Gives You Hell

Chapter 7: The Whispering Breeze

Rating~ T

Characters~ Arthur & Merlin

Disclaimer~ Owning Merlin is Arthur's job—not mine. XD

Warnings~ SLASH, slight jealousy/paranoia (don't ask XD), attempts for very minimal OOC, mild quarrels, and (sometimes suggestive?) humor

Music on My Mind~ What the Hell by Avril Lavigne (don't own, but thought it'd be a good song to end this story with w)

Notes from the KIT-chan~

NOW I can say (in one of those epic-ly awesome narrator's voices that you hear in The Twilight Zone or something—Rod Serling FTW XD) that you have reached the FINAL chapter of the story. OwO

There—I said it. XD Enjoy~ :D

.::.*~Kitsune Shadow~*.::.

*UPDATE: A new addition to the very end of this chapter if you've already read this... XD

~o~

We waited as the guards ran past us that instant, then relaxed as soon as they were out of sight.

I let out a sigh, turning my head to look at Kay, who was grinning smugly at me at that moment as he stuck out his tongue at me to effortlessly peel off a tiny key hidden from underneath.

Immediately, I stared at him with disbelief. "Why, you—"

"Shh—there's more of them," Arthur spoke abruptly, waving his hand in my face.

I frowned and leaned back against the wall with irritation, glancing over to see the superprat platinum wink at me mischievously. And from behind, I only saw Lionel shrug his shoulders at me blamelessly.

At this, I could do nothing but put my hand to my forehead and exhale sharply. All this time, he could have at least—

That was when Prince Clotpole took my hand again and led me yet in another direction. "All right—the coast is clear. Let's go."

After that, not another word was said.

~o~

At some point later on, we'd come to a stop in front of the back gate, which we'd found to be closed shut and locked for the time being.

A dead end.

I sucked in a gulp of air, then put my hands on my head in mock shock at that moment, speaking in a sarcastic tone. "Oh no, we're trapped." I shifted my gaze towards Arthur, who was observing the chained up gate that instant, and sighed. "What the hell do you suggest we do now, Prince Prat-a-lot—"

Abruptly, I was cut off when this time, both prats turned around to roll their eyes at me and speak in equally arrogant, annoyed tones.

"MERLIN. Shut. Up," the two of them replied in unison.

At that moment, I was at a complete loss for words. Now he decides to take his cousin's side for once…great.

From behind me, I heard Lionel stifle a slight chuckle.

I exhaled sharply, then looked over my shoulder to slowly shake my head at the brunette and shrugged my shoulders myself.

But that wasn't until we'd begun to hear footsteps in the distance and stared ahead to see the light of a torch illuminating the castle walls, the shadow of two guards walking in its midst.

In that instant, I turned around to look the two blondes anxiously, and quickly, we started to search for somewhere to hide.

Though unfortunately, we were literally out in the open, so anything was pretty much useless to us at that point.

I listened as the soldiers' footsteps reverberated closer and closer towards where we were all standing this instant…

That was when Kay had come across a pile of old clothing in a random cart of hay nearby and picked it up, briskly holding them out towards us in haste.

"Hurry—put these on. It's our only chance."

Immediately, Arthur and I stared back at him as if he'd grown two heads just now—with me suddenly thinking of all the possibilities of who the hell might have worn those clothes in the first place and why they'd just flat out leave them there coincidentally to our convenience.

But then again, we had no time to argue about this and swiftly grabbed the old garments from the platinum's hands.

~o~

(Moments later in a general perspective…)

Before long, the two guards had emerged from around the castle, approaching the gate with discontent expressions on their faces.

"Who's there?" one called in a strident voice, peering out into the silent darkness.

No response.

The soldier narrowed his eyes, taking a step forwards to get a better look, then sighed in defeat and began to walk away, shrugging at his fellow comrade behind him.

But that wasn't until he'd heard an abrupt clatter coming from a stray cart sitting near the back gate, and quickly whirled around to catch two silhouettes peeking from behind the cart itself, then hurriedly hide themselves again.

Instantaneously, the other guard cried out vociferously. "Show yourself this instant!"

Not long after that, the torch was shone towards the shadows of the night, revealing two tall and rather handsome boys with blonde hair gripping each other's necks as if they were planning to strangle one another.

~o~

(What really happened…)

"I can't believe I'm wearing women's clothing right now," I spoke in a dull tone, rolling my eyes at Prince Arse-r next to me, who was dressed in the outfit of a casual blacksmith's son, matching with his idiot cousin with their flat hats and grimy buttondowns.

The blonde sighed, then looked at me in disbelief. "Come on, Merlin—you're the only one here who can fit in the other damn dress besides Lionel. There's nothing else, so live with it for just a few minutes. It'll be over before you know it." I exhaled sharply and crossed my arms over my chest with a cross expression on my face.

