+ BENEATH THE SURFACE +

Written by: Lourdes, a.k.a. rockerforlife / I Fancy Hugh Dancy

Rating: K

Genre: Angst/Drama - English

Pairing: Lancelot/OC

Summary: A woman reflects about her feelings for and encounter with Lancelot. Oneshot.

Disclaimer: This short piece is pure fanfiction. Sadly, I do not own Lancelot, but I do own the unnamed narrator of this piece.

Author's Note: I would love to hear from anyone and everyone! Any comments are welcome and highly appreciated!

If you would like, check out my other King Arthur pieces: "My Knight" (Lancelot/OC/Galahad), "When Worlds Collide" (Tristan/OC), and my other oneshot, "Breathe No More, Bleed No More" (Tristan/OC). Enjoy!

L L L

I feel the inherent instinct within me coax my eyes to look upon your arrival. Amidst the cluster of tavern-goers, the drunken foolery and blatant exhibitions of wanton lust, I see you among your brothers-in-arms. The dark, curled tendrils upon your head, the mischievous twinkle of your brown orbs, the erect, justified stance that screamed of haughty pride. Once more, I am captivated by your being. I feel the waning of my self-control, the continuing rush of blood to my already beet-red cheeks and the rising discomfort of being in your presence taking over my very being.

I despise you.

I despise your cavalier mannerisms, the boastful arrogance that only a man who thinks so highly of himself -- a man such as yourself -- could merit. I loathe your random and frequent liaisons, your sensual demeanor, your inclination that a tumble is equated to a breath.

Though most of all, I despise you because I have fallen for you.

You stride towards me now: long, confident strides, exhibiting well your cad-like gait. Through your passing glances around the establishment, you flash your bewitching smiles at staring maidens, unfaltering at their adoring gazes. You bask in the attention, your complacency emanating through a roguish smirk. Reactions such as these are expected, I suppose. Appropriate for a strapping man such as yourself, precisely indicating the depth of your charms, your blessed aptitude for that which women desire. You quench their thirst and satisfy their appetite with what seems like unfeigned partiality. The danger lies not with the fact that you are able to easily capture such affection -- it lies with your knowledge of your own indisputable abilities and your ensuing application of them.

I meet your steady gaze, amazed that mine remains unflinching as I await your speech. With little recognition nor attention thrown my way, I hear you say, "Two cups of ale, miss." Then with a dismissive turn of the head, 'tis all. No sly smile. No flicker of interest in your orbs.

Nothing.

Rising contempt begins to overtake my being. I am such a misinformed fool to even fathom that I can gain an ounce of your attention! You could never be sincere, for you have no inclination as to what sincerity is! How could a man such as you even love, when all know the shallow depth, the equivocal nature of your feelings for the women? Go ahead and be lost in your drink, your gambling, your women! You shall never know the meaning of true love, sir knight, for you are not capable of said love!

With an arrogant tilt of my head, I forcefully place the ale upon your table, unable to mask the disdain on my countenance. The liquid spills over the brims of the cups as they dangerously teetered on their sides. A sense of pride arises within me, and I reach out for the tumbling ale.

So do you.

Your steady, callused hands wrap around mine, its warmth immediately enveloping my skin. Your eyes then become transfixed to where we are touching, then, in an excruciatingly slow manner, rise to meet my own. My mumbled apology is abruptly halted, aversion for your person suspended. 'Tis not attraction that has my eyes fixated to yours now, but curiosity. This is so, for as I gaze upon you, I see not a knight nor a cad, but simply a man; a lonely man, desperate for comfort, for absolution...for peace.

Perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps, beneath the surface, your being has the capability, the capacity, to hold genuine emotions. Conceivably, you are only a man misunderstood by many: marked, labeled, fashioned by their unwavering perceptions. I am also guilty of this fault, though am willing to atone for it. How can I show you that there is something concrete, tangible, real in this world other than war, pain and suffering? Would you even believe me if I said that I loved you?

I pull my hand gingerly from underneath yours, fearing that you may feel me tremble. You clear your throat and tear your eyes from my form as you perceive the discerning, knowing looks from your comrades. You steal another glance my way, mouth parted, head poised to speak...but you utter nothing.

I wait no longer for a response and begin to pace towards the bar once more. Though, as I sneak a glance back towards your form, I find you coming towards me once more; long, determined strides this time. Your arrogant air has disappeared, conceited smirk completely erased from your lips. I find you so handsome now, so captivating, as I perceive a flicker of boyish innocence resonating on your countenance. My heart begins to beat in an erratic manner, filled with much expectancy and hope.

Then, it halts beating altogether.

I feel the fleeting moment of happiness as the woman to my side embraces you and begins to place lingering kisses upon your lips. You return her affections with equal measure, holding her closely to your being, becoming lost in the entity that was her.

As you sling an arm around her shoulders, I dart my gaze towards the ground, unable to observe any longer. Hope has slipped through my fingertips, shattering into a thousand pieces upon the cold, stone floor. I chastise myself for my foolishness once more, desire waning, drifting, pleasure only wishful thinking. And yet, upon impulse, I look upon your being again. Our eyes meet in an instant: souls connecting, emotions exhibited. You tilt your head in genuine curiosity, wonder and recognition. Though still, as she impatiently tugs upon your arm, you hesitatingly follow her -- a queen of persuasion -- for she possesses your weakness, your tonic, your so-called 'solution'.

Oh, Lancelot! How I long to tell you, to scream at you, that you are wrong; that there is so much more to life...to love!

But instead, I remain silent and keep my distance.

After flashing another glance my way, you twist your head from my direction, then resume to walk away from my line of sight.

Perchance, my knight, that someday you will see.

Maybe tomorrow, you will see just how much I love thee.