He questioned her, and she knew that for him this as hard to understand--she didn't understand it well enough to explain it; how could he understand it enough to believe it? Yet she met it! With all her heart! She every once of her love! "I do not know what might have happened if he'd never left after you saved us, but I love you enough to think that no matter what, we'd have found our way to each other." Even then, she'd loved him passionately.
"Yet I can swear to you, that I know what would have happened had you banished him." She knew because she had assumed Arthur would have banished him anyway. She only found out later that he had taken his own life. "I would still have been in Eldor, alone." She hadn't wanted to be with Lancelot. She'd left without him for a reason, and that was because he was a reminder of her weakness, and she wanted to be as far from it as she could. Had that been why he'd taken his life? Because he loved her and she didn't? Because she made her choice and picked Arthur? Because she'd left without him?
"Since that first kiss, Arthur, perhaps even before . . . this is where we were meant to be." She promised him, praying he believed her. Not sure what she could do to prove it to him, so she hoped he still had faith in her. "I believe that. With all my heart!"
Arthur liked the sound of that. That fate, was what brought them together. That they were meant to be. "As do I," he told her, wanting her to know that he shared that belief. He often thought of these what if questions, so it did provide him comfort, to hear her say that she would not have been with him. It was so strange . . . that one night had changed so much. That after a year of Lancelot and Guinevère both being in Camelot, nothing had happened. Not until that night -- an assumption Arthur made. "I once thought, that you had, settled for me." Such thoughts had been strong in his mind after what he witnessed. "That I was a convenient choice." Because he was there. Because he had not left. Unlike Lancelot. "But I know . . . there was nothing convenient about us," he said with a huff of breath, as if a sound of amusement though it lacked joviality. His words held truth.
There was nothing convenient about their situation. So many obstacles had been in their way. So much -- so many -- had tried to tear them apart. He leaned forward, his forehead touching hers as he closed his eyes. "We fought so much, endured so much, to be together." And despite saying that everything they had being gone . . . well, he didn't mean it. He believed in the depth of his heart that this love, was not something that was secondary. "And all I ever wanted . . . all I ever want, is for you to be happy." It had been part of what had hurt; that she had not spoken to him before hand about any worries, doubts, uncertainties. Had she told him, he would have offered to postpone the wedding or if she wanted, call it off. "Against all odds, we are here, together. And we are stronger for it." Because their relationship had not been easy. So many times they thought they could not be together. So many times they were apart -- physically and emotionally. But now, they had a bond, a strength that was unlike any other and as Guinevère said . . . this was where they were meant to be.
"I once thought, that you had, settled for me." Guinevère felt her heart break a little at his words, and she shook her head to tell him no without interrupting him. "That I was a convenient choice." Nothing about her love had been easy, yet it was stronger for their trials. "But I know . . . there was nothing convenient about us," He understood that! His forehead touched her's and her hands lifted to touch his face. She loved him so much and this moment only proved to her why! He was forgiving, and kind, and she had done the unspeakable to him and he loved her enough to see past it. "We fought so much, endured so much, to be together."
"And all I ever wanted . . . all I ever want, is for you to be happy." She was happy with him! That she ever made him doubt it, made her hate herself! "Against all odds, we are here, together. And we are stronger for it." Yes! Tilting her head she let her lips take his, all fear of touching him for the fact that he wasn't ready disappeared! She kissed him in love, and thankfulness, and asking for forgiveness!
"You've always made me happy, Arthur!" Even he he was breaking her heart, such as when he broke up with her. She still had rather be here near him then anywhere else. Had he married Elena, maybe things were different. But he hadn't, and she had never doubted in that he was the man she was meant to love. "I am sorry that I ever gave you reason to doubt it. You are the man I love. The one I choose to be with."
The sensation of her lips was a comfort indeed, as he took in the strength that she always ignited with him. Hearing that he made her happy, meant the world to him. Hearing that he was the one she chose to be with, meant everything. That night, he had thought whether he'd ever forced her, made her feel trapped in a relationship where she may have wanted another above it. But the more he thought about everything they had, all the conversations they had . . . he knew such things could not be feigned.
