant’s face as they rode on. Should I be insulted? And since Arthur could not risk a verbal reminder of exactly why he had smiled over at his lieutenant….lover ….the Commander slightly shook his head and let it go. He did regret not learning more of Lancelot’s native tongue though…communicating in Sarmatian during this escort would have been quite helpful. Especially should Lancelot not keep his promise to behave.
 
Arthur had no objection when Lancelot picked up their pace; only momentarily glancing back over his shoulder to be sure Falco and his companions were able to keep up.
 
*    *    *    *
 
Just as the sun was dipping down in the horizon, the small party arrived at the caves Lancelot had suggested. Arthur immediately spotted Tristan and brought his stallion to a halt in front of the scout. Without a backward glance at the three Romans he escorted, Arthur greeted Tristan with a nod, keen to hear whatever the man had to report.
 
"No activity, but be careful. I've seen a few fresh tracks - I'm going to check the next village to make sure that's where they came from."
 
“Keep me informed,” Arthur instructed his scout, although both men knew the words to be unnecessary. Tristan had perhaps the best instincts among Arthur’s men (although he’d never share that opinion with Lancelot) and thus the Commander rarely had the need to dispense orders at Tristan. However, with Falco’s scrutinizing eye close at hand, Arthur thought it best to do things the proper military way.
 
Once Tristan had departed, Arthur dismounted and momentarily stretched his back. Lancelot had already disappeared….which brought a frown to Arthur’s expression…. apparently relieving himself was more important than securing camp for the night, and the Sarmatian’s quick reappearance confirmed Arthur’s thoughts….he opened his mouth to give the order for Falco and his men to situate themselves within the cave when Lancelot beat Arthur to it…..
 
"It's not the garrison, or even a village, but this will be our camp for the night. I've stayed here before. The caves are perfectly safe and warm. You men go ahead inside. I need to speak with our Commander, here."
 
Arthur gestured towards the entrance to the caves in confirmation of his lieutenant’s suggestion. Falco’s expression gave away nothing if he thought Lancelot’s ‘orders’ were out of line.
 
"Commander, shall I expect you and your lieutenant to see about food?"
 
“Of course,” Arthur replied with a rather dry tone while offering a strained courteous smile at the Roman official.
 
The moment Falco and his men entered the cave; Arthur puffed out his cheeks and expelled a sigh of relief. Yet his bladder was quick to remind the Commander that perhaps he too should see to his own needs before finding the evening meal. But then he noted Lancelot’s small stumble and obvious discomfort as the other man touched his side. Guilt at agreeing to Falco’s arrangement threatened to rise up again and Arthur had to roughly swallow the worry back down.
 
 
"So they've reduced us to guards and cooks. Arthur……What did he mean - 'no more discussion' about the results of the reports?"
 
“It will be no trouble to share our meal with Falco and his companions,” Arthur started while closing the small distance between the two men and purposely ignoring the latter half of Lancelot’s statement.
 
“Dazzle them with your skills as a hunter by trapping a hare while I start a fire, hm?” Arthur was playing on Lancelot’s pride in order to convince the other man to do a task he knew his lieutenant truly did not want to do.
 
“And I believe I already explained about Falco…” Arthur half whispered, finally willing to answer (somewhat) Lancelot’s question while beginning to walk away towards a clump of trees.
 
Once he’d emptied his bladder, Arthur saw to it that the horses were properly tethered and then stepped into the entrance of the cave to look in on his charges. Tucked under one arm, the Commander carried enough tinder to start a small fire.
 
“Comfortable gentlemen?” He started in a tone overly pleasant while kneeling to form up a small fire pit. “My lieutenant will return presently with our meal,” Arthur informed while retrieving his flint from the saddlebag he’d brought with him into the cave. Within moments, Arthur had a steady flame dancing up from the small pile of wood and dried leaves.
 
 
Current Location: at the caves for the night
Current Mood: tiredtired
Current Music: crickets, night sounds
 
 
 
Ash: a/l spanking by lessysasha_b on October 29th, 2007 09:36 pm (UTC)
“It will be no trouble to share our meal with Falco and his companions...Dazzle them with your skills as a hunter by trapping a hare while I start a fire, hm? And I believe I already explained about Falco…”

Lancelot's eyebrows shot to his hairline. Had Arthur just told him to go hunt for supper?

As the commander turned after his quiet words, apparently he had. Lancelot rubbed his side once more and went about the business at hand, too pissed off and tired to say anything else.

And fuck what Arthur said. The Sarmatian knew the other man was hiding something from him. That being said, he'd worm it out of Arthur this evening - one way or another.

*

The three Inspectors were sitting on their haunches, one of Falco's cronies having unpacked their cooking implements.

"Comfortable gentlemen?"

Falco eyed the annoying Roman commander with some distaste. "As much as can be expected, Castus. This is the best your intrepid lieutenant could do?"

He indicated the small cave. It was dry and cozy, however, and the Roman thanked his lucky stars he didn't have to spend the one night on the road outside with Castus and his barbarian...friend.

"I hope he's quick about it," the Inspector noted dryly as the flames from Arthur's quickly built fire roared up. "I'm somewhat hungry."

*

Lancelot found not just one, but four hares, and he made his way back to the caves with them slung over his shoulder. He ducked into the entrance and smiled sarcastically at the men, who were hunched over near the fire, trying to get at what little warmth there was.

He'd noted that Arthur had taken care of the horses and sat next to the other man stiffly as he lowered their dinner to the ground. He dug a knife out of one of his boots and set about the process of skinning.

"Masterful hunting," he told Arthur, his tone somewhat cold. "Did Jols happen to throw in some bread as well?"

He canted his eyes sideways to meet Arthur's gaze. I know you're hiding something, meus diligo. And rest assured, I will get it out of you.

