Merlin marvelled at Arthur's acceptance of Emrys and also of himself. He also marvelled at the fact that Arthur could be so legendarily thick. How could he not see it was he? That Emrys and Merlin were one in the same at the same time he was relieved, he could break this to him slowly.
It felt good flying back to Camelot in his own skin, no longer blonde and elf like. Reak flew at the dragon's side, the bird had become very loyal, and Merlin didn't know how he was going to keep him from giving away his secret. Kilgharah touched down in the early evening, it was just dark and cloudy enough for such an early visit. As Emrys had asked, Arthur was waiting for him, and to his surprise so were the knights. They grinned as Merlin slid of the back of Kilgharah's head, giving him a nod of thanks. Reak hovered in front of his face.
"Go on, back with Kilghrah" He whispered, the bird seemed to understand and flew off back towards Kilgharah's cave. The dragon gave Merlin a meaningful look before flying off again without a word.
"Merlin!" Gwaine exclaimed happily giving him a rough hug. The warlock thanked himself for having the foresight to heal up his wound almost completely before returning. He'd be back to full strength in a few days.
"Great to see you" Merlin smiled, for the first time in weeks all was well in his little world.
"What was he like?" Leon asked suspiciously, "Emrys, where does he live?"
"Leon I told you, we can trust Emrys" Arthur sighed making his way forwards and hugging Merlin briefly, much to his surprise.
"It's alright, even if I told you, you wouldn't find it even if I told you" Merlin laughed, he had been prepared for these sorts of questions, "He's a bit nomadic, he changes places every few weeks or so. To avoid being caught and all, but he wakes sure he can keep an eye on Camelot from where ever he is"
The group walked back to Camelot, where Gwen greeted them by throwing her arms around Merlin's neck in relief that he was ok. Gaius had also embraced him happily. Gods it was good to be home. The knights dispersed, Gwaine leading a few of them down to the tavern to celebrate Merlin's return. Though Merlin had a sneaking suspicion Gwaine would of gone there anyway.
However Arthur stayed and waled back to the physicians chambers with Merlin, watching him carefully.
"What did you do, while you were with Emrys?" Arthur asked finally, Merlin felt guilt creeping up on him.
"Rested mostly, he healed me up as much as he could every day" Merlin decided, putting small kernels of truth in the story, "He got Kilghrah to find me food while he watched Camelot for any sign of Morgana"
"You believe I was right to trust him?" Arthur asked quietly, Merlin could tell part of Arthur. The part that had Uther drill the evils of magic into for so many years, was making the prince doubt himself.
"Well, yes" Merlin admitted, "If I believed you were, I'd probably of handed myself over to Uther"
Arthur went wuiet after that. He had only seen Merlin use magic once after all.
"Why didn't you tell me?" Arthur asked finally, not looking Merlin in the eye. The look on his face said Arthur knew, but didn't want to right.
"I was afraid" Merlin admitted, "You're the kings son, you hated magic"
"Hated, past tense" Arthur noted, smiling a little, "I trust you and I trust Emrys"
For many weeks things were much the same around Camelot. The prince was in a much better mood now that Merlin was back in his service, happy and healthy. Those who took the time would even notice that Merlin had become even more happy and relaxed in the castle than ever before, only the prince knew why.
Merlin had even shown Arthur a few tricks when they were alone, polishing his armour, washing the floor and ironing his clothes while sitting back in a chair. Grinning with his eyes glowing. Still, Arthur couldn't shake the feeling that Merlin was holding back. Like he was more powerful than he let on.
It was almost three months after the incident when Arthur saw the cloak. The same cloak Emrys had worn, sitting on Merlin's bed. At first he thought nothing of it but soon a small amount of doubt began to niggle at him. He began to think of all the similarities between Emrys and Merlin. How they had both been injured at the same time, how Kilghrah seemed fond of Merlin even though he'd never met him. How he never saw them at the same time.
His suspicions strengthened when he caught Merlin walking off into the forest one day. The man had gotten a head start and by the time Arthur found him he was sitting against a tree, magic book in hand. Arthur didn't miss a strange looming shadow that resembled a dragon flying away. Kilgharah.
The final piece was Reak. The happy little crow, perched upon Merlin's shoulders, gurgling away when ever Merlin stroked his feathers.
They were the same. Same man, same powers.
At first he considered punching him. How dare he keep this from him! Then he remembered all Merlin had done for him, as himself and as Emrys. He couldn't stay angry, he didn't really blame Merlin for being worried. So he left.
Walked around the forest until Merlin returned, seeming surprised at Arthur's presence.
The two walked back to Camelot together, Merlin giving Arthur's stupid grin a weird look.
"Why are you so happy?" Merlin asked suspiciously, "Have you made a huge mess for me to clean?"
"No" Arthur replied, still grinning
"Come on, what are you doing out here?" Merlin insisted, Arthur could seethe cogs in his head trying to figure out what torturous job Arthur had planned for his friend.
"Oh, you worry too much Emrys"
Hurray! It is complete! I hope you all enjoyed this story J I know I loved writing it.