Title: Winter Arrives Rating: G Word count: ~500 Pairings: None, although Morgana and Gwen do cuddle. Warnings: None Disclaimer: I do not own this version of Merlin, nor am I making any profit from it. Prompt: This was written for Merlinadvent 2009 Day 3, using the prompt: too cold to do anything
Gwen is all tucked up in her pallet when the snow finally arrives, whispering against the window panes. She lies there imagining the countryside turning slowly white around Camelot, and carefully not thinking about last Winter, when their cottage had never been warm but had been filled with Tom's booming laugh and the smells drifting in from the forge.
The night has turned bitterly cold. Gwen wraps herself in the cloak which she is using as the topmost layer on her blankets and adds more fuel to the fire.
From the bed, Morgana speaks above the rising sound of the snow, which has gone from whispering to lashing at the windows. "Can't you sleep, Gwen? Do you want to come in here and cuddle up? It's dreadfully cold."
"It's warmer here than it would be at home," Gwen says, and drops her cloak on the pallet as she passes. She won't need an extra layer in Morgana's bed.
* * *
In the morning Gwen passes Merlin in the corridor, ridiculous bedhair at all angles.
"You can't go around looking like that!" she reproves. Sometimes that boy just has no idea of what is due to his position as bodyservant to the Crown Prince.
Merlin looks puzzled, but bends obediently as she does her best to flatten his hair into respectability with her frozen fingers.
"You're here early," he says, looking out at the grey flurries which are still whipping the castle walls.
"I'm staying with Morgana for the Winter," she admits. "We closed up the house yesterday and moved me up here. It's easier this way; no fighting my way up to the castle every morning and it's warmer with two in the bed, you know."
She flushes a little. Nobility sometimes has Ideas about what sharing a bed might entail. Merlin, however, comes from peasant stock. "Yeah," he agrees. "It was cold last night. It would have been a lot warmer with a friend."
"This is the boring part of Winter," she confides as they make their way to the kitchens and wait for Addy to put together their trays. "When we're all trapped here with nothing to do and it's still weeks before Christmas."
"God!" Merlin exclaims, as if the thought has just occurred to him. "His Highness is going to be impossible! All that pent-up energy and no training!" His eyes are a ridiculously surprised blue above his red scarf.
She giggles, remembering some of the activities that Arthur has gotten up to in past years when they'd been snowed in.
"Good luck with that!" she says, wrinkling her nose and smirking, just a little. Not that it's much easier with Morgana, but at least she's used to being bored.
There is gingerbread, fragrant and tempting on the trays. It is definitely Winter at last.
_________________________________ The fourth ficlet in the marzipan series is Salted Fish