At that moment, Arthur shook his head and glanced out to keep watch on the guards in the distance. I turned my head to briefly stick my tongue out at him disdainfully.

In that instant, I heard Kay chuckle impishly from next to the clotpole, and I shifted my gaze to see him clutching his chest mockingly.

He snickered and snorted once. "Sorry…it's just that it—it actually kind of suits you, Merlin. I—ahahaha…"

Immediately, I frowned and ended up kicking the latter with my foot, sending both him and Arthur toppling out into the open.

Before I knew it, a light was shone over the cart in less than a second.

"You idiot! What the hell—" the Prince hissed indignantly at me. But then Kay covered his mouth and shushed him before he could say any more, pushing his head down to hide his face.

"Keep your head down already unless you want to get caught," the platinum blonde retorted, scolding his younger cousin as if he were a child.

Immediately, Prince Dollophead closed his mouth and began to pout in that instant.

"Kay—I swear that if you do anything rash right now, I'll kill you where you stand."

At that moment, I chortled under my breath. Oh my gosh—now this…had somewhat amused me.

Kay chuckled softly as Arthur began to fume from under the palm of his hand, then to my surprise, he briefly glanced at me and winked.

~o~

(Present)

"Who are you," the guard demanded crossly, "and what is your business here?"

At that moment, Kay cleared his throat and let go of his cousin that instant, facing them with aplomb.

"Oh," the platinum spoke nonchalantly in an as-a-matter-of-fact tone, as if he'd just recognized their presence. Then he smiled and spoke in a chivalrous manner. "I'm sorry—I do apologize if we're trespassing. You see, the two of us here were just—"

"What are you children doing out here in the middle of the night?" the soldier spat out impatiently.

In that instant, I looked at the guard from behind the cart with an absolutely incredulous look on my face.

Really? Really now?

"But I'm not—" Arthur began to retort.

Immediately, Kay covered the latter's mouth, holding him in a chokehold so that he couldn't speak. He chuckled, staring back at the soldiers.

"Please excuse my baby brother here—he tends to have the strangest outbursts every now and then…"

At that moment, the blonde's mouth dropped open in disbelief, and the platinum went so far as to rub his fist playfully but rather a bit too harshly against the very top of the other's head, which actually reminded me…

I stifled a chuckle as the dollophead's face began to flush red with anger.

Oh, God…this is too much…

But before I knew it, the light was already shining over me and Lionel.

"Come out of there, you two!" the other guard roared.

In that instant, I frowned with disdain. Oh…crap.

I sighed and slowly shook my head, then stood on my feet to reveal myself in my dress, Lionel following me soon after.

"That better be all of you!" the guards spoke angrily.

Immediately, Kay held up his hands in mock defense. "They are! They are!" Then he pointed towards the two of us. "They're my sisters! We're the children of Billy Bob—you know, the blacksmith that lives not far from here?"

At that moment, I rolled my eyes. Best excuse you could think of, huh?

At this, I watched as Cenred's men briefly exchanged dubious glances at each other, then began to stare at us with suspicious looks on their faces, scrutinizing their gazes more on me and Lionel.

(insert mental sigh here) This was definitely not going to work out.

"No, I'm afraid not, boy," the soldier spoke sternly, approaching us with a doubtful expression. "But maybe King Cenred knows of him." He smirked darkly, then reached his arm out to grab Kay.

That was when the platinum held up his hands at the latter. "Wait! Wait!"

In that instant, the guard sighed and stood there for a minute. "What?"

Kay exhaled sharply and stared at the man with an innocent look in his big, grey eyes. "Please…we got lost on our way home. Can't you at least unlock this gate so we can get back? It's the only way, and if we don't get home soon, Father will be furious with us when we're late for supper." He turned to wave his hand, as if to signal Lionel over.

And in less than a second, the brunette was already at the knight's side, gazing at the guards with his sparkling blue, puppy-dog eyes.

"Please?" Lionel uttered softly.

At that moment, Arthur looked at me in disbelief, and my mouth dropped open incredulously.

you've got to be kidding me.

In that instant, the soldier stared at the two with a dissatisfied look on his face. But then not long after that to my surprise…he began to hesitate for a minute and glanced back to look at his comrade with reluctant eyes.

"Er…what do you think, Joe?"

WHAT?

I watched as the one named Joe flinched and cringed as he looked back at the brunette's glimmering eyes, his heart melting.

He blubbered, then spoke in a wavering tone. "Well…I-I don't know…"

The other guard rolled his eyes and let out an exasperated sigh, putting his hand to his forehead. "Good Lord—"

He took a deep breath, then raised his head and dug into his pocket to pull out a ring of keys, walking past Kay and Arthur to fiddle with the lock.

At that point, my gaze was shifting repeatedly from him to the two imbeciles next to me, not counting Arthur this time.

"Of all times…" the soldier muttered to himself.

