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Fic: Baptism by Fire, Gwen/Arthur Uther, PG

Title: Baptism by Fire
Author: kepp0xy
Characters/Pairings: Gwen/Arthur, Uther; a little bit of Morgana and Merlin near the end
Rating: PG
Warnings: Nope.
Word count: ~5220
Summary: Uther discovers the secret relationship between Arthur and Gwen.

Author's Notes: I've been a little obsessed with the idea of Gwen and Uther having an intense moral showdown since the end of series 1. This doesn't fit those parameters exactly but the tense battle-of-wills aspect of what I'd wanted is something I really strived for. In the interest of full disclosure, this is possibly a bit of wish fulfilment, but all in all I'm pleased with how it turned out, and this is probably one of the fics I'm most proud of. So many thanks to and_i for the generous betawork ♥ All remaining mistakes are mine.



The last time she had sat in a cell, her dress dirty, skin filthy, amongst the prickly edges of dank straw, Gwen had promised never to find herself locked in again for any unjust cause. Yet, she found herself here once more, cold manacles encircling her bruising wrists, simply because she had chosen to love.

Tears of frustration started stinging her eyes and she passed the back of her hand roughly across her cheeks.

Arthur sat just outside the cell, his back against the wall, looking over his shoulder at her through the bars. "I'll break you out, and we'll elope," he said lightly, as though it were the simplest solution in the world. "Somewhere in the country. Merlin will carry your train, and Morgana will be best man."

Gwen laughed despite herself, and Arthur grinned tightly in response. "You shouldn't say things like that," she repeated, as she had done for the last hour and a half, with each increasingly daft suggestion he came up with. "You'll get us into more trouble."

Arthur ignored her, looking just past her shoulder as though he was imagining the ceremony. "It will be fairly quaint, something a little peasant -

"There's nothing wrong with peasant," Gwen interrupted, looking down at her left hand and absently running her thumb around the base of her bare ring finger.

"It would be entirely fitting," Arthur said with a nod, as though he were agreeing with a profound statement she'd just made. Gwen smiled slightly, lifted her head and met his gaze again. She knew he was irate. Though he sat the picture of relaxation by leaning back with one knee up, arm listlessly hanging across it, the tension in his shoulders and the way his eyes did not shine at all only belied his anger to those unfamiliar with him. And Gwen had spent many hours, over the course of hundreds of days, studying him and ensuring she was wholly familiar with Arthur Pendragon.

But there was nothing constructive they could do; any aggressive action would only make the situation worse. His dedication to keeping her spirits up, though, was enough for the moment.

He opened his mouth to say something, when a sound at the end of the passageway caught his attention. Gwen watched him closely, and nausea roiled forcefully through her when Arthur's expression melted swiftly into a mask of cold fury as he stood. Only one person would illicit that response from Arthur now, and Gwen swallowed heavily to keep the bile from rising as she got awkwardly to her feet.

"You have duties to attend to." Uther's resonating tone preceded him, his shadow falling ominously on the ground in front of Arthur. Gwen couldn't see him from her vantage point, and in a panic, it seemed to her he must be an omniscient being.

She shook her head fiercely, banishing such inane thoughts.

"Yes, I do," Arthur agreed, measured voice thinly masking the scathing tone beneath. "To stand beside the woman I love as a tyrant reigns over her."

"Enough," Uther said in quiet tones which seemed to slither around Gwen in her cell and fill her with an icy dread. "I will speak to your handmaiden while you go about your day." Arthur opened his mouth but Uther spoke over him, adding, "and give me the key to this cell and the key to her shackles."

Uther's extended hand passed into her field of vision, and Gwen clamped her own hands together to keep them from trembling. The chains clanked against each other with her movement, and their weight rested heavy against her thighs; the sensations were profoundly unsettling. Arthur tensed even more with the sound, his whole body stiffening. She had never seen the look on his face before: a mixture of incredulity and utter rage when Uther twitched his fingers in a beckoning motion. "Sire, I really don't think that's -

"Did you not just say you would break Guinevere free and elope with her?"

The use of her actual name froze both she and Arthur for a beat, before the rest of his sentence filtered through the initial shock of hearing him say it for the first time. Arthur met her gaze fleetingly as he twisted to select the keys from the loop on his belt. Gwen bit the inside of her lip against a whimper when he located them and worked them free from the rest.

"It was not a plot, father," Arthur said very quietly as he passed the keys over. Gwen had to strain to make out the words. "It was... fanciful conversation to calm both our nerves."

