Disclaimer: Do. Not. Own. D8

Summary: "Yeah. Even though it cost me my life. I'd do it all again without changing a thing." You cant help who you fall in love with. But do you fight or do you fall? Spaqualad, AU, slash! Part 1/2.

The cost of love.

Garth winced as the fanfares blared again as the carriage turned the corner. He twisted in his seat to see his parents, sitting behind him on the slightly higher bench of the open-topped carriage, smiling and waving the cheering crowd. Garth was quick to face forward, though, before they saw him and allowed his face to melt into a small grin as he faced the people-filled street. Of course they would be happy; the week-long trip to the smaller city and kingdom of Hive had been a complete success. Alliance made, contract signed, disaster avoided. Garth had been wary of going at first but his father, King of the large, powerful kingdom Atlantis, had persisted. After all, Garth would be King someday; he had to learn politics whether he liked it or not. Despite the long trip, boring meetings and annoyingly huge balls, Garth had learned to enjoy himself somewhat. The young princess and heir to Hive, Jinx, had been a delight to meet - especially when they had gotten away from their parents and were able to talk and laugh freely.

Garth grinned at the thought of her coming to his city for the next summer as they turned another corner. She would like it; the colours, the festivals, the fun loving children and the laughing adults that encouraged them. She would fit in well. Speaking of which, the prince mused as they passed one of the schools. The children ran, laughing, to the edge of the road, waving their home-made flags and throwing confetti and ignoring their yelling teachers. Garth's mother, laying an arm on the side of the carriage to lean her head on something softer than the wood and metal, smiled down at the young school children before the king pulled her back into an embrace and to wave at the other side of the street. Garth, humming in enjoyment, let his arm fall off the side of the carriage, to brush against the children's outstretched hands. The children squealed and giggled at the touch, at their princes kindness to them, while the King and Queen, smiling fondly, chuckled. Garth grinned back at them, purple eyes lighting up, before leaning to the side of the carriage to rest lazily against the pillows as they started at the final street.

Which is when he saw him. The cloaked boy, around his age, leaning against a wall at the back of the street. Garth stared at the boy who was clearly watching him, hooded face turning as the carriage continued on and towards Garth's home, the castle. The prince was forced to rip his eyes from the boy when his father coughed loudly, pointingly. Chancing a glance backwards as the carriage turned away from that street, Garth caught sight of the end of the cloak flipping around a corner to an ally. Slowly, trying to keep his eyes locked on the corner, Garth turned back forewords, hoping the boy would stick his head around the wall and shine those green eyes at him or smile that wicked grin.

--

Garth sighed as he pulled his night-shirt on over his head, the trim hitting the mid-thigh of his trousers. His night clothes were always so light and soft and comfy compared to the tight, sharp, formal wear he was to parade in all day. He ran his fingers through his hair and made to tie it up for the night when a shiver ran down his spine. Tense, he let his arms fall back down, hair band hitting his wrist. Eyes down, he took slow steps, bare feet slapping softly as he moved from the carpet to the stone floor. The dim lights from the few candles faded as he stepped away from them, leaving him with only a little glow from one end of the room. He turned sharply to the other wall, just missing the dark figure as it jumped in through the window. He backed up, hand skimming across the desk he came next to and clenching around the sharp letter-opener.

Dimly, he heard fabric flapping and felt a very slight breeze on his bare ankles. Behind him.

Garth span on his heels, hands flying up; one to grab the intruder's cloak and the other, firmly attached to his weapon, to poise the blade at the throat of the other man. At the same time, the man's own hands shot into action, one grabbing Garth's wrist at his shoulder and the other hooking round the princes back.

For a while, the two stared at each other; Garth, still with narrowed eyes and the other grinning down at Garth from under his hood. Garth blinked in the dim light, eyes focusing before a gleam entered them, he didn't relax though.

"Got you." He murmured. The taller chuckled lightly.

"Do you?" Garth winced as a point, much sharper than his make-shift knife, was pressed into his back lightly. It was just enough to let Garth know he was caught, before it retreated and the man released the prince from his hold. Garth stumbled back, automatically letting the man go. Garth watched as the man placed his weapon away and dropped the hood; revealing a sharp face, almost-long red hair and a rogue-like smirk.

