Disclaimer: I own nothing, save for the hours I spent typing this and the idea for Raivierra's character.
Note: I intend for this to be a continuous story, roughly following the chain of events from the series (though I may take artistic license with the order of some events). If ya'll like, please do kindly leave reviews—let me know if it's worth working on, yes?
Another Note: I've rated this as M for safety and future occurrences.
Sleek dark locks that once flowed in soft loose waves across feminine shoulders now clung in a stubbornly tangled mess to a sun-kissed neck and breast, matted hopelessly with sweat and grime. Blood, sweat, and a fierce scowl swathed her deceivingly elegant face in less-than-flattering ways.
All around her, beyond the bars of the pen, barbarous brutes hooted and hollered… and for once, they were in her favor. The man before her was bellowing—whether it was born of rage or pain she couldn't be sure. She ducked down and to the right when he charged her, wildly swinging his war hammer. Her narrow longsword danced lengthwise across both of the man's stocky shins while one thrust with her offhand embedded her short sword just bellow his patella. His weapon struck air where her head had just been. He roared again and stumbled.
Exhaustion made her slow to release the hilt.
She tumbled with him, only to be caught in the back with the blunt face of his hammer upon attempting to rise. A rough kick sent her sprawling to the side of the cage. He was toying with her.
She staggered to her feet, using the bars of the enclosure to pull herself up. She turned in time to see the barbarian's polearm before its shaft pressed her against the cage by the neck. Behind her, the spectators greedily grabbed at her like the lechers they were. She gasped for breath, somehow managing to wedge her right forearm between the helve of the weapon and her throat, while her left grappled with his for control. Of course that meant if he were to gain any ground in this gridlock the blade of her remaining armament would slice clean through her face. But she couldn't be bothered with the little details. It wouldn't be long before this man overpowered her.
Desperation won out over Logic. She forced her arm through the crevice she had made. In that split second- the one before she was strangled and her head bludgeoned, she gave a mad cry and brought her elbow down forcefully on the iron pole. By some bizarre stroke of luck, the man's aim misdirected and struck her thigh. Taking advantage of his confusion, she jabbed at his chest with her sword, its point piercing just below his collar bone. Gripping the hilt with both hands now, she pressed forward, forcing the wide-eyed fellow to back-peddle furiously. She hooked her right leg behind his wounded knee, keeping on him as he fell. She raised her sword from its well-dug wound. Without so much as a moment's hesitation, she plunged its blade straight through his chest.
She would do him that favor. The wilderen wouldn't have him. At least not while he was alive.
She rose from her position on his chest, her ears resonating with the wild claps and cheers of the on-lookers. Not to mention the distinguishable clinking of gold being exchanged between gamblers. She walked slowly and deliberately to the door of the cage. She'd be damned if she stumbled around for these fools' amusement. She waited patiently, surveying the crowd as the latches were methodically unlocked. Where was that chivalrous bastard? The woman walked erectly towards Hengist's banquet table, denying her wounds any leverage what-so-ever.
Two gloved hands ensnared her hand and drew her towards a sturdy chain-mailed body. The man that dared touch her after that display was tall, lightly tanned, and wore a handsome face topped by dark hair. Lancelot smiled down at her, gently resting a hand on her lacerated shoulder. "Raivierra. Thank God you made it out alright."
"Yes, I'm quite thrilled about that as well." Raivierra replied sarcastically.
"And not a shred changed, I see." Lancelot offered an approving chuckle. Her gaze followed his as he assessed the damage. A growing grossly-discolored welt on her thigh indicated damage to her femur. Her studded leather armor was pierced in the abdomen; most likely from when she had unwisely misjudged reach of the hammer's spike.
"Don't be too disappointed." She retorted smartly, her moss-green eyes sparkling teasingly.
"In all seriousness, you had me worried for a moment there, Raivierra." Lancelot's expression became sincere as he firmly held both shoulders. "You nearly… Had I lost you…" he trailed off.
