A.N; Hello my darlings. I apologise for how long it has taken me to complete this story, and I thank you for supporting me. This will be a relatively short chapter, just to round the story off nicely.
Chapter 7; Epilogue
As the months passed Arthur and Merlin were able to repair their friendship, the whole castle released a sigh of relief when the rift between the two young men dissolved completely.
The first time Arthur touched Merlin again it was warm and sunny.
The two men were sitting on the grass of the training grounds, thought it was just the two of them. The Knights had departed hours ago, Arthur and Merlin had enjoyed a picnic and were now basking in the afternoon sun.
Arthur looks over to his dark haired companion. Merlin's eyes are closed and his lips are turned up into a slight smile. The golden light of the sun warming his face.
Arthur silently raises his hand until it is level with Merlin's face, he releases a nervous breath, but Merlin's eyes remain closed. Gently Arthur caresses Merlin's cheek with the back of two fingers. The servants eyes snap open at the contact and Arthur freezes for a moment. He then turns his hand and cups Merlin's cheek, smiling. Merlin returns the smile and presses into Arthur's hand.
For the first time in weeks Arthur runs his fingers through soft raven hair.
The first time they kiss it's raining.
Arthur had dragged Merlin into the forest to hunt, again. They had gone on foot as it was only for sport so Arthur was only aiming for rabbits and birds, leaving the larger prey be.
They had been stalking a rabbit when the first drops of rain fell, the rabbit sensed the weather change and quickly escaped to a nearby burrow. Arthur and Merlin weren't so lucky. The rain fell fast and heavy, soaking the two men to the bone as they ran for shelter. The luckily found a large tree, under which was dry due to the large canopy of branches and leaves above.
They panted, trying to catch their breath. They looked at each other then broke out in laughter; both of them looked ridiculous with their sopping clothes hanging from their bodies and hair stuck to their faces.
As their laughter trailed off Arthur became distracted by the drops of water sliding down Merlin's neck. He followed the trail of one drop that fell from the other mans dark hair slipping down the side of his nose and settled on Merlin's rose tinted lips. Arthur's resolve broke when Merlin's pink tongue darted out to catch the drop of liquid.
The blonde quickly put himself in Merlin's personal space, their hastened breath mingles and their noses almost touch. Arthur slides one hand into Merlin's wet hair and the other curls around the servants body and settles in the middle of his back.
They keep their eyes open as the inch forward and their lips touch, more a brush of lips than a kiss. Merlin's eyes fall shut and he unwillingly whimpers slightly and Arthur's lips leave his. Arthur delights in the sound he hasn't heard in over two months. He crushes his lips against the other man's. Merlin's hand fly up to grip Arthur's shoulders eagerly returning the kiss.
They stand under the tree relearning each other's mouths, their bodies pressed together. The only sounds are small moans and the patter of rain drops falling around them.
They both know that they relationship isn't yet fully repaired but they touch and kiss freely, most of which initiated by Arthur because Merlin is still cautious, knowing that it is better for them both if Arthur has control of the progression of their relationship.
Arthur's trust in Merlin is slowly repairing with each day that goes by, and he is happier than he has been in months; they both are.
Uther happily watches Arthur and Merlin over the months relearn each other and fix their relationship. Arthur has also start to become more comfortable around him, less hostile and more relaxed. Uther is glad that Arthur is beginning to seem ready to forgive him.
Uther turns onto his side and smiles at the man in his bed. Just over a month ago a new servant was employed at the castle, he is a few years older that Arthur, formally trained, lean but muscular, had deep jade colour eyes and thick chestnut hair. His name is Hale, and he had gladly responded to the King's advances. The two men are happy in their agreement of companionship.
The first time Arthur and Merlin sleep in the same bed it's snowing.
It's the middle of winter, almost four months after the incident, when Arthur invites Merlin to sleep (and just sleep) in his bed.
The castle is bitterly cold in winter, especially at night. Arthur is glad his has the fire burning and s few extra blankets on his bed. But he had noticed that Merlin has been sneezing and shivering for the past two days. He feels like an idiot when he remembers that Merlin's room must be freezing, with only an old rough blanket for warmth.
That evening Merlin is stoking the fire for a final time before he leave for the night when Arthur approaches him.
"Merlin. I want you to sleep here tonight." Arthur decides it's best to be blunt.
Merlin on the other hand nearly chokes on his tongue. "What?" He splutters.
"It's extremely cold, and I don't want you to get sick. You're sleeping here."
Settling for sleep was itial awkward, Merlin was still unsure and twisting his hands nervously. Eventually Arthur sighed, pulled Merlin under the covers and curled up behind him. It only took a few moments for Merlin to relax into the embrace.
That night they both fell asleep, toasty warm with smiles on their faces.
The first time Arthur and Merlin had sex, it was Arthur's birthday and also the first time Arthur said 'I love you'. It has been almost seven months since the incident.
The day had been a joyous occasion for everyone, and the evening had been alive with music, laughter and drinking. Arthur was surrounded by his friends as they celebrated his birthday, the Prince was having fun but something was missing, or rather someone.
Merlin stood to the side, not wanting to interrupt Arthur's fun, sipping mead and chatting with Gwen. Arthur looked longingly towards the servant.
Not long passed before Arthur took Merlin by the hand and left the party. That night they reacquainted themselves with each other's bodies. The music of the party disguised the echoes of pleasure that emitted the room for hours.
Afterwards Arthur lay curled around Merlin, both men sweaty, sated and happy. Arthur pressed lingering kisses to Merlin's neck and the dark haired man sighed contently.
"I love you." The whispered words shocked Merlin. He turned his head so he could look Arthur in the eye. He saw only love in those blue eyes and a smile. Merlin returned Arthur's smile.
"I love you too Arthur." Merlin answered.
Arthur kissed Merlin softly, and then nuzzled his nose into Merlin's neck. The pair fell asleep with their limbs tangled together and their fingers intertwined.
AN; I hope that you have enjoyed this story, thank you to everyone who has supported me.
Thank you to those who have taken the time to read, review, favourite and follow this story, it really means a lot to me.
I am open to any comments, so please review. :)