To say he was in an odd position would be a gross understatement. His sister was gone, banished, exiled from the only place she'd ever called home. And here Elyan was, still working for the man who had effectively removed her from his life. He felt as cowardly as he felt loyal. In the back of his head, he had every intention to find his sister once the opportunity presented itself.
Lately, Elyan hadn't spent much time with Arthur, either alone or with the other knights. He was still dedicated to Camelot and to his king, but he was having trouble seeing Arthur as a friend. He doubted Arthur had noticed, and, consequently, he thought of nothing but being called to battle or escort another princess or something in line with his duty when he was summoned to speak with the king. He was somewhat surprised to hear Arthur had decided to visit him at his forge. He suddenly felt naked without his chainmail and sword, feared his soot-stained shirt gave off an assumption of intimacy. Alas, there was nothing he could do now. He straightened up and waited for Arthur to enter. When he did, Elyan showed no emotion, negative or otherwise.
"Your Majesty," he said, his voice leveled to the point where it sounded forced. "You wish to see me."
Arthur thought he knew what heartbreak was. He had thought his heart broke when Morgana betrayed them. Someone he had loved and called sister. He had thought his heart broke when his father died. Despite the lies, no longer having him in his life had pained him beyond belief. But no. He felt that he now knew the true feeling of what it was to have one's heart broken. Yes. This indeed, was what it felt like. Arthur had needed time alone after . . . everything. He knew his uncle was displeased with his decision to banish Guinevère rather than follow the laws and execute her. But Arthur could not have such a conversation. He couldn't talk about it -- or her -- to anyone.
He took time to himself, to try and think of all those times. All the memories he had with her. Now knowing, that he was always the second choice. Had she ever felt forced to be with him? Had she just settled for him? Arthur wished . . . that day he had rescued them from Hengist, that he had gone to find Lancelot. Perhaps, she could have been truly happy, with the man she truly loved. So many thoughts, so many insecurities. Arthur wished he could will them away, but he could not. They were all what consumed him. Plagued him. Had his father been right? Arthur just . . . didn't know anything anymore. It seemed that the more he trusted his heart, the more it broke. And, he didn't know how much more it could take until it was truly, beyond repair.
When he felt strong enough to face the world -- though knowing he had no choice to, he resumed to his duties as sovereign. There was still one he would need to talk to, and he didn't fail to notice that he had made himself scarce. Arthur respected that, and would give him that space. The distance he required. Hell, Arthur wasn't even entirely certain if Elyan would go with her. Where he refused to talk about her to anyone else, he knew he would have to speak to Elyan about her. To . . . have the conversation that he was dreading. Yet one, that was necessary. Agravaine had already spoken of how Elyan should no longer be trusted, but Arthur didn't believe that. His men were loyal, and . . . were his brothers. So yes. He owed Elyan an explanation.
Hearing that he was at the forge, Arthur was not dressed in his chainmail as he made his way through the city. He was trying to decide what to say. How to say it. A way to bring up this conversation where they had not spoken ever since she was banished. But when he entered the forge and Elyan acknowledged him . . . Arthur's throat was dry. And suddenly, all words failed him. "Elyan," he returned in greeting, closing the door so that they could have some privacy.
He did not fail to notice the shift in Elyan's tone. The formality. The . . . drastic way it was different from their usual interactions. And, it was to be expected. "I did," he confirmed, knowing he was stalling. He tried to draw strength from somewhere. Yet, he supposed the irony was that he always drew that strength from Guinevère. "I just, wanted to know how you were holding up." It was not a lie. He was genuinely concerned for the man and for the loss he must be feeling in Guinevère's banishment.
Elyan relaxed his shoulders when Arthur shut the door. Still, he was tense. He thought of Guinevère, wondered what she might want him to do right then. She would never hurt Arthur, Elyan knew--if only Arthur had known it for himself. Elyan hovered over the chair he'd risen from before he teetered forward, hesitantly. He wanted to get close enough so he wouldn't need to yell across the forge.
"That depends," he said, eyeing Arthur warily. "Am I speaking to my king or to Arthur?" He paused and stared down at his boots for a moment before he looked up again. "Because I would tell my king I'm perfectly fine. But I would tell Arthur that I'm hurt, and I miss my sister, and I want to know why she isn't here with me today."
A king or a friend. Arthur had once believed he couldn't be either. Yet, he wanted to be both. Yet, he also knew that doing what he wanted . . . hadn't exactly worked out well the past several times he had tried. He wondered if he would ever learn. If he ever could be strong enough to rule with his head and not his hurt. Perhaps, it would hurt less. Or perhaps . . . it would hurt more. He remained silent, taking in Elyan's words, the honesty of them reminding Arthur of Guinevère. The two of them had always been straight forward in their thoughts and Arthur always appreciated that. Even if it was difficult to broach the subject, the young king would always prefer honesty. Silence lingered following Elyan's words, and eventually, Arthur voiced ones that he dared to speak. Dared . . . because this topic was not an easy one.
"Guinevère made her choice," Arthur began to say. Even saying her name, thinking of this choice she made . . . caused whatever fragments of his heart that was left, hurt. She had made a choice, and it clearly, wasn't him. "And I had to make mine," Arthur said, not having even realized that his gaze had moved from Elyan when he spoke her name. Yet now, his eye's met the other knight's once more. "To sentence her in accordance with our laws . . . " He couldn't even speak execution and Guinevère in the same sentence. "Or to banish her." The latter, technically not a punishment that was considered acceptable for such crimes, but Arthur didn't care. He could not see her dead. "It . . . was not an easy decision Elyan. And I am sorry, for the hurt it has caused you." But he could not be sorry for banishing her. He could never execute Guinevère and . . . this was the only alternative. But Arthur also knew, it was not as easy to accept. For even Merlin, had questioned it.
In Character Chat
This chat box is for IC [In Character] Chat! It is a place for members to muse and converse as their characters with lots of IC shenanigans! Happy Chatting Everyone!
My name is Catherine by the way; Call me Kate. *Smiles* You're lucky to have your mother, I ... wish I had at least someone I can talk to, You know? At least i have Arthur. *sits by the window and looks out*
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