Title: To Look and to Listen
Rating: Nothing graphic.
Disclaimer: Not mine, no profit.
Summary: Dagonet and Tristan find themselves sharing longer looks than might be appropriate...
Lancelot watched Tristan and Bors leave the table, and he wanted badly to talk to Arthur. He knew he wouldn't get any answers, but still it was his first instinct.
The four men that remained in the tavern all thought the same thing, but not a word was spoken. Arthur hoped that they would follow his lead, in this matter as in others.
Finally, it was Gawain that broke the deadlock.
"I hope Bors doesn't make an attempt on the scout's life." He smiled mischievously, "He'll never make it."
Arthur was too surprised to hold back a snort, but steadied himself before he started laughing. He tried to silence Gawain with a severe stare, but the long-haired man was having none of it.
"I'm sorry to be the one to say, but we have all seen it, have we not?" Gawain looked at the others and all joviality was gone.
"I believe you are right," Lancelot said with a sideways glance at his commander.
Galahad nodded, "It certainly appears that way."
Gawain looked at Arthur, who remained silent.
"Arthur, I do not know what this will bring, but we are not complete savages. We can not let anyone get killed. We need everyone alive."
The thought that Bors might turn violent hadn't crossed Arthur's mind until he heard it said out loud.
"I don't believe it will come to that. They will settle this peacefully." Almost as an afterthought he added, "For Dagonet's sake, if nothing else."
Although nothing was said explicitly, it was clear to all of them. The secret was out.
Dagonet was really at a loss. He tried to lie down, but was up again in a minute. Realizing there really wasn't enough floor for him to pace properly, he sat down on a wooden chair that stood next to the bed.
It was torture to wait around like this. He tried to imagine what was likely to happen between Bors and Tristan, but his mind drew a blank. Would it turn to violence, and if so, who's life should he be afraid for?
When he heard Galahad's voice outside he blew out his candle. Best if they believed him to be asleep.
Weary and worried he lay down on the bed and stretched his long legs with a groan. Patience, he thought, and let his eyes fall shut.
Up on the wall Tristan shook the fringe out of his eyes and studied Bors intently. Could it really be this easy?
"I'm not going to tell you I regret it, Bors, because I don't."
"I bloody well hope you don't," the husky man replied. "Dag may be many things, but fickle he is not. If this is his choice, he will never go back."
If Dagonet feel anything like me he never had any choice, Tristan thought, but he didn't say it. Instead he asked Bors the evident question.
"Why are you talking to me about this instead of him?"
That comment actually made Bors fidget, something Tristan had rarely seen.
"It seemed easier, somehow," Bors was clearly nervous about the prospect of talking to Dagonet. "If you had said something wrong, I would simply have killed you," he said with a wink.
Tristan gave a lopsided grin. "Very good."
For a few moments the two men stood in silence as one of the guards came passing by. The scout looked pale in the moonlight, and his tattoos became more prominent than usual. Despite his grim appearance, he had nothing but good things on his mind.
"I think I may have underestimated you, Bors." Tristan said as the guard vanished in the distance.
Bors looked at him with eyebrows raised. "What do you mean?"
"I expected you to have real problems with this. With me."
Tristan wanted the man to understand how grateful he was. He had been certain that Arthur's acceptance was a remarkable statement by a remarkable man, and that they couldn't hope for anything more.
"I've known both of you for too damn long to fight," Bors said with a sigh. "Just don't rub it in my face, will you?"
"You have to talk to him, Bors," Tristan persisted. "He values your opinion above the others', you know that."
"Yes, I know," the knight straightened his posture a little. "I'll talk to him in the morning."
The two men parted ways shortly thereafter, and as Bors sought out Vanora's company, Tristan stood unmoving outside Dagonet's door. He wanted to step inside, but battled himself fiercely over it. It would be reckless, maybe even dangerous, if anyone found out.
As he stood there in the darkness, the door opened to a tall, dark form looming inside. Tristan didn't have to say a word, he just nodded reassuringly to tell Dagonet that everything was well. The next instant, they were in each others' arms.
It wasn't a very large bed, but they didn't need much room. Close together, they finally found sleep.
Despite not having slept for very long, Tristan woke earlier than anyone else the following morning. He took a few moments to study Dagonet. The man was curled up on his side, as usual, and took deep, steady breaths. Tristan curbed a desire to touch him, as it would surely wake the man. Instead, with the stealth of a cat, he managed to step outside without making any noise.
Perched on the edge of a barrel was the hawk. As soon as it set eyes on Tristan it flew to grab onto his arm. With a few soft-spoken words from the scout they both went in search of some food.
This will certainly be a day to remember, Vanora thought as she stood watching Bors. He was playing with the children, evidently stalling for time.
"You have never waited this long for a morning meal in your life," she said with her arms crossed over her chest. "You will have to talk to him eventually, no matter what."
Bors looked out from under a heap of children. "How you can be so unaffected by this, I'll never know."
The woman didn't say anything, because she wasn't sure herself. She had always been very fond of Dagonet, and felt there was more to him than met the eye, but never had she talked to him about personal matters. Theirs was an effortless friendship, and she trusted him in full. With Bors, and with their children on occasion.
When Bors had confided in her what Dagonet had told him, she was surprised, but not stunned. The bond between Dag and the scout had always been of a different kind than that between him and Bors, she just hadn't realized how very different it had been.
Shaking her head, she continued to watch her man as he rolled on the floor. Sometimes I could swear I have twelve children, she thought with fondness.
When Dagonet finally woke, later than he had done in a long time, he could still feel Tristan's presence in the room. It didn't surprise him that the scout was gone, the man was seldom asleep for more than a few hours at a time.
Washing the sleep from his face, Dagonet tried to collect his thoughts. If Tristan was right, their fellow knights probably knew by now. Feeling a bit overwhelmed, Dag tried to concentrate on Bors. I need to talk to him first, then I'll worry about the others, he decided.
As he crossed the tavern to where the men were sitting, eyes turned in his direction. He was imposing, to say the least, with his tall frame and serious demeanor. His own eyes, however, were fixed on Bors.
"Let's talk," was all he said, and Bors followed him without a sound.