AN: I love the sibling dynamic the Round Table have and I know we have never seen this sort of stuff onscreen but who's to say there aren't some deleted scenes somewhere? All the best stuff gets deleted. As usual with my stuff Lancelot is Friend-Zoned once and for all and rather than doing his angsty thing; he's cool with it mainly because I hate writing angsty Lancelot- he's such a pain!
Arthur would freely admit that he hadn't just found friends in his group of knights who not long after the battle had dubbed themselves the Knights of the Round Table; he also now had six brilliant brothers. Yes even Merlin; he was the pain-in-the-backside little brother Arthur never had. However there was just one little problem/ as far as his 'brothers' were concerned; they all shared a sister i.e. Guinevere. Which was fine, good, equality and all that stuff but for Arthur that really meant than rather than just having one protective brother; there were now six. Something which created a problem of sorts for Arthur.
It had been quite an eventful few days. Gwen's brother who had left Camelot a good four years ago had been captured by Cenred's men to force Gwen into making the ultimate decision on who she could save; her brother or her love. However one can always rely on friends in time of crisis and the next thing they all knew; the five of them: Gwen, Elyan, Arthur, Merlin and Morgana were legging it out of Cenred's grasp and back to Camelot. Arthur sat in his chambers and decided to try and relax before thenext disaster came along. Arthur was just getting comfortable whenever there was a knock at the door.
"Enter," Arthur called and stood up as Elyan came into the room looking nervous yet determined. "Elyan, is something wrong?"
"I'm a lot of things sire but I'm not stupid. I know there's something going on between you and Gwen." Elyan explained. It hadn't been that hard to figure out. Why else would Cenred have kidnapped him and Gwen instead of people of higher rank who would have been better leverage for Arthur? Their discussion in the cell had also told him everything he needed to know. A lot had changed over the past four years it seemed.
"Oh, well," Arthur began; unsure of how to proceed. Elyan however seemed to steel himself as he kept Arthur's gaze.
"All I wanted to say is; prince or not; if you ever do anything to break Gwen's heart. I will personally break your neck." Elyan said and he turned and walked out of the room leaving a stunned Arthur in his wake.
Leon was an observant man; he tended to stay in the background as well as one of his status could. Therefore Leon knew and had known for a long time. He'd worked it out during the Troll Incident whenever he walked into Arthur's room to find the prince and his friend having a moment. Not to mention the way they had been during the Dragon's attack. A blind person could have seen it. Leon felt honour bound as a knight to protect every person in the kingdom; childhood friends included.
"So you and Guinevere grew up together?" Arthur asked after listening to some of his knights retelling childhood stories; Leon having just told one about the time he and Gwen had gotten caught climbing the old oak they had been told not to.
"Her mother worked for my mother, I guess you could say that." Leon shrugged before he turned to Arthur and frowned. "I see Gwen as the little sister I never had. Look after her." Leon warned as he picked up the love of his life; his crossbow. Arthur glanced at the bow and understood what Leon was saying; everyone in Camelot knew the best shot with a crossbow was Leon. He never missed a target.
"So you and the lovely lady Gwen, how long has that been going on for?" Gwaine asked as he and Arthur sat in the case. Merlin had gone off to scavenge for food. Arthur shrugged and turned away.
"We've more pressing matters to deal with." Arthur replied; the kingdom had been taken over by Morgana and Morgause; Uther was imprisoned; the knights were facing the death penalty therefore the last thing Arthur wanted to do was let Gwaine annoy him. Gwaine looked at Arthur and his expression grew uncharacteristically serious.
"Exactly; everything else may be messed up but you still have one good thing in your life don't you? You've got someone to fight for don't you? She told me that about you' said you were a decent noble. Can't see it myself really. When I look at you I see a ; I see a princess." Gwaine commented with an attempt at his usual humour. It seemed to work. Arthur lightly shoved Gwaine.
"You're actually right; Guinevere is worth fighting for." Arthur nodded.
"Aye she is; you've got a good woman Arthur so be warned if you hurt her; I'll hurt you." Gwaine warned and Arthur nodded in agreement. He knew Gwaine saw no trouble whatsoever in possibly beating up the prince of Camelot.
The tall muscular knight initially gave off quite an imposing impression. Naturally his build and height seemed to present the idea of a mean, tough sort of man. The kind who could and would bully their way into superiority. Anyone who knew Percival knew that couldn't be further from the truth. There was a kinder side to the soft-spoken knight and in his newfound family; it was Gwen he chose as a confidante. Mainly because he knew she would listen and understand. It was only Gwen who knew that Percival had been the only brother to four sisters who had been slaughtered along with his parents by Cenred and his men. It was this trust between them which made Percival too decide to seek out Arthur to discuss the relationship between them, which he did one afternoon after training.
"Is there a problem Percival?" Arthur asked.
