Summary: from kinkme_merlin prompt: Arthur can ignore a lot of the strange things about Merlin, but when he sees Merlin with his shirt off one day he CAN'T ignore Merlin's scars.
Pairing: Arthur/Merlin
Warnings: Mentions of violence, kidnapping (think Tears of Uther Pendragon), skinning of rabbits, magical reveal.
Notes: All lyrics (title and page breaks) come from Laura Marling's 'Blackberry Stone'.


to the world that never let you be

Part One

Arthur was good at many things. He was a good warrior (one of the best, actually), a good negotiator, a good man (though it had taken him a long time and many people to tell him this and still he didn't really believe it, at least not all the time), and he was good at patience. Well, sometimes. And, really, it was more of him being good at ignoring than being patient, but a Crown Prince wasn't supposed to ignore things, especially when they pertained to his own staff.

What that really meant, though, was that Arthur was good at ignoring things when it came to Merlin. He was good at ignoring the way Merlin would look down at him with a dopey smile, beaming as if the sun had announced Merlin was King of the world when he woke Arthur - every damn morning. Arthur had never known anyone to be so... happy in the morning, but Merlin never failed. He ignored it, of course, and often rolled over in bed to smother the smile that rose to greet Merlin's, because in reality, when you're woken with such a big, happy smile, there was little resistance to follow when you were half asleep.

He'd never admit that though, because he was good at this thing called ignoring, you see?

Arthur was also good at ignoring how Merlin did his chores. His manservant would hum to himself, or tell stupid little stories about children who wandered into woods and met magical pixies, or a lonely old woman who decided to craft shoes for foxes, something to fill the silences on the job. Stories that never actually made sense, but carried an air of nostalgia with them that Arthur was almost one hundred per cent certain Hunith had told them to her son when he was a child.

(It seemed as if there were a lot of things Arthur wouldn't admit to when it came to Merlin as well, for he liked hearing the children's tales, sitting back in his chair as Merlin sat opposite, whittling on about how the field mice collected their winter stores and battled the evil rats.)

So maybe he blamed the last part on his childhood. He'd hardly had any stories about animals growing up. Animals were animals, there for eating and not much else. Ever since the unicorn, years ago, Arthur had paid a little more attention to Merlin's stories and as such used this as an alternative excuse. He had to know whether the twelve-pointer stag he'd hunted when he was fifteen would cause a curse on his firstborn after all, and Merlin seemed to have a vast amount of knowledge on these things.

Just to be safe.

Another thing that Arthur was good at ignoring when it came to Merlin was... well, him. Or rather, the idiotic things he did, such as tripping over his own feet or dropping everything he was carrying. He couldn't help but notice Merlin wherever he was (because Merlin had the kind of aura that just made you know he was there, whether he was slinking in late for morning's council sessions or hiding away from his chores), but the Prince was good at ignoring the faults with his manservant that often made his father roll his eyes in exasperation.

Everyone knew Merlin was full of odd quirks and so it hardly bothered Arthur when he had turned down an invitation to join the Knights in a swimming contest. After all, Merlin was hardly an athlete and even though it was summer at the time, the water of the lake they had chosen was bound to be cold at best.

So no. Arthur hadn't found it strange when Merlin hadn't joined them that time. Nor had he found it strange that Merlin preferred to bathe alone on long camping trips, and not at all on shorter ones. Some people were more private than Arthur - who really didn't care who was ogling his muscles because, well, what good was a Prince when he couldn't make at least one person a day swoon?

Merlin had snorted and called him ridiculous when he'd said as much to his manservant. Arthur thought it was well within his rights to get people to swoon after him, then promptly ignored the 'oh really' swagger in Merlin's grin.

He was, after all, brilliant at this ignoring thing.

He didn't even mind when Merlin scrunched his nose up and shook his head madly after Arthur offered him his used bathwater. For anyone else, such an offer would be an honour. For Merlin, though, it was an insult and Arthur had stopped offering after the third venomous glare he'd received in return.

To that, though, Arthur was slightly grateful. He didn't really want someone bathing in his own filth, but his father had always pressed upon him the need to be polite and offer small rewards to one's servant. Apparently offering them a tub of water, sweat and blood was a great reward, but Arthur had never seen it as such.

Arthur had been so good at ignoring this particular habit of Merlin's until Merlin called unnecessary attention to it.