No way, I thought to myself, staring at Lionel. If it's like that, then he just might make the best future con artist ever…

Suddenly, there was a clink and a clank coming from the lock, and the night guard began to rise on his feet to begin scolding us like we really were children.

"Good heavens—don't you kids realize that there are fugitives running around in this kingdom—"

But before the man could finish, Kay had already elbowed his head and knocked him unconscious while Arthur had stood up to take care of his idiot comrade.

"Gah!"

Thud.

"Of course we do," Arthur's cousin replied with a chuckle, dusting his hands clean after that.

In that instant, the four of us sighed in relief, and the platinum blonde advanced forward to open the unlocked gate.

"Let's go! They'll be here any minute!" he called, waving his hand towards the rest of us.

Even now, I was still shaking my head at him—until Prince Clotpole grabbed my arm and yanked me out into the Forest of Gedref.

~o~

"What do you mean, 'they've escaped'!" Cenred roared, sitting up from his throne.

At that moment, his henchmen got on their knees, cowering in fear of their master.

The king put his head to his forehead, letting out a sharp exhale. Then he whipped his head up and glared at his men, pointing a finger at each and every one of them.

"Find them immediately! And kill them if you have to!"

In that instant, the leader of the group clumsily got up on his feet to scamper out the front door, his comrades following after him frantically.

"Don't worry, boss! We're way ahead of you!" the chief criminal called over his shoulder.

The door slammed, and Cenred sat down on his throne again, still contemplating himself as to why he even bothered to hire such buffoons in the first place.

~o~

Huff…puff…huff…puff…

"Keep running!" Kay began to shout over his shoulder as we sprinted past several trees. "We're almost there!"

"Shut up, you moron!" Arthur hissed, grabbing the back of his cousin's head. "You'll get us killed before we even get there!"

At that moment, the platinum chuckled softly, then began to run even faster.

~o~

At this point, Cenred's men had already begun to swarm the entire forest in a divide-and-conquer sort of formation, heading in every possible direction that they could think of to cut us all off from getting back to Camelot.

But despite the fact that we had all expected this knowing just how obvious Cenred could be at times, we still continued to run blindly down every path we could find—under the least possible chance where any of us could be spotted at any moment in time.

Though unfortunately…Kay had been the one leading the way for us. Yes, Sir Kay of Leone—the best close-combat warrior in all the land…but the worst map reader and listener one could ever possibly dream of, which er…quite made things worse in that situation.

Eventually, we'd reached yet another dead end, and Prince Clotpole had begun to curse the poor superprat out once again, although it wasn't like he hadn't been doing so before when the platinum refused to let him take the lead—a deathly terrible mistake on his part.

Arthur exhaled sharply, then waved his hands angrily at the knight. "Where the hell do you think you're taking us now!" he yelled at him, his face flushing red with rage. "Don't tell me we're just going to walk right through this wall!"

In that instant, I let out an impatient sigh and lowered my eyes tentatively.

We technically could if you didn't hate magic so much like your damn father…

I took a deep breath and closed my eyes, then glanced up as Kay froze where he was and began to scratch the back of his head nervously, like a lost bunny rabbit at the fork of a road.

He exhaled, then spoke in a reluctant tone. "Well, we could always try to climb over it…"

The Prince slapped his hand over his forehead and let out an aggravated sigh. "Good heavens, Kay—please try to be reasonable here. We are running from about a thousand angry guards—and of all places you could possibly think of, you decide to take us down to a dead end!" he shouted, his voice escalating with fury. "Are you really out of your mind? Come on! You're a knight, for God's sake! Think of a different route!"

The platinum shrugged his shoulders and slowly shook his head.

At that moment, Arthur's eyes widened in disbelief, and he put his hands on his hips for a minute, looking away. Then he stared back at his cousin and impatiently extended a hand out towards him.

"Where's the map? Let me see it."

"I don't have it," Kay whined peevishly.

In that instant, the dollophead's face grew even redder. "What do you mean, 'you don't have it?' I gave it to you when we left!"

"Well, I dropped it when you were busy yelling at me at the last dead end!" the platinum retorted.

"You what?"

From that point on, the prats had an all-out battle royale with each other, while Lionel and I just stood there on the sidelines shaking our head incredulously as the two of them raged on at each other.

"How many times have you been to the Forest of Gedref? Tell me."

"It's not like I come here all the time when it's dark!" the other shot back.

Arthur let out another irritated sigh. "Christ, Kay—now what do you suggest we do? They'll be here any minute!" he screamed.

At that point, I took a deep breath and put my hand to my forehead as they both continued to argue. Oh, boy…

"You're beginning to be even more of an idiot than Merlin is right now!"

Really? I began to think to myself, chuckling sardonically as the clotpole pointed a finger at me that instant.

I half-heartedly sighed. That makes me feel so much better.