He had faith in her, and perhaps it was a weakness for him to never learn but with Guinevère, things were different. One could not choose their family, but they could choose the ones to be with. And, they had chosen each other. "Thank you," he breathed, knowing he needed to say the word that he perhaps had never truly expressed before. "For never giving up." On him. On them. "For waiting." All those years she waited. "For . . . choosing to be with me." All that she had been through, that they had been through, resulted in where they were now. Deeply in love. Strongly united. And prepared to face any foe and husband and wife. As if to solidify that, he leaned forward to kiss her again, letting the strength of his words seep into the embrace.
She didn't want to be thanked. Not for this. She still felt awful for hurting him years ago, and she always would. She would always hate that part of herself. "I love you, Arthur Pendragon." She told him, moving into his lap some as they kissed again. They were stronger together. Stronger then their faults. Stronger then their enemies. Stronger then anything that could ever come at them.
Her arms wrapped around his neck, and held him to her in a tight hug. She had been so afraid, and now she was filled with hope. This would always be between them in some way, but it would not be something that distance them. It would unite them. Make them trust more, and love more. Pulling back, she looked into his face, her hand touching his cheek. "Thank you, for loving me still. For trusting me." She couldn't explain how much that meant to her. That she believed, whens he hadn't given him a reason to believe. That he trusted, when she'd broken the trust.
His arms welcomed her as she slid onto her lap, kissing her back as his arms held her against him. "And I love you," he told her. And their love, had always been enough to save them -- even if it had take extra time to recognize them in certain situations. He softly smiled at her, as she thanked him in return. For loving her. "I meant what I said in the throne room all those years ago." In front of his father and all others. "I will always love you. That'll never change." No matter what happened. His love for her would never diminish. Even when he banished her, he still loved her.
She spoke of trust as well, and he recalled the words he said to Merlin: that he would never trust her. How wrong he had been. "I do," he assured her. "Never doubt that." That he trusted and loved her. "I never would have asked you to marry me, again, if I did not." That his second proposal, was also a declaration of forgiveness, even if he hadn't said the exact words that he forgave her, until tonight. "I would fight for us Guinevère, until the end of time." For her. He would forever fight for her and in these two years, they were finally able to enjoy the result of all the efforts they made to be together.
Guinevère tried not to think that night years ago. She tried not to think of the times after it. They had been the hardest of her life, aside of the death of her father. She'd been alone, and heart broken. She'd been a prisoner, and felt true fear--the sort that came with knowing that no one would know she was missing. No one would come looking for her. They were her darkest time; and she'd not even spoken of them often to Arthur. She felt also as if she had earned them. They were her punishment for being unloyal to the man she loved more then anything else.
"You never have to fight for me, Arthur," She promised him, knowing that he meant he would not give up on her, but she wanted him to know that she would be here for him! She was his. "You do not need to fight for what is already yours." She belonged to him, and would always be his. Just as he belonged to her, and would always be hers. She moved her head to lay on his shoulder, and holding him close to her.
What was his. Just as he was hers. They belonged to each other and he knew it was something felt long before they solidified it with marriage. Events had certainly made him question it, but not enough to doubt the love they shared. "And I am yours," he said in a low voice, wanting her to know that it was mutual. That any princesses in the past, any close marriages he'd had . . . none of them meant anything. The only one that mattered, was theirs. He kissed her again, unable to do so enough, especially in wake of all that had come to light.
But, he knew that this was a conversation that needed to be had. That as they now spoke of it, they could put it behind them. Truly, put it behind them. Easing out of the kiss, a small smile formed on his lips. "Speaking of promises," he said, consistent with all the vows and promises they made to each other tonight. "I seem to remember you made one to me this morning." Of spending the night together and, Arthur was ready to move on from the topic of her and Lancelot. As if to add to his words, he slid an arm under Guinevère, and scooped her up in his arms, carrying her over to their bed so that she could make good on the promise that had gotten him out of it this morning.
