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Title: The Hands of a Servant in the Hands of a Prince

Show: Merlin

Characters/Pairings: Gwen/Arthur

Rating: G

Word Count: 593

Spoilers: For 2x02, somewhat vaguely

Disclaimer: I obviously don’t own, because if I did…we would have lots of A/G hand-sex (like eye-sex)  

Summary: The prompt was: “Gwen is ashamed of her calloused servant hands; Arthur makes her feel better.”

A/N: Written for camelot_love ’s Drabble Tag.



Gwen tensed as he took her hand in both of his. Not because she didn’t want him to touch her. No, quite opposite; in many ways it thrilled her.

Seeing how her body became stiff at his action, Arthur loosened his grip, expecting her to pull her hand away. “I’m sorry,” he muttered.

But Gwen didn’t take her hand back. “No, it’s just… my hands, they’re…” Her voice was so quiet that she was barely heard. “… They are not the hands of a lady.”

Arthur turned her hand over to rest in his left hand, his finger tracing over her weathered palm. And if it were not for the enrapturing effect of his touch, Gwen would have jerked her hand immediately away.

She did not want him to discover the rough wear of her skin from years of work, callused from the use of scrub brushes and broomsticks, dry and cracked from the constant use of lye soap and the cruelty of each winter, inelegant from hauling and lifting and carrying.

“I thought you weren’t ashamed of being a servant,” he replied softly, echoing the words she had once spoken to him. “Then you should not be ashamed of your hands.”

“I’m not,” she said, her voice shaking a little from the lie. But then his eyes fell upon hers. “…usually.”

And she normally wasn’t. But she knew how delicate and smooth Morgana’s and other noblewomen’s hands were. Sometimes she couldn’t help but envy her lady’s hands.

And maybe part of it was the knowledge that Arthur must have held other noblewomen’s hands. Common men would never know the difference, but Arthur must know how soft those women’s hands are and Gwen’s could in no way compare.

For a minute, he said nothing, only his fingertips running over her hand. This both deepened her desire to take her hand from his scrutiny and made her chest stir at the sensation. “They are good hands. Strong hands.” His voice remained quiet while he continued to contemplate them. “They come from hard work and life experience. Some people will never know the value of things because they have never known what it is to work for what they want out of life.” He paused for a moment, before finishing, “People like myself.”

Gwen wet her lips, not knowing what to say. But his confession meant so many things to her. She was a little proud, being so bold to wonder if he would have ever had these realizations without her influence.

His fingers then ran up the length of hers so that she couldn’t help but curl her fingers to meet him. Gwen caught his smile, reminded of his expression upon receiving her token.

“Good hands,” he repeated quietly.

He then lifted her hand up with both of his, kissing the back of her fingers. This brought their bodies closer together, and when he brought her hand back down a fraction from his mouth Gwen wondered if he might kiss her.

But he only looked at her for a good long time, his blue eyes seeming too intense on her for her to break his gaze.

“I want you proud of your hands, proud of yourself. Because you have every reason to be.”

His thumbs were rubbing small circles over the back of her hand, making Gwen forget her insecurities of her own hands as she reveled in his caresses.

“You have good hands, too,” she whispered. And both their lips curled up into gentle smiles.

They stood like that for a long time.  



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 20th, 2009 01:44 am (UTC)
This was so sweet, and rang true. I particularly like this bit:

“I’m not,” she said, her voice shaking a little from the lie. But then his eyes fell upon hers. “…usually.”

As it is so very, very Gwen.

Lovely work, as always ♥
Oct. 20th, 2009 07:32 am (UTC)
Thank you! :D
Oct. 20th, 2009 07:59 am (UTC)
That was beautiful. I love how for a moment she becomes insecure, and Arthur reassures her otherwise
Oct. 21st, 2009 02:42 am (UTC)
:) Thanks
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 21st, 2009 05:17 am (UTC)
Glad you liked it!
Nov. 19th, 2010 07:47 am (UTC)
Oh, this was so sweet. Thank you :)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )