So, because a few people asked for it, I ended up writing a second chapter! This one is all about what happened right after Merlin walked out that door, and then how Arthur finally joins the secret magic support group and learns about Morgana's magic, and also first Merthur kiss! Enjoy! :)
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As soon as Merlin walked out of Morgana's chambers, he bumped right into Arthur's chest with a loud "oof". When he looked up, Arthur's cheeks were just as red as a moment ago but now paired with two very angry eyes staring down at him.
"This needs to stop," Arthur declared, taking a step away from Merlin.
Merlin just blinked at him in confusion. "What needs to stop?"
Arthur rolled his eyes in frustration and then stared at him as if Merlin was somehow supposed to know the answer. When Merlin just shrugged, Arthur grabbed his hand and started dragging him down the stairs towards his own chambers.
As awkward and unusual it was to have Arthur hold his hand like this, Merlin was delighted to see that his red flower was still there in Arthur's other hand.
Once they were inside Arthur's chambers, the prince quickly peeked outside and then closed the door, sighing. When he turned to Merlin, his frown returned.
Merlin just shrugged again, although he was probably starting to understand why Arthur was so upset. Or rather jealous. "What? What needs to stop?"
"Your affections for lady Morgana," Arthur stated as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. And Merlin couldn't help it. He tried to bite his lip to stifle the laughter, but a small chuckle still escaped him.
It cost him another angry glare from Arthur. Although, he didn't miss the longing glance Arthur gave the red flower in his hand.
"Is that what you think is going on?" Merlin asked. Arthur shut his mouth and frowned in confusion. "It's just as Morgana told you, I just thought the flowers might cheer her up."
Arthur narrowed his eyes and walked closer to him. "Then why were you trying to hide them from me?"
"I didn't want you to get the wrong impression," Merlin told him quite truthfully. After little to no thought, he added, "and I didn't want you to get jealous, which," he cleared his throat and mumbled, "too late for that."
If Arthur could get any more red in the face, he definitely would right now. He opened his mouth, closed it, then opened again and stuttered out, "I'm not jealous. Don't be ridiculous, Merlin."
Merlin only smirked at him.
Arthur crossed his arms on his chest. "I'm not."
"Alright, I believe you." Merlin took a step back and raised his hands in front of him as if in defence.
There was a moment of silence, both men awkwardly looking on the floor and then anywhere else but at each other. After a while though, Merlin couldn't help it and look at Arthur. He looked sort of . . . confused?
"So . . ." Arthur cleared his throat and motioned with his hand, as if that somehow finished his sentence.
"So you're not? In love with Morgana?"
Merlin found it quite charming that Arthur was so worried about who Merlin liked. He'd known for a long time that he was in love with the prince, and it was becoming more and more obvious that the prince felt the same way. But still, whenever Merlin felt like doing something about it, there was one thing stopping him.
The secrets. The lies. The dishonesty.
He didn't want to start anything with Arthur until he told him the truth, but the idea of telling him terrified him. Was it the right time? Or was it too soon? Or had he waited too long? Would Arthur hate him? Sack him? Banish him?
In the end, Merlin settled on a simple confirmation. "No, she's just my friend." He smiled and stepped closer to his prince.
Arthur gave him a doubtful look. "Are you sure?"
Merlin couldn't help but laugh. "Arthur, I don't even like girls, okay?"
Well, that was definitely news to Arthur, judging by his face. All the confusion, then relief and satisfaction were clearly visible, and Merlin wondered if it was perhaps intentional.
And now Arthur looked hopeful. "So?"
"So . . . " Merlin smiled sadly as he walked over to Arthur. "That means that one day, I'd very much like to share my life with a man." He gently took the flower out of Arthur's palm and placed it behind Arthur's ear. Arthur let him. "Perhaps . . . perhaps with a prince, even," he finished, stepping a bit back to admire Arthur's new look.
The colour of the flower matched the colour of his cheeks, and Merlin found that quite endearing.
