cyus: (Merlin)
[personal profile] cyus
Title: Hay-tussled
Pairing: Uther/Gaius
Rating: PG-13
Length: 1100
Warning: Underage (12 & 13yo kissing)
Summary: This love was forever, king or not, Gaius would always stand by Uther's side.

"My Lord." The pain burned a hole into his gut, just under his heart, it sat like a hot poker and Gaius still bowed his head and went to one bent knee. "My lord," he repeated, and muttered, "I swear" and didn't look up at Uther, only kept his trembling fingers lying against his thigh in his line of sight and waited for it to stop hurting.

"Gaius," Uther said, voice shaking. He pulled at his sleeve, running the ceremonial garb askew and Gaius stilled him, hand on his wrist, nearly pulled back again but Uther closed his fingers around the bones and gave a squeeze, half comforting, half needy.

"My lord," Gaius repeated and glanced up, brushing at the fringe of hair hanging into his eyes.

"Don't." Uther stepped back, leaned against the wall, the glass window behind him open and carrying in the sounds from the court.

"My king," Gaius repeated as he stood. It tingled in his fingertips, magic, and it tingled when Uther stared at him, stared at his fingers and his chest and his eyes and Gaius bit back a laugh, a bit bitter, and bit back the pain, a lot bitter.

"I look ridiculous," Uther said, voice low, eyes dark. He pulled at the crown and pulled it off, turning it between his fingers. "I feel ridiculous."

Gaius swallowed. "You are King," Gaius said, the troops rallying below, barely a fortnight since the old King's death but war mongering didn't pause for a single man's heart stopping.

The sun was coming out over the balustrade, sparking golden off Uther's hair, and Gaius stepped closer and reached out and then pulled his hand back only to have Uther catch it, touch it, press his lips to the fingertips.

"You won't leave, will you?" he asked, breath fanning out and voice thick as he watch the knights. "You wouldn't leave me." And Uther shuddered under the smallest spark of magic along his cheek and down his neck and chest, and went still when Gaius clenched his fingers into a fist.

"I won't leave, my Lord," he said.

***

They'd kissed in the hay, summer rain, twelve and thirteen and the King let Uther do what he wanted and he wanted girls and he wanted to be the best knight his father had seen and he wanted everyone whole.

"Show me," he'd whispered, eyes aspark with hay strewn through his hair where they'd tussled earlier and the flame from the candle safely set aside.

Gaius reached for his hand, and stretched it out, palm-up and Uther's fingers twitched but he held still when Gaius drew his fingertip in a long line from base to tip, dripping all his warmth and everything he had through the touch.

"It's our secret," Uther whispered, and he stole a kiss of Gaius's mouth until Gaius wanted to stop breathing just to have this for the rest of time.

***

"I don't have to handle a sword," Gaius said, vials in one hand and the wooden practice sword in the other, half-heartedly parrying Uther's attacks until he caught him under the chin and Uther recoiled eyes glowering.

"Gaius."

"Not all of us have time for warplay," Gaius said and threw Uther the sword, smiling at him.

"Other play though?" Uther had said, standing too close, and Gaius knew a lady was waiting in Uther's chambers but he didn't have the will to deny Uther anything never had.

"We've surpassed the age to tousle," he said, and didn't miss how Uther shrank, didn't miss either how it hurt in him. "You understand," he said, turning to look over his shoulder and then down at the vials, his head full of the errands and the learnings. "You will be King, my Lord," Gaius said, but as Uther leaned in close he still smelled of hay and Gaius slipped out of his rooms in the early morning hours, sated and sore and with his heart aching and heavy with love.

***

"I need your counsel, Gaius," Uther said, Ygraine's hand in his and anxious, lip bitten and hair graying at the temples now, he looked upon Gaius like the boy who’s gone away from one day to the next and who he was still missing.

"Certainly, my Lord," Gaius replied as the court filtered out, leaving him be with counsel as best as he could give it to love so encompassing, so grand that their bodies couldn't hold it all.

***

"It is death!" Gaius was half-naked, half-mad and Uther looked like the man he'd never known. "You are talking death for no just cause for-" Gaius grabbed for Uther's hand, the gesture of fingers to palm to fingers, the slow drag of warmth, and Uther jerked back, half fell back.

"I won't have it in my court, in my castle, in my kingdom. Evil, as such, I won't have it near me."

His hair was ashed and no hint of hay stood raw in it, made it youthful or gentle. The eyes hard, the lips pursed. Gaius reached for him again, both ridiculous and both in their nightgowns, set the hand to Uther's heart.

"It was an accident, my Lord. Have mercy on the innocent. Have-"

"She's dead." Uther's heart hammered under Gaius's hand, exploded his chest into a hard thrust of energy as everything else went calm and quiet.

He stepped back. One step, another.

"She's dead," he repeated.

Gaius's fingertips fell from his body, something breaking when Uther's eyes shuttered, taking the spark and the light and that gentle touch of love, hay and summer rain and the first innocent kisses, and buried it.

It was impossible not to see it though, when Gaius looked upon him. Behind it, withering, it was impossible not to remember.

***

"Is it done?" Uther asked, standing in front of the throne, strong and tall and cold.

"It is, my Lord," Gaius said. He bowed his head. "It is, my King."

And he turned and thought he tasted him on his lips, felt him in his chest, somewhere where it didn't squeeze quite so tight. He looked over his shoulder, and Uther met his eyes and looked away, but for a moment, for a moment a spark in Gaius's fingertips and something that could be a touch if it was them touching or a kiss if it was them kissing or-

He bowed again. "My lord," he whispered.
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November 2012

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