A/N: TADA! Well, I'm back! Surprised you all, didn't I? It's been almost a year since I've updated this story since I went to England, travelled, did mock King Arthur stuff (haha) and all that. Plus, I was having major writer's block with all of my King Arthur fics, which probably better explains why I haven't updated in ages. I've been concentrating on my Boondock Saints fic, so check that out too if you want! But yes, here's a long-awaited chapter of "When Worlds Collide". Thank you so much for your patience and for reading! Special thanks also go out to those who reviewed: Jenni, Lady Lily Rose, Priestess of the Myrmidon, Tigger-180, Raging Raven, Black Knight62, Readerfreak10, anarane2, Priscilla2, Litha2124, Nicole and SilverLight05.
It has been a long while since I've written a KA fic, so I may be a tad bit rusty. Though, I must say that I enjoyed writing this chapter. I'm not sure when I'll update again, so let's savour this chapter, shall we? lol xx Enjoy, and don't forget to review!
t t t
"I dunna think I'm comfortable with this time-travelling…thing."
"I agree with Bors. What if something goes wrong?"
"Galahad, I think Merlin would know what he is doing. We should trust him."
"Dagonet is right. The Wizard has been practiced in dark magic for many years. He is knowledgeable about these occurrences."
"Aye, I certainly concur with Gawain. I think it would be rather enjoyable, actually. It just means that there will be even more women to choose from!"
Once more, Arthur and his knights convened at the Round Table, seeking each other's counsel with regards to the matter of Tristan and the mysterious, exotic woman; and, more importantly, Merlin's seemingly daft proposal of traveling through time. They had spent a few days after they had met with the wizard to either propose another course of action or to agree with what had already been proposed. So far, the knights were all plagued with mixed feelings, some still caught in disbelief at Merlin's explanation for Tristan's baffling disappearance, while the others – one especially – wholeheartedly desired to follow through with this course of action, the prospects of more women somewhat clouding his true intentions of retrieving Tristan. Though, out of all of the knights, Arthur had been the one most consumed by indecision. One of his knights had already disappeared without a convincing, or highly believable, explanation; a man whom he felt was his responsibility. He did not want to endanger the lives of his other knights by blindly accepting this mission without fully understanding it. What he understood, though, was that it could lead to highly complicated, even disastrous, consequences – consequences that they may not be adequately properly prepared for.
After his long pause of silent deliberation, Arthur stood slowly from his throne, placing firm hands upon the edge of the Round Table. His regal poise silently commanded his presence, and almost immediately, the knights halted their boisterous debate. With all eyes upon him now, Arthur succinctly declared, "We cannot follow him."
The room became even more silent, if that were at all possible at this point. The knights threw each other crooked glances, alternately wondering what had possessed Arthur to make such a decision. Confusion coursed through them then, for they somehow felt disappointment at Arthur's proclamation, as though they had even desired to go in the first place!
Breaking the silence that rested comfortably through the room, Lancelot pursed his lips as he questioned simply, "Why not?"
"You heard what Merlin had said." Now standing behind his chair, Arthur began to pace as he continued to ponder the situation. His gaze had fallen to the stone floor beneath him, arms clutched tightly behind his back. "A slight change in the past can have devastating effects on the future. If we leave Camelot now, my brothers-in-arms, what will then happen in the future? We do not exist in the world that we are going to, of that I am certain, but what of our tomorrow, the tomorrow here in Camelot? The people will not have us to lead them, to protect them, any longer. Should we risk the future of Camelot by accepting Merlin's proposal?"
"Arthur," Galahad was the first to respond, holding his arm out in front of him as he humbly countered, "We cannot wait here and do nothing while our comrade may be in danger. We still do not know his exact location as of yet, let a lone the exact time that he is in. I am in accord with what you are saying, sire, but what if Tristan himself does not know the detrimental effects of his disappearance? Will that not also have a great impact on the future?"
