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The Percival: A Short Story

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A loud scream split the air, and then there was sudden silence.

The pain and anguish evident in the broken cry caused the hair on Percival's body to stand on end. "Gwaine," he bellowed.

"Pleasepleaseplease," chanted Percival as he raced through the trees, heedless of the branches springing back to slap him across the face and arms, leaving small tracks of blood where they split the skin like whips.

There, just ahead, a small clearing … and a body, slumped over.

Fearing the worst, Percival slowly knelt in front of his friend and gently clasped Gwaine's head, raising it up. The other man was pale, his normally bright eyes dulled and filled with pain. Gasping for breath, Gwaine murmured, "She's riding for Avalon"

"Gwaine," said Percival in
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No you haven't," responded Percival as he pressed his forehead against that of his dearest friend. Thinking his friend dead, tears began to fall from the tall man's eyes. Then, suddenly, Percival realized that Gwaine was still breathing; shallowly, yes, but where there was breath, there was life.

It took all of the large man's skills and every bit of healing that he had learned over the years - and to be honest he was never sure how he had done it - but Percival managed to get Gwaine back to Camelot and into the healing hands of Gaius.

It was a long and difficult recovery, and Percival could only stand by as Gwaine, his body torn both inside and out from the effects of the Nathair, his mind broken and filled with guilt, raged against himself and the world

But finally, after weeks of care, Percival found himself hovering quietly at his friend's side as Gwaine made his way to the Great Hall, slowly but on his own two feet. Gwaine carefully knelt before Guinevere and, after apologizing for his perceived failures, pledged his life and his sword to her.

Percival felt a great weight lift from his shoulders when Gwen, with tears in her eyes, reached over and raised the dark-haired man to his feet saying, "Thank you, Sir Gwaine, for your loyalty and your love. I am honoured to have you as one of my personal
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