The fact that Arthur still felt he had to hide things from Lancelot made the Sarmatian's back ache. He sighed and dropped his eyes to his task.
Cat: Arthur and Lancelot ~ Any Hope?cat_o_wen on October 30th, 2007 12:57 pm (UTC)
"As much as can be expected, Castus. This is the best your intrepid lieutenant could do? I hope he's quick about it, I'm somewhat hungry."

“It is a rare treat to find good shelter such as this while traveling, Sir,” Arthur arched a single brow at Falco while rubbing his hands over the warmth of the fire; purposely ignoring the latter part of the other man’s statement.

“I thank God for our good fortune tonight,” The Commander continued with a hint of reproach at the seemingly ungrateful men crouching on the opposite side of the fire. The cave was an excellent shelter, easy to defend and allowed their campfire to go relatively unnoticed by any unwelcome eyes in the night. And it was dry and out of the weather, should rain decide to plague them during the night. Although….Arthur was already contemplating he and Lancelot sleeping outside tonight; taking turns at keeping watch while the three Roman officials took their rest within the shelter of the cave.

Arthur could not hide an expression of pride at Lancelot’s efficiency when his lieutenant re-joined the group with – not one but – four hare for the evening meal. The Commander’s expression did darken a shade at noting the stiffness in Lancelot’s motions as the other man sat down beside him. But Arthur would hide his concern in front of the others….although it was probably obvious to Lancelot, who seemed to always recognize each emotion in Arthur’s emerald eyes as of late. Both a blessing and a curse, Arthur thought to himself while making use of a small stick to stir at the fire.

"Masterful hunting….did Jols happen to throw in some bread as well?"

“I believe he did,” Arthur answered somewhat confidently. “In my saddlebag there…” He pointed to the leather bag propped against the wall to Lancelot’s left. “…when you are ready for it,” Arthur further commented with a frown at Lancelot’s rather cold tone.

The Commander knew his lieutenant despised Falco and his men – God forgive him, so did Arthur – but this escort was the bargain made to keep the conniving Roman from bringing trouble to Arthur’s door. Two weeks ago….before the Commander had taken his own lieutenant as a lover, Arthur would have never bowed to Falco’s threats….but now the Commander had something to protect….someone worth guarding with his own life in need be.

“We will have our meal momentarily, gentlemen,” Arthur offered at the other three men before gesturing to give Lancelot a hand in the cooking. Despite the undesirable company of the three men they had been forced to escort, Arthur found himself hungry tonight and content to be beside a warm fire with Lancelot close at hand. Although, the Commander was certain that if he and Lancelot were alone on this ride….food would be the last thing on Arthur’s mind at the moment. He coughed and attempted to focus on the meat Lancelot prepared….
Ash: lancelot in darknesssasha_b on October 30th, 2007 09:47 pm (UTC)
“I believe he did, in my saddlebag there…when you are ready for it."

Lancelot grunted in response and finished skinning his hares, efficiently cutting the meat up neatly and placing it on sticks Arthur had brought in with the firewood. He spitted them and let Arthur finish up the one he was working on before reaching past the Roman for his saddlebag.

He grimaced at the pain in his side - his fingers surreptitiously checking his stitches under his mail for any breaks, but all seemed fine. He retrieved the bread and laid out enough for all present.

Eying Falco, he grinned broadly. "Not used to camping along the road, are you? So sorry for the ... primitive quarters, but it was the best I could do at such short notice." He unstrapped his sword sheath and lowered the blades to the ground, resting them on the bag Arthur had brought in from Ras.

The Inspector's temper flared briefly, but he dampened it down when the smell of rabbit whetted his appetite. "No - but I thank you for your consideration just the same." He smiled back toothily at Castus' barbarian lieutenant. Perhaps more.

He looked at the commander, and plucked one of the meat laden sticks from the fire. "I trust one of you will stand guard at night? I'd hate to have to worry about native problems this far south of the Wall."

Lancelot shook his head and sat by the fire, not interested in eating just yet. He probably should reapply the salve, but he'd be damned if he did it in front of the nasty officials. He took a swig from his canteen and shivered slightly. The ground was damp and his sweat was rapidly drying.

He looked askance at Arthur, his eyes narrowing slightly, imagining the feel of the other man around him. If they were here alone....Lancelot's eyes closed totally and he breathed slowly, feeling Arthur's hands and his skin against Lancelot's own.

Not a good idea to get distracted....

"You seem a bit peaked, Lancelot," Falco said as he chewed. "Are you sure you can make this journey? Your commander tells us of nothing but your bravado and strength. Surely he isn't exaggerating."

Lancelot's lids opened and he rested his chin on his arms. He smiled dangerously. "You could stand guard with me tonight and find out on your own, Sir."
Cat: Arthur and Lancelot ~ Any Hope?cat_o_wen on October 30th, 2007 11:53 pm (UTC)
Arthur carefully eyed Lancelot while the Sarmatian spoke about their shelter for the night. He had caught Lancelot’s pained expression when retrieving the bread from the saddlebag. Had the man’s stitches held up? Arthur would see for himself later when he could get Lancelot alone outside the cave.

"I trust one of you will stand guard at night? I'd hate to have to worry about native problems this far south of the Wall."

“Yes,” Arthur answered Falco’s question while handing the inspector a generous portion of bread. “Do not concern yourself, Didius Falco, you shall be well guarded here tonight,” Arthur finished with a nod just before taking a rather large bite of meat; using his teeth to slide the roasted hare off the spit.

"You seem a bit peaked, Lancelot. Are you sure you can make this journey? Your commander tells us of nothing but your bravado and strength. Surely he isn't exaggerating."

Arthur’s attention had returned to Lancelot while chewing his food when Falco spoke. And before the Commander could swallow his meat, Lancelot answered….

"You could stand guard with me tonight and find out on your own, Sir."

Arthur had to suppress a groan of irritation. Hadn’t Lancelot promised to restrain himself while on this escort? Arthur gave Lancelot a silent warning with a brief cut of his eyes before focusing on Falco.

