I wrote this just after 3x03 aired but never got around to posting it on (I've been a bit lax recently, sorry) so it's a little outdated and completely AU =]
Arthur wasn't uneducated. He'd read many texts as a boy and he could write with precision but he couldn't remember the last time he had set foot in the library. Since the age for thirteen he had been so set on training and following the knights to become the best fighter Camelot had known that he hadn't made it a part of his life to seek out the library. He'd always read book that were in his room and sent his manservant to get him more.
He had no reason to be there until his father ordered him to take the Goblin back to be secure and left where it wouldn't be found so easily by anybody. As it happened there were a number of vaults behind the walls of the library and he could easily lock it away not to be found by anybody else for decades to come.
The place was so vast. Even after he'd locked the Goblin away he couldn't comprehend how anybody would find it again. He doubted he'd be able to and he knew which vault he'd put it in. Or at least he had.
Was it left or was it right?
It was the biggest maze in all of Camelot and it was under the castle roof.
It was the perfect place not to be found.
Arthur smiled to himself. It was the perfect place to hide. Of course he would have to wait at least a week before he made any such suggestion as to a meeting place to Gwen. Even if they were both ignoring the fact that anything had ever happened he still couldn't quite look her in the eye.
He'd had donkey ears.
He'd brayed. He couldn't risk still braying in front of her like he had a handful of times over the last couple of hours.
The less said about it all the better. He couldn't face her right now and he highly doubted she wanted to look him in the eye. Even if they were ignoring it.
Gwen pushed open the door of the musky library. She had only entered into the library before to fetch books for Morgana (and on the rare occasion Arthur as well when he didn't order his own servant to do it). She barely had time to fit all her chores into one day let alone make room for reading as well.
Today she wasn't there for her mistress. Nor for books.
Geoffrey looked up at her and smiled and nodded before he turned his attentions back to his books.
Once she was behind the first stack she pulled out the parchment she had been delivered the night before and read the instructions. Third stack down, then turn right. she leant out her head to see if Geoffrey was watching her, when she could see that he was fully divulged in his books she counted and headed behind the right hand side of the third stack.
Next left then behind the fourth stack. She followed the words. Before she could turn the final turn she was pulled into the row by strong hands. Without hesitation a pair of soft lips connected with her own.
"How did you know that it was me?" she asked against his mouth as his arms encircled her.
"There is a gap in the books. I could see you coming," she smiled in understanding. All the awkwardness she had been feeling for the last week had evaporated. That moment in his arms and it didn't matter anymore. She thought about herself in the moment and ignored the impossible world in which they lived in for an indulgent moment.
They ended up sitting, leaning against the bookshelves.
Gwen was lodged between Arthur's outstretch legs with his arms around her as he held one of the books before his eyes reading it aloud to her as she curled into his chest resting against him. Occasionally she would giggle, unable to take him seriously as he read about the woes of the turtle to her. He didn't go quite as far as to make different voices for the characters, but it still amused her endlessly.
"Okay enough of this," he declared pushing the book back onto the shelf randomly behind his head, "Up, we must find something else!" Gwen stood as Arthur pushed her up by her hands before he used the shelves to pull himself from the floor.
He scanned the shelves looking above his head at the ones out of his reach.
"No, nooo, noooo," he said to himself as he dismissed each in turn, "aha!" he stopped and looked, there was no way he could reach the book without being boosted slightly. By no means was he short, but the shelves went up to the high ceiling, nobody – not even Sir Leon – could reach those great heights.
Arthur scanned down the shelf and spotted the ladder. He positioned it by the book and climbed deftly grabbing the book in a second before sliding back down the ladder in a spectacular fashion. He hadn't counting on hitting his foot on the last of the rungs on his way down and making himself slip and topple.
On top of Gwen.
She yelped as she too fell to the floor.
She looked up at him, he looked stunned and sorry but all she could do was burst into laughter, giggling. Arthur could see the funny side of the situation, of course he could. He could make the situation another awkward one but that didn't work for anyone so he thought better of himself and laughed.
They forgot themselves; in the middle of the library they were cackling with laughter against all of their better judgement.
Slowly their laughter subsided. Gentle ripples of laughter slowly amounting to nothing as Arthur still perched hovering above her.
He was surprised that he hadn't hurt her in the duration of the fall. He found himself searching her eyes for any hint that she was hurt but found none. Instead he found a look that that he wasn't quite used to coming from Guinevere. He was pretty certain it was lust.
He swallowed, his mouth suddenly dry with nerves and his stomach dancing. His hands lay either side of her shoulders. Gently he slowly lowered his body so it was interlocked with her, fitting so well together he noticed. He subconsciously licked his lips and tilted his head-
They both jumped as somebody cleared their throat behind them. Arthur pushed up quickly helping Gwen from the floor before he found the identity of their discoverer when he turned to face them.
"My lord," Geoffrey nodded before he eyed the maid behind him.
"Geoffrey," Arthur greeted, "Guinevere was helping me to find a book on-"
"The History of Childbirth?" Geoffrey asked eyeing the book in his hand.
Arthur looked down at the cover, in the confusion he had dropped the book he'd picked from the shelf and grabbed the first book that had come to hand on standing.
"That one was mine," Gwen said quickly. Geoffrey's shocked expression then turned to her, "Oh it's not for me. It's for Beth, one of the kitchen maids. She's expecting," she handed Arthur a book on sword fighting and tourney rules and plucked the other from his hands, "That one was yours, my lord."
"Indeed, thank you Guinevere," he said, clearing his throat, "That will be all," she curtseyed and promptly abandoned Arthur with Geoffrey, "Thank you Geoffrey. I shall be going now," and he too fled the library.
Gwen stood outside of the library door leaning against the wall, waiting for Arthur.
When he appeared he didn't realise she'd be waiting and carried on straight up the hallway until he heard her laughter behind him, "It's not funny."
"Yes, it is."
"Would you prefer I brought up last week?" he asked with a glint in his eye.
"Would you?" she countered before she chortled again, "Merlin still finds it amusing."
"Indeed. Until next time, Guinevere."
"My lord," he shot her a stern look but didn't argue; she had come after all and he hadn't expected her to.