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Slash and Yaoi Fiction
Title: Captivity
Author: Juxian Tang
E-mail: juxiantang@hotmail.com
Site: http://juxian.slashcity.net
Fandom: King Arthur
Pairing: Tristan/Lancelot
Rating: NC-17
Warning: extremely dark, rape, death, violence
Summary: It is an alternative universe where Tristan and Lancelot are not dead but captured by Saxons. Please mind the warning.


Captivity tasted like rain. Like mud when rainfall washes off a thick layer of dust covering the face. Like bread, mixed with mud, soaked - thrown deliberately into a puddle - so that he had to work hard to get it.

"Eat, dog." The man smirked and waited for what he would do, how he would reach for it.

"Someone else is yapping here."

He didn't move, sat and looked at the scornful face, unwavering - even when the toe of the boot slammed into his side and it was so difficult not to make a choking sound, not to curl tightly.

At last the man was bored with standing under the rain and left, disappeared behind the curtain of the tent where it was light, warm and crowded.

Then Tristan stretched his legs - his hands were chained to the collar around his neck - and dragged the bread closer with his feet, took it between his knees - quickly, till it got completely soggy - and like that, holding it between his knees, he ate it, straining his neck as much as the collar allowed.

He didn't know why he did it. Perhaps he could stop eating. It would've been much easier and spared him so many humiliating motions. He didn't think they would feed him by force - like they did Lancelot: holding him to the ground, arms and legs pinned down, teeth opened with a knife - pushing soggy, crumbling bread into his mouth, pouring water, covering his nose until he swallowed.

Tristan was not so important to keep him alive by force.

Maybe it was why he didn't die.

A long time ago, after he had lost his beloved Isolde, Tristan felt that his heart had gone cold. And since then there was no difference for him whether to live or to die. He didn't particularly want to live - but the reverse of it was that he didn't particularly want to die either.

He could survive - even wounded, even under the rain and in cold, chained to the post in the middle of the Saxon camp. And there was this bread that kept him alive.

And there was the link in the chain holding him, one weak link that he yanked and pulled till it seemed that the vessels in his head would burst.

He could survive; nothing was done to him that would damage him irreparably. Cerdic was almost lenient to him. Cerdic was proud of his loot - the knight who had dared to challenge him... and lost.

Tristan couldn't die. Exactly because for him it was possible - and for Lancelot it wasn't.

There, behind the curtain, where it was light and warm - and where one could hear drunken shouts and laughter - Tristan knew he was there. Naked, stretched on the floor, his body so covered in dirt and crusted blood that you didn't even notice his nakedness. Tied up - always, every moment, because Cerdic knew that as soon as they gave Lancelot a chance, he would tear their throats... or would make them kill him.

Cerdic didn't want to be so merciful.

"He killed my son. He will pay for it. And," under the deafening laughter of others, "we shouldn't worry about weak offspring. It's not like we can make him pregnant."

He wouldn't cry out when the next cock entered him - would only clench his teeth. There was so little in Lancelot's face left of anything Tristan had known: a fiery stare and a cruel smile, and cold fury that made him look both terrifying and beautiful at the moment when he was taking out his swords. His eyes were bloodshot and inflamed now - and his hands probably would never serve him again. For Tristan Cerdic showed mercy from time to time, with his strange logic - sometimes freed his hands, first one and then the other, for a short while, to restore circulation in them. But he had no purpose for sparing Lancelot.

"He will die on a cock of one of us. It is what he deserves."

"And what do you deserve?"

Cerdic didn't have to answer him - but he answered, with a smile distorting his bearded face.

"I will get what I deserve, knight."

And Tristan felt that there was only one thing he wanted more than to wipe this smile off Cerdic's face; it was to thrust his sword through Cerdic's heart and feel hot blood splash on his hands. He had been killing Woads all his life - and he'd never known hatred to them. He hadn't known what hatred was at all, had forgotten how something so strong could feel.

This hatred hurt to breathe. It made Tristan say things his rational mind would think unnecessary.

"What a monster are you to do it to him?"

"Does it anguish you to watch it, knight? Do you want to take his place?"

And he said immediately:

"Yes, I do."

And he did think it would be easier for him. Any of them would have died for each other in a battle. This... it was different from a battle and yet Tristan would rather go through it than witness it, witness it again and again, as he was forced to.

"Too bad, knight. We don't always get what we want."

That day they took Lancelot in the middle of the camp, holding him on his hands and knees. As they always did it - with a crowd around, under jeering comments of others. They couldn't use his mouth, they never did, so it took a long while before everyone got his share. And Tristan watched how Lancelot flinched when another man thrust into him, blood red and fresh on his legs and where their nails cut his thighs. Lancelot's hair was falling on his face, hiding it, and he was so silent, through it all, and it was so horrible.

And then once he raised his head, and Tristan understood that it was even worse - because he couldn't bear to meet Lancelot's gaze.

That night he dreamed that they were free. They escaped, he and Lancelot, left behind them burning tents and bloody corpses of Saxons. And this dream was so vivid that it seemed to Tristan he could feel Lancelot, exhausted but his eyes alive with ruthless triumph, standing at his side, could sense the heat coming from his thin, strong body - could smell blood and burning from him, could almost touch his hair wet with blood and sweat.

