A/N: Well here's the sequel to Discovering the Truth. I'm pretty disappointed in it, really. Just… ugh. I guess it's up to you all to decide whether you like it or not.
Disclaimer: I own nothing related to Merlin or BBC. Pity really.
Dedications: Can I just say to everyone and run away? No? *sigh* Alright. To three people then since I really can't chose: to Merthur, for encouraging me to write more Merthur fics, and to the Archangel Network and apatexatropox for loving me more now that I do :D lol.
Warning: Arthur's still in denial, lol. It's really, very obvious.
I Already Know
Whenever Merlin gets nervous, it shows.
He's really not good at hiding things, no matter how clever he sometimes thinks that he is, and his body language speaks volumes as to how he's feeling.
He starts twitching for some reason, not much, but enough at the elbows and knees and the smooth hollow where his shoulders meet his neck that I begin to fear for my manservant's health and physical well being, not because I care for him or anything but just because getting a new manservant now would be so bothersome, and I've done such a good job at keeping Merlin's secret a secret. He can't just die due to clumsiness or something stupid like that when he has magic and no one even knows about it. He's so much more uncoordinated than he generally is though, and Merlin is rather clumsy on a regular basis, so him being clumsy while nervous is really dangerous. I find myself wincing often as I imagine the number of bruises Merlin has most likely acquired during one of his anxiety attacks, or whatever the lanky boy would choose to call them. After all, his skin is rather pale and delicate looking, not that I've been looking at it overly much to actually notice such things.
Also, he can't seem to be able to meet anyone's eye when he's nervous, which is rather annoying, really, because Merlin's eyes are such a lovely shade of blue, so I've been told, so deep and dark and what not, and it's a pity that I…. I mean… everyone… of course…. does not get the pleasure of looking into them. And anyways, it's only polite to look at someone while they're talking to you, especially when that someone is a prince and your master. It shows that you're actually paying attention. Really, I'm not mourning the loss of a clear view of his eyes or whatever. I'm just bloody sick of him gazing down at his boots or over my shoulder as if something could possibly be more interesting than I am.
He seems sort of skittish too, flinching at the quietest sound, and jumping at the lightest touch. I can't even speak his name anymore without him flinching as if I'm about to hurt or damage him in some way, and each time I come close enough to him to place a hand on his back or to fling an arm around his shoulder he's jumping about a foot into the air like some scared damsel in distress. It's amusing to watch, really, except for the fact that I can hardly touch him at all without fear of causing him an early death due to a heart attack of some sort, and… it's not as if I'd want to touch him or anything, not really, it's just… oh, I just don't bloody know.
This had been going on for over a week now, and each sign of his nerves have been getting worse and worse to the point that even I have to admit that he's adorably frazzled with his hair standing on end and his ridiculously large ears constantly turning pink… I will deny ever having thought any of these things about him though. I really have no idea what can have the boy at such loose ends.
It's at the feast that Father decides must be held tonight due to another magical creature being slain that my patience finally snaps though, after Merlin spills warm wine into my lap for the third time in less than an hours' time. It's a wonder that he could have even held the wine pitcher at all, his hands have been shaking so badly.
I growl, pushing away from the table and making my excuses to my father and his guests, knowing that the man thinks (hopes really) that I am off to punish my manservant now, before I beckon Merlin to follow me.
He does so quickly, tripping over his feet as he tries to keep up with my long strides as we make our way to my chambers.
Once inside I close the door and turn to face the dark hair boy, leveling him with a hard look. "Ok Merlin, I've had enough of this bloody nonsense, really. It's been almost two weeks now, and I know that you have something you want to say to me, so will you just bloody say it so that you can go back to being the useless servant that you were? At least than you weren't driving me half as mad!"
Merlin stares at me with wide eyes. "I… I…"
"Oh, don't bother denying it," I tell him, pacing up and down the length of my room now. "I can tell when you're nervous. God, you're just so obvious, it's disgusting. Really, I don't know how you survive at all, since you can't hide a thing. Will you just tell me whatever it is that's been eating at you? I really want you to go back to the way you were."
"So you miss me as I was? You like me just as I am, don't you," Merlin asks, a teasing smiling curving on his lips.
I whirl around to face the lanky boy, pointing a stern finger at him. "You should show me some respect. You're not allowed to talk to me like that."
Merlin's grin widens though. "But you said you wanted me to go back to how I was, and we both know that I've never talked to you as I should, sire."
I shake my head slightly, exasperated with this boy… man, but I can't quite stop my lips from curving just a little. "Why have you been so nervous," I counter.
"I wanted…. there's something you should know, is all." he tells me, and just like that the twitching seems to have come back, and he avoids looking me in the eye.
I walk up to him and place a firm hand on his chin. "Merlin…." I say, and there's both a warning and a plea in my tone.
Merlin takes a deep breath, and I watch as he seems to relax after doing so. "I have magic," he whispers, voice firm, holding its own power as he says the word magic. "I'm a sorcerer," he says, and I can see fear in his eyes.
I cock my head slightly to the side. "Ok…. and?" It takes a moment for me to remember that though I know of his magic, he does not know that I know. Oh well. I'll just have some fun messing with my manservant than.
Merlin gapes at me as if I'm an idiot. "What do you mean 'And?' I just told you that I'm a sorcerer Arthur! It's…. it's illegal."
"Yes, I am aware of this, Merlin." I tell my manservant, fighting to keep a straight face. It's so fun to tease and confuse him.
"Well, aren't you going to send me to your father to have me executed," Merlin asks, his voice trembling now.
I feel dread wash through me. Oh Merlin. You had thought that… No… never. By the gods, I want to shake him for even housing such a thought in that silly head of his. Instead though, I chose to reassure him.
"Merlin," I say, my voice going from teasing to gentle in an instant, and I reach out to touch his shoulder. "Would you have told me your secret if you thought I'd do that?"
The dark headed boy sighs. "No."
"Anyways," I say. "I didn't do it almost a year ago, so why would I suddenly do it now?"
And ok, I had thought that Merlin was shocked before….
"What," he asks, voice sharp with confusion.
I grin a bit smugly. "I've known that for ages now."
"But…. how? I've been…. I don't understand… oh bugger, I hate you," Merlin mutters darkly, and I'm pretty sure he adds the word "prat" somewhere along the end of that.
"Oh, no you don't," I say cheerfully. "Why did you suddenly decide to tell me though?"
Merlin blushes softly, the color rising up nicely from his neck and spreading out throughout his cheeks, and it seems to take a whole decade before he finally looks up so that our eyes make contact. But when they do, I almost wish he'd look away, because there's something in his gaze... something that's almost too much, more than I deserve, but he speaks before I can figure out what it is, and then I know. "Because you love me, and so I know that my secret will be safe with you."
The world seems to go out of focus for a moment, everything suddenly going either too fast or too slow, and I can feel the blood draining out of my face as I finally force myself to speak. "W… what? I… Merlin… I don't… I don't…"
"I know that you do," Merlin says, without a hint of doubt, and smiles softly as he comes forward to kiss me.
And ok, so maybe I really should stop denying it now.
I know his secret, and he knows mine. There's nothing more between us anymore.
Except… maybe there's a lot between us, I realize, as Merlin continues to kiss me clumsily and I can't seem to get him close enough, no matter how tightly I hold him. It must be his bloody clothes.
I'll just have to do something about them then.
A/N: Well it's done and I still don't like it :( Blah. Will you all review and let me know whether or not you thought it was ok? Please and thank you :D