"Hey."

"Hi." Garth breathed.

The man made a sound of impatience and stepped quickly to the prince, wrapping one arm round his waist and a hand round the back of his neck to pull him, hard, into a kiss. Garth breathed in sharply, stunned, but whimpered on the exhale, whole body relaxing and molding to the other's. The letter-opener fell to the floor with a clink but neither boy paid it any matter, the taller pulling the prince closer and said princes hands coming up to grip the neck of the cloak as the kiss deepened and the other boy moaned deep in his throat.

Breaking for air, the room was filled with soft gasps for breath and small giggles from the prince.

"Roy..." He whispered, leaning his forehead onto the boy's shoulder.

Roy Harper was an orphan and adopted son of acher Oliver Queen and had such a reputation following him that he would more than likely be put to death for just being in the castle without permission. Depite this, he smiled softly into the princes hair.

"Welcome back."

Smiling with bliss, Garth stroked the back of Roy's hair. "I missed you." He murmured, breath puffing purposely hot against the boy's ear. Garth actually felt the shiver that went down the cloaked back and grinned a bit wider.

Roy pulled but just a little to study the princes face and Garth was surprised to see that Roy's eyes - instead of being dark with desire and filled with a sly wanting, as was the norm with Roy - were soft and happy and so full of love that Garth could only stare. And then to further shock the other, Roy didnt grin or wink, didnt pull at either set of clothes, didnt pull Garth determindly to the bed - or the floor, or the wall, or the door or any other place they had 'christened' - but instead he leant forewards and pressed their foreheads together so he could rub noses and nuzzle the other boy.

"I missed you too." Roy pulled back again to smile softly with fondness and to press a kiss to Garth's nose. Garth squirmed lightly and pulled out of the embrace to study Roy with suspicious eyes.

"Ok. What did you do?"

A frown tugged at Roy's lips. "I'm sorry?"

Garth snorted. "I'm sure you are. But what did you do?" When Roy continued to look so confused, Garth rolled his eyes. "You're being awefully cute and happy and... romantic, even. And you havent even grabbed my- ...my rear yet. You only behave like this when theres something you need forgiving for."

Green eyes blinked slowly; once, twice, three times before Roy broke into a grin and laughed. Shaking his head, Roy pressed another kiss to Garth's face. "I havent done anything." Garth scoffed and Roy pouted. "I'm serious! I just missed you." Roy's hands grabbed at Garth's and brought them up so he could dip his head and kiss the skin there, too. Garth's breath caught in his throat when Roy looked back up; hair falling into his eyes and shadowing them even as they darked with lust and an almost feral grin worked its way on to his face - now that was a look Garth knew. "But if you'd rather..."

Garth squeaked lightly when his backside was grabbed, just a little less than what could be called rough, and he was lifted from the ground, legs instinctively hooking around the study waist for balance and security. The two, trading kisses and laughing and hushing at each other, stumbled vaugely towards the other end of the room, turning, till they reached a wall. Garth, still wrapped around the other boy, leant back against the wall and Roy leant forwards against him. Pressing his face into the pale neck before him, Roy hummed happily before pulling back.

"Did you have a good time?"

Garth tugged on the back of Roy's head in reply, tilting his head back far enough for him to press kisses to Roy's neck. Roy laughed.

"I take it it went ok?"

He received a muffled grunt as a responce and an annoyed nip at his neck for the questions.

"Make any friends?" Roy teased.

Garth bit a little harder this time, just enough to make Roy jerk, and pulled back to smile sweetly at his scowling lover.

"Did you really miss me?" Roy's face went soft.

"Of course."

Garth's lips twitched up in a smirk and he pushed his hips at an angle to meet Roy's, the boy groaning lowly. "Then prove it," He hissed, making Roy's eyes narrow.

Roy Harper, after all, was never one to back down from a challenge.

--

Roy wasnt there when Garth woke up which, as much as Garth would love to be greeted in the morning with his face, was a good thing.

For Roy to stay seriously raised the risk factor. Brighter light and more people meant more chances for Roy to be caught.

And they both knew what would happen if Roy was caught.

But Garth's pillow smelt like Roy still and so the Prince took a few minutes to press his nose into the fabric and breath deep with a smile on his face.