"Indeed," was the only response he got. Arthur looked at her again, and Gwen tried to look as though she wasn't afraid. The expression she received in return took her breath away; it was intense and so full of faith that her back straightened without her having thought of it.

"I'll be back as quick as I can," Arthur said vehemently before turning back to the king.

"I'll call upon you when I'm finished here," Uther corrected as Arthur walked past him. Though she heard no response from Arthur, she could imagine his thoughts and wasn't sure if she wanted to laugh or cringe at the acidity of them.

The king stepped forwards and said to the knight on duty at her cell, "wait at the end of the corridor."

When the guard had first stationed himself there after her arrest, Gwen had wondered how the king could ever have viewed her as ample threat that she needed a guard specifically assigned to her cell.

With Arthur's arrival and derisive greeting to the guard, however, Gwen understood.

Uther took his time working the key into the lock of her cell and letting himself in. She had imagined this meeting rather differently. For one, Gwen had not expected to be locked in a cell when she spoke with him. But further that, she imagined he would dress as imposingly as possible: crown, heavy purple cape, best sword on hip, wealthiest leather gloves on hands.

In fact, he came simply. Or as simply as the king of Camelot ever came. There was no crown or cape, the sword he wore was not his most expensive or sharpest, but a lighter sword the type which knights generally favoured for practise. As always, he wore gloves, but they were the pair he wore day-to-day.

And his attire was merely a shirt and trousers, with the most basic style of jacket over top.

"You've put a wedge between my son and I," he began. Gwen hardly bit back the scoff that flew primed in her throat. In her opinion, Uther did a good enough job on his own of hammering wedges, building walls and digging moats between he and Arthur, but this was not the place to voice such thoughts.

"That was never my intention, my lord," she said instead, holding his cold gaze and struggling to remain demure.

They had discussed this, she and Arthur. He had tried to coach her on the best way to convince his father, all the while reassuring her that it would never come to that; they would wait to announce anything until after he was king because they both agreed that to do otherwise was simply not worth the trouble. These preparatory discussions were all merely contingencies.

But then they had been reckless in the markets while visiting a baking table, and word had spread so that soon even Uther had heard the rumours.

"No?" he asked softly. He stood opposite her, just a couple of feet away. The distance was not long, and Gwen was forced to look up at him, which made her feel very small - presumably the desired effect.

She attempted to surreptitiously straighten her shoulders. "No, my lord."

"You have every reason to," Uther said quietly, and were in not for her innate distrust of this man, she'd have believed his benign tone was simply inquisitive. As it was, she could feel the slow creep of malevolence beginning to permeate the cell. These were not topics she was keen to discuss, but Gwen was no fool. Arthur never broached the topic in their practise, but they both knew, were the situation to arise, that Tom's death would be brought into the conversation.

So she held his gaze, tilting her chin up slightly and said, very calmly, "I disagree, sire."

"Indeed. You don't hold your father's death in the forefront of your mind?" Gwen fought to contain her wince, forcing herself to keep her chin high and ignore the way the manacles suddenly felt sickeningly familiar as they sat heavy around her wrists.

"My father is always on my mind," she said softly, and was fervently thankful she had kept her eyes trained on his face. She did not miss the flash of emotion which crossed his features, something almost like sympathy, and almost like envy. Twenty-three months ago, Gwen would never have presumed the king of Camelot could feel jealous of her, but Arthur spoke more often about Uther than he realised, and Gwen now knew more of her current king than she'd ever desired. "I will always think of him," she continued, a little more strongly. "But I don't focus on his death."

"So if given the opportunity, in this moment," he continued immediately on the heels of her last word. Uther's eyes flared now in a way similar to Arthur's when he grew angry, though Gwen had never been on the receiving end of that look before. It made her a little ill to see it now. But perhaps familiarity saved her, she thought, as she stood not trembling in the face of it. "You would not take my life?"

Gwen blinked in shock. She knew Uther to be paranoid, his reaction to Morgana on so many occasions was evidence enough of that, but Gwen had - apparently naively - never thought he would ever regard her as a threat.

Pity, sharp and unexpected, washed through Gwen swiftly. It was her dad who had first told her tales of King Uther and Queen Igraine when she was very little. Uther had still been hardheaded then, but the queen had a tempering effect, and he had been happy. The kingdom flourished under his guidance, and the people had so much cause for celebration.

The kingdom still prospered now, it was true, but visitors from other provinces came infrequently, and certainly grand festivals were kept to a minimum in fear of the outside magical population taking the opportunity of the fortress off its guard. Gwen sighed, and at Uther's raised brow, she shook her head.

