Hello everyone :) I'm so excited that brand new Merlin is on TV and I had to write a one-shot about our favourite boys :) I hope you all enjoy and sorry for any mistakes.

Summary: Modern AU- Arthur has a boyfriend that none of his friends have met. Not because he's embarrassed but because they have a tendency to scare of his partners and Arthur really wants to keep Merlin.

Tick of approval

Arthur had been careful around his friends, not mentioning that he had a new boyfriend. His friends, as important as they were to him, had a habit of scaring off his partners. Granted that most of his ex's turned out to be crazy, manipulative, power hungry hoes, but he would have liked the option of finding that out for himself rather than his friends 'ditching the witch' as they put it.

But Merlin was different and for the first time he actually thought that this was the real thing, that he could happily spend the rest of his life with Merlin. As much as he loved his friends, there was no way that he was letting them anywhere near Merlin.

Arthur's friends knew that he had a new partner. Female or male they weren't sure, as Arthur was never fussed with gender. Arthur had hidden it well for some time, joining clubs to make it look like he was spending time elsewhere but Gwaine had dropped by one of the clubs to give Arthur his USB that he had left in the computer and had learnt that Arthur had not attended a meeting in months.

Gwaine of course has alerted the rest of their friends and they had gone investigating and found that all the new clubs that Arthur had joined were false leads to keep them off his scent.

"Did he really think he would get away with this?" Leon asked as the group sat around the table. All of them attended Avalon University that sat in the heart of Camelot. Gwaine, Percival, Elyan, Leon, Lancelot, Gwen, Morgana and Arthur had all grown up together, going through primary school, high school and now university together.

"He should have known that we would find out," Morgana scoffed, a smirk on his face.

"We have to meet them," Gwen added, smiling.

"He's not going to be happy," Percival chuckled to Lancelot who nodded in agreement.

"I shot gun not telling him," Lance added.

"When should we tell him?" Elyan asked.

"As soon as possible," Morgana said, flipping her long hair over her shoulder. "I want to meet the person who my brother is seeing and make sure that whoever they are is not a power hungry, manipulative witch."

"So we all agree?" Gwaine asked and everyone murmured their agreement. "It's settled. We are going to meet Arthur's new partner."

Arthur slid into a table with his friends at the local pub, carefully put his drink down and looked up to find them staring at him. They knew.

"No," he said and took a sip of his drink.

"You've kept them from us long enough," Morgana huffed. "It's about time we meet your new partner."

"Not going to happen," Arthur growled.

"Mate, you may as well get it over with," Gwaine grinned lazily, taking a sip of his own drink.

"Gwaine's right," Lancelot shrugged in response. "Get it over with quickly."

"You are not scaring this one off," Arthur growled at them. "So you are never going to meet him."

"Ah, so you have a boyfriend," Leon grinned wickedly and Arthur mentally scolded himself for letting that little bit of information slip.

"Can we talk about something else?" Arthur asked. "Like the upcoming university games that we are all participating in?"

"Sure," Gwen said, smiling apologetically and Arthur smiled at her gratefully.

"We will meet him eventually," Morgana warned and Arthur gritted his teeth.

"Not if I can help it," Arthur said through gritted teeth and Elyan quickly changed the subject before the two siblings could get into one of their heated debates that they were known for.

Merlin sat curled up against a tree, his tongue sticking out as he read a book that Arthur had bought him after he had seen him drooling over it but had little funds to purchase it, not if he wanted to eat the rest of the week.

Arthur had been a very surprising boyfriend. Merlin had heard all about him, the people he dated. They had all be beautiful, popular, wealthy and well known where as Merlin was invisible and came from a poorer family.

Merlin didn't think himself beautiful but Arthur had spent one afternoon showing Merlin just how beautiful he thought he was and it had resulted in a few hours of blissful passion that still brought a smile to his face.

