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Jul. 1st, 2014


the magic how to keep her happy

Pregnancy is tiring to Ragnelle. Much of her energy diverts to it, as it would for a tree or a human, and in the meantime she's much restricted in her movements, both physically and by convention. She starts to spend more time with the Queen and her ladies at their embroidery circle, though she doesn't do any embroidery. The company and the presence of women talking has its own soothing effect, and she listens to them, whether she finds their problems trivial or not, and lets them speculate on the temperament and sex of her child.

Since her transformation court has been much kinder to her, and in turn she's softened, less likely to turn an acerbic tongue on people, more patient with the foolishness of others. The women like her for her practicality mingled with odd flights of fancy, and her willingness to put in a good word to Kay on behalf of their husbands and suitors (she tempers these recommendations with brutal honesty, but only Kay knows that). The Queen has recovered entirely from her initial trepidation, and she likes to fuss about Ragnelle's wardrobe at holidays, insisting on beautiful rich fabrics and colors. It's apparent that Arthur is particularly excited to see his brother become a father, and consequently he and Guenever are both very fond of Ragnelle for being the cause.

The winter has come 'round again, and she spends most of her time sleeping, no matter where she is. Right now that's in their bed, where she's been all day except for a quick excursion for food. Her long dark hair is loose on the pillow, the errant vine having wound its way down around the curve of her ear and finally stopped near her elbow.

Jan. 17th, 2014


the light in me will guide you

It's a while, after the last ill-fated time, before they port again with the intent to do more than refuel and leave again as quickly as possible. But this time the planet is verdant and cool, and Sagramore says, "I think we'll stay a few days. If you'd like to go ashore just let me know so I won't worry."

In actuality he's the one who's mostly ashore; he seems determined to get in as many card games and ill-advised sexual encounters as possible in the short time they have, though he always returns to the ship at night and apprises Elaine of the situation. Somehow since they've been together he's become unwilling for her not to know what's going on, and even when the news is fairly trivial he still likes to sit at the galley table with his coffee mug warm between his palms and inform her: Well, not a productive day, I won a few cred but nothing worth the telling. Avoided a fight, though the fellow was certainly spoiling for one.

He often brings her back little gifts, most of them highly practical: a new coffeemaker, some of the precious spices he hoards for cooking, a more complete sewing kit, a handheld tablet of her own to work on. Still, he's also been collecting tapes when he finds them, too, at second-hand shops and booths -- the small library she's beginning to develop is varied, since he's still guessing at her taste.

One afternoon when he comes back from the docks he's lacking his usual easy stride. His face is ashy, and as soon as he gets in he goes to the galley and retrieves one of the bottles of homemade liquor he keeps in a cabinet by the sink, before sitting heavily at the table. The small satchel of tapes is forgotten on the other chair.

Jun. 16th, 2013


..get it together for the turnaround..

It's been nearly two months since Lanse's breakdown, and things have started to get a little easier; over the last few weeks, he's started getting out more, coming to Saigremort and Jude's for dinners, or going sometimes to a little bar down the street from his flat. He's still not working -- every day seems like a job in and of itself, and the logistics of actually managing a real job or keeping figures for someone seems like too much to think about just now. Eventually, Saigremort suggests that maybe having more than just himself or Jude at dinners would be helpful. And so they start having meals, now and then, with Ravi.

In the company of Saigremort and Jude, Lanse is usually pretty solid. He laughs, talks about the boat, sometimes even tells stories from his gun running days. The first night Ravi is over with them, he goes quiet again -- polite, to be sure, deferential, but shy or wary. It gets easier, the more they get to know each other, and eventually Lanse is comfortable enough to suggest (as he did when they first met) that Ravi ought to come by and see the ship sometime.

He made this offer without much thought, and he doesn't think much about it afterward, either. So when Ravi rings him on the comm unit a few days later, he's clearly surprised; more surprised still when Ravi suggests he come visit Lanse at his flat. He says he's got something he'd like to share, and Lanse is too off balance to say no. Once they sign off, he sets about tidying up the place, stashing the pill bottles away in his bedroom, and he changes into something a little more presentable, one of his new shirts that Saigremort's brought from the tailor's.

Then he puts on some water for tea, and tries not to get any more nervous than he already is.

Apr. 2nd, 2013


he took out a piece of his body

She and her office look no different from the last time he was there. She settles into the same chair she took before, and waits for him to sit before she says, "So, did you think about what I asked you last time?"

May. 30th, 2012


and i am not the doctor

The wound is coming along nicely. Sagramore has done most of the care on it himself, though he also tends to ask Elaine to watch him and take note of what he does and how it's treated -- "On the chance something happens at some point," he says. "It's better to know how to do it now."