"No, sire. I would not take your life, no matter what the circumstance. No good would come from your highness dying."

She spoke each word clearly and with all the conviction she could muster. There were times when the spot in her chest which had been, and in many ways still was, Tom ached so terribly that Gwen wished suffering upon Uther. She wished him ill and cruel retribution of the kind only wrought by the past taking its own style of vengeance.

She herself never acted in these fantasies; most often magic played some part. Magic was his scapegoat; and she was learning that it was likely undeserving of that burden. So Gwen took her solace in imagining the bitter irony of the thing Uther most feared finally taking that which he most coveted: the kingdom from his grasp.

So she had spoken truly. Gwen would not take his life, not ever. But that did not mean she did not sometimes wish that it would end.

Uther was watching her in a way she could only call 'measuring', and Gwen was pleased that it discomfited her less than she might have thought. He nodded his head after a moment, and Gwen tilted hers slightly in a show of mild relief. If he had accepted that most basic truth, perhaps he would be more pliant from then on.

"What is it you stand for, Guinevere?" Uther asked. Gwen twitched involuntarily at the question, something she had never imagined anyone would ask her. Arthur evidently had not either, as the list of questions they discussed in their contingency practise never included that one. Presumably at her furrowed brow, Uther sighed. "What do you advise Arthur about?"

Gwen swallowed thickly, and watched Uther carefully. She felt this was suddenly dangerous territory, perhaps somehow even more dangerous than his previous question. For a handmaiden to advise a prince would be presumptuous to a degree she did not think Uther would accept. "I would never presume to advise the prince on anything," she lied, attempting not to trip over her tongue and make herself into a fool.

"Then you will be a useless queen," Uther snapped, staring hard at her. Gwen resisted biting her lip, settling instead on crushing her own fingers between one another. "Don't lie to me, Guinevere. Aside from the asinine events with Sophia three years ago, Arthur has always been selective when thinking of his future queen. Otherwise he would have been married years ago and I would not be standing here with you." There was something in the way he spoke that sent hope fluttering wildly deep within her chest, but Gwen disregarded the emotion as impossible.

Uther was watching her expectantly and Gwen forced herself to speak, though she could not keep the tightness from her tones. "Justice," she answered quietly. "We speak most often of justice."

To this, Uther's eyes widened marginally, but Gwen could not see where the shock lay. Had they not just discussed her father's death? Was she not standing in a cell, manacled to a wall, because she loved? Had she not been here previously, nearly burned a witch? And away from herself, innumerable injustices wrought upon Morgana for her opinions, or Arthur for his attempts at doing what was right. Within the castle's own circle there had been several miscarriages of justice, Gwen always felt sick imagining those that went uncontested amongst the general population.

His surprise turned to thinly veiled curiosity and Gwen steeled herself. "Does Arthur speak of justice with you often?"

"No, my lord." Yes. "Very rarely." Nearly every day. Gwen did not excel at lying by any means, evidenced by Uther discrediting the one she had told moments earlier. But as Uther's curiosity dissolved into relief which melted into an impassive mask again, Gwen thought that it seemed even paranoid kings would believe that which they wanted to. And while it was somewhat true that Arthur rarely sought advice, justice was one of the topics they discussed most frequently.

The king stood before her, watching her closely, and Gwen imagined the list of questions he ran through in his mind. So far, none of those Arthur had considered had been posed to her. She thought the next likeliest question would be about magic, however, which was one they'd practised a lot.

"What of Morgana?" he asked instead after a further few beats of silence passed between them. "You would leave her with no maiden. I know that she trusts you."

Gwen shook her head slightly. This was something she had thought about often, and Morgana had discussed it with her. The secret comfort lay within the fact that Morgana knew she would not stay in Camelot forever; one day she would leave (though she never told Gwen where she would go) and Gwen would not go with her. Gwen still remembered the profound relief that flowed through her with Morgana's declaration that Gwen would stay; if needed, she would have followed Morgana to death. But Gwen's soul lived in Camelot, it always had, even long before she and Arthur knew each other as more than mild-tempered handmaiden and spoilt prince.

But she could not tell Uther any of this.

"I would never abandon Morgana, my lord," Gwen said instead. "I'll continue to serve her until she asks of me otherwise."

"A servant position is no place for a future queen," Uther said, in a tone verging on derisive but Gwen ignored it.

"I am not a future queen." Uther raised his chin slightly, watching her down his nose and Gwen kept herself impassive before she suddenly remembered her place. "Sire," she added quickly.

