Gwen, daughter of Tom, was a servant in the castle. She was the personal servant of Lady Morgana. She loved her job! Morgana was a dream, and the castle always had something exciting going on! Since she was Morgana's maid she was always in the front row of every joust, melee, dance, wedding, speech, and just about anything else she could think of!
"Good morning," Gwen called to Morgana as she paused in the hall since Morgana was walking toward her. She glaces over at the Prince's door and thought she might should keep her voice down. Arthur, the prince, wasn't cruel, but she ever wanted on his bad side. It wasn't a good place to be.
"I thought it would cheer you up!" Everyone needed something to cheer them up, but Morgana often had nightmares and didn't sleep well. Sometimes Gwen even stayed the night with her, so she'd not be alone. Morgana told her, that she cheered her up. Gwen smiled brightly, "Shall I fetch a vase for them?" She offered. Morgana nodded and turned to walk to her room. Gwen paused there, watching her friend go into her room, wishing she could find a way to help her!
Waking up this morning, the first thing he noticed . . . was that Guinevère was not laying next to him. Ever since they had gotten married, he didn't know how he had slept all those other nights without her laying next to him -- or in his arms. So it was rather unsettling when he rolled over, arm extended as he fully expected to feel her . . . only to see an empty space. Odd. But it was enough to get him out of bed. He was so distracted by the lack of his wife, that he did not even fully notice his surroundings. If he had, perhaps he would have recognized how different his room was. That it was not his and Guinevère's usual chamber.
But, he was too concerned thinking about where his wife was -- and now where his useless servant was. Something felt, off, and Arthur was determined to get to the bottom of it. Not wanting to waste time putting on his chainmail and cape, and dressed in his casual attire, stepping out into the hall see Guinevère. The sight of her often caused him to pause, taken aback by her beauty . . . but this time, he paused for an entirely different reason. His eyes looked over her and . . . he was confused. "Guinevère," he greeted, taking a couple of steps towards her. "What . . . are you wearing?" Not that she didn't look beautiful in anything, but she was a queen now. And, she was dressed as a . . . servant. He asked with a slightly raised eyebrow and though there was a tease in his voice, his question still stood, curious for an answer.
Morgana's door shut, and Guinevère turned to leave; only the sound of the prince's door opening had her pausing and stepping back toward the wall. Not out of fear, but more just making sure shew as out of his way for when he exited and went about his way. "Guinevère," Not many used her name, and it made her look up at him, something she didn't normally do. "What . . . are you wearing?" Her smile froze, and she blinkered at him. What?
She looked down at her dress, her YELLOW one! It was her prettiest one! She wore it too all the balls and big events. She wore it today wanting to dress pretty. She loved her red one, but the castle had enough red in it. She felt a bit of anger but this was the prince, so she kept it down. "P-pardon?" she asked, smoothing out her dress and trying to keep (most) the upset off her face. "My dress?" She asked, wondering what he meant. She was so surprised by his question that she'd forgotten to call him my lord, or sire. Which would REALLY stress her out (thus making her talk too much) once she remembered herself. "It is my favorite." Morgana's too. Thus why she'd wore it.
She seemed rather . . . surprised by his statement, or question rather. But not as surprised as Arthur's reaction to seeing her in it. The dress. Her hair. Something was definitely different. "Is it?" He asked with a playfulness in his voice as he began to shift closer to her, a smirk playing on his features. "And yet you have so many other ones," he told her, the same teasing tone in his voice as he was now standing directly in front of her.
"Though I did miss seeing you this morning in your nightdress," he added in a low voice so that it could not be overheard. Another playful remark, touching on the fact that she had left before he had gotten up. And that he had missed seeing her this morning. He had missed waking up next to her. And now, she dressed like -- dare he say -- a servant. He didn't quite understand it but he supposed she would give him an answer soon enough. Besides, he was enjoying teasing her in the process.
"Is it?" The prince said, and Gwen wondered if she had missed part of this conversation. "And yet you have so many other ones," Looking down at her dress, the knew she had one other. SHe'd been saving for a third, but so far she didn't have the coin yet. When she looked up HE WAS CLOSE! WHEN HAD HE MOVED CLOSE! Leaning back, and away from him as he moved closer her eyes widened and her lips fell open. "Though I did miss seeing you this morning in your nightdress," "WHA--" She began, but couldn't finish!
