This is a randon oneshot.
It would be Igraine's birthday; Arthur goes sleepwalking and ends up somewhere that Uther and Gaius don't believe is possible...
It was the night between 22nd and 23rd of May. This night, as every year before, Gaius found himself sitting in a good chair in Uther's quarters with a goblet of wine in his hand. The king stood by his fireplace, a hand resting on the silk cord that hung down by it. Silence, neither man making a sound.
On the first toll to midnight Uther pulled the cord; curtains above the fireplace flew back to reveal a painting. Without looking up he walked over and accepted the full Goblet Gaius offered.
The Great bell continued to strike
As its final toll fell silent both men raised their glasses to the Lady in the painting, speaking as one;
"Happy Birthday Igraine"
In the flickering firelight she seemed to smile back at them, almost accepting the toast as her due.
"I am glad that you kept that painting Uther" Gaius sipped his wine
"I could do nothing else" the King sighed "It is one of a pair you know, the other portrait; mine, hangs in there" he gestured to a door set in the wall. No more words were needed, Gaius knew where he meant.
Footsteps sounded on the stone floor outside, both recognised Arthur's step. Uther frowned, why was he up and about at this time of night?
Gaius peaked out of the door "He's not awake"
"He's sleepwalking Sire" Uther set down his goblet and recovered the painting with its silk curtains
"We follow him"
Arthur wandered down stairs, along corridors and down more stairs. The Physician and King close behind. Pushing open a door they lost sight of Arthur between the tombs that existed under Camelot.
"Where is he?" Uther cast the torch about in a circle, searching for tracks or Arthur. Gaius looked further into the dark, trusting nothing but instinct, his sight in darkness wasn't as good as the former knight's. Finally he spotted something, a glinting of gold as the torch swung round again.
"There" the old man pointed. A few steps brought them to the back row of tombs, where Arthur knelt fast asleep, his head on the effigy's middle. Uther paled "Here, on this night" he whispered softly, raising the torch higher. There was a smile on the prince's face as he shifted closer to the stone cut clasped hands... of his mother.
"Take the torch Gaius" it was an instruction, not a request. The king bent, scooping the sleeping Arthur into his arms
"Mother... mother don't leave" the prince called out in his sleep, causing Uther to nearly drop him. "Mother!" Arthur reached out with the hand that wasn't round his father's neck, grabbing at the effigy's hands and then her left wrist. He kept sleep shouting; "No, you can't have her. You can't have her! She belongs here. Leave us alone Nimueh, leave my mother alone"
The Physician and the King stared at each other over the sleeping prince, then Uther turned and carried his son back to bed. Gaius looked down at the tomb of his Queen.
"That was your son Igraine, your little Arthur Pendragon. Was he a nice visitor on your birthday, my friend?"
For a few seconds Gaius though he heard a voice,
My son... My son; Arthur. Arthur... My fierce one person Bear Cub... he tries to bring me home... his servant will succeed...
Shaking his head at the foolishness of an old man he turned to leave, stopping for final words that reached his ears
"Gaius" the king's voice echoed back to him, breaking the imaginings "Bring that torch so I can get up the stairs"
With a final look at Igraine's tomb the physician complied, never realising what he had heard w
ould ever be true.
The place...in his mother's arms
Please review with your thoughts.
This could be seen as a prequel to my story, Camelot; A New Chance