Chapter 1: Trust
Lance wants Gwaine to trust him, he really does.
Gwaine is so pretty. He isn't as pretty as Gwen, but he has an element of beauty to him. He is also handsome- when he smiles Lance is reminded of the rogueish heroes of his childhood stories. That smile makes Lance's heart jerk around and makes him want to grab Gwaine's face and kiss him until he's faint from not breathing.
Lance likes Gwaine for more than his looks, of course. He isn't totally shallow. He likes Gwaine's loyalty, his sense of humor, his lack of fear in the face of danger, and his care-free view of life. For Lance, who has always felt the weight of loving someone he couldn't have, as well as the weight of the world and the strength of being a knight, having someone who's so relaxed and free is refreshing. It makes him a little more complete.
He loves Gwen still. He probably always will. He really does like Gwaine though- he likes him a lot.
They sleep in the same bed every night. They have never slept together, persay, but they always end up in the same bed. Lance will wake up in Gwaine's protective arms with his mouth brushing the back of Lance's neck. When they wake up this way, with the scrape of Gwaine's beard on his neck and the weight of Gwaine's back against his, Lance is reminded strongly that he is not with Gwen. That’s the thing about being with Gwaine- he can’t pretend that he is with Gwen because, besides their similar names, they have no obvious traits in common. He never wants to pretend that he’s with Gwen, because he gave up on having her the moment Arthur looked her way, but it seems like Gwaine knows that Lance loves Gwen because he’s careful. When they wake up together, Gwaine sits up and looks at Lance in silence like he’s waiting for the end. When Lance just looks back, confused, Gwaine relaxes and kisses him gently.
Gwaine always kisses softly, like a gentleman. That’s something that sets him apart from Gwen- Gwen is a lady,for one, and she's a lady who knows what she wants. Gwaine knows what he wants but he also knows that Lance wants Gwen. He has to. Lance feels Gwaine’s eyes on him when he looks at Gwen. He knows that he’s too obvious and too open about his feelings, and Gwaine is smarter then he is given credit for. Maybe that's why Gwaine is always so careful.
Lance tries to reassure him. He will kiss Gwaine first. He'll run fingers through Gwaine's hair (shorter than Gwen's and less curly- made of short flips and waves as opposed to oceans of curls) and kiss his neck. He'll sit with his back to Gwaine's chest and place Gwaine's hands on his hips, bared by his shirt riding up, while he leans against Gwaine's shoulder.
He wants Gwaine to trust him. He wants Gwaine to know that Lance doesn't intend to persue Gwen anymore. He's happy with Gwaine, he really is. He wants Gwaine to know that too.
It's not that simple. It will never be that simple.
But Lance keeps trying anyway, because Gwaine is all he has anymore.
Chapter 2: Rules (or Patterns)
Gwaine always likes people who are too good for him, and they always vanish.
Someone take my computer away from me so I A) stop writing during Art HIstory instead of paying attention and B) so I stop writing Gwaine/Lance fanfiction when I should be doing NaNo or Forcing the Truth.
Who am I kidding I can't be tamed.
Also, it is possible for me to write weird pairings without it being angsty as fuck? I don't think so.
Gwaine always likes nice people. It's a rule ( or maybe it's a pattern) that occurs in his life and has yet to fail. Every woman and every man he's ever fallen for has been a nice person. They are always kind, loyal to a fault, self-sacrificing, and too good for him.
Lance is no exception.
Gwaine is, in general, not nice. Merlin sees him in a different light of course, and Gwaine adores him for it, but he knows better. He killed for a living, way back when, and he's broken more hearts then he wants to admit to. He's done both for fun before and it makes him physically sick every time he remembers that. No, he hasn't been a nice man, and he's not totally sure that he is now. He's a knight, sure, and Arthur has won his loyalty (though not without much difficulty) but that doesn't change what he used to be. Merlim saw a good in him, which Gwaine still believes brought out the good buried somewhere previously unknown, but he'll always be his own worse critic.
That's how he knows that Lance is too good for him. Lance is a strange embodiment of morality. To him, the world is black and white with a few hints of gray that barely count. He knows right and wrong and he knows what to do in any morally ambiguous situation. Lance is (Was? Will be again?) painfully in love with Gwen, but he gave her up because he knew that he couldn't stay with her and he didn't want to cause her pain. Once he had come to stay and saw that Arthur loved her, he made no move to win Gwen back because of his loyalty to the crown. He saw that she was happy, saw that the future king was happy, and gave up his own possible joy to please them. Gwaine was sure that Lance had never done a selfish thing in his life. He was undoubtedly out of Gwaine's league.
That didn't stop Gwaine from trying, once. Gwaine likes a challenge and winning someone who already loved another fit into that category. He liked Lance first, but the challenge was extra incentive to make a
move. The really surprising part was when Lance responded in kind. Gwaine kissed him in a moment of bravado and while Lance looked surprised at first, he pulled Gwaine back. For some strange, unknown reason, he wanted Gwaine like Gwaine wanted him and it came as a shock. Why would Lance want someone like Gwaine, someone who had scoffed at royalty and their strange honor, while Lance lived for those ideals? Why would someone so wholesome want to be with someone who previously (and sometimes still did) lived a life of debauchery?
It was a mystery that Gwaine had yet to solve. In fact, he was nervously awaiting the day that Lance looked him in the eye and realized that Gwaine was not what he needed and left to save himself. On the other hand, Lance was obviously still head over heels in love with Gwen and knowing him, he would leave Gwaine in order to prevent heartache later on when Lance was sure that he could not let go of the lady who would one day be queen. Gwaine was sure that Lance would leave, one way or another, someday. It was only a matter of when and why the other shoe would drop. Sure, he was affectionate now, but the pattern (or was it a rule?) had never faltered. Gwaine fell for people who were too good for him, they realized it, and they vanished.
But Gwaine would take what he could get while he still had time. He had Lance now and that was what really mattered, at least until the end came.
Chapter 3: Faith
Trust and belief are two very different things, and it's hard to only have one of them. They both want Gwaine to believe, but that too is hard when he's scared. It's now or never.
I know, two chapters in one day when I could be writing productive things. I just.....can't...........let go of this pairing. I think I want to keep writing Lance and Gwaine so I get their characters better, or at least force Helena to beta for me so every Merlin fic I write isn't total crap, but it's too late for this fic.
Also, I posted chapter two before the ao3 change and now it's all different and fancy. I like it, I think, but we shall see.
The silence stretches between them and doesn’t relax. It just sits there, waiting, while Gwaine settles his arms around Lance’s waist and Lance closes his eyes and wants to say something. They’re standing at a window in Lance’s room but neither of them are looking out it, too preoccupied with the silence and the fears in their own heads. It’s becoming harder and harder to just be happy with their confusion and doubts seeping into their words and actions. They both want to be happy with this, what they have, but they can’t clear the doubt and it’s stretched out there with the silence.
Lance opens his eyes and looks down on the courtyard of the castle. Down there, numerous knights and servants bustle about but he picks Gwen out of the pack almost instantly. It’s an instinct to look for her in a crowd, and he watches her walk around with a soft expression. He can feel Gwaine’s face shift up from where it was buried in Lance’s shoulder and he forces himself to breathe deeply when his grip tightens on Lance’s waist.
“You still love her, don’t you?”
The silence doesn’t disappear with Gwaine’s words, only shifts down and becomes a background to the painful words. Lance doesn’t have to ask who “her” refers to, but he tries to dodge the subject.
Gwaine sounds strained and Lance’s heart twists. When did this become so hard? Why did it stop being an easy ebb and flow between them?
“I don’t know. A little. I always will love her, Gwaine, but I let her go. You know that.”
“Do I...?” It’s a question to himself but to Lance it feels like an accusation. He turns in Gwaine’s arms and pulls far enough away to cup Gwaine’s face and look him in the eye.
“Please, Gwaine. Trust me. I care about you deeply.” It’s the first time he’s said anything of this sort, the first time he’s said out loud how he cares, the first time he’s asked Gwaine to have a little faith in him.
Gwaine looks pleased and doubtful all at once. Lance wants to kiss him, to make them both forget that they have more problems that they need to sort through and may never address. He doesn’t.
“You are what I have, Gwaine, and you are what I want. Do not forget that.” Lance smiles and rubs a thumb along Gwaine’s cheekbone. Gwaine gives a small grin in return and Lance feels okay.
“I trust you.” That’s all he says, but something else crosses his face, an expression that puts another meaning behind his words. Gwaine kisses him before Lance can think about it harder, but he pulls away before Lance can forget what he saw. Neither of them are sure what else to say. Lance knows there is something else, something Gwaine is afraid of, but when he opens his mouth to ask Gwaine simply smiles and holds one of Lance’s hands against his face, kissing the palm. Lance swallows, watching his every move carefully. He doesn’t know what’s going on in the other’s mind but he wants to, desperately. He wants to help Gwaine and he wants him to know that.
“Do you believe me?” Lance can barely hear his own words but Gwaine looks up at him anyway.
“What do you mean?”
“When I tell you that I care about you, that I’ve let Gwen go- do you believe me?”
Gwaine looks confused but it clears away and all that’s left is an expression that Lance can’t define. Gwaine wears his heart on his sleeve, which is something that Lance has always liked, but his heart cannot always be easily read. The fact that Gwaine is feeling something is obvious, but what exactly he is feeling is a mystery. Lance drops his hands from Gwaine’s face and rests them on his shoulders, squeezing them in an attempt at comfort.