It had been a teaching session, as it always seemed to be with Merlin, where Arthur was trying to illustrate a point and drum servant skills into Merlin because, despite being master and servant for years, Merlin still lacked in essential skills. Namely, and the product of this 'session' (when really Arthur made Merlin carry the pitchers to his room and navigate doors while doing it as opposed to any actual lesson) he couldn't carry two jugs of wine at once.

It wasn't a surprise when he tripped over the top step leading to the hall where Arthur's chambers lay, spilling red wine down his front. There was a beat of silence as both men watched the wine bloom over Merlin's chest before Arthur rolled his eyes, hands reaching to take the jugs from Merlin's hands.

"Really Merlin, how hard is it to walk up some stairs?" Arthur smiled, shaking his head. He ignored the fact that he wouldn't want Merlin any other way and made for his chambers, Merlin hot on his heels.

"It's not my fault someone makes ridiculous demands for two jugs of wine when one would be enough, so that I can't see where my feet are going." Merlin cut himself off as Arthur turned to look at him.

"You finished?" he asked, toeing his door open and moving in to put the half-empty jugs on the table.

"Good, take that top off then, you can borrow an old one of mine."

Arthur may have had his back half-turned towards Merlin, but he didn't miss the stiffening of his manservant's shoulders and the way a hand moved to grab the centre of the wine-blot.

"Off?" he asked, voice a little too casual for Arthur's liking.

"Yes, off. You smell like you've spent the day in the tavern and if you're going to join me then I expect you to change. I have some water behind the screen you can wash yourself off with."

Arthur didn't miss the way Merlin's eyes darted towards the screen Arthur had set up earlier when he'd bathed and then the way they traced to the door. The Prince may have been able to ignore the odd behaviour before, but now his curiosity was piqued and, well, what was Merlin playing at?

"I have to go," Merlin blurted out, making for the door instantly. He had one palm closed on the handle before he continued, "Gaius wanted me to run a few errands before bed and I only just remembered."

Arthur nodded slowly, making sure that disbelief was clear in his nod. It was something he'd strived to perfect when he was eight, but now found it came at remarkable ease. It was clearly hereditary, for Uther was a master at the nod.

With Merlin suddenly gone and the wine losing all appeal, it suddenly occurred to Arthur why Merlin was so secretive about his bathing habits.

"Of course!" he said to an empty room, proud of his sudden revelation. "He's scared of water!"

And while he was good at ignoring some things (almost all of which related to Merlin), he couldn't just let this one slip by.

well I own this field and I wrote this sky

The day dawned, bright and warm. Breakfast was, as usual, missing, but that wasn't an anomaly to Arthur any more. He generally woke before his breakfast was brought up, but it was always to Merlin - be it a smile or the sound of him shuffling.

Today, however, there was no Merlin shuffling around and Arthur sat up, looking out of the window to check that, yes, it was daytime. He stretched his arms above his head, rolling his shoulders and shaking sleep off when his chamber door banged open and Merlin stood there, leg outstretched and a wooden tray in his hands.

"Um, sorry?" he said, grinning sheepishly as he set Arthur's breakfast on the table. "There was a problem with one of Gaius' experiments this morning and he managed to set alight to... well maybe its best I don't actually say, but I had to help him put it out and that took a long time-"

Merlin cut himself off, shaking his head. "What I mean to say is, breakfast!"

It was Arthur's typical breakfast; meat, cheese, bread and a large jug of water and while he'd usually be sitting down anticipating the food by now, Arthur had a more pressing issue to deal with. Namely, Merlin's fear and how he could tackle it.

Ever since he was, well born really, Arthur had been taught to face his fears. He'd been pitted against his first knight at the age of six (though that wasn't an actual fight so much as a game, one day when Uther had decided to show Arthur how men trained - which promptly ended in most of Camelot's seasoned fighters either showing off to the young Prince or wanting to impart their own wisdom) and slayed many foes by the time he'd come of age. Fear had never been an issue for Arthur, though he supposed he must have felt it, back on his first campaign or during his first tournaments.

The thing was, Arthur didn't remember that fear. Merlin clearly held his fear in his chest, unable to move past it and while that was all very good for a simple peasant, Arthur was the Crown Prince. He couldn't have a manservant who would be afraid to help him rescue someone if they were drowning, or if they had to embark upon some quest through... a swamp.

It was entirely possible, Arthur reasoned to himself. There were plenty of swamps around and knowing their luck, Arthur and Merlin would have to go on a quest to one and Merlin would muck everything up, destroying Camelot in the process.