“I assure you that Lancelot is more than fit for this escort,” Arthur stated in a firm yet even tone and a slightly raised chin. The Commander had chosen to withhold Lancelot’s injuries from Falco before they rode out from Camboglanna, thus Arthur was not about to explain his concerns now. He also believed Lancelot to be strong enough for a simple escort…. At least Arthur prayed it would be uneventful. He then proceeded to lick the juices from his fingertips and reach for his share of the bread. Surely Lancelot would remain silent and simply eat his meal, and then the two of them could move outside (and away from Falco) and set up watch for the night.
Ash: a/l torn by lessysasha_b on November 1st, 2007 12:08 am (UTC)
“I assure you that Lancelot is more than fit for this escort."

Lancelot had been about to open his mouth and snarl something nasty at Falco when Arthur beat him to the punch. He turned his glare on the commander and tore into his own food quickly.

"Yes, Lancelot is just fine, thank you," he said icily after swallowing. "And he's also finished with his meal." He stood and gathered his bag and his blades.

"I'll stand first watch, commander," he told Arthur, biting off his words. His fingers itched to hit something - and by the Gods, he'd keep his promise to his lover or he'd be damned.

He turned and ducked out of the cave, inhaling the brisk night air deeply and thankfully.

Didius Falco pursed his lips as he and his assistants finished their meal leisurely. "He's a feisty one, that," he nodded toward where Lancelot had been sitting. "Do tell me how you manage to keep him in line."

*

Lancelot found a good spot on top of some low rocks near the cave, where he could see the opening and hear the murmur of low voices. He was hidden by a copse of trees, and hopefully no Woads would be able to detect him.

"The tracks did come from the village."

Lancelot jumped and sighed. "Fucking shit, Tristan. Don't sneak up on me."

The scout sat on his haunches next to the annoyed knight. "Normally I can't."

Lancelot pulled his dagger back out of his boot and began to sharpen it with his small whetstone, ignoring Tristan's pointed look.

"Tell Arthur you're perfectly safe here. I'll be within seeing distance, so send me a signal if I'm needed."

And Tristan was gone. Lancelot let out a breath and chucked his knife at the nearest tree, hard. It landed, quivering, and he raised his knees and rested his arms on them.

Fuck this shit.

Those damn officials had riled Lancelot up more than anyone in a while. And why, though? Did they remind him of his first commander? Was it because they were disrespectful, not only to him, but to Arthur, one of the kindest and most sincere men Lancelot had ever met?

Lancelot really didn't care if he killed the bastard and got strung up himself for it. But no one treated Arthur the way those men were. Why was Arthur putting up with it?

"What are you hiding, Castus?" he whispered, and then made an annoyed sound as his side twinged again.
Cat: Arthur ~ Haunted Soulcat_o_wen on November 1st, 2007 09:15 pm (UTC)
"Yes, Lancelot is just fine, thank you. And he's also finished with his meal. I'll stand first watch, commander,"

“Very well,” Arthur answered, speaking the words slowly while his eyes followed Lancelot as the other man made a swift exit from the cave. The Commander could see the anger that boiled up inside of Lancelot in the way his lover moved and the tone he’d used when speaking. The other man had made no attempt to hide it. Falco was doing well to push Lancelot’s buttons, but did his lieutenant have to allow the insignificant fool to see it so plainly? Arthur knew that if Falco received the reaction he wished from Lancelot, then he would only be encouraged to continue.

"He's a feisty one, that. Do tell me how you manage to keep him in line."

“I have his respect,” Arthur spoke pointedly before washing down the last of his meal with a drink from his water skin.

“I will leave the three of you at your leisure here within the cave and join my lieutenant on watch. We will continue on to Aquae Sulis at first light,” Arthur continued while standing and gathering his saddlebag. “You will be perfectly safe tonight…sleep well gentlemen,” He concluded with a courteous nod before walking out of the cave and into the chilly night air.

Arthur’s eyes took a moment to adjust to the darkness; he then made out the shapes of the horses where they were tethered for the night but no Lancelot. The Commander had half expected Lancelot to be waiting right outside the entrance with blades drawn….ready to re-enter the cave and murder Falco while the man still ate his meal. Arthur sighed, his warm breath steaming in the cold evening air around him.

If Lancelot had truly gone about watch, the knight would most likely choose a vantage point from where they could easily keep an eye on the entrance to the cave and the surrounding area…..Arthur began to move around the side of the rocks and search for an elevated location, making enough noise to alert Lancelot to his approach….if he was indeed close at hand.
Ash: All these long years by matasasha_b on November 2nd, 2007 01:08 am (UTC)
Lancelot sat hunched over his feet; his side occasionally shooting small amounts of pain at him. He supposed he should apply the salve, and was in the process of unfolding his body to reach for his bag when he heard footsteps coming toward him.

Never a foolish one, he drew his dagger from its position in the tree and waited until the top of Arthur's head appeared, the other man making his way up to the elevated position Lancelot had found.

He sighed and resheathed the knife in his boot. "And how do our guests fare? Full, warm and dry?" His tone was sarcastic and angry.

Rifling through his bag, he found the hated medicine and sat back down on one of the rocks. He lifted his mail and tunic and leather hauberk and tried to reach his stitches. It was not an easy task. Due to the location of the injury, he had to twist at a funny angle to reach it, and he couldn't quite get his head in the right place to see it.

"Fuck!" Lancelot spat, and capped the jar without having been able to find most of his stitches. He set the thing down on top of his bag and eyed Arthur.

"What are you keeping from me about that man?" he said suddenly. "Why are you letting him treat you like this? A few months ago you'd have flayed anyone that spoke to you with such disrespect," he kept on, exaggerating only a little. "What's he got on you, Arthur? Besides his naughty thoughts about us," he sighed again, and waited to see if the commander would be straight with him.

Lancelot didn't like not knowing something about Arthur. Hell, even before they'd become lovers he'd always made it his business to know whatever things Arthur was doing or how the Roman felt. He'd be a poor second and an even poorer Sarmatian if he didn't 'spy' on the Roman he was closest to.

