Disclaimer: Merlin and its characters belong to the BBC.
A/N: The wedding scene itself that was cut from Chapter 14 of 'So many paths that wind and wind...' (you probably should read the that in order for this one to make sense). It probably doesn't fit only as a standalone, but the scene was too close to our hearts to cut and let it rot in a random folder. Enjoy! :)
On the morn of Arthur and Guinevere's sacred union, the snow sparkled, reflecting the sun's brilliance. Not a cloud was visible in the blue sky and although it was chilly, all who were present were warmed by the excitement and anticipation of the occasion.
Though the ceremony should have been conducted in the finest hall with grandeur, this momentous wedding, on the surface, resembled only a countryside affair.
However on closer examination, one could see knights of Camelot in attendance, dressed in their finest cloaks – a row of red and gold. Upon the altar, a Prince without a kingdom stood in his scarlet cloak, waiting for his bride. Instead of an officiator, the once court physician was about to preside over the ceremony. He stood next to Arthur, his hands folded, but nervously kept glancing behind him occasionally to the most noticeable anomaly of all…for behind him stood the Great Dragon, proud and triumphant. Kilgharrah looked patronizingly upon the whole scenario, ignoring the obvious looks of fright on the faces of the many villagers who had gathered behind the knights.
Arthur was shocked at the number of unexpected guests, even though he had been forewarned. A forward girl named Elaine had taken him aside the previous evening and had explained how much Guinevere meant to her people. He was too surprised at her boldness at coming alone to their campsite to question her demand that all the villagers from Ingersoll be present the next day. And on parting, she had strongly implied to him that if he wished to bed Guinevere the next night, he'd better do something about his wild beard….
Scandalized, Arthur had sent her back to Ingersoll with Leon for protection, not understanding her wish for a different bodyguard. But he had taken her advice…
Arthur's heartbeat quickened when Guinevere appeared around the edge of the clearing. Almost immediately, the babble subsided. Suzanna, who had accompanied Gwen, squeezed her arm and joined the small crowd, leaving the bride to walk the remaining distance alone.
Blushing, she stepped forward and the crowd parted to give her way. She could barely look up, overcome by shyness, but she knew that every step she was taking was one of her own making. Her own choice…and she was filled with joy because at the end of this journey stood Arthur.
Arthur stood transfixed under the simply crafted, but elegant archway. From beneath her lashes, she stole a glance at her husband-to-be. He was handsomer than ever – greatly improved by the taming of his hair. His face was clean and smooth, his clothes tidy and his smile wide. Halfway through the crowd, she met his dancing eyes for a fleeting second…and she quickly looked back down at her feet.
Arthur saw Guinevere's head snap down and he wished that her warm brown eyes would find his again. Her bent head displayed the wreath of forget-me-not flowers on her open curls – the blue flowers matched her dress, which he knew she had sewn by hand. He was proud of her talent because even though his knowledge about dresses was minimal, he knew enough to admire the work she had put in. The pattern on the dress was modest and the falls of the fabric suited her perfectly. His heart was beating even more rapidly as she approached closer, holding her dress up to prevent the snow from dampening it.
She was at level with him and turned to face him, her eyes meeting his shyly. She was painfully aware of all the eyes that were on them…
Arthur took both of her hands in his.
Gaius cleared his throat and began the ceremony to the best of his knowledge. "Thank you all for being here to witness the union of Arthur and Guinevere. Your presence on this occasion to bless this couple is most appreciated."
Gaius smiled at both Arthur and Gwen. "I have known you both for long and though I never would have believed that this day would be possible…now that it has come, I cannot imagine anything different." He turned to Arthur. "Will you, Arthur Pendragon, son of Uther, swear to honour, protect and love Guinevere?"
Arthur stared frankly into Gwen's eyes. "I will," he said solemnly. Gaius waited patiently, allowing Arthur the opportunity to speak again. He searched for the right words to say to her. "Guinevere, you set me right when I am wrong…you inspire me when I am in doubt and most of all…you bring hope into my life. I pray that I continue to stand by your side…till the day that I die."
Gwen smiled blissfully as Gaius resumed, turning to her. "And will you, Guinevere, daughter of Tom, swear to honour, protect and love Arthur?"
"I will," she answered, her voice ringing with sweet certainty. "You have changed my life, Arthur. Every girl dreams of becoming a princess…but I never did because I was firmly rooted in my reality. Until you made me dream…" Her voice trembled. "I love you Arthur…and I will walk with you wherever our paths may lead us."
Gaius placed his hands on their intertwined hands. "May you find happiness in your lives and may you share your joy with others. Villagers and knights…" Placing his hands on the couple's backs, Gaius turned them to face the well-wishers. "Will all here bless this newlywed couple, Arthur and Guinevere Pendragon?"
In response, the entire row of knights knelt at the feet of the man and woman who they one day hoped would become their King and Queen.