GetLaid25-Bedivere-"The Good That Won't Come Out"
Title: The Good That Won't Come Out
Author: Lady Bedivere
Rating: PG (I'm a pansy...)
Disclaimer: Contrary to popular belief, I do not own Sir Bedivere or any Arthurian Legends.
Summary: He laughed at their naiveté, and he envied their innocence.
Notes/Warnings: It doesn't feel right to me, trying to put these two together, but it kind of works. What do you say?
She looked like her brother, with red-gold hair like autumn leaves and flushed cheeks and rich earth under her nails. She laughed often and smiled always, and made herself inseparable from her brother and Lancelot’s son, forming a strange trio of almost-knights. They called her Heliabel-like a heliotrope, a plant that turns its face to the sun. She was like her brother in that too; they were both children of the sun, of light. Of good.
There was nothing good about him, not anymore. He had long ago traded being good for being right, or being wise, or just being alive. And he had known long ago that he would never see the Grail. He laughed as he watched them all gradually arrive in Camelot-Bors the Elder’s sons, Lot’s sons, Lancelot’s son, Pellinor’s son-these children who believed that they would find that which had been denied to their elders. He laughed at their naiveté, knowing that one by one they would follow him, and their fathers, and sell their goodness for survival and then they too would never see the Grail.
He laughed at their naiveté, and he envied their innocence.
There was supposed to be a tournament in honour of someone or something, and the sooner it could be mounted the better. Hence, he found himself volunteering to withdraw his own name from the competition to serve as judge. When you had already lived through wars, a joust was a mockery. So he stood in the empty lists. A large stack of wooden placards lay on the ground, each one bearing a brightly colored coat of arms. He was pulling out those of the men who had entered, and pairing them together to make the first round. He supposed the job was really beneath him, but it was far preferable to listening to the children they now called knights profess their prowess in the Great Hall.
She came into the lists with a basket on her arm, stopping to look at the placards. She nudged one of them with her foot. “That’s Percy’s,” she said, beaming. “Which’n belongs to you?”
He pointed to one which had been thrown aside carelessly. She studied it for a moment, then said brightly, “I know that one-you’re Sir Bedwyr! Percy’s told me about you. Speaking which, I’d better get this off to him.” And off she went.
It startled him that she called him by his Welsh name, not Bedivere as most everyone else did. Pellinor’s son still called him by both names, just as he himself was sometimes still Peredur; and of course Morgause’s son knew the old ways better than many men twice his age, and called him by his old name. The only other woman who had ever called him Bedwyr was long dead though-another part of the good he no longer had.
The next thought was immediately put out of his mind. No.
He saw her often. The curse of a court during times of peace is that you can never miss anyone, for everyone is there. They do not speak. She laughed and shone and glowed with sunlight as she traipsed though the gardens and fields with her brother and Lancelot’s son in tow. He kept to himself with his drink and Kay’s logic for company.
As everyone continued to get restless, a picnic was proposed of such epic festivity that the whole court would be involved. Grudgingly, he accepted the invitation. Had it come from any mouth but the Queen’s, he would have said no, even the King he could have refused, but he could not refuse the Queen. So he went, nestling himself in the shade of a grove of trees to watch the others run about the sunlit meadow in the distance.
“Who’re you hiding from?” she asked as she plopped herself next to him. Her bright hair seemed to pull the sunlight into the grove with her.
“No one,” he replied.
“Then what’re you doin’ all the way over here? There’s lots a fun going on down by the stream-Galahad’s trying to find me a bouquet of waterflowers, an’ Percy and Gaheris and Gareth are swimmin’. You should come with us.”
“I’m not much of a swimmer anymore, and I couldn’t pick a good bunch of flowers even when I had two hands.”
“You’re just makin’ excuses.” He didn’t look at her as she leaned in close to him. “Somethin’s botherin’ you. You’re as bad as Percy, tryin’ to hide it even when everybody knows it.”
“It’s nothing anyone else needs to be bothered with. Especially not all of you.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
He sighed. “None of you have seen or known things like I have. I’m old enough to have fathered every one of you-very well might have, some of you whose mothers I’ve met. You’re all still fools, young and innocent. You believe that someday you can find the Grail, and slay the monsters, and rescue the helpless. I don’t believe in a Grail anymore, I leave the helpless to die, and I’ve become one of the monsters. I’ve got no good left in me. You all should not be corrupting yourselves with that.”
They both sat still, listening to the far distant sounds of splashing and laughter. After a time, she spoke. “You’re wrong. It’s not good you’re thinkin’ of. The good never leaves a person, even if it hides and you think it did. We’re not more good, just more…happy.”
The sunlight and the shadows merged together in a blur of warmth. Although it was June, her hair covered the ground like a carpet of autumn leaves. He got dirt under his fingernails, dirt that he would probably never be able to get out, nor want to. They were close, so close, their lips almost touching, his curls brushing her forehead when he stopped, frozen. No.
She ran back into the meadow, shouting merrily to Lancelot’s son who was trudging through the water toward the bank with an armful of waterflowers. The sunlight shone on her; it belonged to her, and she to it.
But now he followed, his face turned to the long-forgotten sun.