A/N: So...i got an idea. what if sir kay was a girl? Cuz, see i was reading all these "look this new girl is randomly going to fall in love with tristan" fics--cuz secretly who doesn't love them. And i was like, wow i've never written about a chick before! so then i thought, wow maybe i should write about one. leading me to the idea, what if kay had a vagina. and yeah.
so that's an explanation of my thought process, scared yet?
Summary: Set two years before the movie; When Arthur and his knights are summoned to the coastline to fend off the Irish, a girl asks them for protection. But of course things are never what they seem.
Warnings: nothing really, violence, cursing, maybe some O.O.C-ness which i apologize for in advance. also never written a girl before, so i hope she's not too mary-sueish and if she is, do tell me and i'll try and fix. Um, also I'm taking some liberty with ages because i don't really know how old they actually are.
and p.s. I fucking adore the irish, unfortunately people in roman times didn't. Can't imagine why though, i tell you there is nothing sexier than an irish accent melts.
"I hate the Irish." Galahad wined, swinging his sword from atop his horse.
"You're just bored." Gawain muttered darkly, sweeping his dark blonde locks over one shoulder.
"No I'm not, those bastards steal our supplies and make our lives hell just so theirs can be a little easier. And those lazy, thieving, bloody bastards--"
"Shut up." Tristan said sharply.
Six pairs of eyes flickered towards the dark haired knight. Galahad suddenly found the sand absolutely fascinating--once again, Tristan managed to make him feel like a lad of ten summers instead of a knight of twenty.
Tristan couldn't help but notice their stares. He hadn't said a word all day. "He sounds like a Roman," the knight said in explanation. "And you know what I do to Romans."
Galahad ran a hand through his curls and swallowed hard. He knew exactly what Tristan liked to do to Romans--usually it involved a knife and lots of blood. "Sorry," the youngest knight muttered, "I--I didn't mean it."
"Tristan's right," Arthur admitted begrudgingly, Tristan was always right. "Gal, I'll not have my men disrespecting anyone simply because of their origins, I remember how Roman's used to treat you."
The air almost crackled with tension. Arthur was forcibly reminded that he was part Roman, that he shared the same blood as men who'd hurt the knights he cared for--that he was other. Arthur glanced at the sand, "Sorry, I shouldn't have--"
"Don't." Lancelot snapped, "You're right," He turned to Galahad with irritated eyes that burned like hot coal. "Now stop causing trouble and be quiet."
Galahad's lips twisted and he bundled deeper into his cloak, "But I'm cold."
They were all cold. They'd been waiting on this beach for an hour already. It was the middle of winter and snow was falling very softly from the sky. They'd been deployed from Hadrian's Wall to watch the beach for the Irish. According to an informant, the Irish were planning to send a scout team into Britain today. But so far there were no ships on the horizon, only frigid grey water and white crests. For a while the only sounds were seagulls crying softly onto the wind and the hush and roar of waves as they broke against the shore.
"Maybe their informant got the date wrong." Gawain said quietly. His horse shifted nervously on the sands as a larger wave broke. The knight patted his horse and whispered in a low voice to the beast. Gawain had a way with the horses, he had an affinity for nature--nature seemed to like him too. "Arthur, it's freezing out here, even the horses are getting cold."
Arthur opened his mouth and closed it quickly. He agreed with Gawain's subtle suggestion, this was foolish. "Just a little while longer."
"We've been here long enough," Bors growled. "Fuck the Roman's and the Irish! I'm gonna freeze if we have to sit here any longer."
Tensions were rising, then they noticed a brown figure flying towards them. Tristan's hawk, Arthur almost smiled in relief--hopefully the bird would bring them good news.
The hawk settled on Tristan's leather clad arm and gently nuzzled him. Tristan's face softened considerably and he listened to the bird's chirps for a moment. None of the knights said a word. Finally Tristan turned away from the hawk, "They're coming--we should hide in the forest and ambush them when they leave their ship." And then he silently nudged his horse towards the forest that clung to the edge of the beach.
The other knights followed wordlessly.
They settled themselves at the edge of the forest. Their horses instinctively bowed their heads and hid themselves between the trees. Arthur made sure that he could see all his men, when he was satisfied that all six of them were safely covered he relaxed on his steed and waited.
About five minutes later they could see the ship at the horizon.
