Disclaimer: I do not own Merlin or any other related characters etc I make no profit and no copyright infringement is intended.
A/N: I wrote this in a diary a long time ago and have finally typed it up! It is AU and it does contain slash. Arthur is the son of a gangland monarch, and Merlin, one of his underlings, tries to keep him safe as he is on the run. Arthur doesn't seem to have the same ideas though…
Merlin looked around nervously as the slight breeze drifting off the marina made the leaves and bushes rustle together, making him jitter and pull on the hood strings of his black jumper; a habit he had been trying to break himself of since he acquired his new area of work.
"Stop it!" He heard someone hiss playfully as a heavy hand landed on his shoulder and whipped him around, making him jump even as the brightly lit eyes crinkled at the corners in amusement, "I leave you alone for a few days and you fall to pieces. Honestly."
"Arthur?" Merlin lowered his hands from their defensive position and gave a sigh of relief, exhaling slowly to calm his nerves before looking about almost as frantically as before and pushing Arthur back towards the bushes with a harsh whisper, "what are you doing here? I thought I was meeting Owen? If anyone sees you here you're as good as dead!"
"No, I'm not," Arthur's grin was still playing about his face as his eyes gleamed in the darkness, "I've taken care of it. But you would go and pick a spot right underneath a streetlamp in one of the biggest Marina's in this place for an illicit meeting, wouldn't you?"
"I thought I was meeting Owen," the brunette spat out in a huff, still looking around to make sure they hadn't been spotted as his hands found their way into the front pocket of his hoodie, "you know I don't trust him."
"I do know that," Arthur was still ridiculously optimistic for someone facing murder and other gang related charges in Merlin's opinion, "that's how I knew you'd meet me. Time?"
"Twenty past eleven," Merlin paused for a second and brought his hands up to Arthurs temples, puling gently on the skin there to examine his pupils, "Are you drunk Arthur? High?"
"Don't be stupid," Arthur gently grabbed hold of Merlin's wrists and pulled his hands away, dropping them and then making to moves forwards, checking for a sign of life that he apparently didn't find as he pushed Merlin back near the light again, "I know its hard for you, but try for me. We're running out of time."
"Time? Arthur, what are you talk–" he found his words cut off as Arthur's mouth crashed against his and his hands pushed him back against the fence that separated the general public from the marina.
"I just wanted to say thanks," Arthur smiled at him as he pulled back breathlessly from their kiss and looked up at the light above them, letting one of his hands move from Merlin's hip and rest on his cheek a moment, "so, thank you. Merlin."
"Arthur… what the…? You have to leave, you're going to get caught," Merlin turned to look around again and then looked searchingly back at Arthur, "they'll kill you."
"I told you I'd fixed it," Arthur smiled again as he stroked a thumb over Merlin's jaw, "don't panic. You'll be fine."
"I'm not worried about me, I'm worried about you, Arthur!" Merlin looked around frantically again, spotting a man on the marina from over his shoulder that seemed to pose no threat, "how could you fix this?"
A siren sounded from down the street and Merlin swore under his breath, struggling between Arthurs hands that were trapping him against the fence, "you are the wanted son of a notorious gangster with several charges placed upon your head at the moment, including murder. Arthur look at me, you have to leave, think, please!"
Arthur silenced Merlin with his lips once again and the brunette found himself stilling under the touch.
"I bloody love you," Arthur seemed to laugh as he caught his breath, still smiling up at Merlin with eyes positively gleaming with a mixture of arrogance, happiness, pride and humour at the look of pure shock and desperation he was receiving, "don't worry Merlin, I made arrangements."
"Love you too," Merlin almost choked out as an officer stepped forward from the car and produced some handcuffs, proceeding forward as Arthur placed his wrists together behind his back and moved a step away from Merlin still smiling, "you called them didn't you?"
Arthur actually laughed as he nodded and the cuffs locked around his wrists, never once taking his eyes off Merlin.
"Wait!" the officer stopped with a raised eyebrow and Merlin made his way forward a little, waiting for her nod of acknowledgement before addressing Arthur again, "soon?"
The blonde nodded with laughing eyes again as he abruptly jerked forward and met Merlin's lips, ignoring the aggressive look the police woman was shooting him as he let her yank him back and bundle him into the backseat of the car.
"Merlin Emrys?" she asked curiously as he continued to stare at Arthur and nod his head in answer to her question, "nice to meet you."
He took his eyes off Arthur and took her proffered hand, shaking it with a questioning look as he felt the square folds of paper transfer from her hand to his.
Merlin, it said when he opened it safely hidden within the small alcove of trees near the road, the stationhouse January 19. 5: 00pm.
Arthur looked around nervously as the breeze ruffled his hair and shifted the uniform blue shirt he'd been given in prison, unsure of wether or not his brilliant plan was going to actually work.
The flash of lights turning down the road that accompanied the slowly stopping crunch of gravel alerted him to the arrival of a car, and a quick glance over the top of the bush he had ducked behind revealed the cramped little black Skoda Merlin perpetually had rescued from the depths of the junkyard.
Arthur sighed as the dolt made his confused debut, all ears and mop of messy black hair appearing from behind the car as his eyes scanned the open area around him.
"Oi," Arthur hissed half in an irritated exasperation and half in sincere giddiness "get in the car!"
Merlin took one look at him and gave a broad smile, continuing to grin as Arthurs own car door slammed shut and he leant to look out the back window as the car tore out of the parking court.
"Arthur! That was–" Merlin was still grinning as he took a familiar turn and roared through a red light in a nearby square, "bloody brilliant! That was bloody brilliant!"
"Glad you liked it," his tone was too elated to convey sarcasm or smugness and came out in a purely giddy laugh, "usual?"
"Straight to Gwen's to stock up, then tomorrow we'll be halfway to France before Uther even knows you're gone," Merlin smiled again and spared Arthur a quick glance, "you know, when you aren't trying very hard to be unpleasant, you're actually not as much of an ass as people generally think you are."
The blonde just smiled as his gaze drifted out the window, happy enough to let that one slide, "Lance?"
"I called ahead," Merlin made the final turn and pulled up quietly out the front of a respectable looking flat belonging to the one and only Guinevere Jones, master of arms and general equipment supplier for Arthur's branch of Uther's Court of Friends, "how did you know that Valiant would frame you like that? And how did you escape?"
"I cut a deal, Merlin," Arthur wiped the smile from his face for a second, "we can't come back here. If my father knew we'd be dead in seconds, that's why he thinks I'm in prison. I'm actually released as witness protection. The evidence you produced for me on my behalf came through. I refused escort, but I'm a free man now."
Arthur waited for his speech to sink in and Merlin took the silence to turn and look at the figure of Gwen hovering about a window.
"Arthur, that's brilliant!" he grinned as the blonde's face relaxed into another smile and threw his arms a round his neck, gripping tightly as the older man hugged him back, laughing, "you rolled on Uther?"
Arthur nodded again and Merlin looked to see Gwen opening her front door, waving at them to get inside as Lance appeared smiling over her shoulder.
"This is it," Arthur smiled as they got out of the car and made their way over to the footpath and up the small walk to the door, "freedom here we come."
"And honesty," Merlin said with sweet relief as Lance clapped him on the back and moved to high five Arthur, "no more lies."
"Nice job," Lance smiled as the four of them moved into the front hall, Gwen grinning with only minimal annoyance at all the boys as she led them to the kitchen, "you guys are bloody brilliant!"
A/N: For some reason, I am awfully fond of AU in general :P Anyway, please let me know what you thought and Happy Holidays! Ange xx