Title: Almost There
Summary: On the way back to Camelot. Arthur and Gwen grow close.
Word Count: 639
Author's Notes: Royals #14
Arthur and Merlin traveled with Gwen all day. The camped at sunset near the river. Merlin went to get firewood and left them alone.
Gwen sat down on the log next to Arthur. “Will Merlin get in trouble when we get back to Camelot?”
Arthur looked at her. “No. if he stops seeing her then I won’t have to do anything.”
“What if he doesn’t? Or she doesn’t want to?” Gwen asked.
Arthur shrugged. “Then I will have to talk to her and make her see sense. If Father finds out, they will both be wishing they had never even started this.”
“What will your father do?” Gwen asked.
“He will most likely execute Merlin and send Morgana off to exile or marry her off to some minor lord who won’t complain about a wife that has lost her …. Um … is no longer pure.” Arthur looked embarrassed.
Merlin came back with a large handful of wood. “What are you two talking about?”
“We are talking about how much of an idiot you are.” Arthur waved him over. “Start a fire, Merlin. The Princess is shivering.”
“I’m fine.” Gwen rubbed her arms.
Arthur went over and got a bed roll off his horse. He separated the blanket and put it around her shoulders. “The last thing I need is for you to be ill when you reach Camelot. Both of our fathers will have my head.”
“Thank you Arthur.” Gwen pulled the blanket closer around her shoulders.
Merlin started the fire and then began to prepare a meal. “My lady, I hope you don’t mind beans.”
“I don’t mind.” Gwen laughed. “I’m so hungry I could eat tree bark.”
Arthur sat back down on the log. “Merlin’s cooking will make you wish for tree bark.”
“You certainly make a pig of yourself on my cooking when we are on patrol.” Merlin smirked.
“I need to keep up my strength on patrol.” Arthur shrugged. “I really don’t know why I keep you around. You’re such an idiot.”
“Arthur, you shouldn’t be so mean to him.” Gwen reached out and put her hand on his arm. “He left his home to serve you. That should count for something.”
Arthur frowned. “If you say so, my lady.”
“I do.” Gwen gave his arm a squeeze.
Arthur looked down at her hand on his arm. Somehow it felt right. He sensed that they were growing closer. He was glad of it but it also confused him. He didn’t expect her to warm up to him so quickly.
“Arthur?” Gwen was saying his name.
Arthur looked up.
“Is there something amiss?” Gwen asked with a concerned looks.
“No. I was just thinking about when we get to Camelot.” Arthur shrugged.
Merlin chuckled. He caught Arthur glaring at him. “I had better feed the horses. He nodded at Gwen and went to feed the horses.”
“Does he do that often?” Gwen whispered as she leaned against Arthur’s arm.
“Merlin is not the idiot that he seems sometimes.” Arthur whispered. “Don’t ever tell him that. I will never live it down.”
Gwen laughed. “I won’t say a word.”
Merlin came back and stirred the pot on the fire. “Dinner will be ready soon. I should get the bed rolls put down.” Merlin moved off again to take the other bed rolls off the horses.
Gwen looked up at Arthur. “How much longer will it take to get to Camelot?”
“We will be there by midday.” Arthur put his arm around her and rubbed her arm. “Are you getting warm?”
“Yes, my lord, I am.” Gwen smiled. “I am becoming very warm.”
Merlin looked over to them and smiled. He was glad that Arthur and the princess were getting along. It would make things a lot easier for them both, not to mention for him too.