Gwen slid tot he side, and scrambled away, ending up knocking over a vase that was along the wall! "Pardon?!" She asked, panicked, "I . . . . My lord! I . . . " HE WANTED TO SEE HER IN A NIGHT DRESS! She needed to clean up the mess and she needed to run away and tell Morgana! "I hardly think that would be appropriate, my lord!" She said, backing away and stepping on the vase. Bending she began to push the broken pottery to the side so no one would step on it. "I will get this cleaned up!" Though she was not looking at it, more looking at him with a horrified expression on her face! HER NIGHT GOWN! Really?!?!! Was he pickled?!
Something wasn't right. He'd said far more flirtatious things to her in the course of their marriage -- and even before -- and never had she become so flustered. That, in addition to what she was wearing and then . . . the titles. That caused him to pause for a moment. My lord. They were far past that now, for there was not tease in how she said it. It sounded more . . . formal. And Arthur found it to be quite unsettling.
When she bent to clean up the now broken vase, Arthur did the same, bending down in front of her so that he could look at her face as he too started to pick up the pieces. "Guinevère," he said, looking directly into her eyes, trying to understand what was going on. "What's wrong?" He reached out to put a hand on her cheek. In part for comfort, and the other part to see if she was warm from some illness. "Please, talk to me." For whatever was causing her to act this way, surely they could figure it out together. They were always stronger when they were together.
He kept calling her Guinevère! . . . . and she sort of liked it, but it also freaked her out! He said it like he meant it! Like it was a promise, or had hidden meaning! He said it like he'd might have said it a million times! Guinevère-GWEN froze when he bent to clean up the vase too, and stared at him with wide eyes, shocked and speechless that the spoiled, arrogant, never-said-please-to-anyone prince, was cleaning up a mess! He was clearly under a illness or sickness! OR spell! OH! His father was going to go mad!
He asked her if SHE was alright, and Guinevère was about to reply, but he touched her! JUST TOUCHED HER! Her face looked at his hand, and it made her lips brush his skin, and she felt herself blush harder then ever before--secretly she liked strong me, but had always looked for someone more ordinary. After Elyan left, she wanted someone safe, who would stay. AND NOW she had the kingdom's strongest knight, and prince touching her face! AS IF HE REALLY WORRIED AND CARE!
THEN HE SAID PLEASE! Leaning back, Guineve--GWEN pulled from his touch, and stared at him. "Forgive me, sire, but are YOU feeling well?" She asked, not daring to touch him, but she did look at his hand as she pulled away. "Shall i fetch your father? Or Gaius or Morris?" She asked him, wanting to run get help but worried that he might be sick.
The expression on her face and the way she recoiled from his touch said it all. Something definitely wasn't right. She asked for forgiveness, once again using his title and once again, confirming his fears that something was . . . off. Very off. As if her reaction wasn't enough, she then spoke names that caused him to freeze. He could have sworn his heart skipped a beat in the shock that presented itself. His eyes slightly widened, lips parted. "My . . . father?" His father? The king? What . . . that didn't make sense! His father was dead. Arthur had been the one responsible for his death. Arthur had mourned him. Arthur had become king. How . . . how was this possible?
"He's . . . alive?" Arthur asked, suddenly longing for nothing more than to see his father. What world did he enter into? No. This had to be a dream. This was not real. It couldn't be real. He would wake up in bed, next to his wife, and the two of them would laugh about this ridiculous dream and how a Guinevère from years ago would react to his advances. Years ago. "Guinevère . . . " He said her name because . . . because he needed to know what was happening. And he didn't know how to ask her when she seemed so, put off by him. "Where's Merlin?" If his father was here, and she was like . . . how she was . . . perhaps Merlin would have answers. Merlin always seemed to have the answers to strange situations.
Guinever--GWEN! watched as the prince began to struggle with something. No, he was not alright! Something was wrong here, and he looked . . . she'd never seen that expression on his face before. The natural arrogance of a prince was not there, and there was something else. "Y . . . yes . . . " she replied when he asked about his father. "My lord, I fear you might be unwell! Let me help you get back to bed!" She'd never been in his room, but if he was unwell she needed to fetch Gaius.
