Title: And On This Day
Warnings: Violence and teenage!Lancelot
Disclaimer: Not mine, too poor to be worth suing.
Notes: This was originally meant to be a drabble, but Lancelot wouldn't shut up. So, now, it is this story. I hope you like it!
Lancelot is fourteen when he is put on full duty, and he doesn't understand the grim look on Arthur's face when the commander formally presents him with his swords. For a moment, he wonders if he's done something wrong- something to offend the only Roman he admires.
But that can't be right.
He's proven himself better, as both a fighter and a rider, than so many of the others- better even than men twice his age. And then Arthur says it- too quietly to be overheard, were Lancelot not listening for it- "Still just a child..."
But, in that, he is wrong.
Lancelot is fourteen, but he is no child. He is a knight in the service of Rome, and when the alarm is sounded he rushes to battle with all the rest. The Woads have breached the Wall and swung up from the East. The knights ride to meet them through a storm of arrows. They crash into the enemy in a flurry of shouts, and sweat, and blood.
It's all blindingly quick, and nothing like he expected. There is a scream- a horse's scream, high and terrible- and the man beside Lancelot falls from the saddle to be pinned beneath his own dying mount. And then one of the Woads is there, ferocious in blue paint and ragged leathers, sword swinging as he shouts his battle cry.
Lancelot hastily brings his own blades to bear, but his arms are like putty. He ducks the flashing steel aimed for this throat, overbalances, and tumbles to the ground. Gasping, breath knocked out, he stumbles to his feet, instinctively bringing one sword up to block what is meant to be a killing blow. The other sword, he thrusts forward, feeling the resistance as the blade presses through flesh and muscle.
The man before him falls back, clutching at his wounds. Lancelot watches the blood dribble from his mouth, watches his eyes bulge, watches him convulse and go still. He has seen death in this manner before, of course, but never caused it.
For a moment, his vision blurs, and he staggers back a step, the weight of what has just happened hitting him at once. Then he masters it; he knows he must. He spins, ready to fight another, but finds the Woads running for the trees, and his brother knights cheering.
Arthur is at his side a moment later, hands on his arms, his chest, his head- checking him for wounds. And, again, Lancelot doesn't understand his commander's face. They are victorious, and alive, and he has had his first kill; it is an occasion of pride.
Still, Arthur's eyes are worried, even guilty, and Lancelot scowls. This is his moment. He has done the most powerful of things- determined another man's fate, stolen his life.
Lancelot is fourteen, and on this day he is a god.