Author: Guede Mazaka
Knife: Gawain and Tristan, G, for penguingal
The collection wasn't impressive for its number so much as its variety: there were blades slim as needles and wide as a man's wrist, handles of wood and horn and leather-wrapped iron, straight or curved. They were as different as the men that gathered in the garrison, though they all had the same owner. "Same purpose, too," Gawain muttered as he picked up one.
"That's not what their makers thought. Some are for skinning, some are for gutting, some are for separating bone from bone." Tristan squatted across from him, fingers trailing over the knives as if he could talk to them that way. "But you're right. In the end, they all cut."
Saddle: Lancelot/Arthur, NC-17, for hazelhawthorne
For all his stoicism, when Arthur changes his mood, he does so with the quickness and violence of lightning. One moment Lancelot is pressing home a point, looking forward to the victor's boast, and the next he is the one being pressed. Clothes raked up beneath his arms so worn leather chafes his belly, head hanging over the other side of the pole as Arthur shoves into him with a snarl for a warning. His sweat sticks him to the saddle and raises clouds of delirium-inducing leather scent, and then the fierceness of Arthur's next thrust rips him loose. It's a false, burning freedom, and he gratefully thumps back into captivity.
Longbow: Guinevere and Tristan, PG, for wingedkiare
Before she could release her next arrow, her intended target suddenly toppled backward with a long feathered shaft crowning his forehead. Guinevere snapped her shot slightly to the left and took down another Saxon, then glanced at Tristan. "That one was mine."
"If you want to travel with us, you'll have to learn to share." He shot two more in the time it took him to speak. "In war there is no precedence."
"Then hope you never meet me in peace." Her arrow thudded into the Saxon a bare moment before his; Guinevere smiled as she aimed for the next.
Jesses: Guinevere and Tristan, G, for jamjar
The hawk always sat on his arm, watching where he did not. Its gaze was sharp but cool, and it seemed to regard everything except him as so many specks beneath notice. "She's female."
Surprised by the abrupt utterance, Guinevere drew back into the wagon. "And you keep her bound to you."
"I keep her company, when she allows it. She does not have to return if she wishes not to." To illustrate his point, Tristan loosed his hawk and watched it circle high above them, a similar cool fire in his eyes. His gaze drifted downwards to Arthur, then back to her. "Some prefer males. Easier to tame, they say."
"Maybe, maybe not." She kept her eyes on him until he rode on.
Children: Galahad and Bors, PG, for megpie71
The man in question froze, then slowly put the squalling brat down and made himself turn around. "He was trying to steal my sword."
Bors bestowed an admonishing cuff and an affectionate smile on the boy. "I told you, don't hesitate even if you're spotted. Hesitating means you get caught."
"You're the best argument for celibacy that I've ever come across," Galahad snapped, pushing by the other two. Then he stopped, checked himself, and pivoted around to snatch back his knife. "Bors…"
"What? Learning's learning." The other man dropped his right eyelid in a conspiratorial wink. "And this way, I'm getting two at once."