But That Never Hurt No One

It had to be getting near time to go. Or at least, Galahad hoped it was getting near time to go. Their family still had an hour’s ride ahead of them, and the sooner that was started, the better.

He’d had a bit too much champagne at dinner time — all those toasts! — and it was making its way to his head now. And it didn’t matter how much coffee he drank afterwards. Instead of getting the agreeable rushing feeling, the boundless energy, the thoughts racing almost too quickly for him to contemplate, all he got was a little less haze and fuzz. It was like his brain was a carriage stuck behind a slow-moving wagon on a lazy summer’s day. There was no room to pass, and so Galahad was forced to hope that the wagon would turn off the road at some point. In the meantime, however, the bees were droning, the sun was beating down, and the carriage was rocking so agreeably …

Galahad came to himself to a start. Surely, they would have to go soon. Wouldn’t they?

Will certainly seemed anxious and ready to leave soon, but then again, he had a nervous young bride to bring home. Or at least, that’s what everybody was saying — if they hadn’t been, Galahad would have assumed that it was Will who was nervous, since that seemed to be his default state whenever the Princess came into the mixture.

He seemed especially nervous now, nervous enough that the King was openly grinning as he looked down at his hand. That was awfully silly on the King’s part. Will never grew nervous over what he had in his hand when he played poker; Galahad had watched him play too many times to be unsure of that. To be nervous, you had to care — really care — how the game was going, and Will generally didn’t.  It was hard to care when you were clever enough not to bet more than you could afford to lose, and not so clever that you stood a better-than-average chance of winning big.

No, by the way Will was fidgeting, and glancing out the window, and at the candles as they burned down, and had to be nudged by their father to even know when his turn was, Galahad could well imagine that poker was about as far from Will’s mind as it could be when cards and chips were on the table before him.

“So,” Sir Mordred was asking as he lined up his cue, “what did your sister want?”

“Not sure, but whatever it was really upset her. Poor thing was sobbing when Kay came and got me. It’s just as well my parents took her home.”

“Delyth didn’t seem too happy.”

“There’ll be other weddings — maybe even ones where the ladies don’t outnumber the men — where she can dance and flirt to her little heart’s content.”

“She could have stayed here with you, you know. The Queen would have offered her a bed, and even if she hadn’t one to spare, you could have brought Delyth and stayed at our keep.”

“Heh.” Why did Lamorak suddenly pull at his collar, as if he was hot? It really wasn’t all that hot in here, considering. “You sure you want me sleeping under the same roof as your sister?”

“Technically, you wouldn’t be under the same roof,” Mordred squinted the better to take the shot, “and if you wanted to be, the stairs to her room are warded. No men.”

“What about the window?”

“It’s a four-story climb up sheer rock. If you’re willing to risk your neck …” Crack! He pushed the cue and the balls rolled away. Mordred straightened and grinned. “It’s your neck.”

Creak. “There you are, Galahad!”

Galahad turned — and the champagne must have been hitting him again, for the blood rushed to his face. “S-Sister Angelique!”

He must have been more meant for the Church than he ever realized, if the mere sight of a habit could make him so excited. His stomach exploded into butterflies and his heart started pounding as she came closer. It was all Galahad could do to keep grinning. He shouldn’t, after all, do anything to make her think he was upset with her — especially when he wasn’t!

She put on hand on her hip, right on the embroidery, and cocked it to one side. Galahad had to gulp — why, he had no idea, he just had to. The habit clung to Angelique and moved when she did, like a particularly sinuous snake. Why didn’t more nuns make their habits like that? Truly, they’d get more attention that way than by walking down the street in their lumpy sackcloth …

But then again, maybe it was fitting that only Angelique dressed like that. If all the other nuns dressed as Angelique did, then Angelique wouldn’t be special. Why Angelique should be special among nuns — who were all meant to look alike, dress alike, speak alike, think alike — was not something that Galahad examined. It did not need to be examined. It was, as he stared at her, self-evident.