AND his father!
"I shall get Gaius, for you!" She asked, standing to turn and go but hesitating. One, she could not leave him standing here until she helped him lie back down; and two, "Forgive me, my lord, but I don't know that name. Is he a new knight? Or a servant? I can ask for him if you'd like!" She offered. Guinevère--NO! GWEN! took a step closer, and looked up at his face. "Or if you rather, Lady Morgana is just the hall! I shall get her to help you, sire?"
There was no Merlin. Guinevère was here but it was not the Guinevère he knew. There was no Merlin. His father was alive and . . . Morgana. She spoke of Morgana. His eyes slightly widened at the mention of her name. "Morgana?" He both questioned and acknowledged, an underlying tone of fear in his voice. She was here, in one of the rooms and . . . Arthur didn't know if that was a relief or cause to be terrified. This was either some alternate reality or, the past. Or -- he hoped -- just a really terrible dream. But the way she spoke to him, with titles, lack of any . . . emotion. Emotion that he was used to.
For even in the earlier days of their relationship, her use of titles had been attached to the feelings they held for one another. But not this time. She just looked shocked, and rejecting of his touch and . . . it hurt. It all confused Arthur far more than he could admit, and while he longed to see his father, and Morgana . . . he needed to try to make sense of this first. There was one last hope for that, and Guinevère had just offered to get him.
"Yes," he said in a low voice. He didn't trust himself to move around the castle right now. Perhaps, Gaius could help him. "Guinevère, if you could please get Gaius for me. I will be waiting in my chambers." He wanted to run to Uther, to know that he was alive! To see Morgana before she had so much hate in her heart. And yet . . . he couldn't. For at the cost, had come Guinevère and Merlin. And his brothers of heart. Leon! Surely Leon was here! But the others? It was all too much and Arthur found himself leaning against the wall to help keep himself braced on his feet.
She watched his face as he spoke of Morgana, and there was something she couldn't place. She didn't know him well enough to know that expression. Eventually he asked her to go fetch Gaius and she hesitated only a moment before doing it. Gwen didn't want to leave him just standing there but it wasn't her place to question him. Instead she stood there, watching him for a moment, before turning to hurry down below. Uther would need to be told as well. She would let the doctor tell him that Arthur was unwell! She didn't plan on being that person.
After cleaning up the broken pottery, and seeing to Morgana, Guin kept thinking of the ill prince. It tugged her on. How awful to be so ill that he thought he had seen her in her nightdress before! He must had thought her another servant?? Or someone else? No, he called her by name. Her full name even! Why? Her face heated as she wondered if the prince dreamed of her thustly! OH EMBARRASSING! She knew she was pretty, but surely he wouldn't! His words, spoke in a tone she'd never heard from him before--or to be honest from a man before--pulled at her too. What had meant?!
She slowed as she passed his door. The prince had not been seen since she fetched Gaius. Gwen moved to walk past the door but paused. She could NOT check on him! Never at any point in their interactions had they ever said anything that wasn't about Morgana or work, or . . . . . No! She couldn't check on the prince! It wasn't her place! Turning she made it only three steps before she turned and knocked on his door. Morgana would wish to know how he was! Yes! She was checking on the prince for Morgana's sake. Not because he looked so unlike himself this morning. Not because that expression had made him seem human more then title. Not because that expression worried her---and NOT because she wanted to know WHY he thought she should be wearing her night gown!
Gaius was not helpful. Not in the least! He didn't seem to have any idea of what was going on and when Arthur asked if Merlin had been here at all, he just gave him a look. Arthur knew it best not to push it, and asked Gaius not to mention any of this to his father. Gaius told him that until there was something to actually tell, he would remain silent and mention only that Arthur was feeling under the weather. Once the physician left, Arthur closed his chamber door and started pacing. What was happening?! Right now he was prince, and while he knew there was much he had to get done but he didn't know what was going on! He longed to see his father, but also knew that until he could gain better understanding and clarity of the situation, he could not see him. But . . . he was alive. He was alive!
