Author's Note: Please read previous chapter if you haven't done so.
Disclaimer: I do not own Merlin. I do not own its characters.
Queen of Hearts, A Speculation (continued) – by AudiRox
Scene opens on a beautiful afternoon in the woods just within the borders of Camelot. Gwen had just barely been able to sneak out of the castle and into the woods, where Arthur, with the help of Merlin, had set up a nice picnic for two.
As Gwen nears the area, she notices Arthur finishing up the set up of the area.
Arthur sees Gwen. "Guinevere. Perfect timing, as always."
With a tentative smile, she nods and takes a moment to observe the picnic setting. "So how much of this was Merlin's idea?"
Arthur smirks, "GuineVERE. I would've thought you had more faith in me."
Gwen smiles. "I do."
Arthur sits on the ground on the large blanket and pats on the space next to him. "Come, sit with me."
Gwen takes a deep breath, smiles, and takes a seat next to Arthur.
Meanwhile, at the castle, Morgana walks into Uther's dining room as he finishes his light lunch.
"Ah, Morgana. I was wondering where you were. I hadn't seen you all day."
Morgana skips all the pleasantries and gets right to the point. "It's such a beautiful day out there. We should go riding, sire!"
Uther chuckles. "Riding? I just finished my meal."
Morgana almost pleads. "I would've asked Arthur, but he's nowhere to be found. Please… join me? It is such a beautiful day and I cannot think of any other way to spend the afternoon than go riding with my favorite king."
The king blushes and nods.
Back at the picnic scene, Arthur and Gwen seem to be having a lovely time.
"Merlin? Merlin… you're talking about my manservant, Merlin?"
Gwen giggles. "Yes, the same Merlin."
"You're telling me that Merlin caught a rabbit for you… for dinner?"
Through her giggles, Gwen responds. "Yes, he does have surprising skills."
"He cannot catch anything even if it were thrown right at him," Arthur says sarcastically.
"Don't be cruel." Gwen continues, "Merlin's sweet and very dear to me."
The once and future king and queen chuckle.
Arthur takes a moment to observe Gwen's smile. "I could do this with you every day."
Gwen teases, "What? Sit here and talk about Merlin?"
Arthur rolls his eyes, "You know what I mean, Guinevere." He lies on his back, rests his head on his right palm, and watches Gwen.
"I never thought we would be here like this," Gwen admits.
Arthur reaches with his left arm and gently pulls Gwen down to lie next to him.
With a hand on his chest, Gwen inches closer to the prince.
"I've waited so long," says Arthur as Gwen reaches down and they begin to kiss.
For the first time, Arthur and Guinevere are in sync. Their feelings and the need to express their love for each other are mutual. And so they continue kissing. They're so engrossed in their situation that they fail to hear the sound of horses riding toward them.
"ARTHUR!" the sound of a familiar voice breaks them apart.
Scene opens on King Uther's court. Gwen is on one side of the court Arthur is on the other.
Uther is standing near his throne with Morgana standing not too far away. "It cannot and I will not let this happen!" says Uther to his son.
Gwen discreetly looks up at Morgana. While Morgana is pretending to care, Gwen sees right through her, but the recent events have shook her to the point where she has to look down at her feet to make sure they're firm.
"Father, you cannot control my life this way. You cannot control who I love!" shouts Arthur.
With eyes almost taken over by fire, Uther stares at his son. "For the love of Camelot, I will not let you marry a servant girl!" To this, Gwen's eyes fill with tears. Uther looks over at her. "And for this reason alone, I banish you!" Gwen starts to tremble.
"YOU CAN'T DO THIS!" Arthur leaps forward but is held back by two of the guards. He struggles to free himself.
"It is done. I order you to leave Camelot immediately! Guards? Take her away."
One of the guards takes her arm and escorts her towards the exit.
"Guinevere!" shouts Arthur as he tries to sneak out of the guards' firm grasp.
As she leaves the room, with tears, Gwen shakes her head at him, "No, Arthur."
Morgana feels the need to speak up as a façade.
"Surely, this is extreme!" She cries with a fake expression on her face.