He seems by turns happy and wistful, cheerful and sad, and it's hard to guess what mood he'll be in from day to day, though he's always kind to her. This week has been largely less than positive; he spends a great deal of time in the control room, looking at the displays full of stars, and would have missed a few meals if she didn't bring him food. He's been making an effort to drink less, though. At least there's that.

It's evening when he wanders into the galley after coffee, looking tired, the lines on his face more pronounced than usual.

Mar. 23rd, 2012


..too much memory..

Within a few days of his episode of poor mood and taking to bed, Lanselos seems himself again. Saigremort goes to work most days, and Lanse begins to figure out how to manage the house; Clarie does supply them with a dossier on Galade, and Lanse reads it over several times before he seems to put it aside and go on as usual. Saigremort doesn't catch him sorting through the newstape, they go out to dinners and even have Ravi and Sumati over one evening. Things are good.

In truth, Lanse combs through the news every morning after Saigremort leaves for the office. Galade shows up much more often than he'd thought he would, once you know where to look. For a little while, this actually makes him feel better -- Galade is well, what holos he sees of him show a happy, confident man who doesn't seem too much worn by the war or life after it. He knows it's just as likely that he sees what he wants to see, but it doesn't matter. He feels all right, a lot easier in fact.

About a month later, he's a little surprised to find a story that's more prominently placed than the usual ones he has to root out. He reads the story over several times, but starts to feel like he can't quite get his head around it. The short of it is that Galade is coming to Arden; he can't get past that fact. He puts the console away and goes out to do the shopping. That evening at dinner, he's subdued, but when Saigremort asks him if he's all right he just waves a hand, dismissive, and says his arm's been bothering him, he's tired. The next morning, Lanse is definitely out of sorts and trending toward that brooding that only makes everything worse.

Saigremort comes home early that afternoon, and as soon as he hits the door, he's on him. "Why didn't you tell me Galade is coming here?"

"He ain't comin' here," Lanse says, gruffly. "So he'll be on Arden. It ain't really news."

"The hell it isn't!" Saigremort's tone is that one he gets when he's worried and exasperated. "What are you going to do?"

Lanse shoots him an aggravated look, "What I always do. I already told you. It ain't anything, he doesn't know about me, and he ain't going to. Be easy."

After that, Saigremort mostly lets it go. Lanse keeps his mood in check, though they have a somewhat tense week at home. The afternoon before what's set to be the big, official event -- some kind of speech or presentation Galade is set to give the officials -- Lanse learns of a smaller event open to the public. Saigremort's out at the office. Lanse pours himself a drink, talks himself out of going, then manages to talk himself back into it.

He dresses like an Ardenian, in some of the nicer (though more subdued) clothes Saigremort had made for him. It has the effect of not making him look much like himself. He waits until things are underway, and then slips into the back of the auditorium, almost comfortable among the small crowd. He doesn't hear a single word of what Galade says, only watches him, intently enough that he forgets to leave early. So he's caught in the press of people leaving, before he finally finds himself out on the sidewalk in the hot sun. He could use a drink.

Sep. 12th, 2011


destination was a brown-eyed handsome man

Saigremort spends his twenty-sixth year on sabbatical from the diplomatic corps, instead teaching at the Academy and taking clients on at least a weekly basis. It's a comfortable arrangement, one that results in a considerable financial income, and it's enough to put New Britain out of his head for the meantime.

But to-day isn't a working day, it's a market day, which is one of his greatest pleasures. The Middle City open street market is only once a week, but it's a major event and people from all three parts of the city show up there to go through the rows of booths selling fresh fruit and vegetables, spices, bread, raw animal protein, blankets, scarves, sarees, kurtas, sequined and embroidered dupattas, art, baskets, bowls, paper books from antique collections, sculptures in media ranging from pottery to bronze, cookware, carved wooden utensils, a variety of liqueurs and aqua vitae, brightly coloured birds in wicker cages, sandals, rings, bracelets, earrings, jewelled combs and belts, and several dozen other things. It's Saigremort's favourite place.

As usual, his market basket is already full of entirely frivolous purchases, and he's positively glowing with pleasure.

Jul. 4th, 2011


It's a pretty day, mild and sunny, and it's put even Lynet in a good mood. Rather than sit indoors, she's brought her mending out to one of the little gardens. And rather than actually getting any mending done she's sitting in the sunshine, whistling and braiding blades of grass.

Apr. 29th, 2011


find a nail to hang your hat on, take the ribbons from your hair

The tall, slight new recruit has perfected the art of keeping out of the way of people who might be tempted to wonder about him, or indeed anyone whose interest in him is more than casual and fleeting. Since he signed in with King LeGuin he hasn't been near anyone with any authority -- like most of the people in the peace enforcement corps and army proper, he's now stationed in the Hall barracks, but he isn't often there unless there's work or drills to be done.

