So this is the slash ending for all those Merthur fans out there. This is my first attempt at slash so I'd love to know what you think of it. Thanks everyone for reading. Enjoy. x

Btw sorry about Arthur's mysterious reappearing shirt, I just realised I changed it on the original when I noticed it but not on the one I had uploaded to fanfiction, stupid I know. Anyway thanks to everyone who pointed it out and it now should be changed, I hope. x


Previously

I don't need anything else Merlin. You deserve a break after everything that's happened, god knows I need one.

So can I have tomorrow off then? Merlin asked hopefully.

You don't deserve that much off a break Merlin. How would I ever punish you for all the spiders that magically appear in my room if I give you the day off?


Arthur groaned as he rolled over for what seemed like the hundredth time that night. Although he could feel the exhaustion pouring through his body, sleep was evading him. He flopped onto his back and stared blankly up at the ceiling above him. His mind was running over all that had happened since Morgana had bonded the three of them together and, try as he might, he couldn't get it to shut up. He knew his buzzing mind was what was preventing him from sleeping but he couldn't tune out.

Giving up on sleep he pushed his covers aside and swung his legs out of bed. Stretching his arms above his head he moved over to the table and poured some water into a nearby goblet. Arthur took a deep swig as he moved towards the window, pushing the curtain aside. Staring out at the moonlit town below he sighed wearily. He lent his head against the cool pane of glass, closing his eyes in exhaustion. He felt tired standing there but knew if he went back to bed he wouldn't be able to sleep.

Frustrated he pushed away from the window and slumped into a chair. He briefly considered doing something productive as he couldn't sleep, but that idea was quickly pushed aside; he was in no state to complete the pile of reports lying unfinished on his desk. He cast round for something to occupy himself with and growled in annoyance as he found that Merlin was sound asleep. The boy spent weeks looking like death warmed up due to lack of sleep and then the one night Arthur can't sleep either, he magically manages to fall asleep. Arthur had a sneaking suspicion that magic, much to his annoyance, was probably the reason behind it.

He let his mind cast back casually over the last month, as it seemed so keen to do. Arthur closed his eyes and sank back into the chair, letting the memories wash over him. Reaching one memory his eyes snapped open and he sat bolt upright, a smile spreading wickedly across his face. Now he had something to occupy himself with; he was going to spy on Merlin's dreams.

Feeling rather pleased with himself Arthur leant forward on the chair, cradling his goblet between both hands. Now he thought about it properly Arthur realised that when Merlin had released his blocks and told him about his magic he had failed to mention the reason behind his lack of sleep. Well Arthur wasn't going to have that; he was going to find out what it was.

However after settling himself into a more comfortable position on the chair he realised he didn't have a clue how to go about spying on the other boy's dreams. He took another swig from the cup and closed his eyes, concentrating on Merlin's presence in his mind.

At first he was met with nothingness but as he pushed further into Merlin's mind he felt a wave of images wash over him. A triumphant smile spread across his face as he realised he was actually watching Merlin's dreams. However the images were flashing past him so fast that it was hard for him to determine what any of the actually were. He saw flashes of him and Merlin fighting another magical creature, a sword at the bottom of a lake guarded by a dark haired woman who seemed familiar to Arthur though he couldn't place her, Merlin being pushed against a wall by Arthur with their lips crushed together, the pair of them riding out of Camelot, a crown on Arthur's head and a staff in Merlin's hand.

Arthur sat bolt upright, the goblet falling from his limp hand, as he backtracked and realised what he'd just seen. His mind whirled and he lost his concentration, breaking the link. Ignoring the water that was slowly seeping into the rug, Arthur gripped the arms of his chair as his brain tried to catch up.

