Merlin was complaining, as usual, as he packed their clothes and supplies. Arthur watched him fondly as he began a long spiel about the lack of comforts in the wilderness. Then something Merlin said struck him and he lifts an eyebrow.
"Are you saying that you don't like it when we do it on the floor?" Arthur said wickedly, just to see Merlin blush.
"Uh," Merlin said, but Arthur was already steamrolling on.
"You don't like it when we do it in the bathtub?"
"Well…" Merlin said, uncharacteristically at a loss for words.
"In the stables? Against the wall? In the armory? On the table? You don't like it when I go 'hunting' and we lie on the grass and I kiss you ?" Arthur said, enjoying the way Merlin spluttered. "I'm just saying, Merlin, that a bed isn't exactly necessary for comfort, is it?"
"No, Sire," Merlin mumbled.
"Good lord," Gwaine said, looking at the pair of them in askance. "You two have really done it all those places? That's all over the Camelot!" He handed Arthur a mug of beer. "Here, it was to cheer you up, but I guess you don't really need it, do you?"
Merlin was bright red by the time Arthur took the mug, bemused. "…Thank you Gwaine."
"Next time, knock!" Arthur shouted as Gwaine left, clapping Merlin on the shoulder as he went.
There was an awkward silence after he was gone.
"Huge army coming," Merlin finally said.
"Right, yeah," Arthur replied. "You should…go finish packing."
"Right," Merlin agreed. He stepped closer instead of away though, pressing his lips to Arthur's in a chaste kiss. Then he stepped back, with that serious expression he wore whenever he wanted to talk about feelings. "You're a good man, Arthur. Don't ever let anyone let you think otherwise."
"Merlin," Arthur said when Merlin had picked up the packs and was halfway out the door. "You are too. And thank you."
Arthur lingered a moment in his chambers, letting his eyes sweep over the familiar surroundings, knowing without turning around to look through the window that his knights and his soldiers were getting ready to march out to a war that Arthur had brought down upon them. His eyes fell on the right side of the bed, where Merlin had slept last night, the pillow already molded to the shape of his head. If Arthur bent down, it would probably still smell of him.
Arthur wouldn't let any of his people pay for his mistake. Did that make him a good man? "A good man wouldn't have gotten them into this in the first place," he told himself sternly. And then he shut the door behind him and went to join his knights and Merlin down in the courtyard.
They rode to war.