In times of crisis it was natural for even the finest of Camelot to be stressed.

Such as was the case for Arthur and Guinevere. They did live in Camelot after all - a kingdom notorious for its times of crisis. The stance against magic just encouraged people that used it to practise their dark arts against the king.

Flying gargoyles, dangerous plagues, sleeping enchantments, dragons, King Cenred's war and now the army of the living dead. An army of ninjas and magically created skeleton people, to be more exact. They were probably Cenred again, although it might be Morgause. Hardly anyone cared these days since Camelot seemed to be at war with everyone.

It was too much for everyone. Gwen was rushing about trying to help Gaius tend to the wounded, and Arthur had so much rage in him that now he would just grab his sword and hack at whatever enemy lay before him, man or magic.

When the attacks were rife nobody got any sleep because of the fighting and constant fear. It was easy for Arthur and Gwen to forget that they were actually alive. They felt like they existed in a place that didn't want them. It was a place of no rest, where the only human contact was hands on wounds or hands on the enemy slicing them into two.

It caused delirium and the best way to get out of it was to have a good hard shag wherever and whenever time allowed them to.

It was ironic given that they were usually so exhausted from work and lack of sleep, but it always did the trick to relieve the fear and tension built up over the chaos. Each time there was an empty space between battle and casualties, they made love.

Very rarely they would make it to Arthur's chambers. If they did it was a good sign: people would finally sleep that night in Camelot. Instead they had to settle for alcoves in corridors, nooks under stairs and cupboards in the kitchens. They would walk for ages around the castle looking for somewhere. The moment one of them spotted somewhere, they would grab the other one's hand and drag them into that space.

It was usually Gwen that spotted the best places.

There was never any time for indulgence. Arthur would kiss Gwen fiercely as he took her, fast and a little bit rough at times. But she didn't mind; she didn't have to look deep down inside herself to know that she liked it.

He didn't mean to be as vigorous as he was. It was his anger and aggravation venting themselves into pleasure-seeking ruts. It was fury at the situation Camelot was in and irritation that, in being in that situation, Arthur had to go for days without talking or even seeing Gwen unless he had injured himself.

Gwen lived in waiting for these moments. Every hard thrust that knocked her against the wall was a much-needed awakening to the fact that they were still alive. These quick and desperate tumbles were a celebration of that fact: they had lived another day.

Her legs curled around his waist weren't just a method of pulling him deep inside her body but a hug of relief.

Yet they also had to face the prospect that tomorrow they could die. So it wasn't just a celebration of life but a preparation for death. They didn't want to die without having each other clear in their minds. Their smells, kisses, sweat-licked skin dampening their clothes or their laboured breaths as they dedicated half an hour of their short time to bringing delight to each other. The sound of their groans and growls that was almost more animal than human.

Too often their brief meetings would be intermingled with tears of relief and sorrow. Arthur would feel Gwen's tears roll down his neck. His only response would be to try and hold her tenderly and stroke her affectionately, despite the uncontrollable way he was pounding into her. She would smile through the tears. It was one of the things that made their sex into lovemaking.

On days when too many people had died – knights, guards, soldiers, citizens of men, women and children – it would bring the only ounce of happiness to their day.

The disaster around them never lessened the euphoria Gwen felt when she came. It intensified it, causing her to arch her back against the wall and scream. Even in a public place it made no difference as everyone was screaming.

People paid no more heed to her climax than they did to Arthur's, who by this point would be a quivering mess. It would only be as he finished that he would realise just how sleep-deprived he still was. He would struggle to withdraw from her and jerk himself into completion. Gwen often finished him off herself; it never took long before he came hot in her hands. It was their only way of avoiding bringing another person into the mess that surrounded them.

Then they would stand there for a moment, taking deep breaths to recover and holding each other. The world would go momentarily calm. Even the cries of the people would fall silent.

"Try and sleep tonight," Gwen gasped against his ear, eyes closed and still recovering.

"I'll try," he whispered back, "for you."

They both knew it would be unlikely that either of them would.