Tangible Schizophrenia



Author: Guede Mazaka
Rating: PG
Pairing: Arthur/Guinevere, implied Arthur/other.
Disclaimer: Versions from the movie.
Notes: In the third and fourth century, several of the Roman governors over the province of Britain launched rebellions of varying success from that island.
Summary: On the differences in aim.


In all honesty, she doesn’t care at all for anything that lies beyond the sea, except if it has the power to affect her land. Call it willful blindness, call it foolishness, call it whatever one wished. She calls it weeks in a room of dark and damp and pain, years of fearing something not natural, but manmade in Rome. She knows there are limits on life, and that the gods punish those who stray beyond those given to them.

When the graybeards and the hairless chins rise to propound expansion, to start casting their eyes at what they do not hold before they see to what they do hold, she has to clutch the arms of her chair and swallow hard. Have they forgotten already what reasons fueled their hate of Rome?

Arthur hasn’t. Though he explains it differently. He tells her of horrific campaigns beginning in treachery and ending in slaughter, he lists the many symptoms of a still-feeble Britain. Often he mentions the tenets of his old philosophies of freedom and liberty. Less does he tell her of the years spent avoiding his mother’s grave for fear that her eyes could still see. And only once, when the candles guttered in their holders, did he stroke her hair and describe very softly how his commanding officers cut him down time and again out of fear, how his knights suffered for what was perceived to be his personal ambition.

“I never wanted to be king,” he ended. “I still don’t.”

And that is what keeps Guinevere in her seat when the men begin to brag, that is what keeps her standing guard when restless Arthur murmurs other names in his sleep, that is what keeps her smiling at him. That is what keeps her from feeling that she is truly queen, and hoping that someday, she will at least be able to call herself wife without seeing his eyes hesitate.