Or something like that.

Merlin was nosing around the room, hands darting around and picking up scattered clothes and tidying the clutter Arthur seemed to attract. He was humming to himself again, a tuneless song coiling around the room merrily and Arthur broke a chunk of bread from the main loaf, chewing on it, contemplating how to breech the subject as he took his seat at the table.

"What would you do if someone was drowning?" Arthur said instead, around his mouthful. He reached for some gammon, acting casual as Merlin looked over to him, eyebrows furrowed.

"What any normal person would do I expect, try and save the person drowning?" Merlin shrugged his shoulders, returning to his task as if such questions were just part of his job when 'Dealing With Arthur'. And yes, Arthur knew that was capitalised because he had heard Merlin discussing the issue with Gwen in the laundry room, once when he was searching for his missing manservant.

He was not, for the record, a spoilt prat when he hadn't had his breakfast, no matter what Merlin put out on the grapevine.

And, okay, maybe Arthur's scenario had been a little too heart-clenching for poor Merlin, the same person who liked unicorns and cried for people he barely knew. Maybe he'd override his human fears to save someone... so a different situation perhaps?

"What if someone lost something in a river?"

Merlin pulled pillows off of Arthur's bed, starting to remake the covers. He glanced over to Arthur with an odd look on his face, as if he was amused to be entertaining a small child.

"Well, it depends what it is and, you know, on the river. If it's easy to get to I'll get it for them, if it's important then I'll help." Merlin plumped the pillows up, "I don't exactly want to die by drowning if you're trying to figure out some obscure punishment for me."

Arthur raised an eyebrow. "Yes Merlin, I'm asking you these questions to find out your preferred method of being killed." Arthur paused for a moment while Merlin stilled, eyes darting to meet Arthur's to check the seriousness of the conversation.

"Idiot," Arthur muttered, turning back to his food.

"As long as we're on the same page then Sire," Merlin said curtly, smile tugging at his lips. "Besides, I prefer a good burning any day of the week."

Arthur sighed heavily. "Look, I know okay?" Merlin froze, like a deer in front of a hunter. "So you don't have to pretend anymore or make little jokes like that."

Merlin was silent; his whole body rigid and, honestly, how had he lived so long with such a paralysing fear?

"I'll help you overcome it though," Arthur continued, knowing that Merlin needed reassurance. Fear wasn't a nice thing and, while he couldn't remember it, Arthur could respect people even if they were scared. "There's nothing to be afraid of with water, I'll help you realise that."

All in all, Arthur was sure he was doing a good job in reassuring Merlin that everything would be fine in the end. He was certain he'd said the right things in the right places and was ready to nod at his efforts when Merlin snorted, laughter breaking free from his throat.

Hm. Maybe not then.

Arthur counted five seconds before he decided that it really was enough and he stood, his chair screeching against flagstones, finally silencing Merlin's laughter. They stared at each other for a moment before Merlin bundled up linen in his arms, obviously biting back another round of chuckling.

It wasn't that funny. So maybe Arthur had misjudged something here (and he'd have to think about this a bit further because if Merlin wasn't scared of water, what was he scared of?), but there was no need to laugh this much about it.

"You thought-?" Merlin pressed his lips together tightly, struggling to keep his emotions under control. "You thought I was scared of water?"

Arthur nodded curtly; he couldn't deny it, he'd said it pointedly for all the room to hear. If he took it back now, Merlin would be relentless and not stop poking it until he'd a confession. It was better to admit the fault now than let Merlin grin himself stupid.

Merlin's smile was threatening to split his face in two again so Arthur looked away. So, maybe this once his judgement had been less than perfect, but was that really reason for Merlin to be so happy?

"I know you have a sensitive nose and all," Merlin began and Arthur wanted to argue this point because his nose was perfect, thanks Merlin, and he only ever complained if things smelt really, really bad. "But we can't all take hourly baths in infused waters."

There was going to be some jibe soon, about Arthur's masculinity. Or lack of...

"You take more baths than any woman I've ever known!" Merlin was back to moving around the room, shaking his head to himself with a dopey smile.

"Yes, okay, thank you for that Merlin," Arthur ground out, ripping another chunk of bread from the main loaf and chewing on it, expression thunderous. "I get the point."

