Arthur stood in the middle of the island, holding in his hand small, metallic object that just few moments ago was still inside him, killing him. Merlin was away, preparing their meal and great dragon was looking at him with his warm, calm eyes, smiling if he wasn't mistaken. The same dragon, that put Camelot under siege from the air just after Morgana disappeared for a year. Arthur was looking at him now, at his big, thick body laying there, watching him with calm, waiting.
"You are the dragon that attacked Camelot", asked Arthur, looking warily at his big body.
"Yes", answered dragon, waiting for Arthur to say something more, who was in deep thought. Yesterday he was a simple king and magic was banned from his kingdom. And the one who had a hand in his decision was Merlin, who was a sorcerer powerfull enough to command a dragon at will.
"But we defeated you", more asked then stated Arthur, looking into dragons eyes, who laughed.
"Did you?" dragon was laughing at the young king, making him blush.
"Then why did you leave?" asked Arthur, confused. How could this beast just leave, without a reason and then helped them in their hour of need? He wasn't sure what he could make out of it.
"Merlin is a dragonlord. He can command me at his will, he is the son of Balinor and the last dragonlord on the earth. He had the power to kill me, but decided to spare my life, but in exchange i was bound to leave Camelot and it's people alone."
The great dragon was looking at Arthur, who was still deep in his thoughts, trying to sort his feelings. He still wasn't fully understanding what happened and now he knew that he didn't know even the half of the truth and Merlin having magic was the tip of the iceberg.
"You should talk to him", said dragon in calm, parenting way, "he is the one you have trouble to comprehend. I can tell you about him, but you need to resolve your feelings. All you need to know, my young king is that he is a great man, who saved your life and those dear to you, who sacrificed himself for you more times then you could ever imagine. Go to him." The great dragon nodded and pushed Arthur with his big nose in the direction where Merlin was. "I will be here, waiting for you, if you would have any questions. Now, go." Dragon pushed Arthur's back a little harder making him walk to the Merlin, who was working on some soup in the small kettle under the fire.
"Arthur!" Merlin smiled awkwardly and started to pour the strange, bronze soup into deep cups. Arthur walked to him, took his share of the suop and sit opposite to Merlin, watching him. He pushed the cup to his lips and then quickly pushed it back.
"Merlin, this is disgusting! What did you use..." Arthur paused, seeing Merlin's smile, realizing, that his feelings never did change. He felt his eyes getting watery, so he quickly wiped them, seeing as Merlin was doing the same, wiping his tears that started to flow down on his cheeks.
"Merlin, be a man", complained Arthur, trying to eat some of his bronze, terrible soup, watching the grass at his feat, holding his own tears back.
"I love you Arthur", gasped Merlin, crying.
"Whoa!" Arthur leaned back with his hands before him "too much sincerity Merlin. Wait is this why i have never seen you with a girl, and this dress..." Athur gave Merlin terrified look, but Merlin instead of answering started to laugh and now his tears were definitely from crying.
"No no no.. ouch.." Merlin grabbed his belly, his body trembling from the good laugh.
"So", Arthur put his cup down, near the fire. "Tell me Merlin, why you never said anything? Why are you living as a simple servant? You are being humiliated and made fun of each day, how come you never wanted to change that?"
"Arthur", Merlin looked him into his eyes, "i never wanted you to have to choose between compromising your values over me or to execute me. I never wanted to put you in that position. Especially, when i knew what your father thought about it and then later. I am your friend, and i care about you. I would die for you Arthur. When you wanted to sacrifice yourself to close the veil between the worlds, i wanted to go in your place. I was ready to stop you with my magic, and to jump inside, but Lancelot outsmarted me and sacrificed himself in my place. He knew about my magic and said to me before i he jumped in, that my magic is more important then his life." Merlin's voice grew sour, sad. He let his head fall down, "i have never forgiven himself that he gave his life for me..."
Arthur found himself crying. Tears were falling down blue eyes on his pink cheeks. He moved to Merlin, sit near him and grabbed his head between his left arm and started to tousle his hair with his right fist, showing him affection the only way he know. But for both of them that was enough, and schrieking Merlin knew the feelings his king wanted to show to him. They stopped after some time and started to talk. Merlin was talking about the prophecies, telling Arthur what he have done to help them with most of their adventures. Arthur was sitting near him, listening to him with his eyes wide open. Then they got to the parts where they started to laugh over things and after that they realized that they talked for almost a day.
"So", asked Arthur watching his friend "what do you want to do now?"
