It was safe to say that things had not gone as planned. In fact, they had gone very, very wrong.
It had all started out fairly routinely, travelling north a bit, with Arthur and the other knights, hoping to arbitrate a recent border dispute between two warring Kingdoms. How the three of them had ended up finding themselves escaping, and sprinting away, from Viking encampment, well; that was a long story, and each would argue that the other two were both telling it wrong.
One thing they could agree on was that they weren’t in any of the Kingdoms of the future Albion. That, and they were all pretty sure Arthur was going to be furious with them.
First things first, though. After having braved it into a nearby village in the middle of the night to steal warmer clothes, something resembling a small tent, and some food and ale, they’d stationed themselves, shrouded in the treeline, near the harbour where they could keep tabs on the headings of departing ships, that they might be able to stow away on one bound for somewhere closer to home.
Unfortunately, it was quite a bit colder up here than what they were used to, and they didn’t dare light a fire for fear of being found. Merlin’s magic helped a bit, creating a bubble of warmth around them, but they still had to spend most of the days and all of the nights in the tent, huddled up closely under all the layers of furs and clothes. Not that any of them minded the close contact – they were married, after all – but one can only put up with so many hours of staying still and clenching their toes uselessly against the frost before inevitably becoming grumpy.
It was on the third round of bickering that Merlin suddenly hissed, “shut up,” and they fell silent. “There, that… can you feel it?”
“What are you talking about?” Gwaine asked, still with an edge to his voice.
“You can’t feel it? Above us, all around us?” Merlin extricated himself from between them and sat up. “The sky, it’s singing.”
Lancelot and Gwaine whined in unison when Merlin pushed the blankets aside and clambered out of the tent, taking the heat bubble with him.
“Guess we’d better go and see,” Lancelot shrugged and moved to follow Merlin, Gwaine shortly behind him.
Merlin was standing a few metres away, just outside the shelter of the trees, staring at the sky.
“Isn’t it magnificent?” he breathed. Gwaine and Lancelot both looked up to see what had caught his attention so strongly, and were astounded by the sight before them. The sky was full of green light, twirling and blazing across the inky darkness.
“It’s beautiful,” Gwaine agreed. “I’ve never seen a more beautiful sight in my life.”
Merlin reached out with both arms and pulled them both against his sides, and they held him tightly in return; the biting cold ignored, and the grouchiness forgotten as they stood and took in the splendour above them.
Eventually, Lancelot broke the comfortable silence. “Let’s get married.”
“We already are,” Merlin looked at him, tilting his head in confusion.
“By the laws of Camelot, yes,” Lancelot said, removing one of the two scarves he was wearing.
“Oh,” Gwaine caught on. “That’s right, and we’re not in Camelot right now.”
Merlin watched as Gwaine and Lancelot make quick work of unpicking the scarf and twisting the individual strands into several thin cords, and then realisation dawned on him, and he felt himself tearing up. “That’s a lovely idea.”
“And where better a venue,” Gwaine supplied, gesturing to the ribbons of light. “You felt this before you saw it, your magic felt this, didn’t it?”
“So it’s only fitting that we should be married by the rites of magic, too,” Lancelot said.
“I’d like that,” Merlin said. He put his hands on each side of Lancelot’s face and kissed him softly, then turned to Gwaine and kissed him too. “I love you both, so much.”
Lancelot took Merlin’s right hand and held it up, and Gwaine wound the threads carefully around them, holding them together; then Gwaine took Merlin’s left hand and it was a joint effort between Lancelot and Gwaine’s free hands to wind the remaining threads.
In a snowy land far from home, vows were uttered, promises of love, kisses exchanged, and green ribbons of light sang their approval across the darkened sky.