Mar. 11th, 2014

wipe the sleep from tiger eyes

After the unexpected failure with Modrun, Sagramore elects to learn about kissing for himself, and he quickly winds up in the beds of at least half of Camelot. He's young, but he's eager, as quick to learn in the bedroom as he is in the training yards, and sweet.

But after a while, rumors begin spreading about his sickness, that there's something not quite right with him. Sometimes the story is that it's contagious, sometimes that it's some sort of devil in him, but combined with his promiscuity and his foreignness, it coalesces into a general distaste, and it's not unusual for him to be gossiped about amongst the Queen's ladies, over the sewing circle. He has no one to champion for him -- he has friends among the knights, but many of them are young, as he is, and many of those unwilling to tie themselves to him: only Gawain is staunchly in support of him, despite Agravain's sneering; but Gawain is much in demand lately, a kind of rising star, with his good humor and his broad, open face and his excellent skill at arms, and he's rarely around to hear the talk.

Sagramore is easy to bait into fights, as he suggested to Modrun, and getting a rise out of him turns into a kind of game amongst some of the knights who find that funny, or are just spoiling for fights themselves. He's learning about the fleeting pleasure of getting drunk, too, and he often comes back to his rooms of an evening with a split lip and a smell of wine about him.

Gradually he stops seeing almost everyone except Gwytha, one of the queen's tiring-maids. Gwytha is gentle and patient and sensible, seems to balance his passionate nature; the mysterious illness doesn't seem to frighten her, and she takes his misadventures in stride.

It's late morning, and Gwytha is straightening things in Guenever's chambers, dusting a little where it pleases her. She left Sagramore sleeping, and for the moment she's unconcerned with anything but doing her work.

Aug. 23rd, 2010

Despite the fact that she and Sagramore are all but soulmates, Gwytha still occasionally has rows with him, and when she comes to Mordred's room this evening she's alone. Her face, which is ordinarily all smiles, is furrowed into a frown, and she stomps through the door trying to unpin her hair and unlace her dress at the same time, looking tired and extremely cross.

Apr. 27th, 2010

Gwytha is in her own room, for once--since usually she's either with Sagramore or Mordred, this is an odd occurrence, but she's settled into a chair by the fire (the April nights are still cool) weaving on the loom. It isn't a job many of the girls get, but her hands are very steady.

She's humming to herself, not particularly concerned with anything at the moment.

Dec. 6th, 2009

After Sagramore has stomped back to his room, and Gwytha has pried the details of the fight from him, then scolded him soundly, she heads over to Mordred's room, still dressed in her nightgown, carrying a candle. She taps on the door softly, pushing her hair behind her shoulder.

"Mordred? Are you there?"

Oct. 15th, 2009

It isn't until nearly five o'clock in the morning, and a day later, when Sagramore's fever breaks; he wakes up in a room that's nearly dark except for the faint glow of the last of the fire. Gwytha is asleep at the end of his bed, leaning with her back against the wall and her hair unpinned, her hands knotted loosely in her skirts.

He sits up, wiping his forehead and looking around; he has that feeling of newness and reawakening that comes after a fever, as well as being ravenously hungry.

"Gwytha? Mordred?"

Oct. 13th, 2009

With October comes weather that Sagramore actually gives his blessing to, the cold fierce winds that wander down from the Northern parts of Britain, and the freezing rain that accompanies them. He spends the day out in the stables attending to his fat mare, who is less enthusiastic, and gets back to his room soaked and shivering.

Gwytha helps him out of his wet clothes and for a while he stays safely ensconced in bed with her, which does even better for his state of mind. After that it's back to his own room for hot mead and the usual daily care he lavishes on his father's sword, ritual-like.

By this time he's fairly humming with a kind of frantic energy. He moves too quickly but doesn't feel it, and his body is burning to touch.

Sep. 15th, 2009

Sagramore has been dallying a great deal the last week or so with the wife of a visiting lord--the lord has been in conference with Arthur for hours on end, and the lady is young, lonely, and excitable. Her name is Eleanor, and she has a considerable talent for languages; she's picked up enough Hungarian to make love and conversation.

He's learning to be very discreet, but the lady isn't, or at least she's shared with her maids, and they've shared with the castle's, and it's common knowledge to anybody who listens, which evidently her husband doesn't. If Arthur knows, he hasn't chastised Sagramore yet (which makes it unlikely that he has).

But it's not Eleanor he's kissing good-bye this evening. Gwytha's been telling him the castle gossip, as she does, and in Arthur's place she issued a stern warning.

"Sweet-heart, canst not have sport with a lady like that. Her lord's one of them to be cordial with, and there's naught cordial in bedding his wife. Leave her be, tell her something. Tell her something fine, thou knowst lots of fine things to say."

"But I love her--"

Gwytha leans close. "Sweet, hush thy tongue and listen to me. The Queen bade me tell thee so. Thou'lt make things ill between our cities."

He sighs and nods, his hands at her waist. Gwytha smiles up at him--he's getting tall enough that it's not just Mordred who has to stretch--and kisses the base of his throat.

"Th'art a good boy."

Sagramore's arms tighten a little and he buries his face in her hair.