A/N: Thanks for your responses for my previous chapter. I'm so glad you all enjoyed it.
Chapter 6: Waking Up
It had been a few days since Gwen had been found by Arthur. She still had not woken up, but Gaius was not too concerned. He knew it was only a matter of time before she did. Arthur, however, was not so convinced. He had spent every waking moment at Gwen's side, apart from when he had to do his duties. Gaius was touched by the prince's feelings towards Gwen. It was a side of Arthur that he rarely saw. At these times Arthur reminded Gaius of Igraine. He became more like her every day. Gaius guessed that Gwen played a big part in that. He was not the only one that saw the amount of attention Arthur was giving Gwen. Every time she would go to see Gwen, Morgana would always see Arthur there. He would either be tending to her fever, stroking her cheek or holding her hand. At one point Morgana confronted Arthur about it, but Arthur shrugged it off claiming he had no idea what she was talking about, saying that he was just being a good friend. However the slight blush in Arthur's cheeks gave him away. Morgana knew it. Arthur loved Gwen. She was quite stunned though. She was always under the impression that Gwen was never really impressed by Arthur's arrogant, intolerable nature and Arthur barely gave a woman attention for anything more than a few days, for instant Sophia and Lady Vivian. She wondered for how long their affair had been going on. Morgana was surprised when Gwen was kidnapped by Hengist that Arthur was going to rescue Gwen before she started begging him too. It had to have been going on longer than that. She would have to question Gwen, when she was awake.
Arthur had fallen asleep in the chair next to Gwen's bed. It was now night. He had spent most of the day in Gwen's chambers. Waiting, or hoping more like, for her to wake. Both Leodegrance and Gaius had told him to go to his chambers and get some rest but as stubborn as he is, Arthur told them that he would stay with her. He did not want to leave her. He just could not. The king and physician finally gave up, leaving Arthur alone with Gwen. It was a hopeless case trying to convince Arthur.
Gwen started to wake. She could feel herself in a comfortable, but strange bed and could hear the sound of gentle snoring, which she instantly recognised was coming from Arthur. She opened her eyes to see she was in one of the chambers in the castle. She wondered how she had got there and for how long. The last thing she could remember was trying to escape the assassin. She had been shocked when he told her that he knew who she was. She had been a princess for not even a day and someone was trying to kill her. Of course it has been known that leaders and heirs of powerful lands are targets in plots to be overthrown. There was always someone trying to get rid of Arthur or Uther, but she neither expected it to have it happen to her so soon. Gwen shuddered at the thought, wanting to forget the thought of the events in the forest. Gwen turned to Arthur. He looked so tired, like had not slept in days. Gwen guessed that was the case. However, she was glad that he did manage to get some. Gwen tried to sit up, but the pain from where she had been stabbed stopped her. Arthur felt Gwen shift, which caused him to wake from his sleep. Their eyes instantly met. Arthur was so relieved to see her bright brown eyes again. When he had saw Gwen in the forests, he really felt that he might never see her again. Gwen could see the stress and concern in his. She felt slightly guilty that she had caused him to worry so much. She could recall hearing him apologising to her, blaming himself for what had happened. She hated that Arthur felt like that.
"Guinevere. Thank goodness you are awake. I ... we have all been so worried."
"Please Arthur, you don't have to be. You should not blame this on yourself." Gwen took Arthur's hand in hers and kissed it, after seeing his confused expression. "I heard you."
Arthur could not believe that she had heard that. It reminded him when he was hurt by the questing beast and he had remembered Gwen talking to him about her faith in him, that he would recover and the man he was to become. He knew that there wasn't anything that he could have done, but that did not mean that he blame it on himself. He had vowed to protect her and he had not done so.
"I know." With his free hand Arthur tucked a stray strand of hair behind Gwen's ear. Gwen's heart skipped a beat at his touch. "But I just I just couldn't bear it if anything happened to you."
Their tender moment was interrupted by a sudden burst into the room.
