"You!" He heard the shout come from his left and turned to see Gwaine lunging forward sword in hand. No sooner had he shouted another shout came from Ira.
"You!" Arthur turned back to her and watched as she elbowed the guards either side of her out of the way. Whilst grabbing a sword and attempting to lunge forward towards the knights, who were trying to restrain Gwaine. Ira was being held back by Elyan, who had been the first to react to her attacking her guards. They were both shouting at each other, mainly threats, so Arthur had to almost scream to be heard over the top of them.
"STOP" they both stopped shouting and glared at him. Arthur was suddenly struck by how similar they looked, but they couldn't be related he thought.
"You're supposed to be dead" he heard Gwaine continue as he attempted yet again to break free from Leon and Percival.
"Well I'm sorry to disappoint you" she retaliated.
"Will someone please explain to me what is happening?" Arthur bellowed having lost his patience. This time they stopped though neither knights would let go of them. Ira looked around before pointing the sword she had in her hand towards Gwaine.
"This is my brother." She said it simply, though she spat the last word out as if it offended her, the room went deathly quiet. Arthur, not knowing how to react, turned to Gwaine.
"It's true" he admitted quietly, Arthur collapsed back into his chair, closed his eyes and sighed deeply.
"And you both want to kill each other?" he asked pinching the bridge of his nose.
"Well I don't know about him, but I wouldn't mind pushing a sword through that cold unbeating heart of his."
"Because he left me to die." The room went silent, Gwaine could feel all the eyes in the hall suddenly turn to him.
"That's not true" he tried to defend himself.
"What do you mean that's not true, you couldn't wait to get rid of me" Ira cut over the top him. Arthur could tell with both of them in the same room he wasn't going to the bottom of this easily. He held up his hand to stop any retaliation Gwaine might think of.
"Right I can see there is something much bigger going on here, and I want to find out what. So I..."
"Of course you do" he heard Ira mutter, "all nobles are nosey. Especially when it doesn't concern them," Arthur gave up.
"Take her back to the dungeons" he ordered, only when the door had closed again did Leon and Percival allow Gwaine to pull out of their grasp.
"So that's the ugly old toad" Percival grinned.
"What? No. The toad is my older sister, that was my younger one" Gwaine answered angrily.
"You haven't mentioned her before."
"Because I thought she was dead" he almost shouted, anger was overwhelming him. His grip on his sword tightened and his knuckles turned white.
"I'm going to go and talk to her" Arthur announced.
"Because I want to find out her side of the story. Gwaine I want you to wait here until I get back." Gwaine shook his head, not trusting himself to speak, he quickly sheathed his sword and strode out of the hall. He could hear them shouting after him, but he didn't care.
Arthur stared after him, the room was quiet until Merlin stepped forward.
"Arthur, I'll go talk to him about it" he offered. Arthur could only nod and watch as Merlin ran after him.
"Gwaine" he called after him, "Gwaine, wait." Hearing it was only Merlin behind him Gwaine slowed down a bit.
"What is it?" He asked slightly harsher than he had meant to.
"What was all that about?" He asked struggling to keep up with him, Gwaine didn't answer but kept walking until they reached the battlements looking out over the city and woods. "Gwaine you can tell me, I won't tell Arthur if that's what you want." Gwaine turned and looked at Merlin.
"I know you won't" he paused. "I just don't know what to do, to say."
"Well, why did you try and kill her when you first saw her?"
"I would never want to kill her" Merlin looked at him.
"Then I must have missed something because from what I saw, you know the whole lunging forward sword in hand, you wanted to kill her." Gwaine shook his head sadly, "then why attempt to? What happened when she said you left her to die?"
"I don't know, I was angry at her. When I left home she came with me. I didn't want her to, I knew it wouldn't be safe, but I couldn't leave her, she had nowhere else to go. It was just over a two years later, we were being chased and ended up at a ravine with a river at the bottom of it. She was always slightly impatient, so instead of finding another way to cross, she was working on a way we could cross there." Gwaine stopped talking, Merlin could see he was trying to continue but something about the memory made him unable to.
"What happened?" Merlin asked softly, "were you caught?" Gwaine shook his head and laughed shakily, it looked like he was holding back tears.
"She went to close to the edge and caused a landslide, it took her and half the bank down with it. I didn't know what to do. I hid from those that were chasing us, they just assumed we had both died at the bottom."
"Didn't you look for the body?" Gwaine shook his head.
"Not soon enough. I know I should've but I couldn't face it. I couldn't go down there and find her body dead, especially knowing it was I that had put it there."
"It wasn't your fault" Merlin tried to comfort him, "you should be happy she's still alive, why are you angry at her?" he shrugged.
