Well, here is my first Merlin fic, lol. It's random, the tenses are horrible, and this is so unbetaed. Buuuuut, here it is anyway, lol.

One day I vow to write a proper Merthur fic. But for now this will do (:

Arthur has always known

There is something about Merlin.

Arthur has always known this, from the beginning really, if he cares to admit it to himself. (He doesn't.)

He still can't quite pinpoint what it is though. He can't explain why it is that he feels so… right, so complete, in a way he had never really thought he would be—in a way that he had never thought to look for.

It's strange. More than strange, he knows. But somehow he doesn't care.

He doesn't even know when this, whatever this is, starts.

Of course, it's only after many years that he begins to really think about it all. It's during an unremarkable night. He's feeling tired and weary, the crown of his kingdom weighting heavily on his head.

Merlin is sighing with him, his hands reaching to set his crown aside. He quirks a smile and Arthur relaxes for the first time that day as he falls back into the soft linen of his bed, his eyes closing at the familiar sound of Merlin rummaging through the room, tripping over the clothes he had forgotten to pick up that morning.

There's no denying it, Arthur thinks at that moment, still feeling exhausted, but much more content. A sense of nostalgia begins well in him then as his sleepy mind starts recalling of those first couple of awkward weeks of when Merlin had first entered into his service.

He had been useless, not to mention irritatingly insubordinate; and yet Arthur had been risking his life to save Merlin's own just two weeks into his service.

If he is honest with himself, (and he isn't), it kind of scares Arthur how recklessly willing he had been back then to throw his life for a stranger he had barely known.

(But that's the thing, isn't it? Merlin had been more than just a stranger. Even back then, when they had barely liked each other, there had been something—a pull, a taut rope that seemed to tie their very beings together.)

It feels irrational to think that; Arthur knows it is. But within those first few weeks in which Merlin had become his manservant, Arthur had found himself relaxing, feeling more at ease than he's thought himself capable of.

He has to admit—Arthur's never had a servant like him before.

(He's never had a friend like him before, really.)

Although he has his Knights, they could never be quite what Arthur needed, not while there was this demanding wall of formality wedged between them. There was—had been—Morganna, who's been both once a nagging sister and once a pretty crush. And then there was—is—Gwen, who reminds him too much of Merlin; outspoken, honest, and delightful.

But unlike Gwen, who has taken years to reach that level of ease with him, Merlin had been like a storm, rushing into Camelot with his big ears and bigger heart. They had clashed personalities like swords on a battlefield, but the blades had dulled and then rusted with unuse. Long hours of irritation had turn to days of quiet teasing and quieter smiles. Familiarity had then bred a sense of belonging, a sense of completeness.

This, whatever it is they have, has become as natural as breathing and Arthur would never want to change it for anything.

Of course, he admits that there had been a few rough patches in their history. Times when the kingdom's fate had been left on Arthur's hands, and the pressure—the expectations, the way he's been bred all his life—has made Arthur turn against to the person he knew could never betray him. Times when Merlin has come rushing in, spouting heresies and treasonous words that Arthur has had to block out, because Merlin has always been an idiot who's never learned to hold his tongue.

Even if Arthur has admitted to himself that he trusts Merlin implicitly, his title, his position, has always left him in a difficult spot. And during these times, when Merlin's thinking more with his heart than his head, Arthur's had no choice but to snap at him and send him away.

(Never mind the fact that Merlin ends up always being right.)

Sometimes he feels as though he's missing something:

When Arthur wakes up breathless, with an aching side that was no longer bleeding from a once-mortal wound, Merlin's eyes glow warmly; his lips flash a secret, satisfied smile.

When Arthur turns a helpless, blind eye to his father's harsh but necessary orders, Merlin's tense, raging quietly—not saying what's on his mind to Arthur, despite the fact that he always does.

When Merlin stares at him pleadingly, guiltily, as if the weight of the world is on his shoulders, Arthur just sends him away with a list of mundane chores—because Arthur knows then, reminds himself, that there is something he should know. But he knows it's something he doesn't want to hear. So he doesn't ask.

(But lately—always—he thinks that, maybe, someday he will.

And if Merlin were to tell him, maybe Arthur would finally listen with his true heart the truth that he already knew, deep, deep inside of him.)