Had she not known better, she would have sworn a flash of amusement crossed over his features. He made no more comment on Morgana, but turned and began to walk the length of her cell. The sudden release of having to relentlessly match each stern and imposing stare made Gwen suddenly aware of how tired she felt, her body fighting her viciously for the right to lay down and relax. The cold metal of the manacles was biting into her hands where they rested on the base of her thumbs and she could smell how the stench of unwashed humans and stale straw was beginning to cling to her clothes.

Her renewed awareness of these afflictions had her almost missing the stare-down she had embarked upon with the king on his entrance.

"Guinevere," he said thoughtfully, and Gwen came back to herself as quickly as water pours into a chalice. "Are you certain you have no noble blood? It has the ring of royalty."

Gwen almost laughed but quickly bit back the instinctive reaction. "No, sire. My mother simply fancied the name, or so my dad told me." Uther looked at her sharply as he walked by again and Gwen just kept herself from raising a brow. "Most people call me Gwen, though, so..."

This, apparently, was the wrong thing to say. Uther stopped mid-step and turned to face her with a deep scowl on his face. "They will no longer. Once your betrothal is announced, you will be referred to solely as Lady Guinevere. Anyone heard calling you by another title will be appropriately reprimanded."

Uther watched her sternly, apparently waiting for her reaction but Gwen was too stunned to react. Surely he had not just said what she thought she'd heard. It was too ludicrous. The most Gwen had expected from this conversation was her freedom, and a sound decree stating she would not speak to Arthur again. And with that, she had thought herself optimistic.

This option, to be given such a gift... Gwen had not realised how very lonely she was until she befriended Arthur. Where time spent with Merlin or Morgana in good times made her forget for the period she spent with them, somehow Arthur's presence in her life banished the loneliness permanently - no matter the climate in which they interacted. She had first felt only companionship and a deeper loyalty, but it soon turned to affection which grew to love. She felt complete.

For all her words of faith, her greatest fear was that their inevitable separation with Uther's finding out about them would somehow tear them asunder in ways which could not be undone.

But instead, Uther was offering them permanency.

"I'm sorry, sire, but did you just say -

"Yes. With the announcement of your betrothal to Arthur, a few things will change drastically." At this, he offered her a smile which she may previously have viewed as charming. Uther moved forwards and gestured towards her hands, sliding the key into the lock of her shackles before twisting it sharply.

The manacles fell away, taking her fear with them and leaving in its place a disbelief and joy so deeply felt that Gwen hardly kept herself from collapsing to the floor. Her face ached from the struggle to maintain an impassive mask, and she let herself truly smile for the first time since before her arrest that morning.

As Uther stepped back from her, Gwen rubbed her wrists where they ached and raised her eyes to meet his. He looked somewhat worried, but very pleased and Gwen, still aware of how much she disrespected and distrusted this man, nearly threw her arms around him. This was a gift she had not dared dream of, and she would not be ungrateful.

"I don't know - We never thought, I mean, we always hoped but didn't dare think..." She felt her happiness must be raising the castle from its foundations. "Thank you, sire," she finally settled upon, speaking so passionately that Uther chuckled.

"It had always been my hope that Arthur would find an appropriate wife whom he also loved," Uther said slowly, and for the first time, Gwen saw him as human. "I loved Igraine, and I wished that Arthur..." he continued softly, in a way that sent shivers of sympathy down Gwen's spine. The pause that followed was long, and Gwen waited patiently until Uther's eyes returned to her face once again. But his demeanour then changed quickly and Gwen blinked at the shift. "It will be a long road for the two of you," he said with an air of strict warning. "You have the popularity and approval of the people, but the nobility will not be so gracious."

That was something Gwen worried about but Arthur always disregarded. When he was king, he reasoned, they could bicker all they wanted over who he chose to marry, but their opinions mattered little. A small and secret part of Gwen was relieved this issue would be dealt with now; perhaps Uther's more ruthless style of ruling would be an asset for them in this.

"Anything it takes, sire," she said, meeting his gaze earnestly and meaning each word more than she'd ever meant anything before.

Gwen knew this was ultimately an olive branch that Uther was extending to Arthur to soothe some of their growing problems. But she could hardly resent him for it. And by the look on his face, Gwen suspected Uther knew she understood this, and she felt they had reached some unspoken truce.

