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

Today is a winding road

That's taking me to places that I didn't want to go

Today in the blink of an eye

I'm holding on to something and I do not know why

I tried

I tried to read between the lines

I tried to look in your eyes

I want a simple explanation for what I'm feeling inside

I gotta find a way out

Maybe there's a way out

Your voice was the soundtrack of my summer

Do you know you're unlike any other?

You'll always be my thunder, and I said

Your eyes are the brightest of all the colours

I don't wanna ever love another

You'll always be my thunder

So bring on the rain

And bring on the thunder

Today is a winding road

Tell me where to start and tell me something I don't know

Today I'm on my own

I can't move a muscle and I can't pick up the phone

I don't know

And now I'm itching for the tall grass

I'm longing for the breeze

I need to step outside

Just to see if I can breathe

I gotta find a way out

Maybe there's a way out

Yeah I'm walking on a tight-rope

I'm wrapped up in vines

I think we'll make it out

But you just gotta give me time

Strike me down with lightning

Let me feel you in my veins

I wanna let you know how much I feel your pain

Today is a winding road

That's taking me to places that I didn't want to go

Oh baby bring on the pain

And listen to the thunder

- "Thunder" by Boys Like Girls

Rating: T - MA for violence, language and adult situations in later chapters.

Genre: Romance/Drama/Action/Adventure

Language: English

Pairing: OFC/Lancelot

Summary: One woman struggles to fight for her land, people and freedom. How will she fend throughout these war-filled times? Will she struggle alone, or will love and fate give her a hand?

Disclaimer: This story is pure fanfiction. People, places and names have been altered to fit into the plot. I do not own any of the knights and other recognizable characters from King Arthur. I own Lourdes and various stock characters that appear later on in the story.

Author's Note: Hey everyone! Well, I'm back from a hiatus and from my year-long adventure in England + Europe! I've decided to begin a new project since I have not written in ages! It follows the basic movie plot, though I do want to concentrate more on Woad life and will make changes to situations in the movie.

I would love to hear from anyone and everyone! Any comments, questions, corrections, constructive criticism, suggestions and encouragement are welcome and appreciated!


Britain was divided by a 73 mile wall, built in the first century AD to protect the Roman Empire from the native fighters of the north. Those who inhabited the northern part of Britain were commonly known as Woads: ancient woodland peoples who, for hundreds of years, continued to resist Roman domination. As the Empire's hold on Britain began to weaken, the Woads and their internal alliances held firm and were strengthened, united by their determination to reclaim what were once theirs. Led by the mystic Merlin, they continuously fight for their land, their peoples, and, most importantly, their freedom.

Chapter 1

"They are here."

The whispered voice announced the arrival of a Roman caravan. In the distant horizon, a group of thirty odd Roman soldiers, sitting erect on their fatigued steeds, marched their way through a clear field. Aside from the wheels of the carriages and the neighing and tapping of the hooves of the horses, the group journeyed silently, cautiously watching their surroundings as they did so.

Even in their silence, the Romans did not detect the Woadian warriors observing them in the distance. Covered by the lush foliage of the surrounding woods, the northern warriors silently crept through the trees and bushes, holding their weapons steadily to their sides and gathering into formations. Communicating by mere gestures and tilts of the head, the Woads moved to their respective positions, waiting for the caravan to move in more closely and for the opportune moment to attack.

A female Woad watched every movement intently, her intense brown eyes darting back and forth from the Romans to her comrades. Following the stiff beckon from her commander, she crawled on all fours, her knife between her teeth, before slipping behind a large oak tree. As the stomping of horse hooves became louder, the tension between the warriors heightened, for their moment to strike was near. All their lives would be put on the line for another chance at freedom. Death to the Romans, freedom for the Woads!

Through her concentration, the Woad did not notice her comrade inch his way to her side. Startled by his sudden presence, she let out a gasp, gripping the knife that was formerly in her mouth. Taking a step back, she subsequently slipped on a twig, almost losing her balance and falling into thorned bushes. The male Woad quickly grabbed her in his arms, placing his hand around her lips. "Move not an inch, for the Romans shall see and hear you!" he hissed, turning her around to face him. "Lourdes, you should not have come. You know how your brother worries, " he ran his fingers through her long, raven hair as he finished, "…how I worry."

