Title: The Future Is Now (Chapter 11)
Summary: Arthur needs Gwen to talk to. Gwen helps Arthur find what he is looking for.
Word Count: 868
Prompt: 309 Song Prompt (“Photograph” by Ed Sheehan)
Author's Notes: Modern AU. Only posted here..
Arthur was waiting for Gwen when she got to her car after work. He needed to talk to someone and he was hoping that Gwen would want to listen.
Gwen greeted him with a smile. “Hello Arthur. Did we have something planned?”
“No.” Arthur took a breath. “I need someone to talk to. I was hoping you would be that person.”
“Of course.” Gwen could see that there was a lot on his mind. “Come to my place and we can order take away.”
“Thank you Guinevere.” Arthur glanced at her car. “I can follow you. I’m parked over there.”
Gwen nodded. She watched him walk to his car and frowned. Whatever was troubling him seemed to be more than Arthur could normally handle on his own. It worried her and she didn't know why it should. They really had only just met.
Arthur followed Gwen’s car to a rundown neighborhood. He parked beside her car and got out.
Gwen saw the look on his face as she got out of the car. “It’s not that bad really. It's quiet most of the time.”
Arthur shook his head. “No need to explain.”
Gwen led him to her flat in a worn brownstone. She opened the door and let him in. “Make yourself comfortable. I’ll get some wine.”
“Thank you.” Arthur sat down on the sofa.
Gwen disappeared into the kitchen and came back out with a bottle and two glasses. “Now, tell me what's bothering you.”
Arthur sighed. “My uncle, my mother's brother, came for a visit. He decided to drop a bombshell on me and then leave. That’s not all. My father decided to include me in his yearly pilgrimage to my mother's grave. Everything I thought I knew I really don’t anymore.”
“What was the news that your uncle gave you?” Gwen handed Arthur a glass of wine.
“I’m a Lord and the heir to a barony and an earldom. You would think my father would have mentioned that. Morgana didn’t even know and not much gets past Morgana.”
“Your father didn’t present you at court or whatever they do when men come of age?” Gwen frowned. “I don't understand why he would hide such a thing from you.”
“He hasn’t used his title since my mother’s death. Morgana didn't come to live with us until after her mother died in a car accident. I was three at the time. She was five or six.” Arthur took a drink. “Father should have told me. I had a right to know.”
“It sounds like he rejected everything that reminded him of your mother. It’s not uncommon, Arthur. Some people react strangely to grief. He is still grieving if he has continued with it this long.”
“I suppose.” Arthur stared into his glass. “My mother's headstone doesn't have her title as countess. She buried in a simple churchyard. I didn't even know where until he asked me to come with him to take her flowers for her birthday.”
Gwen reached out and took Arthur's hand. “There's something else, isn't there?”
“I don't know what she looked like. There's not any photos of her anywhere in the house. I looked everywhere. Nothing….”
“I think I can help with that at least.” Gwen set down her glass and stood up. “I will be right back.”
Arthur nodded. He watched her go into a room off the lounge which he assumed was her bedroom.
Gwen came back with a laptop. “We shall just google her. She was a countess. There would be news articles about her death or photos from society pages.” Gwen sat down and opened the laptop.
“Ygraine Pendragon.” Arthur leaned closer as Gwen typed. He blinked when the search results brought up several photos. “She's beautiful.”
“You favor her a bit.” Gwen smiled. “Here's one of her when she was pregnant. She looked very happy. There’s one of her and your father. Which one do you want?”
“All of them.” Arthur shut his eyes and took a deep breath. “I want everything that's her. I want to get to know here even if it’s just in photos.”
Gwen pointed to the photo of Ygraine visibly pregnant. “I'll send this one to you since you are in it too. I’ll put together a file while you order takeaway. There's a menu for a fish and chips place in the drawer beside you.”
The email notification on his phone beeped and Arthur downloaded the photo attached. He ran his finger over his mother's face. “Thank you Guinevere. I knew you would be able to make me feel better.”
Gwen smiled. On impulse she leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. “It’s a pleasure to assist you, my lord.” Gwen winked when he looked at her. “That sounded very naughty, didn't it?”
Arthur chuckled. “A little. Unless…”
“Unless what?” Gwen asked.
Arthur leaned over and kissed her on the lips. He pulled away. “Sorry.”
Gwen put the laptop on the table and moved closer to Arthur. “Don't be sorry.” She stroked his cheek.
Gwen leaned in to kiss him and Arthur met her halfway. He pulled her into his lap and deepened the kiss. Gwen responded with a soft moan.