gareth cooke

Quick, don’t think about teenage King Richard.

Don’t think about shorter curly hair or a slightly-too-bigcrown or how he was probably a tall, skinny beanpole, uncoordinated and lanky and pale.

Don’t think about how he probably blushed and stammeredwhenever anyone asked him to take charge.

Don’t think about wide blue eyes or pink cheeks or how his hair would be darker but still with a little bit of silver because of genetics and the stress of being king at a young age and the scratchy, scruffy stubble on his jaw because he’s trying to grow a beard.

Don’t think about him crying at his mother’s funeral or how terrified he probably was when Kingsley first came to visit.

Don’t think about the first person he commanded to their death, or people telling him to suck up, man up, you’re the king, you have to be strong and brave and assertive and smart and mature…

Don’t think about how he would try to make friends but everyone wants to suck up to “King Richard” and doesn’t want to know plain old Richard so Gareth is his only friend…

Don’t think about teenage Gareth helping him study for his tutoring sessions, or them getting their ears pierced together, or Gareth trying to teach him how to duel, or late-night sleepovers (not that Gareth would ever call them that) where Richard would talk endlessly and Gareth would roll his eyes and polish his knives (don’t you dare make a sexual pun) until they eventually fell asleep sprawled out on the rug in the King’s chambers, weapons and snacks scattered around them.

Don’t think about Richard catching Gareth cooking in the kitchens for the first time and Gareth being terrified that his masculinity will come into question but all Richard does is ask what he’s making and offer to help, and Gareth lets him do the simplest thing he can think of because Richard’s uncoordinated and bumbling and silly…

Don’t think about Richard dragging Gareth up to the roof to look at the stars and excitedly pointing out a shooting star.

Don’t think about them reading fairytales or fantasy books, Gareth pointing out all the historical and logical inaccuracies and Richard daydreaming about a Prince Charming or a Princess.

Don’t think about the first assassination attempt on Richard’s life and Gareth helping to protect him, prepared to lay down his life for his king and his friend…

Don’t think about them getting scolded by Pearl because they’ve broken curfew to prank the Head of the King’s Guard and stolen sweets from the kitchens.

Don’t think about him learning to ride a horse and flailing around trying to get on and beaming when the horse starts to move and sneaking extra carrots and apples to his favorite one when he visits the stables (because every incarnation of Omundson loves horses. Don’t deny it, Lassie.)

Don’t think about him sitting through boring diplomat meetings and fidgeting and eventually learning to sit still and register the important information.

Don’t think about him up late at night, light from an oil lamp flickering across his face, brow furrowed and frowning, super focused as he scratches at a piece of parchment with a quill about the trade treaties with Valencia or some other country…

Don’t think about it.

(Too late.)

(Also, don’t think about how, objectively, Galavant and King Richard are the perfect pair; the brave knight who has too much love to give, who falls hard and fast and hopelessly, and the childish king who has never been anyone’s priority, not once in his life)