"Over time I guess I just blamed her for it, it was the only way I felt less guilty and could move on. And now I've said that out loud I realise how selfish I was, I am" he put his head in his hands. "Ahh Merlin what am I going to do? I've messed everything up so badly."
"No you haven't. I know you're cocky and stubborn but you have a good heart and want to make things right."
"So?" He mumbled from behind his hands.
"So go and talk to her. Tell her what you've told me, and if she's anything like you, which I think she is, she will see you're telling the truth and maybe forgive you." Gwaine looked up, thinking it through.
"You're right" he smiled and clapped him on the shoulder, "I'm lucky to have you as a friend Merlin" he said before turning around and making his way towards the dungeon.
The walk was too long for Gwaine as it gave him a chance to remember what had happened again, and for his anger towards her build. Questions circled in his mind, why hadn't she tried to find him he thought. He was so lost in his thoughts he almost walked into Arthur coming back up from the dungeons.
"Gwaine?" he heard his name and looked up.
"Where are you going?"
"To talk to her," Arthur shook his head wearily.
"She won't answer anything."
"Not to you she won't" he replied Arthur looked confused then realised.
"Oh the whole hate nobles thing" Gwaine nodded and turned to continue down the stairs. Just before he reached the bottom Arthur called out to him again. "Elyan's on guard, and I would prefer it if you wouldn't go into the cell, in case either of you kill each other."
"Now why would I do that?" Gwaine said over his shoulder.
"That's what I'm trying to find out" he heard Arthur call after him.
Ira was hugging her knees to her chest fiddling with the sleeve of her shirt. They had taken her coat as it had hidden daggers in it and they weren’t sure if they had found them all.
Without looking up to see who it was, she said "you know, I didn't expect you to come down here so soon." She looked up to where Gwaine was standing outside her cell, arms crossed. "I've already had the arrogant idiot that calls himself a king come and ask me questions..."
"Don't call him that" Gwaine said icily, Ira shrugged and continued.
“You’ve changed your views.”
“Just on him” Iras’ eyebrows rose.
“I don’t need to explain.”
“Or maybe you can’t.”
“He’s different!? Gwaine if I didn’t know better it almost sounds as if you’re in love.” Gwaine scowled and could see Ira was enjoying mocking him.
“But you do know me.”
“I thought I knew you.”
"Of all the places I imagined you would be, here was not one of them. Well I suppose you could've been here" she paused. "But not wearing that cape." She gestured to the gold dragon. "So why are you here? To gloat? Finally going to be rid of me once and for all?"
"Why are you in Camelot?"
"This isn't by my choosing I was brought here unconscious."
"But why were you in this area?" She shrugged and tried to be as vague as possible.
"I heard something, wanted to see for myself."
"None of your business, is that it? Going to ask Arthur to hang me now?" He felt his anger towards her slowly dying away, Merlin was right he was happy to see her again.
"I never wanted you to die" he said holding onto the bars and resting his head on them.
"I'm not dead."
"That's not what I'm trying to say, when you fell off that cliff I thought you were dead, and knowing that it was my fault..."
"It wasn't your fault" she cut in. She sounded sad, all her anger had also gone, he looked at her in surprise. "If I hadn't been so desperate to cross there..." She shrugged not finishing the sentence. "Why didn't you look for me? I know you weren't caught, so why?"
"I couldn't bear to see you dead" he answered honestly. "You're my sister, the only family I had left. I know I should have looked for you, but by the time I brought myself to do it, I couldn't find any trace of you. I figured that the current had taken you and that I'd have no chance," she shivered "you're cold."
"No you're not, if I come in are you going to kill me?" He asked smiling.
"That depends on what you tell me" she answered smiling back, he turned to Elyan.
"No way" he said before Gwaine had even asked him.
"Oh come on, it's fine."
"No, Arthur told me not to."
"But you'll be out here the whole time, if anything goes wrong all you have to do is step in." Elyan looked around worried that Arthur was hiding somewhere, ready to jump out if his orders weren't followed, he gave in.
"Fine, but leave your sword out here." Gwaine passed him his sword and Elyan opened the door. Once inside he took off his cape and wrapped it around Ira before sitting down next to her. Elyan not wanting to intrude walked up the passage a bit so they could talk in private.
"I really am sorry" he tried to apologise.
"Well there's something I never thought I would hear, Gwaine apologising" she laughed.
"So I'm forgiven?"
"No I'm still angry at you, I've just missed your company. Another thing I thought I would never hear" Gwaine laughed.
"You always were the more forgiving one. So what happened after you fell?"
"How long have you got?" She asked.
"That's not going to be nearly long enough."
"It's only training I'm sure Arthur won't miss me."