Uther's second daughter
AN: Hi guys, I would really appreciate some feedback on this one I can't remember the last time I had to work so hard to get a chapter to turn out anything like I wanted it to. Constructive criticism is more than welcome.
Summary: When Uther lost his first daughter Morgana he believed he had lost his ability to care for others along with her until he found his second daughter Guinevere.
Disclaimer: as much as I wish I owned Merlin I don't
Farther and daughter's first meeting
Gwen loved to look at Camelot, she always had. She never had much time to herself during the day between her chores as Morgana's maid, working in the kitchens and helping Gaius but any time that she did get she spent watching the world around her from the nearest window.
The views from the castle were one of the most beautiful things she had ever seen but she had never looked at them then as she did now. She had looked out of every window in the castle at some point or another but she never had her own window to look out of before, she did now.
Many lives had been changed in the last few months, Gwen's was one of them she was no longer just Gwen the maid servant to the king's ward she was now Guinevere sister to Sir Elyan knight of Camelot, only Merlin and Gaius still called her Gwen the rest of the world now knew her as Lady Guinevere.
It had not occurred to Gwen that when Arthur knighted Elyan he was making her nobility along with her brother. As she road into Camelot with her brother and her friends she had felt like some noble woman being escorted to meet the king by his most trusted knights, she had not realized that was exactly what she was.
When Arthur helped her down from her horse and greeted her with a very public kiss all she had been able to think of was him and how relieved she was that he was alive and holding her.
Gwen wasn't aware of how much her situation had changed until Arthur had taken her by the hand and officially welcomed her the way she had seen him do with so many noble women over the years.
"Welcome to Camelot Lady Guinevere" he smiled warmly at her before brushing a soft kiss across her knuckles.
Gwen was so shocked that she couldn't even form words, she knew that her shock must have shown on her face because Elyan who had been chuckling quietly to himself for most of their journey finally let lose a roar of laughter.
"We're nobles now Gwennie" He chortled
Shock did not begin to cover what Gwen had felt in that moment
"Shall I show you to your rooms Lady Gwen" Merlin asked her with a cheeky smile
"My rooms? I have rooms" Gwen asked numbly
"Of course you have rooms Guinevere, you are a Lady of Camelot now" Arthur told her smiling more brightly than she had seen him do in weeks.
That was how Gwen came to be sitting at her own window in the castle of Camelot watching as the sun rose on what she was sure would be her last day as Lady Guinevere.
Uther had taken months to fully recover from his stay in the dungeons but Gwen didn't believe for a moment that he had recovered from Morgana's betrayel yet, she wasn't sure he ever would.
King Uther was finally physically fit to return to his throne, Arthur had given up his role of regent the night before and today Uther was once again in control of Camelot. It was a well known fact that he didn't approve of his son knighting commoners but considering the role the four men played in winning the battle for Camelot it was widely believed he would allow the knighthoods to stand
Gwen was pleased that Elyan and the others would be keeping the titles that they had earned but she knew that her own title was another matter all together. Gwen had never wanted a title but she had made good use of it while she had it, She had spent her time as Lady Guinevere doing all she could to help the people of Camelot.
Arthur and Gwen made an unstoppable pair, Arthur and his Knights had rebuilt the house's and defences of Camelot while Gwen and Gaius had done all they could to rebuild its peoples health and moral. Gwen was proud of her contribution to retuning Camelot to its former glory but she knew that none of what she had done mattered to Uther; she knew that today he would revoke her title and she had made her peace with it, she was ready to be just Gwen again.
She had risen early and dressed in the simplest of her many new gowns. Arthur had insisted that if she was going to be a Lady of Camelot she should dress like one. Gwen would never know where Arthur and Merlin had found so many beautiful dresses for her while Camelot lay in ruins, she had almost been tempted to ask if they had raided Morgana's wardrobe of unworn gowns but she knew nether of them would do that to her or themselves.
Gwen was not surprised when Sir Leon arrived to tell her that the King requested her presents in the council chamber, they both knew what was about to happen but they both pretended that they didn't for the sake of the other.
As Leon led her though the halls of Camelot Gwen felt very small and when Leon closed the doors of the council chamber and left her alone with the king she felt even smaller and very lost.
Uther surveyed the maid as she stood before him, he had heard a lot of talk about her fiery spirit but he could see no hint of it now. He was not all that surprised considering the last time she had been in this room with him he had both hit her and condemned her to death.
As he had regained his health all people had talked about was Lady Guinevere and how despite her common birth she was the most beautiful and noble Lady Camelot had ever known. Uther looked at her now and all he saw was the same maid he had seen before.
Uther knew that she was not stupid she knew why he had summoned her here and he refused to waste his time softening the blow for her, he had every intention of revoking her title in one sentence and dismissing her in the next but he didn't get the chance.
