Disclaimer: I don't own "Merlin". It is a TV show which belongs to BBC.
Storyline: Merlin is to be named the Court Sorcerer of Camelot. Arthur wants to do it properly, in accordance with tradition and the Old Religion, so he asks Geoffrey for help. The rite, however, requires more than he could expect...
English is not my mother language.
King most wanted
It happened. Finally. Although it is hard to believe, the day in which king Arthur saw Merlin in the right light had finally come. It wasn't easy for neither of them but after some tough time Arthur accepted the truth and forgave Merlin all his lies.
"Merlin," the king said, slightly irritated. "We need to do this in the right way."
"What for?" Merlin asked patiently for the hundredth time this afternoon. "It is just a waste of time. I'm pretty sure that Geoffrey has better things to do than..."
"It's a tradition, Merlin," Arthur pointed out. "Whatever it is."
"It is not a tradition! Your father didn't have the Court Sorcerer and therefore he couldn't perform a rite of naming Him." Merlin sighed. "I can be your Court Sorcerer without some old celebration."
"I know!" Arthur said angrily. "But I also know that you won't be fully accepted by those who believe in Old Religion if you're not named properly. It's just some kind of rite. What's wrong with that?"
Merlin looked at his friend carefully. "I just have a bad feeling."
"Don't be such a girl, Merlin! You talk about your bad feelings all the time. Can't you just shut up once in a while?"
"I'm usually right," the warlock mumbled to himself.
"What did you say?" Arthur asked.
"Nothing important, Sire," Merlin assured him.
"Whatever... I'm going to make you the Court Sorcerer of Camelot. And I'm going to do this officially and properly." Arthur said stubbornly. "I don't care if you like it or not."
"Even if I had to walk through the castle naked? And in the middle of the day?" Merlin asked worryingly.
"Even then," the king said without hesitation.
"Even if you had to walk naked by my side?" This time Merlin was more amused than worried.
"Shut up, Merlin," Arthur replied immediately. "Stop asking me these stupid and pointless questions. I've made up my mind and there's nothing you can do to make me change it. You've got my word that I'll name you the Court Sorcerer properly!"
"Fine," the warlock agreed helplessly. "You're going to regret it, though."
Two days later Geoffrey announced that he had finally found the book which included the description of customs from the times before the Great Purge. Arthur was a little bit excited. Magic was still a new thing for him and therefore he found everything related to it more interesting than it truly was. Although it was strange, Merlin found this whole situation a little bit flattering.
Geoffrey seemed confused when both Merlin and king Arthur waited for him in king's chambers to listen to what he wanted to say. If they were extra careful, they would notice the slight trace of blush on old man's cheeks. They were, however, completely oblivious to what was about to happen.
"Sire," Geoffrey bowed slightly, greeting his king.
When Arthur and Merlin greeted him in return, the old man looked down with embarrassment.
"Geoffrey, you can speak up freely," the king reassured him.
"Thank you, my lord, but I can't," the old man replied politely. "I wish I could speak freely about the matter but it is impossible."
"What are you talking about, Geoffrey?" Arthur asked, narrowing his eyebrows slightly. "All you need is my permission, and you obviously have it."
"There is a problem, Sire" Geoffrey said slowly. "And it is a delicate matter." He looked weakly at Merlin.
Arthur followed his gaze. "Whatever you want to tell me, you can tell Merlin as well," the king said a little bit impatiently.
"As you wish, Sire." The old man blushed even more. He cleared his throat and continued. "According to this book," Geoffrey passed it to his king, " naming the Court Sorcerer requires the rite of extreme bonding."
"What does it mean?" Merlin couldn't help asking.
Geoffrey got even more confused. "Well... that is the problem.. In this case extreme means intimate."
The three of them remained silent for far too long to consider it comfortable. Finally, the king decided to break the unbearable silence.
"How much intimate?" Arthur asked in a surprisingly quiet manner.
"As much as it is possible between two men," Geoffrey said, not wanting to give a direct answer.
"Describe it. Step by step," the king ordered him.
"Arthur," Merlin suddenly spoke up. "We should let Geoffrey go. I believe that everything that we need to know is written in this book."
