Arthur lay there on the wet stones of the beach, unmoving. He felt a scream at his throat as he felt for a pulse only to find that it was not there. Tears filled his eyes as the scream tore from his throat. He threw himself onto Arthur crying into the armour, but suddenly he falls to the floor. Arthur has disappeared.
He screams again and leaps to his feet to find himself face to face with Anhora. The old man's eyes flashed red and he laughed.
"It is your fault Merlin. You were supposed to watch over him. He was your destiny." Anhora said slowly but it was not Anhora's voice. It was the voice of the dragon.
"Please no, I couldn't stop him. He wouldn't listen to me." Merlin begged although he didn't know who he was trying to convince.
"No, you could have tried harder. It is your fault." A cold voice from behind Merlin said and Merlin spun to see Arthur standing behind him.
"You're alive!" Merlin cried throwing himself forward but he fell through Arthur and to the floor.
"No, it's your fault Merlin. You should have drunk from the goblet." Arthur said glaring at him.
"No please. I tried to stop you." Merlin cried falling to his knees.
"It's your fault Merlin, Merlin, Merlin." Darkness fell over Merlin's eyes as the voices began to taunt him.
Merlin sat up gasping; he struggled with his sheets for a moment before falling to the ground and hitting his head.
"Are you okay?" A voice asked and he looked up to see Gwen watching him biting her lip. "Arthur asked me to get you but you seemed to be having a nightmare."
"I'm fine." Merlin sighed rubbing his hand over his eyes noticing that they were wet with his tears.
"Are you sure Merlin, you seem worried about something." Gwen said bending down to his level and wrapping her arm around his shoulders.
"I just haven't been getting much sleep lately." He said.
"What were you dreaming about?" Gaius asked from the doorway. Merlin sighed getting to his feet.
"It's nothing, just a dream." He said pulling some clothes out from his closet.
"Merlin, you've been dreaming this nightmare since you got back from that test with Arthur. Your health is deteriorating. Tell us." Gaius said.
"It's nothing drop it." Merlin said angrily. Gwen sighed before leaving the room followed by Gaius.
Merlin closed his eyes for a second before changing quickly. He walked out of the room and walked past Gaius and Gwen quickly before they could question him again. He slowed down once he was out of the rooms.
He walked slowly towards Arthur's rooms and knocked on the door once he got there. He sighed as he heard Arthur say 'come in'. He really wasn't in the mood to face the Prince.
"You asked for me Sire." Merlin said quietly and Arthur looked up, his eyes widened for a second before narrowing.
"Gaius informs me that you are becoming ill." Arthur said and Merlin sighed.
"It is not intentional." He said frowning.
"Yes, he told me that you have been having nightmares but refuse to tell anyone what they are about." Arthur said standing from his table and he walked over to where Merlin was standing, he leaned behind Merlin and shut the door.
Merlin flinched slightly as he realised how close Arthur was, he had realised for some time that he had feelings that exceeded friendship for the Prince and it hurt him to think of how they could never be more than just servant and master.
"What is going on Merlin?" Arthur sighed and Merlin moved away quickly.
"It's nothing." He said quickly, he moved over to the bed and began to make it. Since it was not made since Arthur had woken that morning.
"Merlin, stop for a second." Arthur said but Merlin did not listen and he kept on making the bed. "Merlin, I order you to stop!"
"Since when have I followed your orders?" Merlin whispered he winces as he realises how close that sentence was to what Arthur had said to him when they were on the beach. Arthur realises this too for he moves up behind Merlin and places a hand on his servant's shoulder.
"Merlin, please tell me what is happening in your dreams." Arthur whispers and Merlin moves away from the hand. He trips over his own feet and falls to the floor. That's all it took for him to break down and he buried his face in his hands and began to cry.
"Sshh, it's okay." Arthur murmured hugging Merlin to him. Merlin flung his arms around Arthur's neck and cried into his shoulder.
"Why didn't you listen to me?" He sobbed into Arthur's shoulder. "Why?"
"What did I ignore?" Arthur asked quietly.
"You drank it. You could have died, you would have left me." Merlin cried. Arthur smiled once he understood and tightened his arms around Merlin.
"But then you would have died and where would that have left me?" He asked and Merlin looked up at him.
"I don't mean anything. If you died then the whole of Camelot would have gone into panic." Merlin whispered. "And I wouldn't have been able to live without you."
"What do you mean Merlin?" Arthur whispered holding Merlin by his shoulders. Merlin looked away his cheeks flooded by red.
"I couldn't live without you." He repeated.
"Why? Surely a brat like me isn't worth dying over." He chuckled but Merlin didn't smile he looked to Arthur his blue eyes shining with tears.
"Yes you are you are worth more than anything. I would die for you a hundred times over." Merlin whispered.
"Please Merlin, tell me why!" Arthur begged shaking Merlin slightly.
"Because I love you!" Merlin yelled before he realised what he was saying. His eyes widened and his hands flew to his mouth.
He pulled away from Arthur in a flash and fell backwards but this time he managed to stay on his feet.
"I'm sorry. I know you don't feel the same way." Merlin cried. His eyes filled with fresh tears as Arthur just stared at him his eyes wide. He ran from the room.
"But I love you to." Arthur whispered then he hit his head as soon as he realised how stupid he was, not saying anything.
He leapt to his feet and ran in the direction he thought Merlin would go. He wasn't looking where he was going and inadvertently ran into someone.
"I'm so sorry Arthur." Someone said and he looked down to see Gwen.
"Have you seen Merlin run past?" He asked hurriedly.
"Yes, I tried to stop him but he didn't listen. He seemed upset." She said and Arthur frowned. He stood up and helped Gwen to her feet.
"Do you know where he was going?" He asked.
"No sorry, but when he's upset he usually finds a tree or something." She said and Arthur nodded. He ran past her and out to the courtyard where he walked under all of the trees. He looked up and noticed a pair of legs dangling down from one of the trees.
"Merlin!" He called and the legs disappeared into the leaves. He smiled slightly and climbed the tree.
"Please just leave me alone." He heard Merlin sniffle.
"But you didn't hear my answer." Arthur said as he pulled himself onto the same branch as Merlin.
"I don't need to hear you tell me that you hate me." Merlin whispered shuffling away from Arthur who frowned.
"I love you too." He said smugly and Merlin's eyes snapped to him.
"What?" He asked his eyes widening and Arthur could not help the smirk on his face.
"I said that I love you too." He said and he laughed slightly as he ran his hand though his hair. "I really do love you."
Suddenly he found himself with an armful of Merlin but he couldn't complain as the lips he had been dreaming about were now attacking his own. He kissed back just as passionately.
"Are you sure that this is real?" Merlin asked once they had pulled apart.
"As real as you or me." Arthur said and Merlin laughed. He hugged Arthur and closed his eyes relishing the moment he had wanted for such a long time.