But that didn't change the fact that he was not ready for this. And Arthur wasn't either. His smile turned sad and he pursed his lips.
"One day," he repeated as he gave Arthur one last smile, and then walked out the door to take a deep breath, leaving stunned Arthur behind.
Merlin didn't bother to knock—he often didn't on this day of the week, at this precise time. It had been a year since they'd created their little magic support group—a year since he'd finally convinced Gaius to change his mind and begun teaching Morgana magic.
The door burst open as Merlin entered the room like a hurricane. Gwen and Morgana were already sitting on the enormous bed, and his and Arthur's chairs were prepared in front of it. Merlin grinned as the girls looked at him curiously and he breathed out loudly, "he's coming!"
It had also been about a week since he had finally told Arthur about his magic. And it took about a week for Arthur to come to terms with it, to get over the betrayal and anger, and to finally accept Merlin for who he really was.
And Merlin couldn't have been happier.
"Have you told him everything?" Gwen asked.
Merlin nodded as he closed the door behind him and continued to breathe heavily after running up the stairs, his hands on his hips. He collapsed in the chair in front of Morgana's bed. "I told him everything he wanted to know."
Morgana gave him a look, like he was forgetting something.
He shook his head.
"I forgot to mention that."
Morgana let out an uncharacteristic groan, making both Gwen and Merlin chuckle. Their smiles disappeared instantly though when Morgana glared at both of them. "I can't believe you forgot to tell him about my magic!"
"It'll be fine!" Merlin tried to calm her down. "He already knows about me and he accepts me, and he's basically known you his whole life. He knows about your dreams, and he knows you. He'll be fine. You will be fine."
Morgana crossed her arms on her chest. "You should have told him though."
Merlin sighed. It was true that after all the anger and betrayal (and the beautiful smile that Arthur gave him after accepting him), Merlin seemed to have forgotten everything he wanted to say. But he could hardly be blamed for that, both Morgana and Gwen knew that Arthur's smile was his weakness.
"Well, he's on his way here now, so I think he might already suspect anyway," Merlin pointed out. "I told him we've been meeting up for about a year to . . . talk about it."
Merlin looked down on the bed and twiddled his thumbs for a bit. He still felt incredibly guilty for making Arthur feel so betrayed. He couldn't forget the face the prince had given him once he found out that both Morgana and Gwen had already known about his magic for a year and he hadn't.
But he said he was fine with it now.
And Merlin believed him.
"It'll be fine," Merlin sighed, nodding to himself.
"It'll be fine," both Morgana and Gwen agreed in unison, smiling at Merlin and at each other and preparing for the moment they'd always known would come.
And then there was a slow and hesitant knock on the door, and Merlin was out of his chair in an instant.
He faintly heard Morgana and Gwen snickering behind him as all his blood rushed to his face and he opened the door. Arthur was standing right behind it, hesitantly looking into the room.
"Welcome to our club," Merlin smiled, then suddenly grew serious. "Do you remember the password?"
Arthur looked pained. "Merlin, this is stupid."
"Sorry, can't let you in if you don't—"
"I have a flower for you," Arthur mumbled through gritted teeth, furiously blushing and definitely uncomfortable. With a satisfied smirk, Merlin bowed his head and stepped aside, letting Arthur through. Then he closed the door.
"I swear you made that up just to annoy me." Arthur glared at him as he took a step forward and noticed the two prepared chairs in front of Morgana's bed.
Merlin went to sit in his chair, right next to Gwen on the bed, who leaned closer to him and with a smirk whispered, "we don't have a password."
Merlin quickly shushed her, cheeks turning pink.
"You can sit down, we don't bite." Morgana smirked at Arthur.
He rolled his eyes and finally moved to sit in his chair that was right next to Merlin and in front of Morgana. He crossed his arms on his chest.
"Alright, I'm here," he announced. "I'm part of your little club now, so . . . " He looked at each of them. "What do you normally do? Let Merlin complain about me?"
