Harlequin's Slash Fic

Lancelot du Lac

Title: Lancelot du Lac
Author: Harlequin
Universe: Merlin
Characters featured: Lancelot, Freya, Merlin
Category, Word count: Short story; 990 words
Rating: PG
Summary: Lancelot finds peace.
Notes: Set after episode 409.
For Melody, who also deserves every happiness.
With thanks to archaeologist_d for the translation of Merlin’s spell (though I anglicised it further).

 

 

Lancelot du Lac

Bestow peace on this tortured soul…

For a long while he lay where he had fallen, where what was left of him had sunk, heavy, so very heavy that surely he should have sunk further down into the silt, borne down by the weight of the waters of the guilt of the grief, the weight of it all.

Time passed and he waited, waited, blind and dull and silent, waited for the last elements that comprised him to break apart further and dissolve and at last dissipate into the peace that Merlin had so kindly wished for him so undeserving.

Time passed.

Time passed, and the world rocked gently back and forth between day and night, and still his body stubbornly held together, refusing to scatter, refusing to set free that last little spark at the core of him, that gleam that was himself, when all he wanted – not presuming to pray, not anymore, but he willed it so – all he wanted was for that spark to be set free so that the water could perform Merlin’s blessing and extinguish that which could no longer be borne.

For a long while he waited, and he willed… but then eventually a sigh rippled through him.

And he was still him, Lancelot, lying on his back on the bottom of a lake, his body was still whole, still yearning, still dressed in the black that Morgana had given him. Nothing had changed.

Peace would not come to those who did not deserve it.

She had come before. He had been aware of her drifting by, considering him curiously from a polite distance, and then after a while wriggling away as lithe as an eel to happier pursuits. He had heard her laughter and her giggles from far away, ringing and chiming through the water. He had heard her singing.

She drew closer one day, as if sensing a change in him. He opened his eyes, and found that he could still see. She had long dark hair which fanned out and rippled behind her like a live thing, framing a sweet inquisitive face, which broke into a friendly smile when she saw him watching. ‘Hello,’ she said. ‘I’m so glad to see you. What lovely dark eyes you have! Are you well?’

He was not. He was not well nor whole nor wholesome. He closed on down and tried to sink away again.

After a while she left.

Her timing was exquisite, for when he opened again, he lay there alone until he was almost impatient, and then at last she swam back into view, wriggling along, or rather undulating in perfectly innocent ways as if this were her true element.

‘Hello,’ she said again. ‘My name’s Freya.’

‘Lance,’ he said, his voice rusty. He couldn’t manage his full name, but then he hardly had need of it now.

She cut right to the chase. ‘Merlin brought you here to find peace.’

He quailed inside, but announced heavily, ‘I do not deserve it.’

‘I didn’t either. And yet that’s what I’ve found.’

‘I cannot –’

‘It’s what he wishes for us,’ she insisted.

He closed his eyes and drifted away. His friend’s capacity for grace was almost unbearable.

‘What were you laughing at?’ he asked her a long while later. ‘I heard you laughing from… oh, so very far away.’

‘A fish!’ she declared brightly. ‘Well, I wasn’t laughing at him, you mustn’t think that.’

His mouth quirked at her niceties. ‘What was it that amused you?’

‘He was so very silver!’

He watched her as she slowly swam a circle around him, and then another, her body rolling and twisting as she looked about her, above below to this side and that. So very engaged with her world.

‘So beautifully silver,’ she mused, stretching out long and wriggling from her toes to her fingertips, as if this beauty was to be experienced by all five senses and more.

‘Show me,’ he said.

They raced the fish as he darted here and there, sleek in his chainmail. Lance was clumsy for a while, too human, too habitual, his knightly lessons too ingrained. But soon he found an economy of movement, an efficiency. It was oddly easy to move about, requiring surprisingly little effort, almost only the intention was enough. He’d never be graceful like Freya, but he did well enough when he remembered to glide.

They drifted through forests of long green leaves, letting the ribbons and fronds whisper and nod and rustle against them.

They spent an age considering the intricate marvels of a spiralling shell.

One afternoon Lance heard echoes of a familiar voice, and he swam cautiously towards it, finding Freya there curled in the warm shallows, listening intently. It was Merlin, of course. ‘It’s a while since he last came,’ Freya whispered.

But after that, every now and then Merlin would come and sit on the shore, and he’d talk to them both, not seeing them, but nevertheless rambling through great long one–sided conversations about Gaius and Hunith, Arthur and Guinevere, and the knights. Arthur was making his inheritance his own. Guinevere was Queen now, Camelot’s most beloved Queen. It seemed that Guinevere was happy. A wise queen and a contented wife. That mattered to Lancelot, that she be happy.

And then at last it all began to matter a little less.

He was floating suspended in a beam of sunlight that turned golden–green in the waters, while the surface above sparkled, and the current below gently buffeted him. And eventually he thought, the words forming in him like the most perfect welling of truth, ‘I am free.’

Delighted laughter drifted towards him, and then Freya swam near, her thick dark hair so sleek, so alive, her face alight with joy. ‘The lilies are blooming!’ she cried. ‘Come and see!’

He grinned, and tumbled out of the sunbeam, kicked a precise lazy foot to propel him after her. And they went to marvel at the water lilies.

Posted in: Gen fic, Merlin

Subscribe to these comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *