Characters/Pairings: Gwen/Knights of the Round Table + Arthur + Merlin
Genre/Rating: Crack, fluff, humour. G
Spoilers/warnings: Character spoilers for upcoming episodes.
Summary: In which Gwen does not have a favourite, but no one believes her. Alternately: in which Guinevere has far too many men in her life.
Author's Note: Character spoilers. Inspired by this epic gloriousness by felix_aeternus (character spoilers in the art!), and by Gwaine and his face and his general... Gwaine-liness.
She tipped her head back and up to find Percival draped across the back of her chair. She smiled warmly, but raised her eyebrow. "Yes?"
He slithered sideways until he was crouched beside her - somehow at eye level: how these men grew so tall she would never know - and looked at her very seriously.
Except for the telling twitch of his mouth.
"I have a question for you."
"Do you," she responded indulgently, setting the parchment she had been reading aside. "An important one?"
Percival nodded somberly. "Of the utmost importance."
"Who," he began, then puffed out his chest impressively so that Gwen's brows shot skyward. "Is your favourite knight?"
"My favourite -
"Knight," he finished with a nod.
"I don't -
"Of course you do," came Gwaine's voice from somewhere behind her and she twisted in her chair to see around its tall back.
Gwen shook her head, watching with a small smile as he rounded the corner to lean against her desk. "I don't, actually."
"Gwaine insists it's him," Percival said, grumpy.
"I, of course, explain that it's me," Elyan said, entering the room and straightening his gauntlets. "Preferential treatment and that sort of thing."
Nodding patiently, Gwen reached her hand out to him, and he squeezed her fingers in greeting before letting go. "You're my brother," she said agreeably. "And I love you." Elyan nodded and looked in satisfaction at Percival and Gwaine.
"But I don't have a favourite knight," she finished firmly, watching with some delight as Elyan's face fell.
"She's only sparing you," Leon said evenly from the door. "I have known Gwen longer than any of you, save Lancelot. Obviously she feels the most fond of me."
Gwen opened her mouth to argue when Gwaine raised a hand for attention. "The length of time you've known Gwen has nothing to do with it. I charmed her from the start. Didn't I, Princess?"
Unable to stop herself, she laughed. Loudly. It would have been frustrating if she hadn't been so amused; Gwaine looked as pompous as she'd ever seen him and even the other men were grinning along with her.
"I was right about you back then," Gwaine said, his eyebrows wagging roguishly, making her laugh all over again. "And I'm right now too," he finished when she caught her breath.
"No. I do not have a favourite knight."
"It's Gwaine," Percival said confidently.
"Definitely Gwaine," Leon agreed, smile still hovering.
Elyan sighed. "Clearly Gwaine."
"Thank you, gentlemen," Gwaine said, sweeping from his spot against the desk and into an dramatic bow. "I graciously accept your concessions of defeat."
Gwen stopped gaping at their sudden change to frown around the room. "It is not Gwaine - because I have no favourites at all!" she added as they each opened their mouths to counter her.
"So you don't like any of us?" Percival said, working a pout that might just rival Arthur's.
"We've already established that she loves me," Elyan interrupted.
"Only because you're related," Leon retorted.
"She must like me," Gwaine said, though his shoulders slumped slightly. "I made her laugh..."
"I didn't say that I don't like any of you!"
"Your tone was pretty dismissive," Leon said reasonably.
"More than dismissive," Percival disagreed hopelessly. "Uncaring."
"It wasn't -
"It was pretty harsh, Guinevere," Elyan said, his own tones verging on scolding.
Her brows dropped into a deep frown. "I wasn't dismissing, or uncaring. I care about each of you -
"Loves me," Elyan interrupted.
Percival whapped him on the back of the head.
"- Equally," Gwen continued primly. "And have no favourites."
"Except for me," Gwaine said.
"He's right. It's definitely him," Percival said with a nod towards Gwaine. "Bastard gets anyone he wants, and now even has the Queen."
The four men whipped around and Gwen looked up. Arthur stood in the doorway, arms crossed over his chest and a scowl on his face. Merlin was just behind him, clearly biting down on an enormous smile.
Gwaine cleared his throat. "We were debating which knight was Queen Guinevere's favourite, Sire."
"I was insisting I have none -
"But we've sorted that it's Gwaine," Elyan supplied helpfully.
Huffing, Gwen said, "It isn't Gwaine -
"No," Arthur agreed. Gwen breathed out a sigh of relief. Finally, a little hel - "It's me."
"You?" Percival said, incredulity obvious from his tone to his stance to the severe crook of his eyebrows.
"Excuse me, my lord, but you're the King," Leon said, as though explaining a particularly difficult concept to a very young child.
Elyan nodded emphatically to this. "You hardly count."
"What?" Arthur's lips thinned. "I began as a knight -
"You began as a prince," Gwaine pointed out. A swift glance in his direction revealed he was grinning wickedly. Gwen rolled her eyes. "And," Gwaine added with relish. "You're Gwen's husband."
"By that logic, Elyan doesn't count either," Arthur said stubbornly.
"That's basically what Gwen said," Elyan agreed unhappily.
"Oh." Thrown for a moment, Arthur shook his head. "That doesn't matter. I am, quite obviously, her absolute favourite."
"I beg to differ, my lord," Leon said politely.
Percival had no interest in politeness. "Bull."
As Arthur sucked in a deep breath to start on some tirade or other, Gwen quietly gathered the parchments she had been reading and slipped past a highly entertained Gwaine - who had the audacity to wink at her - and out through the servant's corridor.
A moment later, Merlin was at her shoulder. "Rough morning?"
"Not at all," Gwen said tightly.
Merlin was silent and so Gwen sneaked a glance at him. She wished she hadn't, his gleeful smile was as bad as all the teasing.
"Oh, nothing," he said, smile growing.
Gwen sighed. "What is it, Merlin?"
"They should be glad the discussion was about favourite knights and not favourite people," he said happily.
Stopping midstep and closing her eyes, Gwen took a deep breath. Then she said, as evenly as possible, "Why is that?"
"Well," Merlin said, basking in whatever misconceived security he perceived himself to have in her vicinity. "If it was about favourite people, I'd come out on - Gwen? Gwen! Where are you going?"
"I just realized," Gwen muttered as she hurried down another passage, away from Merlin, away from everyone. "That I haven't been to the tavern in ages."
"It's eleven in the morning!"
"And won't it be lovely to have the space to myself?"