Author: Winged Seraph PM
Victoria must decide what is more important to her, the possibility of love or a final chance at freedom? LancelotOCRated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Chapters: 19 - Words: 37,859 - Reviews: 172 - Favs: 60 - Follows: 26 - Updated: 07-12-06 - Published: 04-07-05 - Status: Complete - id: 2341573
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Fandom: King Arthur
Disclaimer: The wonderful film of King Arthur does NOT belong to me no matter how hard I try to change that fact damn it. Touchstone Pictures, David Franzoni, and Jerry Bruckheimer hold that honor. No money is being made by this creation and toys are returned in one piece.
Pairing: Lancelot/OFC, Tristan/OFC/Lancelot
Feedback: Please and thank you.
A/N: This is just for fun and because I love the movie so much. Criticism is taken seriously, pondered over, and appreciated but only if it is constructive and can help me write a better fic for you to enjoy. I do not pay any attention however to mary sue accusations or obvious pointing out of mistakes. Being only human I do at times miss something despite checking it over and having a beta, shit happens.
Now that's out of the way, read and let me know what you think. Thank you again.
"No! I will not!"
"You cannot refuse me!"
The well placed slap sent her reeling and she put out her hands to crash against the dresser before her body fully could. Victoria covered her swelling cheek as she stared wide eyed at her father.
"This is not under discussion." He sneered. "You are my daughter, I do as I see fit and you will do what I tell you."
"I cannot marry someone I do not love!"
"You will grow to love Lord Octavius as your mother grew to love me and that is final." Her father, the great Lord Bishop Farrington, sneered then turned away from her. "Pack your bags and be ready by morning when your escorts arrive."
Victoria watched him leave, her hand still pressed against her cheek as hot tears began to roll down her face. "Oh mother." She sobbed. "If only you were here…" She stumbled to her room blindly reaching for the small bag on the floor. So this was to be her fate? Married off to someone she had never seen, only heard of his foul deeds and mistreatment of others, and by journey's end, she would belong to him.
"I belong to no man." Victoria hissed under her breath. She grabbed the small dagger that she hid beneath her mattress, eyes fixed upon its smooth blade. "I will fight for my freedom."
"Your escorts are here my lady."
She didn't respond to the servant who quickly backed away and with a determined look, she grabbed her bag and proceeded down the main hall. Escorts. The thought made her stomach twist into knots. What need did she of escorts to an execution? She could find death by herself.
Victoria stepped out onto the palace steps, bag firmly gripped, and she refused to look towards her father at her side. He was no longer her father; he was simply a man, and men possessed evil in their hearts. She would be no man's slave.
The sight that greeted her eyes surprised her. Seven well armed men on horses waited before the steps, armored as if ready for battle at any second. They immediately repulsed her. They were filthy, men who killed in the name of a country that no longer existed, men of no faith but their own, savages.
"These are my escorts?" The tone of disdain was clear in her voice as she snorted. "And I see no carriage."
"We were assured you are familiar with riding large animals."
The insinuation of the statement was not lost on her and she swung her gaze to the one who had spoken. Her eyes narrowed at the handsome man, dark curly hair and matching eyes that met hers with unflinching steadiness. With a slight roll of her eyes, she let the comment slide and studied the rest of the men.
She knew who they were and the ability to identify them did not impress her. Arthur and his knights of the round table, they were just as she imagined them to be. All dirty, caked with mud and grime, blood that remained mixed with sweat and the armor clanged as they shifted; a silent reminder of exactly what they were, these beasts, men, warriors, her escorts.
"We must make haste." A tall, green eyed man pulled his horse forward. He bowed his head towards her. "Lady Victoria, I am Arthur. We are here to escort you to Hadrien's Wall where your husband to be awaits. We are losing daylight. If you would be so kind as to get upon the horse we have provided."
"You expect me to ride in a manner unfit for a lady?"
"It is not how the lady sits," Arthur commented softly. "But how she rides and carries herself."
Victoria sighed but nodded and she pulled her hand away as her father reached for it. "You are unfit to touch me." She hissed.
"Victoria, I am your father."
"You are no man to me!" She stepped away shaking her head. "As I leave so does your memory in my heart." Victoria spat at his feet and turned.
A knight slid of his horse, a man with long, twisted hair and watchful eyes, and he offered her his hand. She ignored it, moving around him to approach her horse. Victoria turned and handed her bag towards the knight.
"If you would be so kind."
He bent his head, saying nothing, and simply took her bag.
Victoria gritted her teeth but managed to pull herself up. She swung her leg as gracefully as she could, plopping herself down onto the saddle. Grabbing the reigns, she shot a look at the man beside her on his horse, the one who had spoken before. He gave her a slow grin, white teeth gleaming against his tan skin as he looked her over.
"See, I was right. You are familiar indeed."
"I am familiar sir with men who possess manners." Victoria sneered, hands tightening on the reigns. "Perhaps one day you will be so lucky."
Another knight chuckled, a bigger man with a closely shaved head and he poked at Lancelot. "She knows you only a short time Lancelot and already the lady has you figured."
"If the lady wishes to figure me, she need only ask." Lancelot winked.
"Enough." Arthur shot them a look as he directed his horse around. "We go to the wall." He glanced to Victoria. "You will stay in the middle; Lancelot will stay close to your side need you any help."
She forced herself to simply nod before focusing on the scenery in front of them. She attempted to block out everything around her, block out the man she once called father and the place she once called home. Pain however refused to be forgotten.