And now that they were lovers, things had changed. And Lancelot wasn't sure if he liked that - even though a lot of it was his own doing.
Cat: Arthur ~ Lost to Youcat_o_wen on November 2nd, 2007 07:58 pm (UTC)
"And how do our guests fare? Full, warm and dry?"

Arthur’s gaze followed the sound of Lancelot’s voice until the Commander located his lieutenant perched on the rocks above. The Commander recognized the sarcasm in his lover’s voice and knew he was in for an argument before either man would find a moments rest tonight. Arthur climbed up to join Lancelot, placing his bag next to the other man’s before sitting down himself. He noted the jar of salve atop Lancelot’s bag and decided to inquire about applying the salve as soon as Arthur had settled.

“Our guests will sleep comfortably tonight,” Arthur half sighed as he stretched out his left leg and tugged his cloak to better cover his quickly chilling body. The Commander began to massage the calf of his right leg, bent for better access, as he’d managed to twist the muscle while climbing up on the rocks just now. Although uneventful, the day had been a long ride on the road and the Roman was also in need of a little rest. Thus Arthur could not suppress a yawn just before Lancelot began with his barrage of complaints and questions….as Arthur had expected he would.

"What are you keeping from me about that man? Why are you letting him treat you like this? A few months ago you'd have flayed anyone that spoke to you with such disrespect. What's he got on you, Arthur? Besides his naughty thoughts about us,"

“Falco insinuated…rather strongly….that he would alter the reports if I were to refuse this escort,” Arthur explained, too tired to attempt avoiding Lancelot’s inquiries…even though he knew the other man’s temper would flare yet again. But Arthur was also confident he could calm his lieutenant before the Sarmatian would do anything foolish. He reached in front of Lancelot for the jar of salve that rested on the saddlebag.

“Let us see to your stitches, hm?” Arthur’s voice softened with his request as he shifted enough to face Lancelot.
Ash: arthur lance sky by matasasha_b on November 3rd, 2007 02:31 am (UTC)
“Falco insinuated…rather strongly….that he would alter the reports if I were to refuse this escort."

Lancelot's eyebrows once again shot to his hairline. "That fucking bastard. And you wouldn't let me kill him? Arthur - I could have done it so no one would know! How dare they? If it was just me, I'd understand it," he spat, a knowing and dangerous smirk on his face as he watched the Roman sit and rub at his sore calves. Lancelot himself was tired and angry and really just wanted to have this thing done.

But apparently, wanting something and doing it were two different things.

"But how dare he threaten you? Don't you men in power have some sort of loyalty to one another? Shouldn't he respect you because of who you are?"

Lancelot shook his head, his anger draining with his energy. He laughed darkly. "Don't even answer that. I know the truth."

Throughout the Empire, just like almost anywhere, it was every man for himself, and the more power you held, the easier it was to climb over other men's backs to the top. Lancelot scrubbed a hand over his face in disgust.

"Let us see to your stitches, hm?"

Lancelot snarled, but it ended in a sigh. "It's too fucking dark out here to see to do anything. And gods forbid we light a fire, in case the fucking Woads attack us. Then again...." he looked at Arthur, who was squatted in front of him. "That would give me - us, a perfect way to get rid of them." He jerked a thumb down at the mouth of the cave, where the sounds of speech were quieting.

He bit his lip and lifted the edge of his hauberk for Arthur to be able to reach his wound.

"I don't think any of them broke," he said quietly, defeat in his voice. "...thank you."

In truth, he longed for Arthur's touch. He longed to be wrapped in the other man's scent, and he longed for peace and quiet for one fucking second.

He trained his eyes on Arthur's face and waited for the commander to help him.
Cat: Arthur ~ Lost to Youcat_o_wen on November 3rd, 2007 08:07 pm (UTC)
Arthur patiently waited while Lancelot spouted off about Falco and his threats; allowing the other man’s anger to run its course before answering. The Commander saw no choice in the matter; trust Falco to keep his word or risk a full scale inquisition and lose Lancelot to another post or worse. Arthur refused to take that risk by refusing Falco’s demands. And killing the Roman would only raise suspicion so soon after an official inspection.

“We need only to deliver these men to Aquae Sulis on the morrow, and then never think on it again,” Arthur quietly explained while removing the lid from the jar of salve. He dipped two fingers into the container and turned back to Lancelot.

"It's too fucking dark out here to see to do anything. And gods forbid we light a fire, in case the fucking Woads attack us. Then again....That would give me - us, a perfect way to get rid of them."

“No fire….” Arthur gently chided, suspecting the real reason Lancelot wanted a fire was for warmth, not to alert their position to any Woads in the area. “…and I would prefer to avoid an attack, even IF we could use it to our advantage,” A wry grin at the thought of ‘accidentally’ suffering the loss of Falco in a skirmish. The pompous Roman official was a thorn in Arthur’s side, but the noble Commander would not purposely allow the man to be killed.

"I don't think any of them broke.....thank you."

Arthur could not see well enough in the dark, but felt his way underneath Lancelot’s clothing and began to smear the salve over the line of stitches. Arthur balanced himself by placing a hand on the flat of the rock at the opposite side of Lancelot so that he could lean closer to his lieutenant.

“I do not feel any broken,” Arthur murmured while being certain to completely cover Lancelot’s stitches with the salve. He could feel the other man’s warm breath on his ear and longed for their return to Camboglanna and the warmth and comfort of his private quarters….with Lancelot’s body pressed against Arthur’s chest as they slept in peace.

“Rest, heart,” Arthur continued quietly and before brushing a light kiss to Lancelot’s lips; then tugging at the corner of the other man’s clothing with the salve sufficiently applied.

“I will keep watch,” He said while pulling back from Lancelot and moving to sit beside the other man.
Ash: selluinlaer Lancelotsasha_b on November 4th, 2007 01:17 am (UTC)
[...]Rest, heart. I will keep watch."

