The Day of the Three French Hens

Note: Birthday mathom for shanalle, who wanted a first kiss story.


Galahad never forgot the day Gawain first kissed him.

It was the day some Roman noble, grateful that the Roman commander and his Sarmatians had saved his ass from a band of robbers, sent Arthur three hens of the finest French breed.

Bors naturally scoffed and mumbled something about much rather having ten hens of less noble blood, but not one of them objected when Arthur decided to use the occasion to treat his ten knights to an improvised feast. There was a lot of food, a lot of ale and -- since Vanora and several other village women were serving -- a lot of girls, and Galahad’s head was soon swimming with the warmth of alcohol and pleasant company.

He had his head buried in some girl’s neck, enjoying her smell and the way she wriggled on his lap, when a strong hand, that he immediately knew as Gawain’s, buried itself in his hair and pulled his head back. It didn’t exactly hurt, not in the state Galahad was, so his curses lacked a certain conviction as he glared at his friend.

Gawain didn’t pay any attention to his words anyway – instead he stared into his eyes intently, and his face wore an expression Galahad had only ever seen on two occasions: before a battle and when Gawain was about to conquer a woman. A part of Galahad acknowledged that look with fierce joy, and he disposed of the girl in his lap with hardly a thought and without even trying to get free of Gawain’s grasp.

“What do you want, Gawain?” he asked, keeping his voice as low as the noise in the hall allowed.

A feral smile flickered over Gawain’s face, and Galahad swallowed hard as most of his blood seemed to decide to rush downwards. He had imagined what it would be like if Gawain ever decided to get over his scruples and pursued him – but Galahad had not known how much it would affect him to have Gawain’s attention focused on him in this way. It almost scared him how much he feared that Gawain would withdraw, so he kept as still as possible and just held Gawain’s gaze.

Finally Gawain let go of his hair, but only in order to slide his hand casually around his neck and down his chest, a movement which probably looked innocent enough to the other people in the hall, but which set fire to Galahad’s skin and made breathing hard. Gawain let his hand rest on Galahad’s thigh, too close for comfort and yet not close enough. Then he leaned in, and Galahad felt his breath, hot with mead and desire, ghost against his skin, causing him to shiver.

“Me? I want you, Galahad. But you already know that.”

It sounded so matter-of-fact, yet there was heaviness behind the words that forced Galahad to close his eyes, just for an instant. When he opened them again, Gawain was walking away from him, and Galahad felt suddenly cold, although the hall was sweltering. But then, just as Galahad was about to turn away, Gawain stopped at the doorway and looked back.

The grin on his face as he cocked his head and motioned for Galahad to follow him, was one Galahad knew all too well from all the times they had gotten into trouble together. And, as usual, Galahad couldn’t comply quickly enough, almost stumbling over his feet several times as he tried not to run anyone over on his way to the door and out of the building.

Outside, Gawain was waiting for him, eyes and teeth glittering in the dark as he pulled him into the next alley, pressing him against the wall, body against body. Galahad hardly dared to breathe, still afraid that this would turn out to be yet another dream – but then, finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Gawain stopped looking at him like he was starving and Galahad was supper and kissed him.

His lips covered Galahad’s mouth, fierce and gentle at the same time, while his hands and body kept Galahad immobile against the rough wall -- a task that soon required all his strength as Galahad realized that this was real. This was really Gawain plundering his mouth, tasting him, devouring him with a passion that would have been frightening, if it hadn’t been all Galahad had been dreaming of, and more, so much more.

No, Galahad would never forget the day of the French hens.

~~~

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