Raivierra's face lost all emotion as eyes searched his momentarily. She nearly felt guilty for making him so concerned. Nearly. Her sly smile returned. "Really? Was it that close?" She shook herself free of his grip and clasped his hand, moving to lead him through the crowd. "There'd better be one hell of a bonus for putting on such a damn good show."
Lancelot pulled her back. She gave a start when a rough hand touched a tender spot on her jaw, wiping blood from a nick. "But perhaps now you'll listen when I say two duels a day is enough?" He questioned, his voice still dreadfully serious.
"I'll consider it. If it'll put your mind at ease." She returned, clapping him good-naturedly on the shoulder. "Now. I need to collect my reward before Hengist mistakes one of these ugly mugs as the victor.
Trekking across the room with Lancelot in tow, she came to a halt where Hengist sat with a dark-skinned woman. "My reward." She stated flatly.
The Germanic brute with an ass and gut far larger than his title laughed heartily at her approach. "So demanding. No wonder a woman like you couldn't find a place anywhere else."
"I am not here for a damned polishing tutor, nor for your commentary. You owe me coin." Raivierra growled through a clenched jaw.
"My apologies, Lady Morgana." Hengist half-turned to the woman on his left. "The problem with this kind of entertainment…" he glanced back at Raivierra, "Is that they have no tact."
The so-called 'Lady Morgana' nervously acknowledged his words with a tight-lipped smile and a timid nod. Though she tried to mask it, the poor woman was clearly terrified. Raivierra's keen eyes had picked up on the slight quiver of her lips.
Raivierra glanced at Lancelot from the corner of her eye. His eyes were riveted on this 'Morgana' as hers were locked on him. Interesting. Sure, the girl was pretty, but nothing really special.
No. Now she was getting distracted. Jealous? No. Just distracted.
Her hand flashed out, deftly catching the pouch of gold thrown her way. She weighed it in her hand. It was a tad heavier than the three already hanging at Lancelot's belt. Perhaps there was a little something extra for her performance. She turned to flash Lancelot a triumphant grin, only to find that he had yet to move a hair. She underhanded the small sack at him. It jingled as it hit him squarely in the chest. Nevertheless, the spell was broken and he caught it on the rebound. She received a half-smile and appreciative nod in return, though his gaze remained on the other woman.
Oh god. Already, she was referring to her as 'the other woman'.
"What sane woman would trust a man with her gold… they must be lovers." Raivierra overheard Hengist's whisper to Morgana. The girl simply responded the way she had before, yet she too kept her gaze on Lancelot.
Raivierra scoffed inwardly. Lovers? No. Now? No. Never? Well, not with the way he had been gawking at Morgana just moments ago.
"Come." That same rough hand abruptly grabbed her arm and lead her away into the thick of the crowd.
"Oh? So you've finally got your head of the clouds, have you?" Raivierra chided. Damn. That almost sounded bitter. She gulped the loathsome tone away and tried again, "So, you knew her?" It still sounded more akin to an accusation than a question.
"Raivierra." Lancelot suddenly rounded on her. Only then did she notice that he had led her to the ruddy sleeping chambers—nearly barren at this time. He pulled her close and dropped his voice to a barely audible whisper. "You and I have kept together through quite a lot, yes? You've stayed by me when the odds have never been in our favor, yes?"
Raivierra pulled her head back, unsure if Lancelot was in his right mind. Was this a joke? She hesitated, allowing her eyes to dart about the room. When she looked back to him, his piercing gaze was still fixated on her. And he leaned dangerously close. "I… yes, of course." she finally responded.
"And that has not changed?" That same stern tone.
"I… don't see why it would." She drawled uncertainly.
"Then I need you now."
"I beg your pardon?"
'Nother Note: I do hope ya'll enjoyed. If there's interest, I'll stay on. Thank ya'll. =)