Hello people :D this is a little something that I got inspired to write by Rea666's story called 'see no Arthur, hear no Arthur' it's amazing and I reccomend you check it out. I asked her permission to write this because it uses the same basic idea. But with a bit of a twist in plotline and outcome. I'm hoping for slash but it may just turn out to be a bromance. We'll see xD

I dedicate the first chapter to Rea666 as a huge thank you for allowing me to write this :D

If I owned Merlin, then Arthur would not have married Gwen ... instead he would have married everyone's favourite warlock ^.^

I hope you enjoy this :)

'You know what?' Merlin exclaimed to Gaius, who was stirring fish soup and looking bored as his dogsbody repeated the same point over and over 'He just doesn't realise all that I do for him! Already today I have cleaned his stables, polished his armour, mended his boots, sharpened his swords and exercised his dogs and do I get a thank you? No I don't! I get a gauntlet to the face because I was a minute late for dinner!' he rubbed his bruised cheek

'Well you are his servant Merlin' said Gaius patiently 'You get thanked when you get paid'

'I don't get paid anymore' said Merlin mournfully 'Arthur says that he makes sure I have what I need but if I had any more then I wouldn't be able to get my head through the door'

'I fear he would be quite right' Gaius said ladling out the soup, ignoring Merlin's squawk of protest 'now eat your soup, it's going to get cold' Merlin raised the clay spoon to his lips to take a sip

'Merlin!' he jumped and dropped the spoon back into the bowl, scrambling to his feet, Arthur stood in the doorway

'What now?' he grumbled going to sit back down

'Hunting trip' said Arthur brightly striding in and dropping the crossbow at Merlin's feet

'But I haven't eaten –'

'Now Merlin' The raven haired boy sighed and picked up the crossbow, catching Gaius' pitying look as he shuffled out, following his Royal Pratness and grumbling the whole while

'Oh do shut up Merlin' Arthur said, exasperated as they mounted the horses 'Your going to warn all the animals off if you keep going on like that'

'Good' muttered the young warlock under his breath 'I still don't understand how killing animals is a sport'

'If you did try to understand then your brain would burst' the Prince said matter of factly, he set off at a canter and Merlin followed suit, his eyes flickered skywards

'It's going to be dark by the time we get back' he complained

'Well done Merlin, you finally learnt the time of day' Arthur replied sarcastically 'Maybe you'll be able to move onto counting soon' he continued as Merlin scowled 'Or maybe you can go on to really complicated things, like not wetting the bed'

'I don't wet the bed!' Merlin said indignantly 'and at least I can dress myself'

'Of course you can Merlin' came the sardonic reply 'which is why your shirt is inside out' Merlin flushed and looked down, seeing that Arthur was right

'How come you've been paying so much attention to my clothes Arthur?' he teased 'not even Gaius pointed that out' Arthur felt himself go red but refused to act embarrassed

'Maybe because Gaius is just so used to you looking like you just mucked out the stables'

'Because I usually have been'

'Oh come off it Merlin' the Prince said scornfully 'you wouldn't know a hard days work if it bit you on the backside' he grinned as Merlin spluttered incredulously next to him and then fell silent, seething. He fell behind slightly to lessen the temptation to punch the prat in the face and didn't speak until they got to the forest.

'You're such a dollop head' he murmured quietly, and Arthur was surprised at the change of tone. It wasn't light hearted or teasing any more and he glanced at his manservant curiously; Merlin's head was bowed and his eyes were on his horse's neck

