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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.

Mar. 7th, 2014

and dance away my blues

Gawain and Agravain rescue the boy, somewhere out on the plains, and bring him back to Camelot -- he's a few years younger than they are, and with his dark curls and bright eyes and the shadow of beard he's trying desperately to cultivate, not to mention his limited grasp of the language, he's something new and exciting. The sword at his hip is too large for him, but he won't hear of being fitted with another. No one really understands where he's come from -- except that it's across the sea, somewhere -- but he says he's been sent to serve King Arthur. King Lot's boys vouch for his valor, and a few days later they're all of them knighted.

Sagramore, as he's called, seems to glow with his excitement. Many of the maids, and not a few of the young men, are already pining for him; they gossip about him in the stables, in the kitchens, in the Queen's sewing circle. So far he hasn't yet chosen where to bestow his affections, and this, too, is a topic of much conversation. Gawain and Agravain have certainly made the most of their sudden surge in popularity.

When Arthur touches his shoulders, one after the other, with Excalibur, he lifts his bowed head in spite of himself to look, and the king smiles at him.

After the ceremony, there's much drinking and dancing to be done -- after all, exotic newcomers aside, Gawain is well-loved in Camelot already, and his knighting is easily cause for celebration in and of itself. Sagramore grins and blushes at everyone who solicits him, and dances exuberantly. Despite his lanky youth, he's astonishingly graceful, and he moves with such pleasure in movement that it more than makes up for the fact he doesn't know the dances. More than a few people stop to watch him; he is, in this moment, beautiful.