Hopefully you will enjoy this. I think Gwen may be a bit OOC in this, but I'll try and stick to her character. I'm used to writing fluff and am therefore quite new at angst/drama.
Gwen watched from the window high in the castle as the last of the horses from Nemeth disappeared out of the square. She liked Princess Mithian, whom, with her kindness and kit, nobody could find fault with. They had had a limited interaction, especially with Mithian being on the mission, but she was confident that one day the woman would be a fine queen.
"What do you think of her?"
Gwen jumped and whirled around to see Arthur leaning against one of the alcoves, half-smiling, half-serious.
"She was good company, a nice girl. I think she will be a much loved wife in the future."
Arthur bit his lip.
"Is there something the matter?"
"I need to talk to you," his voice was toneless and she could not tell whether it was something to be glad of or something to be feared.
"What is troubling you, Arthur?" she took a gamble.
"Not here," she was right, "Let us go to my chambers; we are less likely to be disturbed there."
Gwen nodded and promptly caught up to her husband, taking his hand like she had earlier that day. They sailed through the abandoned corridors, the king quickening his pace with every turn. Whatever he had to say, it could not wait.
They soon reached the bedroom and Arthur pushed the door open, holding out his spare hand as an indication for his wife to go first. Nodding at him, she entered and he soon followed.
The said man popped out from behind a screen, polishing a shoe.
"I've finished your armour, if that is what you are wondering."
"No, I want you to leave Guinevere and I alone. Do not come back until I send word for you to do so. Are we clear?"
"Crystal," Merlin replied as he swept past them, nodding as he left.
"Merlin actually finishing the chores, that is a miracle in itself," Arthur muttered as he took both of Gwen's hands and sat her down on his chair. Still holding on, he placed himself down on the table opposite to her.
"So, what is it you want to tell me?"
Arthur took a deep breath, "I thought I'd convinced myself that I wouldn't tell you because it doesn't matter, but I feel that I should not lie to you as you are always honest with me. If Merlin were here, he would probably encourage it but others would discourage. Their opinions do not matter, but yours do."
Gwen narrowed her eyes.
"Mithian and I have met previously," he blurted it out.
"Is that it? No big deal Arthur, it is fine that you wanted to help an old friend. I have no qualm with that."
"That is not all."
"If you would like to continue..?" she prompted.
"Mithian and I were once engaged. Engaged to be wed," Arthur admitted, without looking at her.
Gwen was silent for a moment, her mind working over-time. She was a year younger than Arthur and had lived in Camelot all of her life, so she would have known of any possible royal wedding, for example when he was betrothed to Elena. Then it struck her...
"I was gone for little less than a month," she replied quietly.
"It was two weeks after you...left," Arthur admitted, "I was a broken man and we needed to stop any possible warfare. The marriage to a beautiful princess seemed necessary."
Gwen looked at him then, eyes filled with hurt. It was then he realised that it was the wrong thing to say.
"Why did you not go through with it? Did her beauty overwhelm you?" she bit her tongue, "Sorry, that was rude to the princess. She is lovely."
Arthur stared at the floor, his face conveying no emotion.
"So, why did not you not make her your bride?"
"Because it was too damn difficult to get rid of the past. I couldn't marry her because I was still in love with you!"
"If you wanted to avoid a battle, then why did you not just sign a piece of paper and sort it out over talks? Or did you not think it would be a problem to marry a 'beautiful princess?' You moved on quickly whilst I hated myself. Actually, do you want to know what I am most hurt about? The fact that in our three years of our union, you neglected to mention the fact that you were close to the aisle once again. I thought that we were supposed to be honest with each other?"
"Because I was an idiot," Arthur admitted honestly.
"I hope you apologised for breaking her heart," Gwen chided, "I can understand Elena, because you and her were not meant to be together, but Mithian. She agreed to the contract to save her people and you just let her go. Did you at least tell her why?"
"Yes, I explained that another held my heart and gave her the disputed lands."
"How kind of you."
Arthur looked ashamed as he let go of Gwen's hands and walked over to the window, observing the rain trickling down the glass work. In the reflection, he spied Gwen watching him intently.
"I did not think that I would ever see her again- I thought the past was buried six feet like a corpse. When she came, I was overwhelmed with surprise at the fact that she as in front of me. In a way, I was glad to see her."
"You were?" Gwen looked as though she had tears in her eyes, but was desperately trying to hide them.
"Yes," Arthur moved forward, "I was reminded that I had made the right decision. I let someone I could have been happy with go as I knew I could not provide them with happiness- because I unconditionally loved somebody else."
"I only say it because it was referenced in past tense," he replied cautiously.
"I am so sorry Guinevere for the pain that I have caused you. I brushed you aside even though you watched calmly as I was enchanted to fall for someone who wasn't you and was seconds away from wedding another. Please, forgive me."
Gwen stared at him as his enchanting blue orbs pleaded her.
"Do not apologise," she looked at the floor, "You really should, but don't. You did what you thought was best for yourself and Camelot and had every right to marry someone else, even if you still loved me. I did betray you, after all."
Arthur sighed in relief- Gwen was not being irrational or crazy, she was being calm and dignified like always. He had always admired those traits in her.
"Thank you for forgiving me Guinevere," he kissed her forehead.
"If there is not forgiveness in a marriage, then it flounders," she replied wisely, "This is a marriage that I want to work."
"When did you get so smart?" Arthur joked.
"I read a book," Gwen smiled, quoting Merlin.
Gazing fondly at one another, they realised one thing:
Everything was going to be okay.
There you go, my weekly Arwen story. As I said, I thought that Gwen was a little OOC, but I tried to make her as kind as usual. I was never really fond of her, but she I am starting to like her now. She might have known about what had happened in the 'Hunter's Heart,' but I wasn't sure so I did a story about it.
Okay, time for my opinions on this episode:
We finally got some decent Arwen! I think we get more each episode.
Mithian- meh. I never really liked her in the first place, but she has redeemed herself slightly. Janet Montgomery is a brilliant actress!
Arthur and Percival in the same room. Ah, this made my day.
Gaius used some magic- I love it when that happens.
Overall, I enjoyed this episode quite a bit. Drama, bit of laughs and some Arwen. That is a pretty good episode formula
Semper Fi xxx