Merlin stood speechless. What could he possibly say? He didn't have a clever retort or witty comment for such a statement. No, he had to think. Arthur couldn't find out about his magic. If he did the King would have his head.
Merlin jumped when Arthur suddenly broke him out of his reverie by kicking the sheets on his bed back and standing up still smirking. Despite the seriousness of the situation Merlin could not help thinking, great now I'm going to have to remake that. His Master then begun striding across the room with such purpose Merlin didn't even have time to react.
Merlin -who had been standing on the other side of the room to the side of the chamber door- was quickly met by the King. Arthur did not stop when Merlin became an obstacle in his path. Instead, he pressed on and the fear of contact made his servant retreat. Merlin didn't know why he was afraid of such contact. It wasn't as if Arthur would be able to tell he was a sorcerer just from a touch, after all, but his body moved on its own. Merlin felt a shock run though him when his back hit the stone wall of the cathedral. Although the stone had been smoothed and polished to almost perfection, that didn't stop the coolness of the stone from seeping through his then layer of clothing and making goosebumps form from wrist to arm. Arthur placed his hands on either side of Merlin, blocking any escape.
"Why don't you just tell me?" Arthur taunted "You know you shouldn't keep secrets, from your King of all people."
"I uh, well I-"
"It's okay if you don't want to tell me, I've a fairly good idea of what it is anyway."
Oh no...Merlin thought If Arthur is correct in his theory I'll have to do something. I don't think there's any mind erasing spells so my only other option is to knock him out... He begun scanning the room for something - anything blunt enough to knock his King unconscious. His eyes came to rest on the water jug he put on Arthur's bedside table, minutes before. It was perfect just big enough to stun Arthur whilst not causing any permanent brain damage -although even if it could it probably wouldn't make a difference-. Merlin go ready, focusing intently on the jug ready to say the spell at any moment.
Arthur, however did something completely unexpected. Instead of saying he knew Merlin had magic, instead of calling the guards in, instead of doing something normal, Arthur leaned in and kissed him. The kiss surprised Merlin. He tried to move away but his back ws pressed against the wall and Arthur's hands had moved from there place on the wall to gripping Merlin's shoulders. The servant stopped resisting as his master deepened the kiss. It seemed to last forever, the world melted around them and all the warlock could feel was happiness. He never wanted this moment to end. unfortunately, it did and when Merlin opened his eyes again Arthur was still smirking. Was this some kind of sick joke?
"So, was I right in my assumptions?" the King asked.
"W-what?" Merlin stamered. How could Arthur kissing him ever relate to being a sorcerer?
"Your one of them right? One of those 'homosexuals'? You like people of your own sex as opposed to the opposite gender."
"-and you like me right?"
By the great dragon! Merlin thought This is even worse than Arthur knowing I am a sorcerer! I'm going to have to kill him.
"That's..." Merlin stopped, he didn't know what to say. Arthur was right but he couldn't admit that.
"You didn't seem to upset a moment ago when I kissed you."
The warlock could no longer lie. "...are you going to arrest me? Or will you have my head?"
Arthur laughed it was a beautiful sound, a sound that Merlin was sure could cleanse Albion on its own.
"Ha! I'd never dream of doing such a thing! For you see Merlin, I feel the same."
He felt the same. Merlin knew he should be ecstatic that Arthur returned his feelings but only negative thoughts ran through his head.
"What of Gwen?! Did you not love her?" Merlin shouted out without thinking.
"No, well...I did once I suppose but after what happened with Lancelot, after she cheated on me and the wedding was cancled...I just can't find any feelings for her..."
The sorcerer could see that while Arthur's tone of voice was sad his eyes were brilliant, blue...he had full confidence in this decision.
"Arthur..." he whispered, turning away so that he wouldn't be sucked into those pools of crystal blue. "This...isn't right. I'm your manservant. I have no-"
"What does it matter?!" Arthur interjected pushing backward a few steps so that he'd have room to shout and make gestures "Why should something as trivial as the title of 'King' or 'servant' stop someone from being with the one they love?!" There was passion in his voice. He truly did not care. "All this time - before I became King - I had to hide my feelings! Now I'm finally King. You said it yourself, Merlin. That when I was King I could change things! Why is that any different now?!"
"Heh...the title of 'King' isn't exactly trivial. There's an entire army of knights at your disposal..." Merlin mumbled attempting to bring the conversation to a level of sarcasm where he'd be more comfortable.
Arthur laughed, he moved closer, cupping Merlin's cheek with his right hand. He used his other to smooth a piece of ebony hair out of Merlin's eyes.
"Your such an idiot, Merlin." he murmured, tilting the warlock's chin up toward him. Arthur leaned in, their lips only centimeters apart when...
Knock knock knock
there was a loud rapping on the chamber door. The sound made both men jump. Arthur sighed in annoyance of being interrupted and dropped his hand from Merlin's cheek backing up a good ten feet so as not to look suspicious.
"Enter." he commanded in a voice full of authority which Merlin was very familiar with. Sir Leon emerged from the hallway. His hair was tousled and he was breathing quickly as if he'd run here. "This better be good, Leon" Arthur growled "I was just about to retire to bed."
I hope you weren't planning to bring me there. Merlin mumbled inwardly.
"Y-your Majesty..." Leon breathed, this was strange Leon was the Captain. He had remarkable stamina, so he'd either been scared stiff or run the whole way from the watch tower, or perhaps both. Arthur seemed to notice too for his shoulders had gone rigid. Leon continued;
"We have received reports that Morgana is heading for Camelot with an army."
Arthur's eyes widened and he quickly took an authoritative stance. "How many?"
"At least three times the size of ours, Sire."
Arthur looked troubled at the knights words. That was a problem. "Oh and one more thing," Leon added.
"What is it?"
"...Mordred is with them."
Merlin -who was still standing against the was- and Arthur quickly exchanged looks then headed out the door striding alongside each other.
"Ready the knights, we need a plan." Arthur ordered, as they passed Leon, who respectfully bowed in response. Leon turned the opposite way and head toward the knights quarters whilst Arthur and Merlin headed toward the throne room - and the round table.
"Y'know, Merlin" Arthur said, as they continued to walk down the corridor "I've always liked you ever since the day we met."
"And you showed this by nearly breaking my arm?" Merlin teased.
"Heh..I guess...but I've always kept it a secret. To be honest I never thoughts I'd tell you..."
"So then why did you do it, today?" Merlin asked, genuinely curious.
Arthur looked somewhat distant, starting at the ceiling as he explained. "I just have this unnerving feeling that I'm about to disappear for a long time..." Arthur let out a low chuckle, "But I'm probably just worrying over nothing. In any case, I'm glad you feel the same." he added.
Merlin, in an attempt to cheer up his master up said; "Yes, and I'm glad you aren't planning to kill me."
Arthur smiled at him. His smile seemed genuine but it didn't quite reach his eyes. Only one thought could pass through Merlin's mind as his returned a smile, just as fake, to his King;
The prophecy has begun.