It's different with the low-tier staff. The quiet woman who works in the cellars with Lukyn, the handsome sunburned man who curries the horses, they've welcomed him without much comment or fuss into their beds and the course of their lives. It suits him. These days he isn't much for anything that doesn't have the sense of familiarity and companionship that marked his life before the War (he always hides it behind a capital letter when he thinks of it, which he often does, despite his best efforts; it was easy to come to terms with the way reality shifted, but harder to stand reliving what there was before).

So he takes his comfort, and in return gives the attention and affection he's always had in excess. He has a disease, but it doesn't matter now. The Alliance long ago developed vaccines and miracle drugs for most everything, known and unknown, and he gives himself a black-market syringe once a month that prevents his seizures with no side effects; the only real trouble is the cost, and he's saved up enough cred over the years to manage that.

It's three in the afternoon, and he's just come off the firing range, tucking his pistol back into its holster, buckling on the swordbelt he always sets gently aside when he's doing anything that involves exertion. Ordinarily he would go around the long way to avoid walking through the main corridor of the Hall, but the sun's hot and he's no more pleased about that than he ever was. One of the cleaning staff, a cheerful girl who's easily bored, catches him on his way and grins, kissing his cheek and whispering in his ear.

He lets her go and then stands for a moment with his fingers curled around the hilt of his sword, waiting for the disorientation to pass. He never had a wife; there's no one she reminds him of. But a wistfulness takes him anyway and he forgets to worry about getting noticed by someone he doesn't want to be noticed by.

With any luck, the man from the stables will have the time for him to-night.

He'll need the company.

Apr. 5th, 2011



It's a long time before they dare go back in the general area of New Britain, and even then they're not close. Marguel argues with Nimiane about the risk, but Nimiane has family, and neither of them have the heart to argue much about that.

So she ports the Broceliande and turn them loose while she goes to visit her old mother, who Athyr is starting to suspect is actually some sort of highly illegal operation. Marguel gives him the usual little speech about keeping his head down and just having a nice time until everything's been taken care of, and then she's gone, too, for the medical supplies shop and after that more errands of her own. As usual, that leaves him at loose ends.

For a little while he pokes around the marketplace, and then sighs and heads for the nearest bar. He's got the credits to spend, and nothing else to do.

It's been twenty-five years since the war, and he knows he doesn't look a day older than forty. God willing no one who used to know him will venture out this far, because it would be impossible not to recognise him. He hesitates, and flips up his collar before he goes in.

Mar. 20th, 2011


The first signs of spring are showing at Camelot, and no one's more glad of this than Lynet. After what's seemed like endless long afternoons sitting with her sister and some of the other women, embroidering or mending or whatever else they make her do, she's eager for better weather and longer days. In a matter of weeks, travel will start to seem like something that makes sense -- even if it's damp and tedious sense -- and perhaps then she and Gaheris will finally head north, to Orkney.

They've been wed not even half a year, but Lynet can safely say she's happy. They're beginning, at last, to figure out one another's moods. Lynet's grateful that she likes him as much as she did at the start -- more, even. She'd thought, at the beginning, that she might love him. Now she knows she does. But she feels she'd know him better if she knew where he'd come from, what his home is like.

And so this evening, she's waiting for him in their little room, one of his books on her lap. If he's in a good enough humor, perhaps they can talk about it.

Feb. 7th, 2011


Anna and the Alts, pt 2

David has been out doing errands, as he frequently does -- social anxiety rules out Matthew and Claire, general bad temper rules out Andrew most of the time, Greig is exempt by virtue of doing nearly everything else, and Gareth (not without reason) is considered too young to be out alone in a strange city.

Cigarettes for his brother, crystallized ginger for his sister, a fresh supply of crosswords and various other necessary trifles have all been acquired, but he's not in much of a hurry to get back; he fought with Andy again this morning, despite his best intentions, and the atmosphere is still precarious. He pauses at a corner, indecisive, and then on a sudden truant impulse ducks into the nearest doorway.

Jan. 6th, 2011


Morgause drifts. It's what she's done for a long time. After a while, decades or centuries, ambition starts to seem wasteful -- an investment of energy she'll never get back. Everything crumbles or fades or moves away from her. And so most often, she's quiet. Listening. She follows the inner pull where it leads her, over oceans, across the black.

And this is how she ends up on Mannassah.

She hasn't been here long. It's comforting, somehow, that she's just another face, just another person. No one's seemed to care much who she is or what she does. Even so, the quiet is starting to wear on her. So this evening, she's gone down to the slightly dingy bar where the locals trickle in at the end of the day.

She's lovely, still, and sometimes they take her for a Companion. She's sitting at the corner of the bar, drinking whatever it is they'll give her, waiting to see what happens.

Jul. 31st, 2010


Ragnelle has been waiting to tell Kay--partly because she wasn't sure herself, although she could feel the tiny furling of a leaf-bud body inside her, barely forming, an end of winter movement instead of a beginning of spring; and partly because she wasn't sure how he'd react.

