Title: Can't Fight It

Fandom: Merlin

Rating: PG

Characters/Pairings: Arthur/Gwen, Merlin, Morgana

Word Count: 771

Spoilers:Somewhat for Series 3. Speculation/wishful thinking based of off Pierrefonds pictures & interviews.

Disclaimer: You know what would really ease my craziness over wanting series 3 NOW? Owning Merlin. Ergo logic shows us that me in craze for any S3 spoilers I can get = not owning Merlin.

Summary: Arthur & Gwen reconnect while traveling outside of Camelot with Morgana & Merlin.

A/N:So I was super excited about some pictures from filming in Pierrefonds of OT4ness on horses a la 1x10. So this fic is inspired by those pictures, and the state of the A/G relationship based off of interviews. Unfortunately, these things are in an LJ comm (camelot_love) that's locked to non-members. But the basics of the interviews are mainly a) they can never be together because of statuses b) they have a 'secret affection' c) there's a bit of a "joust" between them. Oh, and also that a year has passed between S2 end & S3 beginning.

You might ask, "Now what exactly is the OT4's mission on this lil adventure?" And then I'd have to tell you, "Wait, you expected me to come up with a more concrete plot? Really? What kind of capable writer do you take me as? Umm… In my mind it's Ealdor 2.0"

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The second day of traveling was coming to an end, and Arthur couldn't say that it had passed any less awkwardly than the first.

Yesterday, Arthur had been furious when Gwen caught up with their party. He had insisted she turn around and go back, while she insisted that she stay. Of course Morgana had taken her side. And Merlin had been absolutely no use at all, just shrugging and mumbling something. So Arthur gave up, there being no more he could say on the matter.

That, of course, had put a cloud over the group for the next two days. Things had been strained between him and Guinevere ever since they'd decided some months ago that being together was too impossible, and the argument yesterday had only made it worse. Arthur had hoped that having Morgana and Merlin there would ease some of the tension, but they were both strangely quiet as the grave for the next two days, only adding to the stiff atmosphere.

They made camp in mostly silence as night fell. The only conversation during supper was a few words between Merlin and Arthur and between Gwen and Morgana. Then they all laid out their bedrolls for the night – except Arthur, who went out into the forest to relieve himself.

When he got back, he saw that Merlin, the idiot, had taken the spot farthest from the two girls. Which in their small clearing, meant Arthur had to sleep between Gwen and his manservant. Was there a reason Merlin and Morgana had to take the two spots farthest from each other, forcing Arthur and Gwen next to each other? Was Merlin that dim to not notice the recent rift between Arthur and the handmaid? Or was Merlin just such a sap that he thought he'd do some unwelcome matchmaking?

As the last one awake, Arthur put the fire out before spreading out his bedroll and lying down.

But sleep didn't want to come, making Arthur shift around in an attempt to get comfortable. His back, his side, his front, his side, his other side… and facing Gwen's sleeping form for the first time.

Gwen's back was to him, as it had been the entire night. And then he noticed she was shaking.

"You're cold," he whispered.

It was easy to see why Gwen would be, given how threadbare her blanket looked after some scrutinizing.

"I'm fine."

"You're shivering. That's not 'fine.'"

He saw Gwen's body still for a moment in an attempt to stop trembling, just to be wracked with shudders again.

Arthur huffed, fully exasperated by her stubbornness. "I have to worry enough about you getting yourself killed on this trip," he grumbled, leaving his bed roll, sliding under Gwen's blanket behind her, and laying his own blanket on top of them both. "I'll not have you freeze to death before we've even got there."

Gwen remained silent, but her trembling subsided.

"Better?" he finally asked quietly. He noticed how the curls at her neck swayed from his breath. She must certainly feel that.

"Yes," she admitted with clear reluctance.

"Good. Now all you have to worry about is my snoring. "

"You only snore when you're sleeping on your back."

"Really?"

"I noticed last night."

"Oh… well that's good to know. Did my snoring keep you awake?"

"No. …The cold did," she finished under her breath.

"Uh-huh. Finally coming clean, I see?"

She didn't say anything. Instead he just scooted closer to his body.

"Thank you," she said quietly.

Arthur smiled. "You're welcome."

He hesitated a moment, before wrapping his arm loosely around her waist. Thankfully, it didn't seem to be unwelcome.

"Are you still angry with me for coming?" Gwen's hurt voice drifted through the dark.

"No," he sighed. "I'm sorry for being cross with you." Arthur nuzzled into the back of her neck without thinking about it. "It's just that… I don't know what I'd do if something happened to you."

Arthur felt the brush of Gwen's fingers against his hand. So he covered her hand with his, interlacing their fingers.

"My feelings for you aren't going to just go away," he whispered.

She sank further into his embrace until their bodies were flush. "My feelings aren't going to, either."

Arthur gave her hand a squeeze and closed his eyes, smiling. It was amazing how natural this felt, like this was the way it was supposed to be. It was all too easy to forget exactly who they were and why they could never be while outside of the castle, just as it had been at her house.

But tonight he didn't care.

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A/N:I'd actually had the spooning bit in my head a week or so ago, but for the spooning to take place on the way back from Ealdor in 1x10. Having it in S3 [speculation fic] fits so much better, methinks.

The title? Well "Can't Fight This Feeling" popped into my head, but I refused to name a third fic after another 80s song (I also have two old-ish movie titles), as I tend to do late at night when at a loss of what to name these things. So it became "Can't Fight This" & then "Can't Fight It". You know what else I love to name fics besides after songs & movies made before I was born? Titles with double meanings. You have any idea how pleased with myself over the title of my fic, "Trials"? Well this time, the double meaning is in relation to Arthur not wanting to allow Gwen into battle & neither of them being able to help their feelings. (I need a life)

[/late night ramblings]