"It is," Geoffrey assure both of them. "Page 117."
Arthur glanced at a completely embarrassed old man. "Merlin's right," he said. "You may go."
"Thank you, Sire." Geoffrey was clearly relieved. He bowed respectfully and walked away as fast as his old legs let him.
"Let's find out what it all means," Arthur said to Merlin, sitting comfortably in his favourite armchair. "Open the book and read it to me."
"Are you sure you want to hear this?" the warlock asked him, grabbing the book. "I've never seen Geoffrey so much embarrassed in my whole life."
"Neither did I," Arthur admitted. "It makes me curious. Besides... I promised you to make you the Court Sorcerer properly and I will."
"Stubborn prat," Merlin muttered under his nose.
"I'll pretend I didn't hear anything. Now read it, Merlin!" Arthur said very impatiently.
Merlin slowly opened the book on the right page. He took a look on it and remained silent for a while.
"I said 'read it'," Arthur told him impatiently.
The sorcerer cleared his throat. "It's quite complicated," he admitted.
The blonde rolled his kingly eyes. "When I said read it I didn't expect you to understand the text," Arthur mocked. "Just do it."
So Merlin did. The first part of description was indeed quite complex. It was about the feast and the detailed celebration. The second part of the text, however, was the controversial one. Controversial indeed. Merlin was stopping reading it for a while, time and again.
He was obliged to finish the text so he tried to do his best.
Arthur didn't stop him. His gaze was a bit empty, as if his awareness left his body and flew away like a bird. Arthur, nonetheless, listened to the text very carefully.
When Merlin finally uttered the last word of the lengthy description, he put the book aside and slowly, very slowly, raised his gaze to meet Arthur's.
"This is madness," the warlock whispered.
"It is," Arthur admitted quietly.
"We shall forget it, then," Merlin said after a while. He was relieved. It was over. He would wake up the next day and pretend that Arthur never had such a stupid idea.
"No," the king said firmly. The awareness came back to his eyes, its rightful place. "We shall not do this."
"Arthur?" Merlin asked, a little bit terrified. "What do you mean?"
"I promised you to name you the Court Sorcerer of Camelot officially and properly, Merlin," he said. "I won't break once given word."
"But this is madness," Merlin tried to speak reason to him. "I'm your friend and I'd give my life to save yours... I'd do anything... But it is too much! The title is not worth that much."
"You are Emrys, Merlin. The druids won't accept you as the Court Sorcerer if we don't do this. Is that what you want?" the king asked.
"I don't care what they think or say," Merlin said. "It's you I need to care about."
"Is it about me?" Arthur asked. "If it is, you should know that I am willing to make such a sacrifice. It cannot be that hard!"
"It would be unlawful and sinful in your subjects' eyes," the warlock pointed out. "Aren't you aware of that?"
"We can spare them the details," Arthur said very seriously. "They don't have to know the whole truth."
"Do you want to lie to your people?" Merlin asked in disbelief.
"Am I lying when I don't tell my people about my battlefield tactics?" he answered with a question. "This kind of knowledge is useless for them."
Merlin shook his head. "I can't believe you are so stubborn," he said. "I don't understand why we should do this."
"I told you," Arthur said. "I gave you my word."
"Arthur..." Merlin moaned. "Screw your word!"
The king looked at him sadly. He was hurt. Truly hurt.
"I'm sorry," Merlin whispered. "I didn't mean..."
"Does it disgust you so much?" Arthur asked suddenly. "Do I disgust you?"
"That's not the point," the warlock tried to defend himself. He could not believe that Arthur understood his doubts in such a way. "You know very well that you are my soul mate, that we are two sides of the same coin..."
"Let's make the coin whole for a moment, then," Arthur told him. "Literally whole."
Merlin looked Arthur in the eyes. There were so many emotions in them. Merlin was not able to describe the half of them. The warlock was confused by his king's determination in such a matter because it was so not like the Arthur he had known. He was also excited and flattered. The king was ready to do for Merlin's sake something more than the warlock had ever expected and could hope for.
It felt good.
"Let's do this then," Merlin whispered, smiling timidly.
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