Tangible Schizophrenia


The Pursuit

Author: Guede Mazaka
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Arthur/Lancelot, Tristan/Galahad
Feedback: Yes, please.
Disclaimer: Versions from the movie.
Notes: Lancelot, Tristan and Galahad are all around seventeen. Arthur’s twenty-two.
Summary: Humorfic. First times.


I. First Try


Who stopped polishing his saddle and looked up, then smiled. “Oh, Lancelot. Did you need anything? Or have you decided to volunteer your help for once?”

The other man seemed a bit affected by the heat of the day, which had been enough to make Arthur strip to the waist a few hours before. Cleaning the tack was always a boring, exhausting task, but it vaguely irritated Arthur’s eye to see little flecks of filth on the leather. In addition, their lives often depended on the quality of the gear that held them on the horse and not under it, so it was an important responsibility to attend to.

Lancelot sidled around Arthur and hopped up on the rail beside the saddle, grinning. He stuck two fingers in the collar of his shirt and pulled, thus showing that his flush was rather extensive. “My help? And what kind of reward would I get for providing that…service?”

Something in his tone sounded…strained. Arthur straightened and gave Lancelot a closer look in an attempt to figure out the reason for it, since Lancelot wasn’t often uncomfortable around him. That flush was rather deep—it wasn’t far enough into summer for the fever season, but nevertheless it might be possible. “The satisfaction of a duty fulfilled,” Arthur dryly said, leaning in to check Lancelot’s eyes. They seemed clear, even if the pupils appeared to be spasming. “Lancelot, are you well?”

“Perfectly.” The other man leaned right back, a faint hint of mockery in his stance. “I…don’t suppose you’d like to take a break and show me how to properly rub something else?”

Arthur blinked. Twice. It still wasn’t that long of a pause.

Lancelot’s amused expression suddenly went irritated and he jumped off the rail, stalking toward the door. “Never mind. Have fun with your tack. Stupid thick Romans…”

* * *

A. Consultation

“What do I have to do, throw myself in his lap?” With rather more than the necessary touch of drama, Lancelot threw up his hands and smacked his head against the table. He remained bent over and growled at the planks, kicking at Galahad beneath the top. “I’m speaking to you.”

Tristan, on Galahad’s other side, briefly looked over. “Gawain’s going for the redhead.”

“I noticed,” Galahad snapped, finally dragging his half-mournful, half-furious gaze from the flirtations going on at the other end of the tavern. He slurped his drink as if he could kill it that way, and considering how messy he was being, he probably could. A slight flicker of exasperation crossed Tristan’s face, but he seemed intent on repairing his knife and didn’t show any further reaction.

“Well, pardon me for interrupting your longing looks.” Lancelot drew his finger through one of the frothy pools Galahad had just spilled and flipped a few droplets at Galahad. “At least I’m trying. You just sit and watch. And then you annoy him later and he has no idea why you’re so upset.”

Galahad tried to punch over the table, but something deflected his wrist down. That same something shoved Lancelot back in his seat when he attempted to retaliate. Huffing, red-faced, the two of them turned to Tristan.

He apparently hadn’t moved, and was calmly wrapping the handle of his knife in fresh leather.

Eyes rolling, Lancelot slouched back over his mug. “You think maybe hitting him would work?”

“No.” The beer was dripping off Galahad’s jaw and he took a moment to wipe it off, then to suck his fingers clean. Tristan abruptly sat up and changed knives. “Maybe he does know, and it’s some Christian thing? I hear some of their priests swear never to fuck, as a sign of their purity.”

* * *

II. Second Try

This time, Arthur was suspicious from the very first moment. But whatever the motivating cause, it wasn’t his place to question why someone came seeking knowledge. At least, not directly. “You’ve never shown that much of an interest in Christianity before. Aside from what you need to know to argue with me.”

The man pawing through the cluttered top of his desk paused and glanced over a shoulder, which pose made Lancelot look rather adorable. Something like a cat caught in the act of stealing the fish. “Hmm, really? Well, I’m curious. You hear some bizarre things about Christians down in the barracks.”

Arthur carefully walked around the rummaging man and started snatching official documents away from Lancelot, keeping his distance in case Lancelot decided to turn it into a debate on Roman secrecy. Unusually for him, Lancelot merely gave the papers back and sat on his heels in Arthur’s chair. His collar was open to halfway down his chest again, his sleeves were a bit short, and his trousers were worn thin enough for the outlines of his muscles to be clearly seen; Arthur made a note to drag Lancelot to the supply-warehouses and get him new clothes. “You’re always free to ask for clarification, any time. I hope you know that by now.”

“Of course I do.” As Arthur moved, so did Lancelot, swiveling so he could keep that worryingly intense stare on Arthur. “So is it true Christians think some of our customs are sinful?”

