I don't own Merlin. (Sadly)

Summary: Arthur who has always loved Merlin but kept the secret from the sorcerer finally reveals all when he realises it could be his last chance to reveal all, but has he left it too late?

This story is for and dedicated to Melanie. She helped keep me sane when my mum had her operation and talk me through what would happen and assured me she will come out of it fine. And she did :D so this story is for her. Thank you. Hugs :D

I apologise in advance for any mistakes I may have made :D x

Arthur walked into the throne room and saw Merlin standing talking to Morgana and Gwen. Merlin placed his hand on Morgana's obvious bump and laughed and jumped back a little when he felt the baby kick.

Arthur felt his stomach flip at that image as to him, Merlin's smile could light up even the darkest room.

How Arthur would love to walk over and wrap Merlin in his arms. Arthur sighed. If only Merlin liked him as much as he liked Merlin. He had loved Merlin before he became King, making Merlin his court sorcerer meant that he could see Merlin everyday, spend hours alone with him whilst discussing things. Arthur may hate the fact that Merlin didn't look at Arthur like that but that was fine. Although painful, Arthur would rather have Merlin as a friend and spend days like that with him then have Merlin reject him and leave.

Putting on a smile, Arthur walked over to them. "Is my niece kicking you Merlin?"

Morgana turned her head. "It's a boy and he is going to grow up to be a strong knight like his father." Morgana said with a smile on her face.

"As good looking as his mother and as brave the both of you." Gwen beamed.

Merlin turned and looked at Arthur. "Did you want me?"

"Yes. We are to go hunting and I wanted to ask if you wanted to come. I know you don't now that you are court sorcerer but I thought for old time sake."

"Okay. I will just get ready."

When Merlin left the room, Morgana hit her brother on the arm. "You ask Merlin out and it is to do with hunting and other knights joining you. Stupid idiot."

"I was nervous. It took me all my bollocks to ask him that. What if he doesn't like me that way, he will start to avoid me as he will feel bad for not returning my feelings and will feel awkward. I would rather have him as a friend and see him every day then live like that."

"I have to agree with Arthur on that one love. I was ever so nervous, if it wasn't for your beautiful boldness of asking me out I would probably still trying to build up the courage to ask you." Leon said.

"See?" Arthur asked his sister.

"No I don't. All that tells me is that you are brave enough to go out and fight a war and risk your life in doing so but you are not brave enough to ask someone you like out?"

"Exactly." Arthur and Leon said.

"Well that is stupid."

Thirty minutes later, Merlin and Arthur were walking side by side to the stables where Gwaine, Percival and Lancelot were already waiting. "Hey Merlin you coming with us?" Gwaine asked.

"Yeah why not. I thought I would for old times sake."

Arthur smiled as he got on his horse. "Lets get going then."

They had been out for a couple of hours and had caught a small deer and several rabbits. As it was nearing dinner time, Merlin had made a stew with the rabbits they had caught.

"We should have bought a servant with us. You shouldn't be doing this Merlin." Arthur said as he accepted the food off the sorcerer.

"I want to." Merlin smiled as he poured himself some stew and sat down next to Lancelot who smiled at him.

"Still not told our King of your feelings then Merlin."

"You know I haven't Lancelot. Arthur doesn't feel that way about me. If I tell him it could be awkward and he will start to ignore me as he will feel guilty about not feeling the same way. And I will lose him as a friend. I would rather keep him as a friend and hide my feelings than show them and risk losing him."

"What are we going to do with you Merlin?"

"Put up with me." he laughed.

Across the way Arthur was watching Merlin and Lancelot laugh freely and hated the fact that he couldn't do that. He wanted to laugh with Merlin, sit beside him, put his arm around him, kiss him every now and then. Not being able to do any of this put Arthur in a sour mood.

"Hurry up and get ready you lot. We have to be getting back. We have been gone longer than I would have liked already." Arthur ordered as he stood up and started to get his horse ready for the journey home.

The rest of them stood up and started to clear things away whilst Merlin walked over to Arthur. "Are you alright?"

"Why shouldn't I be."

"You tell me. You was in a great mood this morning, laughing whilst hunting, soon as you had something to eat your whole attitude changed."

"Goes to show what your cooking does to me Merlin."

Merlin let Arthur see the hurt he had caused with the words before walking away, not giving Arthur a chance to say anymore.

The ride back was mostly rode in silence, Lancelot, Percival or Gwaine trying to get Merlin to talk who only answered with one word syllables, a smile never gracing his lips, his head hung low. Arthur's stomach tightening, hating himself for how he upset Merlin. Why did he have to snap and upset Merlin for?

Before Arthur could think anymore, a group of bandits jumping from trees and bushes, began ambushing them all.

They all jumped off their horses and drew their swords and began to fight, Arthur keeping Merlin behind him at all times so he wouldn't get hurt. He knew he had his magic to protect him but that didn't matter to Arthur. He would always put his life before Merlin's and protect him. Magic or not.

After a while of fighting, the bandits seemed to give up and back off. Arthur turned and laughed a little at their retreating figures but Merlin who watched the bandits leave saw one of them pause and raise their crossbow at fire, aiming straight for Arthur.