The knights gave out certain nods, throwing approving glances at their king. Gawain ran his long fingers through his shaggy mane, breathing out slowly as he said, "It seems simple enough, really. Whatever magic Merlin possesses, if it does bring us to the time where Tristan has gone, then that eases the problem of trying to find him." He brought up a finger, wagging it thoughtfully in front of him. "So when…or if…we are successful in retrieving Tristan from the future, then we have to find a way in returning at this particular point in time – our time – so as to make sure we do not severely alter the past."
Lancelot's eyebrows perked up. Immediately snapping his fingers at his comrade's suggestion, he obviously found something positive within it. "Brilliant, Gawain, simply brilliant!" Confusing the knights around him, he threw his head back and gave out a bellowing laugh. "Since I'm one of the best looking men within all of these lands, I need to populate this earth with as many good-looking children as I can, past or present. Hence, I must go!"
Annoyed at his comrade's display of arrogance, even though it had a tint of mocking, Bors gave Lancelot an abrupt shove, grunting in his wake. Then giving him a light slap on the back of the head for good measure, he pointed a meaty finger upon Lancelot's sloped nose. "Now you listen 'here. This is no time to jest, Lancelot!"
The young knight blinked repeatedly, mouth slightly agape. "I was not jesting."
To the knights' surprise, Arthur suddenly began to chuckle, entire body shaking, becoming amused at Lancelot's impudence, whether mocking or not. Arthur knew that his best comrade was merely making light of the serious situation at hand, attempting to break the tension that clearly weaved itself amongst them. Though, Gawain did have a point. Would it be possible to retrieve Tristan and then return to this point in the past? If that was so, then by the grace of God, nothing would be severely altered, and they may be able to simultaneously prevent the battles that take place in the future with regards to the amulet.
As if on cue, two loud knocks sounded from the entrance of the chamber, gaining all of the knights' attentions. At Arthur's command for the visitor to enter, they perceived Merlin, shakily entering the room as he was supported by his staff. He beamed them a smile, sincerely happy to see them. "Greetings, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table! As you may have guessed, I have come here to inquire whether or not you have all made a decision pertaining to Sir Tristan and time travelling."
"We have thought long and hard, Merlin, debated for days and days upon end about this matter," Arthur admitted, ushering his old friend towards a seat as he placed a supporting hand upon his upper back. "We have said both aye and nay, but I believe that now, we have instinctively and collectively come to an agreement." Merlin eyed the king expectantly, a knowing smile pulling upon his thin lips. Arthur recognized this expression, and he continued to proclaim, "Tristan may be in grave danger, wherever he may be, so we must help him. I will not let a knight of the Round Table travel alone, especially through time, as it so happens. Thus, we seek your magic, great Wizard, to transport us to the world of the future."
Merlin took a cursory glance around the room, discerning the looks of determination and acquiesce from all of the knights within the chamber. He, himself, was impressed with and proud of their ultimate decision, to see that they would risk so much to bring their comrade home. "I never once doubted that you all would make the right decision." Holding out his arms to the side, his staff poised high in the air in front of him, he beckoned for each of the knights to surround him. "Knights, this spell through time has a limit. Know it now and know it well. It will transport you to Tristan's time, whenever it may be, and will take you as close to the knight as possible. Though, you only have one chance, and only one chance, to return home. This is a great risk that you are all taking, so heed my warnings and only conjure this spell when you are certain that you desire to return here, at this time, in Camelot." With nods of understanding, the knights gathered around the Wizard, forming a circle. "Place the point of your swords upon my staff. Think hard of your comrade and repeat what I say." Taking deep breaths, the knights simultaneously unsheathed their swords, the tips clinking as they met upon Merlin's staff. Merlin began:
Oh beautiful and powerful Lady of the Lake
Upon our swords we call out to thee,
Lend us your magic and give us your strength,
So that we may course through time in its length.
A surge of light came down from the heavens, lighting the chamber in its entirety. Another beam soon followed, its straight fall landing upon the knights, illuminating their swords.
