I own nobody by the characterizations of Bedivere, Lamorak, Percival, and Kay (now Cai). I would like to obtain the rights to the
knights of 'King Arthur', but sadly that would be near impossible.
Summary: When searching Sarmatians, what is noted above all is their history of warrior women. I am surprised, and slightly appalled, that they made no mention of this in the movie 'King Arthur', so I did. Happy day!
Please comment on this, tell me how I did!
If You Are My Knight
I stood behind the small changing station in my chambers and tugged at the tight dress. "Are you sure this will work?" I asked, still hidden from view. "I mean, will I truly look like a lady?"
"Must you question me Bedivere?" Percival admonished with a laugh as he rummaged through my things while I was busy. "You will truly look like a lady, I promise. Now come out here and let me see you."
"All right…" I sighed in discomfort and made the last attempt at helping my hair, then departed from behind the curtain, "well, what do you think?"
Percival stood, staring at me with a speechless look on his face and I knew the outcome could not be good. "You look…beautiful."
"Yes," Percival insisted with wide eyes, for he was one of the only men who knew my true identity, "you…should wear something like that more often."
I blushed and smirked, cracking him on the shoulder. "Ow!" Percival grabbed his shoulder with a laugh. "And what a lady you'd make!"
"Oh Percival," I shot him a look, "you are always more than happy to woo anything in a frock. The thing is, you often fail."
"Well, you've wounded me again, my fair lady," Percival teased, pressing his hand over his heart, "let's just hope you can fool the other men as best as you've fooled me."
Worry blanched my face. "Oh, Percival…this is all wrong."
Taking my shoulders, Percival gazed at me with a grin. "You, Bedivere, or should I say Barcaide, will pull the wool over every man's eyes…and steal a lucky knight's heart."
At that, I embraced Percival and he hugged me back with a new warmth and kindness. "I'd do anything for you, old friend." Percival assured me. "Wherever you go, I follow, but will you allow me to do one thing?"
I pulled away and smiled at him. "Anything."
"Good," Percival grinned, reaching over and pinching my rump, making me jump and cry out as he laughed, "ha ha!"
In return, I slapped Percival across the head and rushed from the chambers as he followed, rubbing the left side of his cranium. "Wait!" Percival called. "I need to escort you into the tavern, milady!"
"I can very well do that myself!" I called back, going into a run.
I had been in the tavern so many times before, but this time seemed brand new. For the first time in many years, I was portraying my true nature—donning the garb of a woman, but I was so frightened.
All the men were laughing and talking in their usual places in the tavern as wenches were pulled onto their knees. When I saw Tristan, I nearly stopped in my tracks. No wench sat on his lap, for he was alone…as always.
I could not spy Lancelot despite it all and considered that he probably would have been with the other men. Walking toward the bar, I felt two hands encircle my waist and hot breath on my neck.
My initial reaction was to pummel the alcohol stinking pig, but the voice awoke me from deep within. "I was wondering when a maiden like you would stroll in," a familiar voice growled and I froze, being pulled onto a lap, "what's your name, darling?"
I gazed into two dark eyes, the familiar face of Lancelot that had been so radiant in all of my dreams now sunken and sallow from the drink. Never in all my life had I seen a man so changed by mead, for Tristan seemed only to become more violent and not aged. This was after Cai had taken my womanhood from me and he was in the north with a few other knights, staying out of my hair for the time being.
When Lancelot asked for my name, I opened my lips, but no sound emitted. "No worries then, love." Lancelot covered my lips with his.
I pulled away, disgusted by him—I stood and searched the tavern, but Percival was busy speaking with the others and Tristan was nowhere in sight now. Lancelot stood, laughing at my rejection. "Are you sure you're a woman?"
"My name is Barcaide," I said, facing the fact that I had forever wanted to love Lancelot as I had in my dreams, but at the moment of truth I found nothing lovely about him at all, "and you are far too drunk."
I thought of Tristan then…at first I did not understand why, but there was a reason. I glanced at the other men, then at Lancelot, who could barely stand, and I left the tavern without fulfilling my purpose.
Lancelot was too drunk to follow me as I left prematurely, not glancing back. I went to the bathhouse, where no man was this knight, and I took my seat inside, putting my face into my hands.
I felt tears sting my eyes as I bit my lip to keep from crying. Why had I thought Lancelot was anything more than what he truly was? Why had I thought of him as golden when I saw who he was? I believe I loved who he could have been.
"Can you breathe in that?"
Glancing up I saw no one in the bath house at first and then, out of the shadows, a familiar figure emerged. "Tristan…"
With a face as stoic as ever, Tristan moved toward me. "I almost didn't recognize you."
My heart fell and I nearly hid my face again until I heard Tristan sigh, softly. I was sure he was mocking me, but by his tone I could not tell. "You never dressed up like that for me when we shared a tent." Tristan spoke and then took his seat beside me. "What did you think of him, then?"
I sighed, knowing now that Tristan was not teasing me. "Lancelot's like every other man…"
"I could have told you that," Tristan glanced at me, "but…why did you proceed with it? Despite all you knew?"
"Because…" I replied quietly, as I began to remove make-up from my face, "I…I didn't see it, Tristan…I tried to think of Lancelot as lovely…perfect and I wanted to think he would change—perhaps by the mere sight of me."
"Things are not so, Bedivere." I felt his hand take mine away from wiping my make-up off. "Will you allow it to destroy everything? Not having life as you dreamed it?"
"But I just wanted everything to be as it should…for once." I replied as Tristan gazed at me. "And…the only person I wanted to be with tonight…was you, Tristan."
I felt him kiss me then, full on the mouth, and for the first time I felt a true kiss. In Tristan's embrace, I knew his love and his life…I knew that in his arms I could be safe, but when morning came, I knew that life would go back to how it was. It had to.
Pulling away, Tristan gazed at me. "If you will be my wench this night, I will be your Lancelot."
I laughed. "If you are my knight, I will be your lady."