It wasn't a very large vessel and Arthur quickly guessed it could carry fifty men at the maximum. Seven against fifty, not good odds, but they'd faced worse. "Wait till they've emptied the boat, then charge them." Arthur said, his voice was soft but it carried well through the forest. A few positive grunts from the woods nearby assured him that the men head him.
They waited until the boat docked a few yards from the beach. They watched with narrowed eyes as the Irish filled smaller boats and rowed to the pale sands. There were six boats and all of them seemed comfortably full. There were less then fifty, Arthur drew his sword and waited. Finally five of the boats were abandoned on the sand and the Irish, brimming with weapons, clustered on the sand and looked fearfully at the forest. They cautiously approached. The knights waited until the Irishmen were half way up the beach, perfectly positioned.
They would be killed before they could run back to the boats.
"Do we have to?" Every knight recognized Galahad's timid voice.
The question hung in the air.
They all knew the answer.
"Now." Arthur said.
He nudged his horse into a trot and coaxed the animal into a full gallop quickly. He couldn't help but feel numb. These men looked so afraid, so unprepared. He saw no reason to kill them, he had absolutely no desire to kill them. And yet he galloped down the beach, his horse kicking up the sand, with his sword drawn.
Arthur didn't think he would ever get used to how warm blood was.
Or how quickly a man's body went limp.
He cut the first Irishman down.
The the other knights were right behind Arthur, swords slicing through unprotected flesh and bone. The Irishmen were confused and frightened, they hadn't expected an attack. Shock is a wonderful thing. In the pandemonium of footsteps and screams Galahad felt lost. He swung his sword and parried ill-timed blows from the much less skilled soldiers. There was so much blood, though. He felt sick. Atop his horse he had an even easier time finding necks and chests. It was to easy, hell, the poor men didn't even have armor. His eyes glazed over as he quietly, sadly, cut down men for absolutely no reason. He wasn't expecting a stab in his right thigh, in hindsight he'd been careless.
Galahad hissed as he searched for his attacker, then all the sudden someone yanked his right foot out of his stirrup. The pain in his thigh sent tremors all down his right leg, weakening it. Then he found himself being shoved off his horse and he fell onto the sand.
He panicked and stumbled to his feet.
All the sudden he was in the throng of screaming men, looking up at his knights on horseback. He glanced around for his own horse. The beast had a new rider who was trying to kick the animal away from the battle. "Shit," He cursed. Sword in hand, he cut a path through the Irishmen back towards his horse. He couldn't help remember what Tristan always said, "Whatever happens, stay on your horse and if you fall off the horse--get back on the bloody horse." He had to reach the horse.
The Irishman on his horse was cursing loudly, trying to make the animal gallop. The horse stubbornly refused. Galahad couldn't help but notice the oddly high pitch of the Irishman's voice. He was close now. The youngest knight jumped and wrapped an arm around the waist of the man on his horse.
With a shout he yanked the man off the horse and threw him onto the sand. Galahad tackled the man and shoved a blade to his throat.
"Fuck, wait, please don't kill me!" The Irishman gasped. His voice was high, girlish even. His hair was long too, it was fanned on the sand around his head in wild curls. Up close it was painfully obvious that this man was a woman and the body beneath his was to small and curved to belong to a man.
Galahad sighed, "What's a lady doing at a battle?" He got to his feet and offered the woman a hand. She slapped it away and gave him an fiery glare that could rival Lancelot's. Her face was patched with dirt and grime, but it only served to make her pale eyes brighter. She quickly snatched her hat which sat nearby on the sand and shoved it on her head, then she knotted her hair and shoved it down the back of her shirt.
"I'm not a lady and this is not a battle--it's a massacre." She got to her feet and didn't even bother to brush the sand off her filthy clothes.
Galahad gave her that. He gently grabbed her wrist to keep her from running away.
"You aren't going to let me go are you?" She asked in a sarcastic voice.
"No." Galahad shrugged.
They were a little ways away from the main fray, but it was over anyway. Most of the Irishmen lay dead on the sand, a few had made it to the boats. Tristan was taking care of any survivors.
Arthur was trotting his horse towards Galahad and the girl.
The sand was stained red, but the sea took no notice. It kept gently lapping at the sand as if nothing had changed. The other knights looked disgusted, even Tristan didn't glow like he usually did after a battle.