Lancelot sighed as Arthur tugged his tunic and leathers back down, and bit his lower lip after Arthur's mouth had brushed his. He had heard the other man's words on Falco, but really didn't have the same thoughts. He scrubbed a hand over his face and, grunting, leaned over stiffly to reach the bedroll that was strapped to his bag.

He laid it out and sat on it, crosslegged. He toyed with the tops of his shining black boots, and twisted his mouth. His swords he kept close at hand.

"You may think we'll be able to forget them, Arthur, but mark me. Men like that don't disappear. They keep popping up at the worst times. Once Falco realizes he can hold something over you - over us - the next time he wants something, we'll see him again."

He cleared his throat and spat, and leaned against one of the thick tree trunks behind where he'd laid his blanket.

"No fire, truly?" he said in a quiet voice not unlike the young man he'd been only too recently. Then he laughed and shook his head slightly.

"Can you see the mouth of the cave if you sit down here with me?" he added, smiling sweetly, his eyes large and liquid in the gloom.

Lancelot wasn't sure why he felt he needed to still turn on the charm around Arthur. The Roman obviously liked him. Loved him, even. He hoped. He wished that with all his being.

He stretched out a hand toward the other man.
Cat: Arthur ~ Lost to Youcat_o_wen on November 4th, 2007 03:52 pm (UTC)
While Lancelot laid out his bedroll, Arthur stood and surveyed their surroundings, the best he was able in the darkness. He could make out a soft amber glow that emanated from the opening of the cave from this vantage point. The only sounds Arthur could hear were that of Lancelot’s movements and a few crickets chirping somewhere nearby.

"You may think we'll be able to forget them, Arthur, but mark me. Men like that don't disappear. They keep popping up at the worst times. Once Falco realizes he can hold something over you - over us - the next time he wants something, we'll see him again."

“If that should come to pass….you may kill him then,” Arthur answered with a hint of mirth in his tone; his focus remaining on the entrance to the cave where Falco slept. He crossed his arms in front of his broad chest and released a sigh of resignation……deep down Arthur knew Lancelot to be correct. He only prayed that Falco would have no reason to ‘use’ Arthur again. Let the next outpost commander deal with him.

"No fire, truly? Can you see the mouth of the cave if you sit down here with me?"

At hearing the question asked in the manner that always sent a pleasant zing through his body, Arthur turned to look at Lancelot’s face. A cloudless night was upon them and the light of the moon fondly outlined the other man’s angular features from overhead. No doubt Lancelot asked on account of the other man’s need for the Roman’s body heat in lieu of the warmth of a fire they could not have. However, in his heart Arthur hoped that the other man simply wished for his company.

“I should, yes,” Arthur gave a slow adoring smile at Lancelot’s outstretched hand and then moved to sit beside his lover; retrieving his own bedroll on the way. He pressed his back against a tree trunk and before settling completely, glanced over the ledge to be sure he could still see the cave entrance.

“Here, this will help keep you warm while you rest,” Arthur unrolled his blanket and offered it to Lancelot. He then bent one knee up while folding the other underneath, giving Lancelot room to position himself in the cradle of Arthur’s body if he wished. One hand moved to affectionately brush thick fingers through soft curls as Lancelot settled beside Arthur.
Ash: a/l spanking by lessysasha_b on November 4th, 2007 06:59 pm (UTC)
“If that should come to pass….you may kill him then."

"I will not forget you said that," Lancelot replied archly, then smirked as Arthur laughed.

"Here, this will help keep you warm while you rest."

Lancelot settled Arthur's blanket over both of their legs, and he scooted over to lay in the cradle that Arthur's body created for him. He sighed and rested his head against Arthur's collarbone, listening for the thump thump that had him feeling a bit more secure.

He'd never admit it, but he felt safety in the Roman's arms. And that was unconscionable. He was Sarmatian. He should hate Rome.

But he loved Arthur with all his being, and that somehow swept away the nastiness that came with thoughts of the Empire and what Arthur truly did represent.

In name only, though.

Lancelot slid his arm around Arthur's waist and breathed in the other man's scent. Although Arthur could have him hard and wanting within a second's touch, Lancelot felt his exhaustion move over him in waves. He shut his eyes as dizziness made his vision waver, and he grumbled into Arthur's neck about pompous Roman asses and their need for too much care on the road.

"I want you," he whispered at last. "But I must settle for sleep first. Besides, that way you'll never know when I may accost you," his tone dropped lower and into a teasing sound. "Keep your weapons at hand, Castus. There's a crazed barbarian who desires your body - and he'll do whatever it takes to get it."

He chuckled even as he closed his eyes again. "Wake me when it's my turn," he commanded. "Or perhaps...I'll wake by myself. Is your clothing fastened tightly?"

He giggled sleepily and dropped off, his face pressed to Arthur's chest and his body warmed by the other man's, just as he'd desired.
Cat: Arthur ~ Lost to Youcat_o_wen on November 4th, 2007 08:58 pm (UTC)
Arthur wrapped both arms around Lancelot’s shoulders as the other man pressed against his chest. He inhaled the welcome scent of Lancelot while attempting to keep an eye on the entrance to the cave below. It was a difficult task - to focus on duty with Lancelot’s coveted form half on top of Arthur’s…..the Roman’s body easily stirring at the intimate contact despite Arthur’s exhaustion. Thick fingers played with the soft curls at the nape of Lancelot’s neck while the other man grumbled about Romans against Arthur’s throat. The ‘Roman’ smiled.

"I want you, but I must settle for sleep first. Besides, that way you'll never know when I may accost you,"

“You would accost me with Falco and the others close at hand,” Arthur half snorted in amusement……and I want you to, as I long for your touch…more than I care to admit aloud. He gave Lancelot’s curl a gentle tug while lightly kissing the crown of the other man’s head.

"Keep your weapons at hand, Castus. There's a crazed barbarian who desires your body - and he'll do whatever it takes to get it."