I watched as Arthur growled at the latter, then raise his head up to glare hopelessly at the night sky.

"Oh my gosh—and you wonder to this daywhy I've always refused to go out on missions with you like this! You never listen to me, damn it!"

"And what the hell do you mean by that, cousin, huh?"

At that moment, the Prince exhaled sharply. "Even now, you always think that you have to take charge of things when I'm around just because you're a few years older than me! I'm more than sick of this! It's not like that anymore!"

"Who said so, Wart? It's been like that. You have no say in this."

"For the love of God, Kay, we aren't kids!" the blonde retorted. "I'm the Crown Prince of Camelot, damn it! So fuck off already!"

"Fuck off? You fuck off—"

"You're a real ass, you know that?"

Oh. (snaps fingers in zigzag formation)

It went on like this for about a few more minutes or so, and even as Lionel and I began to search on our own for another way out of here, it was still useless because Cenred's men had already caught up to us right then and there.

And at the same time, when all of them literally had us cornered that instant, Prince Assface and Sir Dickchin were still fighting it off.

"Er…guys?" I spoke in a flat tone at them.

But…nothing. (insert sigh here)

"No!"

"NO!"

"NO!"

"No—"

Good Lord. It took almost a full minute there before I finally brought myself to take a couple of tree branches up in midair with my magic and threw them at both of their big fat heads.

"GUYS!" I shouted in a loud voice.

"Ow—WHAT?"

Immediately, they turned around to see the thousands of soldiers standing right there in front of us with murderous intent on each and every one of their faces.

Only then did they realize the hell of a situation we were in right now… (insert weak chuckle here) Delayed reaction much?

At first, the two blondes looked at the guards with shocked expressions on their faces, then quickly took out their swords and began to sprint their way through, Lionel and me tagging along right behind them.

"RUN!" Kay yelled that instant, shoving off one of the burly men.

And so we ran for our lives, away from the angry mob that was chasing us down.

~o~

After a while, they'd followed us into a clearing, and we'd had no choice but to face them now.

Kay and Arthur dashed headlong out in front of them, swords clashing with a whole bunch of other weapons.

…while on the other hand, you had me in the very back of the crowd, effortlessly repelling all of the ones that came after me with my magic in addition to the others that began to attack Lionel.

My eyes flashed bright amber for a second as I whispered yet another spell. Then I shifted my gaze towards the young brunette, who did nothing more but cower in fear a few feet away from where I was.

"Lionel—use your magic!" I called out to him, pushing away the man behind me. "Save yourself—it's your only chance! They won't hear you!"

At that moment, I briefly glanced over at Kay and Arthur on the other side of the field, too occupied to hear a word I was saying right now.

But the latter still refused to use the gifts he'd inherited from birth.

"LIONEL!" I screamed at him.

It was no use—he wouldn't listen to me.

That was when a broad-shouldered soldier had appeared out of the blue from behind him with a blade poised ready in his hands to strike down upon the brunette's very head.

Immediately, my eyes widened with horror, and I desperately sprinted over to try to deflect the assailant's move in time…but it was too soon—I wouldn't make it.

"Argh!" the man bellowed as he started to bring his hand down…

But suddenly, there was another cry of pain—one that did not belong to Lionel.

In that instant, a flash of platinum blonde could be seen before me, crumpling to the ground where the brunette was.

"KAY!"

~o~

In less than a second, I was at their side, facing the burly man with angry golden eyes. Then without a moment's hesitation, I took Kay's sword from the ground and swung it at that latter's chest, striking him down where he was.

After that, I begun to hear shrieks from behind me, and I turned around to see the platinum blonde unconscious in Lionel's arms, his arm bleeding crimson red and the young brunette's eyes swollen and tear-stained.

At that moment, I knelt down beside them and looked at the poor knight's arm, wincing. Oh, shit.

Before I knew it, Arthur was already next to me, breathing heavily and sweating like hell.

…not to mention the fact that his own wound from the arrow that had pierced the back of his shoulder at the bridge had begun to bleed as well.

"You're bleeding," I managed to speak breathlessly just below a choked whisper.

But the dollophead had already hauled onto his shoulders and stood up. "Never mind that—we've got to get out of here," he replied exhaustedly, glancing down at me with a serious countenance.

Then he shifted his gaze over at the crying brunette sitting beside me with bloodstained hands and softened his eyes. "It's fine. He's suffered a lot worse than this. Don't worry about it," he murmured in a tone so reassuring that I believed him at the same time.

After that, he turned to look at me, and I shifted over to put my hand on Lionel's shoulder. "Come on. He's going to be all right—I promise."

At that moment, the brunette sniffled and quickly wiped his cheeks with his wrist. Then he nodded once and got up to follow after me.

~o~

After half an hour, when we'd finally lost Cenred's men, we'd managed to settle temporarily by a nearby lake, setting up camp and everything that went along with the idea.