His peace was broken by a knock on his door, echoing through the room. Sighing, Garth sat up. "I'm awake." He called and heard the servent murmur their good mornings and walk away. Garth yawned widely. Maybe staying up with Roy half the night after a long journey wasnt the best idea but oh, it had been worth it.

It always was.

Still, Garth wished he could have a few more minutes sleep but, judging by the bright light streaming through the windows and the street chatter drifting up from all the way down in the courtyard, it was getting on in the day and Garth was probably already late for breakfast. So, mustering up his determination, Garth forced himself to pull a sheet off his bed and wrap it round his naked body so he could stand. He stumbled slightly on the first step and flushed as he felt a semi-familar feeling starting in his lower back and spreading to his knees and shoulders. Well, it had been a while after all.

But luckily Garth was now rather used to 'morning afters' and was walking just fine (if not a very slight limp) by the time he had collected an outfit and the warm water that the servent had left outside his door. Picking up a towel on the way to one side of his room, Garth pulled back one of the many rich tapistries hanging down the stone walls to reveal, not hard slaps of rock, but a small joint room that played as the prince's bathroom. A large marble tub in the middle of the circle room, ceiling-to-floor mirrors placed so Garth could see every side of himself and tall metal candle holders placed around.

Garth adored his bathroom, it was his space that no one but he and his parents and teacher knew of. No, not even Roy. Garth had been careful about not letting Roy see his lovely room, not because he didnt trust Roy with his special space, but because he knew what idea's Roy would get when he saw the tub and mirrors.

Another place to christen and the perfect veiw.

--

"Ah, so he arrives!"

Garth ducked his head bashfully as his father chuckled. Walking as fast as he could across the marble floors without tripping, Garth pressed a kiss to his mothers cheek before bowing his head at both parents. "Sorry for my lateness-"

His mother laughed too now, a soft tinkleing sound, like bells, and was waving her hand. "You had a long day yesterday Garth, no worries." She nodded past her son when the paige stepped forewards, raising his scroll of appointmeants. Sighing, the queen patted Garth's hand with mock-regret. "It's a shame you have lessons with Orin today Garth, I'm sure you would have been very interested in our meetings..."

For a second Garth frowned. Orin wasnt expecting him till tomorrow, was he? When realisation dawned, Garth through his mother a grateful smile and his father shook his head. "Ah, yes. Thank you."

Bending his head so his mother could kiss his brow, Garth gave another quick smile before darting towards the door, just missing one of the more stuck-up advisors as he swept in. The man, who annoyingly enough was also Garth's uncle, sniffed, nose up, at Garth and turned away from him to stride to the king and queen. Garth pouted, sticking out his tounge behind his uncle's back, and slipped out of the room to avoid his mothers tut and his fathers grin.

His son out of the room, Thar coughed. "Zath! It is a rare day indeed that you venture down from your study. I'm afraid I must hurry your visit today, however, there are many thing to be delt with and people to see today."

Zath smiled wickedly. The queen frowned. "I'm sorry to say I do not come down with good news, brother. In fact, rather concerning news. Regarding your son."

There was a long pause. The king lent forewards, fingers tapping at his chin as he eyed his brother. Decideing that while it was no secret that Zath disliked his nephew, the man would never try anything under Thar's nose. He waved the guards away and then slipped down in his seat, casually crossing a calf over his other knee. "Go on."

"With their highness's absense, we, the advisors, have of course taken on as much work as we could to take the load off for your return," A thankful nod. "As such we have been working rather late and last night was no exception. I and three others were the last to retire, and as we passed the prince's quarters we heard some rather curious noises." The queen sat up straight.

"Garth?" She asked. "What was it? He seemed fine."

Zath nodded at his queen. "Our reaction was as distressed as yours, my dear Berra.. We rushed to his bed room door and were able to get it open enough to fit our heads around with no noise - barging in could have been devistating if the prince was in danger, after all. Luckily, Garth was in no such trouble." Berra let out a breath. "In fact, it was quite the opposite; I hope any way." The queen motioned, less anxious now but just as curious. And Zath continued, a little slower. "It seemed, his highness had a late-night visitor. A frequent one if things were to go by."

