Title: Will you be my Queen?
Pairing/s: Arthur/Gwen, Arthur/Merlin
Character/s: Arthur, Gwen, Merlin
Summary: Arthur had finally decide to propose to Gwen and Merlin wanted to be there to see if everything was going well
Prompt: 54. Proposal
Author's Notes: Thanks to derenai for the beta
Merlin knew he shouldn't be there. Hiding in the wardrobe of the King when Arthur wanted to be alone with Gwen wasn't a good idea. But he needed to be there. He wanted to be there. After all he was the one who helped Arthur set everything up. He was the only one knowing that the King wanted to propose to Gwen.
He wanted to be sure that everything would go well. Arthur was thinking about proposing for weeks. And even if the idea of seeing Arthur marry Gwen was hurting Merlin, he wanted his friend to be happy.
He looked through the little hole between two planks. Arthur was standing, looking handsome in his red embroidered vest. Gwen was next to him, smiling gently as the King took her by the hand.
"Gwen… I'm so glad you came."
"You know I'll always be here for you, Arthur."
Merlin saw Arthur's smile then. But it didn't reach his eyes. The King was probably be really nervous.
"I know… And… Gwen… I would really love to spend the rest of my life next to you."
Arthur's voice was unsure and it seemed that he was unable to look Gwen in the eye.
"Arthur? What are you telling me?"
Merlin saw Arthur's chest rise as he took a deep breath.
"Would you become my Queen and make me the happiest man in Camelot?"
Once again, Arthur kept his gaze somewhere behind Gwen even if he forced a smile.
Surprise appeared on Gwen's face but it was soon replaced by a faint smile and a gentle gaze. Merlin could have described it as motherly. It was not a way two lovers should gaze at each other.
"Arthur… Why are you asking me that?"
The King was surprised by the question. He finally looked at Gwen directly.
"Because I want you to become my Queen… What else?"
"Arthur… I think you don't see the point here… You should not marry someone because you think she would make a fine Queen. You should marry someone you love," Gwen explained very calmly.
Merlin didn't understand what was going on anymore. Gwen should have been happy about Arthur's proposal! She should have jumped in his arms and said yes and squealed and kissed Arthur.
But she was there, trying to tell Arthur that he shouldn't have proposed to her. That was not making any sense!
"Gwen? Are you refusing?"
Gwen took Arthur's hand in his.
"Arthur… Come with me."
Gwen went sitting on Arthur's bed, drawing the King along. Now, Merlin could only see their back. He saw Gwen's arm around Arthur's shoulders. And the way Arthur stiffened at the touch.
"I will be your Queen if you want me to be… But I'll not marry you."
"But that's impossible!" Arthur interrupted.
"No, it's not. You know that Camelot's laws allow the King to marry someone and then take someone else to reign with him."
"But only if the first one can't bear a child! And there isn't someone else!"
Hearing Arthur's voice, Merlin knew that he was lost and didn't understand what Gwen was saying.
"What I want to tell you Arthur, is that you can marry someone you really love and then, if you still want me by your side, I'll be there."
"But… But I love you!" the King protested.
Merlin watched him face Gwen and cradle her face between his hands.
"No Arthur… You like me. Like a close friend. And even if there were some deeper feelings involved at some point, now your heart belongs to someone else. And you know it."
Arthur hands fell in his laps and his shoulders slumped. Gwen slowly stroked his nape.
"You know it Arthur and marrying me will not change anything. You love him."
Him? Merlin should have misunderstood.
"I… I can't Gwen. He… He's not for me!"
He? This time, it was impossible to have missed something. But who were they talking about?
"Oh? And why?"
"Because if… Even if he didn't think I'm a prat, it would be taking advantage of my position!"
Merlin froze when he heard the word "prat". He was the only one calling Arthur like that… So the King was saying that he… No! It was impossible.
"Arthur… He loves you, too. And you're probably the only person in the castle that can't see it."
A sad laugh escaped Arthur's mouth.
"He loves me? Really? That's why he keeps insulting me? That's why he always tenses when I touch him? Or why he runs away when I want to talk to him about something else that polishing my armor?"
"You really don't see it then… He thinks you don't love him so he's just protecting himself."
Merlin was sure he was going to die here, in this wardrobe, between the tunics of the King of Camelot. Now, there wasn't any doubt left about the fact that they were talking about him… And Gwen had just spilled his secret. Merlin pondered the idea of suffocating himself with one of Arthur's vest when he heard the King speak again.
"So you think I should talk to him?"
"I think you should start by changing your tunic." Gwen answered giggling.
"You really think that Merlin wasn't going to spy on us?"
This time, Gwen was laughing. And Merlin cursed himself for never taking the time to learn an invisibility spell.
He heard footsteps in the room.
And then, the door opened.
"Hi!" Merlin said, smiling shyly.
Arthur looked at him, his gaze cold and hard.
Merlin tried to look behind Arthur's shoulder. Gwen was nowhere to be seen.
"I… I can explain!" He started.
"Oh? Really? So explain to me why, besides being the most useless manservant I've ever heard about you're also the worst friend I ever had?"
Arthur's words hurt Merlin. He didn't understand what was happening… Two minutes ago, Arthur was confessing his love for Merlin to Gwen and now he was back insulting him.
"Shut up, Merlin!"
"But… I want to be your friend!" Merlin pleaded.
Arthur's tone was way softer when he talked again.
"Then, stop hurting me by fleeing away from me."
He was smiling, too. And Merlin finally relaxed.
"I will never leav…"
He was interrupted when Arthur drew him closer and kissed him.
Ok… The proposal didn't really go according to plan. But hiding in the closet wasn't such a bad idea, in the end!