As he opened his mouth to address the maid the temperature in the room suddenly dropped as a freezing wind blew through the room. Uther was horrified to discover that he couldn't move, no matter how hard he tried he couldn't so much as twitch a muscle
Uther could tell the maid was experiencing the same sensations as he was he could see her fear shining clearly in her eyes, he could also see how hard she fought to hide it and he felt the tiniest flicker of respect within him.
As suddenly as the wind had come it vanished but Uther was still unable to move and the maid had given up her attempts to hide her fear, her eyes were now wide with horror as she looked past him.
He knew there was only one person who could inspire such fear in the normally brave girl and it wasn't him, it was his daughter, Morgana.
"Did you miss me farther?" Morgana asked him coldly as she stepped into his eye line.
Uther honestly didn't know what his answer would have been had he been able to talk. He missed his Morgana terribly but the woman who stood before him was no longer his Morgana. This was a bitter twisted sorceress who if he wasn't very much mistaken had come to kill him
Uther knew the exact moment that the girl discovered that she could now move while he was still frozen in place. She took an instinctive step away from Morgana who still had her back tuned towards her. For a moment it seemed as if she did not believe that she had really moved, she even went as far as to raze her hand just to prove to herself she could. Uther expected that she would slowly inch her way towards the doors in an attempt to save herself but she didn't what she did surprised both him and Morgana.
Gwen knew that she was only going to get one chance to save both her and Uther, she didn't really have a plan she just did the first sensible thing that came to mind, she screamed as loudly as she could.
Sir Leon threw the doors open in response to Gwen's scream but Morgana used her magic to force him and the others with him back out into the hall before baring the door. He now knew that Morgana was in the council chamber with Gwen and the King but he also knew he had very little chance of getting into them.
"That was a bad idea Gwen" Morgana sneered at her former friend
Morgana had once seen Gwen as her only true friend, someone she would do anything to protect but now she just saw a nuisance that had to be dealt with. Using the same magic she had use on Sir Leon and the door she picked Gwen up and threw her into the wall behind Uther.
As Morgana used her magic on the girl she had so often stood up for in the past Uther sadly accepted that she was truly lost to both him and Camelot. Only someone whose heart had truly turned cold could toss aside their dearest friend the way she just had.
Gwen recoverd far more quickly than anyone in the room expected, herself included. She staggered to her feet just as Morgana began to advance on Uther with murder in her eyes. Gwen dived forward placing herself between Morgana and her pray.
"I won't let you do this Morgana" she declared in a voice full of steel
"How are you going to stop me Lady Guinevere?" Morgana mocked her
Without hesitation Gwen reached behind her and unsheathed the sword that hung at Uther's hip bringing it round to face Morgana.
The flicker of respect that Uther felt earlier began to swell and grow within his barely moving chest, he was beginning to understand what his son saw in this girl, she had as much courage as she did sprit.
Morgana obviously didn't share his respect for the girl; she took one look at her sword in hand and laughed
"That's a very bad idea Gwen, in all the years you were my maid you never once won against me what makes you think you can win now?" She sneered as she drew her own sword
"I'm not your maid any more" Gwen stated in a cold tone.
Gwen didn't come out and say it but the implication behind her words hung in the air around them, Gwen was claiming she had let Morgana win for years. Uther could not think of a better way to infuriate his daughter.
Morgana bought her sword down hard on the sword that Gwen held in her hand. For a moment it seemed the fight would be over before it even really began. The weight of Uther's sword was too much for Gwen's small frame and she nearly fell to the ground after only one parry but Gwen adjusted to the sword's weight and recovered quickly.
As the two women circled each other trading blows their movements were as deadly as they were graceful. Uther was surprised to realize that this was not just another sparring match neither of the women intended on letting their opponent walk away from the fight unharmed
Gwen had just discovered she hated fighting in a dress, it was slowing down her foot work and getting in the way of her sword strikes but thankful she knew she wouldn't have to keep it up for much longer. The doors of the council chambers were rattling on their hinges as those outside fought to get in.
One particularly loud bang gave Gwen the impression that they were finally in, her attention flicked to the doors for just a second. A second was all it took to tell her Morgana's magic on the doors still held a second was also all the time it took for Morgana to see an opening and take it. Her sword sliced though the flesh of Gwen's upper arm causing her to cry out in pain but not to drop her sword.
Everything in Uther screamed at him to move, to intervene and save the woman his son believed he loved but Morgana's magic was too strong. In the last few minutes Gwen had impressed him she more than held her own in the fight, her skill with a blade was undeniable as was her determination. As Uther watched her fight for both of their lives he was filled with not only respect but pride as well.
"Why are you doing this to your self Gwen?" Morgana spat as they continued to circle each other despite Gwen's injury
"I am taking a stand for something I believe in just like you are Morgana" Gwen answered coolly not allowing her concentration to slip again
"But you were never meant to stand against me Gwen, we were like sisters, we were meant to stand together till the end just like we promised each other. Do you even remember the promises we made when we were girls Gwen?" Morgana asked accusingly she sounded both angry and desperate but her sword never wavered.
