Arthur had found out about the magic. God, he didn't even yell. He'd just looked at Merlin with so much hurt and rage in his eyes and told him that he was dismissed. Merlin wasn't to come to work the next day, or any day after that. Arthur had said that he didn't want to ever see Merlin again and if Merlin wasn't gone from Camelot by the morning, Arthur would have no choice but to hand him over to Uther.
And Merlin had run. He'd just turned and run from Arthur's chambers as fast as he could. Gaius was out delivering medicine and Merlin had just grabbed his magic book and run. Through the castle, into the courtyard, right out of Camelot and into the forest. He didn't even see where he was running, his vision blurred so many tears. He just ran and sobbed, tripping over roots and moldy logs. Just running and running, as the shame and anger and sadness chased on after him like so many bloodthirsty hounds.
And he ran right into the box. A big blue box that seemed to fall right out of the sky. Flat on his back, Merlin looked up to see a door in the box open and a man step out. The clothes he wore were so strange; shoes like Merlin had never seen and a long jacket that fell past his knees.
"Well hello there. What are you doing down there? Up you go," the man said, grabbing Merlin's hand and pulling him up. "So let's see, where am I?," the man wondered out loud, before grabbing a pinch of dirt and putting it in his mouth. "No! No, you're joking! HAHA! Oh, I love you so much," he cried, patting the blue box.
"OH! Yes, you're still here aren't you," the man said to Merlin, "Well what's your name then?"
"Oh, that is brilliant. Have you met Arthur yet? Well you seem a bit young. Maybe you haven't gotten there yet," the man rambled on, not noticing the pained expression on Merlin's face. "Oh, by the way, I'm the Doctor."
After all the explanations, seeing the inside of the blue box-the TARDIS-, after all the Doctor's ramblings, Merlin had ended up inside the Great Hall, two weeks in the future, a concealment spell keeping both him and the Doctor hidden.
"I have to find him, Father. I'm the reason he ran off. Anything could have happened to him out there. I must keep looking."
"Arthur, you have carried on with this nonsense long enough. He is just a servant. I will not have you wasting Camelot's resources on some fool's errand. The boy is gone."
"Then I will go alone."
Merlin turned to the Doctor, his eyes brimming with tears. There was pain written on the Doctor's face and Merlin just knew that he'd lost someone too.
"Take me back to him. Please."
"I couldn't get you back at exactly the same time. You've been gone a week. The old girl isn't as good as she used to be," the Doctor said, opening the TARDIS doors.
It's OK," Merlin said, "Just…thank you so much." And then he was running. He didn't know where he was so he whispered a familiar spell and a glowing orb appeared to lead him. And he ran.
All the way back to Camelot and when he burst through the chamber doors, Merlin barely had time to register Arthur sitting by the fire before Arthur was throwing his arms around him, whispering that he was sorry and that he had been so scared and that he hoped that Merlin didn't hate him, and Merlin just laughed in between his sobs and kissed him.
From the door to the bed, they desperately tried to remove their clothes without having to break their kisses for too long. Then they were naked and neither one could be bothered to go further than frantically rutting against the other. Merlin could taste tears in their kisses and he didn't know if they were his or Arthur's. He just kept kissing back, holding on to Arthur as tight as he could and grinding against him. He wouldn't last long and he could tell Arthur wouldn't either but he didn't care because Arthur still wanted him and he'd looked for him and he didn't care if Merlin had magic because he loved him anyway, and Merlin knew that they would be alright.