Both his brother and his sister-in-law blinked at Zath. "Are- are you saying that Garth was... entertaining some young lady?" The king was stunned, more so when Zath shook his head.

"Not a lady no. It was no girl in the prince's chambers; but a boy."

"A boy!" The queen gasped, hand shooting out to grip her husbands. "Thar!"

The king patted her hand. "Shhh." His eyes darted to his brother. "You're sure?"

"Quite, my lord. The other three of your trusted advisors were sure of what we saw too. I thought this needed a delicate, family, decression; which is why I come alone. I do not wish to go into much detail-"

"Do." It was no a request.

Zath sighed, feining pain. "There were no clothes, I can tell you that. No covers either. And both parties seemed... familiar with one another. I fear his higness has taken a bed partner without his parents consent. Or worse, that Garth is somehow being forced into a continueous act."

"Forced!" Berra looked close to tears now. "Oh my baby!" She stood, hands coming to cover her mouth.

"It gets worse my lady." Zath had to cover the glee he was feeling at the distress he was causeing. And he didnt even have to lie! "For the culprut is one who I would not trust anywhere near a member of the royal family."

Thar stood too, to place a comforting arm round his wife. "Who?" He demanded. And Zath gave the name willingly.

"I'm sure you both remember that young rough orphan and trouble maker, Roy Harper."

--

"Roy Harper?"

Roy looked up from the large wooden stands he was moving to squint against the sun. By the time he had dusted off his hands and tugged off a glove with his teeth to sheild his eyes against the light, his adoptive father was striding towards the five guards standing at the edge of his property. The blond man shot a look at Roy over his shoulder as Roy stepped a bit closer.

"Can I help you?"

"We're here to collect Harper." One of the men at the front announced loudly, bringing street people's stares to them. Roy recognised the man as one who had the misfortune to reguarly be around when Roy and his friends decided to cause trouble. Whoops. The guard started forwards but was stopped by Oliver's hand flying out against his chest.

"I assume you have a warrent?" Oliver said smartly. And, with a scowl, the man handed over a scroll. Oliver took his time unrolling and reading it, frowning more as his eyes flew down the page. Then he looked at Roy, worry evident on his face. "What have you done now?"

Roy pouted. Way to be supportive, Ollie! "Me? Nothin'!" And it was true; like he had told Garth. He hadnt done anything in weeks. Wait. Garth. Dread filled Roy to his bones, making him shiver. Did someone know? Had someone seen them? Roy felt numb. Did Garth know what was happening?

Oliver's eyes were back on the scroll. "'Immediate arrest'? 'No trial'? 'Harm and abuse to the Royal Family'? 'Death penalty'...?" He paled at the same time as Roy. Roy's least favorite guard, taking this as acceptance, signalled and he and two other men moved forewards to grab at Roy. One read out his rights - which wasnt many, Roy noted grimly - while the other two took positions at his arms, twisting them harshly. Roy was walked, head bent, off the property.

He could hear people whispering. Some in horror - Roy was, after all, a rather nice kid. An orphan. A talented archer. What a waste. - and some in delight - he never knew when to stop, really. Never knew where the line was. It was about time. He could feel their stares, dimly. Quite suddenly, a hand fell onto his shoulder and Roy looked up to see Oliver trying to smile reasurringly.

"Hang tight, kiddo. I know people high up. I'll sort this out."

Roy gave a light smile as his head was pushed back down to face the floor.

He doubted that.

--

Garth hummed as he poked his head around the doorway of his tutor's study. A frown pulled at his lips. No Orin. And he hadnt been in his room either. It was quite possible he was in the library though.

Frowning a bit deeper, Garth moved back into the hallway. He really didnt want to go searching through walls and shelves for Orin; who was most likely burried in some book and too busy to listen to his student. But he didnt really want to go and join his parents in whats was probably a chain of boring meetings after boring meetings. Espeically, he mused as he passed a window, since it was such a nice day out...

Maybe he would go to the stables. Brush down a few of the horses, maybe, or take one of them out to that secluded spot just past the kingdoms territory.