Arthur broke the kiss, and Guinevère looked into his face. "Speaking of promises," Yes, anything. "I seem to believe you made one to me this morning." Her face broken into a smile, as she laughed softly. Yes, she had, had she not. He lifted her, and her arms tightened around his neck to help keep her close to him. "Then take me to bed, and let me keep it!" And she would too. After Arthur put her in bed, they would kiss, and hold each other. They would remove each other's clothes, and let their bodies to the talking for them. Each touch a forgiveness, and teach kiss a healing. Each gasp and moan a promise of more to come. Guinevère felt tears on her cheeks when they came together, before finally falling alseep tucked in his arms against him--the most wonderful place to be!
Guinevère opened her eyes and stretched for a moment, before laying there to slowly awaken. The morning was slowly creeping into the windows, but she knew it was still early. Turning her head over, she look at her husband. Her smile slipped over her lips. Turning toward him, she draped her arm over his bare chest, while her face nuzzled into his shoulder. And so, their morning began once again, like so many more. Together. Stronger then they were yesterday.
Guinevère even fond herself happily humming to herself as she moved through her day. While that night had not been on her mind, having spoken of it seemed to make her feel better from something that she hadn't even known still was in her. They would be alright, and it wasn't going to be this dark and evil thing. Arthur and Guinevère would live happily ever after.
Arthur couldn't understand it. He knew what was being said to him, but . . . he didn't understand at the same time. Anger. Hurt. Pain. He had thought they had set this to rest, but it got worse. So much worse. What happened between Guinevère and Lancelot had been the result of an enchantment. Yet, that was not the worst part even. What made it even worse . . . was that Gaius and Merlin had known that Lancelot was not really Lancelot. They had kept it from him. And it had resulted in Guinevère's banishment. It had resulted in more heartache, more heartbreak than he could possibly describe. He had nearly married another.
He had doubted the woman he loved. When in actuality . . . she was the only one who had never lied to him. Arthur didn't know how to handle this knowledge. He couldn't look at the two people that he cared for so deeply. Hell, he couldn't look at anyone right now. He cancelled his meetings for the rest of the day, and disappeared in the depths of the castle, stating, he was not to be disturbed. He went to the one place where he knew no one would find him. A storage area, where old belongings were kept. It was dusty, untouched, unvisited. But it was exactly where he needed to be right now. Locking the door, he leaned against the wall, sliding down to the ground, hugging his knees in front of him. How did he have a family so cruel? How did others so easily lie and keep truths from him? How was it that so many betrayed them?
He wanted to cry. He wanted to scream. He wanted to hit something. But . . . all he could do was sit in solitude. What damage his family had done. And what was worse, is that people he trusted had lied to him. And people he had thought lied, he could trust. He felt sick to his stomach, and suddenly hated everything about being a Pendragon. He hated everything about being a king. All it resulted in, was lies. Not knowing who to trust. Not knowing where to turn. And, it was sickening. Arthur was unsure how much time had passed. Hours went by and he was well aware that though there was this new found loathing . . . he knew he had to be king.
But no. He first, needed to be a husband. For there was one victim in all of this and that was Guinevère. He felt utterly ashamed, and knew that he would have to beg for her forgiveness. For everything that had happened to her, was because of him. Because of his family. He eventually departed the room, slowly walking back up the stairs but with no intention of going to the council chamber, or throne room. Just as he ignored everyone who spoke to him when going downstairs, he ignored them on the way up. He told them, he was not to be disturbed, and just wound up going to their chambers. He had to tell Guinevère, and he had no idea how.
Guinevère had an oddly productive day. Happiness sat well on her. She loved being happy, and by nature was often happy. At the lunch hour, she had attempted to find her husband, but he was in a meeting with Gaius. She was told it was important. Wanting to know, she almost sought him out but instead decided to visit the market. Arthur would tell her later. At the market she found his favorite sweet, and bought him some. After yesterday, he needed a little extra something.
Upon her return, no one knew where to find him. No one. Not even Merlin! Guinevère began looking, and ended up sending some of the knights to begin looking! She grew worried--until one of them told her he had been seen! FINALLY! He had gone to his chambers and said he wasn't to be disturbed! Guinevère lifted her skirt slightly in her effort to hurry down the halls to their chamber.