The tree that Merlin usually sat under was hidden in the University. Only a few people ever came out this way for classes, so it was relatively quiet and he could read undisturbed. Until Arthur found him of course. Like now. Merlin had been so caught up in his book he didn't hear Arthur approach and drop down beside him until Arthur had nibbled on his ear.

Merlin jerked, nearly flinging his book away in the process but Arthur had caught it just in time and chuckled.

"Careful love," Arthur murmured and Merlin blushed, still unable to wrap his head around Arthur loving him. They had been together for almost eight months and were still going strong and steady.

"Sorry," Merlin winced. "I didn't hear you."

"I take it you are enjoying your book?" Arthur asked, gazing at the cover and Merlin beamed his bright grin and pecked Arthur on the lips.

"I love it. Thank you so much," Merlin beamed and Arthur pulled him back into another, longer, kiss. Arthur hummed and pulled away, looking at Merlin's slightly dazed expression and grinned smugly.

"You're welcome," he grinned and Merlin shuffled closer and rested his head on Arthur's shoulder. Arthur wrapped an arm around his shoulder and pulled him closer so that Merlin was practically sitting in his lap. "My friends want to meet you."

Merlin froze and looked at Arthur sharply. He moved too quickly thought and smashed his head into Arthur chin. Merlin whimpered and Arthur growled.

"Merlin," he growled and Merlin shrunk.

"I'm sorry," he cried. "You know you can't spring these kind of things on me!"

Arthur rolled his eyes at his clumsy boyfriend. "It's fine."

"I thought they didn't know," Merlin continued, looking distressed and Arthur gently ran his hands up and down Merlin's arms.

"They found out," Arthur sighed. "I told you they would figure it out eventually."

"I don't want to meet them," Merlin mumbled and Arthur frowned.

"I know I said that they had scared of my previous relationships but I won't let them do that to you Merlin," Arthur promised.

"I've heard enough rumours of what they have done," Merlin muttered.

"Only half of them are true," Arthur shrugged, a teasing smile on his lips but this did not make Merlin smile. "Merlin? Tell me what's wrong?"

"I'm not good enough for you," Merlin shouted, shooting out of Arthur grip and stumbling to his feet, beginning to pace. "They will take one look at me and see that I'm not good enough for you and then you will realise it too."

Arthur glared at this and got to his feet. He gripped Merlin's arms, causing him to stop and look at him with wide eyes.

"Merlin," Arthur growled. "If anything, you are too good for me. You have changed me so much. I love you and nobody can ever make me change my mind about you."

"I'm not rich," Merlin mumbled pathetically and Arthur rolled his eyes, his grip tightening on Merlin.

"How many times have I told you that I don't care if you are poor," Arthur sighed angrily. "I. Don't. Care. You and your mother are the kindest people I have ever met and I love you, Merlin. I love you."

"I love you too," Merlin smiled softly and Arthur relaxed, pressing his lips to Merlin and wrapping his arms around him. They stayed like that, gently stealing occasional kisses before Merlin spoke again, looking worried. "Will they like me?"

"I don't see how they can't," Arthur beamed and Merlin nodded, although still looking worried.

"Don't worry," Arthur soothed him. "I'll make sure that they don't do anything and that you are completely comfortable."

Merlin beamed and threaded his fingers into Arthur's hair and pulled him into a deep kiss.

"When do you want to meet him?" Arthur asked. They were at the pub again, having a few drinks and the group grinned, glad that Arthur had finally given up.

"How about Thursday?" Morgana asked. "Not tomorrow but the next day?"

"Thursday morning?" Arthur asked. "Merlin has class in the afternoon."

"Perfect," Leon agreed, lifting his glass to salute before taking a few gulps.

"How about we meet at The Castle?" Elyan suggested. The Castle was one of the nicest restaurant's in town and the group often had family dinners there.

Arthur shook his head. "Merlin can't afford it."

Everyone's eyes widened with surprise at this. Arthur usually dated girls and boys from families of money. Gwen and Gwaine were the only two in the group that had some trouble with money, not able to afford most of the places they went to but the group always helped them out and never judged them for it.