He swallowed dryly, wincing as the bread caught in his throat a little. "I could put you in the stocks you know," he muttered, more for old times' sake than anything. It wasn't as if he'd actually put Merlin back in the stocks; if he needed to punish his manservant then the dungeons would be a better place.

Everyone knew who Merlin was now, after all. While before he was just another idiot getting pelted with food, now he was the Prince's manservant who had refused to listen - yet again. There were only so many times you could bash against an impenetrable force before you crumpled, and Arthur knew that pushing Merlin into such a position was ridiculous.

Merlin wasn't a run-of-the-mill servant - something that Arthur wouldn't openly admit that he was grateful for, but he was. Merlin was more of a friend than anything, someone who stood by Arthur through thick and thin (and all the times he had been a complete idiot by Arthur's side, just by staying, all the times Arthur had needed someone there but couldn't ask his men).

Merlin was always there for him, just as Arthur thought he'd always been there for Merlin.

Only, he'd made a massive misjudgement in thinking Merlin was scared of water and, well it was probably hilarious to everyone but Arthur at this moment in time.

"Stop sniggering. You sound like a little girl Merlin," Arthur drawled, sinking lower in his chair. And they said you were supposed to start as you mean to go on? Well this day was just going to be awful then.

Merlin continued smiling to himself as they settled into silence, Arthur finishing his breakfast and Merlin tidying up.

"Your father wanted you to head council sessions today," Merlin said carefully, his voice dropping ever so slightly, as it always did now when people talked to Arthur about his father. They were always so careful, so cautious as to tread around the secrets that Morgana had ripped open and it was grating for Arthur.

Part of him wanted to keep it this way, tuck the secrets and the fact that he had a sister (one pretty hell bent on destroying Camelot now too - and could that have been prevented if Uther had told them? Though that was another can of worms that reminded Arthur of a time he'd pressed his sword to Uther's neck, calling him a liar) away where no one could see.

Then another part, a bigger one, the one that had told him to listen to Merlin, to knight his men, to fight for Camelot, wanted to talk about it. Arthur needed to know about it, why Uther had lied all these years, how long ago did Morgana find out, why had she turned to Morgause instead of him...?

But he was tired. Too tired to do any of that. So Arthur sat back, letting even Merlin walk around the subject, tensed like a cat in a fight, eyes wary of Arthur's reaction. The one person who had seen the very best and the very worst was wary, which had to allude to how sensitive the subject was... and it was the only time Arthur wanted Merlin to grab the bull by the horns and just... be Merlin.

"I need to dress," Arthur said instead, rising from the table and moving to his wardrobe. Merlin was by his side just as he started rummaging for clothes, rocking back and forth on the balls of his feet.

Merlin helped him very little, as was normal, but they remained side by side, comfortable in the routine they had developed over the years together. Always after breakfast they would run through this routine, manservant close by his master, even if nothing else in the day followed any other. It was a regime of normality and while Arthur never really thought about it, he sought some form of comfort in knowing Merlin would be there for those few minutes.

"I want you to check through my weapons inventory today and take anything that needs mending. I also want you to make sure all my armour is polished fully and any dents hammered out," Arthur said as he made to leave.

Merlin nodded, straightening up. "Yes Sire," he said, standing to mock-attention. "I live to your command Sire!"

Arthur rolled his eyes and let his chamber door swing closed behind him as he made his way to take council. It had been this way for a few days now, since Uther's health had started declining. Arthur took the council and presented a summary to his father, who would then generally agree with what Arthur and the senior members of Uther's council had decided and they would all rest well knowing they had their King's blessing.

And if Arthur found his attention straying from petitioning noblemen in court to the way his manservant was looking around the council chambers half-asleep (everyone did it, it was one of the few things Arthur wasn't looking forward to as King), then it certainly wasn't because he was more interested in Merlin's problems. It was just the fact they were more interesting to figure out than pig farmers and snotty nobles.

and you never did learn to let the little things go

Talking to his father was tiring. Uther wasn't back to his full ruling capacity and Camelot was lucky if she saw her King for half the week with the state of mind he was in, and so it was often left to Arthur to fill boots bigger than his feet. It wasn't, Arthur had explained to Merlin one night, as if he wasn't up to becoming King, but he had to be the King his father was rather than himself.

Though, Gaius' pinched look and slight downturned lips made Arthur wonder how much longer Uther would be in the right mind to rule at all. In some ways it was far worse than the enchantment that had taken hold of the King's mind months ago because he rarely talked, sinking into himself and shaking his head tiredly, as if he'd given up.

