Slightly AU, because Gwen is aware of the fact she was brainwashed or whatever. I usually stick to the storyline of the episode in question, but I really wanted to do this!
The horse's hooves softened on the outskirts of the meadow. Gwen dismounted carefully- she was so used to being helped down by Arthur or one of the knights, but she had done it plenty of times before she was queen or merely courting.
She was alone. Usually, she would have several members of the round table or guards with her, but she had snuck out of the castle. She just wanted to be by herself.
That was what washed over her whenever she thought of Tyr. Tyr Seward, a simple man who cared for his King and country, only betrayed by being at the wrong place at the wrong time. His mother, Gelda, had raised a good son and instead of being rewarded by grandchildren or the chance of seeing her only boy being promoted, she had been punished.
Gwen knew it wasn't entirely her fault. Morgana was the real villain in this, but the queen felt that she had been the link. Arthur, Merlin and everybody else had tried to convince her that she was not to blame at all, but she knew she was. It was she that had drawn the sword into him; watch him fall to the ground, lifeless.
She'd organised a grave in Tyr's favourite place in the world- the meadow. He loved taking a different stead each time, going when dawn was breaking or dusk was setting. She at least owed it to him.
Laying down the lieu of flowers down on the stack of pebbles, she stepped back slightly as the sun radiated a perfect beam onto the lilies. They were hard to come by in Camelot, especially in the citadel. She had been glad to find them whilst picking wildflowers the other day.
It was started at a grave and ended at one. An endless cycle of cold, horrible, misery.
A part of Gwen wanted to believe that Morgana had truly missed her old maid and former friend, whilst another part full on knew that the High Priestess just wanted to get to Arthur without doing the dirty work or risking her life doing it.
She could see why Tyr loved the place- it was truly magnificent. The sunlight illuminated the lavender that swayed in the gentle breeze- calm and quiet, but not without his mystery. Arthur often mentioned nice meadows in passing when he talked of his travels, but he'd never mentioned this beauty. She presumed that he had either forgotten it or had never actually come upon it before. She was rather surprised- it seemed like her husband knew every part of his kingdom. Sorry, their kingdom.
"You feel awful, do you not?"
Gwen jumped and whirled around, confused at the sight of Arthur walking up to her.
"Have you been following me?" she asked bluntly, surprised at his stealth. Then again, he was the head of the knights- trained, lethal in a sense. He had to be stealthy, especially when following a dangerous enemy.
"Yes," he answered honestly, scratching his head and looking a little bashful, "I saw you sneaking off and got a little worried, so I followed you."
"Yes, without Merlin."
Gwen raised an eyebrow apprehensively, but said no more, merely turning back to the grave under which the stable-boy rested eternally.
"You hate yourself for this," Arthur made it a statement instead of a normal question, "I know you too well Guinevere, you cannot deny it. You tell everybody that you feel at peace with yourself, but you lie."
She nodded shyly, "You read me like an open book."
"Reading is one of my favourite activities," the king replied off-handedly, "Anyway; we should get back to you. I may have said this a thousand times over the past couple of weeks, but everybody knows that it was not your fault."
"It was though, technically."
"Yes," Arthur replied quickly, "But you were not yourself. Your mind was forced into hatred when it was so used to your kindness and compassion- Morgana made you her puppet- you did not do so willingly. The Dark Tower was used as a cover- it was just thought that you were still suffering from whatever she put you through in that place. It was all her, you were just part of an evil plot."
"I cannot stop blaming myself for this," Gwen shook her head rapidly. "An innocent man was slain because of the sword I drew. I have never killed somebody before. Well I did when I was defending myself in battle, but I never thought about those insurgents before. This was in cold blood."
She cut herself off, a tear escaping her eye. It slid down her cheek, dripping down onto the floor, barely making a splash. Yet it was all that was heard in the silent meadow.
"I remember my first kill," Arthur spoke quietly, staring at his feet.
Gwen turned her head to look at him, "Oh?"
"My first kill as in a personal hurt, not in a battle," he replied, gazing in the distance longingly.
Sixteen year-old Arthur Pendragon watched as the knights rounded up the rest of the criminals. His father placed his sword back in its holster, smirking at the sight of those druids being put in their place. Camelot was no place for wizardry of any kind!
"They hadn't done anything!" the young prince argued.
"They practice magic," hissed his father, "That makes them guilty!"
"But the druids are a peaceful people."
Uther glared at his son, "You know nothing of what these people do to undermine this proud nation, Arthur. We need to rid of them- they are vermin, scum."
There was a shuffling as several knights burst out of the bushes, holding a middle aged-man by his arm-pits, their nails digging right into his bare shoulder. The prince shuddered at the sight of the pain that was being caused.
"This is Galahad," Sir Reedier spoke as Ashat and Viken shoved the man down, "He is the leader of this coven."
Uther stared down at him, his eyes a mix of hatred and authority.
"You will never win, my lord!" Galahad spoke calmly in this situation, "You will never repress magic, I swear on my life."
Pendragon smirked, "Really? Boy, I will let you finish this one off."
Arthur was startled, "But isn't that a little unfair?"
"Do you want to prove yourself to me or not?" his father's tone became harsher with each word said.
The blonde looked at Galahad, who was facially daring him to do it. He was not afraid of death, this one. He was ready for it.
Sensing Uther's disapproval, Arthur drew his sword and looked straight into the eyes of the druid.
"I am sorry," he mouthed as he thrust the blade into its target.
End of flashback
"It haunted me forever, did that," Arthur told his wife as he put an arm around her, "It still does- I can still his face, calm as the summer breeze. It was my fault, and it should stick in my find forever. Because I had a choice. But you had no idea what you were doing, no other option. That is why you should not feel guilty."
Gwen wiped her eyes with her midnight sleeve, sniffling slightly, "I had no idea that you felt like that. However, it is not going to make me feel any less upset. I killed someone. Whether I realised it at the time or not, I slaughtered him like a pig at the butcher's."
"Your heart is pure and your mind is open," Arthur replied, "I can see that kindness and compassion in you, whether you see it or not. Tyr's death was tragic, but you were not to blame. Ever think that again, and I'll put you in the stocks."
He tried to sound serious, but the twinkle in his eye gave him away, so the pair burst out laughing.
"I suppose you right."
"I often am, contrary to what my idiot manservant will tell you."
Gwen giggled slightly.
"I'm going back, we have a council meeting," Arthur told her, "I can excuse you, if you wish."
The queen shook her head, "No thank you, I will join you. Did you walk all this way on your own?"
The question was answered by a small neighing at the edge of the clearing, coming from a horse that was no hers. Arthur held a hand out and she accepted it, striding away from the grave.
"Sorry, Tyr," she whispered into the wind.
And with every step she took, the less guilt she felt.
Maybe she had finally accepted it.
And maybe she'd finally move on.
Hey, sorry it wasn't up yesterday, the laptop was playing up.
Hope you guys enjoyed this. I love reading your reviews, whether praise or constructive criticism.
Thoughts on this week:
Glad that it was not just a one off with the whole Gwen thing, I like how it's a story arc.
Thought the episode was amazing in general. One complaint: OMG TYR! I loved him, he had the cutest little face and I just wanted to squeeze his chubby cheeks (okay, that sounds creepy).
It was a bit predictable about the fact that she was going to blame Merlin, but hey ho, I am not one of the writers.
A decent level of Arwen, not too much. That was good.
YES! DRAGOON IN THE HOUSE! The guard scene killed me! It was so hilarious- Colin Morgan is such an underrated actor.
Until next week...
Semper Fi xxx