Merlin's eyes glanced at him, surprised.
"What do you mean?" he asked Arthur.
"Merlin, are you seriously want to stay things the way they are now? With you being a simple manservant? For not getting anything for all you have done?"
Merlin started to think. After a moment he glanced at Arthur.
"Arthur, there was never anything i wanted more, then to make the prophecies right. To save you, to make you the one and future king of all. And there was only one thing i wanted to ever happen. To tell you the truth about me." He smiled adn his eyes sparkled. "And now i have. You know the truth about me, about everything i have done. Now i can keep helping you, without lying to you, i can be so much more usefull. And now when you know it, we can fight for the future together. We can fight for the brighter future for everyone, magic or not, everyone could be accepted for who they are. No more hate, no more lies."
Arthur was taken back with his answer.
"Merlin, thank you and i am sorry, i never knew you had so much wisdom inside you. I..."
"I'm sorry sire, could you repeat that?" Merlin's eyes sparkled.
Arthur's mouth closed. He pointed his finger at Merlin's chest.
"That never happened. I never said. You understand that?" said Arthur with grave expression on his face.
"Yes, sire", laughed Merlin and in a moment both of them laughing. When they stopped, Arthur looked at Merlin, watching him with curious look.
"So, what do we do now?"
"First, we go back. Then we need to work on making you a king. I think having some sons would be in order" Arthur's cheeks reddened. He looked at Merlin with wide eyes.
"Merlin, you are serious about this?"
"Yes, we need to create safer kingdom. We also need to do something with the neighbouring countries. If you are to be the king as prophecies foretolds..."
"I won't be waging wars Merlin."
"Yes, i know, but look at this from another point of view. If prophecies are right, then it will happen. But we don't know how. Maybe the Saxons will start killing everyone around and before you could be able to arrive with help, every kingdom but Camelot will be sacked, their royal families dead. Or maybe they will attack you? We need to think of a way to make you a king so nothing bad will happen in the process. Or at least we minimalize the damage."
"Yes, you are right. I fear there is a lot i need to learn about magic."
Merlin chuckled, and Arthur's finger found it's way to pierce him in the chest.
"Not. A. Word."
"Yes, sire" they laughed again.
"So i want you to be my advisor. I need to have someone at my council, and i don't know the better person.."
"Why not Gaius?"
"He is old and have a lot of respect over people of Camelot. He also was practising magic, but stopped after your father banned it."
"And over the people outside of Camelot?"
Merlin was sitting, quiet.
"Then you both will be on my council." Merlin smiled.
"Oh, and Merlin", said nonchalantly Arthur, like he was talking about yesterday weather "i am not getting new servant."
"You mean you will learn how to dress yourself?" asked cheekly Merlin.
"No, you douche, that only means you will be having more duties", Arthur smiled, putting his had over black haired Merlin's head. They were sitting, staying like that for a moment.
"What do we do about Morgana?" asked Merlin, breaking the silence.
"I... I don't know. She betrayed me, but she is my sister. And... i think you were in love with her once" Athur gave Merlin curious look.
"Arthur... I... I never forget that i wasn't able to save her. I... I wanted to, i helped her with the druids, i was trying to talk to her, while she was working with Morgause and then, i was trying to somehow reach to her. But i think somehow along the way i lost the patience."
"They you have your first two missions. First, you need to supervise all people who has magic. We need to make this kingdom peaceful once again. And as for the other job, after you will help Gaius with the first task, you will go on a journey to find and bring Morgana back to Camelot."
"And who will save your ass while i'm gone?" he chuckled.
"I will be coming with you", said Arthur and unsheathed his sword, Excalibur. "Is this.." he glanced at Merlin, asking.
"Yes", answered Merlin, smiling.
"We will be come back by dragon?" asked Arthur, standing up, excited. The dragon looked at him from afar and moved his big body next to them.
"I can do that, my young king" the dragon smiled.
"Merlin said you were imprisoned under the castle", asked Athur, seeing as dragon eyes growed narrow. "I am sorry for that, but... Camelot is to be for everyone, and i am to be a king of everyone. So I wanted to grant those caves to you and your kind, to be your home. I will grant besides that anything you ask, so you can call Camelot your home."
Arthur was looking anxiously at the great dragon, who glanced at Merlin.
"It's your choice", smiled young newly appointed counselor "but i would be happy to know you will find a place you could call a home once again, and in the heart of the Camelot. Also, i will find Aithusa and i will need someone to be with her."
