Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Clark/Bruce (Arthur/Lancelot), Jonathan/Martha
Genres: AU, Romance
Rating (this chapter): PG-13
General Summary: Sir Lancelot is on a Quest to find the true King of England, and is captivated by a dazzling farmboy.
Chapter Summary: Lancelot learns Arthur’s strange story.
Date Of Completion: May 1, 2010
Date Of Posting: June 20, 2010
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1377
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: Written for the Historical Drabbles Exchange at worlds_finest. Pairing: Clark/Bruce. Prompt: Arthurian.
All chapters can be found here.
TALES BE TOLD
Of nights strange
And Knights bold.
Tales of magic,
Tales of daring,
Tales of mystery,
Tales of bearing.
Let the veil
As the mysteries
Lady Elsinore Gentry
"The King And His Knight"
And so it was that Lancelot stayed on, helping out as he kept himself in fighting shape, though of course the golden boy he slept with was the jewel in the crown.
And one day when they were clearing the fields, Lancelot tried to move a boulder, and it rolled back on his foot. He cried out in pain.
Arthur ran up. “Lance! What is it? Holy Mother, no!”
And he rolled the boulder away, Lancelot falling to the ground as he grimaced in pain.
“That was…you are as strong as a dozen men!”
“Are you all right?” Arthur ran his hands over Lancelot’s leg and foot.
“My foot hurts, but I will live. But you! You must tell me how you became so strong!”
Fear shone in Arthur’s eyes. “Please, Lancelot, you must never tell.”
Lancelot put a hand on Arthur’s arm. “I vow that your secret will never leave my lips.”
Arthur looked frightened, then smiled. “Thank you.” He ran his hand over Lancelot’s foot. “There do not appear to be any broken bones.”
“Fortunate.” Lancelot grasped Arthur’s chin. “Have you always been like this?”
Fear skittered through his lover’s eyes. “Yes.”
“Truly gifted by Heaven.”
Arthur shook his head. “No.”
Lancelot frowned. “Surely you do not think this as work of the devil.”
“Some…some might think so.”
“They have wicked minds.” He tightened his grip. “Look at me.” When Arthur obeyed, Lancelot said firmly, “Such gift of strength is from Heaven, nowhere else.”
Arthur looked into Lancelot’s eyes, relief replacing shame.
“Your parents do not consider you cursed?”
“No! Never. They just fear people finding out.”
With good reason, my sweet Angel.
“I will carry you back to the house,” Arthur said.
“I can walk.”
Arthur lifted Lancelot up into his arms easily and carried him.
“I can run really fast, too. Jump higher than anyone, and see and hear farther than anyone, and shoot fire from my eyes.”
Lancelot’s eyebrows climbed into his hair. Once the floodgates had been opened…!
“Still think I am not a devil?”
“With all my heart.”
Arthur smiled shyly. “Verily, you are a silken talker.”
“But a sincere one.”
As they reached the cottage, Martha came out. “Lancelot! Arthur! What happened?”
“A slight accident, Mother,” Arthur answered, cradling Lancelot gently.
“Saved by your son, good lady.”
She turned fearful eyes on her son.
“He knows, Mother.”
“But not to worry, Martha. I would never reveal your son’s secret.”
“He must be quite entertaining between the sheets.”
“Mother!” Arthur blushed bright red, and even Lancelot flushed pink.
Smirking, she directed them inside to Arthur’s bed, where she examined and treated Lancelot’s foot.
“You should stay off it a few days,” she said. She was solicitous, but Lancelot could tell that she was worried. He grasped her hand.
“I swear by my Knight’s Oath, I will never tell.”
She looked at him and saw his sincerity, relaxing as she squeezed his hand. No doubt, he thought, she was an excellent judge of character. Happily he had passed the test.
When Jonathan came in from the fields, he was told the news, going pale, but Lancelot made the same oath, and Jonathan did as Martha had done, looking into the Knight’s eyes, and seemed satisfied with what he saw there.