As he takes a seat, Uther responds. "Morgana, I know how you feel about your maid, but this is not allowed."
Enraged, Arthur shakes the guards off of him and takes a couple of steps toward his father, the King.
"If Guinevere goes, I go."
Uther and Morgana are caught by surprise.
"What?" asks Morgana looking down at Arthur.
Uther dismisses it, "Don't talk nonsense, Arthur. You will soon forget her and you will marry a noble woman one day."
"I'm not a child. I love Gwen and she loves me. You might as well banish me." Points a finger at his father, "Do NOT try and stop me!"
Arthur walks out of the room leaving Uther and Morgana shocked and surprised. Too shocked to send guards after him. But the expression of shock on Morgana's face is that of an evil nature.
Merlin arrives at Gwen's home, soon to be her "former home." As she walks up, he sees a guard standing right next to the door. Surprisingly, the guard lets Merlin in with no question as to his visit.
"Gwen?" asks Merlin as he opens the door and enters.
Relieved to see a friend, Gwen runs up to him and gives him a hug.
Merlin shakes his head, "This is unfair, and we must do something."
Gwen shakes her head, "This is exactly what we knew would happen. I must leave Camelot so Arthur can fulfill his destiny."
"What if you're a part of his destiny?"
Gwen, with tears still glistening her eyes, "I'm a servant, Merlin. My destiny is to wait on noble women and mop floors. I will not be the reason Arthur fails."
Merlin sighs, "Well, brace yourself for what I'm about to tell you, Gwen."
"What is it, Merlin?"
"Arthur is leaving Camelot with you."
"What?" Gwen shakes her head rapidly. "This cannot be!"
Merlin explains. "When you were taken away, Arthur told the king and Morgana that he was leaving with you and nothing was going to stop him."
Gwen doesn't know what to think.
"He's in his chambers gathering some belongings as we speak."
Gwen surprises herself by saying, "We must stop him. He can't go with me. Camelot needs Arthur."
Just then, the door re-opens.
"Arthur!" Gwen runs up to him. "You cannot leave Camelot."
"Maybe we can think of a way to change the king's mind," says Merlin.
Arthur seems calmer now. "Nothing we say is going to change his mind, Merlin. I'm leaving with Guinevere, and that's that."
Gwen and Merlin look at each other.
"Merlin, I packed some things. They're in my chambers; can you please fetch them for me? We leave tomorrow at the crack of dawn." He finishes and looks at Gwen.
Merlin nods, "Yes, sire."
He would not say it out loud for Arthur to hear, but Merlin had a sense of pride in his master. He would give up his destiny to be with the woman he loved. There's something to say about a man like that, "It's a shame, though. He would've made a great king," Merlin thinks to himself as he exits Gwen's home.
Just as Merlin leaves, Gwen takes a step forward and asks, "Where will we go, Arthur?"
Arthur pulls her into a hug and responds, "Anywhere that'll take us. As long as we're together, I do not care."
Scene opens on Merlin walking along the hallway on his way to his master's chamber. He is surprised to see Morgana coming from the direction of Arthur's chambers. Curiously, he watches on as Morgana walks towards him and past him with an evil grin on her face.
Just as she passes him, Gaius comes into view.
"Merlin! There you are!" Merlin walks quickly towards Gaius.
"I have some information, Merlin, that I'm sure you'll find interesting."
Morgana finds Uther in his throne room in deep thought. Morgana puts on a façade again, and walks hurriedly to Uther. "You must be troubled!" She reaches out to him.
"Of course I'm troubled. My son, the only heir to my throne is leaving Camelot, for what? For love?"
Morgana winces at "…the only heir to my throne."
Uther sighs and wonders.
"What is it, my lord?"
Uther struggles, but manages to open up. "What if I'm wrong?"
"Wrong about what?" Morgana asks curiously.
"What if this Gwen is a part of Arthur's destiny? She seems to be respected by the people of Camelot, is she not? She has been you're maiden for many years, Morgana. What do you say?"
Morgana is completely shocked by her father's train of thought. Something she never would've imagined. "This needs to be put to an end," she thinks. She takes a deep breath and responds, "It pains me to say this, my lord. But I must."
