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Lords of Swords

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linden_jay @ 03:32 pm: Karl, Marton, Harry. Wake up.
Karl woke up, frowning into the darkness of the room. He yawned as he sat up, looking from Harry to Marton.

Marton checked the sky again, smiling at Karl. "You are early."

"You were to wake me," Karl frowned deeper.

"I promised. I promised you the same three hours you gave me."

Karl opened his mouth, than closed it. "A point."

"Indeed. Our Harry is fine- he sleeps yet."

Karl looked at him. "So he does."

"Do you feel better for it?

Karl smiled ruefully. "If I chose not to answer...."

"I will not be smug."

Karl nodded. "Thank you. Have you stayed awake all this time?"

"It was no trouble," Marton shrugged.

"Then rest now. It is my turn."

"We will never all be awake at the same time again," Marton teased.

"We will soon enough." Karl smiled. "But you need to sleep."

"Do you promise to be here when I awake? To stay with us?"

Karl grew serious. "You have seen Rakl will not let me leave. Even if I wanted...which I do not."

"Good. Because I would find you," Marton assured him, looking him straight in the eyes.

"You should worry more for Harry." Karl stared back.

"I am thinking of what's best for Harry."

Karl dropped his eyes. "Be you sure that I am?"

"Without you, he would be dead. And I know what he feels for you."

"You need to sleep, Marton." Karl got up, putting the blanket on Marton as he did so.

Marton nodded, letting it drop for the moment and sighing as the blanket covered him. "Is he still sleeping soundly?"

Karl looked. "He is. I think he will be for some time."

"All right. I will sleep. Take care of our Harry, Karl."

Karl nodded. He drew a chair up, checking on the fire before sitting down.

Marton watched Karl for as long as he could before his eyes closed, drifting off with a sign.

Karl reached for his dagger from the floor, turning it back over and over in his hand as he watched over them.

Some time later, Harry's eyes opened slowly, looking at Karl, still half asleep.

Karl continued to stare at nothing.

Harry licked his lips, his mouth uncomfortably dry, trying to sit up and hissing at the pain the movement caused, frowning.

Karl's head jerked at the sound. 'Harry?" He got up, pouring him some water. "Hold on. Slowly.' He held the cup to his mouth.

Harry drank greedily, as fast as Karl would let him, letting his eyes show his gratitude. "Thank you," he murmured as he took the cup away. "Is it bad?"

"It is better than what it was before."

"It will heal?"

"Marton has sworn it."

"He is stubborn- as are you." Harry looked around the room again, frowning. "We are not in the caves," he said unnecessarily.

Karl shook his head. "We are at Marton's cabin."

Harry frowned deeper. "I do not remember."

"We rode from the caves. I do not know how long it took us to get here."

"You do not... this sounds familiar," Harry murmured. "When do we have to go back?"

Karl shook his head again. "We are not going back." He said firmly.

"So you say," Harry said, noticing Marton and smiling. "He looks peaceful- although the floor does not look comfortable."

"We did not want to hurt you further."

"I miss being held. I had only just gotten accustomed to it again," Harry said, a little wistfully.

Karl's hand hovered over Harry's face, than lightly touched him. "And you will again.

Harry leaned into the touch, savoring it.

"Do you require anything?"


Karl started to smile, than stared at Harry. "Harry, what is my name?" His hand was shaking.

Harry cocked his head to the side. "You are Karl."

"How did you meet me?"

"Is this a game?" Harry looked suspicious.

"Harry! How did we meet?"

"At a tournament- I offered you lodging in my tent and you accepted," Harry frowned again. "Why do you keep asking me?"

"Thank the gods." Karl set his head on the bed, tears welling up.

"Karl!" Harry forced himself to sit up, trying to go to Karl. "What is it? What is wrong?" he asked, unnerved by Karl's behavior.

Karl raised his head. "When you woke up, after we had arrived. You were not yourself. Marton said you were as at twelve, when you were first under his charge. You did not know me."

"I... what?" Harry looked at Karl, horrified.

"You had to ask me who Rakl was. And Steele. You thought you had punished for riding your brother's horse. You had no memory of me before you opened your eyes and saw me. You only knew Marton. And only called him Sir."

"I was punished once for riding his horse... the saddle blanket..." Harry murmured, the memory coming back to him. "I do not remember this, Karl. I was not like this at the cave- I remember being at the cave... I remember talking to Marton," Harry frowned again, trying to remember the conversation.

"We had to convince you not to go back. We were coming home, here. You told me..you told me something...about Marton. Than I knew no more til we had arrived.

"You do not remember the journey either? Were we all taken ill?”

"No, he was taken asleep." Marton sat up, smiling as he looked at them.

Karl blushed, ducking his head.

"He was..." Harry stopped himself from laughing. "Poor Rakl. His rider is never awake."

Karl blushed harder. "I should see to them."

"You will come back though," Harry ordered with a smile, wincing as he lay down again.

Karl nodded, hurrying out.

Marton moved to the bed. "Welcome back, my Harry." He leaned down to kiss him, than sat in the chair.

Harry smiled, pouting a little as he moved after kissing him, his expression becoming serious.
“Is what Karl said true? I was not myself?"

Marton shook his head. "You were as when first I met you, my Harry. You did not know Karl. To you, he was merely a knight, someone you wished to grow up to be."

"I am sorry," Harry looked down, embarrassed.

"Shhh, Harry. Too much had happened to you. You sought refuge in your mind. But you have returned. That is all that matters."

"Did I frighten you? Upset you? Karl kept asking me questions- his eyes..."

Marton sighed. "He was taken aback, Harry."

"Speak plainly, Marton. I do not require coddling, and I expect I will get more of my share of it anyway until I am healed."