Her mouth was opening, but Galahad heard himself blurting out, “You — you look very nice today, Sister Angelique.”

She blinked those enormous dark eyes at him, and just when Galahad was convinced he had said the wrong thing, she smiled. “Why, this old thing!” she gasped. “Galahad, you shouldn’t flatter a girl so. It’ll turn her head.”

Angelique’s head certainly was turning, but Galahad thought that might have more to do with the way she was standing than anything else. If she would face front, like a normal Sim, then she wouldn’t have to turn her head at all.

“Although …” She leaned closer, her breath tickling his ear. Galahad almost squealed — like a little girl! — and jumped away. Almost, though, only almost. “You want to know a secret?” she whispered.

He could smell the faint musk of her perfume coming from her neck, buried in the folds of cloth of her wimple. It was making him dizzier than the champagne could ever hope to. Yet, unlike most other things that made him dizzy, he didn’t want this to stop. He wanted it to go on, and on, and on …

So instead of shaking his head when she asked about that secret, Galahad nodded.

“This isn’t even a habit at all!” She was giggling, but somehow it was Galahad who was breathless. “It’s an old mourning gown I found in the charity bin! I stuck it in my trunk when I packed for Camford and altered it on the sly!” She twirled around on one toe, the bell-like skirt lifting and giving him short, tantalizing views of her pretty feet. “Do you like it?”

Do I like it? It must have been the champagne playing havoc with his mind. Surely Galahad had never been this stupid sober. Had he? He rested his hand on her shoulder. “Aye. I — I do like it.”

“It’s got the same lines as the Princess’s gown — er — the old Princess, not my sister.” She giggled again. “A bit lucky, don’t you think?”

“Um …”

“Oh, Galahad, you’re a sweetheart. You don’t have to keep pretending that you care about all this, you know.”

It wasn’t that he didn’t care — he did care — it was more like he didn’t understand more than one word in two of what she was saying. But since she was saying it, he’d find a way to care. “I care.”

She didn’t even seem to hear. “Look at me! So starved for intelligent conversation, I’m discussing dresses with a man! And not just any man, but you, Galahad!”

Why did that make his stomach drop? Why should he care if Angelique saw him differently than she saw other men? He was different, wasn’t he? He was going into the church, just like she was already there. That made him different. That made her different.

And that made them alike. That thought brought his stomach back up the normal level.

It dropped again when Angelique took a step back. “It’s getting a bit warm in here, don’t you think?”

“We can go outside,” Galahad blurted out, and then regretted it. And then he wondered why he regretted it. After all, if she was hot, why shouldn’t they go outside? They were Sims of the Church, or they would be soon enough. Who cared where they spoke?

Besides, Angelique was smiling at the suggestion, and somehow that smile drove all thoughts of what others might thing flying from his mind. “I’d like that. Let’s go, Galahad.”

In no time at all they had slipped through the castle corridors and out into the cool night air. Galahad instantly looked up at the moons and stars, but unlike most nights, where his gaze would go up there and stay up there, tonight it fell to Angelique’s face.

The moons and her wimple both contrived to hid her expression from him. Her steps, however, were not hard to find and follow at all. She made a beeline for the playing fountain, and Galahad followed her.

She said she wanted to talk, that she was starving for intelligent conversation — the one thing Galahad had that he could offer to her! — but when they got there she did not speak. Instead, she sighed and stared at the fountain.

So Galahad stared too. He was pretty sure it was the same fountain he had played by any number of times with Will and Tom and Kay and Elyan and Aglovale — the same fountain the Princess had once pushed Tom into! — but for some reason it seemed to transfix Angelique, and so it would transfix him until he figured out why.

Finally she sighed. “It’s so sad.”

“What — what is?”

“The water.” She gestured, and for a moment Galahad could only watch the silvery moonlight play on her milky skin. “Look at it, Galahad. It’s trapped. It looks like it’s moving and playing and — and — being, but it’s not really.”