Uther wanted to call out a warn Gwen not to be taken in by Morgana's act and lose her focus because if she did she would surly lose the fight and her life but he had given up trying to fight the magic that held him immobile he knew he couldn't win.
Thankfully it seemed that Gwen didn't need his warning because she kept her sword ready for the next attack even as she answered Morgana
"I remember we swore we were sisters and that we would always support each other no matter what" Gwen recalled with a wistful smile on her lips
"But" She added sadly
"When you tried to destroy all that is good in Camelot you ripped us apart and I don't think there is any going back now"
There was a deep sadness in Gwen's voice and Uther could tell how much she wished things had ended differently but he could also tell that she was not prepared to turn away from what she believed to be the right path.
"We can go back Gwen, we can be sisters again" Morgana offer softly hoping that her former fiend was still as easy to manipulate as she had been in the past.
"Just put the sword down and let me do what I came here to do, then you and I can leave this place, we could go anywhere and do anything but not while he lives" she coaxed giving Gwen a pleading smile
Uther was once again fighting the spell that held him still but for the first time since Morgana arrived it was not his life he was worried about it was Gwen's. He knew that if she was to lower her sword now Morgana would not hesitate before she struck her down. He was filled with a need to protect that he thought he had lost along with Morgana.
Uther wanted to shake Gwen for being so stupidly trusting as she slowly lowered her sword. He didn't even think about what her action meant for him he was focusing on her and the fact she had just opened herself up for Morgana to strike a killer blow.
Morgana smirked evilly before swinging her sword at the now defenceless Gwen, she couldn't believe how easily taken in the girl had been.
Gwen was ready for Morgana's attack and reacted quickly she ducked the blow and bought her own sword up disarming her former mistress with a flick of her wrist. Morgana froze on the spot as Gwen claimed her fallen sword as her own. She was surprised not only by Gwen's move but also by what a threatening picture she could make with a sword in each hand and fire in her eyes.
"I win" Gwen told her holding both swords ready just in case Morgana tried any thing
"Did you really think I would ever trust you again after everything you have done Morgana?" She asked in a cold a weary voice
The room suddenly erupted into chaos as the icy wind kicked up once again and Morgana disappeared into it sending Gwen one last evil glare. The council room's doors finally gave in and allowed Arthur along with his man servant and most of his knights to come pouring in though them.
The last of Gwen's strength gave out; she dropped both of the swords and sank towards the floor. She was relieved when she felt a pair of warm arm's envelop her before she actually made contact with the cold stone floor.
Gwen forced her eyes to open expecting to see Arthur's face hovering above her but she was surprised to see Uther instead. Uther was a little surprised himself; he had Gwen in his arms before it had even fully registered that he could move again.
If Uther and Gwen were surprised Arthur was flabbergasted, He had truly believed he wouldn't live to see the day that his farther cradled Guinevere in his arms as though she was a child but that was exactly what he was doing at the moment.
It wasn't until he reached Guinevere's side that he saw the large gash in her arm that was quickly saturating the arm of her dress with blood
"Guinevere who did this to you" Arthur demanded as he wrapped her wound with some cloth he had ripped from the shirt he was wearing. Uther didn't miss the look Arthur shot him as if he was waiting for Gwen to point the finger at him.
"Morgana" Gwen hissed obviously in a great deal of pain now that she no longer had adrenalin pumping though her system. Uther lifted his head to order Arthur's servant to go and inform Gaius that he would be receiving a new patient momentarily but the boy had already gone.
Arthur had known that Morgana had been present, Leon had informed him of that but he found it hard to believe with the magic that she now possessed that she would use a sword against Guinevere.
"Farther what happened?" Arthur asked, outwardly he sounded calm and in control but Uther could see the rage that bubbled under the surface. That was the moment that Uther fully accepted that Arthur loved Gwen of his own free will, only a man truly in love could feel such rage, magic could not replicate it
"She fought Morgana" he told his son gently. He knew he had to be careful with his words if he did not want Arthur to lose the tenuous hold he had on his anger.
"She fought Morgana and won, she saved both of our lives" he explained.
Uther could hear the almost fatherly pride in his own voice; he didn't bother trying to hide it he knew it would be pointless because the pride that shone Arthur's eye's told him his son had already heard it.
"What?" Arthur gapped at Gwen when his father's words registered
"Guinevere, how?" Arthur would not have believed that Guinevere would have even attempted such a thing. He hated to admit it but Morgana had bested him on more than one occasion, the thought of Guinevere having face her terrified him and he found it almost unbelievable that she had won.
"I'm a blacksmiths daughter, remember" she told him breathlessly as she tried to smile though the pain.
Gwen's comment made Uther smile as he finally relinquished his hold of her. He handed her over to Arthur who insisted on carrying her to Gaius's chambers despite her protests that she was capable of walking.
Gwen may have been born a blacksmiths daughter but it had become clear to Uther that she was born to be a daughter of Camelot.
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