A/N: So I'm going to apologize now for any errors in punctuation, word tense, and word usage (I kept misspelling words then clicking on a word that did not fit the sentence properly during spell check) I want to say that I corrected all my mistakes, but honestly, I'm not perfect, so I'm not sure that I actually did. Anyways… I found this in my computer files a week or so ago, and was like… wait… did I write this? And thus, I began editing it, and adding anything I saw fit, including an ending that isn't really an ending at all. I used to have a rule for myself not to post anything under the 1000 word count. But now I'm posting a lot of things that are shorter. I hope that's no a bad thing.

Disclaimer: Merlin belongs to the BBC… and Arthur, of course. *grins*

Discretion's Purpose

It's late, as it always is when they do this. They can't afford to be caught; know that if they are caught, they'll be punished, or that Merlin will be punished, even executed while Arthur is forced to stand by and watch, powerless, as Merlin is made yet another example of a careless king's wrath, and that is something that Arthur is not willing to risk, not ever. So they always make sure to meet when everyone else is asleep, aside from whatever knights may be on patrol that night, and really, those lads are no trouble at all to Arthur and Merlin, since they are at least half a castle away (or, if they are not, they hide themselves very well, and know not to speak of what they may see). Arthur always insists (rather heatedly) that he needs no guards at his door, since he is by far the best knight in the kingdom (a bit cocky, yeah?), and so his door is always left easily accessible to Merlin. When the servants are tucked into bed in their quarters and the nobles are snoring peacefully in their own beds, or whoever's bed they have chosen to share for the evening, dreaming of the finer things, Merlin sneaks out of his own small room and comes to Arthur.

When all is silent in Camelot, (or, close to, since the creatures in the nearby forest seem incapable of shutting up, no matter the hour) Merlin sneaks into Arthur's room, trying to keep more control over his lanky, loose limbs than he normally would. Tripping over his own feet or knocking knees or elbows or even face first into a wall will not do, not when he is suppose to be being sneaky and stealthy and discreet. Of course, even his best attempts at not being clumsy never seems to work properly, so when he finally does reach Arthur's chambers, every single time, he is always rubbing away some ache due to thin limbs connecting with solid, stone walls.

Arthur always laughs at him when he sees him, though he does so quietly, so as not to wake anyone, even though the castle walls are thick, and there is no other person residing in any of the rooms close to Arthur's. This makes Merlin feel as if this laughter, this not-so-silent joy that he is witnessing, is only for him; and it is. When Arthur is through laughing, the mere sound of it ringing with more fondness and adoration then his words ever can, he pulls Merlin close, the sweet, heady taste of his giddiness evident on his lips, and he makes Merlin forget about his aches and pains.

Merlin swears that the prat is just paranoid, (because, really, is there even that much of a chance of being caught? Is there truly such a need for discretion? Because, honestly, will anyone in the castle care? They will probably think that Arthur is doing no more than fucking his manservant, which is not an uncommon thing for a noble to do, apparently. There is no way for them to know of the deep bond between the prince and his overly-foolish manservant.) but he supposes that Arthur has good reason to be cautious, since their lives hang in the balance here if they make one too many hasty, clumsy moves. Because even if the nobles and servants in Camelot could care less, there are people who could use the relationship between Merlin and Arthur against them, and Merlin knows that Uther would stoop so low as to do something like this if he feels that his son needs to be taught a lesson. So yes, Arthur's paranoia is understood. (And yes, he knows that it's sort of ironic, really, the fact that he uses great caution to sneak around and have an affair with the prince of Camelot, but he does not use nearly as much caution when he is performing magic.) But he can deal with the paranoia, and the not so hidden threats of death. He can live with the fear that comes with having a relationship with Arthur, because to not live with these things would mean that he will have to give this up.

And there is no way that he can possibly live without what is between himself and Arthur.

Doing so would be like losing half of himself.

Perhaps that is what the dragon meant when he would speak of being two sides of the same coin, sharing one destiny.

A/N: Soo…. How'd I do on this one?

Please review. It only takes a minute (unless you're computer is like mine and loves taking its time) *grins*