Guinevère entered the chamber to find him there. "Arthur!" She sighed with relief and confusion. "I've been looking for you everywhere!" She hurried toward him, teaching out to remove some dust from his hair. "What's happened?" Her voice was soft, as she could see he was upset. Had someone died?! One of this brothers? A knight or . . . . Morgana. Had she done something to hurt him again?
Arthur heard her voice and closed his eyes for a brief moment. He was standing by the window, a place he often stood when reflected. Troubled. Pensive. She moved towards him and brushed some of the dust out of his hair. No. He didn't deserve her kindness. Not after what he had discovered today. He hand reached up, gently holding her wrist to stop her, slowly lowering her hand as he looked down. She had been worried about him and the thought made him feel that . . . undeserved appreciation for her concern. He had to tell her. He could not keep this from her. Not the same way others had.
"Sit down," he told her in a low tone. There was no demand in his voice but rather, an urge. A plea. Asking her to sit, and he stepped away from her, placing a bit of distance between them. Keeping his back to her as he tried to collect his thoughts. As he tried to figure out how to tell her. What to tell her. How to broach this subject. In what way to reveal the truth. He could not be a coward. He had to look into her eyes. Taking a deep breath, he turned around looking at her, keeping that distance between them though he wanted nothing more than to be close to her. He waited for her to sit, needed her to sit. This news was . . . well, he wasn't even certain how to describe it. He needed to just say it. The more he stalled, the more he would lose the courage. He just, had to say it. He slowly brought his gaze to meet her eyes, emotion behind them, though undefined. He just . . . had to say it. "The bracelet was enchanted."
He stopped her touch, and fear crawled into her. It made her feel heavy, as if stones were in her belly. Something had changed. The fear from yesterday returning. She had thought they were alright, but why else would he reject her touch? "Arthur?" she asked quietly. He turned from her! Her hand reached for him, but she couldn't touch him. She placed them against her belly, trying to silly it's churning, her hand resting over the ring that she wore as his wife! Touching it and trying to remind herself of what it meant. What had happened?
He had asked her to sit, but she couldn't. She couldn't make herself sit. He turned to face her and the words . . . . the words . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
What did they mean? She heard them. She knew what he spoke of, and she normally only referred to it as IT. Someone had found her bracelet and enchanted it? Why were they in the cells to begin with? "I . . . I don't understand." she began, trying to understand what the words meant. It was if he had spoken in a language her mind couldn't follow. It tried, but there was so much meaning she didn't know how to understand right now. "They found it in the cells, and enchanted it?"
Though, there was a spark in her, something that told her that wasn't what he meant. Something that told her this wasn't why he was reacting this way. Yet she was too afraid to think the words. Too afraid to let herself even think the words that he said could mean what she dared not think. No. This was over. There was not reason for them to speak of it. "Just burn it, Arthur. Let us be rid of it forever!"
She didn't understand, and yet . . . he knew that she did. She spoke of someone having enchanted it after it was found, yet that was not what they knew happened. Still. He had to give the full explanation. What he could of it anyway. Yes. He wanted to be rid of it, yet it had returned. In a way that he couldn't possibly imagine. They would never be rid of it perhaps. Yet, that was all he wanted, more than anything. He remained silent, still processing the information. And still, trying to find a good way to say it to Guinevère. Though, perhaps there was no good way.
"Morgana, enchanted it." Saying her name sent a chill down his spine. A coldness to run through him. An . . . anger unlike any other. She sought to destroy him. She sought to destroy them. And for what? For power? For the throne? Yet, Guinevère was the one paying the price. Over and over again. And, he had let it happen. He had not protected her. He had not ensured her safety. It was his family that targeted her time and time again. How did she endure it? How would she endure this? There were no words that could truly make up for this, no apology that was good enough. Nothing he could do to change the events of what had caused her banishment. Actions, that were not her own. Actions, that had cost her so much.