A large part of his mind was still trying to deny what he'd seen. He'd spent the last month stuck in Merlin's head, surely he would have noticed if Merlin had felt that way. He remembered back to the moment in the forest when he had thought something had flashed between him and Merlin but he had thought he had heard Merlin's silent rejection. Maybe he had misread the thought; maybe Merlin hadn't thought that Arthur would 'return his feelings'. Elation filled him as he started to convince himself of this; for if he could hide his feelings for his manservant from said boy, then why couldn't Merlin have also been hiding his feelings.

Common sense brought Arthur back to reality as he realised he had jumped to this conclusion with only the flash from Merlin's dream to go on. Determined to see more Arthur settled back into his chair, deciding he had better gather more proof before he confronted Merlin. Closing his eyes he easily slipped back into Merlin's dreams once again, following the path in his mind he had taken last time.

This time he knew that he needed to gain more control of the images if he was to see the whole of that scene. His brow furrowed with concentration as he tried to grab hold of the images. However every time he tried to focus on one image it seemed to jump away from him, much like things tend to do in dreams.

A throbbing pain started in the back of Arthur's mind as he attempted time after time to capture an image. He opened his eyes with a growl of annoyance, sinking his head into his hands. The pain in the back of his head seemed to increase and he rubbed his forehead fruitlessly, trying to clear his mind. It felt almost like someone was trying to scream at him inside his head. However Merlin was fast asleep and Morgana was across the other side of the castle, too far away for their link to be substantial.

Unsure of anyone else who would be able to access his mind Arthur pushed the worrying thought away and returned back to the problem in hand. Closing his eyes he leant back in his chair and returned to Merlin's mind. Deciding to try a new tactic Arthur let the images wash over him, waiting for the one he really wanted to see. Soon enough, through the random images Merlin's mind seemed to have produced, Arthur found the one he had been looking for.

Instead of trying to grab it to his attention this time, Arthur let the image grow stronger in his mind, focusing all his concentration on it. Finally the other images faded away and Arthur was left with only one. He hesitated, unsure what he was supposed to do now. However before he had the chance to try anything, he was thrown headfirst into the image as it filled his mind, almost as if he was having the dream not Merlin.

He watched as dream-Arthur pinned dream Merlin against the wall, crashing their lips together. He worried for a moment that this image was a reflection of Merlin's fears of Arthur forcing himself upon him. However the low moan of pleasure that came from the young warlock banished that thought. Dream Merlin's arms snaked around dream Arthur's waist and he pulled the prince closer...

Merlin!

Arthur was jolted out of the image by a bellowing voice echoing through his mind. He sat bolt upright in shock, angry that he hadn't been able to see how Merlin's dream was going to pan out.

Merlin!

The insistent voice came again, louder this time. His manservant's name echoed around his mind and he felt the ache in the back of his head grow. All thoughts of the dream forgotten Arthur tried to find the source of the voice. He cast round his mind, sure that it was in his head and not outside. Something told him that the pain in his head was related to the strange voice.

MERLIN!

Arthur gripped his head in his hands tightly. He felt like his head was about to split in half and he clutched at it, trying to hold it together. The pain, which had started at the back of his head, was now pulsing through his skull.

He didn't know how long he sat there like that but eventually it ebbed away and Arthur found himself able to function again. Massaging his temples he sat up with a groan. He didn't understand who the deep earthy voice belonged to but knew that whoever it was, they weren't pleased with his manservant.

Arthur felt something change in his mind and checked the link to Merlin. His eyes widened as he saw the sudden change. Merlin, who had been sleeping peacefully last time Arthur looked, was tossing and turning fitfully in anguish. More images flashed through Arthur's mind however these had a decisively darker feel to them.

Camelot burning, the great dragon swooping low overhead, people running and screaming, Merlin crying over a limp figure.

Arthur was out of his chair in a shot and halfway down the corridor before he even registered what he was doing. He knew that this was the reason Merlin hadn't been sleeping and he had an overwhelming urge to help him. Arthur swiftly stalked down the corridor towards Merlin's room.