"Gwen!" Morgana ran towards Gwen, drawing her into a hug. Gwen winced slightly, which the slight pressure on wounds. Morgana noticed this and pulled away. Instead she sat at the end of Gwen's bed. Arthur rolled his eyes. It was so typical of Morgana to turn up at the wrong time. Arthur decided he should leave Gwen and Morgana alone, while he went inform Leodegrance and Gaius that Gwen had woken. Gaius would have to see to her and it would definitely put Leodegrance's mind at rest to know his daughter was well.
"Don't quiz her Morgana." Arthur gave Morgana a meaningful look before leaving. He knew what she was thinking of doing. As soon as he left the room, she would ask Gwen about their relationship.
"Quiz me?" Gwen had noticed the look between the two. What was it that Morgana wanted to question her about, that Arthur was so against? What exactly had she missed over the past few days?
"So what has been going on between Arthur and you?" Morgana completely ignored Arthur's request. She wanted to know the truth. Gwen had to be honest; she was not entirely surprised that Morgana had found out about them. What she was most surprised about was how long it had taken her to figure it out. Morgana was pretty perceptive, though Gwen knew that Morgana had suspected there has someone she had feelings for, but not somebody like Arthur. Well there was no point denying it now.
Leodegrance was in his chambers with Aldred, discussing their return to Carmelide in a week's time. Aldred suggested that they should take Gwen back with them. She was Leodegrance's only remaining heir. She would now have many duties in Carmelide, like meeting and getting to know her people and learning how to govern the country. Leodegrance wanted to take Gwen back home and get reacquainted with his daughter. He knew that many would also like to see her again, like Gwen's old maid, who had adored her dearly. However Leodegrance feared that Gwen would not want to leave her life in Camelot, particularly with someone she barely knew and still had to accept as her father. She would have to come to Carmelide eventually though. Aldred told Leodegrance not to be concerned and that this was unnecessary worrying.
Arthur had overheard the king and advisor's conversation about going back to Carmelide. He had been expecting this when it was announced who Gwen really was, but he was not quite ready to say goodbye to Gwen yet. Arthur sighed and knocked on the door before entering.
"Arthur." Leodegrance motioned Arthur to sit with him and Aldred. Arthur took the chair next to Leodegrance. "To what do I owe this pleasure?"
"Guinevere is awake." Leodegrance was glad to hear this. He would go down and see his daughter after he had spoken with Arthur. He had been worried the whole time since Arthur brought her back. He had been trying to find out who it was that might have tried to have Gwen killed. From the descriptions of the assassin Arthur and Merlin gave, Leodegrance found out that it was the same assassin that had killed his wife and son. Ever since their deaths he had been trying to track the assassin down. From this knowledge, Leodegrance knew that someone was trying to do away with his family. However, what he did not know was whether or not this assassin, Unwin, was acting alone or with someone else. Just in case, Leodegrance would make sure that his daughter was safe and well protected.
"As you know, we are leaving for Carmelide in a week. I, and I am sure Gwen, would very much like you to join us." Arthur was taken by surprise. He never expected this. He had not been to Carmelide for years, since he was younger. Arthur had always loved it there. He would be glad to see Carmelide again, but it would also give him some more time with Gwen. Time that he was not interrupted because of social status and conventions, as they were now regarded as equals.
"I have already spoken to Uther and he seems content with the idea." In fact it was Uther that had the idea that Arthur should go with Leodegrance. Usually when Uther wanted Arthur go to Carmelide there had been some conflict between father and son, however, this time there had not been any major fights between them, as far as Leodegrance could tell. Uther also suggested that Morgana should go to, which Leodegrance knew was definitely down to the conflict between them. Uther had told him that taking someone Gwen knew to Carmelide with her for a while might help her settle in. Aldred also encouraged Uther's idea. Leodegrance was not entirely convinced. He knew it could make it would either help or make all that much harder for Gwen, knowing what she was leaving behind.