Full summary: SLASH, NOT an O.C.!! Lancelot du Lac has all the female attention he wants, but it'll take a young man - the stoic and responsible student body president, Velndaric of Rascia - to steal his heart.
Author's Note: Velndaric of Rascia is the "hall monitor" who stops Shrek, Donkey, and Puss from entering the Student Assembly initially - the kid with brown hair who pulls Shrek's face and says incredulously, "THIS is a COSTUME?!" Yeah boy. I hope you like this story, and regardless of if you like it or not, I hope you'll leave me some insight - I write for reviews!
Chapter One: Run-In, and Run On
"The resurgence of the Latin West began with the agricultural boom of Western Europe in the year 700 after the death of our Lord, and gained momentum with the military victory in 717 at the defense of Constantinople. These years were the crux..."
My God, Lancelot du Lac thought, glancing furtively out the window at the gleaming flagpoles of the distant jousting pitch. This class just can't get more boring.
In truth, Lance had sat his way through many much more deadening lectures, but lately his seventh-form status and the close proximity of the last jousting match of the season had been getting to him in ways that he couldn't begin to counteract... especially not with a window so tantalizingly close to his desk.
"Lancelot! Are you paying attention?"
Lance jerked back into the present, his chin slipping out of his propped-up hand, Mr. Vivaldi giving him a weary look. "Yessir," he mumbled.
Mr. Vivaldi stared for a moment as if he would make a threat if he had the energy, but went back to his lecture. "The highly decentralized state of Lombard was split among the ruling Dukes, especially in the southern provinces, with the houses of Spoleto and Benevento especially having it out for control of the area..."
Lance drifted off again, this time making sure that he was looking directly at the inky blackboard with an expression of mild interest. Forty agonizing minutes later, the bass bell of the St. Crypian bell tower tolled mightily, signaling the end of the session. Lunch! Lance thought joyfully, quickly condemning his unused notebook to the bottom of his book bag. He stood with the rest of the class as it stretched and made for the door.
"Lancelot, if I might have a word with you before you head to lunch..?"
I knew I wasn't going to get away with it this time, Lance berated himself as he shuffled up to the wooden desk at the front of the room. Lance, man, you gotta quit daydreaming in full sight of the teacher. The stragglers of the class filed out slowly, casting curious glances back at the jousting champion waiting by the history teacher's desk. Mr. Vivaldi waited for the door to snap shut behind the last book bag before seating himself and looking up at Lancelot.
"Lancelot, why are we here?"
Lancelot began to answer, but Mr. Vivaldi waved him off. "No, it's not about your ceaseless daydreaming, though that problem undoubtedly plays a role in what we need to discuss. You see, I've graded your most recent exam, and I have to say that I find the results a bit disturbing. For example -" he handed Lancelot his test, and the high schooler's eyes widened at the large "23/100" scrawled in bold black ink at the top - "in question twenty-seven, you attempt to convince me that the capitol of Armenia was 'the Black Sea'. I sincerely hope that wasn't a serious answer, as Armenia doesn't even border the Black Sea."
Lance opened his mouth to defend his answer - his reasoning had been that it was maybe the economic capitol of the Armenian provinces, though apparently that wasn't possible - but was spared from making his thready excuse by the sound of the door cracking open. Mr. Vivaldi craned his neck to look past him, and Lance tossed a look over his shoulder, hopeful that whatever was coming through would derail Mr. Vivaldi's train of thought. A young man with dark hair combed straight back from his forehead stepped through the doorway purposefully with a pile of pamphlets. The intruder's face managed to convey surprise without moving a single muscle, and it occurred to Lance that he recognized the boy and his strange lack of expression from somewhere.
"Mr. Vivaldi, I'm sorry. I'll wait outside," the stranger said, managing to be simultaneously apologetic and cool.
The old instructor, however, reacted warmly. "No, no, Velndaric, I'm sure we don't mind the interruption. You have the directory from the Board in your hands, I see?"
Velndaric, yeah, I know that name, Lance mused. I've seen him speaking somewhere. In... speech class?
Velndaric turned back toward them and strode across the room with long steps. Lance studied him too hard as he approached and handed the Board pamphlets to Mr. Vivaldi, and the teacher took notice.
"Lancelot du Lac, it would seem that you haven't had the formal acquaintance of your own student body president, Velndaric of Rascia?"
Duh! Student body president! He only talks at every Assembly. Lance berated himself. Well, that's what I get for tuning that stuff out.
Mr. Vivaldi continued. "Velndaric would probably not be impressed that you think his homeland of Rascia is located in -" he consulted Lance's exam "- the Norse countries, instead of Serbia, where it actually is."
Lance frowned at the floor, but gathered himself enough to look Velndaric of Rascia in the eyes. The other boy nodded politely at him, eyes of indefinite color appraising him and letting him go without further consideration. "I have to go to class," Velndaric informed them. "Pleased to meet you, Lancelot. Let me know if I can help you with anything."
Teacher and student waited silently, staring after Velndaric as he shut the door behind him with a precise click.
"Here is your paper, Mr. du Lac," Mr. Vivaldi said, gripping the marked pages in his gnarled hands. Lance snatched it from him, and his teacher looked at him keenly. "I do not mean to embarrass you, Lancelot. I am trying to show you that this knowledge I am giving you is applicable in everyday life - even the life of an athlete. What if you have to travel to Rascia for a joust one day? Will you go to the Norse countries and be disqualified for not showing up? You must get your grades up - if not for your future's sake, then for mine: I don't think I can take your daydreaming one more year. Don't make me hold you back." He gave Lance a stern look. "Clear?"
Lance sighed, and put his exam in his bag. "Yes, sir."
"Good. Now go and study - the next exam is a week from this Friday. You have plenty of time to do well."
Lance walked out of the room in a daze. He had always been a poor student, but no one had threatened to hold him back yet. I must really be doing badly if he can't even fudge it so that I can pass, he thought gloomily. And in the two weeks before the biggest joust of the year! The crisp fall sun fell onto his hair as he strode toward the cafeteria. Lance wondered how he was ever going to find the motivation to pass his next exam when it was so cool and sunny outside on the jousting pitch, and when his mind was suddenly so full of a dark-haired boy from Serbia.
Author's Note: Ahhhh... nothing like an awkward first chapter to a story... I don't believe it's possible NOT to have a terrible first chapter for a long romance. But whatever! I hope it was worth your time, and if it was, I hope that you'll click that little review button ;)