The Bargain

Chapter 2

He decided to question her further, any hesitation in her answers would make him suspicious again.

''But your magic was strong enough to save me.'' Gwaine said. He decided to keep the conversation as simple as possible, not wanting to get hopelessly tangled in his old feelings.

For a reason he couldn’t see, Eira smiled.

He tried to ignore her expression, which pierced through his body all the way to his heart, but couldn't. He looked down.

“I’ll leave you to rest for a while,” she said, biting her lip before rapidly escaping the room.

Gwaine found that the darkness surrounding him when he closed his eyes comfortably welcomed him into a light sleep.


When Gwaine opened his eyes again, he found that his limbs ached less than before, and the heavy pounding in his head had faded to a soft hum. He looked up to see Eira’s back to him; she was crouched facing a painting of a lake, stroking her fingers along the smooth surface.

''So painting is your substitution for company?’’ Gwaine suddenly said cheekily. He caught himself with a slight grin forming across his lips. He really hadn’t meant to sound that cheery, or open, or warm, even. He hadn’t even meant to say anything.

Eira turned around and laughed, and Gwaine soon got distracted. That was the first time he had seen her laugh since they were together in Camelot before the war. Maybe trusting her again wasn't so bad after all.

'’Painting seems like the only efficient way to express myself,’’ she explained as she sat down on the chair next to the bed and drew a cloth soaked in cold water. After he blinked in approval, she dabbed it on his face gently, pausing to stroke some of his hair out of his face so she could reach the small scar just above his eyebrow. He took in her sweet scent and saw carefulness hidden in her blue eyes as she tended to him. She removed the cloth, looking at him with a small sparkle of longing hidden in her soft gaze. Gwaine pushed away the stinging thought of how much she had been through, and how much he had been through as she leaned an inch closer to him. Clouded with the sensation of much he had missed her, Gwaine leaned in for an embrace that they both needed. It felt good to have her close to him again, but he didn't want to get too used to it.


Gwaine found himself feeling better, and realized that he didn’t want to sit cooped up in a house for a day. He just couldn’t stand it. Eira still absolutely refused to go outside into town. Gwaine couldn't really show his face either, if word of his death had spread this far, and he was quite popular with the tavern owners.

He still couldn’t bring himself to think things through about Percival, or Arthur, or Merlin or Camelot or anything back where he belonged.

So Eira suggested that they should eat dinner together. When he sat down at the worn wooden table all Gwaine saw was his own table. The knife he slowly cut the meat with was his knife. He then tried his best to push his thoughts about his real life away.

This life felt like a fantasy.

After dinner, when Gwaine still wouldn’t settle and complained that he needed to go outside, Eira looked hesitant. He could see it on her face that she wanted to go out too.

''Gwaine have you ever worn a dress?'' she asked and smiled.

''No, of course not, why would I have worn a dress?'' he answered.

''Because I have an idea,'' she said.

''I'm not going to like this am I?'' he said, pulling back slightly.

''You'll be fine, you would make a great girl,'' she teased. ''But the plan is that you dress up as another man, and I wear the dress.

''Oh good. I think you'll look better in a dress,'' he said and and took her hand after a second he didn’t control.

Eira held his hand, and just as he was about to get closer to her and say something, she moved away. ''We need to get ready.''

Gwaine stood there for a few moments, he hadn't quite got to know this unpredictable side of her yet.

Eira was already by the chest that stood in the corner with some old clothes that the person who lived in the house before her had left.

''Maybe I could wear this?'' she said and held up a grey dress.

''It's good, you don't want to attract too much attention,'' Gwaine said.

Eira made a gesture for him to pick out some clothes out and went behind the screen to change. Gwaine chose some old, worn-out trousers, but struggled to find a shirt that would actually be suitable, or one that would fit.

Eira peeked out from behind the screen when she realized that he was just standing still.

She pointed to a gray shirt in the chest. ''We'll match,'' she said.

Gwaine pulled his shirt over his head, grabbed the gray shirt and walked over to the window. He found some of his humor coming back to him as small waves of excitement about breathing fresh air again rolled into him.

''I don't think it's a good idea to stand in front of this window shirtless, women are very easily attracted to me,'' Gwaine stated with a smile, put his shirt on and looked back at Eira.

She came out from behind the screen, ''I don't think anyone is, you're supposed to be dead.'' she said.

''You're attracted to me.'' he said as Eira came closer.

She looked disapprovingly at him.

''But no one’s attracted to you either, you're supposed to be dead as well!''

He looked at her determined expression as she tried to generate a retort.

''Let's go,'' he said instead with a grin, sparing her the humiliation when he teased her and she couldn't think of anything clever to say.


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