Title: Don't Speak
Pairing/s: Arthur/Merlin, Arthur/Gwen
Character/s: Merlin, Gwen, Arthur
Summary: Some truths should never be spoken aloud.
Warnings: Infidelity, mpreg
Word Count: 818
Author's Notes: I can't say this is a particularly original idea but it's what came to me.
Merlin reeled from the blow, his ears ringing, his cheek stinging. He’d never realized just how strong Gwen really was; she was so small, so delicate looking. Her voice was rough as she hissed at him,
“It’s not bad enough that you already usurped my place in his heart, in his bed? You had to take this from me as well?’
Flushing with familiar shame, Merlin couldn’t meet her eyes. She had every right to be angry with him, her words containing a version of the truth, her version anyway. That Arthur didn’t see it that way made little difference to his queen. She saw only betrayal in their actions and refused to portion the blame equally. It was all Merlin’s fault.
Arthur hadn’t responded to the discovery of Merlin’s power in any way he could have predicted. In all honesty had Merlin even once suspected that Arthur’s first response to learning of their shared destiny would be to pull him into his arms and kiss him senseless, he’d have confessed his magic years ago.
As it was, Arthur had been extremely angry when Merlin told him who and what he was. Emrys, the warlock whispered of in Druid legend, Dragonlord, Balinor’s son, a sorcerer rich in power. He’d raged at Merlin about his lies and his treachery. He’d ranted and raved for what seemed like hours but in the end he’d calmed down and asked Merlin why. Why had he stayed in Camelot all these years when the risk to his life was so great?
So Merlin had told him of Kilgharrah’s words: they were two sides of the same coin, two halves of a whole, destined to unite the land of Albion under one rule. He told Arthur of their destiny to restore magic to the land and provide a lasting peace for all. Those words had seemed to have a profound effect on the King. He’d later confided to Merlin that he’d felt them, that he’d known instantly that they were true and that something inside him, something that had felt disjointed his whole life had suddenly snapped into place when those words settled in his ear.
Arthur had seemed to feel little guilt over their union. He said it was fated, foretold, destined. His marriage vows had not included a promise of fidelity on his part, she would just have to accept the new status quo. He didn’t love her any less than he always had, he just loved Merlin more. Merlin had been considerably more conflicted over the situation. It didn’t help that Gwen blamed him for all of it, had once even gone so far as to accuse Merlin of enchanting Arthur. He’d drawn a line there though, pointing out that if that had been his goal, he’d have done it years ago instead of waiting until Arthur was married to one of his best friends.
She hadn’t hit him then but she’d looked like she wanted to. It was only now, almost six months later that she finally snapped and slapped him with all the force her small body contained. Clearly Arthur had broken the news to her. Merlin himself had only discovered it earlier that morning. He was pregnant. It would be a boy, his nature as a Dragonlord would guarantee it.
He could understand her anger. Five years into their marriage and Gwen had yet to conceive a child. Merlin had been Arthur’s lover for less than six months and already he was quickening. Merlin clutched a hand to his cheek and finally raised his eyes to the Queen’s face. She was still panting with rage, her pretty features distorted but it was her eyes that made Merlin want to weep because he could see that mixed with the jealousy, the anger, the hatred there was also despair and despondency.
Even in the face of her husband taking a lover, Gwen had at least felt secure in the knowledge that there was one thing she could give to Arthur that Merlin couldn’t. Merlin had known better but he wouldn’t have taken that from her if he could have avoided it. Now there was no escaping it, for either of them. He was pregnant and it seemed she might very well be barren. He could see it in her eyes, the knowledge burning her from the inside out. What good was she to Arthur now? Merlin couldn’t stop himself from answering.
“Gwen, he loves you, he always has.”
She looked as though she might vomit. The hatred in her eyes intensified. He wanted to stop her, he didn’t want her to speak the truth aloud where it would hang in the air between them. She’d only hurt herself by saying the words, giving them a life that she could never take back. She opened her mouth and before her lips even moved, he knew it was done.
“He loves you more."