Spoilers: Upto 1x10 “The Moment of Truth”
Summary: Arthur doesn't usually have time for spare thoughts, indulgences.
A/N: For fictionisfab, prompt “Arthur/gwen. He watches her. ”. Thanks to doylefan22 for betareading.
Arthur is a prince, he is given all the finest things, including those he doesn't ask for. It's what he wants that he often doesn't get – what he wants is usually judged inappropriate, childish or impractical. After a time he'd stopped asking. He was a prince but he still did without, few ever realising because his wants were not the material goods one would normally associate with the expression.
He's gone so long without getting much of what he wants that he no longer thinks in terms of 'want' except that which is expected of him anyway. Thoughts of duty tend to fill his brain as he grows older, considerations of what other people want, his father and the citizens of Camelot.
When Arthur and company pass by a patch of woods, on their way back to Camelot from Merlin's village, his gaze lingers on the delicate blue flowers by the wayside, but he does not stop. The others ask what's wrong, knowing full well that if he thought it serious he would not continue. For once, he does not brush aside the question as he would normally be inclined. The mood is too sombre despite their victory, he doesn't have the heart to play the arrogant prat.
“My nursemaid once told me those flowers were my mother's favourite.”
No one replies, no one so much as speaks for the next twenty miles.
It is month later that he comes upon Gwen waiting, poised, outside his door, hands restrained behind her back, he presumes in a maid like manner, but as it turns out that's not why.
“Morgana told me it was your birthday,” she says sweetly, with a smile, pulling out a small bouquet of Periwinkles.
He is dumbfounded. His birthday has rarely been a special day for him alone. Full of royal galas held in his honour, it has always been about show, a joyous celebration of Camelot's future; a mask for his father's yearly spiral into a dark mood. The day marks his mother's death as much as his birth, even though she did not die the same day.
No gift he receives is ever any more remarkable than the other items he is given the rest of the year. Until this day.
“Thank you,” he chokes out, finding it hard to say anything. A thank you is the least he can do.
Gwen smiles again, warmth and sweetness in her expression, understanding the sincerity in his words it seems. She excuses herself, pressing the gift into his hand, curling his fingers around it and leaving him holding the flowers outside his door, watching her retreat. He never had to ask, she just knew what he wanted, what his heart yearned for, the small remembrance of his mother.
Arthur doesn't tend to think about what he wants, doesn't much like to contemplate his hopes or dreams as other sons and daughters are encouraged to, but today he thinks it deserves some thought. One day a year is reward enough for 364 days of duty, and he might let his gaze linger of Gwen a little, despite how inappropriate it is. He wants to work out, if he can, what she wants, what would make her happy, in order to return this cherished favour.