And they walked through half of the land, evading the enemies, fighting and winning. And in Lancelot's brightest eyes Tristan could see his reflection - and it was easy to meet his gaze now.

Then they found Arthur and others, who didn't recognize them at first, and Arthur looked at them with his sorrowful, eternally guilty look, and his palm was in Guinevere's hand. And with a strange logic that was peculiar to dreams, Tristan thought that it was good, that now between Arthur and Lancelot it wouldn't be as it had been before, even though Tristan had never minded their relations, had never thought them his concern at all...

He woke up in the quiet camp filled with the light of the rising sun. His cheeks were wet with tears, and Tristan hadn't wept even when the Romans had come to take him away from home, hadn't wept even when his beloved had been lost for him. In the tent, behind the drawn curtain, there was no sound, and Tristan didn't know if Lancelot could rest at least now - or if his mind didn't give him a moment of peace, even when his body was not violated.

But the worst thing happened two days later, when Tristan had to watch again - same old, same old, they didn't seem to get tired of it - as they used him until every one of them was satiated. And then they got distracted, looked away from Lancelot, and Tristan saw suddenly that they forgot, Lancelot's hands were tied in front of him, not behind him as always - and so there was a chance for him.

Lancelot could do it - he was the best fighter of all them, deadly dangerous with or without his weapon, and if he could kill even just one or two of them, he still could leave them no other choice but to kill him.

But he never did anything. He just knelt there, shivering, and his face was so blank that it seemed dead, his eyes empty - like he didn't notice how his hands were tied, like he also forgot about it.

And it was when Tristan knew real sorrow that had never left him any more.

"Do you want a gift from me, knight?"

Oh those gifts from Cerdic. Tristan remembered that time when Cerdic had offered him: 'Do you want to take him today, instead of my men?'

And the choice was the most difficult one Tristan had made in his life.

He'd refused then. He thought it would be the choice Lancelot would want him to make. It was the choice Tristan would like to be made for him. Tristan couldn't humiliate him - like that.

And so many times after that he regretted it, regretted that he'd turned down the chance to be with his friend. At least like that, at least for a short while - but wouldn't Lancelot have got comfort from his touch, his closeness, even though Tristan wouldn't be able to spare him in anything?

"Don't look at me like that, knight, my blood is freezing. I'm just in the mood to please you. Would you like to talk to your friend?"

They brought Lancelot, his arms behind his back, unchained only for a moment so that they could stretch him and chain by his wrists to the poles. Tristan saw how he clenched his teeth, his body must've been all sore, but his dark eyes hidden under dirty black hair never looked at Tristan.

"Well, aren't you grateful to me, knight?" Cerdic asked, and Tristan spat, awkwardly because of the collar, but Cerdic didn't miss the gesture. "It's your luck I'm feeling generous today."

The Saxons left finally, and they stayed alone - alone for the first time since they had been captured. Wasn't it what Tristan had dreamed about - just a few minutes to be able to tell Lancelot... what?

What could he say? That nothing changed and he didn't become worse because of what had been done to him? That he was still Lancelot, Arthur's first knight and closest friend, Arthur's lover? That looking at him Tristan still saw the man he admired?

He couldn't say that. Not because it wasn't true. But it would be too little. Everything had gone too far. And they would never escape together, and there would never be that merciless, triumphant joy of revenge in Lancelot's eyes.

And then, making him shiver, the words came to Tristan, the words he had to say - and the thought was simple and painful, and he knew it could be done, it had to be done. His voice broke as he said it but he said it anyway.

"You can bite off you tongue."

For a moment in Lancelot's darkest eyes there was nothing - and Tristan wanted desperately to take his words back, to never say them - and he almost believed it was possible. And then terrible, incredible joy flashed in Lancelot's gaze - and at this instant Tristan saw him again - his brother, his fellow in arms, his friend.

Lancelot closed his eyes tightly - and blood poured from his mouth.

He didn't make a sound, and Tristan didn't either, he just sat and looked how blood was streaming, in a wide, violent flow, running onto Lancelot's chest. Lancelot's eyes were opened and now he looked at Tristan, constantly, and there was gratitude in his gaze.

Then his eyes dimmed and Tristan kept looking, even when there was nothing to look at but a defiled, dead body.

They found it soon, and Cerdic was in rage, and Tristan felt spatters of Cerdic's saliva on his face.

"You helped him to die!"

"How could I have done it?" Tristan asked calmly and smiled. He kept smiling even when Cerdic's blows broke onto his head and ribs, even when blood poured into his eyes. He kept smiling when they unchained Lancelot's body and took it away. It didn't matter what they were going to do with it.

Lancelot was free.

Tristan lost consciousness under the blows but before that, he saw how Cerdic's face crumpled, making him look at once like a peevish child and an old man.

"How could you, indeed, knight."

Three nights later the link of the chain finally gave in - and Tristan got up onto his feet at his post soundlessly. The man who liked to come to tease him in the darkness died first. And then Tristan could leave. But he wanted to see deathly fear in Cerdic's eyes when Tristan's knife pressed to his throat.

He saw this fear - and also disbelief, as if Cerdic couldn't understand how Tristan could deceive him so.

"Get what you deserve, Saxon," Tristan whispered.

And when Cerdic's blood sprayed to his face, Tristan knew that it didn't matter if he would manage to escape now or how many others he would kill before they killed him.

He was happy. He'd never felt more alive.


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