Note to readers: I have already posted this fiction on another site (.com) and I AM SayWhatYouSee, so I can do what I like with my fiction. I thought I'd post it here too so that I wouldn't have all my different fictions in different places and I could keep track of them easier. Please enjoy!

After their date that night, Merlin and Freya crossed the square, messing around, as if they were alone. However, neither of them were aware that Arthur just happened to be watching them…

XXX

Arthur pulled off his shirt and threw it onto the wooden divider. Merlin could clear it up in the morning; after all, that was his job. Arthur made his way over to his bed and sat down. Usually at this time in the evening his thoughts would be of Gwen. But tonight his thoughts were lingering on Merlin. Obviously not in the same way as he saw Gwen, but he was still wondering about his manservant's funny behaviour when he had asked shyly for the night off.

Arthur had just assumed that it was to help Gaius but now, looking back on the conversation, Merlin had been reluctant to go into too much detail on his activities. Maybe there was a girl…no, Merlin wasn't that type of man. He never seemed to have much luck with girls, mainly because none ever seemed to be interested in him, especially when Arthur was on the scene.

A wave of pity breezed over Arthur. Poor boy, he hadn't been around much. Arthur, on the other hand, was a completely different story. He had never bedded a girl, but he had often got close to it before his honour got the better of him and he stopped. He doubted Merlin had even had his first kiss… well; maybe that was going a bit too far. He'd probably kissed a girl, but Arthur highly doubted that he'd got any further. Poor, poor boy, so much he'd missed out on.

Suddenly, Arthur heard laughter from the square. Eager to find something else to do he bounded to the window. Looking out into the warm summers night he saw what appeared to be two figures dancing across the square playfully. He grinned absent mindedly. He didn't recognise the girl, but as they spun into a patch of light, supplied by the sunset, his heart skipped a beat as he recognised the tall, skinny man. It was Merlin. Arthur laughed besides himself. Merlin was messing around in the square with a girl! And only moments ago, he had wrongly assumed that this day would never come. Merlin was avoiding his duties for a girl!

Arthur watched in wonder as the girl pulled away, doubled up with laughter. She took a seat on the steps and after a few seconds Merlin followed suit. As they sat together talking, Merlin extended his arm and wrapped it around the girl's shoulders. They stayed in silence for a few minutes before the girl gently patted Merlin on the knee and stood up, turning to face him. Merlin, again, copied her. He wrapped his arms around the girl's shoulders and listened as she spoke, although, from the angle he could see things, Arthur was pretty sure Merlin was just gazing at her. Merlin began to respond to what seemed like questions. After no more than a minute of this, Merlin began to lean in. Arthur watched in awe as Merlin unsurely kissed the girl on the mouth. She kissed him back and, with boosted confidence from this reaction, Merlin let one hand rest on the back of her head whilst the other worked its way down to the small of her back. She lifted her arms and wrapped them tightly around Merlin's neck as they kissed more passionately by the second.

As he watched, Arthur felt a suddenly pang deep in his heart. Could he possibly be feeling envious of his manservant? Truthfully, yes, he inwardly admitted to himself for the first time in his life. He wished that his love life was as simple as Merlin's. He wished that he was allowed to fall in love with whoever he wanted. He wished that he could mess around in the square, carefree, not worrying about his future and the commitments he had to make. He wished he could be with Gwen…

XXX

Slowly and unwillingly, Freya pulled her mouth from Merlin's.

"Wait, I hadn't finished." Merlin said softly as he opened his eyes. Freya smiled. If only she could express how much she loved him. The man who had saved her from the villainous bounty hunter. The man who had kept her secret and made sure she had enough food and water to survive. The man who didn't care that she was cursed and that she had kept things from him. The only man who could keep her calm when she transformed.

Every midnight he would sneak into the lower town and go to her house. He would sit with her whilst she was a beast. He would talk to her, tell her stories, and some times even sing when he'd had enough to drink. He would stroke her velvety black fur lovingly and tell her that she was beautiful. And yet he never asked for anything in return. He gave her unconditional love, and to repay his kindness, she loved him without bounds. But it wasn't enough. She still felt guilty that there was nothing she could do to pay him back. And what made it worse was that she refused to make love to him. It wasn't because she didn't want to, be under no illusions, she did. It was just she didn't feel ready.

