Dawn rose over the Kingdom of Camelot to streets washed clean with rain. The cloudburst had begun nearly a week before; a summer downpour that did not end. Thirsty crops burst into life when the first drops fell and children ran into the warm shower and came home hours later and soaked to the very bone.
In his chambers near the Crown Prince's suite, the Prince's Advisor cracked open an eyelid and smiled lazily at the sheet of water running down his windows. Arthur was away and it would be good day to lie in bed. If only such things were possible.
He was lying on his stomach in the large soft bed, wondering not for the first time how he had gained so many wondrous things in the last year.
He felt a light brush against his back and two hands slide themselves around his waist. A head rested on his shoulder blade briefly before he felt light kisses down his spine.
"I've been waiting for you to wake up," said a teasing voice and he smiled again, more widely this time.
"I'm too lazy to move," he mumbled into his pillow.
She didn't say anything, just slid her hands up to his chest, rested her head back on his shoulder and gave a small sigh.
His eyes fluttered shut again and he laid there for a glorious moment; just enjoying the soft bed, the calming chatter of the rain, and the feel of Morgana's arms around him.
"Malcolm's going to come flying through that door any minute now, isn't he?" he muttered.
"Ah um," confirmed Morgana.
"Ergh," he rolled over, lifting the raven-haired woman up slightly and depositing her head on his chest instead. His arms twined round her waist. He looked up at the wall of bookcases that lined his main room.
Even after all this time, it still felt strange to have his own chambers. He had been crammed into such small spaces his entire life. To suddenly have the use of three rooms was an unusual feeling - as though he'd accidentally stepped into someone else's life and no one had yet asked him to leave.
Having a personal servant was also part of his role as advisor, although on mornings like this Merlin could have done very well with not having one bursting through his door with this breakfast.
"I'd better get up then, I suppose," he said, resignedly. He closed his eyes again, his face burrowing into her hair.
"I have to get up right now," he whispered, sleepily.
"This minute," she agreed.
"Any second now," he said.
"Do you have much to do today?"
He smiled wryly.
"Yes, surprisingly. Arthur left me a list of things to do a mile long. Gauis needs help with some preparations for his patients and I have to get round to see my patients as well. Oh, and Gaius has started leaping out at me and asking random questions about anatomy. If I don't answer them correctly, he hits me over the head. So I need to do some study."
He laughed softly and she smiled at him; one of her rare bright smiles. He put his hand to her face and caressed her cheek, before leaning in and kissing her gently. One hand picked up the single black curl that dangled above her white satin nightgown and rolled it around his finger.
"You have the most beautiful hair," he whispered and then kissed her again.
"My Lord, I have your... oh, sorry My Lord."
It was Malcolm, the small blonde boy now a year older but still as tiny as ever. He'd raced into the room with Merlin's breakfast without knocking and was now standing awkwardly with the tray in the centre of the room.
"My... My Lord..." he stuttered.
"It's alright, Malcolm, just put the tray on the table and then see to my bath."
"Yes My Lord... um..."
"No, Malcom, the Lady Morgana will be returning to her own quarters to bathe and dress."
"Very well, My Lord."
"And Malcolm, I'm not a Lord."
"Of course, My Lord. Sorry, My Lord."
Malcolm thumped his breakfast down on the table with a crash and then ran out of the room, tripping over his own feet as he did so but righting himself at the last minute so he didn't fall.
Morgana put her head on Merlin's shoulder to stop herself laughing.
"Oh, that boy's a walking disaster area," she said and then teasingly added, "he reminds me of someone I know."
"I'll show you a walking disaster area," grinned Merlin and he rolled her over and dug his fingers into her ribs; her most ticklish spot.
"Oh no, Merlin, don't. Don't. Ah! Stop!" She couldn't help herself shrieking and wondered with some embarrassment what Malcolm in the other room thought they were doing.
"Stop? Alright, I'll stop. When you repeat after me: 'Merlin is not a walking disaster area. Merlin is a God'."
"Merlin, hahahaha, oh, Merlin is a total walking disaster area and it's a constant surprise when he stays on his feet."
"What? Oh, I'll get you for that."
And he dug his fingers in deeper, causing her to shriek louder until Malcolm finally had the courage to come and tell him that his bath was ready.
There was, he thought later with a smile, no better start to any day.