One shot time! Set after 4x13 and some serious spoilers (though if you haven't finished series 4 yet, you are seriously behind) therein. Thought I'd give two of the let's face it fittest knights ever a little moment.
These two do not belong to me, though if they did, the scenes in 5x01 would be much more frequent.
It was widely known that, though Sir Leon enjoyed his sleep as much as anyone, he was an insomniac at the best of times. This was decidedly not the best of times, given Morgana had just been chased out of Camelot and two of his closest friends were under Gaius's care for the next week.
Elyan had mostly recovered anyway, even though he had endured ridiculous torture. Gwen had spent most of the day fussing over her brother as he drifted in and out of consciousness. He just needed some good old-fashioned rest and Leon was just happy he was going to be alright.
But the other knight wasn't in such a good way. Leon had been the one to pull Gwaine from that grubby little cell, supporting his meagre weight, too much of which had disappeared over the past week, and have him collapse in his arms. With Gaius weak and malnourished, Leon watched helplessly as Merlin did all he could.
And Leon did not bear being helpless very well.
So now he was wandering the corridors of his home, barefoot, wearing only breeches and a sleeping shirt, looking rumpled and slightly sick. He had never been down these parts of the knights' quarters before but he wasn't really thinking about where he was going. And as so often happens when we are trying to get somewhere but don't even know it, Leon found himself stood outside a door he had only stood outside of once.
He didn't see another knight sat on the windowsill, watching him closely.
Out of all of them, Percival had probably come out of the past week in the best shape. He wasn't as pensive as Leon, so he hadn't been crushed by the weight of what had happened and he hadn't been locked in a cell, like Elyan and Gwaine. But he was a dreamer and he dreamed vividly. So he was also awake and he watched closely as Sir Leon, the bravest and the strangest of all the knights slipped into Gwaine's room.
Not many people knew, but Percival's strength wasn't the only curious thing about him. He was a bloodhound when it came to magic. It surrounded Merlin, he knew that, but it also clung to Leon in a very strange way. The elder knight was cursed: cursed to survive everything that came his way, no matter the pain, wounds or general destruction that also had a habit of following him. Percival pitied his forced survival but decided against telling anyone, especially not Leon. There was no telling how he would react to finding out magic influenced him every minute of every day.
But Leon never realised Percival's presence and so he found himself stood on the inside of the door to Sir Gwaine's chambers.
Normally, when anyone was in Gwaine's presence, they couldn't help but know that. People were just drawn to him and Leon had been no exception. Being the slightly shy knight he was, he had never been able to entirely relax in Gwaine's exuberant aura, for fear something compromising might happen. But he had enjoyed the light-hearted banter they frequently engaged in: Gwaine was a worthy opponent on the verbal battlefield as well as the physical, even if Leon had a tendency to win, being much more tactical and thoughtful. Gwaine wasn't quite able to pick him apart.
But this cold silent bedchamber could have belonged to any knight, even though the distinctive hair was very visible on the pillow. Gwaine's 'presence' was completely absent and it made Leon shiver slightly. That strange absence was a testimony to how ill he was.
Glad he had decided against boots, Leon crept to his friend's bedside and just stood there for a moment, watching his bare chest rise and fall in light sleep. He was dreaming, quite probably a nightmare after the week he'd just had, and he kept making little murmuring noises. Gwaine sounded so innocent, something he certainly wasn't, and so very childlike that Leon, without really being aware of it, sat himself down on the edge of the bed and very gently smoothed his friend's hair off his forehead, prompting a quiet murmur from Gwaine. The younger man nudged Leon's hand with his forehead like an appreciative feline might do and Leon, unconsciously, responded by untangling the locks of hair he could reach.
It was a few moments before he noticed clouded brown eyes watching his movements.
"Evening," Gwaine murmured, managing a weak echo of his vibrant, cocksure smile. He eyed Leon almost warily, very confused by what the elder knight, whom he'd always regarded as a little emotionless, was doing playing with his hand.
And Gwaine had to admit, he was more than a little intrigued by the action. He smiled a little more broadly when Leon blushed almost as crimson as his cloak.
"I... um, well I... I guess I just came to see how you were," Leon finally managed. It certainly didn't show how worried he'd been for the younger knight but for some reason his normal eloquence with words had deserted him. At least Gwaine seemed happy that he'd thought to come.