I sighed as I sat by one of the trees in the back, picking at a small clump of tall grass at my disposal. But at the same time, I couldn't help but look at the two by the campfire as Lionel sat next to a sleeping Kay, his arm wrapped tightly in gauze.

To tell you the truth, he was damn lucky it was just a cut…

I took a deep breath, then glanced over my shoulder to see that Arthur was staring at them as well. But as soon as I decided to turn around, he stiffened slightly where he was upon meeting my gaze for just a second and looked away.

For a minute, my eyes lingered on the back of his head. Then I lowered them and yanked one of the grass blades from the ground, tossing it aside and thinking to myself.

At that moment, Gaius's words had begun to echo in the corners of my mind.

~xXx~

"Today…is Arthur's birthday…also his mother's death day. Do be careful how you word things with him from this point on, Merlin."

"…until when are the two of you to go on like this any longer? He needs you now more than ever, regardless if you both are still fighting or not."

~xXx~

(insert weak chuckle here) Wow—couldn't believe how I'd almost forgotten about that…

I paused, then raised my head to look at the blonde, who was sitting in front of a dark lake, his shoulder bandaged and his back bare.

I swallowed. …but how the hell was I going to make this up to him now, after everything that's happened?

In that instant, I grabbed my bag and started to rummage through it with my hands.

I haven't even given him anything for his own birthday…

I exhaled sharply and dug deeper into my stuff—until I came across a familiar object and carefully took it out of the bag to look at it, gingerly holding the figure between my fingers.

It was a dragon, made of white clay—one that I knew I'd never forget in my life: the very same one…that my father had given to me just moments before he died.

At that moment, my eyes softened upon scrutinizing my gaze at the memorable gift I held in my hand. Then I paused and looked at Arthur again, who had sighed and tossed a pebble out across the surface of the dark waters in front of him.

"I'm sure he feels just as guilty as you are for beginning this trivial quarrel."

After that, I reluctantly glanced down at the miniature dragon and got up to quietly approach the latter.

~o~

Arthur was peering down at his reflection in the moonlit depths below.

Bu that wasn't until he heard a small rustle from behind and noticed the image of a hand of ivory appear in the lake, holding what seemed to be a tiny model of a great dragon.

In that instant, the Prince sighed, then finally turned to see to see his ever-so-faithful manservant standing next to him, a slight but sincere grin on his face.

"Happy Birthday," Merlin spoke, just above a hushed whisper.

The Pendragon paused, then carefully took the clay figure in the palm of his hand and turned back to the lake.

Merlin let out a small sigh and calmly sat down next to him, gazing up the majestic mountains that towered over them on the other side.

After a while, Arthur closed his eyes and spoke in a quiet but unwavering tone.

"…you didn't have to give me anything, you know."

A long pause.

Then the raven replied, unhesitant. "I know, but…well, I wanted to."

The blonde took a deep breath.

For a moment, silence filled the empty space that resided between the two—until Arthur spoke again in a dull voice.

"You're just about the only one who remembered, if you haven't realized by now."

Merlin held his breath.

The Prince pursed his lips, then shifted his gaze towards his servant. "But it makes me wonder how you found out without me telling you at any point before."

"Gaius told me," the warlock answered quietly, peering down at the dark waters. He paused for a second.

"In fact…he told me everything after that," he added sheepishly.

In that instant, the blonde's eyes softened, and he turned his head to stare in the same direction as well, their reflections looking back at them from the lake below, a light breeze of wind blowing right past them.

"…look," Arthur began in a half-hearted tone. "I'm sorry for everything that's happened in this past week or so." He looked at the other and let out a sigh. "I admit that I may have been a bit of a prat for yelling at you that morning…and I said some hurtful things that I know that I really shouldn't have said. Most of all, I truly didn't mean to insult your father like that—really."

Silence.

"Merlin…can I dare ask you to forgive me?"

At that moment, the warlock pursed his lips, then closed his eyes and exhaled sharply. "Yeah…I guess so. I mean, it's not like I said things that weren't as terrible as the ones you said. And…well, I'm sorry, too. I didn't mean to insult your mother, either," he finished, grinning at the blonde next to him.

The Pendragon chuckled, playfully nudging the other's shoulder with his elbow.

Merlin laughed, lightly shoving him back.

That was when they heard a sniffle and a faint sob from behind, and immediately turned to see Kay holding Lionel with a gentle expression on his face, his arms carefully wrapped around the young brunette.

~o~

At this, my eyes began to soften that instant, and I glanced to my right to see that Arthur had closed his.

He sighed after a long pause, then spoke in a hushed voice.

"…it's really a shame that in a few hours, we'll literally be fighting each other all over again."

At that moment, I winced and replied with a concerned look. "Is it really that impossible to have your father call off the final match?"

