A/N: So, I'm trying to get my 5 stories up. It's been a long, long time since I've written fanfiction...and not on this site! The lack of screening sometimes irked me. But I've been relying more and more on when I get the urge, so I decided that I'd like to put myself to work doing something I like, and help people write. This isn't going to be particularly long, and is planned to just be this one-shot. I'm not particularly convinced of my skill or dedication, but I found this movie over 10 years too late to be a fan growing up! I wish I had seen it. It grew on me quickly, though I'll admit I was surprised at first exposure (to the "I Stand Alone" clip!) It grew on me strongly enough that now I think it deserves this little drabble as part of my efforts to beta fics. ;P Hope it's not too terrible! I will admit to taking liberties with the time-frame, since everything seemed remarkably sped up, to me. If I ever come back to Quest for Camelot...it will be to make a fic that is from an extended timeline perspective, expanding on the characters' thoughts. ...just because that sort of project seems interesting to me. ~TheWonderfulShoe
The pain. It was searing. He felt...warm. And cold. It was pouring, and he was stuck letting Kayley half-guide, half-drag him. Where they were going, he wasn't even sure. The sticky spot on his side—the one that had been a pool of warmth in sharp contrast to the rest of his cold, drenched tunic—was chilling, now. He yearned for the warmth again, even though he knew that it couldn't be good to lose so much blood.
How deep was the gash in his side? He couldn't exactly tell. Was it shock? He clung to Kayley, losing the strength and feeling in his legs. Was he bleeding so much? Was he poisoned, and that was what was sapping his strength? How long had they been half-walking, half-running, fleeing while they could, through the cold and unrelenting rain?
And suddenly, the rain was gone. His legs, which had only kept going through sheer strength of will, gave out, and the girl—so much smaller than he was, in frame!—was only half able to stop his collapse, leaning him against a rock. There were some of the healing plants from the forest that he had shown her along their journey, or so he assumed when she started pressing something thin and papery into his side. Was the tunic torn so much that the wound was exposed? He wanted to check...but he couldn't seem to muster the strength even to move into a position where he could probe his own wounds.
He felt consciousness slipping from him with a stab of white-hot pain as she worked on it, pulling blood-soaked fabric and grime from the outdoors and his tunic away from the wound. He struggled, trying to focus on something, anything, to stay with it, to stay awake. She spoke, sounding anguished. Her misery was enough for him to cling to consciousness, though he couldn't make out her words quite yet.
He had to make things right by her—before he let himself sleep. After all this time...he had started to realize that he had been wrong about her. Sir Lionel's daughter, who strove to be a Knight of the Round Table—the girl who went running off alone into the Forbidden Forest to save Excalibur, the Kingdom, and her mother.
No...Garrett had been wrong to judge her so hastily, at first. She had started—so subtly and slowly, that he hadn't even noticed—to mean something to him that he couldn't understand, that he couldn't admit...not even to himself. Until now, perhaps. Now that he might be about to lose it, to lose the chance to admit it at all.
He clung to her words, finding himself feeling exhausted...and yet somehow at peace. Like he could just...fall asleep, now, if she stayed there—and if he could just hold on, and hear her anguished words, and calm her fearful heart. That first. And then he could sleep...that tempting sleep.
"I'm sorry. It's all my fault you're hurt. I mean, I was rattling on when I should have been quiet! ...I'm no help to anyone." She sounded so small and defeated. His heart, which felt like it was fluttering a little in its weakness already, broke a little and gave a momentarily stronger thump or two, almost painfully. He felt her drawing away, hearing her breath catch, like she was starting to cry. He couldn't let her leave. Not now. Not if he might...might not get another chance, after now. Once he slept. And sleep was seeming so much more tempting, every moment...
How could she say such a thing—believe such a thing, about herself? A momentary flush of emotion, confusion, and turmoil gave his heart another surge, and he groaned, wincing as he tried to turn with the moment of slight strength. He managed to roll and weakly reach up his arm, somehow, thankfully, reaching her shoulder. How could he possibly explain to her, how the opposite was true—how very much she had helped him? Maybe...saved him?
He was too weak. Too tired. His mind was sluggish and exhausted, and even the breath to speak to her was hard to suck in as deeply as he needed, in order to talk. His touch seemed to have startled her, and she responded to him, reaching out, grabbing his hand in her two smaller ones.
So small! Yet so strong, despite it! Inside and out. She had somehow managed to support him there, despite his bigger bulk from years of living and growing tough in the Forbidden Forest. He knew she must be beautiful, when her beauty could shine so brightly that he could see it despite his ruined eyes. He gasped in painfully, the breath he needed to try to say something—anything—to try to express everything, with urgency he felt, and his limited time.
"Shh. Shh, shh...you're wrong." He managed simply, reaching up slightly to where he knew her face must be. He felt the tears sliding down her cheeks, and wiped them away. She had helped him...more than he knew he would ever get the chance or find the words to say.
A/N: This is the end of this story. The next "chapter" is an explanation of my decision to make this story a one-shot...and how/why I decided to make a new story that expands on this concept.