When Merlin's eyes fluttered open, he found himself alone in the room.
t t t
Tristan could not remember how long he had lied on the floor of her 'li-ving room' as he remained awake, listening to Lourdes' muffled sobs coming from behind her bedroom door. When he thought about what had transpired between her and her 'friend-boy', rightly brought about his own rash and completely inappropriate advances upon her, he had felt a tinge of an emotion that he had not felt in a very long time: remorse. He had confused himself then, for he was not one prone to deliberately hasty actions. Why had he not thought about the wishes of this woman in the first place? Her status? Her own feelings for him, if there were any? He was not accustomed to not seeing things coming, and this particular situation disconcerted him. What was it about this woman that had him completely off-guard, laying down his defenses, if he may call it that? Is this entirely new world the reason why he's been so completely vulnerable as of late?
Though, he was certain that if she had held him in any high regard before, he was now nowhere near her good graces - definitely not after what had occurred between them. Feeling himself discombobulated by this new situation, coupled with the other, more oppressing one looming above his head, he disregarded everything at the moment, finally deciding to take the bath that Lourdes had prepared for him. Lithely making his way into the bathroom, he crept towards the bathtub, having only the dim moonlight shining through the window to guide featherweight footsteps. As he splashed the liquid upon his arm, he found that the water had gone terribly cold. Slightly shivering at the feeling, he garnered enough will to step into the 'white bucket', as he called it, involuntarily trembling. With a mere grunt, he tossed the towel that he had been wearing aside, bending down and finally sinking into the water. It took a bit of time for the scout to adjust to the temperature, but after a while, he found that he was actually relaxed, another emotion that he had not felt in a long while. Resting his head upon the edge of the tub, he crossed his arms upon his broad chest, eyes curiously wandering around the white, tiled room. There were so many objects that he had never before seen in his life, bizarre things. He could only wonder. Taking a bottled liquid that was placed upon the right side of the bathtub, he quickly popped the lid open, instinctively sniffing it. Smells like lilacs after a gentle summer rain, he mused to himself, having absolutely no idea what it was for. Mindlessly tossing the liquid aside, he continued to rummage through the other objects placed around him, curiosity taking over his entire being.
A sudden pop caught his attention.
His eyes sliding to his side, he noticed several other bubbles appearing from within the water around him. As the seconds wore on, he realized that the more he splashed around, the more bubbles seemed to appear. The scent of lilacs filled his nose again as hundreds of them now crowded around him, ruthlessly covering him from head to toe. He gave out a mumble of annoyance when the bubbles would not stop forming, now creating a wall of defense around him, trapping him. Flicking them aside, he continuously shook them from his hair and wiped them off his face.
The light suddenly turned on.
With another sob, Lourdes dragged her feet as she stalked unceremoniously inside the washroom, dry tears lining her soft countenance. Tristan sat frozen in the bathtub, gaze flickering towards her form. Almost immediately, her eyes connected with Tristan's, growing wide. As she felt her heart jump through the roof in surprise, she gave out an ear piercing scream. "Fuck! What the hell are you doing here?"
"I thought it would be quite obvious, milady." Tristan replied in a low tone, motioning to the heap of bubbles surrounding him.
Lourdes let out a shriek of annoyance, clenched fists resting firmly to her sides. When she had thought that she had regained some form of composure, she lifted a steady finger, pointing it guiltily towards the bathing knight. "You! Because of you and your little display of affection back there, Connor and I are permanently over! My life's already been disrupted, destroyed, because of your damned amulet! Then this? I didn't need another negative thing to happen in my life!"
To speak in defense, Tristan abruptly stood, water and bubbles dripping all over him from head to toe. Lourdes sucked a breath, immediately darting her eyes away from his naked form. Though, before she had looked away, she recognized the blatant rage upon his countenance, which shone through even though he attempted to conceal his true emotions. "I did not know you were promised." He succinctly replied in a low growl, his dark eyes boring through her. "My life has also been disrupted. I never asked for this to pass."
