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Title: And Not Feel Your Reign
Author: kepp0xy
Rating: G
Characters/Pairing: Arthur/Gwen, Gwen/Lancelot (implied)
Warning: Angst, sort-of UST, see A/N for spoiler warning/explanation
Summary: Gwen goes to Arthur the evening of her return from capture.

Author's Note: Not a real spoiler warning as this is based on events from episode 2.02, 2.03 and the preview for 2.04. It's definitely speculation, and probably wishful thinking. I wrote this on the plane home from London, while Gravity by Sara Bareilles played on repeat, so this is possibly more melancholy than I meant it to be. Regardless, I hope you enjoy it for what it is :] Comments are ♥ & concrit appreciated.

The evening breeze was particularly sharp, but Arthur welcomed the bite on his cheeks as he stood on the ramparts. It made everything else somehow feel less... severe. As though the cool weather froze the molten emotions running swift as rapids through him.

"I hoped to find you here," Guinevere said behind him. All comfort lost, Arthur's stomach swooped even as his shoulders tensed and he turned slowly to face her.

She had washed and changed. Circles sat in heavy smudges under her eyes painting her exhausted. He wanted to tell her to get some rest as equally as he wanted to ask her to stay. Instead, he only nodded and crossed his arms over his chest, waiting. She would speak in her own time, and he did not trust his voice.

Arthur could still see her hand grasped in Lancelot's, the affection in her eyes, adoration all over his face; Arthur only wished he could feel betrayed, or in the least intensely jealous, instead of the desolate ache of the loss of something never his in the first place.

"Thank you," she began softly, glancing away from his face to look at her hands. He wished she wouldn't do that. "For rescuing me."

"Of course," he replied. If his voice was a little hollow and his expression empty, he tried not to feel ashamed for it.

Guinevere nodded and bit the inside of her bottom lip. "Um, I also wanted to say sorry," she continued uneasily, watching him warily now from beneath her eyelashes.

"What for?" Arthur asked stiffly, feeling a frown crease his forehead without really meaning to. He cleared his throat uncomfortably as she stepped closer to him, standing just in front of him as she had the morning of the final match before gifting him with her token.

After swallowing, she tipped her chin up. "For hurting you," she whispered sadly.

If the terrace had collapsed beneath him just then, Arthur couldn't say he'd have minded a bit.

"Not at all," he finally managed gruffly, not quite meeting her eyes. "I obviously just... misread the situation between us."

"You didn't," Gwen replied sharply. Arthur did meet her gaze then, and the ache for her increased with her remorseful expression. "You didn't," she repeated, shaking her head for emphasis.

They stood awkwardly watching each other before Gwen finally dropped her eyes and parted her lips in the way Guinevere did when she had more to say but was hesitant to say it. He wished he didn't know that about her. "It's just... It's like you said, isn't it?" Gwen finally said softly. "The king isn't the only one who wouldn't understand... And one day, you will fall in love with a noblewoman and marry her." Her voice wavered just slightly with the last word. Arthur closed his eyes against a brutal wave of denial and Gwen paused until he looked at her again. "Lancelot and I -

"Of course you're right," Arthur said quickly, not thinking himself able to bear hearing her speak of Lancelot, entirely unable to witness that softness her expression took on, something she probably didn't even realise.

Guinevere, for her part, took a deep breath before clasping her hands in front of her with an acquiescent duck of her head. She really did need rest, he thought, studying her grayish pallor to avoid her eyes. But he saw as Gwen opened her mouth again and Arthur met her gaze to forestall her.

"When he returns to Camelot permanently," Arthur said, ignoring the churn of rebellion in the pit of his stomach. "I hope you're happy." He even thought he may have sounded as though he actually meant it.

He watched as her brow curved in an almost delicate frown, lips parting as though she were on the cusp of saying something again before she sucked in a deep breath instead.

They both knew - what else could be said?

Arthur hesitated, but he thought that perhaps he could recognise an ending when he was in the midst of one and so, once more, on impulse, he leaned down to her.

Guinevere's lips were as soft and full and fit as perfectly to his as he remembered. It took less than a beat before she had tilted her head and was kissing him back, pressing her mouth hard against his with something like desperation.

The ache in his chest peaked in response, whispering needily about forever, and Arthur wished she hadn't kissed him back.

He pulled away abruptly, stepping past her without another glance and left the balcony for the hopefully freezing sanctuary of his chambers.