The road stretched on for hours it seemed but she held her tongue. Not once did she speak about the dull ache spreading up her spine for she refused to break for these barbarians. Victoria noticed the one named Lancelot continued to glance towards her but she dared not look his direction. She stiffened as his horse came closer, his eyes scanning her face.
"You are perhaps afraid to talk?"
"You insist on it?" Victoria swung her eyes to his. "Perhaps it is the thrill of hearing your own voice that makes you irritate me so."
"My lady, I only asked you a question."
"And yet you stare at me as if I am a piece of meat."
"Delicious may you be…" His voice teased, "You are by no means a piece of meat in my eyes. I have the utmost respect for beautiful women and believe me, they have the utmost respect for me."
"Because you pay them when they are done?"
The knight who had teased him before began to laugh again as he pulled his horse up on the other side of her. "I commend you on your wit my lady." He motioned at Lancelot. "Arthur wishes to speak with you."
Lancelot nodded and shooting another glance at Victoria clicked his tongue and the his horse shot forward to the start of the line.
"Lancelot is a good man." The knight addressed her. "He means you no harm with his big mouth."
"Big indeed." Victoria snorted. "As long as it is his mouth that runs and nothing else, I'm sure he is just fine."
The man chuckled again and extended his hand. "I am Bors."
She glanced down at his hand then back up slowly disdain clearly on her face. "That you are."
Bors flashed an amused look. "Behind us is my brother Dagonet accompanied by Gawain and Galahad." He pointed in front of them. "The man who took your bag and you so boldly snubbed earlier is Tristan." Bors relaxed in the saddle.
"Knights of the round table, yes." Victoria nodded. "I have heard of you like so many in these lands. You fight for a Rome that does not exist anymore yet you are not Romans. It is most puzzling."
"We fight for a greater cause, not just for a nation." Bors remarked. He glanced around. "We fight for these lands, our family, and our freedom."
Freedom. She almost laughed at the thought. "Freedom?" She questioned. "What freedom can be found in a land where a woman is forced to marry against her will?"
"You must find opportunity in whatever form it comes to you." He shrugged. "Perhaps a marriage of convenience is better than a life of slavery."
Victoria turned her attention away from him, eyes resting on the back of Lancelot as he continued it seemed to talk heatedly to Arthur. She tilted her head watching as he reared his horse back and seconds later trotted back beside her. Bors kicked his horse, spurring him around back towards Dagonet.
"Get in trouble did we?"
Lancelot chuckled. "Nothing I could not handle. Arthur believes you to be an innocent flower that must be protected."
"Even flowers are sometimes poisonous." He grinned. "You however, are a rose."
Victoria snorted looking away and she let her gaze rest on Tristan. "What of Tristan?"
Lancelot cocked an eyebrow as he followed her gaze. "Does our scout interest you?"
"And if he did?" She swung her eyes back to his. "What concern is it to you?" Victoria waved away his question. "No, none of you interest me." She spat out. "He though has hardly spoken since we began our journey; I only wish all of you would follow his example."
He did not seem phased by her statement, only continued to chuckle as a knight Bors had introduced as Galahad came closer to them.
"Is the lady unhappy with her companions?" He smirked.
Victoria rolled her eyes. "Unhappy in the company of dirty men who kill others in battle? Of course not." She sighed and let her gaze wonder. The pressure of her dagger attached to her thigh underneath her dress reassured her. She had no other choice; she would have to escape any way possible.
"Arthur, we have a problem, Saxons are coming up from the South."
Arthur gritted his teeth. "We will have to go around them then."
"We will have to go through woad territory." Tristan muttered. "It will be dangerous for some." He nudged his head and Arthur did not have to look to know he was talking about their precious cargo.
"This cannot be helped." He shook his head. "We go around them through the straits. Ride ahead and see if the road is clear."
Tristan ndded, the horse taking off, and Arthur turned his horse towards Victoria's. The line halted.
"What is going on?" She hissed looking around. "Why have we stopped?"
"Saxons approach to the South my lady. We are going to have to take an alternate route." Arthur motioned towards the woods and Victoria felt her opportunity soar at the same time as her fear.
"But the woods are covered in woads. We will never make it."
"We will have to try." He retorted. "Stay in the middle of my knights and you will be protected."
She nodded gritting her teeth as she felt her body stiffen in anticipation. Running into woads was definitely not in her plans, they were a violent tribe, people who killed anything and they despised Romans. She pulled her cloak tighter across her chest.
"Do not be afraid my lady."
Victoria bit her bottom lip. "I do not fear death."
"Death is nothing to fear." Lancelot replied. "It is in what manner you die that you should fear."
Her eyes flashed at him but she said nothing, the urge to grab her dagger and make him be quiet ever growing. He was right but she would not admit it. She did not like him and couldn't tolerate him hovering any longer. Lancelot was arrogant, a sign of a foolish man. He knew he possessed deadly good looks and his wit was sharp as his tongue.
Victoria snorted. "Perhaps you should consider keeping your advice to yourself Sir Lancelot."
"Why should I when you obviously enjoy talking to me?"
Her mouth dropped open. "I beg your pardon. I would pay to have you quiet."
The twinkle in his eyes sparkled alive at her and a thin smile crossed his lips. "Sure and that is why you continue to talk to me with playful bantering."
"Oh! Go away!" She fumed turning her gaze from him. Of all the infuriating brats she had to encounter, she found one in a knight no less. "Can you not trade places with a fellow knight?"
"Afraid not Princess." Lancelot grinned flashing those white teeth at her yet again. "You're stuck with me."
Victoria rolled her eyes and pulled her cloak even tighter, covering her face against his gaze. She itched to escape, the sooner the better before she killed someone, one knight in particular.