Arthur took a deep breath and turned away from me, burying his hands in his palms. "No—it's not impossible, Merlin." He exhaled sharply, then glanced at me. "It's the matter of how much everyone in Camelot is counting on both of us to go through with this."

"But I still don't understand," I spoke sullenly. "Why does everyone want you and Kay to fight each other?"

Another moment of silence.

"Because…we've been at each other's necks since birth," the Pendragon breathed. "They've watched us ever since we were kids, rivaling one another so that we could be the best. And now that it's been ten years since the last time we fought against each other in a single-handed match…they're curious to see how either of us will handle this situation, as the future king and as a distinguished knight of Camelot." He looked at me. "Though to tell you the truth…I'd actually wanted to make amends to Kay for a very long while—just that right now…" He chuckled. "…right now, I haven't been given the chance."

In that instant, my face grew slightly rigid, and I lowered my eyes to gaze despondently down at the rippling dark waves.

That was when Arthur continued in a calm and sincere voice. "Merlin…it's not like I've been ignoring you this whole time, and I'm sorry if somehow…it seemed that way to you."

I frowned and let out a sigh.

The Pendragon smirked, putting his hand on my shoulder. "Don't worry—we'll think of a way around this later. I can definitely promise you that."

At that moment, I grinned wryly and stared into the other's eyes.

But that wasn't until we'd heard another sniffle and turned to watch the two sitting by the campfire next to each other.

At that point, Kay's lips were locked with Lionel, and both of their eyes were closed, their expressions cool and serene.

I swallowed, then turned to look at Arthur again.

But not long after that, I'd found his lips already pressed against mine that instant, and I closed my eyes as well, despite just how surprised I'd been.

Then after a while, he finally pulled back from me, and I opened my eyes to see him put his fingers over his lips, glancing up at me with a sheepish expression on his face.

"Er…sorry about that," he murmured, getting up at that moment to make his way towards camp. "What was I thinking…?" I'd heard him whisper.

All I could do that same time was stare at him dazedly as he approached his older cousin to talk things out with him.

Well—that was…unexpected. (insert weak chuckle here)

~o~

(A few hours later…)

The audience was cheering as Kay and Arthur entered the arena, waving at them with smug grins on their faces.

Lionel and I stood right outside, just where we could see the two of them fight against each other after they'd put their helmets on.

And so the battle raged on as Arthur's sword clashed with his cousin's, the platinum fighting with his right arm in place of his still injured left.

At that moment, I took a deep breath and closed my eyes, remembering what the two prats had said just before they left for the match.

~xXx~

"Don't worry about it—we've got this handled. Everything is going to be perfectly fine…"

~xXx~

It better be, I thought to myself as I watched Kay put up his shield.

CLANG.

A roar from the crowd.

I opened my eyes and let out a sigh as I glanced over at King Full-of-himself and his cousin, shouting at both of their sons from their special seats in the stands.

(insert sarcastic chuckle here) Wonderful thing to do for your kids especially when you know that there's the slightest possibility that one of them might get himself killed…

That was when I felt a hand on my shoulder, and I turned to see Lionel staring at me with a smile on his face. "It'll be fine," he spoke reassuringly, his ocean blue eyes sparkling before me.

At that moment, I chuckled lightly and smiled back at him in response. Then we turned back to watch the two blondes continue to fight.

At first, I'd heard the brunette laugh softly and slightly raise his hand to point at the two of them, his eyes beginning to turn amber.

But immediately, I grabbed his hand and looked at him with a stern look on my face. "Now it's not the right time for you to finally use that magic of yours," I spoke with a smirk.

Lionel chuckled and slowly pulled away from me with a smug grin. "Huh. Don't worry—I wasn't going to anyway. 'Course I wouldn't want to Uther to burn me at the stake right when we're in the middle of this."

I scoffed mockingly and let go of his hand as we watched Arthur and Kay's battle royale…though it wasn't long before all of a sudden, Kay had fallen, and Arthur stood over him with his sword poised ready.

I held my breath in an instant.

They'd looked at one another with rigid faces, but then I'd noticed the two of them briefly glance over at their fathers and then back into each other's eyes, blue against grey, as they inconspicuously nodded once as if in agreement to a secret plan of some sort that only they would know of at that point...

That was when Arthur's sword had flown out of his hand, and the audience ooh'd as Kay got up to shove the Pendragon to the ground on his back, his eyes wide with surprise and his mouth dropped open.

Immediately, I'd seen Kay pick up the sword and aim it directly at his cousin's chest.

At that moment, my eyes bulged in fear as I remembered that vision I'd seen in the earlier rounds of the tournament…of Arthur being slain by the platinum here and now where the two of them were in that instant.

I watched in horror as Kay started to bring the blade down on his cousin.

"No—" I began to shout, pushing my way through the crowd in front of me.

But that wasn't until he stopped short just a bit more than an inch above Arthur's heart, and the audience grew dead silent in the minute that it had happened.

