Albion's Coin

Chapter 18 Bad News

Gwen was feeling troubled. Arthur was back, magic was free again, and Camelot was at a time of peace. Everything should be fine, only something was increasing on her mind. She wasn't getting pregnant. Gwen wandered aimlessly around the halls while Arthur and Merlin were in a council meeting; she had some free time to herself. Gwen was consumed with her thoughts when she didn't realize where she ended up. Pausing outside the door, Gwen hesitated. Before having second thoughts, her hand reached up and knocked.

"Gwen, what a pleasant surprise."

"Hello Gaius, it's been a while."

"Please, come in" he said opening the door wider.

"Thank you" Gwen made herself comfortable at the table while Gaius poured some tea. "Is there something troubling you Gwen?" he asked after handing her a cup. She smiled. "You always knew me well Gaius. Actually, yes, there is." Gaius didn't say anything until she finished. "I'm not busy at the moment, I could do a series of tests; it shouldn't take too long."

"Thank you Gaius."

Gwen waited patiently while he surveyed her. As promised, it didn't take very long at all. "I won't lie to you Gwen. The signs are there, and, I'm afraid it doesn't look good."

"What are you saying Gaius?" she asked tearfully.

He looked at her sadly. "You'll be barren Gwen."

Gwen was dumbstruck. "No, no. Gaius, I can't be. Are; are you sure?"

He nodded "I'm truly sorry Gwenevere." Gwen burst into tears.

Gaius held her while she cried. Gwen always loved children, she had hoped for some of her own one day. The news was heartbreaking. How was she going to tell Arthur? Would he still love her if she couldn't give him an heir? All these thoughts and feelings were running through her mind while she was crying. It took a while for Gwen to calm down. Gaius rubbed small circles on her back as she took deep shuttering breaths. "Thank you for being here Gaius" she said once finding her voice.

"Of course my dear."

Gwen soon left after that. Arthur and Merlin would be out of the meeting by now. She didn't know how to tell her husband. Afraid of how he would react. He was a king who needed an heir, and she wouldn't be able to give him one. Gwen found her way to Merlin's room. Unsure if he would be there, she knocked anyway. "Come in." Gwen's eyes were still red from crying, Merlin must have noticed because went to her immediately; pulling her into a hug. "Gwenevere, what's wrong? What happened?" Gwen couldn't stop the tears from coming again, she cried into his shoulder. Merlin did his best to sooth her. Once she calmed down enough, Merlin settled her down at the table. "Gwen, tell me, what's wrong." She pulled out from his embrace and placed a hand over her mouth as she tried to compose herself. Merlin sat in the chair next to her. Patiently waiting for her to talk. Taking a few shuddering breaths, she told him.

"Oh Gwen, I'm so sorry."

"Can. Can you fix me? Using magic?" she asked in a quiet voice. Merlin took her hands in his. "Gwenevere, look at me" he said firmly. Gwen slowly brought her eyes up to his. "There is nothing to fix. You are perfect the way you are. Things tend to happen for a reason. Sometimes we don't know what that reason is, or why it happens that way."

"There has to be some kind of spell you can do!" Gwen almost yelled at him. "I don't know if I can look at Arthur the same way again, if I can't conceive. He needs an heir." Gwen looked at him pleadingly. Merlin spoke to her softly. "The truth is, there are some things magic can't accomplish. Even for me. Arthur loves you Gwenevere. I have never seen him love anyone else the way he does you." Gwen started to cry again. Merlin pulled her closer, letting her cry into him. She was touched by his words and let that wash over her. Merlin held her until she calmed down again. "How will I tell Arthur?" she asked him. Merlin thought for a moment. "Do you want me to be there or do you want to tell him by yourself?"

"I want you to be there."

Merlin nodded. "Alright, then how about we tell him over dinner tonight?" Gwen was a little nervous, she knew she shouldn't keep secrets from her husband, but wasn't sure she wanted to tell him right away. However, she also didn't want to be wrestling with it over and over in her mind, keeping her up at night. Gwen knew Arthur would suspect something was wrong, he knew her well enough for that. In the end, she decided it would be best to tell him outright. It might not be easy, but she was glad Merlin would be with her.

"Okay" she said giving a small nod. "Thank you Merlin, you're a good friend." He smiled at her. Merlin pulled Gwen into another quick hug. "It'll be okay Gwen."

She didn't trust herself to speak. She wasn't sure how it would be okay, but Gwen trusted Merlin. Trusted him with her life.

Gwen took one last deep breath. Wiping her eyes, she stood up. Merlin did too. "I'll see you at dinner then" she told him. Merlin gave her a reassuring smile, "See you there." Gwen left the room, leaving Merlin alone. He watched her go. Merlin stood by what he said about Arthur loving her, one hundred percent. He did wonder how Arthur would take the news though.

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