"Melot," Lourdes smiled at the young Woad's concern, placing a hand upon his cheek, "how would I deserve freedom if I do not fight for it?"

"I thought you would say that." Giving her a smirk, Melot softly pressed Lourdes upon the trunk of the tree, the length of their bodies touching. He traced his lips down the side of her neck before saying, "Just be careful. These are Roman cavalry, not infantry. If they…"

In order to silence him, Lourdes pressed her lips upon his. Firmly breaking the kiss a few moments later, she tilted her head so that her lips were centimeters from his ears. "Whatever you do, Melot, do not be distracted by my presence."

Before the warrior could answer her, a lone arrow shot through the trees, hitting a Roman soldier so forcefully upon his chest that it knocked him fully from his steed. Battle cries erupted from within the woods as a force of Woads emerged, drawing their swords, spears, axes and bows and arrows. They mercilessly came upon the startled Roman soldiers, coming from all sides. With arrows flying in every direction, the Woadian warriors encircled their enemies, their hate and anger for these usurpers and tyrants inflamed in their eyes.

Chaos was everywhere. Smoke and dust covered the air as blood splattered in all directions. Warriors fell left and right: some hit by arrows, others slain and many beheaded. The battle-hardened Roman soldiers surprisingly did not have the advantage, for the Woads, attacking together, outmaneuvered them.

Another group of Woads, including Lourdes and Melot, emerged from the woods to attack from the right flank. Coming upon distracted and unsuspecting Roman soldiers, they ran at full speed, weapons drawn and gazes fixated upon their targets. Through the cries and screams, Lourdes heard the advancing of more hooves behind her, the horses riding at full speed. From the corner of her eye, Lourdes spotted a flying arrow coming towards her. Swerving her body to the hard right, she avoided the arrow, which barely missed her. At the sudden jerk and speed of her run, she tripped on a dead body of a fellow Woad, causing her to tumble roughly upon the blood-stained field. Dropping her weapon and now covered in sweat, dirt and blood, Lourdes groaned as she pushed herself up, desperately searching for a weapon. Stifling the gagging sensation from her throat, she sifted through the mangled corpses, finally finding a sword.

Gripping the heavy weapon in her hand, she looked around at her surroundings, spotting seven warriors who did not resemble Roman soldiers. They exhibited more skill and experience, fighting both on horseback and on foot. Upon the weapons of these warriors fell many of her comrades, outmatched in skill, speed and dexterity. Feeling anger, concern and fear all at once, Lourdes attacked the nearby Roman soldier, quickly slashing his back before turning around in time to deflect the blow of a sword. Holding her weapon steady with all her might, her eyes met those of her assailant's, his twin swords crossed as he pressed them firmly down towards her. Though his teeth remained gritted with anger and force, in his eyes flashed a momentary emotion that was hard for Lourdes to decipher.

Spotting Melot racing towards her from the corner of her eye, she pushed against the might of her attacker, rolling away from his falling swords. As the twisted her head upwards to look back and defend, she felt her heart stop completely.

Melot's advance had not gone undetected by the warrior.

Before her, Melot fell to his knees, stabbed in the heart. As the warrior swiftly retrieved his sword on his left hand, the one that which he held on his right pointed steadily towards Lourdes' neck. Though, his threat and sign of impending death did not faze her. Her eyes remained fixated on Melot's lifeless body, which slowly fell towards the red earth. The female Woad let out a sob, feeling her eyes swell up with tears.

"Get up." The warrior commanded sternly, keeping a sword firmly pressed upon her neck. "Now!"

Lourdes did not heed his call even when the blade began to cut through her skin. Instead, she lowered her head and began to tremble, her sobs now becoming more prevalent as Melot's death began to sink in.