“… Eh?”

“Water is supposed to be free. It’s — it’s supposed to come down as rain, and then run off into the streams, and into rivers, and eventually all the way to the ocean! And once it goes into the ocean, it can go all around the world! But this … it’s just going up and down a fishy fountain. How is that right, Galahad? How is that just?”

“Um … Sister Angelique?”

“Don’t call me that,” she snapped, and Galahad jumped. “Not when nobody else is around. Call me Angelique.”

“Angelique,” he repeated, and he was sure she could hear his grin.

Maybe she could. He thought he saw a flicker of a smile from her. Just that flicker was enough to make Galahad grin.

“So what were you saying?” she asked, glancing sidelong at him.

“Huh — huh what?”

“You were going to say something, before I — rudely — interrupted you.”

She looked so sparkling, so serene! Galahad’s heart gave an awkward, almost sideways beat. Maybe she would just let him look at her for a little while? If he asked very nicely? It would mean so much to him …

But no, she had been desperate for intelligent conversation, and so intelligent conversation was what he would give her. Drat it, what had he been about to say? “Um … oh! Oh, Angelique, it’s water.” He gestured toward the fountain. “I don’t think it cares.”

Why did Angelique’s face shudder and fall? “You’d think that, wouldn’t you?” she spat, and looked away.

“What — what?”

“‘It’s water, it won’t care.’ ‘They’re whores, they won’t care if we take their children away.’ ‘She’s a girl, she won’t care if I decide her future without consulting her. She wouldn’t even know how to make a decision if she tried.’ You men! You all think alike!” She threw her nose up into the air and refused to look at her. “If it’s not one of you, then you can do whatever you want to it!”

“No, no, Angelique, that’s not true. That’s not true for me! I — I wouldn’t do things like that to women. It’s — wait, who took someone’s children away?”

Angelique stared at her feet. “You wouldn’t care. It was only a whore, after all. No man would care.”

“I — I care.”

Why did his heart beat so when he said that? Why did his palms suddenly break out into a sweat? Why did he gasp when she leaned a little closer?

Angelique studied his face as if she would draw it, even going so far as to move a bit of bangs from his eyes, the better to see into them. “Brother Tuck,” she whispered.

Brother Tuck? What about Brother Tuck? What did he — OH! “Brother Tuck took some woman’s child away? Why?”

“Because she was — well — a lady of the night.”

“So she was mistreating the child?”

“No, no, the child was very well cared for.”

“And — and Brother Tuck took the kid away anyway?” Galahad’s jaw dropped. “That’s — that’s horrible!”

“You — you really think so?”

“Of course!”

“But she would raise the child in sin.”

Galahad shrugged. “We’re — we’re all sinners. Who is Brother Tuck to decide that this woman’s sin means she isn’t good enough to raise her child, while this person’s sin is — is more acceptable?”

“Oh, Galahad!” Angelique gasped and grabbed his hands, probably on impulse. “You can’t imagine how glad I am to hear you say that!”

She couldn’t imagine how glad he was to have his hands held in hers.

“You’re not like the rest of them,” she gushed. “You’re really, really not. You — you actually have a heart. You care about how people feel.”

He cared about how people felt? He wasn’t sure about that. For the most part, he thought people spent far too much time feeling and far too little time thinking.

But when she smiled at him like that, Galahad could start to understand why his fellow Sims thought feeling was so important.

“I — I guess,” he stammered, “I just don’t see any reason why you should make other Sims unhappy if you don’t have to. That can’t be right. I mean, so many sins come from hurting other Sims! Why would it be all right hurt some Sims sometimes, but not hurt others other times? It’s not fair. It can’t be right.”

Her attention had drifted midway through his speech — and worse, her hands dropped his. Galahad had never felt his hands to be so empty in his life, when they had been so full but a moment before.

“An–Angelique?”