"There is a small coffee shop call Freya," Arthur continued. "Merlin and I go there a bit so we can meet there."

"That sound lovely," Gwen beamed. "I can't wait to meet him."

Arthur smiled at her and nodded. "There are some conditions though."

"Like what?" Gwaine asked.

"You will not make fun of his appearance or his clothes," he glared. "He's self conscious as it is. He nervous meeting you and is scared that you won't like him and in turn make me not like him. Be nice."

"Arthur," Morgana said. "We are only looking out for you. We could see that those other people were just using you. If Merlin is right for you, then we won't have any problem with him."

"Just behave yourselves," Arthur pleaded and the group nodded. They were surprised by Arthur's requests. Not once had he ever given them rules for when they met his partner and they could see that Arthur was pretty serious about this. This made them even more curious to know who this Merlin was.

Merlin was running late and Arthur was going to kill him. Merlin had been working an early morning shift at his uncle's pharmacy and was now running late to meet Arthur and his friends at Freya's. He jogged down the street, weaving in and out of people. He was nearly there when he tripped over his own feet and went sprawling to the ground.

He heard laughter as he picked himself up and he blushed red. He looked down and saw that he hands were grazed and bleeding and that he had somehow managed to cut his left wrist. Wincing, he picked himself up and carefully walked to Freya's, opening the door with a whimper.

The smell of coffee washed over him and he scanned the shop and found Arthur easily. He was already out of his seat and making his way towards him. Merlin saw the group he had been sitting with turn and look at him and his dropped his head with embarrassment.

"You're late," Arthur greeted him, giving him a light kiss on the cheek. He pulled back and frowned. "What's wrong?"

"I tripped," Merlin winced, holding up his hands to show Arthur who's eyes widened. He took his hands carefully and winced.

"One day, you are going to get into a lot more trouble with your clumsiness," Arthur scolded and began to lead him to seats.

"Holy crap," Gwaine yelped as Arthur sat Merlin down.

"What happened?" Gwen gasped, looking over Merlin with concerned.

"I tripped," Merlin blushed under their gazes.

"Freya," Arthur called and the young girl behind the counter and she looked over to them. "I need the first aid kit."

"Again?" Freya asked, coming around and pulling out a white box from under the counter. "That's the third time this week Merlin."

Arthur shot Merlin a look and he grinned sheepishly. "He didn't know about the second time Freya."

"Opps," she giggled and handed the box to Arthur who sat down beside him. "My bad."

She quickly darted away behind the counter again and Arthur began to rummage through the kit, looking for something to clean his hands.

"What happened the second time?" Arthur asked.

"I burnt my hand after I spilt my drink over it," Merlin winced as Arthur began to clean his wounds.

"Not as what Gwaine burnt," Lance sniggered and Gwaine shot him a look. Merlin looked up with interest, Arthur smiling at Lance gratefully as he began to wrap Merlin's wrist.

"What did he burn?" Merlin asked.

"His bum on the fire," Lance grinned.

"It was cold and I was warming myself up after my shower," Gwaine huffed and Merlin's eyes lit up with laughter. "I got a little close and touched the glass."

Everyone laughed and Merlin joined in. Morgana was watching Arthur and Merlin interact. When Merlin was all cleaned up, Merlin gave him a bright smile and a quick peck on the cheek. Arthur smiled and gave the first aid kit back before sitting down and wrapping an arm around Merlin's waist.

"Tell us Merlin," Morgana grinned. "Do you live in Camelot?"

"With my uncle Gaius," Merlin explained, leaning into Arthur. "I moved up from Ealdor to study and I help Gaius out in the pharmacy he runs."

"What are you studying?" Elyan asked and Merlin smiled.

"Arthurian legend," Merlin beamed. "The time period, the magic, royalty."

"Sword fighting?" Gwaine asked, looking interested and Merlin nodded, beaming.

"Wow," Gwen breathed. "That sounds much more fun than business."