*


Arthur cursed the designer of the palace; who ever had thought that building the war counsel room on the opposite side of the castle from the throne room was a fool who ought to have been strung up. Merlin puffed behind him, having delivered the summons in a wheeze after clearly sprinting most of the way to reach Arthur.

For that haste, Arthur was thankful. For his lag now, Arthur was resentful.

"And you can tell me nothing but that my father told you to fetch me," he bit out, for the fourth time. "Nothing at all?"

"Well, Gwen was there," Merlin said apologetically after a rather long pause and Arthur actually stopped mid-stride. Merlin collided into him with a yelped 'ow!' to which Arthur felt no sympathy.

"Gwen was there and you didn't see fit to tell me?" he said through clenched teeth, turning to face his useless manservant.

Merlin shrugged helplessly, looking inadequately shamed and Arthur turned on his heel and began to run down the corridor. He heard Merlin's muffled groan but ignored it, instead trying to stop his mind from turning over possibilities.

His efforts were of little use.

If Gwen was there, it was likely he was going to banish her. If Uther banished her, Arthur ought to go with her. But he couldn't do that. First of all, it was a neglect of the kingdom he wouldn't be able to stomach and secondly, Guinevere would never agree to it, much for the same reason. Then he would write her weekly, all the while petitioning his father daily. He'd send Merlin with the letters so that he could also report truly on her well-being.

Perhaps she could stay in Ealdor with Hunith.

That would do well - Ealdor was just under a full day's ride at full tilt. He could pretend to arrange a long hunting expedition and spend a few days with her, at least once each month. It would give them some time - though not nearly enough - and he would be able to see she was all right, in the company of villagers he trusted. And it would mean she could also be kept knowledgeable on the goings-on in Camelot, which would bring her peace of mind, as well as giving them a chance to discuss arising situations so he could pick her mind for her unique perspective.

And of course, it would afford them some time for other, more sentimental and fulfilling relationship things in which they both took ample enjoyment. Perhaps he could arrange for her to own a house in the village. Merlin could help see to that.

It was also possible Uther would merely demand they never see each other. That would appease Morgana somewhat, as sending Guinevere away would awaken a tempest fit from her that he thought even Uther would want to try and avoid, regardless of his desire to keep Arthur away from Gwen.

That option was handled with much more ease. In fact, almost nothing would change in their dynamics. It had all been secret before they'd been so foolish. They would simply not repeat their prior mistake. They would both be vigilant this time.

He reached the final corridor and slowed to a walk, hearing as Merlin only just managed to avoid crashing into him a second time. "You could warn me before you stop," Merlin hissed, leaning forward and Arthur hardly resisted the urge to hit him square in the face.

There was a third option, which Arthur forced himself not to consider.

Violent, bloody, ash-scented images painted themselves in his mind as he drew nearer to the door, however, and as the guards saluted him, opening the doors wide, Arthur swallowed down bile.

The room was unexpectedly empty as Arthur glanced around, nearly wincing with the echoing boom of the doors shutting firmly behind him. Morgana sat on his father's right, looking as though she had sat down on a nail, and Guinevere stood a little forwards of the throne on his father's left.

Her head was bowed, gorgeous dark curls hanging forward to hide her face. The sight set his stomach clenching, and Arthur swept his eyes over her, seeing only a flash of silver at her wrists before his gaze flew to his father's face.

Uther remained as dispassionate as ever, and frustrated resentment blew through Arthur as ferociously as a winter gale. "Really, father, this is ridiculous," Arthur bit out, stalking forwards as menacingly as possible. He had tried at first to be reasonable, then firm (though possibly a bit petulant), and finally, now, his tenuous hold on patience had snapped. "We have committed no crime, I asked first and now I demand that you -

"Arthur," Gwen said strongly, voice weaving through his, causing him to fall silent. "Don't."

He looked back towards her. Guinevere had taken a step forwards and had raised her hands peaceably. Her wrists were shackle-free, he noticed in surprise; the flash of silver had been a bit of a glint from the sleeve of her gown. A new one, he also realised, something far nicer than she had been wearing when she was arrested. She was also clearly much cleaner than she had been last he'd seen her, locked behind the cruel bars in the dingy cell.

"What," he began, then shook his head trying to stop himself eyeing the way she stood in the dress she wore now. It was not something which had belonged to her previously, he was certain. He would have remembered how that shade of pink accented the faint blush of her cheeks and made her eyes glow. He knew he ought to make himself look away, but Arthur wondered vaguely if this was the last he'd see her for a while and wanted to memorise each detail. "What is the meaning of this?"

