Title: A New Era, Chapter One.
Rating: PG-13 (for now). May go higher in later chapters.
Word count: 1,620 so far…
Characters/Pairings: Gwen, Arthur, Merlin, OC, Arthur/Gwen.
Spoilers/Warnings: This story is based on spoilers that series 5 is to be set three years in the future. The rest is purely from my imagination.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Merlin. It belongs to Shine! If I did A/G would have three kids سے طرف کی now!
Summary: It’s been over three years and yet Arthur and Gwen remain childless, putting a lot of pressure on the queen to produce an heir and one soon.
Author’s notes: Thanks must go to mara93 for her support and help in writing this fic. She was also kind enough to beta this for me. So if anything sounds better, یا my pacing looks to be improved, it’s all thanks to her.
Another ماہ and still no child.
At first, Gwen was happy and filled with so much blissful joy to finally be married to Arthur that she did not take notice of her monthly. While her maids and ladies-in-waiting kept note of it each ماہ to ensure that it was regular, Gwen was too busy being a newlywed and Queen. The latter was a role she was at first anxious about under-taking, but with Arthur, her دوستوں and family سے طرف کی her side she had managed, becoming the successful Queen they all knew she could be, but for one thing.
With Camelot’s growth vast as مزید kingdoms fell, thus seeking protection and leadership now مزید than ever an heir was needed. Beyond just duty, Gwen had always wanted children. This yearning had only grown stronger once she fell in love with Arthur. She wanted nothing مزید than to give her husband a son -- یا daughter – a beautiful product of the love they had for each other.
Now, in their chambers, clutching her bloody underwear, Gwen takes a slow deep breath in and exhales gently. Little tear drops fall down her cheeks which she quickly banishes with a wipe of her sleeve. Not being able to handle holding the offending material anymore, she tosses it into the fire.
She was sure that this ماہ would be different, that Arthur’s seed would have taken hold in her womb. Instead, disappointment that once again she would have to tell Arthur that she was not with child.
Gwen turns her back on the fireplace, as if سے طرف کی doing so it is forgotten, no bother, but that is a lie. She just can’t deal with it now, a Knight ceremony is to start in just twenty منٹ and she still has yet to get dressed.
Twenty منٹ seem to fly سے طرف کی as Gwen’s maid Edith finishes the final touches to her گاؤن, gown after a return from attending to the royal couple’s laundry.
It shocked both her maid and the nobles that the King and Queen would share chambers for it was not tradition, but then Arthur and Gwen were never a traditional couple. Gwen was glad for it to be understood that she and Arthur were married for love, not just political purposes.
When finally her maid is done, Gwen tells her graciously, “Thank آپ Edith.” Edith nods her head, and Gwen informs her, “You may go and شامل میں the rest of the servants in the باورچی خانے, باورچی خانہ and feel free to have the night off. I won’t need آپ to attend to me afterwards.”
As Edith vacates the room from one side, Arthur enters from another. While Gwen is still feeling out of sorts, she cannot help the way her دل leaps at the sight of her husband. After three years of marriage he still manages to leave her feeling breathless.
Noticing her smile, Arthur smiles back. He brushes his lips across hers gently, but appears to be in a hurry, as he is still not dressed. The council meeting went longer than planned. Gwen laughs, but then abolishes him, “Arthur we are meant to be down in the Great Hall like right now.” He definitely seems to know this as he is already at their wardrobe, selecting his outfit.
Gwen quickly rushes over to take the chainmail out of his hands.
“What is it with آپ and your armour?” She teases, and Arthur gets his puppy-dog pout out, knowing that it is his wife’s weakness.
But not this time, Gwen is determined. She begins searching the wardrobe and sighs in relief when she finds it, her favourite.
“Here,” She passes it towards him, “This is perfect. Now we’re going to be late if we don’t make haste so آپ better hurry up and get dressed.”
It is his red tunic plus matching جیکٹ with سونا studs all over the sleeves. However, instead of going to get changed, Arthur does the opposite. He steps closer towards Gwen, bringing his arms around her waist, his hands settling on her lower back, towards her bottom.
“What is in it for me if I wear it?” He smirks down at her meaningfully, his voice full of seduction.
Damn him! Gwen thinks, before he bends his head down to place a gentle kiss upon her neck, near her collarbone for he knows that this is one of the places on her body that causes her unimaginable pleasure.
“You’ll just have to wait and find out,” Gwen replies, equally aroused. Arthur slowly brings his hands around her front, to her stomach in a light caress, causing Gwen to sigh. She pulls away, noticing the concerned look upon her husband’s face.
“But it will have to be in a week, my love,” Gwen explains, trying to keep composed, knowing he understands. Once again a child has not been conceived.
Arthur looks at her deep in the eyes for a long moment, reading her mind, feeling her pain. Then after lowering his head to kiss the سب, سب سے اوپر of her hair, he picks up the discarded tunic and جیکٹ to dress behind the screen, leaving her alone, her stomach flat and empty.
As Gwen predicted they would be, they are late. But no one seems to care so much for the king and queen are always دیا allowance.
The knighting ceremony goes well, but that is not a surprise seeing as her husband is very well versed on such protocols. Arthur looks so proud of the new knights he has recruited. With the kingdom ever expanding, it is also important that it is well protected سے طرف کی those who are up to the task.
She looks over towards her husband now, only to see he is rather occupied discussing something rather animatedly with one of the new knights. Not wanting to intrude on them, Gwen decides she had better make the rounds around the room to talk to the various nobles who have attended the ceremony.
But first, she needs to get a drink.
After making her way towards the servant serving the drinks, Gwen takes a quick sip. Then, with the goblet in hand, she makes her way around the room, talking to nobles.
It’s not long, until she hears it. The مزید traditional ladies -- یا as Gwen refers to them, snobs -- who never approved of their King marrying a mere commoner. While three years have passed and most of the nobles have come to respect and accept her as their Queen, some of them still resent her and دکھائیں it when the king is not around.
At first it used to bother her, but after a while and a lot of reassurance from her family, دوستوں and husband, Gwen no longer gets so upset.
However, this time it is different.
”After all this time, آپ would think there would be an heir,” Lady Anna points out to another noble lady as she slips her goblet.
“Well, certainly with a husband as active and robust آپ would think they would have had ten سے طرف کی now.” Her companion sighs as she also takes another sip from her drink, before responding, “It must be her I think.”
The first lady nods her head in agreement, “This is what happens when our King marries a servant.”
Not being able to hear anymore, Gwen goes to turn away, nearly colliding into Merlin.
“Oh, I’m so sorry,” Gwen apologizes as she rights herself. Merlin merely smiles at her.
“It’s alright, Your Highness.” Merlin gives a mischievous grin, knowing that Gwen hates it when he calls her that.
But this time Gwen merely nods her head and stays silent. Merlin knows that all is not well with his friend.
“Is everything alright Gwen?” he asks her gently, watching her face, concerned.
“Yeah, everything is fine.” She tells him quickly, too quickly.
“You sure?” He ventures again and Gwen realizes that it is no use. Merlin has known her for years, been there for her when no one else was. He knows when she is okay and when she isn’t.
“Okay, I’ll tell you. But first can we go somewhere else?” She asks, before taking his arm and leading him to the balcony so they talk in private.
Arthur watches them with a concerned look, not knowing whether he should follow. He sighs, thinking that Merlin is a good friend and that seems to be what she needs now.
“They کہا WHAT?” Merlin asks her, angry ashamed that people are still treating his friend this way.
“Keep quiet!” Gwen shushes him, before nodding her head, “They did.” Her face falls down in shame, thinking that the ladies are right.
Then she feels Merlin hands on her shoulder, and hears him say, “Don’t listen to them. These things sometimes take time.” He tries to reassure her, afraid it won’t work. The past three years Merlin’s been able to see the toll that remaining childless has taken on Arthur and Gwen.
Just when Gwen is about to say something to her dear friend, she hears soft footsteps behind her and then his voice.
“I was wondering where آپ had gotten too…” Gwen quickly brushes the tiny tears that had begun falling, before turning towards her husband.
“I was just in need of some fresh air and Merlin was good enough to keep me company,” She tells him, giving her husband a reassuring smile. “But I think it’s time for bed,” Gwen suggests, feeling tired. No doubt from all the stress from the day.
Arthur agrees and steps closer towards her, offering his arm and entwining his hand in hers. And just for a glimmer of a moment, Gwen feels safe. Like nothing bad could happen.
To be continued...