Pale cheeks flushed as he remembered the last time he had travelled down there, 'coincidently' running into Roy. Garth had shared his lunch with the boy and the two had spent a good two hours talking and cuddling and being able to touch one another freely in the light. Then the cuddling had gotten a bit closer and the touching a little more intimate and soon enough, Garth was laying in the deep soft grass, clothes half-opened and gasping the hottening air as Roy mouthed kisses on his neck and his hand worked inbetween Garth's thighs just how he liked it and-

Garth shook his head, sending the images from his mind. With his clothes getting increasingly uncomfortable, he defenetly needed to get out of the castle now.

Turning on his heel and heading back towards the throne room, Garth decided to slide in to let his mother know where he would be, just in case. Maybe he would grab something from the kitchen too, and happen to ride past Roy's house on his way to his favorite spot.

--

Roy hissed in pain as he was forced to his knees on the hard marble flooring of the throne room. Knowing it wasnt his place to look up, he kept his head bowed as one of the guards - that one again?! He was taking pleasure in Roy's discomfort, the bastard - read out his arriveal and crimes to the King and Queen. It was only when the King sent out all but two guards and demanded Roy look up did he raise his head.

The King stood, proud and tall and furious in the between Roy and the thrones. His eyes were narrowed dangerously and his fists were clentched and suddenly, Roy knew why other kingdoms feared war with Atlantis. He had never seen the King mad like this - even when Roy had been dared to run a panty-raid through the castle. The King, it turned out, had a healthy sense of humour - and he felt incredibally vunrable and at the King's mercy knelt down before him like this. Behind the King, standing by her throne with one hand on the arm and the other clutching the fabric over her heart, stood the Queen. She was beautiful - but Roy knew this; Garth has inherrited her fair skin and her slender features, after all - and full of grace, even with her skin pale and tight and her eyes rimmed with red. Her fingers tightened over the arm of her chair as her gaze met Roy's.

But then her husband made a frustrated noise, as if he was confused, and stepped forewards, bringing Roy's attention to him instead. The guards stiffened as the King bent down and Roy ducked his head. A hand grabbed his chin - fingertips only, Roy noticed, the King didnt even want to touch him - and forced him to look his ruler straight in the eye. The King looked at him curiously.

"What would my son see in you?" He asked softly and Roy's eyes widened. Not just because of the question - Roy had debated it himself so many times in bed, tossing and turning and getting no sleep - but because of how it had been phrased. As if the King doubted that Garth had actually chosen to be with Roy, as if he suspected Roy had somehow forced Garth into a relationship.

Was that what he was being arrested for? Because, in that case, he was innocent. He opened his mouth to announce his status - "You're making a mistake; please, I'm not guilty, talk to Garth!" - when the King pulled back his hand sharply and stood, waving a hand and hissing at the guards.

"Take him away. The dungons below the castle. He'll be charged at dawn."

Charged? Roy paniced as the guards lifted him bodily from the floor. Not charged, excicuted.

The boy let out a gasp as he was placed on his feet and his hands were forced at an odd angle to the small of his back. "No wait-"

The side door to the throne room creaked a little as it opened and Roy let out a soft sob of relief when he saw Garth, wincing at the noise he had made when trying to slip in silently, slide in through the doors and then freeze and stare at the scene; wide purple eyes taking in the room before locking on frantic green ones.

"Roy," He breathed, almost too softly for anyone to hear. But the room was silent and his mother flinched at the word, his father took on a stoney silence and the guards, uncomfortable, paused. Louder, voice confused, Garth spoke again, brow creasing. "What's going on?"

Skirts swishing, his mother was by his side in an instant, hushing him and stroking his hair as if he needed comforting. "Shh, darling, it's ok."

"Ok?!" Garth yelped, breaking contact with Roy to stare at her for a second before his eyes were pulled back to his lover's. "You- He-"

He was hushed again. "Dont worry, we're not angry at you, my dear. We understand you couldnt say anything but it's ok now." She smiled kindly down at her son and kissed his head, murmuring into his hair. "He'll pay dearly for what he has done to you."

"Done to me...?" He should have guessed what she meant, by the soft touches to his arm, the protective embrace she held him in, the worried and determined light in his father's eyes. But it was the desperate gaze of Roy's face that made him catch on, the silent message he was sending him. They know.