Once, Guinevère had sat by Morgana's bed all night for fear she have another horrid nightmare, and when she woke up her toes had felt different. They's tingled and inched, and lacked feeling; yet at the same time every feeling was a pin prick inside her skin. It was as close to she could come to describing how her whole body felt. She felt cold, and her skin felt as if something had crawled on it. Goosebumps covered her skin, and she wished she had sat.
Lifting her hand from her belly, Guinevère rubbed her face trying to feel something. "H--" She was about to defend Lancelot to Arthur, and that was something she had not done since that night. "He wouldn't side with her." She said, shaking her head. It was then she realized she wasn't even looking at him any more. She couldn't. She couldn't meet his eyes right now. She was cold and she couldnt . . . she needed to . . .
Bringing her hand down from her face, she caught sight of the ring. Her ring. She was his wife. "What are you telling me, Arthur?" She asked, her voice louder then she meant it to be, but Guinevère felt as if she was on the edge of a cliff, and she wanted nothing more then for him to pull her back! To make this better! Yet, she wasn't sure she wanted anyone touching her.
Because if this meant she had been enchanted, then the weight of it was about to make her buckle under it.
No. He wouldn't. He wouldn't side with her. Now out of his own will. Just like Guinevère wouldn't betray him out of her own will. He noticed the way she averted his gaze, her body language. He longed for nothing more than to move towards her, to hold her yet . . . something felt like she wasn't ready for that. He didn't know if it would make things better or worsen them. "She brought him back to . . . " Arthur paused, trying to keep his voice steady. Two people that he cared for, one a brother the other his love . . . and his sister of blood, had tainted them. Darkened them to do something that they never would have of their own volition.
"She sought to destroy us." Them. Their relationship. But then, he had a feeling Guinevère knew that already by now. Still. Saying the words out loud . . . he didn't know what to do. What to say. He felt utterly ashamed. Guilt ridden. He had not even noticed that he had taken a few steps towards her, that he had paused when there was still space. That he fell to his knees in defeat, and in shame -- his head lowered due to the same two feelings. On his knees, in front of his wife, practically begging for her forgiveness. For believing the worst. But, for also being the reason this had happened to them. To her. "I'm sorry," he breathed, his voice catching from the overwhelming emotion in them. "I'm . . . so sorry." And yet, he knew that wasn't enough. No words, no actions, would ever be enough.
She brought him back. It took Guinevère a few seconds of repeating that phrase in her head before it began to be clean. Morgana brought him back . . . from the dead. Guinevère still wasn't looking at Arthur, but his words were sinking deeper into the coldness of her body. Morgana had done it to destroy them. The words didn't even hurt to hear right now, because she wasn't sure she could feel anything.
Morgana hated them enough to attack them by bringing someone back from the dead and enchanting a bracelet to make her--Oh! The cold moved down her body as the realization hit her harder then Arthur had when he saved her from the dragon. The room spun, and she felt dizzy. She. Hadn't. Betrayed him. It was a spell! She'd not broken a promise! She'd not lost her head in the moment! She'd not betrayed her heart or her king!
This was good news! . . . and yet she still felt cold, and frozen in place. It was as if her body new what her mind didn't. There was something darker here. Something, nor good.
Arthur must have moved closer, for one moment he was back away and the next he moved down toward the floor; the sudden movement making her jump from surprise of finding him closer--and the jerk breaking her out of the stunned, frozen shock she'd be in! A SPELL! Morgana had taken her body, and forced it to kiss another! Someone who'd been dead! She'd forced her to break Arthur's heart so he'd cast her out! It's worked! She'd kissed and touched, and . . . and put herself between Arthur and the formally-dead-Lancelot. She'd been banished! Sent from the only home she'd ever known! Helios! Arthur's words that night too her! She'd been a deer! She'd been shot!
Her hands shook, and she began crying! Arthur was on the floor and she didn't know why; having missed everything he'd said after. He was sorry? For what Morgana had done? There was so much happening here she was overwhelmed, and frightened (even though it had been over years ago), and she felt so alone, and . . . . cold! She felt so cold. Tears shaking her body, she slowly lowered to sit before him, folded herself in half, and rested her head in his lap as she began to cry. She didn't' know what else to do. There was too much to think, and she didn't want to think about any of it.