He paused as he turned the corner, realising what a sight he must make. He hadn't thought to change before he went charging through the castle so he was only wearing the under trousers he had gone to bed in. He realised that he was going to have to watch out to make sure that no one saw him like this. It would do for people to see the crown prince wandering around the castle shirtless.

He continued through the winding corridors, ducking round corners and into dark alcoves when he spotted any servants walking past. He didn't understand how they could still be up at this time of night; it was way past midnight which, in Arthur's opinion, was not an hour people should be awake.

He reached Gaius' chambers and hesitated outside the door. The realisation of what he was actually doing hit Arthur at that moment. He paused, wondering whether he should just turn back and return to bed. But the anguish that was pouring through the bond from Merlin pushed him forward. He had never been one to back down so he gently pushed the door open, careful not to let it creak too loud.

Stepping inside Arthur surveyed the familiar room and spotted Gaius asleep on the bed in the corner. Moving slowly he made his way past the many obstacles that seemed to be strewn randomly around the room but Arthur knew that Gaius always had an order to the chaos. He picked his way round the table, careful not to knock anything off.

He made it across the room without incident and hesitated once again outside the door to Merlin's small room. He could hear his manservant's cries of distress through the door and was surprised that Gaius had managed to sleep through it. Throwing a quick glance at his sleeping figure Arthur pushed the door open and entered the room, closing the door behind him.

He surveyed the room and wrinkled his nose in distaste; he couldn't quite believe that he had actually slept in here the day before. It was clear Merlin still hadn't attempted to tidy the mess over his floor and Arthur had to pick his way carefully through the chaos to make sure as not to fall over anything.

Eventually he reached Merlin's side and his gaze landed on the boy in the bed next to him. Merlin was thrashing around, tangled up in his sheets with sweat pouring off him. Arthur could still hear the voice in his head shouting Merlin's name but he was successfully blocking the worst of it out, he realised that it was probably ten times worse for the young warlock.

Arthur hesitated, unsure as to what should be his next move. He knew he had to break Merlin out of the dream that seemed to have him captive, but he wasn't really sure how to go about it. He tried to shake Merlin's shoulder but the boy was writhing around so much that Arthur couldn't get a grip on him.

"Merlin!" He hissed quietly.

He was very aware that Gaius was asleep in the next room and that if he found Arthur in Merlin's chambers dressed as he was it wouldn't bode well for either of them.

"Merlin!" He repeated, louder this time.

However it had as little effect as it had had the first time. Merlin was well and truly stuck in his dream and Arthur bit his lip in worry, surveying the boy below. Despite the situation he had to admit that the other boy was captivating. His pale cheeks were flushed and his sweat-soaked skin seemed to glow in the dim light. Arthur had to fight the uncontrollable urge to softly push Merlin's hair out of his eyes.

Regaining control on his urges Arthur rubbed his forehead in despair trying to decide what to do next. Never one for subtlety Arthur went for blunt force.

MERLIN!

Said boy shot bolt upright as Arthur's words echoed through his head. Eyes wide they darted around the room as he tried to bring his still sleep-fuddled brain to the present. His head was reeling as he tried to process what was going on but he couldn't quite get a grip on reality.

Firm hands grasped his shoulders and he let out a gasp of shock. His eyes darted to the figure next to him and they landed on a face full of worry. It took him a moment to realise that the person was Arthur. A small part of his brain was fumbling round for a reason as to why he was there while another part was just celebrating the fact that he was and was looking so concerned.

However the main part of his mind was still in the dream. It had seemed so real that part of him believed that what he was seeing at the moment was actually the dream, for why else would Arthur be in his room wearing practically nothing if it wasn't a dream.

"The dragon...I can't do it...I can't set him free." Merlin babbled.

Arthur frowned as he tried to make sense of Merlin's ramblings. He realised that the voice that had been screaming in his head must have been the dragon under the castle. But why was Merlin talking about setting him free, surely he couldn't be that stupid?

