A/N: I am so sorry this took me so long. Life and writer's block have gotten in the way once again. But I hope to update sooner rather then later this time. Now, without further delay: the next chapter.
Arron emerged from the small room attached to the healer's main chamber feeling lighter. He ran a hand over his smooth chin and shook his head. Gwen swept up blonde locks into a pile behind him, her face having gone completely blank. The four men had been sitting at a table in the main chamber and he cleared his throat. Their faces paled as if they saw a specter. "Is it that bad?"
Emrys shook his head, a light pink crossed his cheeks and he looked at the floor. "No. It looks… It looks good. Suits you. Very handsome."
Arron grinned. "You think so? I like it a lot actually. The shorter hair and clean shave really make me feel more like a prince."
Gwaine was watching Emrys' face as he came around the table to look at him. "It is a remarkable transformation," Gwaine acknowledged wistfully.
Emrys nodded. "Alright, now that you look the part we've got to teach you to act it. Putting you back in the environment you were accustom to should bring the underlying memories to the surface."
Arron was skeptical but he didn't have a better idea. "Where do we begin?"
An almost evil grin crossed Emrys' face as he laughed. "Follow me."
Arron looked to the others but everyone's focus seemed to lie elsewhere. Lancelot went into the side chamber and shut the door. Percival was watching Gwaine watch Emrys as he left the healer's quarters. Arron sighed and followed.
The sun was high over the courtyard as Emrys suited up. Arron wasn't sure about the test of skill but Emrys insisted. Sword fighting had come naturally to Arron in the early days. His mind didn't have to remember. His body moved of its own accord, his movements fluid and precise. Emrys looked pleased as he stepped forward. His armor was just light chainmail and gloves. It was the sword in the Steward's hand that was beautiful. Its silver hilt had a large blue crystal at the end that flared in the sunlight.
Arron looked at his ordinary steel one and frowned.
Emrys laughed and twirled the blade. "I promise my sword gives me no advantage. Especially since the prince was trained to kill since birth."
Gwaine and Percival sat off to the side to watch from a distance. Arron readied himself, becoming serious. Emrys rolled his shoulders and grinned.
Arron's lips twitched. "Ready?"
Emrys readied his stance. "Always."
Arron waited a moment to see if Emrys would make the first move. When he made no move to attack, Arron took that as permission.
Left, right, forward, back. It was a familiar dance. He didn't have to think, he just did. It was a complete shock when Emrys hit him with the flat side of the sword. Arron stopped completely. No one had ever gotten a hit on him that quickly.
Emrys chuckled. "You can do better than that. You're just going through the motions. Actually think about your movements this time."
Arron glared. Who was this man to tell him how to fight? He began to walk to the left, sword pointed up and out. He circled and thought, watched the Steward move along. His lean build was graceful but he wasn't a master swordsman. His style had been simple, and effective. It was obvious that he was use to using magic in fights. He was holding back that power but without it, Emrys' moves were stoic and if Arron thought about it predictable. Arron would do better to pay attention to his own movements. Where he had not been thinking enough, Emrys was thinking far too much and this time Arron would not be the one to lose.
Emrys was the first to attack this time. He lunged and Arron evaded, circling around again. Left, right, center, left, left, back, turn and back. Emrys went to attack again and this time Arron ducked out of the way and hooked the other man's foot, causing him to tumble to the ground.
Emrys stared up at him, the point of Arron's blade hovering over the leaner man's chest. Though he had lost, the Steward seemed elated as he laughed uncontrollably. "That was brilliant." His breath came in short bursts, obviously winded.
Arron didn't understand what was so funny, but offered him a hand. The Steward clasped it and something jolted through him. Warm blue skies in an open grassy field Emrys lie below him, huffing and out of breath. A spark of something hidden in the murky depths flew to the surface, and he was saying, "How's your mace work coming along?"
Emrys let go of his hand immediately. "What did you say?"
Arron's eyebrows went up. "…What?
"Just now- you said-" Emrys looked to Gwaine and Percival who didn't seem to understand what was wrong.
Arron just shrugged. A blush started to creep up his neck and he looked away. "Is that enough sparring then?"
Emrys just sat on the ground, his face shocked.
"Alright then." He began to walk out of the court yard. That had not been him. He had not said that before. What was going on? He turned a corner and realized he had found his way to the prince's room without even trying. "Of course."
"Hello, sire." Emma popped up from behind him. He didn't even flinch. "You seem distressed."
"How can you tell?"
She looked him over and nodded. "Your shoulders."
Arron rolled his eyes.
"Is it the prince? Does it make you uncomfortable?"
Arron nodded. "I think I may be the prince after all."
"I heard what the lady said about your eyes. She said they were wrong. I think that isn't completely true. They are the right eyes but they do not have the same look about them."
"What does that mean?"
"The prince had these sharp eyes; they only softened when no one was looking, like he was afraid someone would see. Yours are open and filled with light." Her eyes gained this far off look and her smile faded a bit. "You don't know his pain. But you will."
Emma walked slowly down the hallway and disappeared. "Well that was odd." He yanked open his door and pulled off the chainmail he'd been given. There was a stack of books sitting on the desk. Curious, Arron grabbed one and skimmed the first page. It appeared to be about the founding of Camelot.
Arron settled in. He hadn't known he could read. It really shouldn't have been that big of a surprise. He read of the life of Uther, how he had conquered the land as a younger man, married the lady Ygraine. She died giving birth to Arthur. It said Uther began his war on magic shortly after, with his son trained in the art of war. It was a sad history. The book he had only went up to his twelfth birthday. By the time he had finished, Emma had returned and the sun was much lower in the sky. She stood in the doorway, cautiously, like he had seen some beast tamers approach a mighty cat.
"Sire, the Steward was wondering if you would be joining him for dinner this evening. What shall I tell him, my Lord?"
Arron thought on it. He had already missed a dinner with Emrys, it would be rude to decline the hospitality he extending. Then again, he was supposed to be the prince. It meant that all of this was truly his; he could do as he pleased. "I shall eat with him."
"Dinner will be ready within the candle mark in the main banquet hall." She curtseyed a bit and left the room.
Arron sighed and rubbed his eyes before going to change his shirt. Why he changed his shirt he wasn't sure- when he traveled he wore the same clothes all day every day with, there had been no other clothes to change into. He switched to a deep blue shirt. Checking himself in the mirror he was barely recognizable with the new hair, new clothes, and no beard.
He wondered if he was handsome. It was a vain thought, looks weren't important but it had never come up before. Surely the Steward seemed to believe it, or at least he had said so. That made him smile and straighten his shirt absentmindedly. It was time to see if he could wander himself to the banquet hall. He left the bedchamber and made his way down his corridor, trusting in his feet to take him where he needed to be.