Seeing her state, the warrior's brown orbs observed the body of the Woad he had just killed, then quickly made its way back to the woman in front of him. He repeated his command once more, this time lowering his sword from her neck and roughly grabbing the tangled tendrils of her hair. Pulling Lourdes mercilessly to her feet, he began to push her unkindly towards his comrades, walking through the array of bloodied corpses and weapons. She looked at the massacre of her dead countrymen, feeling her heart grow heavier with every trembling step. Swiftly, the battle began to die down, and the cries of the dying and the wounded were now becoming silenced.

Was all this death the price for freedom?

"Arthur." Her captor called out to his commander, pushing her steadily towards him. Being broken from her trance, a look of recognition filled Lourdes' brown orbs, observing the man now before her: the legendary Arthur Pendragon, half-Roman, half-Briton, commander of legendary Sarmatian knights of the Round Table. Though in an instant, this spark of recognition transformed into pure hatred, for she knew that Excalibur - that which he held to her throat at that very moment – had cut through and killed hundreds, possibly even thousands, of her countrymen.

She did not doubt that she was now to suffer the same fate.

With intense green orbs, Arthur glared at Lourdes, pressing his sword down to her neck in order to render her upon her knees. Lourdes' captor and Arthur's other knights looked on at this display, most trying to catch their breaths and slaying the last of the Woadian warriors.

"Why did Merlin send you south of the wall?" Arthur questioned sternly, the point of his sword never leaving Lourdes' neck.

Lourdes did not lift her head, only her glossy eyes. "Spill my blood with Excalibur and make this ground holy." Arthur's eyes squinted, puzzled at her reply. She continued bravely, "The Woads will continue to fight until we receive justice!"

Lourdes' captor alternately fixed his gaze upon Arthur, then her, keeping silent at their exchange.

Arthur pulled his sword from her neck. Not heeding the puzzled glances that he received from his knights, he commanded to Lourdes, "Stand." When she did not make an effort to move, he repeated more loudly and firmly, taking a step towards her, "Stand!"

Finally finding her balance, Lourdes propped a hand on her knee, trembling as she found the energy and courage to do as he had commanded. She noticed that Arthur was giving a cursory glance towards the woods in the distance, obviously knowing that Merlin and her countrymen were watching within. His emerald orbs fell upon her once more before lowering his sword, turning on his heel and leaving her unharmed. As the Roman commander stalked away silently from her, Lourdes caught her breath, attempting to calm her shaking body. Looking up, she saw her captor and a giant-like knight observing her with an expression of confusion and pity, though saying nothing nor making a move to harm her. Before turning her back on the pair, she shot a hateful glance at her previous captor - Melot's murderer - then made her way towards Melot's corpse.

As she sifted through the corpses, she found his dirty, bloody body. Glancing at his face, she saw the look of peace. It seemed only as if he were in slumber and nothing else – no pain, no strife. Just peace. Taking his cold hand, she pressed it upon her cheek, rocking back and forth as grief began to overtake her. Finally unable to hold back her emotions, she burst into tears, her sobs audible to those around her. She gave no care. She placed her forehead upon Melot's, giving his blue lips one last kiss before gently laying his body upon the ground once more.

During her moment of pain and anguish, Lourdes did not heed the knight who continued to watch her in the distance. Swallowing as he observed his bloodied hands, he sheathed his twin swords, fighting with himself to either turn his back upon the Woad and, to his confusion, to approach and comfort her. This was such a foreign notion to him – to come in contact with a Woad other than upon the battlefield? The battle had certainly made him weary and delirious!

"Lancelot, Arthur calls for us."

With the voice breaking his trance, Lancelot gave a curt nod to his fellow knight, his eyes never leaving Lourdes' form. "I will be with you shortly, Galahad."

As Galahad made his way to the group of knights, Lancelot prepared to turn and join his comrades. Though, to his surprise, Lourdes had spotted him and met his eyes once more. Picking up the sword beside her, he was utterly sure that she was, at any moment, going to charge at him with all of her might. But she did not. Rather, she merely took one last look at her comrades' body before running into the woods once more.

A/N: So how was that for my first fic in months? grins