Arthur rolled his eyes to hide his sudden concern

'Oh dear' he said scathingly 'have I hurt your feelings?' Merlin said nothing so Arthur had his answer 'Don't be such a girl Merlin!' and with that he dismounted his horse, tied it to a tree and set off without looking back. Merlin slid off his own horse less than majestically. He stomped after Arthur, not sure whether to feel angry or upset. He had saved Arthur twice this week already and it was only Wednesday. Once from a rogue horseshoe and once from the wrath of his father when he wanted to get out of a particularly tedious council meeting and Merlin pretended to be incompetent ... again. Well he was sick of it! It was one thing not getting the credit for his achievements but it was something completely different to actually think of him as lazy! It had started out as a joke, the fact that he was late a lot and the acting foolish in order to cover up had started it. Merlin supposed that he was overreacting, after all it was hardly the first time that Arthur had called him lazy; it was in fact practically a daily occurrence. But Merlin had been strung up and worn out lately; he had been working doubly hard. Gaius had been ill for the past few days and so Merlin had been helping him as much as possible. He had needed to tend to the wounded and the sick about town as well as his chores for Arthur as well as caring for Gaius. He was exhausted and he had barely slept for a fortnight. His chores carried him well into the early hours of the morning so he only got a couple of hours rest if that, for there were always emergencies in Camelot; especially when Merlin was trying to sleep.

He also thought he might not be so tetchy if he had been allowed to eat this morning. He had missed dinner last night so he hadn't eaten since lunch, and that was only what Arthur had left and what he had managed to scavenge from his Royal Pratness' plate on the way from the kitchens, which had consisted of a roll of bread, and the cheese that Arthur doesn't like.

Arthur motioned for him to stop and crouch behind some bushes and Merlin, being lost in his thoughts bumped into him, receiving a hiss of 'Idiot' before Arthur took out a dagger. Merlin didn't watch as Arthur took down the rabbit; he still didn't agree with killing for sport, even though he admitted grudgingly that it was going to get eaten. Merlin grumbled as Arthur handed him the dead rabbit

'I don't see why I have to carry it when you're the one who killed the damn-' he cut off suddenly, the hairs on the back of his neck prickled and he felt a presence that seemed far from friendly 'Arthur' he said, tapping the princes shoulder and scaring off the doe that had just been about to wander in front of his crossbow, Arthur spun around, livid

'Honestly Merlin I almost had her!' he cried 'And if you need to go then you should have thought of that before we left!' he was surprised when he received no reply. Merlin was staring into the woods around him, ill at ease, and very jumpy

'We have to go' he said abruptly, standing up and tugging Arthur with him. Arthur on the other hand, was not impressed

'Merlin' he sighed 'I am the Prince, I give the orders'

'Of course Sire' said Merlin distractedly 'we're going' he didn't tear his gaze from the trees and although Arthur felt about ready to clip him around an abnormally large ear, he noticed that Merlin seemed truly concerned. This wasn't just a ploy to get out of the hunting trip. So Arthur gathered up the crossbow, handed it to Merlin and followed him back to the horses

'I've been watching you' sounded a voice from behind them. They both whirled around. A woman was stood there, middle aged, greying brown hair that hung tangled and wild about her shoulders, she was wearing a torn green dress and no shoes. Her eyes were grey and captivating and she looked somewhat elemental. 'I've been watching you for a long time' she continued.

'Who are you?' interjected Merlin before Arthur could speak; he strode forwards, putting himself between the prince and the strange woman.

'My name is of no importance' said the woman, she glanced at Arthur 'it is your name that intrigues me Arthur Pendragon'

'Who. Are. You?' repeated Merlin accentuating every syllable. Arthur just toyed with his swords hilt; he felt the urge to say something, but it was clear that Merlin had some measure of control. He was the most confident Arthur had ever seen him, as if he had some sort of great purpose all of a sudden

'Dear me' said the woman, ignoring the raven haired boy completely, her eyes bored into Arthurs 'people always want a name to put to the face. Fine, you may call me Lilith' her eyes flashed gold as she traced her name in the air, the image remaining until Arthur spoke at last

'You're a sorcerer' the tone in his voice was flat hatred, so venomous that Merlin almost flinched. It was clear that this woman was not here simply passing through, nor was she a druid

'Yes' Lilith said matter of factly

'Then you are under arrest, by order of Camelot' Arthur drew his sword and stepped forward, he was equal to Merlin before Lilith moved at all, her eyes changed again and there was a harsh whisper, a cry of 'Arthur!' he didn't see the fireball until it exploded into the tree behind him, there was the smell of singed hair, a weight on him, and he was pressed into the earth. Merlin had pushed them both out of harms way, but before he could move he was being dragged off, dagger at his throat, Lilith held the struggling warlock easily; Merlin would not reveal himself here

'So touchingly loyal' she crooned dragging the blade down Merlins cheek 'Even though he treats you like dirt you still protect him!'