Everyone nodded in agreement and Merlin chuckled.

"Do you study at Avalon?" Lance asked and Merlin nodded.

"It's the part of the campus that nobody uses. Also known at the Dragon's cave," Merlin explained and they all laughed.

"Oh, we know it," Leon chuckled. "How did you an Arthur meet then?"

"I wanted to take an elective that was held over in that side of the campus. I literally ran into Merlin," Arthur explained.

"He yelled at me and I called him a prat," Merlin shrugged, grinning at Arthur. "He came back the next day and I found him waiting for me after class and he asked me out for a drink."

Everyone laughed and Morgana beamed. "I love you. Nobody ever talks to Arthur like that."

Merlin smiled at her, becoming more relaxed and Arthur beamed, giving Merlin a squeeze as they the group began to adore him and asked all these questions and talked about upcoming events that he had to attend.

"They liked you," Arthur murmured to Merlin. The two were curled up on Arthur's couch, watching a documentary on Arthurian legend and Merlin snuggled closer to Arthur.

"They did?" he asked hopefully.

"They invited you to come watch the uni games and to come to the after party," Arthur chuckled. "Lance wants to talk to you about sword fighting and the guys want you to take them to that fantasy sword fight game thing. They loved you."

Merlin beamed and gently rubbed his nose along Arthur's. "I'm glad. I didn't want you to have to chose between your friends and me."

Arthur pulled him into a kiss, running his hand up under Merlin's shirt. Merlin gasped and pressed himself closer, sliding a thigh between Arthur's legs and moaning, the kiss deepening.

"Oh I'm so glad I have someone to sit with me now," Gwen beamed at Merlin, linking their arms together as they watched their (Merlin smiled at the thought) friends pile on to the field, getting ready for the games to begin.

"You don't play?" Merlin asked as they took their seats, getting a good view of everything.

"No, I'm their cheering squad," Gwen chuckled. "You didn't want to play?"

"Gwen, I was bleeding from having tripped over my feet the first time you met me," Merlin told her and she giggled. "I think I would be going home in an ambulance if I played."

"I'm sure you're not that bad," Gwen soothed and Merlin shot her a look and she giggled. They settled in their seats and watched as the games began, cheering when needed and getting to know one another as they waited.

The games took most of the day and majority of Avalon University came out to see. Mostly to watch Arthur and his friends that were fondly nicknamed The Knights of the Round Table. Arthur had a bit of a reputation and everyone always wished to have a chance with him.

They were surprised and watched eagerly as Arthur made his way up through the stands of those watching. They followed his every move as he walked with a purpose. They saw him heading in Gwen's direction and frowned. Gwen was dating Lancelot but there was rumours that Arthur and Gwen still had a thing going.

They watched with bated breath but their eyes widened as Arthur stopped in front of the man sitting beside her and pull him into a kiss.

"Who is that?" someone whispered.

"No idea," another answered as they looked on.

Arthur pulled away and the two smiled at each other. "Did you have fun?" Arthur asked.

"It was good," Merlin beamed. "But I'm glad it was you and not me."

Arthur chuckled and pulled Merlin back into another kiss which he happily returned. Gwen smiled and made her way towards Lance who was heading her way. Everyone watched with shock and wondered how long this relationship would last.

Arthur and Merlin could be seen walking around campus, their hands linked together. Merlin quickly became known around Avalon University. Everyone adored him, loving how sweet he was and loved watching Arthur and Merlin's relationship blossom. Merlin became good friends with everyone in the group and often hung out with them, even if Arthur wasn't there.

Although the two were different, they complimented each other and everyone knew that these two would last. They were surprised that Arthur hadn't proposed yet, but nobody knew that he had his mother's wedding ring hidden and was waiting for the perfect moment to give to Merlin which would happen after being together for more than a year.

Out of everyone Arthur ever dated, everyone loved Merlin the most and Arthur couldn't picture his life without him.

What did you think? Please review and happy reading :)