The first time Galahad kills a man, it is at Bors' full-throated encouragement, roared over the din of the skirmish, and with Arthur's distant and nearly reluctant approval.

Once the dust settles over the victors and the company starts making its way back to the fort with their wounded, though, it is Tristan who goes to him and uncurls Galahad's fingers from their tight grip on his bloodied sword. Tristan wipes the blade clean on his own sleeve and sheaths it back into its scabbard; the weapon looks enormous and incongruous on Galahad's hip, just like Galahad himself never quite looks like he quite belongs atop a warhorse.

They ride back together without a word. Galahad has never found a way to thank Tristan for the ease in their silences.

That night Tristan takes care that the others are preoccupied enough with drink and women that they steer clear of the chamber where Galahad had laid out his bedroll on their first night at the fort, two years past now. The pallet hasn't moved since; it has collected pelts and trinkets but never a sense of permanency. Tristan can find it in the dark better than he can find his own. He comes in near dawn and deposits a fistful of freshly fletched arrows in one of Galahad's boots, leaving without disturbing the younger boy's fitful slumber.

Tomorrow, he would teach him to harm from afar.