And Arthur had never known his father to give up. Not the man who had conquered Camelot at such a young age and then eradicated magic years after. Not the man who was prepared to join men in battle if they needed him. Never.

They all knew the cause of it, of course. The daughter he'd never acknowledged, his ward whom he had lied to...

Arthur had tried not to think of it, but he could see why Morgana was so angry, so full of hatred towards Uther. She'd been denied a family all her life, made to think she was an outside before she was part of the family. Arthur had struggled with Uther along the years, but at least he had still known he was his father, rather than been denied that bond.

He shook his head. Now wasn't the time to think about it. He had knights to oversee and needed to appoint Leon in charge of them, should he need to be absent for a few days (which was likely, with the way Uther was looking this week).

This meant, though, that he'd need to find Merlin and get him to gather his armour. It was most likely a wasted trip, but Arthur headed to his chambers first, wondering if Merlin was skulking around in there as he'd vanished halfway through the council session, as per usual. And while, traditionally, the armour should be sorted out in the armoury, Merlin had taken a fancy to sitting by Arthur's window, pulling chairs up, and looking out over Camelot while he worked.

How did Arthur know? Well, he'd watched Merlin a few times. All in the name of checking his manservant was doing his job, of course, and if Merlin had chosen to tell him stories of woodland animals helping farmers with their hauls for the year, then Arthur would simply say he'd enjoyed a tale.

The door opened soundlessly and Arthur stuck his head inside. He could hear someone moving about, behind the screen further in his rooms, and could tell simply by the way the person shuffled ever so slightly that it was Merlin.

Arthur was about to say something when Merlin moved from behind the screen, back to Arthur and head turned slightly to the side, as if he was looking for something. His hair was slightly damp and Arthur guessed he'd finally taken the bath Arthur hadn't had time for but had, instead offered to Merlin over and over again.

Except Arthur's mind only had a few moments to process that before he finally took in Merlin's back. There was a fading bruise, stretched over both shoulder blades and dipping down Merlin's spine. Purple and green -tinted skin mottled over Merlin's back, breaking up the pale tone that Arthur knew was Merlin's normal skin tone.

The bruises could be explained, perhaps. It wasn't so long ago that Camelot had been under attack and they'd all gathered a large expanse of wounds and bruises during their time in the woods and taking Camelot back. Merlin hadn't been with Arthur for the actual take-over, so who knows what had happened to him?

Maybe he fell over? At least, that was what Arthur wanted to think.

Merlin hadn't noticed him yet at least. It felt as though Arthur had been standing there for hours, when it was probably only seconds. The muscles in Merlin's back shifted under the skin as he opened the window, leaning out slightly, evidently giving up on his search (most likely for a top, knowing Merlin).

As the sound of a lively Camelot reached Arthur's ears, his eyes trailed lower down Merlin's spine, to an oddly shaped mark, pitted slightly. It looked as if Merlin had been bitten, or stung by something, but it was too large for Arthur to place a name to.

What on earth had his manservant been doing? Had Gaius been sending him to dangerous places for plants?

And why had he never noticed before? These kinds of things were surely the things you noticed about a friend.

Merlin half-turned and Arthur moved back in the room, heading to the door. He caught a glimpse of Merlin's chest as he was doing so and only just caught himself, pushing onwards until he was sure Merlin wouldn't notice he was there.

Arthur had seen many battle wounds in his time, even wore plenty of his own, but he had never seen anything like the mark on Merlin's chest. It was similar to a burn, except it was a strange shade of red, as if it was brand new. It couldn't be new though, for the skin around looked smooth and healed, as if it had been there for years.

What had Merlin been doing? He was supposed to be a simple commoner from an outlying village. He wasn't supposed to have unfathomable scars or spine-long bruises. He wasn't supposed to hide them from Arthur - at least.

And why was he hiding them? It was pretty damned clear that he wasn't scared of water now, but Merlin didn't come across as someone who was shy of his body, so why was he hiding these marks?

He couldn't ignore this and the curve of Merlin's back pulled him in again, as well as the brief glimpse of his chest. How had he gained such marks? When? Why?

What was it about Merlin that made him push every trained instinct of a Prince aside? Prince Arthur shouldn't care how Merlin got his scars. Prince Arthur should just turn a blind eye, ignore it all.

But this was Merlin.