"I wanted to talk to you about Gwen." Percival said. Arthur frowned, he had suspected as much.
"Go on," Arthur prompted.
"She reminds me a lot of my sister Rosie; gentle, compassionate and a genuinely kind person. Don't destroy that. Or else." Percival warned as he briefly clenched his fists. Arthur quickly looked Percival up and down, fully aware of the many men who currently had broken limbs due to their belief that they could best Percival in an arm wrestle. Arthur knew full well that despite his own strength; Percival could snap any bone in his body like a twig.
Out of all of these 'discussions' that Arthur had been having with his knights recently; without doubt the one between himself and Lancelot had been the one he had been dreading. The obvious past history between the three of them was still hanging over their heads in a way. However Arthur also knew that not long after the battle; Gwen had taken Lancelot aside and basically explained the full story of what had happened between Hengist's castle up until their current situation and simply stated that whatever they had was long gone. Lancelot, surprisingly had taken it on the chin and instead proved himself to be a better friend to both of them than was to be expected. Still the inevitable day arrived whenever Arthur and Lancelot discussed Gwen.
"I know you're nervous Arthur but you don't have to be. Gwen's right, whatever we had, no matter how brief it was, is long gone." Lancelot claimed.
"Is it?" Arthur replied; he hadn't meant to sound so harsh but he needed to be sure. Arthur needed to know that Gwen loved him and not Lancelot.
"Yes, it's strange but she almost seems like a sister to me. Any other sort of relationship just seems wrong." Lancelot shrugged and he walked away. However he turned back to Arthur and looked at his former rival. "Look after her or you'll have me to deal with."
"You and the rest of the knights," Arthur muttered to himself.
Merlin of course had known all along about Arthur and Gwen's relationship. He had been the matchmaker. Of course he could cite destiny and all that but really he just wanted them to both be happy. Besides a happy Arthur wasn't as bossy as mean Arthur so everybody was a winner. One thing Merlin had enjoyed about watching Arthur and Gwen's relationship develop was the little taunts and nuggets of information which had proved quite useful whenever he wanted to blackmail Arthur for fun. Yet Merlin knew that underneath it all; the compassion she had for others and the courage she presented in times of hardship; the nervous, shy and timid Gwen remained. He knew Gwen lived in fear of that day whenever Arthur believed he deserved better and threw Gwen aside. They all knew it wouldn't happen but she still feared it anyway. Therefore Merlin decided to have a man-to-man chat with his friend.
"Arthur can we talk?" Merlin asked as he tidied Arthur's room.
"I'm in no mood for your nonsense today Merlin." Arthur replied, not looking up from the papers on his desk. Being Prince regent was a lot of work.
"It's about Gwen," Merlin stated; those three words always served as a means of getting Arthur's attention. Arthur looked up at Merlin and gave him a 'go on' look. Merlin studied his friend; yes Arthur was a good friend to him but Gwen was his best friend. The first friend he had in Camelot. She was also the sister he had always wanted.
"What I wanted to say is that if you ever do anything to hurt her or make her cry; it won't be Elyan or the others you'll have to worry about. It'll be me." Merlin warned; he meant it. There were no limits to what he could do. Arthur however looked at Merlin and laughed. He should have expected this.
"What'll you do? Refuse to change my sheets?" Arthur laughed. Merlin however gave Arthur a stern look; and there was something in his eyes, something powerful which caused Arthur to stop laughing at his servant.
"On the day we met I warned you that I could take you apart in less than one blow. You hurt Gwen in any way and I'll show you what I meant." Merlin warned and he swept out of the room, his arms full of laundry. Arthur watched Merlin go and frowned. What had he meant by that? It was beyond unnerving and something in Arthur's mind made the wise comment that he didn't want to know what Merlin had meant by that statement. Arthur got to his feet and wandered out of his room.
Gwen had been returning from the kitchens, returning the leftovers of Uther's dinner. It hadn't been too bad a day for the king; he had eaten half of his meals which was an improvement from the days whenever he would barely eat at all. Gwen wandered the corridors, lost in thought whenever she bumped into Arthur who smiled at the sight of her.
"Hello Arthur," Gwen smiled.
"Guinevere, can I ask you something?" Arthur asked. Gwen lightly shrugged her shoulders.
"Sure," Gwen agreed. The smile seemed to falter slightly as Arthur glanced around to make sure they wouldn't be overheard.
"Would you consider the others, the knights I mean as being your brothers?" Arthur asked. Gwen was silent for a moment; she hadn't been expecting that but after a moment she smiled.
"Well Elyan is my brother and I grew up with Leon; Merlin's my best friend ad as for the others, well after what we've been through together, I guess I would say yes, they are my brothers, maybe not through blood but they're still my brothers. Why do you ask?"
Arthur shrugged lightly and quickly hugged Gwen, pressing a kiss to her cheek. "No reason."