But she's two months gone now, so when he finally comes back to their room, late in the evening as always, she's sitting at the little table, writing (as he taught her). She looks up eagerly when he comes in, smiling.

"My lord."

May. 3rd, 2010


Wedding Day

Gaheris looks suitably traumatised throughout their wedding (the whispers in the crowd vary: that she forced him to marry, that he forced her, that the king decreed it because no woman would willingly have him; pity for her to be tied to him; but to be honest the attention is on Gareth and Lyonors, the both of whom look stunning--Lyonors in her gold and white silk, Gareth with his shining smile and halo of gold hair, both looking delighted--they're more than enough to eclipse Gaheris and Lynet). He's managed to dig up a decent tunic (to be honest it's borrowed from Mordred), and Gawain made him a wedding gift of a parcel of property on one of the Orkney isles. The ring he purchased is copper.

Gareth weds his lady proudly, and Gaheris afterwards fumbles nervously to put the ring on Lynet's finger, but after that the rest of the service is mercifully brief, and a few moments later Gareth and Lyonors are being congratulated by half the court, and Gaheris is free to lean against one of the tables, shaking a little.

Apr. 28th, 2010


Gaheris/Lynet Backstory

The rest of the trip back to Camelot was tiring, but thankfully uneventful. Lynet had taken nearly every proper opportunity to talk to Gaheris, which seemed to unsettle him a bit, but there was something about him she liked. And, as she'd already said, he was more interesting and less relentlessly cheerful than Gareth. They'd been met at court with all appropriate celebration; Gareth had proven himself, Lyonors seemed taken with him, and eventually Lynet was just grateful to be shown to her chambers.

She and her sister had both spent the better portion of the first day back resting and recovering. By the afternoon of the second day, Lynet found herself already bored and restless. Gaheris' offer of book-lending was more than enough excuse to seek him out.

She's spent some time now poking about and asking anyone who would spare a minute if they knew where he might be found. It seems Gaheris is too shy to be easily found, if indeed the person at hand even knows who he is. At last, she gives up, and heads toward a sitting room where she is fairly certain there will be a book or two. If not, at least there will be a window she might sit near.

Apr. 23rd, 2010


Lynet/Gary backstory

Gaheris meets up with his brother by mistake, just after Gareth's successful rescue of the lady Lynors from the Castle Perilous. Honestly he's just getting back from a side quest that Arthur gave him because it wouldn't actually involve any actual effort when he runs across their small party.

He's suitably awkward around Lynors and Lynet, and only mildly more comfortable with Gareth. When night falls, he offers to stand watch by the fire. Gareth's glad for the rest, and he's quickly settled in for the night, greatly cautious of Lyonors' comfort.

Gaheris, for his part, finds a patch of not-too-dew-damp ground, and wraps his cloak rightly around himself to prepare for the watch.

Apr. 20th, 2010


It is a very good day, and Ragnelle has just come back from riding, mindful of the fact that Kay's busy most of the day, so she was trying to entertain herself. Her pretty blue dress has grass stains and bark particles on it, and her hair is full of leaves and twigs, and the vine at her forehead is very obvious to-day; she can't get it to tuck into her hair the way she usually can.

The stablehand is trying very hard to flirt with her, despite the fact that he should have a proper terror of Kay--he's lingering with his hand on her bridle, talking and smiling and keeping her from taking the horse into the stable, and Ragnelle hasn't quite decided to make him go away yet.

Apr. 10th, 2010


Laurel/Sagramore backstory

Sagramore was out of Camelot when Gareth, Gaheris, and Agravain were married--not least because he's still resenting Mordred's wife, nor yet because Gwytha has finally left him. On the other hand, he's still young and fine-looking, and he has no shortage of lovers. So while he's gone for a while, he eventually comes back, making the trip across from Cornwall.

He rides back in about midday and swings off his horse in the courtyard, raking a hand through slightly-damp hair and peering up at the castle windows. The horse he stables quickly, then spends a few moments wrestling about the in the fine straw with the dogs, sending up a cloud of golden dust motes. When he finally starts up the stairs towards his old lodgings in the castle, he's got straw sticking out of his hair, errant tooth-marks on his skin, and the sleepy, handsome grin of someone who's had a good day.

Apr. 4th, 2010


Eastertide dawns in an array of sunrise colours patterned against the clouds, and Ragnelle is up early, watching out the window in her white shift. The day promises to be hot, and it has her blood humming in her veins.

The important thing to-day is to be mindful of herself, to remember that she's to tell Kay when her body wants to go home, and not to hide it from him. She curls her fingers on the sill, and closes her eyes to steady herself. He'll hear and understand. He's promised her that.

And it is, never mind the hum, a beautiful morning.

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