"Not stupid...I promised...needed his help to save you." Merlin mumbled, his eyelids drooping.

Arthur saw he was about to fall back asleep and he shook the slender boy gently.

"Merlin? What do you mean you promised?" He asked softly.

"Needed spell...promised him...but I can't, I can't."

Arthur could feel Merlin shaking beneath his hands and fought the urge to pull the fragile boy into his arms.

"I saw it...saw what he'll do...crystal...kill them..." Merlin trailed off.

His eyes bored into Arthur's and he seemed to be trying to make the prince understand something but Arthur didn't really have a clue what he was trying to say. Fortunately the message coming through the link was much clearer. Arthur saw Merlin talking to the dragon, making a promise to free him in exchange for the way to defeat Sigan. He saw the two of them camping after defeating the druids. Saw Merlin succumb to temptation and look into the crystal. Images flashed across his mind and he knew this was what Merlin had seen.

He glanced back at Merlin, his eyes wide in shock. It had been over three months since they had gotten back from retrieving the crystal and Arthur couldn't believe that Merlin had been carrying this alone all that time.

Had to...couldn't let you know. Needed to protect you.

Merlin's disjointed thoughts floated through the link and into Arthur's mind. Arthur didn't understand half of Merlin's babbling but he understood that the other boy seemed to feel the need to carry everything on his shoulders. He sighed at Merlin's stubbornness, that boy was impossible sometimes.

"Merlin I don't need you to protect me, I am perfectly capable of looking after myself you know." He replied.

Arthur raised his eyebrows as Merlin scoffed at his comment.

It's for your own good...had to deal with it myself.

"Merlin you are an idiot, you don't have to deal with everything on your own." Arthur scolded.

Merlin eyes widened more at the use of the fond insult. Part of him had still believed that this was a dream but it was such an Arthur-like comment that Merlin was having trouble believing that still. Without breaking their eye contact he hesitantly reached one hand up to touch Arthur's face. His fingertips contacted with the soft skin and he let out a gasp of surprise. He was now faced with the incontestable fact that this wasn't a dream, or it was the most realistic dream he had ever had.

A small frown creased Arthur's face as he watched Merlin's strange actions however he didn't do anything to stop the other boy. He felt Merlin's fingers brush his cheek and shivered at the contact. It was taking all of his restraint not to jump the other boy but he knew that Merlin was still half asleep and Arthur didn't like the thought of taking advantage of him.

"It is you." Merlin whispered softly, "You are really here."

The innocent delight in Merlin's voice sent shivers down Arthur's spine and he felt his self control snap. Ignoring reason and the consequences Arthur let his heart rule his head and lent forward, brushing his lips against Merlin's. He felt the other boy freeze and pulled back with a sad sigh.

Merlin blinked up at Arthur in shock, not really being able to believe that this had just happened. He felt the urge to pinch himself to make sure that he definitely wasn't dreaming. He was frozen in amazement and he saw Arthur sigh resignedly and pull back. Not wanting Arthur to leave Merlin grabbed the closest part of the prince he could reach, which happened to be the top of his trousers, preventing him from leaving. Surprise filled Arthur's eyes but he remained still, waiting for Merlin to make the next move.

The young warlock shook his head slightly, trying to clear the fogginess that still remained having just woken up. Whilst he was doing this he moved the hand on Arthur cheek to trace his fingertips along the prince's lips. He smiled as he heard Arthur gasp softly at his touch. He watched Arthur for a moment before replacing his fingers with his lips.

Arthur felt his heart leap as Merlin returned the kiss this time. However before he could deepen the kiss a piercing pain shot through his head. He pulled back with a cry and grabbed his head with his hands. He vaguely registered that Merlin also seemed to be gripping his head before the pain redoubled and he let out a groan of agony.

