Title: Unexpected News
Character/s: Gwen, Merlin, Gaius, OC
Summary: Over a month has passed since Arthur’s passing and Gwen receives some life-altering news.
Warnings: Mentions of sexual activities.
Word Count: 860
Prompt: 230 - Heat of the moment
Author's Notes: Many thanks to schweet_heart for editing this for me. Once again, I would appreciate comments :)
Early dawn is breaking over Camelot, and everyone in the castle is asleep. Except for the servants, of course, who are up to do much-needed chores, and prepare breakfast. Everyone else sleeping peacefully within their beds, except for one.
Just over a month has passed since the King died at the Battle of Camlann. And while the Queen has presented herself as a strong and confident leader since her husband’s passing, at least in public, once she is alone she is the exact opposite.
Gwen has found it hard to sleep in the bed she used to share with Arthur, knowing that he will never walk back through the door. She can still feel his presence in their shared chambers (unlike most royal couples, who married for convenience, Arthur had been determined that they would sleep together). The bed linen and pillows still have his strong manly scent, his clothes are still in their wardrobe, and his desk still has papers and parchments scattered across it, just like he had left it.
She had cried after she’d been informed of her beloved Arthur’s death, and she had held back tears as she sat upon the throne and was crowned sole sovereign of Camelot. But since then she hasn’t cried any tears. She feels numb. Like it’s just a nightmare, a terrible nightmare, and she’ll wake up to realise that her husband isn’t dead. That he didn’t die by Mordred’s hand. That he came back, whole and alive. Back to her.
Merlin, Gaius, and Arthur’s closest knights have tried to comfort her, but she’s determined to just get on with running the kingdom. To finish Arthur’s plans for Camelot.
Gwen hears a soft tap at the door, and bids them enter. It’s her lady’s maid Anna, who enters with a tray of bread, cold chicken, and vegetables. Her breakfast. Gwen greets Anna before making her way to the table. As she gets closer to the food, her stomach starts churning and she feels bile coming up.
Quickly ducking behind her screen, she throws up. Anna goes to her immediately.
“Your Highness, are you alright?” Her maid asks her, concern filling her voice as she holds her mistress's dangling curls away from her sweaty forehead.
Once Gwen finishes she looks at her maid’s worried expression, before reassuring her, “I’m fine Anna. It was the smell of the food. I’ve not eaten much lately and it must have disrupted my stomach.”
Anna doesn’t look too convinced and is about to tell the Queen that she should get Gaius, when the door opens again, revealing the man himself and Merlin.
Great timing! Anna thinks while Gaius and Merlin attend to the Queen, despite her protests that everything is fine. They all help to back to her bed, and the old physician begins to ask her some questions about her vomiting.
The questions are quite routine and not too personal; however, then Gaius asks Anna and Merlin to leave, as he needs to ask some delicate questions, brooking no arguments. Anna leaves, as she has begun to suspect what the physician wants to ask the Queen. Merlin, on the other hand, is determined to stay and he’s been worried about Gwen since Arthur’s passing.
“It’s alright, Gaius. Merlin can stay,” Gwen tells him, ending their bickering.
“Alright, Milady, if you are sure,” Gaius replies, then proceeds to ask the Queen his questions.
Ten minutes pass, and Gaius has a diagnosis. The Queen is shocked. Stunned. Happy. Sad. Over the past three years while she and Arthur were married, despite their enthusiastic efforts to produce a child and heir for Camelot, she had never fallen pregnant. Fate or destiny, or whoever is in control of these matters, had decided to not bless them with children. Now, with a cruel twist of irony, she is with child, but her husband is dead.
When Gaius tells her the news, Gwen falls silent, then she throws up again. She doesn’t know what to say or feel. She’d always wanted children. She’d always wanted to have children with Arthur. She knew it was her duty as Queen to provide as many heirs as possible. And every month when her monthlys came, she’d felt disappointed; she felt like a huge failure - despite Arthur’s protests that it wasn’t so.
Standing by the window, Gwen thinks back to over a month ago, when Gaius believes she had conceived. It had been the night before the battle at Camlann, and they were in the Royal tent. Arthur was preparing for his final assault against his half sister, and despite his confidence in beating her, Arthur still felt that he had to prepare his wife for the worst. Gwen didn’t want to think about that happening, but when he asked if she would promise to be sole heir to the kingdom and finish their plans for Camelot, she had promised.
Then they had held each other, both hoping for the best, yet dreading the worst, feeling enormous tension and longing in the tent. As if , deep down they knew this was the last night for them. The looks of love and devotion got to be too much and it wasn’t long before their clothing was thrown and scattered along the ground, their bed linen pulled back, and their naked bodies joined together in passionate love-making.