Lets See What Magic Will Give Us
A.N.: Some of my musing as I mourned the end of "Merlin". This piece is pretty much all over the place, but so are my feels. It's okay, though; I didn't need them, anyway.
She knows something bad has happened.
Her lungs are suddenly left without breath and she can't form her words. Her whole body leans forward and she grabs her chest with one of her hands as she puts the other over her mouth. A sharp pain goes through her and a scream finally finds its way to her lips.
(The knights find her in the darkest corner of the room, her knees to her chest, leaning back and forth over and over again. Percival comes to her and lifts her up slightly, holding her close. He doesn't say a word.)
Guinevere watches as the knights carry her husband's lifeless body and she can't feel a thing. Numbness has consumed her entire body and it is like she is stuck in a shell. A shell out of which only he could've gotten her out of.
She's all out of tears.
She grabs Arthur's hand lightly and puts a hand over her mouth to cover the tearless sobs. She closes her eyes and shakes her head. This is a dream. Just a dream and she will get out of it. She just has to try harder.
She takes in a deep breath, "I'm fine.", the knight opens his mouth to speak again but she cuts him off, "Where's Merlin?", she asks, giving Arthur's hand one more squeeze.
She is greeted with silence.
"Where is Merlin?", she turns around, emphasising her words.
"He-", a knight speaks in the back of the room and all eyes turn to him. They're almost expecting him to lie, "We do not know where he went, My Lady.", he says, bowing his head.
She leans to give Arthur's cold lips one last kiss, straightens up, nods and leaves slowly, avoiding their eyes.
(She doesn't cry because crying never took away anyone's pain and she has a kingdom to run.)
"We lost a lot of men.", she begins slowly, folding her hands on the round table. A lot of seats are empty, "Percival, start training the knights.", she says, turning her head to face the man on her far left, "As Arthur did. The kingdom needs protecting."
"Of course, My Queen."
"Call me Gwen, Percival.", she responds, "All of you. We are all equals here.", she says and turns to the knight on her right, "Take information about all the knights in the kingdom. Everything you can find. These chairs need to be filled."
"I will do that immediately, My Q- Gwen.", he corrects himself as she raises her eyebrows. She smiles.
"Good.", she says simply, "Now - if I heard correctly - some of you are in the middle of courting?", she asks and a few knights nod with a smile. She nods, "Love is a wonderful thing, trust me.", he voice falters. She cleares her throat, "Get married. Have children. Raise them with honour. If they are boys, raise them to be knights. The Round Table is a legend and it will stay that. You swore to secrecy and I will only trust you and your blood."
The knights nod with respect and she can see the glimpse of pride in their eyes, "We are honoured, Gwen. There is nothing more important to us than trust.", says Percival and the rest of the knights cheer in agreement. She can barely hear them, as she is buried in thought. She looks at the empty chair beside her and it is as if she can feel Arthur's presence. She puts a hand over her heart and takes a deep breath. Realising that the knights have gone quiet, she speaks again.
"I'm allowing magic.", she breathes out, "Spread the word.", she turns to Gaius who is standing by her side, "Go and destroy those awful laws. I do not wish to see a piece of paper that could remind me of them.", she says and when Gaius leaves out the door with a smile softly hidden on his face, she turns back to the knights.
"Is there something else you wish of us to do, Gwen?", Percival says as the knights lean in closer. She feels a sudden warmth at the realisation of how well they know her.
"Find Merlin.", she gets up from the table, "Please.", as she leaves, she turns around once again, "That seat stays empty.", she says, nodding toward the chair next to her own.
They don't have to ask why.
"I have some doubts, Gaius."
"What kind, Gwen?"
She sighs, "I've been throwing up for the past week, Gaius.", she says and she's scared of the hope that's warming her body, "Am I-?"
Gaius smiles, "We'll see."
"It's alright to cry, you know."
She turns around fiercely and sees him surrounded by The Knights of the Round Table. She blinks a few times - not believing her eyes - but he's there. Alive.
She rushes to hug him and when he hugs back it is as if an awful load has been lifted off her shoulders, "Merlin.", she whispers and feels the tears coming to her eyes. Her vision gets blurry and she closes her eyes, holding Merlin's shirt tightly, "Arthur-"
"I know, Gwen.", he says simply and his voice breaks, "I know."
"My child.", she whispers through sobs, "It will never know his father. We're alone."
"Arthur will come to protect you if evil rises.", he says and brushes the tears off her cheeks, "And you have the knights to fight for you - the knights that can take down an entire enemy army all by themselves. Knights that are more than that. Knights that are family. And you have me - Merlin", he says, mimicking Arthur and she smiles, "- and about a hundred other druids who will die protecting this kingdom because you made it safe for our kind."
She nods and gives him one more hug before letting go of him and fixing her dress. She brushes away the rest of the tears. She doesn't ask why he came or why the hell did it take him this long. He'll tell her, maybe. And if he doesn't, she'll just smile knowingly, because even after months she still isn't okay, so how could he?
"Now,", he says as they head back to the castle and out of the cold spring wind, "do you think Gaius will make me my favorite dish?"
She laughs for the first time in weeks and she swears she can hear Arthur's voice in her head.
And he called me a prat.
"After he hits you, yes."
(She doesn't cry after that. She doesn't cry because Arthur will never leave her side and because she is the Queen and she has a child to raise and a kingdom to run.)