Freya internally rolled her eyes. Didn't feel ready. What sort of rubbish was that? She was more ready than she ever would be. There was just always something that stopped her, something deep inside of her that told her that she must wait for the perfect moment.

Freya suddenly became aware of Merlin's anxious expression.

"Freya, are you alright?" She shivered as he spoke her name. She wanted him so badly, but she couldn't have him, not yet.

"No, I'm half left." She said to him. He grinned cheekily, that signature smile that made her tingle. She knew he loved it when she joined in with his joking banter and she was still getting the hang of it. After so many years feeling alone, her sense of humour had all but diminished completely, but Merlin was helping her find herself again, "I had a great time tonight." Merlin nodded.

"Me too. Maybe we could do it again some time. And maybe next time I could cook you dinner too." He said, blushing slightly.

"Was that you asking me on a date?" Freya replied sarcastically. Merlin shrugged.

"Maybe." He retorted, pretending to act illusive. She smiled.

"Well then, seeing as you asked me so kindly, I don't think I could refuse." She said tousling with his dark silky hair. He grinned like a little boy at Christmas.

"Ok then. Same time and place next week?" he asked.

"Sounds like a plan." Freya replied. They smiled at each other and, after one last kiss, untangled themselves from each others grip. Waving gently as she walked away, Freya felt a wave of euphoria pass over her. Merlin was the love of her life. She was sure of it.

XXX

The next morning Merlin almost skipped into Arthur's chambers. Managing to get a reign on his happiness he placed Arthur's breakfast tray on the table and moved over to the window with slightly less energy. He threw open the curtains and was almost blinded by the summer morning sun.

"Good morning!" Merlin said in a sing song voice. Arthur sat bolt up right.

"What?" he mumbled as he opened his eyes.

"It's the morning!" Merlin stated cheerfully, picking up the clothes that lay over the wooden divider and throwing them with unusually good aim, into the laundry basket. Arthur rubbed his eyes and watched Merlin prance about the room, clearing up the mess Arthur had made a special effect to leave him, with such ease it surprised Arthur. He suddenly remembered what he had seen the night before. Arthur grinned in spite of himself. Merlin looked at him in confusion.

"What?" he asked. Arthur shook his head.

"Nothing." He replied, still grinning widely. Merlin frowned but began to collect up Arthur's armour. Arthur got out of bed and sat down at the table. As he began to eat his breakfast Merlin sat down at the table too and set about polishing the armour.

"How was your night last night?" Arthur asked, pausing eating. Merlin froze for a split second but managed to cover it up. However, it didn't go unnoticed.

"Oh, you know. Boring, chores and such." Merlin said, apparently nonchalantly.

"Really? Because a little bird told me otherwise." Arthur said as he finished his breakfast. Merlin shook his head.

"Honestly, Arthur. When a bird talks to you, you shouldn't listen to it. Hearing speaking birds isn't normal. Maybe I should get Gaius to check you over." he said, not lifting his gaze from his work. Arthur smiled. He wasn't going to say anything until Merlin did.

"Shut up Merlin, I saw you with that girl." Arthur blurted out. Damn. There went his ingenious plan. Merlin's head jerked up and his jaw dropped.

"What?" he said in disbelief. Arthur laughed.

"You needn't hide anything from me, we're both men. Can we not talk about girls?" he said, gesturing to Merlin. Merlin didn't look like he was falling for it.

"No we can't. You're the king." He stated. Arthur rolled his eyes.

"Well spotted Merlin. I thought you'd never notice." Arthur said, leaning back in his seat as he began to see his plan hatch.

"What I mean is; a nobleman's intentions are completely honourable. With a servant, things are different…" Merlin trailed off as he realised that his argument had just backfired. Arthur grinned.

"Well that was a spectacular fail." Arthur joked. Merlin opened his mouth to say something but Arthur raised a hand to stop him, "I understand what you were trying to say, don't worry." Merlin relaxed slightly, and Arthur wasn't going to have that, "From what I saw, your intentions certainly weren't honourable." Merlin dropped the gauntlet he was holding, and in sheer horror he looked at Arthur, who was grinning uncontrollably.

"You saw that?" Merlin gasped. Arthur nodded, not trusting himself to speak. Merlin ran his hand through his hair, "Oh God!"

