Hi everyone :) So this is my first attempt at fanfiction, and after extensive research *ahem* (hours reading) I think I'm ready!
Please review it :D Constructive criticism is constructive :P
(Every reviewer gets given a free virtual hug!)
This chapter (well, this whole story) is dedicated to my best friend Merthur Dreamer because without him this wouldn't be here! He's lovely and fabulous and just AMAZING! SO GO AND SEND HIM SOME LOVE PEOPLE!
A jolt ran through the young boy's body as he heard his name echoing around him. He yawned, stretching out. His long arms unfolded out in front of him as he stretched. He scratched his head as his foggy brain tried to come to terms as to why he had been so rudely interrupted from his sleep. He felt slightly irritated because it was the first decent nights sleep he had been gifted with in a while. For once he wasn't having nightmares about Arthur being slain. For once he didn't see images of the dead prince swimming in his nightmares. Just this once Arthur was in his dreams, but he wasn't in danger. Arthur had been looking up at him with such-
Merlin's mind clicked and he glanced out the window. He realised with a groan he had overslept hideously. Just as Merlin leapt out of bed, his door was thrown open. A jolt ran through Merlin as he whirled around in time to see Arthur standing by the door, anger written across his princely features.
'Amazing...' Merlin thought. 'Even when he is angry, he still looks magnificent. His eyes blaze with such intensity.' He mused to himself. Arthur's expectant cough snapped him out of his thoughts and Merlin blushed softly when he realised what he had been thinking. Luckily, the Future King of Camelot seemed not to notice Merlin's reddened cheeks.
"Arthur...I-" Merlin began but Arthur waved a dismissive hand at him before he had the chance to explain.
"Do you know how many people would kill to get your job, Merlin? You are the personal servant to the heir to the throne! All I expect from you is to show up on time occasionally!" Arthur fumed.
Merlin hid a scoff. As if that was all Arthur required of him. Wouldn't his life be so much easier? But no... He had to tend to every whim that the stubborn little Prince desired.
Of course he could never snap at Arthur though. He had to keep him safe, however annoying the prat was. And if he was honest with himself, Arthur was one of the only friends he had – although Merlin would never tell him that. His ego was big enough already.
"I'm sorry, Sire." Merlin mumbled, looking down at his feet.
He heard Arthur sigh irritably. Merlin glanced up and saw the look of annoyance on the Prince's face and the sorcerer blushed once again.
"Forget it Merlin. Meet me in my bed chamber in ten minutes." Arthur instructed and swiftly left. Merlin rolled his eyes and wondered where Gaius was, considering he hadn't been woken. Merlin also looked down and cringed when he realised that he had only worn trousers to bed that night as it was too hot for his shirt. The thought of the Prince studying his body was enough to make the blood rise to his cheeks... and certain other places... Merlin grumbled to himself at how easily Arthur made him blush.
Merlin stopped dead when he heard a chuckle, and swung around to see the old man laughing into his breakfast.
"Gaius!" Merlin exclaimed. "You were here the whole time! Why didn't you wake me up?" He whined, shooting him a dirty glare when Gaius laughed even harder.
"And miss that performance..." He wheezed."Not on my life." The old man looked up, amusement dancing across his features. "Besides..." Gaius added, his expression morphing into one more thoughtful. "You needed the sleep. I know about the nightmares, Merlin. For once I didn't have to wake up to the sound of your yelling." Gaius said; his voice more serious. Merlin sighed, the anger in him melting away.
"If only the Prince cared as much as you." He grumbled to himself as he went to get changed. By the time he had chucked on his favourite tunic and breeches, outfit complete with neckerchief, Gaius had prepared him breakfast.
"Sorry about earlier. I still feel I did the right thing. I don't like it when you have nightmares. Now eat and hurry to Arthur." Gaius smiled apologetically at him, before retreating to his work. Merlin nodded gratefully and virtually inhaled his food in his rush.
Merlin knocked on the large wooden oak door of the Prince's chambers before shuffling inside. He glanced over the room and noticed that Arthur was staring out of his window, across at the streets of Camelot. Merlin noticed the distant look in his eyes and he recognized that look of daydreaming.
Merlin could guess what Arthur thought about when he gazed at his future kingdom. The manservant wondered how it would feel. To have a well established kingdom nearly at your fingertips. To walk through the streets and see the admiring glances from men and women alike. To be able to ask for anything and know that the person asked would do anything to get it. Merlin knew that it must feel nice, but he also knew it was never for him. His destiny was to help Arthur become the greatest king Camelot had ever known.
Merlin was so lost in his own thoughts that he didn't even notice that Arthur had turned around and was staring at him, eyebrow raised.
"You know, Merlin, that you are generally supposed to wait for me to tell you to enter when you knock." Arthur commented dryly.
Merlin laughed to himself as he smiled goofily at Arthur.
"Merlin..." Arthur growled, in warning. "Maybe for once you should remember that you are a servant and should start acting like one."
Merlin chuckled- much to Arthurs disdain.
"I'm sorry, Sire." Merlin drawled, the grin vanishing from his face as it melded into just one of blankness.
"Would you rather me act like a mindless drone and do everything you wish? I shall not engage you in any conversation and slowly watch you bore to death." Merlin replied, a ghost of a smile on his lips.
Arthur shook his head and a hint of a smile played around his lips. "Merlin, what are you talking about?"
Merlin stared blankly at him. "I don't know what you mean, Sire." Merlin stood up straighter, and a spark of amusement fired in Arthur's eyes.
"Merlin, do quit fooling around and clean my chambers."
"Of course Sire. Anything else you require, my lord?"
