Title: Knight Errant
Character/s: Gwaine, Merlin (though Arthur is in it and so is Elyan... and other unnamed knights)
Summary: Gwaine realises that belonging to a knighthood is a lot better than being an errant knight.
Word Count: 708
Author's Notes: Somebody needs to give my roommates a swift kick to the shins. It is a ridiculous hour in the morning (nearly 2) and their obnoxiously loud party is finally coming to an end. Even though I started this story yesterday afternoon, I decided to finish it up when I found that I couldn't sleep. Please tell me if I made any mistakes as exhausted writers tend to miss things. *curls up in comm and falls asleep*
“Gwaine?” The soft voice of Elyan called out tentatively. “Gwaine, are you there?”
Gwaine blinked at the spot where moments earlier a group of men had him pinned down. Now, he was staring into empty space, and though he suspected that Merlin was behind this miracle, he didn’t think his friend would mind if he were to believe that his superb fighting skills saved his life.
He got up shakily to his feet and tried to call out. However, his voice seemed to not want to work, and Gwaine realised that he was trembling. He had been moments from death when the men he was fighting seemed to explode in thin air. Images of his life started to flicker before his eyes in the last moments of his life, and though his life had been a good one as a knight-errant, he had begun to realise just how truly empty and meaningless it all had been when history wouldn’t even remember his sacrifices.
Though, he knew that there were a lot of feuding kings and lords that would attest to the fact that he was a brave soldier that was willing to put his life on the line to save his comrades at arms, he didn’t think it would be worth it when his name would fade away like the thousands of lives ended cruelly upon the battlefield.
As he struggled to move and to say something, anything to quell the anxieties of his fellow knights and the king to whom he had sworn allegiance to, the voice of Merlin broke through louder than them all.
“We’re trying to figure that out ourselves,” Arthur said distractedly.
“He can’t be dead, Arthur.” Merlin sounded distressed and as Gwaine listened, he recognised that there was something else in his friend’s voice, an emotion that went far beyond any pain that the young knight had ever suffered in all his years in combat. “If he’s dead…”
“We’ll only know what we’ll do once we find out, Merlin.” Arthur’s voice was kindly, and for once Gwaine felt a wash of gratitude wash over him. “First, we have to find him. He might be hurt and can’t speak.”
Gwaine found that he had stopped trembling, and that he no longer felt cold and numb. He took a deep breath and stepped out of the hallway from which he had been cornered in. The faces of his comrades broke out into a smile, and he heard his king’s sigh of relief. However, it was seeing Merlin’s wide eyes and his happy grin that truly made him smile.
Gwaine turned to Arthur just as the young king was about to say something. “If things are this exciting around here, I’ll definitely stick around.”
Arthur blinked his surprise, turned to Merlin and shook his head. “I am not entirely certain what Merlin has told you about Camelot, but this is just your typical day.”
“Feuds with half sister’s, magic of the darkest sort, immortal armies that corner one in a hallway and explode in thin air.” Gwaine ticked them off one by one on his fingers. “If this is your typical day in Camelot, then I am staying for sure.”
Arthur stepped forward with a broad smile and grasped Gwaine’s hand in his in a firm but quick handshake. “You are definitely where you belong, Gwaine.” He stepped back, his blue eyes suddenly moist and he looked towards Elyan and the others standing behind Merlin. “That goes for the rest of you. You all belong here in Camelot.”
Gwaine pulled Merlin aside as Arthur and the others disappeared around the corner of the dungeons on their way back upstairs.
“Thank you, Merlin. Whatever you did to get rid of that immortal enemy saved my life back there.”
Merlin looked slightly taken aback but finally nodded his head. For a long time he stood staring at Gwaine as though this was the first time he truly laid eyes on him. “Is it true? Are you really staying in Camelot?”
Gwaine smiled, clapping Merlin on the shoulders before pulling him into a one-armed hug. “Oh yes, I am definitely staying. My knight errant days are certainly over now that I have a home in Camelot.”