Over supper that night, Lancelot asked, “How did you come by your powers?”
Arthur looked uncomfortable. “I do not truly know.”
“So you were born this way?”
“What marvels in this world! Truly, Arthur, you would be the greatest of all Knights with such powers!”
Arthur looked frightened. “I could not protect my parents if I became known throughout the land.”
Lancelot considered this. “Yes, you are right. You must be cautious.” He saw the look exchanged among the Kents. “What else?” he asked softly.
“Nothing,” Jonathan answered.
“Not true,” said Arthur.
“Arthur!” Martha gasped.
He reached out and took her hand. “I trust this man, Mother.” He looked at Jonathan and touched his arm.
Neither of the Kents looked happy, but were willing to listen to their son.
“I have grown to know you, Lancelot,” said Arthur. “We have talked in the fields, and I know you are a good man.” His eyes spoke of their nights together, Lancelot repressing a smug smile. “I want to tell my story.”
Lancelot felt the excitement race through him. His curiosity was insatiable, his mother said, and there were times when she and his father had despaired of him ever staying out of trouble. Curiosity had pushed him across the Channel and to this island, drawn by the promise of serving the true King of England.
Now he had a prize story to hear.
“I…am not of Jonathan and Martha’s blood.”
Lancelot raised an eyebrow but said nothing.
“True, he was brought to us by an old man who said we should raise the babe in his arms with love.” Martha smiled at Arthur. “Jonathan and I were childless, so we were most happy to oblige. It was the happiest day of our lives.”
Arthur blushed as Jonathan agreed. Lancelot smiled.
“I can agree with that, Martha. I am curious about this old man. Had you ever seen him before that night?”
Jonathan shook his head. “He was not frail, dressed in threadbare robes. He wore a gold star on a chain around his neck.”
“A star? Not a cross?”
“Most assuredly a star.”
“He said we were to cherish Arthur and keep him safe,” said Martha.
Lancelot wondered if Arthur had been stolen from his birth parents, otherwise why all the secrecy? But then, so much could be thought of, as in simply an old man taking an unwanted child and finding him a good home, and from his time spent here on the farm, Lancelot knew it was good.
And he continued to think so as his foot healed and he talked with Martha, helping her by snapping peapods and peeling potatoes and kneading dough to bake bread. She spoke of her adopted son with love.
“He has always been our light,” she said as she cut up turnips, Lancelot with a bowl of his own to work on. “He was a happy baby and grew into a happy child. He would have had many friends if Jonathan and I had not been so cautious.”
Lancelot considered that. Of course, they would have to be wary! The ignorant villagers would demonize poor Arthur.
“He has a good heart.” Her green eyes suddenly blazed. “Do not break it, Sir Knight.”
Lancelot respected her fears. “Never. On my Knight’s Oath.”
Silence reigned in the small kitchen, the only sounds that of cutting vegetables. Then Martha asked, “Are you on a specific Quest? You mentioned the stone that holds Excalibur.”
“I am seeking the rightful King of England.”
“So are all our people.” Martha carefully cut a small turnip. “If the heir to Uther Pendragon is found, he will unite us against the Saxons.”
“This land is in need of a great leader.”
At supper that night, Lancelot made a proposal.
“When my foot heals, I plan to depart.” Arthur’s face was crestfallen. “And I wish that Arthur would accompany me.” Before the Kents could object, Lancelot hastily added, “Not permanently. I believe your son should see a bit of the world before settling here.”
Arthur looked so excited that his parents were not of the heart to forbid him to go.
“I promise I will be back to help with the harvest.” Arthur’s smile was like a thousand candles.
The night was cool, but Arthur’s body was sun-warm. Lancelot whispered, “Adventure awaits us, my dear Arthur.” His hand cupped his companion’s face. “I promise you joy and memories made.”
“Oh, Lance, where you go, I will follow.”
“The Book of Ruth?”
Arthur chuckled. “Memories will be made.” He rolled over and slipped his tongue into Lancelot’s mouth.