My Shot - Arthur Pendragon
Fic #3 of the Hamilton Prompts
Song: My Shot
You woke up to the sunlight shining in your eyes, which was confusing for two reasons. One: usually one of the servants woke you up before then. Two: Arthur wasn’t in bed next to you. He always got you up when he did. He was in the room, however. You could hear him changing behind the screen. You picked up your pillow and threw it at the screen. It knocked over and Arthur shouted.
“What the hell?” he asked, poking his head out. You shrugged and smirked at him. He shook his head and was clearly trying to fight off the smile growing on his face.
“Good morning,” he said, walking out from behind the screen. He pulled his shirt over his head, so you only got a glimpse of his abs.
“Why didn’t you wake me?”
“I wanted to watch you sleep.” You snorted. “I also was waiting for this to arrive.” Merlin stepped in and handed Arthur a rather large box. Merlin waited there, an eager smile on his face until Arthur shot him a look. You gigged as Merlin walked away.
“What’s that?” you asked.
“For you,” Arthur said, walking towards the bed. He sat down on the bed and handed you the box. You twisted your lips and studied him.
“I can’t just by something because I love you?”
“No, you can and that’s a very kind thought, but I can’t help but wonder what your ulterior motives are.” Arthur looked at you plainly, clearly trying to show you that he was being honest.
Normally, you wouldn’t be this demanding when Arthur did something sweet, but you two hadn’t been getting along so well lately. Arthur was challenged to a duel with a man who had already killed four knights. You begged Arthur not to take it up, but he wouldn’t hear of it. He said if you didn’t like it you didn’t have to be there.
Ever since then, he had been trying to make up for that exchange.
“Well thank you,” you said, lifting the lid off to reveal a gorgeous green gown. “Oh, Arthur, it’s gorgeous.” You leaned forward and hugged him. Arthur held on to your back firmly and didn’t let go for a longer time than usual. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome,” he said after kissing you. “You’ll wear it today?”
“Sure.” He grinned and stood up.
“Good. I’ll see you a little later, okay?” You nodded and he was gone, off to a meeting with some of his knights.
You had changed into the gown and had spent time helping out Gauis. A week earlier, a village on the far side of the kingdom had lost all of their crops in a large fire, so you were housing them and healing the burn victims. However, it was past noon now and you hadn’t eaten anything yet. You expected to find Arthur in the throne room to invite him to lunch with you, but as you were walking back towards the castle, your attention was drawn by a sword fight.
More accurately, your attention was drawn by a sparring between the knights. This was odd because they usually trained in the morning, not the afternoon. You walked towards them, finding that Arthur was facing Gwaine right now. You stood next to Elyan who smiled over at you.
“Hello, Y/N,” he said. A second later, his smile fell and everyone looked over at you. Arthur and Gwaine even stopped fighting. Arthur pulled off his helmet and looked at you.
“What are you doing here?”
“Am I not allowed?” you asked, looking around nervously.
“No. Of course you are, we were just-”
“Busy,” Gwaine said. You looked over at him and he smiled.
“Busy training?” you asked. He nodded and your head snapped back to Arthur. “I thought we were past this,” you said. He rolled his eyes and walked towards the other side of the field. He took a drink, but you didn’t stop looking at him. “Arthur.”
“Now’s not the time.”
“When would you like to talk about this? Later today when you’re slain.”
“I’m not going to die!” he yelled. Your face hardened and you shook your head. Now it made sense why he had given you the dress. You continued to shake your head to stop yourself from screaming or crying and walked towards the castle. “Y/N. Wait.”
You didn’t. You were already inside when Arthur finally did catch up to you. He grabbed onto your arm when you didn’t turn around, but still you pulled your arm away.
“Y/N, please,” he said. You sighed. You were already half way up the stairs. You caved and looked at him.
“I didn’t want to hide this from you.”
“I don’t know how you thought you could have. I live here, too.”
“I know. It was foolish of me to try.” You sighed and smiled a little. “But I have to do this.”
“No you don’t.” He sighed and sat down on the steps, putting his head in his hands.
“You don’t understand.” You mimicked his movements and sat next to him. You scooted closer until your knees were touching.
“Explain it to me. What don’t I understand?” He looked up at you and you nodded once, encouraging him.
“It’s time that I prove myself to the people. Not just a handful of them, and not just with my name.”
“Arthur, you’ve already done that.”
“On a small scale. But with this tournament, I could finally prove myself to them.”
“But you won’t get to prove anything to them if you die.”
“You don’t have any faith in me.”
“Yes I do,” you said, taking his hand in yours. “But I also care about you and love you. I don’t want to watch you kill yourself just to prove something you don’t have to. You’re already a great king, Arthur, you don’t have to do anything extra. Just wait, the-”
“I’m past patiently waiting, Y/N! I’m going to passionately smash every expectation set on me. Every action I take is an act of creation. I’m laughing in the face of casualties and sorrow, for the first time, I’m thinking past tomorrow.”
“So am I. I’m thinking about a tomorrow without you.”
“Think about a tomorrow with a better king.”
“You already are a better king than you were yesterday. I already imagine you like that.”
“I’m not throwing away my shot, Y/N,” he said finally. You frowned and looked down at your entwined hands.
“I know.” You released his hand and stood up. He looked up at you hopefully as you walked up the stairs. You went into your room, and Arthur didn’t follow. You sat there for a long time until it was nearly tournament time.n;t
Although every fiber of your body was telling you not to go, you went. You found Merlin and had him bring you to the tent where Arthur was getting ready in. He looked surprised to see you, but still smiled.
“Hi,” you said.
“Hi. Could you give us a minute?” he asked Merlin. He nodded and scooted out of the tent.
“Need help?” you asked, already walking forward to tighten his armor. He stood still as you worked, and smiled when you pulled away.
“Thank you. I didn’t think you were coming.”
“Of course I came.” You held your breath as you looked at him. He frowned a little and you immediately ran into his arms. It was hard to hug him like this. Arthur was muscular, but he was soft and warm to hug. Every part of his body would curl and form into yours - yet, in this armor, he was hard and closed off. That didn’t stop you from holding on tight.
“I love you,” he said.
“And I believe in you,” you whispered. He hugged you tighter, which you didn’t think was possible. A horn sounded from outside, signaling that it was time for the match. “Time to take your shot,” you said. He nodded. “Good luck.”
You walked out to the stands and took a seat. You watched as Arthur walked out onto the field, and waited for the other night. You felt your breath catch in your throat when you saw him, and tried to remember how hard and cold Arthur felt when you hugged him. No one could hurt something like that, you told yourself.
You watched in horror as they fought, each blow making you flinch. Near the end, you were sure you were about to watch the love of your life die, but the knight’s sword slipped magically and Arthur delivered a killer blow. The crowd went insane, but you couldn’t scream. In fact, you felt like crying.
Arthur pulled off his helmet and nodded at you first. You nodded back and you could see him sigh. Arthur rose up, and he would continue to rise up.