"Then it is done, Arthur Pendragon. From this day on, the Camelot is a home to at least one dragon." The great dragon bowed his head and moved so they could climb on his great, thick body. When they did, he flew up, leaving the isle of the blessed behind.
Now Arthur was able to fully enjoy the flight. He allowed himself to laugh and shout, feeling excited. Merlin was behind him, sitting on the dragon's neck, just behind his head. And the dragon was laughing, flying freely, sometimes spinning in the air, so both of his passangers would shriek with fear and excitement. And then he flew down, landing in the middle of Camelot castle, making people panic and run for their lives.
Arthur jumped down from his neck, laughing. Everyone stopped, looking at their king, who they thought of as dead. Their king turned to the dragon, shouting.
"From this day on, the dragons are a friends of Camelot. They will live peacefully in the caves of Camelot, that is, i, Arthur Pendragon, as a king grant to them and for return they will become one of the Camelot subjects, respecting our laws. Also, my manservant Merlin is bestown with a title of counselor, as is Gaius, the king's medic. From this point his words is second only to mine. Use of magic is still forbidden, but poeple with magic can live freely in Camelot, as long as it magic is not used to their own personal gain. And..." he stopped, seeing Gwen, his queen running to his from inside the castle. "And now, to making an heir", he whispered, grabbing the crying love of his life inside his arms, lifting her up and walking inside the castle with her inside his arms, trying to calm her with his voice, leaving Merlin and the dragon behind on the square.
Merlin sighned and pet his dragon on the head. The dragon purred and flew away, directing himself to the caves beneath the castle. Merlin was looking after him and turned to the Camelot knights, who encirled him, waiting anxiously with their hands on the hilts of their swords.
Merlin gulped, and turned to Percival, Gwaine and Leon.
"Get the knights to the round table, fetch someone for Gaius. There is a lot to talk about and a lot more to do", he tried to go inside, but they moved to cut his way in, blocking him. For a while they were standing there, before Merlin looked into their eyes, each one of them, waiting for each one of them to move out from his way. Only then Merlin walked inside the castle walking to the hall with the round table. He felt strange and uncomfortable. Arthur run off with Gwen, leaving him alone to talk to the knights, to tell them what have happened, to be the one who will break the news to them. He walked to the round table, found a place where usally Gwen was seated and wait there, standing for the knights to come. When the Gaius came he fetched one of the servants to bring another chair which he put to his left. He waited till all the knights were seated, and started talking.
"You are know my name, it's Merlin", he glanced around the table, at the knights looking at him, wondering what was happening. "I have magic", no one moved, so Merlin continued "i always had. From the first day i was here, i was using magic to defend both the king and his deceased father", quiet murmur arouse around the table. Merlin paused, waiting.
"At the battle our king was stroke by a magical sword, and the only way to save him was to heal him with the water from the island of the blessed." Merlin waited, till another murmur stopped, before continuing.
"To save his life, i asked a dragon to help. This dragon saved your king's life." He stopped, waiting for their reactions. In the end, Gwaine was the one who stood up as first.
"I know Merlin, he fought beside our side and risked his life for me and for the king many times. And if we ever was saved thanks to his magic, then i have no complaints", he smiled at Merlin, winking, and sat down. After him, many knights started to say their own thoughts. For a moment they started to quarrel, but Merlin with the help of Gwaine, Percival and sir Leon made them calm down. Some of the knights left the table, but most stayed, listening. Merlin counted who left and who stayed. Most stayed, which was a good sign. He started to talk about some changes, feeling strange. Before he was a simple servant, right now, he was a counselor. Yes, before he was the king's manservant, allowing him to have some influence over the matters of state. But now, he could just state what he thought should be done and what's more, he could just ordered it. He was pretty sure his position quickly would become second to all but the king. He smiled, and gave the voice to Gaius. They needed to prepare the plan how to welcome magic to the kingdom again. Create laws for magical users. Appoint new notables for the new positions. Think about the Saxons, Morgana and her loyal followers, who were able to use magic. There was a lot to do, and right now they were trying to force new laws, in the middle of the great war, against the enemy who was burning with hate. Just a day like another, smiled to himself Merlin, listening to Gaius, and realizing, that now he was free from his lies. And that was the thing that mattered to him the most. His friendship with Arthur. Real. From now on, there could be only truth between them. He scolded himself. That wasn't the time to laid back thinking about good things. He focused on what was happening on the table. There was a lot of work to do, and he needed to do it right.