Author's Note: I can't believe this day has finally come! The end of "Connected." I want to thank you all so much for reading. Your support has meant so much to me! If you liked this story, I'm hoping you'll check out my other Merlin pieces, called "Changing Everything," and "Co-Dependency." The starting the titles with "C" thing was definitely not planned... weird things happen. Anyway, I hope you review this last chapter and check out my other stories! Thank you thank you thank you!
The next few weeks passed by in a flurry of activity. The illness of the king had driven the royal wedding and coronation from everyone's mind, but the planning was starting up again with fervor.
Arthur and Merlin had both gotten back on their feet and were as healthy as they'd ever been, to the relief of all of their friends. The threat of Morgana still hung over their heads, but for now, she appeared to be hiding away, probably needing time before amassing her next attack.
Merlin walked into Arthur's chambers one morning, the sun shining outside.
"Good morning," he said, opening up the drapes over the windows.
"So – do you want to know why I'm angry with you today?" Arthur said, swinging his legs out of bed.
Merlin rolled his eyes. "What this time?"
Every day had started like this since the day the linking curse had broken. The first time Arthur had spoken those words, Merlin had frozen in fear, convinced that the king had changed his mind and wouldn't accept his magic after all. Instead, he had just glared, and said "You let me believe I'd slayed a dragon." The next day, it bad been about the tie in Ealdor with Will, and then about not ratting out Morgana sooner, and then about Balinor… on and on. Each day, Arthur picked a new incident and berated Merlin for not telling him the truth at the time. Then, he'd press for details, which Merlin would give all too willingly – it was amusing to see Arthur's eyes widen in respect when he learned in greater detail all of the times Merlin had saved Arthur using magic.
Today, Arthur had a new topic on his mind. "The whole Excalibur thing. You made up a legend about ancient kings and destiny and whatnot just to give me an ego boost!"
"Well, you were feeling far too sorry for yourself."
"You also let me use a sword forged with dragon's breath when you knew how I felt about magic."
Merlin shrugged. "Ah well. You've come around, now, anyway. Finally seen some sense."
Arthur glared. "Don't think I won't change my mind back again."
"Empty threat," Merlin said, levitating the objects on Arthur's desk so he could dust more easily.
Arthur rolled his eyes. "Using magic to do your chores. How noble."
"The frog threat still stands."
"Shut up," Arthur said, and then abruptly changed to a more serious topic – "I need you for our meeting this afternoon… It's about time you plead your own case."
Merlin paled. "Seriously? You want me to talk to the court advisors about my magic?"
Arthur shrugged. "Why not? I've already given you my public support."
"But – you should see the way those men look at me, now. They never even noticed me before this, and now they stare at me like I'm… the enemy."
Arthur saw the frightened look on Merlin's face and sighed. "It will get easier, believe me. People just… need time."
"You didn't," Merlin pointed out.
"Well, I found out about it in quite the unique way, wouldn't you say?"
"Gwen didn't. Neither did Gwaine or Elyan. Even Leon only took a few hours to accept me, and he served your father for years."
"We're your friends, idiot. These people don't even know you. Just give them a while to get used to the idea, alright?"
Merlin pursed his lips, thinking it over. He could hardly believe where he was right now – with Arthur, calmly discussing plans to legalize magic in Camelot. He grinned suddenly.
"What?" Arthur asked, narrowing his eyebrows.
"It's just – thank you."
"For… all of this. For doing this for me."
"It's about time you got some recognition," Arthur said simply, looking embarrassed at the thanks.
"Oh, I definitely agree with you there."
"Get to polishing my armor, Merlin. You've got a long day ahead of you."
"Yes, sire." Merlin got to work, finishing his chores in record time. He could be selfless all day long and use his magic to help the needy and save Arthur's life time and time again. But who was to say he couldn't also use it to speed along a couple of unsavory activities?
Gwen and Arthur's wedding was scheduled for two days later the entire court turned up to wish the young couple well, and praise Gwen's new status as Queen of Camelot. Merlin looked around at Gaius, Elyan, Leon, Gwaine, and Percival, and then up to his two best friends, standing in front of the crowd and looking happier than Merlin could ever remember them being. The road would be long and difficult, but soon magic would be legal again in Camelot. There was even the hope that Morgana might see sense stop attacking Arthur at every turn.
The future was looking bright, indeed.
Author's Note: Awww. I can't believe it's over!