For a while, the platinum held his weapon where it was, then turned to merely toss the sword aside and bent down to help his younger cousin up.

After that, everyone began to cheer loudly and started to clap their hands in applause as the two stood up to face them with confident grins on their faces. Even Uther and Ector were clapping, giving them a standing ovation from their seats.

"Well done! Well done!" the two dads chortled contentedly.

In response, Arthur and Kay smirked, bowing to their pleased audience.

In that instant, I let out a sigh. Then I chuckled as both prats turned their heads to raise their eyebrows at me humorously.

Haha…not acting without a reason, huh? Those imbeciles…

~o~

From outside Arthur's window, we watched as the platinum and brunette got on their horses, smiling at each other and having a conversation at the same time.

I couldn't help but grin at that moment, letting out an exhausted sigh.

"Well—it's a good thing that they're back together. Everything's back to normal now."

In that instant, the blonde exhaled and began to chuckle softly. "Quite."

I took a deep breath and reached over to close the window. "Who would've known?"

And that was when he'd begun to laugh wholeheartedly for some damn odd reason.

I paused for a minute right there, then turned to look at him with dubious eyes, an eyebrow raised.

He was still laughing at this point, and pretty soon…I swore I could probably guess why he even was.

"…you knew, didn't you?" I pouted at him.

At that moment, the clotpole chuckled, looking at me with mischievous eyes.

I frowned, shaking my head in disbelief. "So all this time, you mean to tell me that—"

He snickered. "Hey—it wasn't part of my master scheme for you to get involved in this in the first place. You broughtthis upon yourself. After all, you were the one who volunteered in the first place to be Kay's servant."

"But—I—" I sputtered, my eyes bulging with complete and utter incredulity.

Arthur smirked, condescendingly crossing his arms over his chest. "More so, I really didn't expect for you to go off and rather try to give me hell like that—now that was a surprise, especially from you, Merlin. I'll have to remember to hold that against you someday."

At that point, I was literally struck dumbfounded by this dollophead's words. "You arrogant clotpole—" I retorted. But then I stopped mid-sentence and let out an exasperated sigh, glaring at the prat in front of me.

"…I hate you. Really," I spoke unwaveringly, raising my eyebrows at him in protest.

Immediately, he stopped laughing and stared at me with a stern expression on his face.

In that instant, I opened my mouth to speak again, but that wasn't until he caught in another chokehold all of a sudden and began to rather harshly chafe his fist down against the top of my head.

"Ow—hey!" I shouted, wriggling out of the other's grasp to glare at him as I rubbed my scalp with the palm of my hand.

But at that moment, all Arthur could do was chuckle as he observed the cross expression that began to appear on my face in that instant.

"That's payback for what happened back there with the guard and the gate," he chortled self-satisfyingly. "Now we're even, Merlin. So—if you could just go and muck out my horses, then…"

At that moment, I frowned at the blonde, then moved to chase after him as he playfully ran out the door and down into the back part outside of the castle.

"Arthur!" I called angrily as we passed a bunch of trees.

For a minute, it seemed like I was about to catch up with him for once, and I'd just been about to aim the biggest tree branch at the back of his fat head, when all of a sudden—

"Neigh!"

Trot.

Trot.

From out of the blue, a unicornyes, a unicorn—had galloped right past us as soon as we were a good few feet away from the castle.

Immediately, the two of us stopped in our tracks with wide eyes as we watched the mythical creature disappear into the depths of the forest.

And for a moment, it had been, well…rather awkwardly silent. (insert weak chuckle here)

But then not long after that, we both exploded into an abrupt wave of laughter and continued the mock chase once more, me following after the running prat.

That morning, the sun was high in the sky, the Future King and his Warlock running under the scattered cluster of clouds hovering above their very heads.

But then again, this story wasn't quite over yet.

~o~

Later on that same day, when the two had returned from a hard day's work of training—both of them in the case that Arthur had almost beaten Merlin to a pulp—the sun had finally sank behind Camelot and the moon had risen high in the sky, over the kingdom with the numerous stars that filled the darkness of the night.

And soon, the Crown Prince himself could be seen getting ready for bed, as he stretched his arms out and let out a yawn while his servant instinctively pulled back the sheets for him.

Arthur sighed, then rubbed his eyes, tiredly getting into the bed. "Good night, Merlin."

Merlin exhaled sharply, bringing the blanket over the blonde's bare shoulder. "Good night, clotpole."

Immediately, he chuckled as an irritated look appeared on the latter's face. "Just kidding," the raven added, turning to leave.

At this, the dollophead frowned and shuffled over on his side to close his eyes, muttering something quite spiteful under his breath.

Then it grew quiet in the room after that, and Merlin slowly shook his head with a grin on his face, stepping over to reach out for the doorknob. But that wasn't until all of a sudden when a thought had occurred in their very corner of his mind just as he had glanced back to see Arthur's sleeping face and his arm dangling from the very side of the bed in a rather oddly familiar manner...

