*9 years on*
Arthur's twenty-first birthday was tomorrow. He was not particularly excited, due to the fact his father request that he find a bride by this time, or he would choose for him. He was broken from his chain of thought when Merlin entered.
"Morning Sire...You must be excited, I'm sure." Merlin was chirpy. It brightened Arthur's thoughts.
"You know, Merlin... That couldn't be further from the truth." Arthur spoke his thoughts aloud. He knew Merlin would always listen.
"Why is that?"
"Well, my father had requested that by my 21st birthday, I was to have a bride, or he would choose one for me."
"An arranged marriage? That's not fair!"
"I know! But, that's what father says..."
"Why don't you ask if you can marry Gwen?"
"He says 'It is improper for a prince to marry a common serving girl.'" Arthur did his best impression of his father. Merlin couldn't help but snicker.
"I'm sorry." Merlin stopped and became serious again. "Why don't you get Morgana to ask him? She's very good at it."
"Why didn't I think of that?" Arthur smiled. "Oh right... She'd laugh at me." Arthur frowned.
"I'll ask her for you. She could never say no to me." Merlin smiled.
"You know what? That's a good idea. Thank you, Merlin." Arthur grinned.
"I'm full of them... you just need to listen once in a while." Merlin laughed. He was repaid with a light wallop to the head.
"Watch the sarcasm, you." Arthur nodded. Merlin got to work.
"Come in." Morgana's hearty voice floated to her chamber door. Merlin's heart always soared when he heard her voice. He entered with a spring in his step.
"My lady, I must compliment you on how beautiful you are today." Merlin was beside Morgana's shoulder, looking at her wonderful reflection.
"Oh, you exaggerate, surely." Morgana blushed. Her cheeks glowed a rosy red, which Merlin adored.
"I would not exaggerate. You are beautiful." Merlin gestured to her reflection. He tilted her head towards him before placing a light kiss on her lips.
"This is why I love you, Merlin." Morgana said dreamily.
"My love, I must ask you...will you help me? I have a dilemma."
"Of course, darling. Anything."
"Uther's not letting him marry Gwen. I need your help to convince him...and possibly outing our relationship in the process."
"Merlin... it's too risky."
"Arthur's our friend, Morgana. We can't turn our backs on him, not now. Please."
"Alright... for you, my love." Morgana took hold of Merlin's hand in her own and looked into his eyes. Merlin smiled back before they both headed out of Morgana's chambers to Uther's.
"Enter." Uther's voice was annoyed.
"Uther..." Morgana's voice was soothing. "It's me, can I talk to you?"
"Of course, Morgana. Anything for my ward." Uther took Morgana's hand, calming down instantly.
"It's about Arthur... I am concerned greatly for his happiness."
"He does love Guinevere so... Why can't you see?"
"I can, but I can not allow a union between peasant and royalty."
"What of you and Igraine? She was not a princess."
"True... I suppose I could..."
"And I love someone not of royal birth, Uther. Merlin is my one and only."
"You love the servant of Arthur?"
"With all my heart."
"If you truly love him... then I have no choice but to let you and Arthur have what you want."
"Thank you, Uther, I knew you'd see reason." Morgana cuddled Uther with a smile.
"Anything to make you happy, Morgana. Your happiness means more to me than anything in the world." Uther looked content with his decision.
Morgana swept out of the room with a grace unlike any other. She went up to an alcove where Merlin was hiding and drew him out. A smile on her face gave her away instantly and Merlin couldn't help but pick her up and pirouette her in the air before setting her gently on her feet.
"He has agreed to our union, and to Arthur and Gwen's!" Morgana squealed. Merlin laughed rejoicing on the wonderful news.
"We must tell Arthur of the news!"
"Of course! Come, let us tell him!" Morgana pulled Merlin to Arthur's chambers. Merlin knocked loudly, getting a grunt in response. He opened the door with a grin.
"Sire, I have news from your father." Merlin declared.
"What did he say?" Arthur mumbled. He was sat on his chair, holding his head whilst looking out the window.
"You are allowed to marry Gwen. He's given permission for Morgana and me to marry too." Merlin could barely contain his excitement.
"What?" Arthur jumped up. "You mean that?"
"Ask Morgana! She's the one who convinced him." Merlin gestured to the door, to which she entered on cue.
"It's true Arthur. I have managed to get our wishes to come true!" Morgana squealed.
Arthur laughed deliriously. "There's not a moment to lose! We must find Guinevere!" Arthur grabbed a box before running out of his chambers. Merlin could see the cloud from where Arthur stood moments before.
"You know, now we've solved that... isn't there something you should be doing?" Morgana raised an eyebrow.
"You think I forgot?" Merlin led Morgana to the gardens of Camelot. He got to the fountain when he gestured for Morgana to sit. He knelt on one knee before her and used his magic to produce a ring which would bind them magically and emotionally. "Morgana, You are my childhood sweetheart. During the years I have known you, I have watched you grow into a beautiful and amazing woman. I always thought this could never be...but here we are. Morgana LeFay, will you marry me?"
Morgana's heart could burst from the emotion. "Of course I will, Merlin!" She grabbed Merlin up from his kneeling position and kissed him full on. After they broke off, Merlin slipped the ring onto her dainty finger. She looked at the ring. It was a glimmering gold, with the diamond sparkling brightly. She gasped at the beauty.