Arthur wasn't sure how she was going to react. He himself didn't even know how to react. The fact that someone he once loved could do this to them . . . to Guinevère, to Lancelot . . . it sickened Arthur beyond belief. To be hated to the extent that someone would commit such cruel acts against another. Arthur didn't look at her until she adjusted her position, moving to the ground and Arthue adjust his own, so that when Guinevère leaned towards him to put her head in his lap, he accommodated it. Seating himself on the group, his arms wrapped around her from how he could at this angle. One hand stroked the side of her head in attempt to comfort her, feeling the tremble of her sobs.
He lowered his head, kissing her cheek in a lingering embrace. He didn't know what to say. For he knew there was nothing he could say to soften the blow of this news. For while it should be a relief to finally understand what had caused this to happen . . . the deeper implications of it was enough to send a shiver down his spine. Guinevère and Lancelot had been used, stripped of free choice . . . violated. Arthur knew the feeling for he had been as such with Vivian, but this worse. Much, much worse. So all he could do was hold his wife, and offer whatever physical comfort he could under these circumstances,
She wasn't sure how long she sat there for. Moments, hours, or days. Night could have fallen, and the sun came again for all Guinevère was able to tell; or perhaps it was only a short time before her tears slowed and she began to calm. She wanted to forget it, and pretend and forget all about it. She didn't want to deal with any of it. Yet, she still had so many questions. So much that now needed to be said. Things she didn't yet think of.
Yet there was something above all else. The first thing she needed to say, because it was the one that had slowly ate at her for years. When she thought of that night, and why she'd done it; Guinevère had never been able to explain it. She had never been able to explain why she'd gone, and why's she'd done it. The regret had always felt stronger then the memory of the feelings she had for Lancelot--because they hadn't been her's. "I took it off," she whispered, not lifting her head. Her voice sounded distant from herself, as if she was thinking a loud more then talking to him. "In the cell, I threw it at the wall. It broke the spell." Which brought her to the most important part. Slowly lifting up se stared into his face, "I didn't betray you," she said, finally--FINALLY feeling as if she could understand that night.
She loved Arthur. She hadn't betrayed him. She'd still hurt him, but not willingly. "He came to my home during the joust. Told me he got it for me. I didn't want to hurt him, knowing he loved me . . . so I wore it. The longer I did . . . the less I understood my feelings."
Guinevere broke the silence, speaking of how she had taken it off and . . . it made sense. For she had taken it off before their confrontation. A confrontation that had broken Arthur's heart. He never wanted to hurt her and he still remembered putting his hands on her, instantly regretting it. He remembered raising his voice at her, something that he did not often to and never to her. He remembered trying to desperately understand why she had done it, and her unable to explain. He remembered telling her that her actions were punishable by death. And then . . . he remembered banishing her. Had he known . . . why hadn't he known? He knew he was not his father who leapt to sorcery being to blame every single time something had happened. But he wished he had. He wished he had rightfully blamed magic.
Arthur closed his eyes, a tear falling down his cheeks though he knew he had to stay strong for Guinevère. Yet, hearing her say the words that she did not betray him, caused his heart to ache, for he had believed that she did. He believed both her and Lancelot had and . . . he nearly killed Lancelot for it. "I'm so sorry," he said, his voice practically begging for her forgiveness. "I should have . . . " Investigated further. Not doubted her. Done more. And now it made even more sense . . . why Agravaine pushed for the execution. For both Guinevère and Lancelot.
"Done more." To understand why it was happening. That was all he could say, regret weighing his heart. But more than anything, disgust and loathing to a family that would do this. His family, that would do this. Would it never end? "She's hurt you so much," Arthur said thinking out loud, thinking of all the times Morgana had struck at them -- and Guinevère. Because of him. "And I should not have let her." He should have known. "I should never have doubted you." And the sincerity of her feelings. Yet, Morgana knew all their weaknesses . . . and she had used it against them. Manipulated them. Nearly, destroyed them.
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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