Uther is concerned by her tone. "What is it, my child?"
"I believe there is magic involved."
Uther's neck snaps into place and his ears perk up. "Magic?"
Morgana continues the lie, "I have reason to believe that Arthur may have been enchanted."
Uther quickly gets up from his throne. "Of course! It makes perfect sense!"
Morgana smirks to herself at how quickly Uther believed that it was magic's fault that Arthur is in love with a servant.
Concerned, Uther snaps his fingers, "That servant girl has enchanted Arthur into loving her!"
Morgana stays quiet.
"We have to search Arthur's chambers. We need to stop them!" Uther looks towards the end of the throne room. "Guards!"
Meanwhile, Merlin has been called into Gaius' quarters.
"Are you sure, Gaius?" Asks Merlin.
"As sure as I can be, Merlin. It was Morgana that suggested the impromptu ride in the woods."
Merlin nods, "And she led Uther to the Arthur and Gwen." Merlin shakes his head. "But why now? She has known about them for some time."
Gaius with his wisdom folds his hands and suggests. "Maybe she knows something we have yet to find out."
Arthur is helping Gwen gather her things. He notices how quiet Gwen is. "She must be so afraid," he thinks to himself. "Leaving her home, the only place she has known. Her world has crumbled down because of our love. I must fix this. I must make her happy again." He sighs and looks down at the sack he has been filling with plates and goblets.
"Do we need all of this?" he asks her.
Gwen looks over at him and quickly back at her own pile of things. "Yes, we do. I have no means to collect any of this again. I have no extra money."
"I do." Arthur says. "We'll start fresh. We can buy these things."
Gwen walks over to him and shakes her head. "Do you realize what you've given up?" Arthur looks at her. "Yes, you have money now, but the moment you leave these walls, we have to look out for ourselves. Start a new home together. Whatever resources we have, we have to save."
Arthur smiles. "I like the sound of that." Gwen looks up at him curiously. "A new home… together."
Gwen tentatively smiles and then sighs. "Camelot needs you, Arthur."
"Not as much as I need you."
Just then Gwen's front door swings open and what seems like a sea of guards flood in and take hold of her.
"What the…!" shouts Arthur.
"What is it?" shouts Gwen and she spins her head back as the guards drag her toward the front door. She sees that a half a dozen guards are holding back Arthur making it impossible for him to release himself. "Arthur!"
Arthur shouts at his men, his father's men. "LET ME GO! I order you to let me go!"
One of the guards speaks up. "I cannot, sire. You're father has given us strict orders."
Arthur looks up but finds that the guards have successfully removed Gwen from her home.
Gaius appears in the house. "Sire!"
"Uther can't do this! I've made up my mind, I'm leaving with Gwen."
Gaius tries to calm the prince. "I know, sire. But there are other matters to be concerned with." He looks up at the guards. "Release him. I have a remedy to calm his nerves." He adds, "And leave us."
The guards look at each other, and when Arthur seems to be calmer, they nod and exit the house.
Arthur quickly gets up and walks towards the door. "I need to go after her."
"There's something I need to tell you, Arthur."
Arthur turns around.
"They have found some sort of poultice in your chambers. Uther believes you were enchanted."
"Enchanted?" asks Arthur.
Confused, Arthur shakes his head and dismisses it. "Enchanted? Magic? Gwen? That's ridiculous!"
Gaius nods. "But try convincing your father that."
A sudden look of worry takes over Arthur's face.
Merlin is pacing in Gaius' quarters trying to figure out how to fix everything. Gaius tries to calm him down.
"Merlin, you need to sit and have your supper. If not, you will worry yourself to death."
"I cannot eat, Gaius. I cannot rest until I find a way. Gwen has been sentenced to death. Arthur has himself holed up in his chambers. I don't know how to fix this. How do I fix this?"
Gaius is concerned as well. "You know I would do anything for Gwen. I've tried to come up with a solution. But I cannot think of anything…"
Merlin cuts him off. "It's Morgana. It's her doing." With a look of sudden anger he scowls, "Witch!"
