still_golden: (Gold - vulnerable)
[personal profile] still_golden
Jennifer's head and heart are full of memories as she and Matt return to the city from Aideen's grave. You bring your own history to this hour, everything you have lived. You bring Kevin here within you, and you bring Rakoth, who you survived Matt had told her. It need not be now as it has been before!

And Leila's words, in the Temple. Grant him release.

Maybe -- maybe--

When they reach Paras Derval, Jennifer takes her leave of Matt, who gives her a kind look out of his one eye. Then she turns and walks through the bright colors of the palace to Arthur's room, not sure what she'll say or do.

There's no response to her light knock, and she finds the room empty when she opens the door. Of course -- Arthur is in council with Aileron and Loren and Paul and all the others. Closing the door behind her, she moves to the window to wait.

Date: 2007-02-11 08:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] most-generous.livejournal.com
The ship that will go to Caer Sidi (Cader Sedat, in the tongue used in Fionavar) is called Prydwen. Thus the story repeats, life after life, world after world. As Arthur pushes open the door to his room, he is thinking of those other lives.

(Thrice enough to fill Prydwen, we went into it;
Except seven, none returned from Caer Sidi.
)

Date: 2007-02-11 09:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] most-generous.livejournal.com
In this life, this Guinevere is here, fair and suffering, and she needs Arthur. She has sought him out in his chambers (as, he remembers, the other one never did.)

Before Guinevere can finish the sentence, Arthur has knelt before her, buried his head in the folds of her gown. "My very dear. My golden Guinevere. Of course, love, of course, I am here..."

Date: 2007-02-11 09:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] most-generous.livejournal.com
Arthur will not let her fall.

He kisses her back, then takes a breath. It has been a very long time, in all of his lives. "Are you sure, Guinevere?"

Date: 2007-02-12 11:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] most-generous.livejournal.com
In the Goddess-brought summer, the chamber is warm and fragrant. A shaft of sunlight stretches across the bed. When Arthur leads Guinevere to it, the light turns her hair and skin to liquid gold, illuminates his greying-brown head. For part of an afternoon, the man and the woman rise above their doom.

***

"My love," he says at last, when the sun has sunk lower. "Is all well?"

Date: 2007-02-13 12:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] most-generous.livejournal.com
"Now." He presses a kiss to her temple, and another one for good measure, but he cannot delay longer. "There are things I must tell you."

Date: 2007-02-13 12:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] most-generous.livejournal.com
He sits up, leaning back against the headboard. "Did Kim tell you what she saw at Gwen Ystrat?"

Date: 2007-02-13 12:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] most-generous.livejournal.com
It eases Arthur's heart to see Guinevere as she is now, her face open, peaceful. He fears he will bring her cares back to her. "A cauldron that the mage Metran has at Caer Sidi. Cader Sedat, they call it here. He was using it, before, to bring the winter."

Date: 2007-02-13 01:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] most-generous.livejournal.com
She is a queen again, pushing aside her horror to ask the important questions. Arthur will not coddle her now. "Yes, although it will take some time. We have a little space to act."

Date: 2007-02-14 10:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] most-generous.livejournal.com
"We must destroy it, as soon as we may." Arthur's face is grave; he knows she will understand what it means to go to Caer Sidi, where Metran waits with the cauldron. "Prince Diarmuid's man, Coll, volunteered his ship. Her name is Prydwen."

Date: 2007-02-15 11:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] most-generous.livejournal.com
"More than you know." Arthur raises the hand she kissed and holds it over hers. "There has been one other change in our story, and what it will mean I know not. But I think it must be for the best. Guinevere, tell me, have you heard of the place called Milliways?"

Date: 2007-02-19 11:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] most-generous.livejournal.com
"Many worlds meet there, not just the worlds where you and I -- and Lancelot -- lived our lives. All of you, but most importantly Kim, met people who are not from the worlds you have known."

Date: 2007-02-26 01:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] most-generous.livejournal.com
"Kim, with the Baelrath, encountered a young man named Bran. He is from Earth, but not from any Earth you have seen."

Arthur strokes her bare shoulder and then slides backward so he can watch her face.

"I do not know what you will think of this, Guinevere. But because Kim met Bran ap Arthur at Milliways, when it came time for her to summon me, she did not only summon the Arthur you know. She called Bran's father also, and I am he as well.

"Did you see my son, Guinevere?"

Date: 2007-02-27 10:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] most-generous.livejournal.com
"Just so, my dear." He places his hand over hers. "We have many lives between us. They make us stronger."

Date: 2007-03-09 07:06 am (UTC)
wolflord_andain: (Maugrim's lieutenant)
From: [personal profile] wolflord_andain
Outside the window the late afternoon sun casts strange shadows.

One of those shadows might, to very discerning eyes, appear man-shaped.

But no--it is only a trick of perspective.

Or so Galadan would have any watchers believe. He is far, far too aware of who it is that he is watching to desire any possibility of interruption.

Some chances must always be taken, and the risk here seems already to have been well worth it.

Date: 2007-03-09 07:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] most-generous.livejournal.com
Arthur lays his fingers lightly on Guinevere's lips.

(It is safe to say that Arthur is not looking out the window. There have been better things for him to look at all afternoon.)

Arthur remembers how the other Guinevere
gripped his hands and held him still:

"I had not thought to ever see you off from the castle gates again.."

He cannot speak of her to this (Jennifer) Guinevere. Instead, he says, "You have always been brave, my love. Hold here for me, as my son Bran holds my kingdom elsewhere."

Date: 2007-03-09 07:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] most-generous.livejournal.com
"He is strong, and brave, and has the best of advisors to help him. I hope he is well."

Arthur turns his head away, towards the window; he is staring into his memories, and if the shadows are stranger than usual, he does not notice.

"But Bran chose mortality years ago, and the burden he has taken on would be heavy even if he were a lord of the High Magic."

Date: 2007-03-27 06:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] most-generous.livejournal.com
Arthur nods gravely, accepting Guinevere's words about Bran as a gift, and sets the subject aside. It's cruel to talk too long about his son by another wife; it reminds this Guinevere of her failure.

Arthur cannot bear to hurt the woman beside him, her golden hair radiant in the low sunlight. He loves her far too well -- with all of himself, he realizes. She is proud and fair, and she gave herself to him today. Arthur must lose her, soon, to the fate they share and to another doom even greater. The King of the Summer Country must return to the Summer Country, to the cold, dark-haired queen whom he has not even kissed since before Bran was born.

Arthur draws Guinevere to himself and kisses her again, desperately. There will be few enough chances later.

Date: 2007-03-28 04:56 am (UTC)
wolflord_andain: (Maugrim's lieutenant)
From: [personal profile] wolflord_andain
It is only when the King and his not-quite-Queen are fully absorbed in each other that the shadow by the window shifts, cool grey eyes gleaming with satisfaction.

He has learned quite a bit today, and all of it will be immensely useful.

Even this last intimacy.

All things may be made into weapons, in time.

All things.

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Jennifer Lowell

June 2007

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