Arthur frowned at the word ‘barbarian’.

“My body is in the possession of my fiercest knight, no barbarian would stand a chance,” He smirked; the words Arthur’s way of chiding Lancelot for referring to himself as a ‘barbarian’.

"Wake me when it's my turn, or perhaps...I'll wake by myself. Is your clothing fastened tightly?"

“Keep teasing me thusly and I may not allow you to sleep at all tonight…” Arthur murmured against Lancelot’s brow as the other man sleepily laughed. But within a heartbeat, and before Arthur could act on his ‘threat’, Lancelot was asleep.

“Meus diligo,” Arthur whispered while brushing his chin along Lancelot’s brow. His groin ached with want but Arthur willed his body to settle….not now, not tonight with the others only a few yards away.

Emerald eyes once again attempted to focus on the entrance to the cave below. Arthur prayed that tomorrow would prove uneventful. He prayed that Falco and his companions could be safely delivered to their destination. And he prayed that the journey back to Camboglanna would also go without incident. Tomorrow night, Arthur and Lancelot could share the same cave they now guarded, with a warm fire and without the responsibilities of watching over helpless inspectors. He smiled to himself and lightly tugged at the blanket to be sure Lancelot was sufficiently covered.
Ash: Lancelot brown by lessysasha_b on November 5th, 2007 05:24 am (UTC)
There was a bird crying somewhere, and Lancelot wanted to ask it what the fuck was wrong. He looked and looked for it, but instead found only the charred field beyond the north gates of Camboglanna.

Wandering the area, he shook his head, not understanding what was going on. Where had all the soot come from? And why was the field as devastated as it was?

His eyes snapped to the top of the hill, where he saw Arthur's frame. He smiled and hurried to meet the other man. It seemed an age since Lancelot had felt his touch or even seen him.

"Arthur," he said, smirk firmly in place, hand outstretched. "Come to survey your land?"

Lancelot's smirk disappeared when Arthur turned and thrust a spear into Lancelot's chest. He gasped, and grasped at the thing weakly. "What - why?" he said, and attempted to draw his own weapons - but his hands wouldn't work.

Arthur leaned over him as he faltered and fell to his knees. The Roman had a strangely serene look on his face.

And then Arthur jerked the spear out - and plunged his hand into Lancelot's chest.

"I'm taking the heart you promised me," he said matter of factly. Lancelot could only blink stupidly and stare at the bloody mess Arthur held in his hand.

With a shaking hand he reached for it, and


woke up, trembling, with a snarl on his lips. Arthur's arms were still about him, and he tore loose from them, sitting back on his haunches, ignoring the pain in his side that screamed at him.

He scrubbed a hand over his face and stared blankly at Arthur, unable to form words, his dream overlapping the vision of the real Arthur, who'd never so much as think of hurting Lancelot in any way.

Right?
Cat: Arthur ~ Haunted Soulcat_o_wen on November 5th, 2007 07:56 pm (UTC)
An owl screeched somewhere off in the distance. Leaves lightly rustled amid the cold breeze as Arthur’s weary eyes continued to scan his surroundings. In his arms rested the man who held the Roman’s heart. Arthur felt each exhale, Lancelot’s warm breath against his bare neck, while the other man continued to sleep. Why the Sarmatian tended to complain of being cold was beyond Arthur’s comprehension…the man simply radiated ‘heat’. And Arthur grinned in the darkness at how much more pleasurable the night watch was due to Lancelot’s warmth pressed against his chest and his arm snuggly wrapped ‘round Arthur’s waist.

Arthur adored how Lancelot clung to him in his sleep; making the Roman feel needed and loved….emotions Arthur had thought he’d never experience nor deserve.

Nunc scio quid sit amor.*

How long will I have his love? How long until he will have his fill of me and leave?


A few hours passed by as Arthur continued to keep watch….and what had been thoughts of love and contentment slowly gave over to brooding….contemplation over how Lancelot would surely become discontented with this ‘relationship’….He will tire of me.

Arthur reached up to scrub a hand over his tired eyes, briefly pinching at the bridge of his nose and sighed. Odd that the only things to dominate his thoughts were all of Lancelot...not duty, this escort mission or even God. But Lancelot.

And then he felt Lancelot seemingly shiver. The Roman began to reach for the blanket when Lancelot suddenly jerked awake and out of his embrace.

“Lancelot?” Arthur called out quietly to the other man while leaning forward to better see Lancelot’s face. Immediately, Arthur was concerned that the other man’s injuries pained him.

“Are you in pain?” He asked, brows drawn together in genuine concern.

*(Latin: Now I know what love is.)
Ash: a/l torn by lessysasha_b on November 5th, 2007 09:30 pm (UTC)
“Lancelot? Are you in pain?”

Lancelot blinked again slowly, and finally understood what Arthur was asking him.

"What? No, no," he said, and stood stiffly out of his crouch. "I...it's nothing."

I'm taking the heart you promised me.

He made a quiet, angry sound and ran his hands roughly over his face and hair. He moved back over to where the blankets lay and sat down abruptly, swearing under his breath.

"Is it my watch time?" he asked, clearing his throat, and reached for Arthur's water skin. "I'm sorry I ... I'm sorry if I surprised you." His dark eyes met Arthur's concerned green ones, and he sighed.

"D'you ever have dreams that feel as if they're real?" he asked softly after a moment.
Cat: Arthur ~ Lost to Youcat_o_wen on November 5th, 2007 11:08 pm (UTC)
"What? No, no, I...it's nothing."

Arthur’s brow stitched even tighter together; scrutinizing Lancelot’s every movement as the knight returned to sit on the blanket beside the Roman. ‘Something’ suddenly woke the other man from a deep sleep….

"Is it my watch time?"

“It does not have to be. I shall continue if you require more rest,” Arthur answered with concern still evident in his tone. He would stay up the whole night himself if Lancelot needed more rest. Arthur was, after all, accustomed to sleepless nights…more so than Lancelot, he suspected.

