Hi I'm Jack, this is my first fanfic and I hope you all enjoy it. I do not own the BBC's television series Merlin, so no copyright infringment intended however as the charaters belong to Welsh folklore they aren't owned by the BBC either, so I don't see why they should have the monopoly on them. Anyway here for your enjoyment is chapter one Sleeping Habits.

Sleeping Habits

Arthur isn't your typical eighteen-year-old. No, Arthur is the kind of guy everyone aspires to be; He is the son of one of the world's most powerful business men, Lord Uther Pendragon, The Earl of Camelot. He's very intelligent, an A-B average sort of student and he excelled in sports: rugby, fencing, rowing, polo, cricket and shooting. Oh, and did I mention he has looks to die for? He's six foot, naturally muscular from the sports he plays, and in peak physical fitness. He has glowing blonde hair with a slight wave through it, deep cerulean eyes that you could drown in if you looked too hard. His arms are as big as small tree trunks, broad shoulders that lead down to a rippling eight pack of abs and his legs – God! - rivalled those of even Tommy Bowe. Yup, he sounds perfect, except for one thing. Arthur had a secret.

He is gay and in the closet and it's slowly eating away at him. This secret manifested itself in Arthur's sleeping habits and would make life difficult for us both.

I think it's time to meet your author. Hi, I'm Merlin, The young Duke of Pembrokeshire and Glamorgan - so I'm not exactly average either. My father is Balinor, The Most Noble Duke of Shropshire and The Last Dragonlord. I play a lot of the same sports as Arthur along with archery. I'm six foot one and have the build of a slightly more muscled swimmer; I have midnight black hair like my horse and blue eyes. My hair has a tendency to fall from the neatly positioned place on top of my head and land in front of my eyes, so instead of looking neat like it's supposed too, it looks like I've just got out of bed. I'm also openly and happily gay.

Now with that out of the way let's start. Here's the story of how I met Arthur and how he overcame his problem.

Two years ago in a boarding school somewhere in the picturesque English countryside

"Merlin, could you take a handful of these and put them out at lunch?" Gwaine asked.

"Sure Gwaine, what are they?"

"They're posters Merlin," He deadpanned.

I rolled my eyes, "I got that much you Clotpole, what I don't get is why you were trusted with them." I closed my locker and started walking towards class and then I saw him, the new transfer student – Lord Arthur Pendragon. My heart literally melted at the sight of him. He was gorgeous and I assume that he's oh so straight and manly.

Gwaine noticed me staring at him, sniggered to himself and nudged me into movement.

"Anyway, what are these for?"

"The school ball," he mumbled.

"The what? I thought you said something that sounded like the school ball, but it couldn't be that could it? I mean, you said that planning balls are for girls."

"Are you really going to make me say it?" He pleaded.

I nodded evilly.

"They're for the school ball in a few weeks, and before you decide to take the piss out of me, I'm only on the committee to get in Alice's good books."

"Alice, I thought she dumped you two weeks ago."

"She did, which is why I'm trying to get in her good books." He said trying to be casual as we walked towards class.

"Look for what it's worth I think you're better off without her man, just saying."

He wasn't pleased with that and he made his feelings quite known with a quick punch in the ribs. We walked into the biology lab and made a beeline to our seats halfway from the back of the class.

"Gentlemen do be quiet, I believe this is a biology class, not a bloody free-for-all.'' Professor Hatheway was always a cross teacher probably because he lost out on the position of dean to Professor Gaius. I quickly scanned around the room to see where Perce was and damn there he was again, Arthur-bloody-Pendragon sitting directly in front of him, urgh why do all the hot boys have to be straight. I couldn't help but stare at him all class, and I knew Gwaine was going to tease me about it later but it was worth it.

The rest of the week passed in a bit of a haze, between long classes and homework, one doesn't get much of a chance to relax, until 'Sports Day.' That is, the one day a week dedicated entirely to sports. It gives the Exercise Mistress or EM as she is known a chance to make the school's best teams out of the best students from all of the six years in the school.

As all us on the polo team were getting changed, who walks in but that prat Arthur Pendragon looking for the EM. Gwaine has little patience for arrogent people especially those with a chip on their shoulder and he quickly dismissed Arthur. Two minutes later, after speaking with the EM, Arthur struts in with his bag and new polo uniform.

"It appears that young Lord Arthur has joined the team. Let's put him through his paces shall we?" Gwaine said with a hint of malice to his voice.

"Gwaine, be nice will you?" I warned, but he just scoffed. All I was thinking was 'please don't stand beside me' and the next thing you know there he is at my side.

"Great" I muttered under my breath, not realising Arthur heard me until he turned to me and gave me the coldest stare he possesses.

"Excuse me?" He was unfeeling as he said it, "What did you just say?"

Gwaine starts to square himself up to Arthur, I held up my hand to stop him, "Gwaine don't."

"Just tell me what you muttered about me and I'll forget all about it." Arthur states quite cockily.

As I said, Gwaine had little time for people like Arthur and quickly reprimanded him. "Do you know who you're speaking to like a piece of dirt off the bottom of your shoe?" Arthur shook his head. Gwaine poked Arthur in the chest and used all of his six foot three inches to his advantage and said "I didn't think so; allow me to introduce His Grace, The Duke of Pembrokeshire and Glamorgan, Merlin Emrys."

Arthur went pale; he knew who Merlin Emrys was. His father is the most powerful man in the Government, the man Uther has been grovelling to for weeks to get permission for something or other. "I'm sss...sorry Yyyyyour Grace; I didn't mean to offend you."

I gave Gwaine daggers as I said, "Simple misunderstanding, let's start again shall we? Hi, I'm Merlin, and you are?"

Arthur realising that he had been granted a second chance quickly tried to recover said, albeit a little woodenly, "Hello Merlin, I'm Arthur."

Trying to ease the tension I asked, "Arthur I'm going to ask you a very important question," Drawing my body to its full height. "How do you take your tea?"

"I don't drink the stuff."

"An English man who doesn't drink tea, sacrilege." I said with smile. He smiled too, a beautiful crooked white smile. I felt better now that my internal tension had been relieved.

"Are you actually any good at polo or are you just here because daddy wants you to play?" said Gwaine with no tact and walked off.

"Do you have a horse here or are you riding one of the schools?" I asked casually.

"I have my own with me. He's called shadow, would you like to meet him before he totally wipes the floor with you all?" He said jokingly.

As we walked outside one of the grooms came up to me and asked, "Shall I fetch your horses Your Grace?"

"Don't call me that Pepper, you've known me since I was seven and you've minded my horse since you were twelve. You have more than earned the right as my friend to use my name, and yes please get our horses. I will be riding Bentley and Arthur will be riding Shadow, I think."

"Okay Merlin" Pepper nodded, finally dropping the facade.

"You allow the staff to call you by your first name?"Arthur sounded outraged.

"Of course I do, The only time I allow people to address me in that way is on official occasions, or if cabbageheads need putting in their place! hint hint." Arthur grumbled something unintelligible.

Just then our horses arrived. Shadow was truly a magnificent horse standing proud at 16.5 hands tall, a beautiful white stallion bearing the Pendragon coat of arms. Bentley was slightly more understated at 16 hands, but a truly majestic horse midnight black in colour, he too was bearing coat of arms - mine. The riding master divided us into two teams, myself and Arthur on opposite teams, unfortunatly Gwaine, who was smiling evilly, was put on as his team captain. Gwaine tried his best to knock Arthur off his horse but failed each time, it has to be said that Arthur was an excellent horseman and good at polo too. In the end they lost but only by a single point. Gwaine was fuming, however he acknowledged Arthur as an equal this time. "Good game Pendragon...yes?" Arthur simply nodded.

Knowing that it was the weekend and most of us would be going home I decided to invite Arthur to Dragonlord's Keep, (or the old heap as it's affectionatly known to the family), to watch some DVDS that I had gotten but hadn't watched yet.

"Yes I'd like that very much Merlin."

And thus began our friendship...