Gwaine still doesn’t say anything, just looks at Lance and thinks in silence. His smile is long gone and he, for once, is stoic. This bothers Lance more then it should but Gwaine is the one with no doubts, no worries. Lance is the serious one who is always thinking about some problem or another. That’s why they work so well- Lance brings Gwaine down to Earth while Gwaine reminds Lance of the brighter parts of life. To have Gwaine so serious, almost sad, is painful. Lance resists the urge to say comforting things, to urge him to say something, anything, to break the silence that has risen again around them. He wants to reiterate his affection for Gwaine. He wants to say “I love you”, but he doesn’t know if Gwaine will believe him and he doesn’t know if he would believe himself.
“I want to believe you.” Gwaine suddenly speaks and Lance’s heart drops, because he hears the words following before they are said. Gwaine laughs and it’s a little sad. “You have no idea how badly I want to believe you. I think I do, a little. But I-” Gwaine shrugs and flicks his hair out of his eyes, a tick of his that always makes Lance smile, even now. “-I’ve seen how you look at her, and good people don’t stick around me for too long, no matter how much they care.”
The heart of the problem is suddenly obvious and Lance understands the expression that had been on Gwaine’s face. He was afraid. He was afraid that Lance was going to leave him, because everyone else had. Gwen was an excuse, but Gwaine probably would have felt the same way without her.
“Merlin’s different. You and I both know that.”
More different than you know, Lance thinks, but he doesn’t say that because that doesn’t seem to be the point.
“How is he different?”
“He’s my best friend. Merlin and I are not...what we are. Every good person that I cared for left.” Gwaine says it lightly, like it doesn’t matter, but Lance can tell that it stings to say it.
“I’m not that good, Gwaine.”
“Neither am I.”
“So what’s the problem?”
“You’re better than you think. You are one of the best people I have ever met, Lancelot du Lac.”
The truth in Gwaine’s words and in his eyes is startling and Lance has a little trouble breathing. He has never been told that before. People don’t tell him things like that. He’s always been judged by his heritage and it’s only recently that people saw him for who he was. This next level, that not only is he judged as a person but he’s been judged as one of the best people Gwaine knows, is amazing. Gwaine is well traveled. He has to have met many people. To be held so highly above all of those people- Lance doesn’t know what to say. Gwaine seems to be waiting for him to speak, but realizes that he’s going to have to be the one to keep going.
“I’m surprised you stayed this long.”
“Of course I would.” Lance is still reeling from being “one of the best people” but he isn’t about to let Gwaine get away with hiding behind his words. “I have no reason to leave. I wouldn’t have started this with you in the first place if I didn’t care about you. You think you’re not worthy of me? How could you not be?”
Lance is starting to get frustrated, because this Gwaine, the self-deprecating one, the scared one, is not his Gwaine. This Gwaine is not the real Gwaine. Gwaine is avoiding the responsibility of believing in Lance because he’s scared of what could be, and Lance is done. He takes Gwaine’s hands and holds them, looks him in the eye, forces him to face what he has.
“I do not want to be with Gwen anymore. I am with you. I only want to be with you. I don’t intend to leave you, because I don’t want to and I don’t need to. If you don’t believe me now, I will make you believe me.” He's leaning in but he barely notices because there are things that need to be said and he is not letting them get away now. "I will tell you every day until you're used to the words. I'll kiss you in front of the king, in front of the Arthur and the other knights, in front of the entire court, in front of the whole damn kingdom if I have to. I'll stay until you forget that anyone else ever left you. I am never leaving, Gwaine."
Gwaine stares at him before smiling.
“I don’t think I’ve seen you get that adamant about anything before, with the exception of the honor of knighthood and loyalty to the throne.”
Lance sighs through his nose but smiles back, tangling his fingers with Gwaine’s.
“So, you believe me?”
“Mhmm.” Gwaine flicks his hair again and Lance releases his left hand from Gwaine’s right to brush his bangs out of his face. He ends up cupping Gwaine’s face again and he once again sees the sheer force of truth in Gwaine’s eyes.
They stay this way for maybe a minute, soaking in the silence which has become comfortable and safe, until Gwaine speaks.
“This is unbearably sappy.”
Lance laughs and drops his hand from Gwaine’s face, kissing the knuckles of his hand before releasing that as well.
“Perhaps. Sappy is better then the sulking you were doing earlier.”
“I was not sulking. I was thinking.”
“You should really stop doing that. It causes problems for everyone.”
Gwaine groans and rolls his eyes but he laughs when Lance does and lets Lance fold him into an embrace and kiss him.
They are running on faith, but perhaps that’s all they need.