Author's Note: Some slight spoilers for the end of season 3 (just to be on the safe side).
Set right around the end of season 3 and assumes most of Camelot unofficially knows about Arthur and Gwen thanks to the rumour mill.
Disclaimer: BBC still owns Merlin...
Sir Olwen nervously ran his fingers through his short brown hair, as he entered the dungeons of Camelot in search of his younger brother Gildas. Gil had arrived in Camelot only a day ago to join the knights as a squire and Olwen had only left him alone for an afternoon while he was out on patrol. In the space of a few hours his brother had somehow landed himself in the dungeons until further notice. This was practically unheard of for noblemen – though Uther had thrown both Arthur and even Morgana into the dungeons in the past. If Gil had somehow offended Uther... Olwen had to figure out a way to appease the king before the incident tarnished the honour of the whole family.
Upon reaching the cell, he was shocked at the state of his brother. The young man's right eye was swollen shut and Olwen was certain it would be a brilliant shade of purple by the end of the day. His hair was matted with dirt from having lain on the cell floor and he was holding his side in a way that suggested broken ribs.
"What the hell happened to you? Were you in a fight?" Olwen saw his brother wince "Tell me you didn't do anything foolish."
"It wasn't my fault," Gildas looked at his elder brother "Honestly! This city is just mental. I was just having a bit of innocent fun when this uppity servant walks up and tells me 'That's enough, cut it out'. Can you believe it - a servant telling a noble what to do! Have you ever heard of such a thing!"
Olwen was surprised, the servants of Camelot were known for their polite respect and courteousness and he'd never heard of a servant talking back to a member of the nobility. Well except for Merlin – Oh no…..
"This servant – he wasn't by any chance a tall gangly fellow with dark hair and a hideous scarf?" Olwen prayed silently that his brother hadn't broken one of the unwritten rules of Camelot…
"Yes – you've heard of this miscreant then?" Gil replied, dashing his hopes. "Horrible manners! Well, I obviously couldn't stand for such insolence so I shoved him back and drew my blade intending to teach him some proper respect. I had my blade to his chest, when the prince showed up with a contingent of guards and demanded to know what was going on."
Olwen groaned, he'd been nursing the faint hope that the prince had somehow not heard.
"What? I was perfectly within my rights! And the prince knew it – he called the servant an idiot and was telling him off for insolence. And then rather than apologize and beg for forgiveness, the insolent cur had the nerve to tell the prince – the prince - to shut up and listen! I couldn't believe it. What is this kingdom coming to? Servants are to do as they are told without hesitation or complaint!"
"Gildas, it's not that simple. Merlin is the prince's own manservant. As far as anyone can tell, he's always been insolent and completely incompetent, but he's also saved Arthur's life several times over." Olwen sighed, he really should have explained the rules of Camelot the instant his brother got here.
"Despite their differences in station, Arthur and Merlin are like brothers - although neither would ever admit it. If you threatened Merlin, well I'm not surprised you ended up in the dungeons. No one, other than Arthur himself, is allowed to threaten Merlin." Olwen frowned "Though it doesn't explain the eye - how did you get that shiner?"
"It was the Prince. This Merlin went on and on complaining to the prince about me and then next thing I know the prince attacked me!"
Olwen frowned again. That didn't sound like Arthur. Sure he was protective of Merlin but he would never attack someone without cause, and it didn't sound like Merlin had actually been harmed. Unless there was another cause? "What exactly did Merlin say?"
"He told him about the girl I'd been having a bit of fun with. Made it sound like I was imposing my attentions on her, when it was really nothing serious, she was just a lovely little serving wench." Olwen groaned and felt his heart sink. Oh no. Oh no, not that, anything but that…..
"What?" Gildas continued on – confused at his brother's response. "Don't pretend you've never had a bit of a tumble with one of the maids. There's nothing wrong with it."
"Was she a pretty dark skinned maiden with long dark hair?" Olwen whispered, hope fading…
"Yes - Gwen I think he called her – lovely little thing…. Olwen what's wrong? You've gone white as a ghost! All I did was give her a bit of a squeeze, before this Merlin fellow showed up and ruined it. He mentioned it to the prince and the next thing I know I'm waking up in a cell, with a blackened eye, three broken ribs, a ringing in my ears and generally feeling like I've been run over by a herd of horses! And really, what's it to Arthur if I have a bit of fun with the help? I certainly don't belong in the dungeons like some common criminal! You have to get me released!"
"Gildas, you fool! Under no circumstances does any sane person ever do anything to harm Guinevere - not if they value their life. It's the single most important rule of life in Camelot." Olwen sighed. "I'm sorry brother, there's nothing I can do. You're just lucky to be alive. If you're smart you'll stay here quietly and without complaint. You'll be safer here in the dungeons until Arthur cools off."
Two months later a scared, pale and severely malnourished young noble emerged from the dungeons and left Camelot quickly and quietly, never to return lest the Crown Prince, Merlin, Sir Leon, Sir Elyan, Sir Lancelot, Sir Gwaine and/or one of many servants carry out their promises of a slow and very painful death should he ever even look at the newly titled Lady Guinevere ever again….