He had nearly reached her now and she ducked her head in the direction of his father. Arthur finally sought Uther's face once more, shocked to discover something like amusement on his features.

"The meaning is simple," his father said slowly, perfectly forming each word, tone infuriatingly calm. "I expect at noon tomorrow for you and Guinevere to give the announcement of your engagement."

The room fell absolutely silent; so quiet that Arthur heard the shift of material as Gwen took a step towards him in her resplendent new dress, which he now understood must have been a gift from his father.

Arthur did not look at her, instead focusing intensely on Uther. His father's lips twitched and his eyes shone in a way that Arthur could not remember ever having seen before. He risked a glance towards Morgana who was watching Gwen with a bewildered smile that threatened to crack her face in two.

So Arthur looked back at Uther, now aware as Guinevere's fingers softly touched the side of his hand where it hung clenched at his side, but he couldn't quite believe it, and wanted to hear his father say it again. "Our -

"Oh, Arthur," Gwen said in exasperation, and he finally turned his head to her. Seeing her close was even more overwhelming; the sun lit upon each ringlet of her hair, setting them aglow, her cheeks were flushed with what he could only imagine was the same joy he was now feeling running warily through his veins and her eyes were wide and spoke love so powerfully that his heart flew to his throat. "Our engagement," she whispered triumphantly.

Hearing the words from Guinevere - reluctant, cautious, hesitant, sensible Guinevere - carved it in stone as everlasting truth. The room fell away from them, and Arthur cupped her cheek before lowering his head to kiss her soundly. And though Arthur would never say it aloud, he swore the kiss somehow felt exactly like victory.

Just as her hands found his head and his arms had locked tight around her waist, someone cleared their throat noisily and Gwen broke the kiss with an embarrassed gasp.

"That sort of display will never occur in public," his father said, but Arthur heard the laughter beneath his commanding tone. Merlin made a noise behind them which was probably a laugh that he had tried to hide behind a cough but sounded more like a choking donkey. Gwen moved her hands from Arthur's head to his shoulders and pushed lightly against him until he released his hold on her waist.

Arthur turned reluctantly to face his father and Morgana again, neither of whom were hiding their amusement. "I suppose we aren't really in public now," Morgana pointed out, and normally Arthur would have resented the mischievous glint in her eye, but he rather wanted his father to agree with her on that point.

"Be that as it may," Uther said and Arthur bit back a sigh of disappointment; he could still feel the ghost of Gwen's body pressed to his. She was a bloody genius, his Guinevere. Arthur was positive this news was due entirely to her remarkable bearing in whatever took place between she and his father in the dungeons. He wanted to sweep her away, celebrate their success and have her tell him each detail. He had only ever seen her gloat once before, but he thought it likely this occasion called for more, and he very much wanted to be central to her resultant jubilance. "We have many things to discuss."

"Yes, my lord," Guinevere said from beside him, and Arthur did sigh in resignation then, lacing their fingers together before he faced his king, echoing her sentiment.

Comments

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egmarinas
Sep. 24th, 2009 06:39 pm (UTC)
Beautiful story! Well written and thought out in how the characters would react in this situation. Although it would be nice to have Uther and Arthur talk in private together.
kepp0xy
Sep. 26th, 2009 12:40 am (UTC)
Thank you :]!

Although it would be nice to have Uther and Arthur talk in private together.

In all honesty, the way this all plays out in my head means that a discussion between Uther and Arthur would be a little pointless. By the time Uther has Gwen arrested, he's only keen to speak with her, test her a bit. Anything Arthur would say would simply be noise until Uther's had his chance ;)
archaeologist_d
Sep. 24th, 2009 07:16 pm (UTC)
That was really quite lovely. Loved that they were talking about an escape but that Uther overheard them. Good thing he was so reasonable. It could have gone very badly. Well done.
kepp0xy
Sep. 26th, 2009 12:41 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed.
jazzrose343
Sep. 24th, 2009 08:14 pm (UTC)
This is beautiful!! I love the idea of Uther undertsanding and seeing that Gwen and Arthur should be together! Wonderful stuff!
kepp0xy
Sep. 26th, 2009 12:52 am (UTC)
I don't think it's where they'll go in the show, but Uther being understanding is not such a stretch. He's a good man, ultimately. And they should be together, you're absolutely right XD! Thanks for the lovely comment :]!
shantirosa
Sep. 24th, 2009 08:31 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I really liked this. I'm biased because, well, I'm very fond of Uther, but I loved how you characterised him here. And Arthur and Gwen's interaction made me smile; it was so awesome and IC.
kepp0xy
Sep. 26th, 2009 12:53 am (UTC)
Oh, I adore Uther too. He's such an interesting, conflicted character, plus ASH is a silver fox ;) Thanks so much for the lovely comment, I'm glad you enjoyed!
whimsey
Sep. 24th, 2009 08:42 pm (UTC)
Such a lovely story.

