Disclaimer: The below characters to not belong to me. They are all properties of the BBC
Well - here it is. The last chapter/epilogue. Thank you so much to everyone who had reviewed, subscribed and/or favourited. You guys seriously rock! :P And you never fail to make my day. This chapter is therefore dedicated to you all - especially to my regular reviewers (you know who you are. :P)
Lastly - I hope you all like how I decided to end this. The voting was rather close with the whole A/M slash issue and I think I calculated correctly, so please enjoy that (and if not - feel free to go back and read my fic Learning. You may find it more enjoyable if you disagree with how I ended this.) But really, just enjoy all of it, just as I have enjoyed writing it. :)
A week later Uther, King of Camelot stood over the now carefully cleaned gravestone. His eyes misted over as he placed a small wreath of flowers on it. Then closing his eyes, he whispered a small prayer to his physician, his adviser and most importantly: his friend.
"I will miss you, Gaius," he murmured somewhat mournfully. Then, as he stepped back to re-read the inscription on the stone, the wind howled around him. And he could have sworn that whispered words sounded in his ears.
"I know, Sire. I know."
Then the wind stopped howling through the trees and all was still once more. Still and contented.
And Uther smiled slightly.
* * *
Merlin watched Arthur rather intently as the Prince ate his dinner that night. Sighing, the latter dropped the spoon and looked up at his servant with an accusing look.
"Merlin, what are you doing?"
"Sire?" Merlin put on, as Arthur liked to call it, his 'innocent' tone.
"Merlin. You've been staring at me so much, I've gone way past the point of thinking there is something on my face. What is it? Have a grown an extra head or something?" He was almost daring Merlin to agree.
"No, my lord. It's... nothing."
Arthur pointed a finger at him. "You know I can tell when you're lying."
Merlin simply raised an eyebrow, a skill he surely must have learnt from Gaius.
"Ok, perhaps not," Arthur admitted.
"I was just thinking, that's all."
"Thinking? Who ever knew you were capable of such things," Arthur said mockingly, leaning back in his chair. When Merlin didn't reply, Arthur frowned and sat up again, his eyes softening. "Merlin...?"
"I guess, I just couldn't really believe that you cared that much for me the other week. Obviously got it wrong. Should have known it wouldn't have lasted," Merlin turned away, having clearly referred to Arthur's previous taunting. It was then that the Prince realised he had hurt him. Of course he cared. He cared more than anything; more than Merlin himself could imagine.
"Merlin," Arthur stood and crossed the room to the window where his servant stood. "I do care," he firmly told him and gently placed his hands on Merlin's shoulders, turning him to face his Prince. "Look at me, Merlin."
Merlin turned his face upwards, blue eyes meeting blue.
"I'm sorry if I made you think otherwise. But I care for you, Merlin. I worry about you when something happens or if you're late. I don't know what I'd do without you and it always pains me to see you upset," Arthur said. "Don't you ever think otherwise, ok."
Merlin nodded and swallowed. This coming from Arthur was almost unbelievable. If it hadn't been for the Prince's steady hands on his shoulders he probably would have thought he imagined it all.
"Thank you," and Merlin ducked his head only to have it brought up again by Arthur's cool finger's under his chin.
"No, Merlin," and the servant frowned slightly. "Thank you." With that Arthur bent his neck to press a kiss against the smooth skin of Merlin's forehead, before embracing him in a hug again.
"Arthur?" they both simultaneously pulled back, Arthur with a quizzical look on his face. "Did you just show... affection?"
The Prince blushed, before swallowing nervously. "No," he said. "That wasn't really affection."
"No," Arthur breathed, frightfully aware of how close they were. "This is," he leant forward to capture Merlin's lips with his, deepening the kiss as the other leaned into him, looping his arms around his neck.
After what seemed an age, they broke apart breathless.
"That was..." Merlin whispered.
"Unexpected?" Arthur cut in, eyes wide and clearly not wanting Merlin to think that. "Wrong? Because I'll never-"
"Arthur," Merlin interrupted. "It was nice," and he smiled.
Merlin nodded and then leant forward again, into Arthur.
* * *
Far below in the courtyard beneath Arthur's room, Morgana and Gwen walked arm in arm. The former stopped suddenly as she looked up and saw the silhouette of Arthur and Merlin embracing in the window.
"My lady?" Gwen questioned.
Morgana grinned wickedly and quickly gestured to the window.
"Oh, I see," Gwen giggled into her hands.
"So can the whole courtyard," Morgana pointed out, with a quick glance around. "I'll have to mention that to Arthur."
Gwen nodded, a smile plastered on her face. "It's about time, though."
"Most definitely," Morgana agreed and the two of them shared a look before continuing along, pretending they hadn't seen a thing.
* * *
Rose sat back in the jump seat, watching as the Doctor raced around the TARDIS console.
"You know, I'm starting to see a pattern here," she told him.
"What's that, Rose?"
"All this stone stuff. First Petrifold Regression on New Earth, then all the stone statue stuff in Ancient Rome."
"I did do a great job with that statue of you."
"Mum still has the postcard," Rose grinned at him, tongue poking out between her teeth. "But first them and now this with the Weeping Angels."
"That is a lot of stone," the Doctor admitted, pausing in his mad dash around the room.
"You don't think it's all connected?"
The Doctor frowned as though considering it, then broke out into a smile again. "Nah, can't be."
Rose nodded, suddenly thoughtful again. "Ok then. So what happened to Camelot after we left?"
"You know the myth, Rose."
"Seriously though? Arthur and Gwen?"
The Doctor nodded. "But he barely even looked at her!" Rose exclaimed. "And what about the chemistry between Arthur and Merlin. I can't have been imagining that."
"Just because he married Guinevere doesn't mean-"
"And she did end up running off with Lancelot," Rose suddenly added in, catching on and breaking into a smile again.
"Exactly," the Doctor commented with a return smile.
"But you never see or hear about any of this in my time!"
"Myth's change, remember," the Doctor pointed out again, joining her on the jump seat.
"Besides, I don't think many people would believe it."
Rose laughed, "Merlin, the old wizard complete with beard and the young King Arthur. Nah, I'm not seeing that."
"Probably for the best. Anyway, we know the real story behind the legend now."
"That we do," Rose nodded. "And thank you, Doctor."
The Time Lord smile broadly. "You're most welcome, Dame Rose," he bowed his head.
"Stop that!" Rose laughed, teasingly. "Tell me where we're off to next?"
"I was thinking the making of Stonehenge. Just keeping it with the stone theme," he grinned as Rose hit him playfully.
"Doctor!" she mock-whinged.
"I've already set it to random," the Doctor replied throwing an arm around her shoulders.
"Always moving on," answered Rose.
The two of them shared a grin, simply happy in each other's company. Thoughts of Arthur and Merlin and Camelot were suddenly far from Rose's mind as they prepared for their next adventure. The thoughts of the Vorkey's warnings, however, remained fresh as ever in the Doctor's head. And just like Arthur and Merlin, he wondered how much longer he and Rose would have together.
- THE END -
A/N Additional - Ok, so I went for the happy, yet foreboding ending there with the Arthur and Merlin slash. :P I'd love to hear everyone's opinion on this - especially those who have just subscribed or favourited but never reviewed. I always love to hear what people think, even if it's constructive criticism. :) Thank you very muchly!