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“It’s Gwain!” Merlin says, with that happy lilt in his voice and you roll your eyes in exasperation.

You know he will not pay any attention to your caveats. He never does. He just goes merrily on his way trusting everyone that he talks to.

At least Gwain seems better than most. He is courageous, can fight well and though you do not entirely trust him, he appears to be loyal.

You are well aware however, that his loyalty is not really focused on you. You are just an adjunct. The man is devoted to Merlin.

And Merlin…though he never greets you as he does Gwain, will follow you anywhere; do anything you ask, summon up all his ridiculous courage and lay down his life for you. So while you resent, to the very fibre of your soul, Gwain’s appearance at Merlin’s side; you will rely on it.

Because should you be absent, should your manservant get himself into serious trouble, you know he will be protected and cared for. Gwain is a formidable opponent and will pay no attention to legalities or rights and wrongs. You believe him aware of Merlin’s abilities, (really how could anyone ever miss them? Merlin is far from subtle) even if he does not speak of them. Love does strange things to a fellow. No matter how much he tries to avoid it.

Shrugging, you accept Gwain’s offer to assist, and exchange glances with him behind Merlin’s back. You are both relieved and regretful when he nods, you dislike sharing Merlin’s attention with anybody; particularly someone who could take him away from you. But you would dislike Merlin hurt even more, so you swallow your pride, nod back in acquiescence and hope that your manservant never has to turn to anyone...other than you.