"Not always," Merlin laughed awkwardly. Arthur didn't. Merlin cleared his throat and looked at Morgana, who gave him a small and hesitant nod, and also cleared her throat, keeping her eyes fixed on the bed nervously. Merlin noticed Gwen take her hand, as he turned to Arthur and took a deep breath. "Not always," he repeated, "but usually, I teach Morgana magic."
Arthur went still, then frowned, and slowly looked at Morgana, a question in his eyes. She stared at him with fear in her eyes and nodded.
"Morgana?" Arthur asked Merlin.
"I have magic," Morgana finally admitted to Arthur. "Remember my dreams?" She asked. Arthur frowned but nodded. "They show me the future. And then, last year, the accident. The—the fire in my chambers . . . "
Arthur looked down, finally realizing what she was implying. "That was your magic?"
She nodded. "It was an accident. But yes, it was my magic." She smiled carefully, looking at Merlin. "Merlin went to give me flowers to cheer me up and I had another accident."
Arthur seemed to remember that. "Th vase . . . " he mumbled.
"He helped me and has been teaching me ever since."
Arthur nodded. When he looked up, there was an obvious question in Morgana's eyes. Merlin noticed Morgana was now clutching Gwen's hand for support, and he wished he could help assure her that it would be okay.
"I will not tell my father about any of this, don't worry," Arthur finally said, making everyone in the room sigh with relief except for Merlin, who'd already known and trusted Arthur with his life. And he couldn't help but smile at him for that.
Arthur noticed and returned the smile hesitantly. Morgana and Gwen just giggled at them, until both men cleared their throats and the magic support group could finally begin.
About an hour later, when the secret magic club was over and Morgana had mastered a new spell that Merlin had learned barely a week ago (she was getting quite good), the boys left Morgana's chamber and Gwen started preparing Morgana for bed.
This time, it was Merlin who dragged Arthur back to his own chambers, his heart hammering in his chest, breaths coming out quick. He was about to do what he'd promised himself he'd do one day.
And that day was today. If Arthur would have him.
"Merlin, slow down, are we in a hurry?" Arthur laughed as Merlin practically shoved him into his chambers.
He peeked outside the door one last time and then closed it, turning to Arthur, his chest and throat suddenly feeling very tight.
He'd been waiting for this forever.
And Arthur just standing there, with a curious smile on his lips, was not helping to calm down his anxiety at all.
"What is it?" Arthur asked.
Merlin swallowed and put on a brave smile and closed the distance between them, taking Arthur's hands in his. Arthur softly raised his eyebrows in surprise as he looked down at their joined hands and then at Merlin again.
"Remember what I told you a year ago?" Merlin asked.
That was probably a little vague. Arthur didn't seem like he understood what Merlin meant.
Merlin smiled and looked down, gently clasping Arthur's hands together and putting his own hands around them. After a deep breath, he whispered, "blóstmá." When he looked up again, Arthur looked more hopeful and slightly scared now rather than confused. "I have a flower for you," Merlin clarified.
He opened Arthur's hands and picked up the same red flower that he'd given to Arthur a year ago. Arthur's eyes widened. Merlin smiled and put the flower behind Arthur's ear just like he'd done before.
"Does this . . . does this mean . . . "
"Yes," Merlin nodded. "I was waiting until you knew about my magic because I didn't want this," he squeezed Arthur's hands that he was still holding, "to be based on a lie. But now that you finally know who I am and that I—"
Arthur didn't let him finish, taking the one final step closer to Merlin and bringing their lips together, his hands around Merlin's neck.
Merlin didn't hesitate to wrap his arms around Arthur's shoulders, sighing with happiness and finally, finally, relaxing.
The day had finally come. All his friends knew about his magic, they all accepted him including Arthur, and everyone supported each other and everyone was happy. And as Merlin thought about this and pulled Arthur even closer, for the first time in a long time, he felt like he was once again, one step closer to fulfilling his destiny.
And one step closer to their happy future.
Thank you for reading and for the reviews! :)