"That wasn't right," Gawain commented in carefully neutral voice, "Those men didn't even have armor on." He settled his horse to a walk beside Arthur's, "Didn't even take ten minutes."
"I hope Rome leaves us be." Bors agreed angrily on Arthur's left. "It'll be days before I remember what warm means."
Dagonet sighed, "Indeed."
Galahad smiled at Dagonet, he was a giant, but he was incredibly mild mannered--even in this cold. The knights gathered around Galahad and smaller figure he was holding.
"Is this a prisoner?" Arthur asked, the boy in Galahad's arms couldn't be more then fifteen summers judging by his height. "What cowards to send a boy to fight us."
"Uh..." Galahad stammered, he reached one hand behind his head to scratch his curls. "S'not a boy." He murmured quietly.
Bors laughed and the other knights joined him, "Look at the little man! no wonder you caught him! I bet he couldn't even lift my sword!"
The figure in Galahad's keeping stayed silent, it was better they think her a man. A nasty breeze suddenly blew the hat of her head and yanked her hair from her shirt. Her curls streamed in the wind and without her hat it was impossible to mistake her face for anything but feminine.
The knights fell into a stunned, almost confused silence.
She sighed, with her cover blow she'd have to play the only other card she had left. "You are Arthur, correct?" She spoke with a surprisingly clear, unaccented voice.
"I am, now might I ask you a question?"
"What is a woman doing on an Irish scout ship?"
Her lips curled into a wicked smirk, "Well, that's a secret."
All the sudden there was a sword at the back of her neck.
"Tristan!" Arthur growled, "Remove your sword."
The dark haired knight shrugged, "You answered her, I'm merely giving her an incentive to answer you."
Once again, Tristan was right. She laughed, "I'm your informant, I work for Rome, same as you." The sword at the base of her neck didn't move. "Alright, I answered his question, now what do you want?" She craned her head to try and see the man behind her, all she saw was a head of mused dark hair.
"You're saxon." He said, gesturing to her matted, greasy curls. They were the color of wheat, a strong gold which shone red where it caught the light.
"No, Irish." She corrected with a smile that left her eyes cold and angry. "That wasn't a question."
"Why would you betray your own kin?" Tristan asked, gesturing to the dead bodies that the gulls were picking at.
"They aren't my kin." She shrugged, she eyed the corpses with empty eyes. "They're just people who come from the same island I do. Besides, I'm only half-irish."
"What is the other half?" Arthur cut in, gesturing for Tristan to lower his sword. He did, but he still eyed the girl warily.
"Roman," She fixed him with a knowing look and a smirk, "Same as you."
Now she found Arthur's blade at her throat. "How do you know that?"
"You've got the chin and the nose," Her eyes flickered across his features, "But your eyes are Woad."
He fixed her an unfriendly glare and sheathed his sword. "What do you want from us?"
He raised his eyebrows, "And why would we give you that."
She smiled, "And I thought you knights were gentleman, aren't you supposed to help a lady in need?"
The knights shared a glance, they were supposed to help those in need. The girl standing in front of them crossed her arms over her chest and smirked, she won. "Fine, we will give you protection, but only to Hadrian's wall." Arthur sighed.
"Lovely." She said with a genuine smile that managed to make her steely eyes appear warmer, "Who am I riding with?"
The knights shared another look. Arthur finally said, "Galahad?"
"She stabbed me!" The youngest knight insisted.
She rolled her eyes, "It was a tiny knife."
"I'll take her," Lancelot offered, "She doesn't look that scary." He shot Galahad a teasing grin. She offered Lancelot a careful smile and walked over to his horse before she started to laugh again.
"Lancelot, right?" She asked the knight.
He nodded, smiled, and removed a foot from the stirrup nearest her so she could climb onto the horse. She was much smaller than Lancelot, but she managed to swing herself onto the giant horse. "Alright?" He asked.
"Yes, but do you have an extra cloak I could wear?" she asked apologetically.
"Uh," Lancelot nodded at Tristan and yelled, "Cloak?"
Tristan pulled a spare from his saddlebag and tossed to to Lancelot, but not before shooting another suspicious glare at the girl. She smiled at him. The knight in front of her handed her the cloak.
"Thank you," She said quietly, fastening the cloth around her neck and burrowing into it.
"It's no problem--wait what's your name?"
"Oh," She laughed, "It's Kay."