"Indeed." Arthur stated, having a hard time stopping himself from bursting out laughing.

"I swear that's as far as we've got. I really do have respectable intentions for this girl." Merlin said quickly.

"Merlin." Arthur said leaning forward and resting his hand on Merlin's shoulder, "You don't need to cover anything up. I understand how you feel." Merlin gazed at him with sombre eyes. Believing his comment had been well received, Arthur leaned back.

"You're not going to tell anyone?" Merlin asked, regarding Arthur with suspicion.

"Of course not. It's between you, me and her." He said, smiling gently at his best friend, "What's her name then?"

"Freya." Merlin replied. Blushing, he looked down at his work. Bless his heart, Merlin was finally growing up.

"You really like her." Arthur stated.

"Like her? I love her." Merlin said, treating Arthur's comment as more of a question. Catching Arthur's eye, Merlin turned an even deeper shade of red. Arthur grinned triumphantly as he stood up and moved over to get dressed. Merlin reluctantly followed him and passed him his clothes as he stepped behind the wooden divider.

"Really? Well then, the girl you love must be pretty permanent." Arthur said. Merlin sat on the end of the bed.

"I hope so." He replied, playing with a tassel on the edge of the bed sheets. Arthur peered around the edge of the wooden divider as Merlin began absentmindedly smiling to himself. Arthur grinned.

"So, when do I get to meet her?" he asked. Merlin's head jerked up as he looked at Arthur in shock.

"What? Who said anything about you meeting her?" he said.

"I did." Arthur retorted cheekily, Merlin stood up and opened his mouth to say something but Arthur cut him off "Now, now, Merlin. Calm down. I only want you to introduce me to her." Merlin frowned.

"I don't think that's a very good idea." He said as he grabbed Arthur's jacket.

"Why not?" Arthur asked as he let Merlin help him into his jacket.

"Well, because if she meets you there's not much chance that she'll ever look at me again." he said humbly. Arthur turned around to face him.

"Merlin, from what I saw last night, she seemed to really like you too. I don't think that she'll even acknowledge me properly." He said, resting his hand on Merlin's shoulder. Merlin looked unsurely into Arthur's eyes.

"I don't know. I still don't like the idea." He said. Arthur removed his hand. This had gone far enough; all he wanted was to meet the girl. His intentions were completely honourable. But if Merlin was truly in love with this girl it was very likely that he couldn't see that. Arthur would have to use his last resort.

"Well, then maybe Gaius would be interested in his assistant's night time activities." He said, regretting it as soon as the words left his mouth. Merlin's eyes widened and he stared at Arthur, his face full of hurt. Damn it, Merlin! Stop looking at me like that, Arthur thought. He bullied Merlin a lot but that didn't mean he didn't care. Quite on the contrary, he cared a lot for Merlin. There was a bond between them, one he could never describe, almost like they were destined to make it through everything together. But that was stupid, there was no such thing as destiny.

"That was low." Merlin said, bringing Arthur out of his thoughts and into reality. Arthur looked away from Merlin's heartbreaking face.

"I know, I'm sorry." He said, Merlin sighed. Arthur looked to him, "All I want is to say hello. I swear on my life." Merlin fought with himself for a few seconds.

"Ok then." He said unsurely. Arthur grinned triumphantly, "But please don't tell Gaius. Or anyone actually." Arthur nodded sincerely.

"Of course." He said, his face becoming sombre. Suddenly a thought hit Arthur, "Do you know what this means?" Merlin frowned in confusion.

"That you've agreed to do something that isn't for you?" he said. Arthur ignored Merlin's sarcastic comment.

"No. This means that you're finally trusting me with something no one else knows." He said, grinning.

"Wow! That's a big step in our relationship." Merlin said, "Would now be a good time for a hug?"

"No, Merlin. There is never a good time for a hug. Give up." Arthur said taking a mocking step away from Merlin, who was grinning at him, "Well go on then. Go get her." Merlin frowned.

"What?" he said in confusion.

"Introduce us." Arthur said. Was it not obvious enough? Well, as Merlin once sarcastically said to him, love makes you do funny things. But then again, he did funny things anyway. Merlin walked out of Arthur's room, still looking rather bemused. Arthur shook his head. How wrong he was when he thought that this day would never come.