( 84 comments — Leave a comment )
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Oct. 5th, 2009 05:46 pm (UTC)
AH. My heart! This is so sad and angsty- I LOVE it. I hope that if they go with Gwen/Lancelot it isn't because she loves Lancelot more. Is that mean of me?
Oct. 6th, 2009 04:05 am (UTC)
Thank you! And no, it's not mean of you. I think, and hope too, that they do as you say. I think Gwen will love him, but I reckon they're going to turn the legend on its ear a bit: where the Guinevere of the legends did love Arthur, but loved Lancelot more, I think Merlin will have it the reverse. So when the time comes, and she does choose Arthur, it will be a solid choice in good conscience. I don't think our Guinevere could act any other way :]
Oct. 5th, 2009 05:46 pm (UTC)
Oh I liked this! Thanks for sharing :)
Oct. 6th, 2009 04:05 am (UTC)
I'm glad! ♥
Oct. 5th, 2009 05:48 pm (UTC)
Oh, oh, oh! so soft and sad and urgh, my hearts just breaking for them. if the show can produce something half as good as this next week they'll have done very well indeed. LOVE THIS, especially as it has Lance/Gwen/Arthur in my favourite form (that being Arthur angsting over Gwen/Lance).
Oct. 6th, 2009 04:07 am (UTC)
Ah, I'm certain the episode will hold unbelievable amounts of angst for us. Thanks for reading & commenting XD!
Oct. 5th, 2009 05:55 pm (UTC)
Terribly heartbreaking, and really, really lovely. I can only hope for something like this in the upcoming episode!
Oct. 6th, 2009 04:09 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed :]
Oct. 5th, 2009 05:57 pm (UTC)
Ouch. In a very good, very well written way.

This bit in particular;
"They stood awkwardly watching each other before Gwen finally dropped her eyes and parted her lips in the way Guinevere did when she had more to say but was hesitant to say it. He wished he didn't know that about her."
was so easy to visualise and gut-twisty and brilliant.

Oct. 6th, 2009 04:10 am (UTC)
Thank you so much :]!
Oct. 5th, 2009 06:01 pm (UTC)
;_____; Well, this can't happen, that's all there is to it.

But seriously, this was ouchy and lovely.
Oct. 6th, 2009 04:24 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm kind of looking forward to the angst, to be honest. But mostly for what it will result in later *g*
Oct. 5th, 2009 06:01 pm (UTC)
That was wondefully angsty and heart-breaking! (Although I hope this week's ep doesn't turn out that way!)
Oct. 6th, 2009 04:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks! In all honesty, I'm kind of looking forward to the angst. After all, we know it won't stay that way ;]
Oct. 5th, 2009 06:03 pm (UTC)
I used to love Guinevere/Lancelot but because of "Merlin" I changed my mind. You're fic is lovely. ^^
Oct. 6th, 2009 04:56 pm (UTC)
Ahh, I'm glad you've jumped ship, so to speak ;) Thank you for the kind comment!
(no subject) - heka_granger - Oct. 6th, 2009 05:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 5th, 2009 06:08 pm (UTC)
Omg, this was amazing. I got a bit teary-eyed. I actually wouldn't mind if it played out like this in the show. Such beautiful angst. Well done.
Oct. 6th, 2009 04:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm so glad you enjoyed :]
Oct. 5th, 2009 06:08 pm (UTC)
A sick part of me wants next weeks ep to turn out like this and another equally sick part says NOOOOOOO!
Lovely piece, love the angst ;)
Oct. 6th, 2009 04:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I do sort of hope next week's turns out this way, but I worry that it will be worse.
Oct. 5th, 2009 06:14 pm (UTC)
This was fabulous, beautiful and poignant and oh so very bittersweet. Seriously is it Saturday yet?
Oct. 6th, 2009 04:58 pm (UTC)
Seriously is it Saturday yet?

If only! Thanks so much for the lovely comment, I'm glad you enjoyed :]
Oct. 5th, 2009 06:18 pm (UTC)
My absolute favourite line in the whole fic?
He wished he didn't know that about her.
Just because this is what falling for someone you think you can't have. Finding those little habits, or movements and just knowing how much that little thing is so very them! GUH! Loooooove it! And of course, wishing that he didn't know.

And the end just kills me. I have to go lick my wounds now, that was so sad. *sniffles*
Oct. 6th, 2009 05:11 pm (UTC)
Exactly. And Arthur appears to be very much in puppy love at the moment, so his soreness on this will be that much more poignant.

Thanks for the lovely comment as always ♥ I'm glad you enjoyed =]!
Oct. 5th, 2009 06:19 pm (UTC)
OH GOD MY HEARTTTTTTT, this was so so lovely and ouchy in the best way.
Oct. 6th, 2009 05:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed ♥
Oct. 5th, 2009 06:30 pm (UTC)
That was so heartbreaking but so beautifully written.
Oct. 6th, 2009 06:00 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for the kind words :]
Oct. 5th, 2009 06:40 pm (UTC)
This was wonderful. I thought you captured the situation perfectly. Great job.
Oct. 6th, 2009 06:00 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
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