A/N: Ok guys first off OMG, I'VE UPLOADED FIFTY STORIES ONTO . ISN'T THAT AWESOME! THIS IS NUMBER 50! EVERYONE CELEBRATE! lol. and now, I'm sick of this. I honestly miss writing, so I'm going to get back to it, for myself most of all. I just…. I miss it so much, and I've been neglecting it. Here's something I began a while ago. I hope it's ok.

Disclaimer: I own nothing related to Merlin BBC.

How To Care

Arthur has never been one to care for the lovers he has taken to his bed.

He's a prince, and he's so use to having people practically fall at his feet with nothing more than an upraised eyebrow and slightly upturned lips. All he ever has to do is crock his finger and whatever lady he desires is scurrying off to his bedchambers or to her own and really, why is there ever any need to bring emotions into such affairs as these?

And anyways, he's never been any good with feelings, not really. Who can blame him, with a father who lives for vengeance more than anything, and who loves his son dearly, yes, but isn't very good at showing it because he's king before anything else and Arthur will always be Crown Prince of Camelot long before he is just Arthur Pendragon, obvious prat of a man and Uther's son.

Arthur has had nanny's and tutor's and instructors, and he's been trained by the very best knights since he could stand on his own on how to block an attack and how to kill someone with one well aimed blow. He's been given lessons in Latin and French and in a few other languages that really have no meaning to him at all, and he's been taught to read and write. He's even been taught how to clean up after himself, even if he does have servants to do that for him (such as Merlin, who is useless at his job, but Arthur keeps him around anyways because…. Well… it's complicated, and Arthur is the prince, so he doesn't have to go around explaining himself to anyone…. Aside from his father, and his father usually refrains from asking unless Merlin screws up somehow, which is often, but…. Arthur will just keep his reasoning to himself, thank you very much) because really, sometimes it's just easier to pick up your own clothing. And he's been taught how to talk to his court and hold their attention and make it seem like he has their best interest in mind (and dammit, he does. It isn't an act. He may be selfish and inconsiderate and arrogant but he does care about his people and he'll fight for them. He'll bloody die for them, so when he speaks to them and it seems like he cares, he isn't putting on some fucking charade) and he's been taught how to dance and how to walk and how to stand like a prince must, with his back straight and his head held high.

But never has Arthur been taught how to care. After all, it's not really something that someone goes to lessons for, and everything else that Arthur has learned, that is exactly how he has learned it. It's no wonder that he's so emotionally stupid. (Oh, you didn't hear that from me though)

So when he fucks courtesies and princesses and whatever other maiden might catch his eye, he never does so because he cares for them. He does so because he is attracted to them, or because he wants something from them, or perhaps because they want something from him and sex is what he is taking in exchange (because really, they may think that they are seducing him, and that everything they gain is because they are so clever, but Arthur would never give them such power over himself. He knows what they are up to, and he takes control of the situation, even if they believe otherwise). It is just the way things work in this world that he's been brought up in. Feelings don't get involved. Feelings just don't seem to matter. Arthur doesn't feel anything for any of the women that he has bedded, other than lust at the best of times, and maybe curiosity and a mild sense of fascination now and again.

But…. of course it's different with Merlin. It's always different with Merlin, and Arthur still hasn't figured out what is so special about this manservant of his, this clumsy, chaotic, nuisance of a man, that has Arthur thinking of him all the time. Hell, Arthur even dreams of him (not like that, dammit. Or maybe…. exactly like that. But it's not the kind of thing Arthur is going to run around sharing with people, especially with the person that he's actually dreaming about, because…. Dear Lord, the amount of power that would give Merlin would be quite dangerous) and for the life of him, Arthur cannot figure out why.

Feelings are not something that he understands. They are not something that he has been taught to comprehend and analyze and to study. He just…. he doesn't know how to deal with them.

Arthur honestly doesn't know how to care.

But Merlin will smile at him, or yell at him and call him a prat, with no fear or regret. Merlin will joke with him, and do a terrible job at getting his chores done, but still manage to make Arthur smile and laugh like he hasn't been able to in years. Merlin will stand up for what he believes is right and strive to protect those he cares for, and he'll sacrifice himself for Arthur (which terrifies Arthur, because no, Arthur doesn't want to lose this foolish boy) and he'll fight Arthur and keep secrets from him at the same time that he reveals every single truth.

And really, as Merlin stands there, and Arthur realizes just how much he wants this boy with him, always by him, he thinks that he might just be beginning to learn how to care.

All because if Merlin.

A/N: So how was that? Did I do an ok job at capturing Arthur's confusion and desperation and just a hint of panic, as well as how he felt for Merlin? Let me know please :D

Next thing I work on, for anyone following my HP fanfiction, is J.A.M, T.M. then a oneshot or two for those pups :D

Now please tell me how I did on this. Not sure if I did too well editing it, lol.

and I think this story may call for a sequeal, so let me know if you'd like one.