A/N: I found this today on my laptop and decided to post it. It was written a while ago, but I do remember I was going to use this as a story and I have several other half finished chapters. I guess if the feedback is good the story will progress. Arthur dreams of the Lady of the Lake, and reveals his dreams to his old friend, the serving girl.
Dreaming of the Lady of the Lake
Arthur cracked an eye open, looking around his chambers lazily before calculating the time and then rushing out of bed to get ready. It was not late in the morning, Merlin wouldn't be arriving to wake him up for another good three hours and that was even if he was on time. No, he justified, it's perfectly acceptable to be doing this.
He took the stairs two at a time and raced to the kitchens, listening to the soft humming before he opened the door and walked in as if he owned the world – which he would someday, his own private section anyway.
"Morning Sire," he was greeted with as a female servant flashed a cheeky smile and continued to hum, kneading some form of bread before she spun around and opened the door to some cupboards and fished out a few supplies, "what can I help you with?"
"Well," he began formally, crossing his arms over his chest and then uncrossing them as he pulled a wooden stool a few paces across the floor and set it up next to a bench to sit on, "I came to check everything was in order, I suppose though I can have something to eat while I'm here."
"Oh yes, of course Sire," the kitchen hand cooed in her sweetest voice as she continued to knead the dough on the bench a few steps down from him, "what can I get you? I'm afraid I haven't started your breakfast yet."
"Abigail," he dropped the formality and used the same method of elongating her name as he did for Morgana, Merlin and Guinevere. Nothing had ever been very formal between him and the kitchen staff, they adored him as a child, gave him treats, and Abigail who was a year younger than him had always been around, even a few times helping him with certain things, even when she was a year younger she was most definitely a faster reader.
"Your usual then I take it?" she quirked an eyebrow and smiled before spinning around to the oven and opening the door, revealing the sweetbread that he had developed a fondness for since she made it on his birthday when they were each around eleven years old, "don't drool on the bench Arthur, I'll have to clean it again."
"That's no real way to talk to the crown prince of Camelot," he smirked as he unconsciously wiped the bench and then drew patterns in the flour that covered the entire surface, "I could put you in the stocks for that."
"Yes Arthur Pendragon you could," she smiled again as she took the bread out of the oven and placed it on a covered section of the working surface, sprinkling the top with some brown sugar and then turning to collect a knife, "but you won't. Besides, someone has to make sure your head doesn't get so big that your crown can't fit; honestly, I think it's a good thing that Merlin has come around. Don't touch that."
Arthur withdrew his hand and then put on a slightly sullen, sulky expression, "you could say it more nicely."
"What was it your tutor used to tell you?" Abigail sighed lightly as she smiled and wiped her hands down on her apron before using a knife to cut the sweetbread and place some on a plate for Arthur, "something about proper use of word variation in a sentence wasn't it."
"When it counts, I'll use it," Arthur said quickly before grinning at the bread like a five year old grinned at a new toy and then beginning to eat his snack as Abigail went back to humming as she worked, "besides, I have been known to give excellent speeches, thank you very much."
"Of course Sire," Arthur watched Abigail grin at him as she replied, remembering the days before Merlin where she was the only person with enough wit and bravery to get away with shooting imaginary little arrows at his ego, "and as I said before, maybe it's a good thing I have Merlin around to help me with you."
"Merlin has enough of a hard time helping himself let alone anyone else," Arthur scoffed as he finished the last of his treat and turned the plate upside down on the table, tracing around the edge in the flour on the surface before lifting it carefully and placing it to the side, "sometimes I wonder why I keep him around."
"Well that's simple, honestly Arthur I thought you were smarter than me," she placed her hands on her hips and looked at him a minute, watching as he abandoned his drawing for the moment and looked at her with questioning in his eyes, "you like him silly; you're friends, and really, what's not to like about Merlin, he's smart, friendly, brave and kind. He's a lot like you really."
"You sound like you might be falling in love with him or something," Arthur replied slightly indignantly, a little jealous that she might like someone else, and had moved on from when they had quite fancied each other when they were younger.
"Don't be stupid," she breathed out as her face coloured pink a little and she turned to check on some things in the oven before placing the dough she had been working with in to bake, "it takes a lot longer than a few meetings to fall in love with someone."
Arthur smiled as she looked up at him, reassured that everything was as it should be, "you need someone who can protect you anyway. Living on the outer villages you're more at risk than us here in the city."
He didn't even know why he was mentioning it again really. He'd known Abigail for most of his life, and no matter how many times he tried to convince her to move into the city permanently she had always refused. You know how it works, Arthur, she would always say, I do live here. I stay and work here with my mother for a few weeks and then I go back to the outer village to help my grandparents take care of their place.
"You know how it works, Arthur," he nodded as she began and then made a motion for her not to bother with the rest, she smiled in return and cut him another slice of the sweetbread, laying it out on the plate where he had left it so as not to ruin his artwork, "besides, how do you know he'd be incapable of protecting me, he strikes me as someone who isn't completely what he seems."
"I know what you mean," Arthur replied, suddenly deep in thought. Merlin was a slight task to figure out. No matter what the boy did he seemed to have no ulterior motive or want to gain something from anyone, he seemed to all extensive purposes to be the most loyal subject that Arthur had ever had. "For the most part though I think I have him figured out."
"I'm sure you do, and I think he probably has the same realizations about you," Abigail sounded completely sincere as she spoke, a tone that was soft and gentle at the same time as it commanded a form of respect and a little authority, "I hope you enjoy that by the way, I do leave right after breakfast today if you remember."
Arthur scoffed a little again as if it was an insult that she thought he could forget; which it was a little. It was like tradition that he came down for this time to talk to her and eat the food she made so well on the morning of her departure, just as much as it was tradition for him to have extra supplies sent down to the kitchens on her arrival, as well as having Gwen deliver flowers to her on her birthday for him. It was also tradition that he have a good natured fighting competition with any of the knights that showed interest in her around that time, but that was one that she didn't really know about.
"I best be off then," he said with a slight sigh as he rose from the stool and returned it to the corner, watching Abigail as she moved to the place he had just vacated and looked over his drawing before taking his plate and moving back to her side of the bench. Arthur moved to look at his awful handiwork himself, brushing the flour over it and then looking up at Abigail as she stared at him, "what?"
"It was a nice picture," she shrugged her shoulders as she dried the plate and stacked it with the others on the counter, "why didn't the girl have a face?"
Arthur thought about ti for a second before deciding to tell her the truth, "I had a dream. I was at a lake and Merlin was there with me. As I watched a girl walked out of the water, she was more beautiful than anyone I had ever seen. Very pale, she had long black hair and she was wearing blue, she handed me a sword and told me that she had always known I would be a great king. I just, I can't remember what her face looked like."
"Oh," Abigail replied quietly, looking slightly entranced at the way he had spoken, "if it helps you any, I've always known you'd be a great king. You better get going, I have to start your breakfast so Merlin can come and bring it to you in a couple of hours."
"Very well," Arthur resumed formality with a slight smile on his face as gave a nod to the kitchen girl as she curtseyed to him, "I hope you have a safe journey, I presume your cousin is escorting you as usual."
He waited for her nod and her smile before he turned and left to his room. It seemed slightly useless to go back to sleep again, and he did enjoy lecturing Merlin when he wasn't in time to wake him. The thought made Arthur smile as he opened his door and picked up a book from a nearly empty shelf, it didn't matter if he had to wait a while for Merlin's arrival, the stuttering excuse he would give was completely worth it.
A/N: Please let me know what you thought! Happy holidays everyone! Ange x