Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters in Merlin - they belong to their respective owners and the BBC
Well - here it is. The last chapter and epilogue of Learning. I must say I am truly astonished at the population of this story - what started out as a small little fic has turned into my most popular one with over 250 reviews! A huge thank you to all my reviewers, especially my 'regulars'. You know who you are. :) This chapter is for you guys. I hope you all enjoy this little ending - I really wanted to end on something light-hearted and jovial. Enjoy! :)
"Did you get it?" Arthur asked as the door of his chambers opened (without a knock, of course) to reveal Merlin. The manservant nodded and closed the door behind him, revealing as he did, a small bottle.
"So this is it?" Arthur questioned, in slight awe.
"Yep," Merlin replied, with a mischievous grin. "This is the truth draught."
It had been two weeks since Merlin had nearly been executed and had saved the King from Godric. The scar on his side, still pained him at times, but the sorcerer rarely spoke of it, instead pretending it didn't bother him. Truthfully, it had been Arthur's idea to steal the truth draught. And after some discussion between the two of them, they came to the conclusion that they could have quite a bit of fun with it.
"Is that all there is?" The Prince demanded as he took the bottle off his servant.
"What do you mean 'is that all there is'? That's all there was," Merlin answered back, earning a glare from Arthur.
"You know, I am really finding it hard to believe that it's your destiny to help me achieve greatness."
"Why's that then, Sire?" Merlin asked mock-innocently, somewhat dreading the answer.
Arthur rolled his eyes, as though the question did not even deserve an answer. Turning his attention back to the small bottle and ignoring his servant, he made a noncommittal grunt.
"I guess it'll have to do then."
"The amount of truth draught, idiot," Arthur replied with a shake of his head.
"Oh," there was a pause before he spoke again. "What are you going to do with it?" He asked, his tone turning slightly cheeky as he chose to forget the previous banter.
Arthur looked at the young sorcerer and raised a questioning eyebrow. "Morgana?" And Merlin nodded in accord, instantly knowing what he was thinking.
"She'll kill you if she finds out," he pointed out to the Prince.
"Who said she was going to find out?" Arthur grinned and Merlin rolled his eyes, knowing it would probably end badly for both of them.
"So what are you going to ask her while she's under the influence of this stuff?"
"Oh, if she thinks I'm good looking," Arthur replied as though it were obvious. "It's apparent that she does and just won't admit it."
Merlin barely contained his eye roll and refrained from commenting that Arthur was pig-headed and was probably going to be beaten to a pulp by Morgana when she found out. Because, knowing her, she would find out.
"You know she will be furious," Merlin settled on saying.
"It's Morgana, Merlin," Arthur sighed, as though they were dealing with something innocent and harmless. "What can she do to me?"
Merlin shrugged. "If you say so, Sire," he replied, before adding as an afterthought, "Just promise me, you won't use that stuff on me."
"Why?" Arthur raised a questioning eyebrow as he grinned. "What other secrets are you hiding?"
"Nothing," Merlin replied, as though his answer was obvious. Arthur threw him a sceptical look and the young servant continued, pointedly, "Besides, if you did put truth draught in the drink of a sorcerer, that sorcerer may want to take revenge."
"Fine," the Prince replied huffily, before turning serious. "I wouldn't want to put you through that anyway, Merlin," and the two of them locked eyes for a fraction of a second, before it was Merlin's turn to cock an eyebrow.
"But you're happy to put Morgana through it?" he said.
"Of course! That's completely different," Arthur responded in another smile.
"Sure…" Merlin said, restraining from rolling his eyes as he sat down on a chair, clutching at his scar as it gave a dull throb.
"Merlin?" Arthur suddenly sounded concerned as he eyed his servant's actions.
"Your scar is still paining you, isn't it?"
"Of course it isn't," Merlin replied with a small grin, swiftly removing his hand from the old wound.
"You're such a terrible liar, Merlin," Arthur said with a fond smile. He placed the truth draught down on the table and sat down in a chair next to the sorcerer. "Or maybe you aren't," he frowned, thinking of how Merlin had hidden his secret from all of them for so long. "I don't know now."
Merlin gave a small laugh, before the Prince continued again. "I've seen the way you cringe in training," he pointed out, gesturing to the servant's side.
"That's only because you're going too hard on me," Merlin retorted.
Arthur raised a sceptical eyebrow. "You should get Gaius to look at it," but his friend shook his head.
"There is nothing further he can do for it," Merlin gave a grim smile. "But it's fine. With time it'll get better."
If Arthur was further sceptical, he did not show it. "Good," he nodded, mentally reminding himself to keep an eye on both his manservant and his injury. "Means your footwork at training should also get better, right?"
Merlin's serious and grim smile turned into a mock one. "Oh, well… uh… now that you mention it..."
"Merlin," Arthur growled and the servant grinned. "Come on, if we want to get Morgana, we'd better act now," he got up and clapped a hand on Merlin's shoulder before going over and putting on his leather jacket.
"Of course, Sire," Merlin replied with a nod. "Wouldn't want to delay her anger and revenge on Prince Prat," he added in a mutter.
"What was that?" Arthur said, turning to him with a questioning gaze.
"Nothing, Sire," Merlin replied with another grin and as the Prince looked away his smile grew. Everything was back to normal.
A/N - Additional: I'd also like ot thank everyone who alerted/subscribed to this story or favourited it. There was over 100 of you and I'd really love to hear your opinions on this and what you thought of it, now that it's finished. It would mean a lot and can help me improve - so please do not hesitate to review. It's just a simple click away. :P