Merlin half noticed that the room seemed to be shaking but the pain cursing through his head blocked out any other thoughts. Bright lights flashed around the room and a small corner of Merlin brain told him that it was the same red, purple and gold that had been present when the magic had escaped Arthur, however the rest of his mind was thrumming in agony and didn't really care. He truly felt as if his head was going to burst and he squeezed his eyes shut to block out the dazzling light, pulling his knees up to his chest and rocking back and forth.


Morgana sat bolt upright, a scream falling from her lips. A searing pain shot around her skull and she let out a small sob as she cradled her head in her hands. At the edge of her consciousness she noticed Gwen hurry to her side but her focus was on the stabbing pain shooting through her head. She felt wetness on her cheeks and realised that tears were pouring down her face but she couldn't move her hands to wipe them away.

As suddenly as the pain had arrived it disappeared leaving a stunned Morgana behind. She gasped, inhaling deep lungfuls of air desperately. She noticed the soothing hand rubbing circles on her back and she looked up into Gwen's anxious face. Glancing round her room she realised she was safe and sighed in relief.

"Are you alright My Lady?" Gwen asked, her voice full of worry.

Morgana closed her eyes and calmed her raging mind. Once she had got her thoughts under control she realised that her mind felt strangely empty. A smile spread across her face, much to Gwen's confusion, as she realised that the boys must have finally gotten their act together.

"I'm much better now Gwen. Everything's going to be just fine." She replied smiling warmly.


Both boys relaxed as the pain ebbed away. They stayed frozen for a moment, fearful that the pain would return. However once it was clear that it was over Arthur slowly opened his eyes and glanced at Merlin. The younger boy still had his knees drawn up to his chest and was tentatively lifting his head out of his hands. Arthur smiled at how cute Merlin looked when he was vulnerable.

Blinking rapidly Merlin unfolded from his curled up position. His vision cleared and he was slightly startled to see that Arthur was so close in front of him. His breath hitched as he took in the magnificent sight the prince made. He quickly clamped down on his thoughts, not wanting Arthur to hear and tease him. However the moment he did this he realised his mind seemed rather quiet and empty for the first time in weeks. Frowning deeply he looked up at Arthur, who didn't seem to have noticed anything.

Arthur? He asked but received no reply. Can you hear me?

Merlin's frown deepened as there was no response from Arthur. He searched in his mind for where the comforting presence had resided for the last month and found that he was left with only his own thoughts.

"It's gone." He stated simply, a hint of sadness in his voice.

Arthur's brow crinkled as he tried to process what Merlin was talking about but drew a blank. He didn't think that they had been talking about anything that would make Merlin's words make sense. In fact as he remembered talking wasn't at the forefront of his mind before the pain hit.

What are you talking about? He asked bemused.

His confusion deepened as he realised that there was no reply from Merlin, it was as if the other boy hadn't even heard him. Arthur pressed on the link to see why Merlin wasn't listening to him and paused in shock as what Merlin had said finally made sense, the link had gone.

"How?" He asked quietly.

"Well I presume it's probably the fact that we finally told each other everything." Merlin replied, smiling endearingly.

Arthur smirked and moved to sit on the bed in front of Merlin. They could sort out what had happened with the link later but it was clear it was gone for good. For now Arthur had a much more interesting past time in mind.

Merlin marvelled at the handsome man in front of him. He couldn't quite believe his luck that the prince returned his feelings but there was still a seed of doubt in his mind. As Arthur moved closer Merlin felt the need to confirm that this was actually happening.

"You're sure...cos I don't want you to feel you have to...I mean I'm not exactly..."

Arthur pressed his lips to Merlin's, cutting off his manservant's ramblings. Merlin sighed in delight as his dreams finally became reality and he let himself fall into Arthur's kiss. Arthur pulled back slightly and gazed into the young warlock's eyes.

"Idiot." He muttered fondly, planting another kiss on his lips, "My idiot."

Tired of the lack of contact Merlin pulled Arthur back towards him, crashing their lips together.