Title: A Promise Between Friends
Character/s: Merlin, Gwen, Gwaine
Summary: Gwaine got his race and the ride in the forest proven to yield more questions than answers.
Word Count: 845
Prompt: #21 Promise
Author's Notes: After a bit of a break, it’s back to the next instalment in the Seen and Hidden ‘verse. I had to go back and watch a few clips of Gwaine as research =P Enjoy!
They rode out into the forest. They knew it would be the safest place to have the conversation.
Gwaine got the race he was after. Gwen almost beat him. Merlin lagged behind. He didn’t know what to think of Gwaine’s laid back reaction or if that was his true reaction. And what had he thought was happening between them when he had come rushing into the stables? If Gwaine jumped to the wrong conclusion and word got back to Arthur… Merlin didn’t want to have to try and explain that to the King.
Gwen and Gwaine now had their horses side by side. Gwaine glanced at her and then made a gesture with his head, flicking his hair back in Merlin’s direction. Gwen laughed and shook her head. Well, at least I don’t have to explain that one to him, Merlin thought.
Birds whistling in the trees caused Merlin to look skyward. The light was beginning to fade. They would need to head back to the castle soon. He urged his horse to a canter until he catch up with the other two.
The knight looked at Merlin as his horse slowed to a walk next to them. Merlin smiled at him and Gwaine returned it.
“So Gwaine…” Merlin started awkwardly.
“Umm… what exactly did you hear me say back at the stables?”
Gwaine was silent for a few seconds. He wasn’t sure he could say the words out loud. Merlin had been the first friend he had made in Camelot and they were even closer these days, but he hadn’t known about Merlin’s magic. He should have known.
“I heard you talking about Morgana,” he said finally.
“Oh,” was all Merlin could manage as a reply.
“You’re probably right about her, you know. Even though I didn’t know what she was like before she turned, but from what I’ve been able to piece together from stories, there was probably nothing anyone could have done… save maybe Uther. But that was never going to happen.”
“I know,” Merlin sighed. “I think I will always carry some guilt about her though.”
“Probably only natural, I guess.”
They rode for a short while without talking and just the sound of their horse’s hooves on the ground, the birds and other animals rustling in the trees. Gwen had moved a little further to the left of Gwaine to give them a little bit of privacy.
The knight was the one to break their silence. “I heard you talk about having magic… like it was second nature.” This time he sounded slightly upset. “Were you serious? Do you really have magic?”
Merlin didn’t really know how he was supposed to answer that, so he decided on the truth. Apart from hiding his magic, he had always found it easy to just be himself around Gwaine and now wasn’t much different. “Yes, I really do have magic. I was born with it.”
“Born with it?” Gwaine repeated.
“My father was the last Dragonlord,” Merlin said by way of explanation.
“The Dragonlord you and Arthur went in search for to save Camelot from the Great Dragon?”
“Yes, he was my father. Arthur didn’t know at the time.”
“Well…wow… that must have been tough.”
“It’s was. Arthur caught me crying and told me that ‘no man was worth my tears’.”
Gwaine frowned in disapproval. “Does that mean there are no more Dragonlords or Dragons left?”
“No. The Great Dragon, Kilgharrah, is still alive and after my father’s death, he passed the honour of being a Dragonlord to me.”
“That’s good. At least not everything died with him.”
“Yes, it is good in many aspects. I still would have liked to have had more time with him.”
“You were lucky to get any.” Gwaine didn’t like the sombre tone of their conversation, so he decided to change the subject to something a bit less depressing. “So, what can you do with your magic? Have you ever used it against Arthur? Used it to help you do chores?”
This put a smile on Merlin’s face due to some of the memories which came to mind. He looked ahead and saw the sun quite close to the horizon. “I can do a great deal of things,” he said in response to Gwaine’s questions.
“I think we should probably head back to the castle, before we lose too much light,” Merlin said. “I promise I will tell you all the answers to your questions and more, but not today.”
“I’ll hold you to that,” Gwaine promised. Merlin knew he would.
They were great friends, Merlin might may even gone as far as calling them best friends, and he was glad that the people who he cared for most (beside his mother and Arthur), were galloping with him back to the castle. He was glad they now both knew about his magic and he didn’t have to hide anything from them anymore. He was glad they had taken the news in their stride and his friendship with both of them seem quite unharmed.