Title: The King's Heart
Pairing/s: Arthur/Gwen, Merlin/Morgana
Summary: A gift from the Princesses makes Arthur’s heart ache.
Word Count: 764
Prompt: 110 Photo Prompt
The Golden Kingdom (Modern AU Series 3)
The King's Heart
Elyan walked into the temporary offices of the King caught him daydreaming. He cleared his throat causing Arthur to jump.
“Arthur, I gave Gwen the itinerary for the peace talks. She told me to give you this.” Elyan said. He placed a letter and a rolled up paper tube on Arthur’s desk. “It must be her usual love note. I think there are some pictures from the Princesses. Gwen has been letting them paint.”
“Thanks. Did she seem upset about the plan to send her and Morgana?” Arthur asked as he picked up the letter and turned it over in his hands.
“No but she did say you were an arse for doing it.” Elyan said. “Gwen will bring him to his knees. You should have let her go with you a year ago when you took the kingdom.”
“I know.” Arthur smiled.
“Well, I know you want to read that and see what the Princesses sent you so I'll go see if Leon needs me.” Elyan said as he opened the door.
Arthur nodded. “Thanks.”
Elyan left closing the door behind him.
Arthur opened the letter and read it. “It was the same as per usual. Gwen missed him and loved him. She told him about the Princesses and what they had been in to.”
Arthur held it against his heart and sighed. This 'war' was dragging on far too long and it was taking its toll on him. He missed Gwen so much.
Arthur put the letter back in the envelope. He opened a drawer in his desk and put the letter on top of the others Gwen had sent. It was becoming quite a stack. The sight made his heart ache even more.
Arthur opened the tube and pulled out three large paintings. Two were just swipes of vivid color on the paper. Gwen had put the name of the little artist at the bottom.
He smiled at Rhianna favoring yellow and Arianna going for red. There were other colors mixed in as well on both.
He laid them aside and picked up the third. He had assumed it was for Merlin and Morgana from Devon. But it wasn't. As he opened it he realized that Gwen had the princesses put paint on their hands and press it to the paper. Gwen had written their names by each set of hand prints.
Arthur realized he was missing them grow and he started to get misty eyed. He traced each of their hands with his finger. He remembered when each one had grabbed his finger for the first time and the last time they had reached up for him to scoop them up in his arms.
Merlin walked through the door with a file in his hand. “Are you all right Arthur?”
“I just miss my family.” Arthur wiped his eyes and looked at Merlin. “If you tell anyone…”
“I won't. I haven't seen Devon in so long that I don't think he will even remember me.” Merlin said.
“If that was supposed to be comforting, it wasn't.” Arthur glared at him.
“Sorry. I have the report from the front. The English have moved back but not left.” Merlin said. “I think they are waiting for the shield to come down when the peace talks are scheduled.”
“But it won't, will it?” Arthur asked.
“No. If they had asked someone with magick, they would know that.” Merlin said. “But the Ministry is against them. I have a feeling Elizabeth may be planning a Great Purge of her own after this.”
“She will slaughter them?” Arthur was shocked.
“I don't know or she may just deport the lot. We need to be ready for that.” Merlin said.
“Let them come and get them all registered. They deserve sanctuary for all their help.” Arthur said. “We will be a kingdom full of sorcerers by the time it’s over and done with.”
“’The Golden Kingdom’. That's what the foreign press calls us.” Merlin laughed.
Arthur nodded and smiled. “I like it. Make sure Morgana gets all the reparations requests and the talking points as soon as possible. This needs to go smoothly or it will fail.”
“I have already given her everything I have and the cost of a dragon sanctuary here for the ones they sent over here. That will be fun to explain to the foreign press.” Merlin chuckled.
“Not for them.” Arthur grinned. He looked at the handprints again. “I just want my girls back home with me. I’m tired of this mess.”
Merlin nodded. “We are all tired of it. Sire.”