'Why wouldn't I?' gasped Merlin, still trying to twist out of her grasp, but her magic bound him. He could shake it off if he truly wanted, but she would suspect, and then she may feel the need to announce it

'Because he doesn't care about you' she hissed in his ear 'you are nothing but a servant.' Merlin met Arthur's eyes; the Prince had struggled to his feet, sword unsheathed but not wanting to approach in case either of them hurt Merlin. He couldn't hear what Lilith was saying, but he knew it wasn't good

'You're wrong' Merlin insisted, strength and certainty infusing his voice 'he's my friend'

'Ha!' laughed the woman scornfully 'a friend? A friend who drags you out of Camelot to do something that you hate, without letting you eat first? Or who doesn't notice that you haven't been sleeping?'

Merlin twisted around to stare at her 'How do you know that?' he growled, Lilith shrugged

'I told you I've been watching you' she said. 'Besides, the circles under your eyes tell me as much.'

'Merlin' he heard his name carry across the gap separating them he met Arthur's eyes that were filled with worry, worry for him, his servant who was currently in the grip of a self proclaimed sorcerer. The prince raised his voice

'Let him go' he demanded 'Your quarrel is not with him' Lilith laughed again, her grey eyes searching the golden haired boys face

'I have no quarrel with either of you' she said, throwing Merlin to the ground and watching as he scrambled away. 'I merely want to help you young prince.'

'Help me?' Arthur echoed incredulous, raising his sword once more now that Merlin was free 'how?'

'I think that you would benefit from a little lesson.' Lilith replied, eyeing his sword with amusement, her eyes darted to Merlin who had stood once more, a little off to the side, watching her warily 'You don't appreciate what people do for you Arthur Pendragon' she said, anger crossing her features 'you condemn those with magic simply because your father tells you to, but you never stop to think that magic can be a force for good'

'How can it be a force for good?' Arthur spat 'so many have attempted the lives of my father and me with the evil. I have never had a reason to believe otherwise!'

'Only because you refuse to look!' Lilith raised her voice 'There are motives behind those people; revenge for what your father took away, what he destroyed.' She took a deep breath 'But I am not here because I am bitter about the past' she rose both hands in front of her 'I want to help you. I want to make you understand what your subjects do for you. You are a good prince, Arthur, but you are arrogant. And you expect far too much from your people. Maybe if you can see it with your own eyes then you will change. And maybe then you will become a great king' her eyes flashed gold once more and before Merlin could do anything, she was gone, leaving behind only a wisp of smoke.

Merlin turned to look at Arthur, to make sure he was alright.

Arthur wasn't there.

'Arthur!' Merlin cried out in panic, rushing towards the spot where the prince had been. He ran into something solid and fell back. 'Arthur?' A gauntlet appeared out of midair and struck him on the shoulder. Merlins eyes widened, staring up at the seemingly empty space

'Arthur' he breathed again. Pushing himself to his feet he slowly reached his hands out. They connected with solid air, he ran his hands over what was the shape of a breastplate, then he ghosted over shoulders, he felt a thunk to the side of his head and retracted his hands

'Ow! Ok, sorry' he said 'But you're invisible' another thunk 'stop that!' he rubbed his head. 'Can you speak? Try saying something' he waited for a moment. Nothing. Merlin grinned 'Well, at least some good came out of this.' He ducked, knowing that Arthur would try to hit him again. He straightened up and shook his head; his grin was gone, replaced by a mournful look that made Arthur anxious 'what in the name of Camelot am I going to tell your father?'

So there you have it. The first chapter. Did you like it? It's different from my usual style and I'm not sure how I feel about it :/

Please let me know. I can always rewrite it if you don't like it

Any and all ideas are welcome

Thanks for reading

Love you all

Love Tibbins xx