“Huh? Oh, I’m sorry — I guess — I guess I’m still a bit hot.” She fanned herself. “It’s not helping me to think very well, I’m afraid.” She shifted and stared at her feet. “Could you — could you do me a favor?”

“Anything,” Galahad said, and his mind didn’t even register a token protest.

She took the trailing edges of her veil in one hand and lifted them, exposing the back of her wimple. “I’ve — I’ve noticed if I wet the wimple before I put it on, along the back of the neck, it keeps me nice and cool. But it takes ten minutes together to get this disassembled and reassembled, and I can’t reach … could you just sprinkle a bit of water, there, for me? Please?”

“Of — of course.” He took a palmful from the fountain and sprinkled it, and then another palmful, and another palmful. “Oooh, thank you, Galahad,” she moaned, “that feels divine.”

“You’re … you’re welcome.” Now his face was near her ear, not that he could see it behind the yards of white cloth, and his hand rested on her shoulder. He began to pull away.

He stopped.

Her face was so — so — beautiful wasn’t even the word for it. Her eyes had seemed to lay claim and capture all the stars, the better to shine. Her nose was so little and silly. Her cheekbones gave her face the look of a heart, and her lips …

Her lips seemed so soft, in that moment he wanted to do nothing more than touch them …

“Galahad?” she whispered.

He touched her lips with the only part of his mind that could possibly be soft enough not to hurt hers.

He felt her start, and then moan, and them move closer to him. But she didn’t touch him. His hand moved farther down her arm, but that was the only part of his body that moved. His heart, though, his heart —

Galahad understood now why the heart was the organ of love. It reacted, the way no other organ did. And more than that, it made the blood course through the body, and without blood, no Sim could live. Without love, no Sim could live.

Except those Sims who —

Galahad jumped away. “Oh, oh, no! Oh, Angelique! I’m so sorry!”

“Galahad –”

“A — a bride of Wright!” he stammered and wrung his hands. Lightning was going to come down and strike him any minute now, he knew it! Surely, if he’d been lucky enough to have a girl like Angelique as his bride, and some stupid churl who was thinking with his — with his — Galahad didn’t even know what he was thinking with, but if someone like that had laid their filthy hands and dirty lips on his Angelique, he would attack them with thunder, with lighting, with a sword, with a mace — with his fists and claws, if he had to!

“Galahad –”

“I’m so sorry, Angelique! I didn’t mean to –”

“Galahad!” Angelique grabbed his shoulders and shook him. “I’m not angry!”

“You’re — you’re not?” But the Lord Wright must have been, he had to be —

“No. I’m not. But I do have one question for you.”

Her arms circled around his back, and even though Galahad was terrified about the lightning that had his name on it striking her too, he inched closer. “What?”

“Did you enjoy that?”

Did he enjoy that? “Do — do –” He looked around. “Do fish swim?”

She grinned. “Good.” Her hand moved down his back, one finger pressing his spine and making him yelp — but it didn’t hurt! It was the opposite of hurt! “Now, shut up and kiss me again.”

She didn’t even give him time to comply with her demands.

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9 thoughts on “But That Never Hurt No One

  1. Angelique sure has not changed. Not at all. Galahad is in for some trouble, I think. Maybe I’m just an old cynic, (Okay, there is no maybe, I’m definitely an old cynic) but even if Angelique really does think that Galahad is different, she seems to be going out of her way to “prove” that he isn’t different. He’s just another guy who can be lead around by the hormones.

    It makes me wonder why she actually decided to go ahead and become a nun. I know that Bors would have been pissed, but I’m pretty sure that there were other ways to have handled that. I mean yeah, proving Bors wrong would be fun. And foiling Tuck, also, fun. But I don’t think the sisterly life is really what she’s designed for.

    And with what happened with Claire (And definitely now with Claire being a bit better and ready to stand up more to Bors.) I think she would have had some more options. I doubt the nobles would have stood by to see Bors break down Angelique’s spirit like he broke Claire’s. (Or bent Claire’s I think we saw that she isn’t exactly broken.)

    Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but even with what she and Sister Julian talked about, I still don’t think this is on the road for anywhere good.

    And, old cynical talking, I think Galahad’s going to get hurt on this road to nowhere good, probably a lot more than Angelique will…

  2. …Fountain SECKS? 😀

    I love these two together. They’re so awesome, two Sims cast into religious life, each with their own brands of irreverence. And I think what Angelique has been waiting her whole life to say what she said about the water and how men feel about women, and I also think she’s waiting her whole life to hear a response like Galahad’s.

    Also, I loved Mordred and Lamorak’s conversation here. Somehow I doubt that Garnet is the reason he’s reluctant to spend the night at Casa Mordred 😯

  3. Huh. Not where I expected this chapter to go, honestly. I understand that Angelique has to twist Brother Tuck around a bit and she will probably need Galahad’s help for that, but everything after mentioning the children? Yeah, that was all her doing. I doubt Mother Julian would have wanted her to go that far.

    I, too, am concerned about her continuing behavior after she takes the vows. Andavri’s right- she would have had support from several different sources, even her own mother!, if she had chosen to leave the church. So why didn’t she? I’m especially concerned with the fact that Galahad will eventually be a member of the clergy as well, and probably spending time with the nuns and Angelique. I don’t put it past her to think up an excuse for some “theological discussion” with him.

  4. Oooh. I did like Angelique, and felt sorry for her even though she was rather bratty at the beginning, but now I think she’s just taking advantage of poor Galahad. And it’s definately going to end up ‘in tears’ as my nan would say, but like the others I think it’ll be Galahad who’ll be the one crying. 😦 Which is a shame, because Galahad is awesome and in all other ways, perfect to join the clergy. But I loved Lamorak and Mordred’s conversation! Muy funny… Although I hope Dilys feels better about it all soon as well. Bit of a sad one, this post.

    Emma x

  5. I make no promises for any kind of sex (or SECKS), Van — anywhere. I think these two have a bit to go before they can be ready for that. Also, I don’t want to make promises for things that I don’t know how to shoot or how to arrange! 😉 (How IS Lothere going to manage the CLIFF SECKS? How do you even make a proper cliff in the Sims? ;))

    And there is dissention among the commenters! I like! … And I don’t feel like I can reply to you all individually and do anybody any kind of justice, so I hope you’ll forgive me if I lump my babbling into one comment.

    Angelique is … interesting. I haven’t quite plumbed her depths yet, I’m afraid. So far, we’ve really only seen her acting like a bit of a brat who got dumped into a life that she didn’t want. She is certainly capable of compassion and has a certain sense of justice, and I think she also has a decent amount of ambition. But beyond that …?

    Why did she decide to join the nunnery anyway even if that was clearly not what she wanted? I think it’s a mix of a lot of reasons. I think still, deep down in her mind, there is still No Will But Her Father’s — and her father’s will was that she become a nun. Yes, she has more options now, but I can imagine that the thought of being sent home in disgrace — and I can’t help but feel that Angelique (and Bors) would see her being sent home as a disgrace, no matter how Mother Julian or anyone else saw it — is enough to terrify her.

    Also, she’s been groomed to be a nun literally since she was a babe in arms. She rebelled against it, yes. But at the back of her mind, this is all she knows. If she didn’t become a nun, what else would she do? Get married? Who’s going to marry a disgraced nun? Go back home to live with Bors and Elyan as the spinster aunt for the rest of her life? Gah!

    And yes, there would have been other options. Between Claire, Mother Julian, Morgan and probably Lynn (hey, the Crown Princess is going to have some way to find something for her not-quite-baby sister to do!) they would have found something. But Angelique wasn’t thinking that way yet. She was thinking: do what I have always been told I must do since I was old enough to hear, or be cast into the great unknown. She clung to what she knew.