I absolutely turned to a puddle when Arthur said, ""To stand beside the woman I love as a tyrant reigns over her" to his father.

Oh my. I am very surprised at the conversation between Gwen and Uther. Uther isn't the callous man that I thought he was. It touched me deeply that Uther just want his son to be happy with the one he loves.

I am soo glad that Gwen stood up for herself and deteriorate, in a sense, in front of Uther's eyes.
kepp0xy
Sep. 26th, 2009 12:57 am (UTC)
Thanks so much! I'm very glad you enjoyed!

Uther isn't the callous man that I thought he was.

He really isn't. He has the best intentions and sees more than many people give him credit for. And he must understand love - he was in it, to a terribly strong degree; his paranoia and magic ban is based upon the loss of it, after all.

As for Gwen, she's a tough cookie. She's just learning that now, though ;)
moonlightstorm
Sep. 24th, 2009 09:09 pm (UTC)
Oooh, this was fantastic. I loved it.
kepp0xy
Sep. 26th, 2009 12:57 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad :)
royal4ever
Sep. 24th, 2009 10:07 pm (UTC)
loved it! always wondered might happen if the characters were ever in the situation like this!

this line - ""To stand beside the woman I love as a tyrant reigns over her" sent me to mush!!!! could so see arthur saying this!
kepp0xy
Sep. 26th, 2009 02:17 am (UTC)
Ah, I'd love for them to go there on the show, but I doubt we'll get to that point. Thanks for reading & commenting!
ophelia_winters
Sep. 24th, 2009 10:17 pm (UTC)
Just got back from my internet break and THIS is an awesome treat to come back to! You played it all out so well! Uther's extream bahviour is just bang on. First, he puts her in shackles, then he tests her, and then he lets her geat cleaned up to tell Arthur that they have to make it official!! <3
"Somewhere in the country. Merlin will carry your train, and Morgana will be best man."
This was one of those moments that I was actually trying not to laugh, because the whole thing was so serious but...Such a bloody perfect line.

Gwen had spent many hours, over the course of hundreds of days, studying him and ensuring she was wholly familiar with Arthur Pendragon.
It's so full of love that bit, I don't think the writers themselves could have done a better job.

"Yes, I do," Arthur agreed, measured voice thinly masking the scathing tone beneath. "To stand beside the woman I love as a tyrant reigns over her."
"Enough," Uther said in quiet tones which seemed to slither around Gwen in her cell and fill her with an icy dread.

Makes me feel like I'm sitting on needles everytime I read it!

And his attire was merely a shirt and trousers, with the most basic style of jacket over top.
Doesn't matter what he's wearing, Tony Head is my older-man crush. The more basic, the better! *ignores the weird looks she is getting*

In her opinion, Uther did a good enough job on his own of hammering wedges, building walls and digging moats between he and Arthur
...to say in the least.

They had discussed this, she and Arthur.
I like this alot. It just makes you aware that it's not a silly little romance, they were serious and nothing is more serious that talking about how the hell you are going to get the King's mind around the whole issue.

But then they had been reckless in the markets while visiting a baking table
8D I'm a little more overjoyed than I should be at the baking table mention.


"My father is always on my mind," she said softly, and was fervently thankful she had kept her eyes trained on his face. She did not miss the flash of emotion which crossed his features, something almost like sympathy, and almost like envy.</i>
I can't hate Uther! I've tried but I can't! So lovely, both him and Gwen. <3 <3 <3



ophelia_winters
Sep. 24th, 2009 10:17 pm (UTC)
Stupid word limit...

"Then you will be a useless queen,"
Um. Ouch. But I still love that he's almost disappointed in her answer. Brilliant comeback lines.

"They will no longer. Once your betrothal is announced, you will be referred to solely as Lady Guinevere. Anyone heard calling you by another title will be appropriately reprimanded."
That's Hot. I adore how important he thinks her being called that is. I mean, obviously it is and all...but I think I'll miss it when everyone is calling her Guinevere all the time as oppose to just Arthur.

"It had always been my hope that Arthur would find an appropriate wife whom he also loved," Uther said slowly, and for the first time, Gwen saw him as human. "I loved Igraine, and I wished that Arthur..."
aaaaaand this is the part where I turn into a sniffeling idiot. It's so genuine and bittersweet!