"I'm sorry I ... I'm sorry if I surprised you. D'you ever have dreams that feel as if they're real?"

Arthur found himself surprised by the question; eyebrows arched upwards while he blew out a breath and momentarily scratched at the back of his head. Dreams….or nightmares were more the way of it.

“I have awaken convinced that I lay dying on a battlefield….” Arthur grimaced at the memory and slightly shook his head. The last time the Roman had ‘dreamed’ the vision had been something so terrible that he’d blocked the image from his mind.

“Do you wish to discuss what you dreamt of?” Arthur asked while reaching a hand over to Lancelot and resting thick fingers on the other man’s shoulder. He leaned back against the tree trunk behind them and glanced down at the opening to the cave while awaiting Lancelot’s reply.
Ash: lancelot b & w by icon_reichsasha_b on November 6th, 2007 03:10 am (UTC)
Lancelot was ashamed of his question, and made to retract it, when Arthur scratched at his head and answered - if hesitantly.

"I have awakened convinced that I lay dying on a battlefield...do you wish to discuss what you dreamt of?"

Lancelot sighed roughly and slid over closer to Arthur, to absorb the man's comforting heat. "Not particularly." He rubbed his mouth and shook his head.

Lancelot's eyes ticked to the cave, where the embers of the dying fire still glowed softly. He shivered, and then twisted his lips wryly.

He noticed the warmth of Arthur's palm on his shoulder, even through his mail, and a smile spread over his face. He knelt up, and tugged the light layer of armor over his head, leaving his leather vest and tunic. He stretched until he felt his back pop comfortably, and then sat back down, keeping his blades in his peripheral vision.

"Tristan said for me to tell you it was perfectly safe here." His voice was low and soft, edging on the sound of a quiet purr. He leaned against Arthur's shoulder, and kissed the other man's jaw.

I'm taking the heart you promised me.

Lancelot blinked and turned so he was closer to the Roman.

"It's my watch turn," he murmured. "How about a ... proper reward for being so good today?"
Cat: Arthur ~ Lost to Youcat_o_wen on November 6th, 2007 03:13 pm (UTC)
Arthur was actually relieved when Lancelot chose not to further discuss ‘dreams’. The subject matter was not something the Commander had a firm grasp on; dreams were not logical or tangible things…thus Arthur could not reason or rationalize them. And Lancelot appeared to settle again by removing his armor and sliding closer to Arthur while the Roman yawned and leaned back against the tree.

"Tristan said for me to tell you it was perfectly safe here."

“Did he?” A slow smile crossed Arthur’s expression. The other man was using ‘that’ voice again….that velvety tone which had Arthur’s body reacting with want despite his exhaustion. A warm mouth on Arthur’s jaw only proved to further intensify the tingling sensation deep in his belly. However, his logical mind reminded the Commander that his scout was close at hand…and so were the three inspectors. Thus Arthur attempted to distract his body by reaching for his blanket and tugging at his leathers to find a more comfortable position. It seems the binds on the front of his trousers had tightened….

"It's my watch turn, how about a ... proper reward for being so good today?"

“Proper reward?” Arthur cocked a single eyebrow at Lancelot, who had positioned himself even closer to the Roman. His hand slid to Lancelot’s thigh on its own accord.

Arthur then kissed Lancelot…..not the sweet and tender kiss of affection, but full of want and need and nearly bruising as his tongue plundered the other man’s generous mouth.

“Love you,” He half groaned against Lancelot’s mouth before Arthur finally released his claim on the other man’s lips and pulled back.

“Pity the reward cannot be more tonight,” Arthur whispered with a wry grin at Lancelot before shifting to lie down beside the other man. The Roman had no idea how he’d settle enough to sleep now….but he would close his eyes and attempt to rest nonetheless. Arthur lazily ran his tongue over his lips while closing his eyes, content to taste the trace of Lancelot that yet lingered there.
Ash: lancelot brat by lessysasha_b on November 6th, 2007 06:32 pm (UTC)
“Pity the reward cannot be more tonight."

Lancelot's eyes fluttered back open as Arthur slowly pulled away from him, and his tongue snaked out to lick over his lips. He smiled contentedly at the taste he found still lingered there.

"Who says?" he murmured back, and shifted so he was laying on his side next to Arthur - the one that wasn't full of stitches. He slid his hand up under Arthur's mail shirt and managed to get his fingers to tickle the skin near the other man's navel.

"Hard to reach something through all this metal," he laughed cheekily. He propped himself up on his elbow, and his eyes ticked one more time to the cave entrance. Everything seemed in order. There were still animal noises, and even with a weak moon he could see all right.

Lancelot's hearing was good, at any rate, and Tristan was there as well. The scout would warn them of any undesired visitors.

Nevertheless, Lancelot kept one eye on the cave, and the other on Arthur.

"Now, your reward for not being an arse all day," he whispered, and leaned over the other man, brushing his lips slowly against Arthur's.

He opened them, and took his time exploring the Roman's heat with his tongue, groaning softly at the taste and feel of Arthur.

That was rapidly becoming something too addicting.

The hand that rested on Arthur's belly slid over the outside of the other man's leathers, and cupped at the hard flesh under the laces. "Want me, do you?" he teased against Arthur's mouth. He breathed softly over Arthur's chin, and then caught up the commander's lips in his again.

He licked at the full lips under his and his eyes half-masted in pleasure. "Tell me what you want."

Lancelot's rational mind knew they couldn't do much out here in the open. He wasn't quite as stupid as all that. However - it didn't mean Arthur couldn't promise him something that would perhaps curb his temper for the remaining time they had the nasty inspectors with them.

He blinked slowly and cocked his head, and then squeezed lightly at the thickness under his fingers.



Cat: Arthur ~ Lost to Youcat_o_wen on November 6th, 2007 10:03 pm (UTC)
…and it seemed that Lancelot had no intention of allowing Arthur to drift off to sleep. Long and talented fingers snaked up underneath the Roman’s mail shirt teasing at the sensitive flesh of his belly and Arthur sucked in a breath despite keeping his eyes closed.