"Know that I forged this from the bottom of my soul." Merlin's eyes glowed. Morgana smiled.
"I will treasure this forever."
Meanwhile, Arthur was frantically looking for Gwen. He finally found her in the courtyard, giving a cry of happiness.
"Guinevere, may I speak with you?" Arthur ran to her side quite quickly.
"Of course, sire." Gwen looked slightly surprised.
Arthur took her aside from the courtyard. "Look, I know this isn't the most romantic of settings..."
"But I was hoping tonight... you could dine with me in my chambers?" Arthur looked hopeful.
"Anything you ask, sire." Gwen blushed. As she sauntered away, Arthur mouthed a silent 'Yes!' before going back to his chambers.
Back with Merlin and Morgana, Merlin was sat by the fountain with her, holding her hands in his and letting her rest her head on his shoulder.
"I think life couldn't get any better now, Merlin. I have everything I could ever ask for." Morgana murmured.
"Nor I, Morgana. At last we can be together." Merlin was content and was on cloud nine. "Let us not be torn asunder."
"Indeed. You'll be dining with me tonight... Just you... and me...in my chambers." Morgana looked up into Merlin's eyes, hoping he'd understand.
"Of course... my lady. I will make sure I have my chores done." Merlin winked. "I must part with you for now, my love. Arthur will want tending to." Merlin got up, however reluctant, he could not disobey his master.
"Must you leave, Merlin?" Morgana was sad, with puppy-dog eyes.
"I'm afraid so. But do not fret, I will do all I can to make sure you will be back in my arms." Merlin took Morgana's hands, bringing them to his lips and kissing them lightly.
"Alright, my love...just know I will wait for you until the end of time." Morgana was blushing, but she gave Merlin a kiss before letting him leave after a lingering clasp of hands.
"Merlin! Where's my belt?" Arthur was panicking.
"Calm, Arthur. I've got it right here." Merlin handed it to him. "What's gotten your pants in a twist?"
"I'm proposing to Guinevere tonight... I must look my best!" Arthur snapped. "I want everything perfect."
"Right... Just to let you know, I managed to convince the seamstress to sew that dress you wanted for Guinevere." Merlin presented it to Arthur. It was Pendragon red, and the finest jewels had been encrusted on the collar.
"It's perfect...She'll look lovely in it." Arthur was grinning.
"Too bad I couldn't get Morgana anything nice..." Merlin sighed.
"Merlin, you're my friend... I want you to order a dress for Morgana. I'll pay the seamstress."
"You'd do that for me?" Merlin smiled.
"Of course, you're my childhood friend! I will not let you be miserable when I can do something about it." Arthur patted Merlin's shoulder. "Just make sure I look good tonight."
"Thanks, Arthur. You're a true friend." Merlin dusted off Arthur's shoulder and smiled. "You'll knock her off her feet."
Arthur smiled and sent Merlin away to the seamstress once again.
Guinevere was dressed in her yellow gown as she wandered the halls to knock on Arthur's door. Arthur opened it with a smile and asked her to be seated. Cook had prepared them a beautiful meal for two, which Gwen enjoyed very much. Then the time came for Arthur to pop the question.
"Guinevere, you know how we have been friends for many a year..."
"I remember our younger years like it was yesterday." Gwen smiled at her first kiss with Arthur.
"Well... I have spent my past...and my present... with you, and I want to spend my future with you." Arthur got up from his chair and knelt in front of Gwen, taking her hand. "Guinevere... will you make me the happiest prince in the world and agree to marry me?" He presented her the ring. Guinevere gasped at the beauty.
"Arthur... it's beautiful... and I couldn't ask for a more perfect moment. Arthur, I accept." Gwen pulled Arthur up and captured his lips in a kiss. Arthur smiled after they broke off, slipping the ring onto her finger.
"Thank you, my love...You have made me the happiest man in the entire kingdom." Arthur felt like he would break his face from smiling so much. "I also have another present for you..." Arthur presented the dress. "I'd very much like to see you in it."
"I shan't disappoint you." Gwen winked. She got behind Arthur's screen to change and emerged later, twirling into Arthur's arms. The dress complimented her eyes beautifully. "How do I look?"
"Like my princess." Arthur was cuddling Gwen close to him. "I've dreamt of this moment since I was 7..." He was happy to be free to do what he wanted.
"You'll always be my hero, Arthur." Gwen initiated a hot-blooded kiss. Arthur responded fervently. "You're my Prince."
"And you're my princess." Arthur was clasping Gwen's hand gently. He kissed Gwen's hand lightly before letting her lean her head against his chest.
Morgana was eagerly awaiting Merlin's arrival. She was brushing her hair when a knock echoed into her room.
"Enter." Her voice was like the tinkling of a gentle bell. Merlin entered with his hands behind his back. "Merlin!" Morgana stood up quickly.
"I got you something." He smiled.
"For me?" Morgana was all sheepish. "Oh, you shouldn't have..."
Merlin presented Morgana with a gold gown and blue jewels encrusted in the collar.
"Merlin, it's amazing! Thank you so much!" She took the gown from him and kissed him quickly. "I'll put it on now..." She glided behind her screen and soon re-emerged in the dress.
"Wow..." Merlin's jaw dropped. Morgana laughed before closing it with one finger.
"You look fantastic..."
"When are we to wed?"
"Whenever you desire."
"Good. We're getting married tomorrow."