Title: I Can't Believe That We Are Free (Arthur/Gwen/Merlin)
Rating: T or PG or maybe for some folk PG-13. Non-explicity poly relationship.
Character/s: Arthur, Gwen, Merlin
Summary: Merlin has been keeping his distance since Arthur and Gwen's wedding.
Word Count: 1000
Prompt: What'd I Miss? (Ham4Cam)
Author's Notes: My second story and very first drabble. Please let me know if I've done something wrong and I'll fix it! Many thanks to the mods for helping me join up and to Dig who helped me navigate getting this posted.
The door crashed open . Arthur stalked in, muttering to himself, “That lazy lay-about. I’m the king. I
should not have to drag all my own gear back here. Where the hell is he, anyway?” Arthur threw his cloak on the chair, sat down at the table, and kicked his boots off. He rested his elbow on the table and his head on his hand as the realization hit him that Merlin had been avoiding him for days.
Today Arthur had resumed his training schedule for the first time since the wedding. There’d been so many visitors and so much excitement—he hadn’t really had a chance to think much about Merlin making himself scarce—specifically during the quiet times that they used to be alone together. Although he’d never admit it, he knew that his frustration was not about Merlin’s duties—he could at least admit to himself that he was missing his most trusted friend and confidant. In these days of so much change, Arthur needed Merlin more than ever. He had taken for granted that Merlin would be here for him as he learned to be a husband and navigated shifting relationships. It was hard enough to let go of those half-formed and unvoiced forbidden desires and dreams—it had never occurred to him that he might lose the connection that had been so very precious to him.
Arthur was yanked out of his reverie by a scuffle from the adjoining suite. “Guinevere, I didn’t realize you were here,” he called out.
“Yes, love, come here please.”
Arthur entered the bed chamber, and went to kiss Gwen. He grinned into her cheek as he realized that Gwen was not dressed at all appropriately for going down to the great hall—or, indeed, anywhere else but back to bed.
“I think I need a wash, my lady.”
“All set, my king. There’s warm water, and Merlin will attend to you.”
“Mer—What? Merlin? I haven’t seen him all day.”
Gwen walked over to the enormous bed, pulling back the drapery. “Merlin, wake up. He’s finally back and needs a wash badly.”
Arthur stood, stunned, as Merlin got up, flashed him a cheeky grin, and approached the wash basin, dressed only in his small clothes.“Wow, you totally stink, sire! Let’s see if I can help with that.”
Arthur was flooded with conflicted feelings. Merlin looked so happy. Nearly naked Merlin, in his bed, looked so, so happy! Merlin, bed, happy. Arthur was gripped with joy and started to grin, too. He had never wanted anything more, but he had never entertained the idea that such a thing could ever happen. He felt almost woozy as he realized Gwen was there, not naked, but…well…maybe she just as well might have been. Gwen and Merlin?
Before anger or jealousy could hit, Gwen and Merlin each took one of Arthur’s hands and led him to the washbasin. Gwen kissed Arthur while Merlin washed him. Then they switched. Back and forth…left arm, Merlin, right arm Gwen, left leg, Merlin, right leg Gwen. Finally, they put down their washcloths and just continued with the kissing, working their way down Arthur’s middle…first a kiss from Gwen, then one from Merlin, and then they shared a kiss before continuing their way down.
Arthur stood utterly still. His heart was racing, but every other muscle in his body seemed frozen.
“Wait! Stop! What is going on! Wha? Wha? What’d I miss?”
“Come to bed, darling. We’ll tell you everything,” purred Gwen.
“C’mon, Arthur,” said Merlin, flinging himself onto the bed and spreading his long limbs out like a very happy octopus. “Aren’t you ready for more yet?”
Arthur managed a barely perceptible nod. Gwen pushed him into the bed following after him. She cradled Arthur in her arms, holding him and kissing his hair. Merlin wrapped himself around Arthur, whispering to him, “I’ve wanted you for so long. I can’t believe that we are free.”
Arthur managed a single word, “How?”
Merlin answered, “Your brilliant, precious (and very hot) wife is more perceptive—and did I say brilliant—and kind, and…”
Laughing and blushing, Gwen said, “Um, I’d better tell this part. Arthur, Dearheart, I’ve always known that you love each other. I admit to getting a bit lost in the whole princess thing, and indulging in denial, but as we started to discuss the wedding I saw Merlin’s growing pain.”
“Gwen, I never meant...”
“Shh. I know, Merlin. You were so supportive of our love. It broke my heart even more, but it made me realize that I could trust you to support us in our relationship with each other, just as I can support you and Arthur in your love for each other.”
“So you love him too, Gwen?” asked Arthur.
“I do. Differently than I love you, but I would call it love.”
“Do you desire him?”
Gwen replied, frankly, if a bit nervous, “Yes,Arthur,I do. I think we both once felt an inkling that there might be something between us, but it died down. It wasn’t until I was thinking about this all that I realized how much I wanted the three of us to share this.”
Arthur gave a little sob of relief. He rose up, leaned over Gwen and kissed her with such deep love and naked adoration that Gwen gasped. He then turned into Merlin’s arms. He reached up to caress Merlin’s face. Arthur's kiss made plain every bit of the love and passion he had denied even to himself. Merlin’s eyelashes were wet with tears as they shared the kiss that neither had ever thought possible.
Lookin’ at the rolling fields
I can’t believe that we are free
Ready to face
Whatever’s awaiting me
Have it all, lose it all
You ready for more yet?
What’d I miss?
I’ve come home to this?
I guess I better think of something to say
I’m already on my way
Let’s get to the bottom of this…