A/N: This was requested so I generously decided to write it. I don't really like this, but I'm a nice person and I forgot to UD Reposition so I owe Em and UD somewhere tonight.

Disclaimer: Still don't own. This has not been betaed, so tell me if you find any errors.

Merlin passed through the door with a sickening sense of routine. He closed the door behind him, brain not registering the dark shape staring down at Gaius' work. He slipped the bag off, preparing to dump it in a corner before turning in shock. That is not Gaius.

Uther flipped through a journal on Camelot's myths and legends. Magical creatures and their weaknesses. Most of this is useless. Can nothing be defeated without cursed magic? Someday all will be defeated by sword and mouth. Magic can only ruin so many lives. He threw the book down.

Merlin panicked, dropping into a hasty bow. Had Uther known, had he found out...? No, there would be more than just the King if he'd found out. What the hell was he doing in here then? Gaius could be summoned without the risk of mingling with peasants... people, even. How do you behave when your King is in your kitchen?

"I wanted to thank you in person for your... actions yesterday," He spoke with a low voice. He was sincerely thankful for the boy's assistance, but he had seen his King pinned down by his son, something barely acceptable. Leon had already been punished for disobeying his orders; but without that, Uther doubted he would be alive.."

Merlin wasn't sure if he was allowed to stop bowing his head. And after his encounter with Arthur, he wasn't sure he could stop himself if he looked into the hypocritical eyes of Uther.

Uther looked at the boy as he spoke. Arthur was so often heard calling him variations of 'idiot' and often Uther looked upon the manservant and found himself agreeing. Other times, it was as if the boy were deeper than Gaius and Arthur had on. As if he was hiding something better about himself. He seemed genuinely flattered as Uther spoke. Who wouldn't be? His king was personally telling him that he trusted him with his son.

An ally against magic? Am I really? Merlin was taken aback with how many had told him this today. He fought again so many fellow sorcerers both to fulfil his 'destiny' and to protect Uther. Maybe he was an 'invaluable ally in the fight against magic'. What's he saying?

"... the will try and corrupt him. You must be extra vigilant." Right, vigilant. Yes sir. I'm never vigilant. Saved your life a few hundred times, but I'm not vigilant. No.

"I'll, uh, keeping my eyes... peeled."

Uther nodded, "I know you will." You will because you're like your uncle, you'll keep Arthur on the right track. Even if it means confronting him. You might prove useful yet. But there was a final...

"If you ever speak of what happened between Arthur and myself to another living soul, I will have you hanged."

Nice sentiment to leave me with, my Lord.