"Uther will never believe her to be the culprit."
Gaius looks up at his young warlock. "May I suggest, Merlin, that you seek the advice of…"
Merlin finishes his thought, "The great dragon."
Scene opens on the Kilgharrah, the great dragon, at night on an open field.
"I've advised you time and time again, young warlock. Morgana is not to be trusted."
Merlin shouts up at him, "Yes, yes, but how do I save Gwen?"
"You must expose Morgana to Uther, that is how."
"But I can't. Uther will never believe her to be evil! And Gwen," he sighs, "Gwen cannot die."
The great dragon speaks louder, "Of course Guinevere cannot die!" He continues, "She is instrumental to the survival of future king."
Merlin nods, "Of course she is, I don't know what Arthur would do if something were to happen to her."
"You must save her."
"Yes, we've established that!"
"What I mean, young warlock, is that Guinevere is a part of Arthur's destiny." He adds, "Therefore, you must save her."
Merlin is curious. "She is to be queen?" He thinks to himself, "Of course! Morgana has seen the future."
Kilgharrah gets serious, "You haven't a lot of time, Merlin. I suggest you use some creativity."
With these words, the great dragon flaps his wings and flies away.
Scene fades on Merlin as he stands there staring into the sky, more confused than he was when he sort out Kilgharrah's help.
Scene opens after a couple of intense days. Merlin, as always comes up with a plan to save the day. Since he couldn't expose Morgana as the perpetrator, he had to create one. Himself. Everything had gone according to plan. Gwen was found innocent, and another, guilty. It was tricky for him to return as himself, but he found a way. And now, here he is standing by the doorway of the king's court watching as Arthur walks up to his father's throne.
"I need to speak with you." Arthur says to his father with just a hint of anger.
Uther looks up at his son from his throne. "Yes, of course. We haven't had a chance to speak of the events that took place the past few days."
"I'm relieved that the true perpetrator was captured and that the innocent was spared."
"You condemned her, father!" shouts the prince.
Uther is surprised at his tone, so he looks at the guards and asks them to leave. "Leave us."
The guards nod and walk out. Though they close the door behind them, Merlin stays and eavesdrops.
"The maidservant was saved, Arthur. There is no reason to take that tone with me."
"Her name… is Guinevere!"
Uther doesn't want to admit it to himself, but realizes that the enchantment may not have been the cause for Arthur's affections towards this girl.
"What are you trying to tell me, Arthur?" questions the king with a stubborn expression on his face.
Arthur takes a deep breath. "I cannot keep hiding," he thinks to himself. "I need to be true." And so he begins his confession.
"Whatever magic was involved the past few days have nothing to do with my affections for Guinevere."
"Arthur!" protests the king.
Arthur cuts him off. "My feelings for her are true. And if you have a problem with that, father, I should let you know that I do not care. If you banish her, I will leave with her. I will protect her with my life. You will not come between us."
With these words, Arthur turns to leave.
Uther is surprised by his son's confession, but this time, he feels as though his arms are tied. He cannot banish the servant girl. As cold as Uther seems, he cannot deny his love for his son.
Morgana appears near the door for the first time that day. As Arthur exits the court, Merlin can't help but feel a sense of pride.
"If anyone should need me, I will be with Guinevere, at her home." Arthur explains to his manservant as he walks past him.
Merlin nods. Morgana can't help but have a distasteful expression on her face.
Merlin can't help but smirk at the wicked witch of Camelot as he goes about his business.
End Notes: Arthur's, "YOU CAN'T DO THIS!" seems to be from when Uther finds Gwen guilty of magic, but I used it earlier in the episode. I also decided to skip many of the intense scenes of Merlin transforming into Old Merlin and saving the day. Again, I'm not a "writer" but a speculator and/or dreamer of how I'd like storylines to play out. I highly doubt the actual episode will have dialogue or situations similar to this, but it's fun to speculate. Let me know what you think. Reviews are immensely appreciated! Thank you for reading!
P.S. I apologize for the American spelling, as I am… American. Please read favorite as favourite, and realize as realise, etc, etc and so on. =)