In that instant, the raven couldn't help but chuckle softly at the sight as he remembered what had happened those past few nights. And with that, he took a deep breath, then walked back towards the blonde's bedside with a proud expression on his face.

"Oh—sorry, almost forgot something," he murmured smugly.

No response.

At that moment, Merlin smirked upon staring at the Prince's face and reached under his very head to pull out one of his pillows, stuffing it under the latter's arm.

Immediately, Arthur had stirred, looking up at his servant with incredulous eyes. "What the hell do you think you're doing?" he retorted with a pout, raising his head.

For a minute, Merlin's mouth gaped a little, but then he shrugged his shoulders and put his hands up in mock defense. "Just thought it was necessary," he replied innocently, "You know…for those dreams you've been having for…the past couple of nights?" he finished, chuckling nervously at the blonde.

But he had only frowned at him, his eyebrows curling together for a brief minute.

"Dreams? What dreams?" he asked confusingly. "I have absolutely no idea what you're trying to get here, Merlin."

In that instant, the warlock let out a sigh of irony. Oh…so he didn't know what he was doing after all… he sarcastically thought to himself. Now that's rather strange…

He paused for a moment to try to absorb the perplexed look that suddenly appeared on the dollophead's face, then opened his mouth to speak again in a hesitant tone, grabbing another pillow from the bed and holding it carefully in his hands as if it were a baby.

"All right, then…maybe this ought to jog your memory a bit," he added, shifting his gaze from the pillow to Arthur, who sighed with aggravation and crossed his arms over his chest.

"Merlin—this better be good, or else I swear I'll have you thrown in the dungeon right before you can even say wait."

At that moment, Merlin rolled his eyes and spoke in an unwavering voice. "Fine. Just listen to me for a minute," he breathed, glancing down at the pillow in his hands. "So tell me, Arthur…does the word…'cuddling' sound familiar to you by any chance?"

At this, the blonde raised an eyebrow. "Cuddling?"

The warlock eagerly nodded his head.

However, Arthur had only seemed more puzzled and frowned upon the very idea like it were some sort of blasphemy. "No—what in the world would make you say that?"

The raven closed his eyes and exhaled sharply in defeat. But that wasn't until another idea sprang up in his mind and he looked at him again, this time shifting his eyes from the latter's arm to the latter's face.

"Oh, I don't know…" he drawled sarcastically, gibingly hugging the pillow close to his chest and pretending to snore, very much like how the person in front of him would.

"Cuddling," Merlin spat out once more with more than enough emphasis to his tone.

Immediately, Arthur was silent, and the raven was even more amused to see the uneasiness that grew on the latter's face as he watched this imitation of a faint memory now perfectly vivid in his mind for some reason…

Of him absent-mindedly mumbling an all too familiar name that he could feel right now resting at the very tip of his tongue…

Oh…fuck, he ironically thought to himself.

In that instant, the Prince's cheeks flushed a faint pink as he finally recalled what had happened in that memory and looked up to see his servant smirking proudly at him with a raised eyebrow.

"Well?" Merlin asked, tilting his head.

At that moment, Arthur frowned sheepishly at him, and the raven had started to laugh.

"Pshh—so I take it that you won't be needing that extra pillow, then?" he chortled.

"Get out of my room," the blonde spat out, briskly sitting up in his bed to glare at Merlin. "Now."

In that instant, the raven had begun to laugh even louder, stumbling over to reach for the doorknob with a smug grin.

"CUDDLING!" he shouted at the top of his lungs, opening the door to step outside the threshold.

Immediately, Prince Arse-r's eyes widened in embarrassment and irritation. "I'll show you cuddling!" he roared, grabbing a pillow and throwing it at Merlin's head.

But the warlock ducked and dodged the attack, laughing as he closed the door behind him.

Arthur growled and let out an exasperated sigh, burying his face in the palms of his hands. Then he laid back down on his bed and rolled over on his other side so that his back was now facing the door.

"…"

…though this didn't quite hide the fact that he still had a blue scarf hidden under his very mattress at that moment…

In that instant, the blonde chuckled softly with a smirk as he pulled the rag out from underneath and stuffed it deep into his pillowcase.

There's no way he'll ever find it now.

*~FIN~*

Notes from the KIT-chan~

The end! XD Hope you all enjoyed reading this story, and thanks again to everyone who's supported me this whole time—very much appreciated! :D

Also, hope that satisfied anyone who was wondering why Arthur was cuddling Merlin when he was asleep before...lawl. XD

Please review if you haven't already, and to the rest of you Merlin fangirls out there—SEASON 4 shouldn't be that far away if we wait long enough together! OwO

Till next time, loves~! ;D

.::.*~Kitsune Shadow~*.::.