"Neither did I!" Releasing all of her accumulated stress, pain and anger, she cried, "Do you think that I prayed to be the one to go to Camelot, wished to be the one to seek you and bring the amulet back to my time? No! I came because of my grandfather's request, because the world is apparently at stake." She pointed a finger at his form once more without looking at him. "And you! Don't make it seem as though I tied and forced you to come with me! You yourself came at your own volition, so you better not be pointing any fingers in my direction!"
At her assertion, Lourdes heard the knight swiftly step out of the bathtub, the water wildly splashing around the room. In a rugged motion, Tristan placed on his towel, wrapping it around his waist haphazardly. With heavy, wide strides, he exited the bathroom without a word, pushing past Lourdes as he began to make his way to the adjacent room towards his scattered belongings.
Lourdes swallowed, feeling panic course through her veins. Hastily following his tracks, she walked into the living room, where she perceived him snatching his belongings left and right – his weapons, armour and the like - and wildly shoving them into a sac without a thought. "What are you doing?" She hissed in a distressed manner through her gritted teeth, walking towards his side. "Where do you think you're going?"
Tristan continued to gather his belongings, wholly disregarding her presence. It actually pained him to know that his family's amulet was causing others to suffer and was the premise of an entire war in the future. He had to prevent, or end this, somehow, without endangering anyone else's life. To his side, Lourdes continued to question his intentions. When he felt her attempting to pull his arm in order to turn him around to face her, his instincts took hold of him, and he immediately grasped her wrist. Lourdes let out a sharp gasp at his sudden reflex, now attempting to shake the clinging knight off of her being. Tristan's form held strong, though, and he merely pulled her abruptly towards him.
Placing her arm forward in order to soften their collision, Lourdes landed upon his strong chest. Still finding herself unable to breathe, she halted her squirming, seeing that her resistance only made the knight more determined to keep her in place. Without so much as a sigh, Tristan claimed her lips in his, roughly, hungrily. Lourdes let out a low moan, finding herself completely captivated by his rugged touch. Feeling her relaxing upon him, Tristan released her wrist. Instead, he placed his hands behind her back, jerking her body towards his. The lengths of their forms were now touching, molding, and Tristan did not halt his assault on her lips, still tasting her, biting her.
Lourdes suddenly pulled away from his being, dizzy, breathless. "You're confused about what you feel," she said in but a mere whisper, hands upon the knight's chest as if to keep herself steady. She could not meet his stormy eyes, refusing to succumb to his ministrations. Her own were a dark shade of brown, glossed with simultaneous desire and confusion. She squeaked, "You're in a strange world, all by your lonesome. You don't know what you're doing. I can understand that."
"You presume to know how I feel?"
His grip tightened upon her as he said this, his nose touching the side of her cheek, then tracing down her neck as he freely breathed in her flowery scent. He felt her involuntarily shiver at this, her body reacting to his scorching touch. Lourdes was frozen under his hard touch, his hard body, breath sucked in, still refusing to meet his intense eyes. What am I doing?, she scolded herself, still unable to bulge from her position. Lourdes couldn't deny it. She wanted to kiss him now, desired for more of his touch – but she had to fight it. She just had to fight it, because…
A low moan automatically escaped from her lips as Tristan began to lick, nip and bite the side of her neck. She automatically rolled her head back, allowing him more access to her flesh. He held her closely once more, his touch now gentle, calloused fingers itching their way below her shirt as he massaged her back. She was so warm, so delicate, so innocent that Tristan somehow felt that he needed to protect her.
But this wasn't him.
This wasn't what he should be doing.
Releasing her as quickly as he had captured her, Tristan left Lourdes stunned, glazed eyes eyeing him in simultaneous confusion and wonder. Taking a step back to make his intentions clear, the Scout proclaimed,
"That will not happen again."
t t t
A/N: So what'd you guys think? Any ideas as to what will happen next? I promise I will try to update as soon as I possibly can. Let's just hope it doesn't take another year! haha xx IFHD