And, really, that was reason enough.

Arthur was old enough now to think through a plan before he acted. It wasn't something that had come naturally for him and he'd had to work through mistakes to realise it was often needed, but there were times when Arthur valued the fact he'd cultivated this particular skill.

Instead of charging back into his room and demanding how Merlin had been wounded (again and again it seemed), he left to meet Leon. He let the information simmer and was able to think rather than act blindly and then, in hindsight, regret his actions. He sent someone else for his armour and was able to think, to plan.

Arthur was distant as Merlin attended to him, trying to ignore the marks on his servant's skin, hidden by a thin layer of cloth. Because that was all that really hid Merlin's secret; a thin layer of cloth that could so easily be ripped away. How easily his secret could be exposed, except for the fact he'd guarded it well.

Until now. All it took was one tiny mistake, one shift in someone's schedule and the secret would be seen. Arthur had seen it now, he couldn't remove the image from his brain, and he was curious.

Arthur had always been curious about Merlin, from the first day they'd met. Though, admittedly, he'd never thought he'd meet the annoying peasant again after their second encounter. He had been a moment of hilarity in Arthur's life, someone who didn't get the idea of ranks and, well the fact that you couldn't call a prince a prat.

It wasn't that Merlin didn't understand the ideas of ranks, Arthur had learnt though, but it was the fact he cared very little for distinguished ranks. Merlin believed in respect and honesty as qualities to judge people on and openly admitted that he would prefer the good graces of an honest stable worker to a lord or lady.

Arthur had never met anyone like Merlin. He doubted that there was anyone else like Merlin for that matter and was, in a strange way, glad that he could call Merlin a friend.

Seeing the proof of secrets on Merlin's back had been a blow for Arthur. Each time Merlin greeted him or was simply around him, Arthur itched to ask what had happened to him, why had he scars in the first place or just why he hadn't told Arthur?

Perhaps that was what was bothering him the most; that Merlin could carry secrets around him without it even entering Arthur's suspicions. Hell, he'd thought Merlin was scared of water and it wasn't exactly a mystery as to why all he'd got in return was laughter.

Now that Arthur knew Merlin was concealing something, he saw evidence for it with every step they took. Merlin would always bathe alone, always dress alone, prefer to stay out of conflicts when they happened, prefer to negotiate peaceful endings where he could... a hundred little things Arthur had thought were just who Merlin was, but was now wondering if they were a cause of what Merlin had been through.

It still twitched inside of him that he didn't know what Merlin had been through. It was there, niggling in his chest, a constant question of 'how, what, where, why, when?', drumming in time with his heart.

He couldn't ask Merlin in Camelot. He loved the citadel and the lower towns, but he was still their Prince and it stifled him. In Camelot, contained in the stone walls of his kingdom, Prince Arthur needed to represent his people and follow his King. He had to uphold the honour of Camelot and the laws Uther had made, regardless of his own choices.

It wasn't easy. He had to check himself constantly, think about his actions and how they would reflect on others. Arthur had to be so much more than just plain old Arthur, and it was tiring.

When he was with Merlin, however, these things didn't matter. Or rather, they hadn't mattered until Arthur had seen evidence of a crevice between them. To cross the precipice, he had to bridge the gap between Merlin and himself, which meant they had to be equals.

As long as Arthur was in Camelot, he had to remind himself that Merlin was his servant. Just a servant, possibly a friend, but never really acknowledged. People knew they were close, but there was still a gap of rank, no matter how much Merlin preferred to ignore such facts. And yes, they would break tradition again and again, but Arthur wouldn't be able to just ask Merlin blankly about his scars while he was still aware that he was Prince and Merlin his manservant.

It was, as with many things, just the way it was.

So, three days of burning questions and almost breaking his mental capacity later, Arthur requested an afternoon of hunting, alone. Uther was willing to grant it to him and Arthur left the confines of Camelot's lower town with a grim look on his face, his horse's hooves thundering over cobblestones. Just behind him, sitting slightly slumped on his own horse, Merlin rode with a bored look, convinced that they were going to kill some animals for pointless fun.

When really, Arthur was finally going to get his answers.

and you never did learn to let me be



Although it's still a wip on the meme, there's a lot to get through and I wanted to start posting it up :)

All the support I've had has been amazing, so thank you for everyone who's commented from the meme (if you ever see this!) I hope the rest of you have enjoyed and comments are always appreciated.