Give yourself a break, Mordred would tell me, the horrors of war find everyone, somewhere. His lips twisted into a crooked smirk, but then it always did. Hah, I'd laugh. Horrors of war? War is a horror, it's the horror. Don't tell me to give myself a break. I've given myself too many; I think I'm broken.

No, he'd retort, not broken. Wounded, maybe, but not beyond repair. I had a rebuttal for that, too – his 'you're not wounded beyond repair' argument – but I'd reserve it for later.

"But you see, my wound is me, Mordred. My wound is me, not being able to forgive people for doing this, not being able to forgive myself for not doing enough. I get so angry and I can't stop myself. I'm my own wound." I sat on his bed, and ran a hand through my hair. "And I'm your wound, too."

"You're not."

"I am."

"You are not –"

&

Galahad always ran himself ragged, the idiot. He was too credulous, bowed before any ignorant donning robes and cross, swallowed all their drivel on repentance. Heaped upon himself such needless guilt. My thoughts and actions are my own, and I'll apologize to no one; I can't grasp why others feel that obligation. Were it not for his perpetual anxiety over inadvertent sinning, Galahad might've had a passable sense of humor. There was no humor in his voice at the moment, however; he looked washed out and frail. Galahad wielded his weapons well, but his conscience wielded him.

The horrors of war find everyone, somewhere, I tried to tell him - and it'd do him some good to accept that and move on. He didn't, or maybe couldn't, listen. Said he was his own wound; well, at least he admit it.

Said he was my wound, as well. Liar.

Insisted on it.

I was tempted to laugh at the conviction blazing in those blue eyes, his juvenile surety that we were friends and, even more absurdly, that I trouble over him.

Even now I can't stop thinking about the expression on Galahad's face as he said that, lost and afraid and yet resolved. as though he were facing something larger than himself, something too grand to comprehend, and accepting its inevitability with more grace than I've ever possessed; perhaps he has more mettle than I credit to him. Or he's simply an idiot.