His mother, taking his open-mouthed stare as one of horror and pain - it was, but he was scared for his lover, not himself - made a noise of distress and covered his eyes firmly with her hand. Only seeing a dark-red glow from inbetween her fingers, Garth heard his father order Roy away and, snapping out of his stunned attitude, he forced himself out of his mothers grip just in time to see the door shutting with a dread-filled sounding bang.

For a second, Garth stared at the door then he turned around slowly to face his parents. His body was tense and his eyes were confused and angry, even - they had never seen their son like this. Garth's voice was shaking as he spoke.

"What have you done?"

--

A young guard huffed out a breath as he leant against the stone wall. Since when did they put anyone down in the cells beneath the castle? He peered in through the bar-window on the wooden door that led to a line of cells. He could just barely see the boy's cell, right at the end. He wondered what he had done; something bad, probably, to have to have twenty-four hour security. How long had he been on duty for now? Couldnt have been more than three hours - only fourty-five minutes of which had been here. They werent really allowed to leave him alone, were they? He had only been granted guard-status a week ago, after all.

A sharp bang startled him out of his daze and, as he heard the slaps of footsteps coming down the long spiral of stairs, he straightened himself to attention, incase it was someone above his rank. He had expected an officer, maybe, or a commander, his eyebrows shot up when Prince Garth came storming down the stairs, a cloak billowing behind him. Bending his upper-body sharply, he didnt realise the prince was determindly yanking at the locked door until Garth let out a frustracted noise and shook the door, making the metal clink together. Straightening, the guard stared at the furious and agitated actions of the normally calm prince. The royal boy's whole body was shaking as he turned to the guard.

"Open it." He hissed, voice so low and full of emotion that the guard was half way through fumbleing out the keys when he realised what he was being asked to do. Glancing up, he bit his lip.

"My apologies, my prince, but I'm under strict orders not to open the doors for anyone but the King and..." His voice trailed off as Garth narrowed his eyes.

"Do you know who I am?" Garth said, hissing his words again.

"I-"

The guard was cut off as Garth grabbed the front of his uniform with one hand and slammed his against the stone wall. The guard gasped, stunned.

"Open. The. Door." Garth's voice was shaking now too. He released the guard, who slipped down, amazed and more than a bit frightened, and then stumbled to the door, flumbleing hands pulling out the keys and despretly trying to unlock the door fast enough. As soon as the last lock clicked undone, Garth was pushing past the guard, leaving him to stare, mouth agape in the doorway.

Garth strode down the walkway, eyes darting side-to-side, searching wildly for a sign of colour, of movement. It was in the last cell that he found Roy, slumped on the floor, leaning half against the bars and half against the stone walls, his feet chained together and to the far wall. His head was bent, hair messed and falling over his face to shadow it. He didnt look up as Garth came to a stop by his cell, only snapping up when Garth whispered his name. His features melted into relief and happiness at seeing the prince.

Behind Garth, the guard fidgeted uncomfortably, keys ringing. Garth glanced back and frowned. "Leave."

The young man blew out a breath of air and bounced on his heels nervously. "I- I cant. I mean, I'm not allowed. I was ordered-"

"I said leave!" Garth span to face the guard, cloak riseing and falling with the speed; his yell echoed off the walls and the guard immedetly flinched, bowing down before dashing out the doorway and pushing the door close. Breathing hard and feeling a rush through him, Garth jumped a little when Roy spoke softly, almost in awe.

"Easy, Garth. He was only doing his job."

Garth span and fell to his knees in one motion, hands flying to cover Roy's which were clurled around the bars. "I dont care." He breathed. "I only care about you." He leant his head against the bars as Roy smiled sadly. Slipping one hands from Garth's grip, he pushed it between the bars to thread through the dark hair, shifting forewards so he could mirror Garth's pose and let their foreheads brush. He couldnt help but realish the contact, incase it was his last. Garth was shaking, and not from the draft in the cold cells. Roy pulled back to see the tears starting to fall from his lover's closed eyes and made a small cooing noise.

"Sh, sh, oh Garth." Garth opened his eyes at Roy's voice. "Sh, it's ok, love, it's ok."

"Ok?!" Garth's voice cracked as he pulled his head back. "How can it be ok? Tomorrow morning you'll be- they'll-" He broke off with a sob, shaking his head. "This cant be happening."

