Author's Note: I was so inspired by some of the storylines from Merlin's episode 3.08 that I had to write this extended scene. I hope you enjoy. Please do not read if you do not wish to be spoiled about 3.08. Knowing the happenings of 3.08 is important, anyway.

Disclaimer: I do not own Merlin. I do not own its characters.

The Eye of the Phoenix, Extended. – by AudiRox

Reluctantly, out of duty, Gwen walks into Lady Morgana's chambers to make sure everything is in order before she leaves for the night. She looks down at her hand holding tightly, the goblet that her lady had dropped on the floor earlier that day after witnessing the safe return of Prince Arthur. "Why haven't I let go of this thing?" she thinks to herself as she walks into Morgana's chambers. With a sigh, she looks up to find that Lady Morgana is nowhere in her room. With slight panic, she spins around, and then instinctively walks over to the window to find a shadow of a figure making its way out of the castle and into the darker rim of the night. The way in which she walks, Gwen has no doubt it's Morgana on her way to see her co-conspirators to let them know their evil plan hadn't panned out. "This knowledge should frighten me like no other," she thinks. But it doesn't. Not anymore. In just a short couple of days, Gwen has gone from realizing Morgana's true evil nature to understanding and piecing together the events of the past few months.

"I should follow her," she thinks, but she looks down at the goblet, which now, to Gwen, signifies Morgana's intent. "She is after the throne. Camelot's throne," she thinks. "She's after Prince Arthur. My Arthur." The thought sends a shiver down her spine. "How can someone go against all that she loves? All the people she once loved?" Gwen looks out the window again to find that her once beautiful and kind lady had successfully made her way into the evilness of the night. She sighs and leaves the chambers.

Still looking down at the goblet in her hand, Gwen walks down the hallway. Occupied in her own thoughts, she passes the Prince's chambers and makes her way around the corner only to be woken up by the sudden appearance of the Prince himself making his way to his chambers. The goblet falls from her hands.

Arthur, in surprise, "Guinevere!" Quickly follows the goblet as it falls on the floor, bends down and takes it in his hand.

Gwen braces herself and takes a deep breath, "Sire!"

Now amused, Arthur looks at the silver-ish object and calmly asks, "Are you alright? I'm sorry, I didn't see you…"

Gwen takes another deep breath. "I apologize sire. I didn't see you, either." She looks up and sees him holding the goblet. Instantly, she grabs and takes it off of the prince's hands as if to save him from the object.

Slightly more amused the prince smiles. "Alright. So…" Gwen manages to nervously smile. The prince continues, "So, I've returned."

Gwen nods, "Yes, you certainly have."

With a hint of a pout, Arthur eggs her on, "Aren't you happy to see me?"

"Of course I am!"

Prince continues, "I've returned from the very dangerous quest I was on… You know, I could've been killed out there."

Earnestly, Gwen takes a step forward, "Please do not say such things, Arthur." She fails to notice Arthur's smirk as he observes her seriousness. "You've returned safely to Camelot. And that is all that matters… to me."

"But you haven't said a word to me all day."

"There was a small feast in your honor and you were busy being congratulated by all. I hadn't a chance..."

"Ah, so you've been keeping an eye on me." The prince smirks again.

Gwen blushes but continues, "Besides you've been with your father almost all day since your return. Who, no doubt, is very proud of you."

Under his breath, the prince mumbles to himself, "Only if he knew the true nature of the quest."

Puzzled, Gwen inquires, "Arthur?"

Arthur shakes his head, "Nothing." He looks around at the empty hallway and then at Gwen. Takes her hand and guides her to his chambers.

Gwen softly protests, "Arthur, no… what are you doing?"

Arthur closes the door behind them and looks down at Gwen.

"Arthur?"

"Guinevere."

Gwen examines his face as he traces her cheek with his thumb. With the cue of the beautiful violin, Prince Arthur leans in and kisses his true love. This time, the kiss lasts a little longer. A bookend to his quest.

The once and future king and queen sweetly smile at each other.

Gwen takes a step back. "I should go, sire."

Arthur nods.

Just as Gwen pulls on the door handle, Arthur remembers to ask, "Oh…" She turns around. "Has Morgana already retired for the evening?"

The reality of the past couple of days hits Gwen and she nervously responds, "Y-yes, I believe she has."

Arthur makes a face, looks away and mumbles, "Guess I'll tell her about the bracelet tomorrow."

Curiously, Gwen asks, "Bracelet?"

Arthur explains, "The bracelet she gave me for luck, I lost it." Rolls his eyes, "She's not going to take the news lightly."

Gwen's heart starts to rise a bit, but she holds her composure. "I'm sure she'll understand."

Arthur shrugs, "We'll see."

Gwen nods and opens the door. "Goodnight, my lord."

He smiles, "Goodnight, Guinevere."

Gwen closes the door behind her and makes her way around the corner. She sees Merlin coming towards her.

"Merlin!" Gwen loudly whispers.

Surprised to see her, Merlin responds, "Gwen. Good, I've wanted to speak with you."

"Where have you been? I've been looking all over for you!"

Merlin realizes he has a lot to explain, but holds up his hands. "I'll tell you, but…" Concerned, he looks down at his friend. "Are you alright?"

"Well…"

He explains, "Gaius told me."

A sad expression takes over Gwen's face.

"I'm sorry you had to find out this way, Gwen."

"You've known all along, haven't you? Explains the distance between you and Morgana." She adds as she looks away, "The distance between her and all of us."

Merlin puts a hand on her shoulder, "This must be difficult for you."

She looks up at her friend and shakes her head, "No Merlin, I knew something was wrong. But… not to this extent."

Merlin nods.

"What do we do?"

"What can we do?" Merlin counters. "She is Uther's…" Checks himself and continues, "Uther's ward."

Gwen notices Merlin's nervousness. "There is more you're not telling me, Merlin."

Merlin guiltily nods, "I will explain everything I know in good time."

Gwen nods, and then remembers. "Arthur said something about a bracelet that Morgana gave him for luck."

Merlin sighs, "Oh right. I had to take it away from him. He thinks he lost it."

Gwen realizes, "You were there! With Arthur… you were there with him on his quest."

Merlin, "Shh, all in due time, Gwen. I promise."

Gwen calms down and nods.

The two friends share a moment of silence.

Gwen looks up at her dear friend and smiles, "Thank you, Merlin."

"For?"

Almost knowingly, she continues. "Whatever you have done to keep Arthur safe. I thank you with all my heart. You are very dear to me, Merlin. I hope you know that."

Merlin smiles sweetly and nods, hoping that one day; he might be able to share his own personal secret with his loyal friend.

Gwen slightly touches Merlin's arm as she walks around and continues down the hallway. Scene fades as Merlin watches her leave.

The End.

End Notes: I'm not a "writer" but a speculator and/or dreamer of how I'd like storylines to play out. Let me know what you think. Thank you for reading. I want to see if this could lead to more writing in the future, so your review is immensely appreciated.