Never Can Say Goodbye
Arthur scowled as he sucked his stomach in, attempting to get the belt on without having to resort to the last hole.
"Come on, let me do it," Gwen rushed over from her seat on the bed, yanking the leather hard. With deft work, she finally got it to close.
"There, much better," she stood back, admiring her work with a grin.
"I do not know how you do these things so well, Guinevere."
"I was a maidservant from the age of ten," she replied casually as she swung around the wooden pole that was keeping their tent up, "I think I would know how to put a belt on somebody. I had to do it for our neighbor's little sons for years and years- you would think that a woman who was too lazy to lift a finger and work would be able to teach her sons how to dress."
She rolled her eyes as Arthur smiled lightly at her.
"How long until you have to go?"
"Around five minutes," he sighed, "I just have to finish up signing some papers."
Gwen walked around to where he was leaning on the table. Placing her chin on his shoulder, she watched as he scribbled his signature on several official-looking documents, stamping the wax seal of Camelot on the bottom of each. He handed her the quill.
"What do I need to sign?" asked she.
"You must agree that you are to take full responsibility of the throne. Technically, you have the authority to rule Camelot alone when I am away or indisposed in some way because this has happened so many time but in writing, you are just a regent and if anything were to happen to me, it would go onto distant family. Signing this means that you accept your position as Queen of Camelot."
Gwen's eyes filled with tears.
"But...do you not think that it is a bit soon?"
Arthur sighed and turned to his wife, wiping away a tear skidding down her cheek, "Guinevere, we need to face the fact that there is a slim chance that I will return home without any injuries. These injuries could just be a flesh wound or something a lot more."
"I just do not want to see you come home with a white sheet over your face and body, carried by those whom you hold dear."
He gave her a strained smile.
"Just sign the papers, I beg of you. I want to watch my kingdom prosper from the spirit world."
"Do not say that Arthur, it breaks my heart just hearing you saying those words."
Gwen sighed as she scribbled her neat scrawl on several documents. Nodding in contentment, he rolled the papers up into a scroll, placing them onto the table.
"I guess that it is time to say goodbye then," she finally caved in.
"I guess so," Arthur stood up, taking her hands.
They smiled sadly at each other- this may be the last time that they ever got to be together. Stroking her cheek, he pulled her closer into a tight embrace.
"Do you remember all the good times that we had together?"
'I've never loved another.'
'I will always love you.'
'You were equal to any knight of Camelot. I'm proud of you.'
'Will you marry me?'
'Yes, yes with all my heart.'
'I pronounce you Guinevere, Queen of Camelot.'
"Do you remember you gave me that tongue lashing?" Arthur reminisced, "Told me that just because I was a prince didn't mean that you should have to wait on me- I was still a guest. All that shouting, finished by a 'my lord.' Didn't mean to offend me, did you Guinevere?"
Gwen laughed lightly, "I still cannot believe I did that. What came over me?"
"That was one of the reasons why I fell in love with you. Why I was so eager to disobey my father and rescue you from Hengist's clutches."
"Yet you claimed you only came because Morgana begged you."
"I am sorry about that Guinevere. I was a fool in love, too blinded by denial."
"There is no need to apologise," Gwen replied in a sympathetic voice, patting his toned arms, "We have moved past that now- skating around, hiding, keeping secrets and not revealing our true feeling. Now we are married, about to be parted."
They both looked at each other sadly and he cuddled his beloved closer.
"To think that the woman who we once considered a sister (well, she still is to you), someone who fought for our lives, is now our worst enemy, a wicked foe who was once an ally. Now she does not give two hoots whether we die or not, even though she would prefer it to be the former."
"Prefer?" Arthur laughed, "There is no other option for her- our lives must end for a true smile to appear on her face. How many times has she made an attempt on my life? How many times has she tried to turn you against me?"
"Point taken," Gwen replied.
"Anyway, I do not want to talk about my traitorous sibling any longer," Arthur kissed the top of his wife's head, "I accept that this may be our final hour and I want to spend it talking of happy times."
"Usually you tell me that you are going to be fine and will come home, but now you are telling me you will most likely die."
"Not exactly happy times talk, is it?"