Roy hushed him again, brushing his fingers over Garth's ear softly, like the boy always liked. "We both knew this might happen, Garth." He said softly, leaning his head against the bars again. "We knew the risks."

"But you're the only one being punished!"

Roy winced. "Yes." He said quietly, biting his lip. "But I knew the risks then. And it was worth it Garth." Garth choked and Roy had to push his other hand through the bars to turn the princes head towards him, to look him seriously in the eye. "Even with whats going to happen tomorrow, it was worth it."

"Even if it costs you your life?"

A familiar smile made its way to Roy's face. "Yeah. Even though it cost me my life. I'd do it all again without changing a thing."

Garth started crying again at that, and this time Roy joined him; just a few tears dropping from his eyes.

"I'm so sorry, Roy." Garth was mumbleing over and over. "I'm so so sorry." Roy had to tilt his face up and awkwardly press their lips together to shut him up. Their faces had to be tilted and pressed against the bars but they both sighed happily against eachothers lips. They couldnt deepen it, not really, so they settled for soft kisses and tongues just touching eachothers lips, Roy's hands still threaded in Garth's hair and Garth's arms pushed as far through the bars as he could get them to wrap around Roy's back. Obviously, the guard had taken that chance to peek in and, startled at the veiw, he dropped his keys, the noise making Roy untangle himself from Garth and pull back with a sheepish smile. Garth threw a look at the door and swallowed.

"I cant let this happen." Roy started to interrupt but Garth went on. "I cant, Roy, I love you too much." He shook his head. "I cant watch you die." Grabbing the boy's hands, he pressed a kiss to his knuckles, just like Roy had done to him the night before. "I swear, I'll do everything I can."

Roy paused for a long time, fingers lacing with Garth's. Then he breathed out, long and deep, nodding. "If you cant do anything, please dont feel guilty. And please dont-" He had to swallow back the lump in his throat. "Please dont forget me." He said in a small voice. "If this is how it has to be then... then know that I love you. Always."

"Always." Garth whispered back.

--

The Queen stood fast when Garth re-entered the throne room. Her husband stopped his pacing and they both just stared as their son stood in the middle of the large room, pale and messy with red-rimmed eyes and tears still drying on his face, but tall and suddenly alot more grown up than they had ever seen him before.

"You cant do this." He told them, voice strong and just a little scratchy. "You cant." He didnt let them interrupt, explainations on their lips. "If you kill him, I can promise I will never love another. I will never take a wife and I will never give Atlantis an heir." He breathed in and out deeply. "If you kill him, I dont think I can go on living."

The Queen bit her lip. She hated to hurt her son, or anyone really. She so badly wanted to reach out and cuddle her baby, to say sorry and tell him that she'll make it all better. But she couldnt. Not this time. Maybe she should have stopped that a long while ago.

No one spoke for a long moment. Then the King sighed. "What do you want us to do, Garth? Just allow you to tarnish yourself with this... boy?" Garth said nothing and the King shook his head, walking over to his throne to sit wearily in the seat. "Give us another option."

Garth closed his eyes. "Allow him his life," He said, voice shaking and almost giving in as his heart screamed at him to stop talking. "And I promise our meetings will stop."

The King opened his mouth to refuse but his wife, seeing her chance, cut in. "We do not want to end this boy's life, Garth. But we have to do what we have to do to protect our kingdom and our son."

Hands tightening into fists, Garth nodded. "And this will ensure it. And you will have no innocent blood on your hands." The Queen winced at the imagery. "Please, please, spare his life. I cannot see his die. Just... let him live, and you will have no problems with me or him again."

Tapping his fingers on the arm of his chair, the King frowned, thinking. His wife looked back at him, eyes pleading to give Garth this one thing. Sighing, he stood, walking over to his son and watching him carefully. Garth didnt flinch. "You must promise never to see him again. Never to have any contact, public or otherwise, ever."

Every fiber in Garth's body screamed at him to reject the offer, to yell and cry and beg them like he used to when he was a child. But he wasnt a child. He was going to be a ruler. And a good ruler made sacifices to save his people. Even if it tore at him from the inside.

"I accept."

AN: Part 1 of 2. Second part up tomorrow, hopefully. I need to have a bath and get to sleep so niiiiiiight.

R and R

xxx