Title: Moonlight Mystery
Character/s: Arthur, Gwen, Merlin
Summary: Arthur and Gwen meet for a romantic moonlight stroll in the woods, but they see and hear something rather unusual.
Word Count: 807
Prompt: 161- Moonlight
Author's Notes: Spoilers for S3. Enjoy!
Gwen yelped as something seized her wrist and yanked her to the side. She was pulled behind a large column and familiar hands took her by her upper arms. “Arthur!” she whispered loudly.
“Sorry about that. Just . . . being cautious.”
She folded her arms and looked up at him. “Is there a reason you've scared me half to death?”
“Ah, yes. I'm told the moon will be lovely tonight. Would you . . .” He cleared his throat, “would you like to join me for a moonlight stroll?”
She smiled up at him. “You know I would. Where and when?”
“Two hours after nightfall, just inside the Darkling Woods.” He took her hands. “It will be beautiful, almost as beautiful as you.” He leaned down to kiss her, but a sound down the corridor startled them. “See you later,” he whispered before slipping out.
“Count on it,” she whispered back.
Half an hour before their meeting time, Gwen donned her cloak and slipped out of her home. The walk to the Darkling Woods was cool, but not unpleasantly so. She slipped inside, found a fallen tree and sat upon it to wait.
A few minutes later, another cloaked figure slipped into the woods. It turned, saw her and came toward her. Once close, the figure pulled down its hood. Arthur. He reached out his hands to pull her up. “Ready?”
“Always,” she said, interlacing their fingers. He brought her closer for a quick kiss then they began walking.
The full moon shone as they strolled through the woods. It was interesting how different the woods were at night; Gwen had seen them at night before, but never alone, with a lover.
The couple chatted about different things happening in their lives. How Arthur's quest had really gone, how cold Morgana seemed and how preoccupied Merlin had been lately. “Really, I'm beginning to think he has a girl, unbelievable as that sounds.”
She swatted his arm. “Hey! If anyone deserves happiness, it's him. He works hard for you, so I wouldn't underestimate him. In fact, a couple years ago I—”
A sudden sight and sound interrupted her defense of their friend. First, a sound like several trees hitting the ground all at once. Then a huge shape blacked out the moon for a moment. They both stared at it for several moments, mouths hanging open. Arthur finally said, “Did you just see—?”
“Yes, but that’s impossible . . . didn't you . . .?”
“I did. But what on earth was that then?” They stared at each other, neither having an answer that didn't sound completely crazy.
They were still standing in roughly the same spot when the sound of something moving toward them startled them into awareness. Arthur pulled her behind him and drew his sword. He held it at the ready and both waited for whatever it was to show itself. “What is it?” Gwen whispered.
“I can't tell, but it's big. Maybe a person.”
The couple watched and waited, finally hearing defined footsteps. There was the sound of something striking something else and an “oof,” as whoever it was hit the ground. That sounded like . . .
“Merlin, is that you?” Arthur called.
There was a sudden scrabbling sound before the person hauled himself upward to his feet and moved toward them. It was indeed Merlin, now
covered in dirt and other flora from his trip. “Oh, hi Arthur,” he said, focusing on his master.
“Merlin, what the hell are you doing creeping around in the woods?”
The servant made an indignant noise. “I might ask you the same—what the hell are you doing creeping around in the woods?”
Arthur now sounded exasperated. “Merlin, language.” He nodded to Gwen.
“You started it—ah. Hi Gwen.”
“Hello Merlin. Fancy seeing you here.”
Merlin narrowed his eyes at Arthur. “Yes, why are you out here? It's not that safe.”
“Well we were enjoying a nice moonlight stroll until something strange happened. Did you see that—thing flying away from here?”
Merlin paled. “I-I did. And that's exactly what I'm talking about. We should get back to the castle before whatever-it-was comes back here. Hey, did you say . . .”
Merlin kept them occupied with his prattle for the entire walk back to the castle. Neither Arthur nor Gwen was able to get in a word edgewise. And neither got a straight answer about that night from him until several years later at Camlann. The battle was turning against them and suddenly Merlin was roaring the oddest words at the sky. Moments later, two large dragons showed up and turned the tide of battle in their favor. And all Merlin could do was sheepishly apologize and say, “I guess you finally know what I was doing in the woods that night.”