"Hard to reach something through all this metal,"

Arthur’s only reply was an amused snort. He half thought to shove Lancelot’s hand away….but he craved the other man’s touch too much to deny him anything, anytime or anywhere.

"Now, your reward for not being an arse all day,"

“What?” Arthur popped one eye open and frowned up at Lancelot…only to sigh helplessly into the other man’s mouth as Lancelot proceeded to kiss him….thoroughly.

..and then Lancelot’s fingers slid down to cover over the binds of Arthur’s leathers eliciting a moan of pleasure from the Roman. His hand reached for Lancelot, fingers threading into the other man’s hair at the base of his neck.

"Want me, do you? …..Tell me what you want."

“You,” Arthur’s voice thick with want as emerald eyes filled with longing pierced the darkness to meet Lancelot’s gaze. With his free hand, Arthur covered Lancelot’s fingers over his groin and squeezed enough to heighten the pleasure of the other man’s touch.

“Your talented tongue….everywhere,” He answered quietly but without shame for admitting what he desired. Arthur then pleasurably shivered at the thought of Lancelot’s mouth playing havoc with his flesh….

….but certainly they should practice caution out here in the open. Damn ‘sensibility’. Arthur bit at his bottom lip and slid his hand up along Lancelot’s arm until thick fingers cupped at the other man’s jaw.

“As your ‘Commander’ I should instruct you to perform your duty and keep watch….yet as your ‘lover’, I selfishly want to be consumed by the warmth of your touch….I want to give what strength I have left over to pleasuring you,” Arthur murmured to Lancelot while lightly brushing his thumb over the other man’s full bottom lip. No doubt he sounded the romantic fool….but Arthur did not care….he loved and wanted the other man with all the heart and soul that he had within him.

“Thus a compromise,” He said with regret. “Once this mission is over I will clear my schedule for a few days and have my way with you unimpeded by duty or interruption.”

Arthur silently hoped….no, prayed…that he could arrange such a thing as two or three days of solid time alone with Lancelot. Perhaps he could mask it by taking his lieutenant on an extended scouting mission…..Arthur would think of something. For now, he only hoped for one more taste before finding a little rest tonight.
Ash: women?  what women? by lessysasha_b on November 7th, 2007 01:56 am (UTC)
“Your talented tongue….everywhere."

Lancelot's mouth curved into an elegant smile. "Do not fear," he murmured. "You shall have that."

"[...]Thus a compromise. Once this mission is over I will clear my schedule for a few days and have my way with you unimpeded by duty or interruption."

Lancelot's eyebrows rose. His smile widened, and he moved his hand from Arthur's stiff groin to rest over his chest. He settled his chin onto Arthur's shoulder.

"You realize just what I will do to you if you don't follow through on that promise," he spoke, wonder in his tone, despite the teasing words. Arthur would take a few days...for him? That in and of itself was a miracle born of too many late nights patrolling and too much ale. Or so Lancelot would have thought. But Arthur didn't do any of those things to excess.

"Or perhaps what I won't do to you," he added archly. He dug the point of his chin into the meat of Arthur's shoulder, and then sat up, pressing his hand to Arthur's belly.

"Kiss me, and then sleep," he said, unable to get the stupid smile off his face. He cleared his throat and then forced his grin to fade into his normal expression.

Leaning over, he brushed his mouth over Arthur's gently, engaging the other man's tongue slowly and with great want. He threaded his fingers into the hair at the side of Arthur's head, tugging slightly.

At last he pulled away, and sat up fully. His cock throbbed in his too tight leathers, but he ignored it and licked his lips again.

"Those bastards had better be as good as your priests tomorrow," he sighed. "I do not have the patience to deal with any more annoyances. Especially when I know what awaits me once we're rid of them."

He pursed his lips and cocked one eyebrow. "Goodnight, commander," he said innocently. "Sleep well."
Cat: Arthur ~ Neckcat_o_wen on November 7th, 2007 06:04 pm (UTC)
Lancelot’s hand slid away from Arthur’s aching groin. A part of the Roman thought to protest, but Arthur knew that if Lancelot hadn’t….he would no longer be able to refrain from having his way with the other man. They were not alone out here….Tristan was somewhere keeping watch and would most likely witness anything that were to happen between Arthur and Lancelot. And the Commander had no intention of allowing anyone to watch….

Arthur sighed in resignation as Lancelot settled beside him; the Roman wrapping an arm around the other man’s shoulder while attempting to ignore the insistent throbbing in his groin.

"You realize just what I will do to you if you don't follow through on that promise, or perhaps what I won't do to you. Kiss me, and then sleep,"

“Yes, thus I will not break my promise,” Arthur half laughed before turning his head towards Lancelot. He willingly succumbed to Lancelot’s kiss; sweetly sucking on the other man’s tongue while burying a moan into his lover’s mouth. God help me but I am addicted to his taste.

"Those bastards had better be as good as your priests tomorrow; I do not have the patience to deal with any more annoyances. Especially when I know what awaits me once we're rid of them. Goodnight, commander, sleep well."

“They will behave, and we will be rid of them by midday,” Arthur quietly promised while attempting to find a more comfortable position on his back. He reached down to briefly squeeze at the thickness between his legs, stifling a groan, and willed his body to relax.

Lancelot had pulled away enough to break their physical contact which would certainly help Arthur to restrain from accosting his lover further. Yet as the Roman licked his lips and tasted Lancelot yet there….all that Arthur could think on was how Lancelot had the most delicious mouth and what the other man could do with that mouth.

“Wake me just before dawn, heart,” Arthur murmured as he allowed his eyes to drift shut. His cock still begged for attention, but the Roman wrapped both arms across his chest. And after a few more moments, at last he succumbed to his exhaustion and drifted off into a light slumber…..certain to dream only of Lancelot’s talented tongue on Arthur’s flesh.