Disclaimer: "Merlin" is a series based on the varying legends of King Arthur, and is an original series belonging to BBC and all characters contained herein are under copyright to the previously named. They are used here at the author's interpretation and for entertainment purposes only.

Greetings From the Author: With the way 'Merlin' is set up, I am given the feeling that we will be spared the whole 'Guinevere commits adultery on Arthur, with Lancelot' and in my mind I always see Lancelot as being left to hold a torch for Guinevere but he never does anything about it, and for her part Guinevere is in love with her lord king. That'd be better than the usual Arthur/Gwen/Lancelot triangle I think, but opinions vary, I know.

Personally I really liked the Lancelot on the show, just as I like almost ALL the characters on the show, apart from the villains I don't think I'm supposed to like anyway. :p But really, I was talking about my take on what I think will happen yet again and I feel really sorry for Lancelot actually. (I admit to getting a little teary eyed.) So this little angsty one-shot was born , and I hope you, dear reader, like it as well as I do . . . and for once it is 'Merlin' fic by me that isn't 'Arwen' centric, though obviously Arwen IS in here.

Enjoy, and remember . . . Keep the magic secret or the Great Dragon will eat you.


On The Outside


She's so high, high above me, she's so lovely.

But I know where I belong, and nothing's gonna happen.

Everclear


The crowds cheered, even those that might not have been as pleased did so for the sake of merriment. Everyone loved a good celebration. The great King Arthur had taken a queen, and to nearly the surprise of the entire citizenry, she was a commoner.

Guinevere of Camelot, and what a beautiful bride she made.

There had forever been a tinge of regality about her, that even those amongst the serving women had seen, and beneath that too a hidden beauty. As the young woman herself was at the arm of her king she glowed with dignity, graciousness and the kind of radiant allure that scribes would write about for centuries to come. No longer were these traits secreted away.

A long and gilded white gown contrasted with the honey of her skin, her crown almost seeming aflame in the bright daylight, glinting as it did on the cloud of rich brown curls atop her head. Dainty though she may have been, with Arthur stood beside her, resplendent in his own golden and white tunic, she seemed to soar above the more statuesque ladies watching in the court below.

Certainly higher than a dark haired knight could ever reach again, as he observed the proceedings with a misery born of undying love. His light blue and gold tunic seemed the only joyful thing about him. For he loved Guinevere with an intensity matched only by his great pride and affection for the king next to her. Lancelot would give his life for Arthur's in an instant, but so too would he wish that the nobleman he dared to call friend had taken anyone as his wife, anyone but Guinevere.

Merlin stood a few paces away, smiling and looking a bit silly in bright blue and red robes. He did not care a whit for 'fashion', and in that moment was only happy to watch such a festive event. The court wizard caught Lancelot's face and his smile fell. As the king and queen greeted those that presented them with gifts, Merlin moved through the crowd to reach the tall knight's side.

"If you wish to go, I would understand. I shall cover if Arthur inquires after you." Dark blue eyes full of sympathy, the wizard put a hand on Lancelot's shoulder.

"You have covered for me since first we met, good friend. You need not do so now, I am fine." The knight nodded the affirmation, trying not to wince when Guinevere laughed, leaning into the side of a grinning Arthur.

"You never were much a liar." There was affection in Merlin's voice, but a sigh as well. "She was always higher than most of us. It took awhile to see it, but this almost seems inevitable."

Lancelot shook his head, forcing his brown gaze to turn to the thin wizard beside him. "No, I knew she was a true lady, from the first time I laid eyes on her." In his mind he saw the young maiden as she was then, dressed in attire of sunlit yellow. How gentle she had been as she'd taken measurements for her seamstress work. "I wonder if she fashioned the wedding gown herself."

"Don't." Merlin cautioned, tender but stern, knowing where Lancelot's thoughts were headed. He hated to see him miserable like this, especially in the face of so much happiness from others.

"I love her, and there is nothing for it." The tall brunette sighed. He was cautious enough to keep his voice low, but the profound melancholy in his eyes was visible enough to anyone that looked closely.

"I know." With a pat on the back, the black haired man took hold of Lancelot's elbow and began dragging him to a section of the courtyard set up for spirits and refreshment. "Come then, let's get some of the good ale before it is all gone."

Lancelot knew what Merlin was trying to do, and he didn't think it would be successful, but he gave in anyway. "If memory serves, all ale, to you, is 'good ale.'"

The wizards bark of laughter was loud enough to reach the hardening corners of Lancelot's heart, and he was most gladdened in that moment to have Merlin as a friend. Risking a glance behind him, he saw that Queen Guinevere and King Arthur had been seemingly swallowed by the crowd. Perhaps that was for the best, because when Lancelot couldn't see her, the pain of having lost her wasn't quite as sharp.

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