"Sit down," the invalid ordered, quietly again, which was odd. Gwaine normally spoke boldly and didn't care who heard him but he'd barely raised his voice above a whisper, like he physically couldn't talk any louder. Leon decided not to strain him and sat down again, a little closer to the pillow than before. Gwaine noticed, just, but decided not to pester Leon for an explanation: he didn't feel up to it, at least not this morning. "You look dead on your feet," he observed, seeing for the first time the slump in Leon's shoulders, normally held by perfect posture and the ruffled look to his own hair, showing he hadn't looked after himself well recently. Plus of course the huge shadows under his eyes, looking like Morgana herself had put them there.
Which, in a way, she had.
"Haven't slept properly since the assault," Leon muttered in reply, stifling what felt like an eruption of a yawn. Gwaine just smiled gently, the sort of tender smile Leon only ever got from someone when he was at the tail-end of one of his famous near-death episodes. Mostly from Percival, he'd noticed.
"Rest your head, then," Gwaine offered, patting the pillows contently. He could see Sir Leon not wanting to accept, seeing it as a sign of weakness, but that Leon, just the man he'd begun to know as oddly cheeky, sarcastic and very intelligent but witty, desperately did want to.
Eventually Leon won out over the Knight and swung his legs up to lie next to Gwaine, his six feet two inches towering over Gwaine's five feet ten inches. Gwaine managed to lift the very light coverlet over the other Knight who was slowly giving in to his exhaustion. Then Gwaine too rested his head on the pillows, unconsciously curling into a loose ball, how he normally slept. Unfortunately, his arm brushed against Leon's side where his shirt had ridden up his chest slightly and he started.
"Gods, you're cold," he gasped, pressing his large palms against Gwaine's hollowed-out cheeks. Of course, his own hands were incredibly warm and Gwaine found himself pressing into them, at that stage of tiredness and post-torture where he didn't care anymore, he just wanted to be comforted and content and it didn't matter how that happened.
Leon himself must have been slightly addled from tiredness as well, Gwaine thought, because he doubted the older knight would ever have pulled off his shirt and pulled Gwaine against his bare chest otherwise. But he didn't care how awkward it was going to be in the morning when they woke up: Leon's body was just so warm and soft that he couldn't have cared less. He snuggled into the convenient space between Leon's chin and his pectorals, deciding that here was a very nice and very willing pillow. He pressed his ear against his bed-friend's skin, hearing a very soft thrumming that was the other man's heart.
Gwaine was slowly losing the fight against sleep, Leon could tell: the added warmth of his not-inconsiderable body heat and the comfort of another person were lulling the young knight back to sleep. Knowing he was fighting a losing battle, Leon didn't try to help him stay awake: instead he played with Gwaine's hair again, all the while humming a lullaby, one of the few childhood memories he had of his own father. He wondered if Gwaine recognised it but thought now, when he was just about to fall asleep, wasn't a good time to ask.
Maybe in the morning.
Leon felt every muscle in Gwaine's battered broken body finally loosen completely as he fell asleep for the fourth time that night. This time, it seemed like he would sleep well because not once in the fifteen minutes Leon could force himself to stay awake did he move. After that, he couldn't say because he had fallen asleep too.
Arthur very quietly knocked on Gwaine's door, for two reasons. A) he was hoping his very close friend would be much better today and B) he hadn't seen Sir Leon since last night. None of the other knights, or Gaius and Merlin for that matter had seen him. Even Gwen had been missed off. He wondered whether those two very talented knights had gotten close without him realising it.
Well, they certainly had, he realised when he saw the golden haired knight and the chocolate brown locks of said two knights. They looked so sweet, fast asleep and snuggling into one another, Gwaine against Leon's chest and Leon in Gwaine's thick hair. Arthur, knowing comfort like this would make them a better time but harder to let go, decided to let them enjoy what they had while they had it and closed the door, letting them sleep.
Well, that was a least a little bit cute, I think.
First ever one-shot so please be nice. Reviews please although reads are just as appreciated. For a bit more Leon and Gwaine, see my other fic 'Druid's Daughter', featuring Leon, Gwaine and my OC.