Title: Because that's what friends do, isn't it?
Character/s:Merlin, Gwen, Arthur
Summary: Set early in the series, Gwen and Merlin decide to pretend to be together to make Arthur jealous and well... you get the gist
Word Count: 1414
Author's Notes: Because in my little head, Merlin and Gwen had a fling in the early days. Perhaps this is how it happened.
Because it’s what friends do, isn’t it?
‘Surely that doesn’t matter”Merlin asked Gwen as they sat on the step outside the laundry on a sunny morning. “Why wouldn’t he want to fall in love with you?”
Gwen sighed, “Lots of reasons Merlin, his being a Prince for one, it just wouldn’t be right for him to be with me”
“But he likes you Gwen, I know he does, and you like him too,”he nudged her with his shoulder “I still don’t get why it’s such a problem”
Gwen shrugged and looked miserably at a row of ants scurrying on the ground at their feet. “But it could never lead to anything more, could it, he would just be with me until a suitable Princess can be found and he has to marry her, whether he wants to or not. Besides,”she sighed again”he told me himself it just not possible”
Merlin frowned, this was girls stuff territory, not something he was all that good at. Sure, he prided himself on being more emotionally mature and romantic than Arthur, but this was getting out of his league.
“I don’t know, maybe you should make him jealous, you know, go out with one of the knights or something, make him see what he’s missing out on and fight for you, you know how competitive he is”
Gwen gave him a sceptical look. “Perhaps, but who would he get jealous off?”
“Gwaine? Merlin suggested
“No way, not Gwaine, you know how he is with girls”
“No, too tall”
“No, it would feel weird”
“Are you joking”
They went through every Knight. Merlin had no idea that Gwen was so fussy.
“Umm,”Merlin thought out loud when Gwen looked at him and exclaimed “You! Why didn’t we think of that before?
“What,! Merlin exclaimed, “No, no....NO, there’s got to be another Knight or...”
“Its perfect, she explained, “who else would he be jealous of? And besides, it’s only pretending”
“I know , I know”he relented, “but Arthur would just never believe , you know , me and you, well, me and any girl really”
“Why not”Gwen asked, “its not as if you’ve never courted girls before, I mean there was Jenny then Rowena, Mary...”
Merlin interrupted, “Yes, but Arthur has no interest at all in my private life he just thinks I’m an idiot that's only good for cleaning and polishing stuff, he just wouldn’t believe it”
“Well” Gwen continued”maybe it’s about time he took an interest”
“Just what I need”Merlin thought to himself”Arthur taking an interest in what I get up to, as long as he doesn’t take a too close an interest” Still, if it helped Gwen, then he would go through with it, because that’s what friends did for each other wasn’t it? So he reluctantly agreed and hoped Arthur wouldn’t use him as target practice as retribution... or kill him.
So they started to find things to do together, which wasn’t that hard as they generally spent a fair bit of time together doing chores anyway.
“I don’t think its working”he admitted to Gwen a few days later, “he hasn’t noticed a thing”
Gwen nodded, “I thought that might be a problem”she said “We’ll have to step it up a notch, she continued, pacing “holding hands, that sort of thing, and you’ll have to take me out somewhere, and be sure to tell him about it”
“By Gods”Merlin thought to himself “she’s so serious about this”
“Sure”he agreed hesitantly , internally groaning, he could do this couldn’t he, he was good at pretending wasn’t he?, he did it all the time, why would this be so different.
So in the evening he rushed around, cleaning up after Arthur’s meal and headed out the door, knowing Arthur would pull him up. “Are you in a hurry to be somewhere else Merlin? There’s still some chores that need doing”
Merlin paused “Uhh, yes, there is actually, I’ll do those chores later”
“And what could you possibly be doing that’s more important than my armour”
“I’m meeting Gwen, don’t worry, I won’t forget your armour”
“Gwen?”Arthur frowned, “Whatever for? “
Merlin felt himself smirking. “Oh you know, just to talk and”he paused for affect “things”
“But you’ve talked to Gwen all day, whatever could you possibly talk about now? “
“Oh this and that, we’re going out too”
“Out? With Gwen? Arthur frowned again, and then said, “Oh right, its good of you to take care of her”
Merlin nodded and said goodnight to Arthur and went of to find Gwen
“He thinks I’m looking after you”he told her as they walked across the courtyard.
“Does he now? Well, we’re just going to have to show him otherwise”she said determinedly,
Merlin stopped suddenly and drew her close and kissed her
“What are you doing?”she whispered
“Showing him”he told her
“Oh”she whispered back “can he see?”
“He’s at his window”
She kissed him back, wrapping her arms around his neck
“Is he still watching? “
“mm mmm”They continued like that for a bit longer until Gwen asked
“Still there? Merlin glanced up at the window “No he’s gone now.”
They broke apart looking at each other, both grinning, “That was..”
“Yeah, that was nice” it wasn’t the first time they’d kissed, but that time they had he’d been poisoned and she’d thought he’d died. Her thoughts had strayed to Arthur and Lancelot so he’d put it out of his mind. They laughed and went on their way.
They continued like this for the next few days, holding hands at every opportunity, kissing in not-so-secret places, waiting with bated breath for Arthur’s reaction, but strangely there was none. No comments, outbursts, no dragging Merlin on hateful hunting expeditions, not even making him muck out the stables, not once.
Merlin was stumped. Arthur knew they were seeing each other, had even caught them kissing again on more than one occasion, but he never said a word. It wasn’t like Arthur at all. And then he saw Arthur smiling at them when he caught them kissing and he knew the answer.
“I think he’s figured it out, that we’re pretending, and now he’s pretending that he doesn’t know it’s all an act” he told her later that night.
“He doesn’t care, he’s not going to fight for me”Gwen started weeping into his chest.
“He does care, I know he does”Merlin consoled her. “Maybe it’s just me, we should have chosen somebody else”
“No she said “It has to be you, I wouldn’t want it to be anybody else!”
“What shall we do? “he asked her, cuddling her close and rubbing her back.
“I don’t know, maybe we should just give up”, She leaned against him and sighed “that’s nice”she murmured. She looked up and suddenly their lips found each other and they found themselves this time kissing passionately, no pretending. It seemed an age before they decided to break apart, only to dive back in again. They moved around, finding by some miracle her bed, where they hastily arranged themselves before yet again continuing. This time exploring each others bodies while removing various articles of clothing. Things became somewhat blurred, for Gwen, and it seemed to her that they were not in her little house on a tiny bed meant for one, but in a large room with roaring fires, and not a ceiling, but stars above their heads. She thought she was imagining things, but shook her head as she focused on her teeth biting into Merlin’s shoulder instead, while he did interesting things to her breasts with his mouth. And then it really did become all hazy.
They dozed later in the warmth of the room, their limbs comfortably tangled around each other. “I’ll need a bigger bed for next time”she said idly, then her eyes widened at what she’d just said – out loud.
He looked at her with both eyebrows shooting behind his fringe and nearly fell out the bed.
“Definitely a bigger bed”she laughed.
“Really?”What about Arthur?”
She shrugged,” If its meant to happen, it will happen its own time. But do you think we could, you know..? “she trailed of, not sure of how to phrase it “You would be all right with this?” She asked suddenly. He was her friend and she didn’t want to hurt him.
He nodded “No pretending?
“No pretending”she confirmed.
“I think we could do that, just, don’t ever let Arthur know,”
"We'll pretend nothing ever happened"