Hey guys, I'm despicable I know :( ... sorry. I haven't had much inspiration lately plus the whole, going back to school thing and stupid stuff like personal statements and homework have kept me pretty busy.

But then today ... OH MY GOD! Good episode or what? I mean, the alien thing was a bit weird but there was so much Merthur that I squeed repeatedly ... and not forgetting of course the fact that Percival and Gwaine were SHIRTLESS for the majority of the episode ... I mean, YUM!

Ahem ... anyway it's quite a short one as I still don't have much of an idea where this is going.

WARNING: It will probably be quite a while before I can update again (but I guess you're used to that by now ... sorry again :/ )

This one is for Legolas's Mione0233

I hope you enjoy

Merlin was early for once, he didn't have to rush for breakfast which he actually ate, plus he made extra porridge for Gaius when he woke up too. He walked down to the kitchens, taking extra care on the stairs. He hadn't slept at all last night. The only reason that he was early was because he got bored with waiting for dawn, now it was just after and Merlin pushed open the door to Arthur's chambers with his hip and crept in to place the tray on the table. He glanced at the lump in the bed and sat down heavily, rubbing his eyes. He did a double take at the bed as something odd registered, there, on the end were Arthur's clothes … Arthur's folded clothes, Merlin couldn't help the smile that crept onto his face. Arthur must have come across him last night in the armoury and decided that he had been harsh. He looked away, and noticed the boots by the door. Merlin was touched. This gesture was unbelievably un-Arthur-like. It was almost … sweet. Merlin's smile widened as he stood to open the curtains, with a hearty call of

'Rise and shine!'

The bedclothes moved suddenly in such a way that suggested Arthur sat suddenly upright. Chuckling, Merlin pointed to the breakfast tray and grinned. As Arthur ate, Merlin stared at where he was supposed to be, sitting opposite the invisible prince, Merlin rested his chin on his hands and attempted to make eye contact. He was sure he got it when Arthur raised some bread, only to stop and slowly put it down again. Merlin smiled softly, aware that even folding clothes was a big leap forwards to Arthur. He nodded towards the clothes he had moved to the table

'Thank you Arthur' he said, waiting a moment to allow Arthur to see he really meant it. Then he stood and picked up the pile of clothes to take them down to wash them. He stopped suddenly when a hand landed on his shoulder and squeezed. instinctively he tensed and his magic surged under his skin causing him to shudder, he fought it back as he realised it was only Arthur. He couldn't help the smile that came, but he didn't look round, knowing he wouldn't see anything. Instead he raised his hand to touch the invisible fingers by his neck; they stayed that way for a few seconds before Merlin realised that he was going red. He left as quickly as possible.

After Merlin left the room, Arthur was left staring at the empty doorway. Lips slightly parted, a word about to leave them. After realising the fruitlessness of speaking, he closed his mouth again and smiled thinly. For a brief moment there, he had wanted to call his manservant back, just to prolong that touch. It had been so charged with feeling and emotion. A connection they hadn't been able to share since they met Lilith. For the first time since that day, Arthur truly wanted to reverse this spell; he now saw it as something more than a mere inconvenience and an excuse to shirk his responsibilities, it separated him from Merlin for the first time in five years and he didn't like that feeling. At all. He felt so far away from his friend, despite the physical distance. Their relationship was based on banter and understanding, they could barely continue the banter without Arthur feeling slow. Upholding the understanding they shared through eye contact and secret smiles was now impossible. And Arthur wasn't about to start actually talking (or writing)about how he felt. He wasn't a girl. It was past time Gaius figured out how to break this spell. Plus, Merlin didn't seem to be coping well either judging by the circles under his eyes even though he had no reason to not sleep, people could still see him after all . . . which was rather unfortunate come to think of it, after all, servants weren't supposed to be seen, they were just supposed to do their jobs and not become friends with princes. Merlin was just awkward. Anyway, he was going to go to Gaius right now and find out everything he could on this stupid spell.

On his way he passed a distracted looking Merlin, heading from Gaius' chambers and down in the direction of the courtyard leading to the South Gate. Arthur stared for a moment and decided whether or not to follow him. In the end he shrugged. It was probably just a herb gathering quest or something... Arthur did NOT want to get involved with something like that again after the last time he agreed to go and help and almost ended up poisoning himself after picking an apparently harmless mushroom. Thank goodness Merlin had been there to snatch the damned thing away before he ate it. He couldn't do that if he was invisible. So instead he turned right to the strange smells of Gaius' various and apparently 'healthy' concoctions. He poked the physician gently in the back to let him know he was there (causing the old man to jump) He then grabbed a clean sheet of parchment and a quill, and wrote down his question. Gaius shook his head, looking somewhere around Arthurs left ear

'Sorry sire, the only thing I can find about the restorative potion is that the ingredients involve the use of an actual spell, which I have found, but for obvious reasons cannot perform. It also requires a potion with some rather far ranging herbs. And also some sort of … sacrifice. I'm not entirely sure what that entails but it didn't sound promising. Also, it states rather clearly that if the counter-spell is attempted unsuccessfully, well …' Now Gaius was staring at his knees 'I'm afraid it will become permanent.' He paused. To allow Arthur to absorb this information. 'Unless of course, Lilith decides to remove it for us before we try to just brew the potion'

Sooo ... any thoughts? Ideas? Improvements? Anything at all?

Everything is welcome :)

Love you all

Tibbins xx