A/N I wasn't planning on adding another chapter to this but after a review from Alaia Skyhawk (big hugs to you) I thought I would. Thanks to all those other lovely reviews!
Two days later
Merlin had hoped that Arthur had forgotten about their little meeting by the river but this was unfortunately not the case as it turned out.
He had not said anything but Merlin noticed that the goblets that were thrown were done so with less force; if they were goblets at all of course, they seemed to be becoming much more pillow like in shape and size. There were certainly none with designs on them.
His theories of Arthur going soft were pretty much proven at training.
Merlin poked his head above the shield but let out a small yelp and ducked back down when he saw Arthur coming towards him, sword held high.
They had been at it for thirty minutes now and Merlin hadn't yet fallen over. This hadn't gone unnoticed by Merlin or the knights.
"Oi princess!" Gwaine shouted from across the field, "You're going soft! Can't even knock Merlin over!"
Arthur turned and glowered at Gwaine "Come on then Gwaine, you come and hold the shield."
"Oh no, it's alright."
"No really, I insist."
"But I really should be going; I haven't even been to the tavern today."
"It's nine in the morning."
"Fine." Gwaine slumped over and took the shield off Merlin who was thankful for a break.
Gwaine was on the floor within a minute.
He looked up at Merlin with a questioning glance. Merlin just shrugged "I'm stronger than I look."
"Right," Arthur said, "Mace work next." He walked towards them twirling said weapon. Both knight and servant audibly gulped.
"How come you didn't knock me over in training earlier?" Merlin asked as he prepared Arthur for bed.
"What are you talking about?"
"Well you seemed fine laying into Gwaine but you held back when it came to me."
"Don't be an idiot Merlin, I was merely working on my stamina."
Merlin nodded in a disbelieving way, "It's alright you know, you can admit you care."
He ducked quickly as a pillow was sent flying his way.
"Still with the violence."
He didn't manage to duck the goblet this time that just so happened to be full of wine. Merlin was holding Arthurs freshly washed shirt. "I just washed this!"
"Well now you can do it again can't you Merlin?"
"Clotpole." Merlin whispered under his breath but he was smiling as he left the room. Whatever he may say Merlin knew he was right.
Arthur did care.