Arthur cursed the designer of the palace; who ever had thought that building the war counsel room on the opposite side of the castle from the throne room was a fool who ought to have been strung up. Merlin puffed behind him, having delivered the summons in a wheeze after clearly sprinting most of the way to reach Arthur.
It's amazing how clear this scene can be played out in my mind. I can almost see Arthur's impatients at the situation and Merlin in the background holding a stitch in his side XD

Perhaps she could stay in Ealdor with Hunith.
within the span of minutes and he's already plotting ways to still be with her! D'awwwwww!!

The room fell absolutely silent; so quiet that Arthur heard the shift of material as Gwen took a step towards him in her resplendent new dress, which he now understood must have been a gift from his father.
*crickets chirp* lol! Gwen then went to clean Arthur's shocked jaw off the floor.

Merlin made a noise behind them which was probably a laugh that he had tried to hide behind a cough but sounded more like a choking donkey.
*giggles* I love our choking donkey!!

GAH! Just loved it! You never fail to give me a good read! I don't think I can thank you enough! How does my first born sound?
Re: Stupid word limit... - kepp0xy - Sep. 26th, 2009 03:46 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kepp0xy - Sep. 26th, 2009 03:44 am (UTC) - Expand
cupsofsoup1653
Sep. 25th, 2009 02:15 am (UTC)
Beautiful. Beautiful, beautiful BEAUTIFUL! The writing was exquisite, the characters in character, believable plot line. Really, a stunning little piece :) Thank you so much for posting, a delight to read <3

Brilliant job!
kepp0xy
Sep. 26th, 2009 03:46 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed ♥
mattyroh07
Sep. 25th, 2009 05:39 am (UTC)
<3 <3 <3!!!! *is speechless*
kepp0xy
Sep. 26th, 2009 03:47 am (UTC)
♥ thanks!
robinmarian
Sep. 25th, 2009 09:19 am (UTC)
OMG Kelly!!! How do I love thee? Let me count the ways!!!!

OMG I love you Kelly for writing such a beautiful, sad, happy, lovely fic. OMG! I love it from start to end but u know being the A/G hardcore fan that I am I LOVED the beginning & ending parts of the fic. OMG I can so totally see their scenes in my head. Gwen in the cell while Arthur just outside her cell trying to ease her worries by making jokes when he himself is also dying inside. Waaaaaaaahhh I'm glad you gave them a happy ending.

Uther finally accepting Gwen was wow. I didnt see that one coming. haha it's lovely to see Uther here as the loving father who only wants his only son and heir to be truly happy with the woman he loves.


I know this is one shot but I hope you follow it up with Gwen and Arthur's wedding and dealing with the nobility. hahahaha
kepp0xy
Sep. 26th, 2009 03:49 am (UTC)
Haha Jhing, your comments always make me smile XD Uther is a lot of things, many of them not too great, but he loves his son & he understands what love is. So I think that if he could, he would move mountains and bring down the skies if it meant Arthur could find a love like his to Igraine.

Mmm... No promises!

Glad you enjoyed ♥
(Deleted comment)
kepp0xy
Sep. 26th, 2009 03:50 am (UTC)
Thanks!! I'm so glad you liked it - I was thinking of you a bit, what with it having so much Uther ;) I really hope it goes something like this too, but I doubt it - I somehow don't think the show will go that far. Anyways, thanks again! ♥
nusseis
Sep. 25th, 2009 03:17 pm (UTC)
This brightened up my day immensely. Thank you! :)
kepp0xy
Sep. 26th, 2009 03:50 am (UTC)
Aw, I'm glad! Thanks so much for commenting!

Also, your icon is flipping awesome. *g*!
(no subject) - nusseis - Sep. 26th, 2009 02:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
scornedsaint
Sep. 25th, 2009 06:48 pm (UTC)
Oooh! I love this. There should be more Uther fic that mixes him with the ensemble, and yours was fabulous!
kepp0xy
Sep. 26th, 2009 03:51 am (UTC)
I agree! Uther needs more interaction with our foursome. Thanks so much for reading & commenting, I'm glad you enjoyed!
(Deleted comment)
kepp0xy
Oct. 5th, 2009 02:33 pm (UTC)
I would love for Uther & Gwen to interact more directly, to actually somehow be forced to have a conversation, I think it would be incredibly illuminating for them both. Thank you very much, I'm so glad you enjoyed!
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