"Arthur!" Merlin cried and ran to his King. He wrapped his arms around the blond and spun them both around and cried out when he felt the arrow pierce his back and slumped forwards onto his King who looked on in horror as he saw the pain in Merlin's eyes. "Merlin..."

"Saved...you..." Merlin whimpered before collapsing into the blond's arms.

Several things happened when Merlin collapsed, Arthur started to cry shaking Merlin and panickly saying his name again and again, Gwaine jumped on his horse with an angry cry and raced after the bandit that fired the arrow and Lancelot hurried over and checked Merlin's pulse.

"He's still alive Arthur but his pulse is weak. We need to get him to Gaius quickly." Lancelot made to take Merlin from Arthur's arms when Arthur tugged Merlin closer. "No. Mine."

"I know he is yours Arthur but we need to get him back now or he will no longer be yours as you will lose him."

"Mine." Arthur replied, holding Merlin closer.

"Lancelot get Arthur's horse over here. He won't let go of Merlin."

"How do we get them both on Arthur's horse then?"

"Arthur pick Merlin up and hold him tight and close to you."

Arthur did as Percival said and did nothing when Percival then picked Arthur up and put the King on his horse.

"Killed the bastard." Gwaine said as he came back on his horse.

Percival smiled at Gwaine and mounted his horse. "Lancelot get Merlin's horse. We need to get back to Gaius now."

When they all arrived back at Camelot, Arthur swung his left leg over and jumped down off his horse with Merlin still clutched tightly to him as he rushed to Gaius. Morgana and Gwen who were both in the courtyard, picked up their dresses and followed Arthur as quick as they could as he ran to Gaius' quarters.

"Gaius!" he cried as he burst into the old physician's rooms.

"Arthur what happened?"

Arthur told Gaius all that happened and when he told Arthur to back back so he can check him over, Arthur just held the sorcerer closer.

"He was like this in the forest Gaius, he won't let go of him." Percival said. "I think what makes it worse, I think Arthur said something that upset Merlin and he wasn't talking until he grabbed Arthur and spun them both around, taking the arrow for Arthur. He collapsed into his arms and Arthur hasn't let go of him since."

After several failed attempts of trying to see Merlin to check him over, Gaius looked pleadingly at Morgana who slowly walked forwards and placed a comforting hand on Arthur's upper arm. "Arthur... Gaius needs to check Merlin over and help him. "


"That's all he will say Morgana." Lancelot said.

"Arthur." Morgana tried again. "How about you stay with Merlin and hold his hand or arm and help Gaius move him if need be whilst he checks Merlin over? Would that be okay? That way you still have your Merlin with you."

Arthur slowly nodded and loosened his grip on Merlin, laying him on his front, his head turned to the side so Gaius could see the wound on Merlin's back. Arthur that busy looking at Merlin, didn't see Morgana look over her shoulder at Gwaine, giving him a signal and the knight nodding to show he understood.

Morgana moved slightly back and looked at her brother. "Swefecung." she whispered.

Gwaine jumped forwards when Arthur went limp and dropped. "What was that spell?" he asked.

"I have put him to sleep. Gaius can't work properly with Arthur in that state. Put him on Merlin's old bed."

Percival moved forwards and took Arthur from Gwaine and carried him up to the other room.

Arthur woke up and found himself in Merlin's old room and in his old bed, he buried his face into the pillow and inhaled deeply before everything came back to him, Merlin saving Arthur, the arrow in Merlin's back, Merlin collapsing in his arms.

Arthur shot up and ran from the room making Gaius jump and look up from his book. "I will kill my sister when I see her." Arthur snapped as he hurried over to Merlin who was laying on his front, his head to the side and a bandage wrapped across his back disappearing under his armpits going round to the front. The sheet covering Merlin up to just above his arse leaving the rest of his back bare up to where his bandage started.

Arthur, uncaring that Gaius could see, ran his hand gently over Merlin's bare lower back before taking the sorcerers hand in his. "How is he Gaius?"

Gaius stood up and looked a little unsure.

Arthur frowned and looked at the old physician carefully. "Don't hold back Gaius. Tell me...please."

Gaius looked at the King closely and sighed. "I have had to pull the arrow out. I cleaned the wound to keep away any infection. The next twenty four hours will be critical Arthur and if Merlin gets worse, there is a high chance he won't survive, he needs to rest and keep hydrated and monitored constantly which is what I will be doing. But Arthur... You might have to prepare yourself for the worst."

"As in Merlin could die?"

"Yes Arthur. I am sorry I have done all I can. Merlin is like a son to me, if I could do more than I would but I can't. I am afraid the next twenty four hours is a waiting game and we must pray that his condition doesn't worsen."

Arthur bit his lip. "Gaius can you fetch Morgana here please and fill her in on Merlin's condition on the way?"

"Of course."

As soon as Gaius left Arthur turned all of his attention on Merlin. "Please Merlin. You have to fight this. You have to get better. I can't lose you. I am lost without you Merlin. I know I must seem selfish saying you have to get better because I need you to but I can't help it. I ..." Arthur turned to make sure he and Merlin were still alone before looking back at the brunet, he moved down and placed a small kiss on his bare shoulder. "I love you Merlin."

Well? What do you think?

Chapter two up tomorrow :D

Review? x