Arthur stared at him. "No..."
Merlin bowed his head, showing a sign of respect, something he never did.
Arthur sighed and shook his head at manservant. Minutes trickled by in agonizing silence, and Arthur grimaced. How had he dealt with this before he had Merlin?
"Hmmmmm...?" Merlin looked up from the shirt he had swooped to pick up from the floor.
"Sire. I have not said anything." Merlin pointed out.
Arthur sighed."You aren't going to give up are you?"
Merlin said nothing, but the playful glint in his eyes sold him out to Arthur, who sighed dramatically.
"Merlin. Please stop acting like what you so fondly refer to as a 'bootlicker.'"
"Why Sire? Why would you like me to stop." Merlin suppressed a grin when Arthur shot him a dirty glare.
"Because I value your chat more than your silence." He begrudgingly spat out.
Merlin grinned and he was delighted to see Arthur looking like he could kill with his eyes.
"Why thanks Arthur. Nice to know."
Merlin chuckled as he went over to make Arthurs bed, placing the shirt he had folded in his drawers.
He groaned at the wreckage left behind on the Princes bed. Half the pillows were on the floor, and the duvet was strewn half way down the bed, and was dangling across the floor.
"Arthur, how is it you make so much mess? Did a wild beast drag you out of bed or are you just purposefully making my life harder?"
Merlin didn't see the reaction of the Prince as he was too busy sorting out the pillows, but he heard a snort of laughter.
"Merlin, if I was making your job harder, purposefully, you would know about it." The blonde smiled, in spite of himself.
Merlin grumbled to himself as he started to sort out the pillows on the bed. His hands lightly traced the pillow as his fingers grabbed a golden hair that had been left there. Merlin froze for a moment, admiring the hair caught between his fingers. Merlin swallowed and glanced back at Arthur, thanking the gods that the Prince wasn't paying attention to him.
After he had finished making Arthur's bed, Merlin suddenly groaned in frustration, smacking his head against his hand.
Arthur turned around, and Merlin's heart soared as he noticed a trace of concern mixed in with the confusion on the Prince's face.
Merlin sighed irritably and ran his hand through his hair.
"I'm sorry. I can't believe I forgot." Merlin looked up at the blank face of Arthur. "Your breakfast! I didn't bring it up. I'm surprised you didn't remind me. You must be starvi-..." Merlin trailed off, taking his turn to look confused as he watched Arthur's whole body shake. It took Merlin a moment to realise that Arthur was laughing at him. Merlin frowned, and pouted slight taking his turn to look confused as he watched Arthur try to stifle his laughter, and fail miserably. Merlin shot him a dirty look.
"What? What's so funny? Why are you laughing at me!" Merlin growled.
Arthur chuckled again. "Sorry. It was just, you looked so lost and scared. And then there was the notion that you thought I would just sit in here and get hungry whilst you had a lazy morning." Merlin blushed for the fourth time that morning, cursing himself.
He then realised what Arthur had said and automatically, he felt very possessive.
"Another servant brought you breakfast?" He asked sharply. The Prince's eyebrow rose at his tone, but he nodded slowly in response to the question.
"Why didn't you go down?" Merlin's tone was clipped and harsh.
Arthur frowned. "Because I'm a Prince and have servants who are willing to do it for me?" His answer was phrased as a question. Merlin nodded and tried to quell the unreasonable jealousy running through him.
"Who was it then?" He asked darkly.
"Uh. I can't remember. Tim? Tom?" Arthur rubbed the top of his head. "Are you okay Merlin?" He asked tentatively.
Merlin met Arthur's gaze, and instantly all his anger was gone. A genuine smile graced Merlin's lips and he nodded. "Yes. Of course. Forgive me." Merlin ran a hand through his hair as Arthur waved his apology off.
"It is forgotten."
Merlin spun on his heel, and started to clean the clothes from the floor. He didn't understand why the prospect of another servant bring Arthur's food had annoyed him so much. It wasn't like Arthur was his. No matter how much he might wish otherwise. A small logical part of Merlin's brain said it was because the unknown servant might have been a threat to Arthur, but Merlin knew that to be a lie. He knew the reason he had got so worked up.
He didn't want to feel replaced.
"Although, I don't think I'll be making a habit of it. Nothing was done the way I like it. You do it better." Arthur added vaguely, and Merlin tried to ignore the way his heart skipped a beat at his words.
"Wow Arthur. Was that a compliment?" Merlin teased and grinned widely when he saw a slight blush dance across Arthurs features.
Merlin giggled to himself as he finished cleaning the Princes chambers. Merlin put his hands on his hips, proud of his work. He wore a satisfied smile as he turned back to Arthur.
Merlin's smile faltered when he saw the cunning grin that Arthur wore. He recognised it as the smile that he always had before he announced something horrible. Merlin braced himself.
"I," He proudly announced, "have come up with your punishment from your little stunt earlier." Merlin groaned. He knew that would come back to bite him on the arse.
"I propose a hunting trip, Merlin. I've decided that's how I want to spend the next three days." Arthurs grin widened to show off his canines.
Merlin groaned again, and folded over, his hands on his knees.
"Arthur..." Merlin whined, and glanced up, irritated to see the amusement in the Prince's eyes.
Merlin hated hunting trips. All he did was fall over, get cold, injure himself and sleep badly. For him, he presumed it was simply the way Arthur got back at him for being cheeky. Which was often. Although, Merlin admitted to himself that the trips where it was just he and Arthur...
"Prepare the horses. We leave in an hour." Arthur smiled innocently and walked out of his chambers, leaving behind a disgruntled, yet slightly flattered Merlin.