After finally succeeding in prising Lancelot away from his feathered ally, Gawain sighed
"Well this is a fine mess"
Venomous ruby eyes raised to meet the echidna and Gawain quickly learned why Lancelot was rarely seen without his helm; that fury could kill a lesser man in a glance.
Bearing his fangs as he hissed, Lancelot replied "You need not inform me of that Gawain!" the hedgehog's quills stood on end making a point of how dangerous the other was to cross; even unarmed he could cause some real harm "It is no wonder I do not discuss matters of my personal time with you"
Recovering from the shock of almost being strangled by the ebony furred knight seemed to restore Lamorak's brash nature "You were the one who admitted it Lancelot… or was that another deceitful trick played on you by Elaine?
Gawain barely reacted in time to catch Lancelot and it took all his strength to restrain the enraged knight. Over the top of the red streaked quills Gawain shot the avian knight a warning glare, unfortunately Lamorak had never been good at holding his tongue.
"Why should I take the blame for his carless nature?" The hawk scowled at his red furred companion "besides what Lancelot spoke will also have harmed my sister. I owe him nothing for what he has done so if he is too arrogant to realise the fault is his then I shall not regret the loss of an ally."
The room fell silent as green, blue and violet eyes waited for the explosion that would follow; it never came. Lancelot gently pushed Gawain's hands from where they gripped his arms and allowed himself to slump to the floor.
"I should keep my own counsel" Lancelot sighed.
Racing over to his newest 'buddy' Sonic grinned at the other hedgehog "Don't be like that Lance, just swallow your pride and go find your son. I'm sure you two can work things out" Emerald eyes shifted to regard Lamorak "I'd wait a while if I were you Lamorak; your sister is dangerous when she's mad"
Venturing a small laugh Gawain patted the hawk on the shoulder "We know that already Sire"
Lamorak's own grin was weak "At least I need not worry for her safety"
Sonic laughed as he went to console the green feathered knight "It's us you need to be worried about; Lance, Percy and Galahad could all cause us trouble"
Gawain waited for Lancelot's usual objection to the nickname having already let it be used once but Camelot's greatest knight had vanished
"I don't mean to cause alarm" the echidna began "but Lancelot is now loose within the castle."
"And now we're stuck here" Sonic sighed
Finding Galahad wasn't hard; the youngest of the knights was learning on the rail of the training grounds watching a pair of knights spar. And it seemed that he was still struggling to be aware of his surroundings.
"Galahad." A flicker of amusement crossed Lancelot's features as he watched his son jump; just one of many traits that served to identify the youth as the youngest member of Camelot's elite guard.
"Father." Lancelot's normally expressive son held a steely tone and, though it lacked the power of his father's voice, held a clear note of accusation and anguish.
The emotion in that single word sent shivers down the bravest knight of Camelot; he had often been told of his own skills regarding the conveyance of disappointment but hearing it used by another forced Lancelot to make a mental note to try and be kinder towards his squires. To further alienate his father and mentor Galahad kept his eyes fixed on the duelling combatants in the distance.
Sighing Lancelot broke the silence "Despite what you heard I was fond of your mother; she was beautiful and, though I hate to admit it, far smarter than I."
Pain burned in Galahad's golden eyes "And yet she like you had no desire for a son."
A deep frown crossed the dark furred hedgehog's features "Perhaps she sent you away to live with your aunt so that you would not be ashamed of her actions; she told me about you when we met again and was the one who told me to bring you to Camelot when you turned 15"
"I am surprised you did so" Galahad avoided his father's eyes unwilling to risk that the words offered would be lies.
Running a hand through his upturned quills, Lancelot cast his gaze across the training grounds "Your mother caused me great suffering with her tricks; drove me to madness and condemned me to be cast from my court for years…" ruby eyes shone "However she also saved me from that fate, healed me and acquired a castle where we lived together for a while…"
"Whilst I lived alone." Galahad snarled at the elder knight.
Ebony ears dropped and Lancelot frowned "I thought you liked your home in the nunnery"
Trembling with either fury or sadness the white furred knight finally met his father's gaze "I'd rather have had my family however it seems that both you and my mother thought nothing of me while we were apart and so denied me the chance."
Hesitantly Lancelot reached out to rest a hand on his son's shoulder and winced when the boy flinched at the contact "Why is it Galahad that I can fight a dragon, slay thirty knights in one bout and deal with being forced to work with Lamorak, Gawain and a rather easily distracted King without flinching and yet find that when it comes to you there is not a single action I can take that does not wound one of us in some way?"
"You were the one who lied to me." The anger in the young hedgehog's voice was fading and leaving only suffering behind.
Cautious not to startle Galahad and so worsen matters, Lancelot firmly rested his hands on both the other's shoulders preventing his son from averting his gaze and forcing their eyes to meet "I never lied my son, though I will confess that I refused you answers I thought would complicate my life. I took a coward's way out and now I realise that perhaps what was best for me was not what was best for you" Ruby eyes narrowed slightly "However Galahad you are not faultless in this mess; though I can't speak for your mother it is safe to say that you have done a great wrong to me by assuming as you did."
Galahad's tan muzzle formed a cold scowl "am I wrong then Father?"
A ghost of a smile crossed Lancelot's features "I often wondered what you were like, fortunately you look like you mother which I'm sure the whole kingdom counts as a blessing…" Noting the other's rapidly cooling expression, Lancelot checked himself and shook his head wistfully "In terms of your abilities you've far surpassed my expectations and I am certain you will surpass me in skill soon but, despite the damage you'll cause my reputation, I am glad you came to Camelot"
Shaking free of the hands that held him in place Galahad paced before his elder "You mean I'll damage your ego with my few exploits"
Ruby eyes strayed back to the training grounds; the sparring pair had finished their duel and Lancelot found himself recognising Sir Tor, Lamorak and Percival's elder half-brother and his own brother Ector. As he watched the pair shaking hands the bold knight found himself wishing that the wounds he had caused his only child were as easily forgiven; he could offer to be there for the boy but only Galahad could choose to allow his father a chance to fix the mistakes of his youth and presently the normally gentle knight seemed to have no desire to do anything of the sort. Having decided that the best course of action would be to allow Galahad time, Lancelot returned to the castle.
However as he passed his son the striped hedgehog leant closer "I would be proud of anything you achieved my son and Merlin himself has prophesied great things for you"
"And one day you shall befriend Lamorak, Sir Lancelot" though the taunt undermined Lancelot's efforts to appeal to the other the knight he would take the teasing over silence anyway… and in the back of his mind Lancelot hoped the young knight was nearby when he finally swallowed his pride and admitted he had wronged that irritable hawk.