The now prince had lost track of how long he had paced until he resorted to looking out his windowsill. His room felt . . . empty. Cold. A warmth that Guinevère had brought with her when they married severely lacking. There was joy that his father was still alive, but there was also the emptiness of the absence of many in his life. His wife, at the top of the list. A knock caused him to jump in surprise as he made his way to the door. He opened it only a crack, enough to see who was on the other end and breathed a sigh of relief when he saw who it was. "Guinevère," he acknowledged, opening it further to allow her inside. "Come in." The invitation and gesture far too casual, but to him . . . that was how it was. Casual. This room was after all hers as well . . . even if she didn't know it yet.
The prince opened the door, and Guinevère gave a small smile in greeting while planning to greet him by title and bow--yet before she could do either he opened the door, said her name 'that way' and stepped back to allow her to enter. No questions asked. Her eyes widened. slightly, and her lips parted on surprise. She forgot to bow or speak for a moment! She looked down the hall one way and then the other before taking a few steps in the room. She was in the prince's room! His BED chamber!
She looked around the room, taking in how . . . . man like it looked. Turning she looked at him, knowing she needed to say something. "I was . . . checking to see if you felt better." She said, knowing she should add 'for Morgana' to the end. Yet she couldn't bring herself to lie. He had been thinking about this all day. Now she was standing inside of his chambers and alone with him. While he was still seeming unlike himself with her. The prince was his arrogant spoiled . . . . . he wasn't someone who spoke to her like this.
Was he feeling better. No. He was feeling worse for he felt more helpless than before. But he knew he could not act as such. And still. Guinevère was the only familiar face here he knew he could trust with his circumstance. Yet . . . at the same time, this was many years ago from where they had come. She was close and loyal to Morgana. What if she told her? What if Morgana was somehow behind all this?
He had yet to see her, the pain of her presence still weighing on him as he was too fearful to cross paths with the woman who wanted him dead. "I'm . . . fine." A lie and he knew it. "Thank you for your concern," he said softly, looking at her. Trying to figure out what to say. How to say it. Where to start. He couldn't exactly just blurt out that they were married and in love. He needed to find a better way to approach this. "Did you . . . tell Moragana anything of our conversation?"] Because, if Morgana was behind this, Arthur knew he would have to tread very carefully. And the less Morgana knew, the better.
He was fine! That was good! He was better--Wait no. He wasn't. Gwen thought about it for a moment and could still see the signs. He opened the door and let her in. He was speaking to her, as a person, rather then a servant. Something was still off. Which made her realize that he was lying to her about it, and she could tell. If she knew him better she might have told him that being strong right now meant trusting a friend--but she wasn't his friend, and she wasn't sure where his friends were. They were knights, or nobles she knew but they seemed to change sometimes. Come and go. Which also made her realize that he might not have any real friends.
That was a little sad.
Oh! There went her excuse. "No, my lord, but I can go and tell her now if you wish to see her!" Gwen offered, stepping toward the door but not moving more. "Or if you rather her not know, I . . . . I don't have to say anything." She was close to Morgana, and it would be odd to hold this back but the offer was out before she knew it. Before she could think better of it. Once it was, she knew she'd keep her promise.
She hadn't told Morgana anything and that brought relief to Arthur, though when she started to move towards the door offering to get her, he had to say something. "No," he quickly protested, knowing it might have been a little too much of a no. "Please, don't tell her anything," he said softly. He knew he would have to give Guinevère a reason to, for she looked at him like a stranger. Her loyalty right now, was to Morgana. Not to him.
"I, wouldn't want to unnecessarily worry her," he said as an excuse. It was a far better one than 'please don't tell her because she keeps trying to kill me'. Though he knew now that he wasn't certain to what to say to Guinevère. What could he say? He was still just hoping for her agreement, aware that he couldn't just . . . order her not say anything. He could not go back to a time where things were so, impersonal. Where they hardly knew each other. "Do you have to go?" He found himself asking, wondering how much time she had before she would be needed elsewhere.
Gwen wasn't sure what surprised her more, his strong no; or his questioning how long she had before she at to go? She stood a step back from the door, not in fear but in willingness to show him that she wasn't going to walk out of it. "I will let you tell her when you are ready," she agreed, and then folded her hands before her. This was such an odd day, and she didn't understand much of it. And she wanted too.
