Title: Promises, Like Air
Characters: Uther, Ygraine
Summary: Pre-series. Nimueh has promised Uther and Ygraine their perfect day.
Word Count: 671
Author's Note: Written for the camelot_drabble prompt, "elysian"
She is air, basking with her head thrown back, ribbons trailing loose down the fine arch of her spine where the breeze and her surprising freedom have snatched them from the confines of duty. Sunlight pales next to the radiance of her hair, curling tendrils that flutter against her porcelain skin, and the cloudless sky cannot compare to the blue of her eyes, luminous pools that haunted his dreams and compelled his desires long before he took the crown.
He did it for her, after all. Because Ygraine deserved to be queen, and Uther Pendragon refused to allow anyone else to claim her as bride.
Though this day has been weeks in the making, each moment feels newly born, a whimsy to carry Ygraine far from the anxieties of Camelot. Even from his perch atop the hill where he watches and waits, he can hear her laughter catching on the wind. It’s been so long since he’s even seen her smile that his chest tightens and his heart aches. This is how she should always be. This is how he will love her most. She’s no longer the sorrowful woman who has ghosted through the citadel as her hopes in bearing him a child withered with her complexion, but the bloom reaching for the heavens.
She hadn’t wanted to go alone. “It would do us both good to get away,” she pleaded, pursuing him from room to room. “Please, Uther. Come with me.”
It took agreeing to meeting her later to finally get her to acquiesce. She couldn’t know he intended to follow her anyway. His plans require his presence.
And here they are. She bends with the breeze to scoop up the delicate flowers she’s been picking all morning, burying her nose in them to breathe in their magic. Nothing more is necessary, Nimueh claims. All of their dreams for their future can be found in a simple blossom, as pure and good as the child it will help them conceive.
He can’t wait any longer. He spurs his heels into his horse’s flanks and gallops down the hillside, feeling lighter with every pounding hoofbeat.
When she turns at the sound of his approach, the first thing he sees is her brilliant smile. “Uther!”
He is barely off his mount before she’s thrown her arms around him, her kisses warmer than the sun above. Though he chuckles, he returns each one, growing harder and hotter until he absolutely must bend her to the grass and push her skirts out of his way.
Their lovemaking is languorous, and when they are done, he rolls onto his back, letting Ygraine drape her slim leg over his as she cuddles into his side. “This has been the most splendid day ever,” she murmurs.
“Indeed.” He tightens his embrace and buries his nose in her hair. Never has he been more grateful that he listened to Nimueh. For months, he’s had to bear her constant whispering, the promises she made for Camelot’s future if he let her do this one thing for him. He didn’t want to believe her, but this feels too perfect not to have worked.
At the very least, he and Ygraine have this day, liberated from their fears for a few precious hours, but he can already hear her cooing over the child she will bear, telling it sweet stories about what a grand leader it will be under Uther’s tutelage.
“Thank you,” he says before he can think to stop the words from tumbling out.
Ygraine laughs. “Silly man. I should be the one thanking you. This was an absolutely wonderful idea.”
He lets her scolding stand uncontested. Better for her to believe he referred to her rather than discover how much he is now indebted to Nimueh. Gratitude will never be enough for giving him everything he ever wanted.
Because now, together, the three of them will lead Camelot through its most glorious years yet.
And the prince Nimueh has vowed he will have.