"Just answer me this: why are you so sure that you are going to die?"
Arthur shrugged as he stroked her back, "I do not want to get your hopes up. We are far from Camelot and the nearest civilization is God knows how long away. This is dangerous- there are no supplies and we are outnumbered five to one. Does that answer your question?"
"Yes, it does indeed."
"You have no idea how much I love you Guinevere," Arthur told her, "You have absolutely no idea how much you mean to me."
"I love you too," Gwen hooked her arms around his neck, "I never loved you for the power, or the title. I loved you for you- not as a prince, not as a king but as a man."
Arthur gave her a strained smile, "I wish Merlin were here."
"Yes, but so do I. Gaius says that he has a good reason for not being here and I'm sure he does- Merlin may tell little white lies, but he has never told us a massive untruth."
"I always thought that he was the bravest man I ever knew, even though I called him a coward. I guess I was wrong."
"Do not be so quick to assume that he is escaping from battle- did you intend for him to fight anyway? He can barely wield a sword- well, he isn't too bad but he would not fare well against the soldiers that you are up against."
"True, true," Arthur sighed.
Suddenly, the tent flapped and Leon appeared.
"The knights are gathered, sire," he told them, his face red with exhaustion, "It is time for battle."
"I will be along in a moment."
The blonde comrade nodded and turned to leave.
"Leon!" the queen suddenly called.
"Yes, my lady?" he turned back.
"First off, it is Gwen to you," she admonished, "Secondly- I would like to thank you for everything you have done for Camelot. You have been a loyal servant and one of the best knights ever seen. You deserved your position as second-in-command of the army. I will miss the days when we went frog-catching in the full moon and when we tripped up Elyan, causing him to fall into the horse dung."
Leon looked moderately surprised.
"Er, t...t...thanks I guess," he stammered.
"You are welcome," she replied softly as she followed Arthur out of the tent entrance.
The knights were marching down the path in an organised form, not chatting as usual, instead with faces and tones of the upmost serious nature.
"I guess this is where we say goodbye," Gwen looked to the ground, "Properly."
"Look at me, Guinevere," he pushed her chin up with his face, "I will carry with me to this battle several things: a sword, Camelot's pride, hope and my eternal love for you."
"I will carry home hope, pride for my husband and his men and my eternal love for you also," his love replied, her smile a lot wider.
"Goodbye my love," Arthur swooped down, kissing her with as much as passion as possible. She closed her eyes, savouring the feelings.
"Farewell. I hope to see you return to Camelot, alive and well with as many men as possible. Nobody deserves to die, but it is for the good of the simple man and his family."
Another silence occurred.
"I will always love you," Gwen quoted Arthur's words from when she was being dragged away by Uther's men.
"I in turn have never loved another," he remembered his words from years ago.
And with a heavy heart, Arthur wandered into the distance, the lasting imprint of his loving eyes tearing into her soul.
Fancied being all deep and soulful.
The last Series 5 fic will be up on either Thursday or Friday, as I will not be on my laptop for the next three days!
Christmas Eve tomorrow! Yay! Also means last Merlin (sadness).
Thank you to all the readers and reviewers each week!
Okay, opinion time:
Cute Arwen! I loved how he picked her up as they went to bed *smiles.*
It was so sweet when Merlin saw Balinor in the Crystal Cave- I was really glad to see him again. I love it when characters from ages ago re-appear.
Eira. I knew from the start that she was far too suspicious- too innocent and got over the 'death of her family' pretty quickly. When she rode out to see Morgana, I was all like 'CALLED IT.' Those exact words.
Yay! Percival got some responsibility. I love him so much. So glad he got to lead the troops- two hot men in charge.
Oh My Merlin. The promo killed me- 'I'm a sorcerer' (para-phrasing, cannot remember the exact words). Too whom? To Gwen? To the knights? To all of them? It better be Arthur- he needs to find out. I am so, so excited- I cannot wait another 24 hours! All the serious stills- it is said to be a 'dramatic and emotional ending.'
Anyway, I will see you guys later this week.
Hope you all have a safe and happy holiday and get everything you want (unless it is illegal or very, very bad).
Semper Fi xxx