Arthur leaned against the stone wall, gazing out the window. The sky was beginning to lighten in Camelot, but there was gloom in the king's eyes. For all the things he had done wrong, and all they had disagreed on, Uther had still been his father.
He turned to face his manservant, standing straight as he did so. He had no time to grieve. Someone had to rule Camelot.
"Gather the royal advisors," he said, pulling on his cloak. Merlin rushed forward to fasten it. "And then have someone gather the people. We must tell them, as well."
Merlin nodded and began to rush out the door. His hand was still on the inside, pulling it closed, when Arthur called him back. He picked up his gloves as the warlock poked his head back in the door.
"I think, now that I'm king, I should require a new manservant. One who is actually…competent in his duties," Arthur informed him haughtily. Shocked, Merlin stammered before painting a grin on.
"I'll get right on that, Sire."
Arthur scoffed. "Don't be an idiot, Merlin. You will be far too busy for that."
He began to pull on his gloves, a satisfied glint in his eyes at Merlin's befuddled expression.
"I…I will be, sire?"
"Of course." Arthur was pulling on his second glove with a small smile. Even in his perplexed state, Merlin was glad to see it. "Before you gather the council, you might want to change. Want to look nice for your first meeting as a royal advisor, don't you?"
The grin that broke out on Merlin's face spread from ear to ear, and made Arthur's smile a little larger as well. Merlin chuckled. "Of…of course, sire. Thirty minutes?"
Giving a head shake, his expression much more subdued, Merlin agreed, "That's exactly what I meant. Twenty minutes."
Arthur raised an eyebrow at his friend. "You are such a girl, Merlin. Don't tell me it will take you so long to get ready. You don't even have to be sneaky anymore."
With a final nod and a grin that covered half his face, Merlin rushed off. Arthur's smile was small but sincere as he gazed out the window, watching the sun come up.
His father might be gone, but this was not the end of Camelot.