"He was lost, closed down. In his mind, you did not know him so you did not need him. He made to leave, than is horse threw him."

"Rakl!" Harry growled, then sighed. "And I cannot even yell at him, for he would have left else."

Marton nodded. "He came back to you and you talked. When I entered, you were asleep and he was laying next to the bed."

Harry sighed in frustration. "I do not remember. I remember that we spoke- before the journey, but hardly remember what we spoke of. I do not remember the journey, nor anything until waking a short while ago."

"Do not push it Harry. You may never remember, or you may tomorrow. But you are here with us now. And you are ours."

"You are sure he will not leave? You tell him- if he leaves, I will follow," Harry said stubbornly.

"Do you believe Rakl will allow it?" Marton smiled.

"No. My lady might."

"And you think he would take your lady?

"We had traded, last I had seen him. It would not have been stealing."

"Do you know why he did that? To find me, cause he knew your lady would know the way. He
wanted to know where to find you, to take you back."

"You should not have risked it- either of you. Corin would kill you without a second thought, Marton. He already proved that of Karl," he whispered, the memory coming thudding back.

"You recall that? I thought you did not remember of before the journey."

“I do not remember what we spoke of. I remember speaking, I remember Karl falling asleep.”

Marton touched Harry's face. "How can I not risk myself, when you risked yourself?"

"It needed to be done. I should have done it years ago."

"You are safe, Harry. And thanks to you, I am restored."

"You are. I will be proud of you when you retake what is yours."

"And for that, I wish you healed fully." Marton kissed him. "I wish you and Karl at my side as I ride into my castle."

"A dead man, and a runaway." Harry looked away.

"My two friends. And loves."

"I love you too," Harry murmured, looking back at him and smiling. "But if I go back- you know what will happen."

"I will deal with that when the time arrives. And it will not for some time yet."

Harry nodded. "They killed Karl. Corin killed him," he repeated.

"I know. Karl had intended for that to happen. He has some plan for that."

"They would have killed you with a smile on their faces. But not me- they'd put a dog out of it's misery before they killed me. They like me to suffer."

"Then why am I not allowed to kill them?" Karl's voice was controlled.

"Because it would be the death of you." Harry said, glaring at the floor.

"Only if I am caught."

"He is a Baron, and I am known by all to be out of his favor- all but the King that is. If he and Corin died- who do you think they would blame?" Harry lifted his head, looking tired.

Karl looked down and left the room again.

Harry cursed under his breath, his voice a low growl.

"He is torn, Harry. He is stopped from doing what he sees as an obvious answer to a problem. He can see no other way.

"The problem is, I do not want to stop him- I wish that he would. But they are not worth it. And the first person who they would seek should they die would be me."

"I know. I have told him he must not. He knows, but...." Marton shrugged.

"You should go to him. I only make things worse," Harry murmured.

"I have had no affect so far. He fears, Harry. He fears of losing another lover."

"Maybe it is not the Baron and his son we need to be hunting," Harry said coldly, eyes narrowing.

"Harry, what are you talking about?" Marton was concerned about the look on Harry's face.

"Steele," Harry hissed out the name.

"Steele? His cousin? By how? Why?"

"Karl said he can only kill him indirectly- it is how the feud works. I am bound by no such oath or restriction."

"And how will this ease Karl's mind?"

"No cousin, no feud. Why should we not kill Steele?" Harry said simply.

"Than we shall ask. Karl!"

Karl walked back in, leaning against the door. "Yes?"

"Harry would like to reward you by killing your cousin."

Karl's eyes grew wide. "WHAT!?"

Harry bit his lip, not expecting that response.

Karl stormed to the bed. "You will keep far from Steele. DO YOU UNDERSTAND? This is nothing you are to do to him!!"

Harry frowned, looking stubborn. "You said that you could not kill him directly. You said this only ends when he dies. You said he will keep coming for you- for us. Whether I keep far from him or not- he will likely not keep far from me."

"Than let me make a point clear." Karl rushed the bed, his face close to Harry's. "Indirectly does not include others. We die by each other's actions, not by others. You attempt to kill Steele, and
in my name, you will fail. And you will die."

"So he can kill me, but I cannot act against him- is that it?" Harry cursed himself for his weakness, having to have this conversation lying down like an invalid.

"It is not meant to be fair, just to be. You may defend, but you are not allowed to attack."

"All right- now I know. I withdraw my offer," Harry said, looking away.

Karl put his head down. "I would be the one sent to kill you. If you were to- It would be my hand not his."

"Please do not be angry. I only wished to aid you," Harry murmured.

"Than stay far from him, and I will be happy. Aid me by living."

"Say you will not leave me-us, in order to keep Steele from us. And considering how you feel about the Baron and his son, how can you expect me to not feel similarly to him?"

Karl slumped against the bed. "You win. I will speak no more of them."

"Please, Karl- rise? Or at least come up here with me? We both want things we cannot have- please- can I not have that?"

Karl looked up, than carefully claimed onto the bed. He moved as close as he dared to Harry, his hand on his face. "You may have what is mine to give."

Harry looked up at Marton, his eyes pleading. "You too. Please?"

"I do not know if the bed is wide enough." Marton moved closer.

Harry closed his eyes and shifted onto his side, groaning, facing Karl, making room for Marton.
"Please- I need to feel both of you- just know you are both here. That we are all here."

"Harry, you shouldn't be moving." Marton murmured. He moved to lie behind him, hand lightly at his side.

"It will be worth it. Just to know for real that I have you both."

"You do. You always will."

"I need this- to remember..." Harry let out a breath, fading into a sigh as he fell asleep, sagging against Karl.

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