"You want me to stay?" She asked, staring at him. Her eyes looked around the room, as if reminding her where she was. "In your bed chambers?" This time it was lower, and she wasn't sure if he heard her or not. Yet, she wanted to know what was happening here. Why he spoke of her night gown, and . . . and so much more. He was speaking TO her, not at her. And she . . . she sort of liked it. Yet she knew she shouldn't. "I can stay," for now. "Did you need something from me?"
Arthur felt a wave of relief wash over him when she told him that she would let him be the one to tell her. "Thank you," he said with sincere gratitude. He knew that she had no reason to side with him right now; to listen to above Morgana. For as much as it pained him, he was well aware that she was closer to Morgana than she was to him. How different, times like these were. How different they felt. She then asked with what seemed like surprise that he wanted her to stay.
"Only if you want to," he added, not wanting to force her. He'd never had to force her persay. But he knew the reasons that she had not been able to stay before -- prior to their marriage -- weren't due to lack of desire. But rather, what had felt like the impossibility of being together. But now, he did not want to her to feel obligated to stay; he did not want her to feel like he was ordering her to. She agreed though, and then asked if he needed something from her. "Just your company," he said with a small smile. But, realization dawned upon him. She spoke of his bed chambers, and then he recalled his earlier comments about her night gown and . . . oh dear. "Not like that," he quickly clarified.
He didn't want her to think that he expected . . . things from her. Even though technically they had been together in all senses of the word. This Guinevère did not even seem to know of his kiss. "It's just . . . " He didn't know how to explain it. So he paused, looking at her softly, pensively, trying to figure out where to start. "We're not friends are we," he said, and though it was technically a question, there was also an assumption in his voice. An awareness that they weren't. Arthur wasn't sure Guinevère had only ever been just a friend to him. Perhaps in Ealdor. Perhaps when he was on his death bed. But that friendship had very quickly transformed into something far deeper. Yet, here, now, perhaps friendship could at least be a start.
The. Prince. Of. Camelot. Just. Thanked. Her. He had actually said the words thank you, to her . . . . a servant. While he had never been cruel, he didn't thank people for things. He was a prince, they were expected to do things for him. Now he looked at her--and for once she felt like he SAW her--and he said thank you. "You're welcome," she said, her voice almost breathly in reply as she trying to deicde if he'd hit his head or if something had happened.
"Just your company," In his bed chamber! "Not like that," Oh good! Yet, then how did he mean?! "We're not friends are we," Friends?! WITH A PRINCE?! She was friends with Morgana, but for some reason that as different. Guine--Gwen watched him for a moment, as her mind tried to figure out what is happening here. She imagined that being Prince had a host of pressures, though he had never seemed as if it affected him before. Now she wondered if it had, and he had never let it show? Did he need a friend right now?
Since her answer would have been a no, and she wondered if that wasn't what he needed to hear, instead she said carefully. "Do you need a friend, my lord?" Taking a small step closer to him, she smiled softly though it wasn't a real smile. More a I am trying, smile. She picked her next words with care, "Do you need someone to talk too?" WHY he would pick her, she didn't know. Maybe because Morgana talked to her, and he felt he could because of that?
Did he need a friend. The simplistic description of the word when it came to them was almost odd. They were more than friends -- perhaps they always had been. They were married. Yet Arthur knew he had to backtrack a little. No matter how difficult it was. And at the same time, needed to somehow reveal the truth so that he could figure out how to get back into the life he came from. Still longing to see his father. Still longing to go back to when Morgana loved him.
But he knew that this was not real. It couldn't be. "Not just someone," he told her. "But specifically, you." He needed her to know that while yes, he wanted company, it was not just any company. It was very specifically her company that he wanted -- needed. And, he knew that it may sound even more absurd, considering her hesitancy in speaking to him -- with the way he was speaking to her. "I need someone I can trust." Which was her, even if she had not yet experienced the events that brought the two of them to so emphatically trust one another.
My name is Catherine by the way; Call me Kate. *Smiles* You're lucky to have your mother, I ... wish I had at least someone I can talk to, You know? At least i have Arthur. *sits by the window and looks out*
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