Title: A Kind Heart Is A Powerful Thing
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, Gwen, Lance
Summary: Kindness brings out the best in people
Word Count: 691
Prompt: 178 experience
Author's Notes: a continuation of my Choices series http://archiveofourown.org/series/310104
From all the way in the back of the church Arthur could see the smile on Gwen’s face. He didn’t bother to look at anyone else, focusing on just her for the moment. He couldn’t fix what had happened between them even after he admitted that everything was his fault so he had done the next best thing he could think of. Calling on Lance hadn’t exactly been his favorite moment but the smile on her face at this moment made it worth it. As the ceremony got underway he glanced around at the other guests. There were a few he didn’t know or only vaguely knew but the majority he recognized. Gwaine and Elena, Percy, Leon and Eira, Vivian, Alvarr, Mordred and Kara, and one that made his breath catch. Half way up on the aisle he spotted Hunith sat with her husband, Geoffrey. He experienced that old twisting feeling in his gut. He knew that there was a good chance that she, that they would be here and thought himself ready. He deserved every moment of guilt and anxiety it brought him. It didn’t make it sting any less though. He stopped himself from looking anymore at the crowd and concentrated on what he was planning to do next.
As he sat there listening to Gwen and Lance exchange their vows, he thought about these last few months. The regret, the guilt, the uncertainty he had experienced had been an excellent teacher but it was Gwen who had helped him hold it together. When all the others were angry and giving him the cold shoulder, her kind, gentle heart saved him. She had given him the strength to finally admit who he was and what he wanted, to break free. He did love her, as a sister, forever grateful. He would see her safe and happy no matter what.
As the ceremony ended he slipped out the back, down a short hall and into an alcove to wait. It wasn’t long before he saw Gwen and Lance pass him to get to the waiting point. It would be a few minutes as the church emptied and the guests got ready outside to throw seeds or blow bubbles and ring bells. He took a deep breath and stepped out of hiding, a big grin on his face. “Gwen,” he said her name softly, fondly.
Gwen turned at the sound of her name. The surprise of seeing him was clear on her face, “Arthur.”
Arthur nodded at Lance as he stepped toward her, “I know I said I wasn’t coming but…You look so beautiful and happy.”
Gwen took his hands in hers, “I am.”
“I’m glad to hear it. You deserve nothing less. ” He stared at her with a big smile on his face until he heard a noise behind him. “Anyways, I just wanted to say congratulations.”
Gwen gave him a quick hug and a kiss on the cheek, “Thank you Arthur.”
Arthur then turned to Lance and patted him on the shoulder, “You are a lucky man Lance.”
Lance glanced over at Gwen. “You are right about that.” Arthur nodded at him and moved to slip out a side door away from the crowd. He walked away with a bit of a spring in his step that hadn’t been there before, his heart a bit lighter. What Arthur didn’t see was the tall, dark haired man who had silently watched.
Merlin merely nodded at Lance. After everything he had experienced these last 18 months, seeing Arthur should have been easy. He had stood perfectly still and watched with his heart in his throat. The last thing he wanted was for Arthur to turn around and see him. He wasn’t supposed to be here and he really wasn’t ready. When Arthur finally headed for a side door without looking back he let go of the breath he didn’t realize he was holding.
Lance glanced at his friend for a moment, worry evident on his face. Merlin just smiled at the friend who had been his rock. This day wasn’t about him and he wasn’t about to let anything change that.