    Also — let’s not discount Mother Julian’s powers of persuasion. She wanted Angelique to stay on, because Angelique is a fighter in a way Sister Margery isn’t. Angelique will take on Brother Tuck for the sheer joy of doing so. Sister Margery will only do so if that’s what her conscience tells her she must do. And by that point, in Mother Julian’s mind, it may already be too late. They need to (in Mother Julian’s mind) fight Brother Tuck early and often.

    But besides all that, what does Angelique actually want? I don’t know. And here’s the thing — I don’t think she knows herself. So she’s stumbling blindly in the dark toward something that looks like it’s what she wants.

    And then we add dear, sweet Galahad into the mix, who doesn’t know what he wants any better than Angelique does, really. He thinks he does, or at least, he thinks he knows what he is meant to do. But I don’t know if he’s ever climbed down far enough from his head to really figure out what it is that his heart’s been up to when he wasn’t looking. Until his heart jumped up and took over the controls, that is.

    So will it all end in tears, as Emma’s grandma would say and as Naomi and Andavri clearly think? Or do they have a shot at happily ever after, as Van seems to think? I don’t know yet. I’ll have to write that far to find out.

    One thing is true, though, this path for them isn’t going to be smooth.

  6. LOL! Galahad should skip the alcohol from now on. He’ll probably regret this so bad the next morning. Well, that’s more like Angelique though. I wouldn’t think she could be happy as a nun and I wonder how long it’s going to last…

  7. Applause!

    Angelique calling the water trapped….clearly she feels that way. I don’t think she ever wanted to be a nun. The poor girl feel thoroughly uncared for. She said so herself, if her parents loved her she wouldn’t be in the convent. She had very few visitors and not very often. I think a part of her was glad when her mother came to the convent. Not because she wishes her ill, but because she wished to be loved and cared for…she is lonely.

    Angelique has always been boy crazy. And now here is Galahad and he cares about her, what she is saying, the things she cares about, and doesn’t think people should cause harm to others. Then he kisses her. She is used to guys being putty in her hands…but this time, she is putty in his.

    Galahad…I always knew he had romantic potential. Entering into the monastery is what he wants. It intrigues him. He probably hasn’t thought much on the celibacy side, except maybe, what is the big deal? I think he is a late bloomer. His feelings for Angelique took him by surprise. And I don’t think he thought to kiss her at all. He was so caught up in being near her, he just moved. We all read how it just hit him suddenly that he shouldn’t have. And then the fear of god can’t keep him from resisting her. He is utterly helpless.

    These 2 can hardly resist each other. If they truly tried not to be romantic they would drift together anyway. There is just too much – attraction, a deep caring, respect, friendship, caring about similar causes, etc.

    So if they never saw each other again, they would both treasure this night forever. It is hard to say who more. And if they see each other but only as nun and monk, they would just be so bonded.

    And if they should be so lucky as to have the rules changed for them….that Galahad can continue on in the church but with a wife by his side, they would both be endlessly happy. Maybe Galahad will go on a Biblical search for reasons for celibacy and come up with a flawless arguement.

    If they should have a secret affair, and maybe Angelique ends up pregnant or they are caught, and it all blows up in a way most shameful… Can you not see Angelique devestated? And see Galahad, bringing up simple logic. See how he does not understand the shame. See how he marries her gladly, shamed or not. And see how he doesn’t understand if anyone blames Angelique more than himself. And see how Angelique finds happiness, even if she has to do clean her house herself.

    So maybe I say all this because I am a romantic, because I am. Or maybe I just can’t stand to waste good sim genetics! Guilty there as well.

    • Those two DO have good genes. Thus they should be combined as often and in as many different varieties as possible. But of course I would never mold a storyline just for the sake of genetic manipulation. 😉

      … Or would I?

      Anyway, you’ve made a lot of predictions here, and I can’t comment on all of them because I know what will happen and you don’t. But I hope you’ll be interested to see the result!

      Thanks, Chicklet!

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