And of course it wasn’t going to be an easy discussion, even if Lancelot had apparently chosen to be slightly more polite about it. Mindful of his error—though he still wasn’t quite certain as to what that had been—last time, Arthur answered right away. “Yes…some do. Christian doctrine does forbid several practices, such as polygamy and intercourse outside of marriage.”

“What about intercourse between men?” A more innocent expression couldn’t have been found on a little girl.

“That too.” While Arthur freely admitted that his perception had its limits, he was not completely blind, or stupid. Oddly enough, he also felt rather more disappointed than he’d expected—though now was certainly not the time to think selfishly of himself. “But doctrine is less important than faith, in my opinion. We as human beings were given the gift of free will, and I believe God has more than enough understanding to see past bare rules to the true motivations of men. Moreover, it’s important that the Christian faith be freely chosen; I will never force it or its rules on any of you.”

That reply seemed to satisfy Lancelot, but only for a moment. His intelligence soon was chewing through the response, and the lack he found in it was quite clear in his eyes. “Arthur—”

“So you and all my knights are perfectly free to pursue your own interests among yourselves,” Arthur added, hoping that would fix whatever he’d left undone.

Lancelot’s mouth twitched. Then he pinched at his nose and rubbed the skin there, as if he had suddenly been afflicted with a massive headache. “You idiot.”

* * *

B. Consultation

When he was lying in the grass like that, Lancelot greatly resembled a rotting trunk, felled by some strong wind. Except for the whining and the rise of his ass, which Galahad was tempted to hit, if only to get the man to shut up.

“…and now he thinks I’m…oh, great. I don’t even want to think about who he thinks I’m chasing.” The muffled moaning made the grass whisper and rustle, so that neither of them noticed Tristan till he was sitting in front of them. “Shit! Tristan!”

“Sorry.” Tristan obviously wasn’t, but he’d brought food, so Galahad decided he could forgive him this one time.

The berries were good—somehow, Tristan always managed to find the best fruit—and they were almost sweet enough to take away the bitterness of having to hear Gawain go on and on about how flexible that redhead had been. Sometimes Galahad thought he would have to sit on Gawain and stifle the man in his bedroll if he wanted any peace. But then he remembered that no, he couldn’t do that, because then Gawain couldn’t smile and show him the best way to do things. Well, for the moment. The sheer annoyance of it all was rapidly overwhelming Galahad’s desire for…for…he couldn’t remember, he was so irritated.

“I don’t see what’s so special about her,” Galahad muttered, mashing the words through a mouthful of berries.

“Nothing.” The expression on Tristan’s face shifted a little as he looked at Galahad. After a moment, he reached out and took away the other berries. “You’re a man, not a pig.”

Glaring, Galahad tried and failed to retrieve the fruit. “You’re not my mother. And what do you mean, nothing? There’s got to be something if he—”

“There isn’t. He just likes her.” With a shrug, Tristan flicked the remaining berries into his mouth, expertly catching them on the downward fall. “That’s how it works.”

“You—” Fed up, Galahad lunged. And then tumbled, and accidentally grabbed a few parts because Tristan was more slippery than a greased snake, but that was hardly his fault. It certainly wasn’t Galahad’s fault when their mouths collided—and Tristan tasted rather nice with berry juice. He also knew what to do with his tongue.

Somebody coughed. Feeling rather dizzy and trying to figure out many things at once, Galahad dazedly pushed himself up to see Lancelot’s smirking face. “Very cute.”

Tristan reached out and gave Lancelot a push in exactly the right place to get the man rolling down the steep hillside. Then he turned back and looked down at Galahad, utterly blankfaced. His hands were trembling a little.

“You know, you need to laugh more.” Galahad thought for a moment about Gawain, who was nice but who wasn’t around long enough to figure out what annoyed him. Then he thought about the man lying above him, who did know exactly what annoyed him. And what didn’t. “Gawain’s an idiot.”

“He’s my friend,” Tristan said in a faintly reproving tone, just before proving again that he was very attentive to what Galahad thought of the world. “Though in this case, I’ll agree.”

* * *

III. Third Try

Arthur opened the door and was promptly assaulted.

By the time he disentangled Lancelot from himself, someone had kicked the door shut, someone else had slammed the bolt home, and they were both missing a few layers of clothing. Lancelot, panting and flushed and fed-up, glowered at Arthur. “Did you or did you not like that?”

That’s what you were trying to say?” A little aggravated himself, Arthur turned them around so if they fell, the bed would cushion their fall. “Why didn’t you just tell me?”

“Why didn’t you—” Lancelot abruptly jumped to twine his legs around Arthur’s waist “—tell me?”

He punctuated his demand with a long, slow lick up Arthur’s neck; Arthur hissed and bit down a groan. “You’re my knight, and you’re barely seventeen. Coming from me, how would you know I wasn’t trying to force you? I don’t ever want you to feel as if you’re—”

“Arthur, shut up and fuck me.”

As it turned out, they still managed to miss the bed. But there was a nice rug on the floor, which Arthur would have to clean later. Still, it was worth it.