Chapter Nine

"Merlin! Merlin for God's sake get up!" Merlin felt his shoulders being shook but squeezed his eyes closed tighter in defiance, batting the hands away. "Go 'way."


He opened his eyes wearily to see a grinning prince, towering over him.

"What?" Arthur swiftly hit him across the head with the back of his hand.

"Hey what was that...? Oh!" Merlin's mouth dropped open in shock and realisation. "You're... you're not nine anymore! You've grown up again!" Arthur shook his head sarcastically, rolling his eyes upwards. Merlin launched himself out of the chair and onto the prince, and wrapped his arms around him. "Thank the Gods! I thought you were going to stay like that forever!" He nuzzled his face into Arthur's broad chest and sighed happily, he really did love the Prat. Arthur cleared his throat and patted Merlin on the back awkwardly. Merlin pulled away, blushing furiously. I cannot believe I just did that!

"Sorry Sire, It's just, you know, recent events..." Merlin tailed off to see an equally embarrassed looking man in front of him, deliberately trying to avoid eye contact with him.

"Yeah, about that," Arthur rubbed the back of his neck, "I don't know why but when I was nine I just felt the need to... hug things." Arthur made a hugging gesture when he said the word, his cheeks a light shade of pink.

"Yes Sire. I noticed." I just hoped maybe grown up Arthur might 'feel the need to hug things' too. He added silently.

"Oh Gods! I hugged Uther didn't I?!" Merlin nodded, Arthur looked genuinely disgusted with himself.

The pair stood in an awkward silence in the middle of the prince's chambers. Neither sure of what to say. Merlin picked up a shirt from the floor and folded it carefully, before placing it neatly in one of the prince's drawers. Arthur started pacing, uncomfortable with the silence.

"What do you think...?" He started, then reconsidered his question, "How do you think I... you know," He gestured to himself elaborately.

"Changed back?" His master nodded vigorously, "Well, Gaius had a hunch that someone might have had it in for you." Merlin improvised, not wanting to have to explain to Arthur about the Dragon. "He read about it somewhere..."

"Had it in for me?"

"Well, yeah, so we both thought about it... and the only thing we could come up with was...well..." The prince nodded, encouraging him to explain further, "That maybe you didn't appreciate something in your life? You know, just a hunch." Merlin shrugged his shoulders. "Maybe if you realised some stuff then you'd change back." Arthur rolled his eyes; he really must have a mental affliction if he can't even string a sentence together properly. "I don't really know, you should probably ask Gaius."

"Well, I suppose I did 'realise something' before I changed back."

"Yes, My magic! That's why I told you about it, so you would realise and then you could change back!" Merlin smiled proudly, Arthur simply raised an eyebrow at his ignorant manservant.

"Not that Merlin, you idiot." Arthur took a step towards the blushing brunette, cupping his chin with a strong hand, gazing hungrily into the other mans eyes.

"Oh?" Merlin's brow creased before finally catching on to the princes intentions, moving in to close the gap between them, resting his hands lightly on Arthur's hip bones, "So, what was your realisation then?" He now feigned confusion, lips parted and tilted his head slightly to reveal the pale skin of his neck. Arthur smirked and pressed his chapped lips against Merlin's soft ones, his eyes fluttered shut.

The kiss was soft at first, more like a gentle brush of lips then anything. Merlin had pulled back slightly, opening his eyes to see that Arthur still had his eyes closed, eyelashes brushing his high cheekbones, lips still pouting slightly, irresistibly. He leant in again, braver this time, pressing their faces together with enthusiasm, curling his hand round the back of Arthurs head, closing his fingers around soft, blond hair. He felt vibrations in the princes chest as he moaned, pulling his manservant impossibly closer by the small of his back.

After what could have been hours or mere seconds, Arthur pulled away to rest his forehead softly on his new-found lovers. "You know..." He nuzzled into Merlin's jaw.

"What?" The servant whispered, his hot breath on the princes skin caused the hair to stand on end.

"I haven't given you a proper job for three days now." Merlin pulled away, pink swollen mouth open in shock.

"What?!" Merlin furrowed his brow. "You're joking." Arthur folded his arms, smirking.

"Nope. I need you to polish my armour, sharpen my sword, muck out the stables, clean my room and groom my horse." Merlin narrowed his eyes. "That's not a problem is it?" Arthur was trying not to laugh at his friend's reaction.

"Of course not, Sire." Merlin scowled and stormed over to the door, pulling it open with one exaggerated heave.

"Oh and Merlin!" He stopped in the doorway and turned his head to face Arthur. "Don't forget to tell Gaius you won't be coming back to your chambers tonight." A seductive smile played across his lips as he walked slowly to the silhouette in the threshold, "We wouldn't want him worrying again now would we?"

The End!

Okay not particularly amazing but still... I hope you enjoyed it!

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