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For the Gwen Battle 2009 over at [livejournal.com profile] thefuturequeen; prompt was 'Gwen/Arthur, thoughts while laying in a field of flowers'.

Title: Sanctuary
Author: [livejournal.com profile] carpenyx
Rating: PG
Characters: Gwen/Arthur
Summary: There was a place— far away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life in the castle—where Gwen found sanctuary.
Spoilers: 1x13; Le Morte d'Arthur.
Beta: [livejournal.com profile] nebakanezer
Word Count: ~1,080
Disclaimer: I do not own. Just roaming around Camelot for a little bit.

Sanctuary


There was a place— far away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life in the castle—where Gwen found sanctuary.

The storms had passed, the clouds cleared, and the sun shone leaving the sky to show off its brilliant hues of blue.

Gwen stumbled upon this spot not all that long ago; it was a vibrant field blanketed with daisies, lilies, and orchids. When the opportunity presented itself, she’d often seek out her secret place to read beneath the shelter of a large oak.

Today had been no different.

After the storm the night before, the field was quiescent, and there was no evidence left behind. Gwen stayed close to the path that led away from the castle for a time before veering off course to the west. It seemed like a lot of trouble to go this far away from the castle walls but Gwen found it worth the effort. It gave her the chance to be alone, to simply be Gwen; not a maid-servant, not a Merlin’s cohort, not Morgana’s companion.

Just Gwen.

She stumbled upon her destination but found someone had beaten her to it. She had not expected anyone to be sitting in her field. “Arthur…”

Arthur was perched up against the tree, a book laid open on his lap. He looked up at Gwen but did not seem all that surprised to see her.

“Forgive – Forgive me. I didn’t know anyone would be here,” she said. Gwen bowed her head slightly and spun around, to walk away.

“Guinevere,” he said.

The way he said her name made the hair on her neck to prickle. Gwen looked over her shoulder, to him. “Yes my Lord?”

Arthur shut the book and said, “You do not have to leave on my behalf.”

“I don’t wish to intrude,” she told him.

“Let me decide if you are intruding or not.” Arthur’s grin widened a little. “Sit,” he said as he tapped the space beside him on the grass.

Gwen hesitated for a moment, looking around; as if someone would be watching and deem such behavior inappropriate. “Sire?”

“I do not bite…” Arthur smirked, deciding it’d be best not to finish his train of thought.

The implication had not gone unnoticed by Gwen. Her cheeks flushed. She wanted to sit with him, to talk, and to be with him. She couldn’t help but feel as if eyes were watching her every movement and yet how could she argue with the King’s son?

“Well?” Arthur prodded, cocking an eyebrow.

Gwen hadn't realized she had been standing there a little too long. She sat down.

“It was not always so stunning out here,” he said. “My father led a great battle in these fields. I remember when he would tell me the story as a boy. I would come out here by myself and reenact it. It has always been one of my favorite places. I do not come out here as much as I would like.”

Gwen smiled upon hearing the pride in his voice when he spoke of his father, the King. Arthur was a proud man and respected his people, including his father. Despite Gwen’s apprehension towards King Uther she admired Arthur’s loyalty and sincerity. “Why don’t you come out here more often?”

“Like you, I have responsibilities that keep me from finding a spare moment.”

She never really thought about it like that; a king’s son having obligations just as servants have duties. It wasn’t as if she thought he had it easy being royalty. Gwen had seen firsthand the hard work Arthur put into serving and protecting Camelot. It was another trait of his she respected.

Arthur set his book beside him and laid back on the grass, a gentle wind stirred around them, and he tucked his arms under his head. “I always enjoy spending time away from the castle; to be alone with my thoughts. And no, it is not a hint that I want you to leave,” he said, looking at Gwen. “Quite the opposite.”

Her smile widened, taking it upon herself to lie back beside him. The heat of the sun warmed her, even with the cool breeze. “I come out here for similar reasons,” she admitted. “It’s the one place, away from the castle, that no one will find me.”

“You could get into a lot of trouble Guinevere, skipping out on your chores,” he teased.

“No—It’s nothing like that my Lord—” Arthur cut her off.

“I am just teasing Gwen, and please stop calling me ‘my Lord’. You make me feel as if I am as old as my father.” Arthur chuckled.

“Yes, my—Arthur.” Gwen shut her eyes, her cheeks burnt from embarrassment, and she wished she had kept her mouth closed.

“Would you relax?” Arthur watched her, closely. “You were not always shy around me, what has changed? It is not about that afternoon in my quarters, is it?”

Gwen couldn’t look him in the eyes. “You were dreaming or hallucinating because of your fever.”

Arthur studied her. “And what was it that you said?”

“I told you. I do not remember.” Gwen couldn’t tell him what she had said that day. At the time she had thought that he was dying and thinking that it’d be the only opportunity she’d have to tell him how she really felt, she did.

“Why can you not look me in the eyes when you say that?” he asked and nudged her lightly with his elbow. The only memories he had of that time were broken, pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, and jumbled words of what she had said. He knew it was important; to her… to him. “Guinevere…”

Gwen finally looked at him. “Sire, whatever I said, it was not important. I do not recall but know that I think highly of you and I’m proud to consider you not only my Lord, but a friend.” It might not have been exactly what she had said, or in the same context, but it would have to do. She was nothing more than a maid servant and he was so much more than a king’s son.

“And I, you Gwen.” He decided not to push it any further. One day she’d tell him the whole truth and he would be better for it.

There was a place—far away from the duties and responsibilities as the king’s son—that Arthur found refuge; he looked over at Guinevere and smiled.

THE END
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