Title:It’s my duty to protect what I love
Character/s:Arthur, Merlin, Gwaine
Summary: It's Arthur's duty to protect Merlin and the baby.
Author's Notes:Thanks to the lovely derenai for the beta reading. Part of my "Surprise" series
When Arthur saw the man dismounting his horse in the courtyard, he froze. Even from the window of his chamber, he couldn’t mistake that figure.
Arthur felt anger rise in his chest. That man shouldn’t be in Camelot! And the King decided to let him know his presence was not welcome.
Merlin was with Leon, probably playing card or reading. The baby would be born in a fortnight and Merlin needed more rest than ever.
Arthur had to chase Gwaine away before Merlin saw him!
As he nearly ran toward the courtyard, Arthur felt his anger change into worry. What was Gwaine coming for? Did he want to see Merlin? To apologize? Or to see the baby? He had no right to be there! He left Merlin without a second glance, he had told him he was a monster when Merlin was offering him the most beautiful gift. Arthur clenched his hands in fists. He would not let that coward threaten Merlin’s happiness again!
Whatever Gwaine’s motives were, Arthur wouldn’t let him see Merlin! It had been a long road to finally make him feel better after Gwaine’s departure. Now, Merlin was blooming again. He was impatient to have the baby and looked forward to his new life. His new life with Arthur and the baby.
The King was determined not to let anyone changes that.
When Arthur arrived in the courtyard, Gwaine was nowhere to be seen.
“Boy!” the King hailed a stable boy. “The man who just arrived, where did he go?”
“He said he was going to see one of his friend… A Knight, Sire.”
Arthur nodded and thanked the stable boy before running after Gwaine.
Merlin was in Leon’s chamber, in the Knight quarters. He ought to catch Gwaine!
He found the man in the hallway leading to the Knights’ chambers.
“Gwaine! What are you doing here?” Arthur tried not to raise his voice. He didn’t want anybody to come and see what was going on.
The former Knight turned to face the King.
“I’m here to visit a friend, Sire.”
“It’s a personal matter, Sire.” Gwaine answered without flinching.
Arthur’ anger was back, stronger than before.
He slowly walked toward Gwaine, making him go back till his back collided with the wall.
“Listen to me…” Arthur spoke slowly, his tone cold and threatening, “If you intend to see or talk to Merlin, you better forget it! I’ll not let you approach him! Never! Understood?”
No answer. Arthur clenched his hand around Gwaine’s shoulder, not strongly enough to hurt him. He just wanted to show him who was in charge there.
“You’ve given up your rights on Merlin and on this child the day you left like the coward you are! You’ve treated the man who loved you more than his life like rubbish! You don’t deserve to see him again!”
“Because you think you have any rights on that child? On my child!” Gwaine argued.
This time, Arthur wasn’t able to stay collected. His fist collided with Gwaine’s jaw sending the Knight against the wall.
“I’ll not let you break him again!” Arthur groaned. He wasn’t proud of having lost his cool but anger and fear were overwhelming him.
“You can’t stop me.” Gwaine answered defiantly.
“Do you think so? Should I remind you that I’m the King? That I can have you put in the cells or exiled?” Arthur menaced, trying to calm his breathing.
This time, Gwaine didn’t say anything.
“So… You better leave Camelot now… And never come back! Is that clear?”
The former Knight nodded.
Arthur let him go, following him to the courtyard. The King asked to guards to escort him back to the city’s doors.
That night, Arthur couldn’t help but hold Merlin a little tighter in his arms. And when he was certain that Merlin was fast asleep, he murmured a litany of sweet words, love confessions and promises. The simple idea of losing Merlin was unbearable and he wouldn’t let that happen. Merlin was his… As much as he was Merlin’s. And everybody needed to know it.