You see, Arthur was being nice when he piled the chores on Merlin, he was!

Arthur considered himself a very good master to an unusual servant such as Merlin, not many noblemen would keep a manservant that likes to wear dresses in his spare time. Why, just a few weeks ago Gwen was saying she had caught him in Morgana's room (before she… defected) trying on all her jewellery.

But Arthur was most kind and gracious master (despite what some servants may have to say on the matter) because he kept the poor boy on.

Of course Merlin's hobby did raise some questions in the young Prince. If Merlin wanted to be a girl, did he still like girls? Or did he prefer men?

Naturally Arthur couldn't leave this conundrum unresolved! So the (very clever in his own opinion, never mind what certain idiots may have to say) Prince decided to dust off his investigating skills again and find out.

But how?

He quickly dismissed the idea of simply asking the boy, what if the poor fool gets scared? There was nothing for it, he would simply have to observe the manservant and use all his years of fine education to deduce the answer.

With this thought in mind the Prince settled down to sleep and begin his plan the next day by covertly following Merlin… to watch for any secret trysts… yeah, that would work…

However Arthur was woken earlier than usual and was surprised to see the manservant kneeling by the side of his bed.

"Merlin!" He exclaimed. Because really, why was the fool there?

"Shhh!" was the frantic reply.

Hush? Was something happening? Was the castle under attack or –

What was Merlin doing?

"Merlin, what are you doing?"

"Listening for woodworms, Sire"

Woodworms? This early? Apparently so as Arthur watched his eccentric friend place a cup against the wooden chest to listen. Arthur quickly decided it was way too early for that, plus he had covert spying to do!

"Get out" There! Now Merlin will go and Arthur can follow sneakily to see if he meets up with a special someone.

Unfortunately Merlin only got on with his chores and his interactions with others were all polite and friendly, no tell-tale blushes or special treatment for anyone. Disappointed, Arthur went to bed early to ponder this and perhaps try again the next day.

But as he lay in bed Arthur's thoughts once again returned to his cheerful little serving boy. He really was quite fond of the fellow despite being an awful servant; he was always there for Arthur to talk to, always forgiving, always offering advice (never wisdom, even if that's what it was), always understanding his emotions –

Oh no.

It was the emotions that gave it away! What kind of a man could understand emotions? It was all coming together now.

Merlin likes to wear dresses and flower, ergo, merlin wants to be a girl.

Merlin doesn't treat any of the other servants in a special way, ergo, he mustn't like them in a special way.

Merlin spends most of his time with Arthur.

Merlin is always smiling at Arthur, even in the (most evil of creations) mornings.

Merlin has been caught kneeling by his bed staring at his face while he slept (pffft, as if the Great Arthur Pendragon would fall for the whole 'woodworms' thing).

Ergo, Merlin must like – Arthur.

With that assumption the Prince buried his face in the pillow and groaned, what would he do now?

Feeling an unknown weight across his body Arthur woke with a start.


There was an awkward pause.


Arthur watched in stupefied fascination as the boy pretended to be listening out for woodworms again. I mean really, Arthur knew he was irresistible but Merlin should be less obvious about his love…

After voicing his concern for the love-struck fool (maybe he would get the hint to be more sneaky? Like his Prince's spying abilities) he piled a load of chores on him to take care of after the council meeting.

You see, Arthur knew what it was like to be in love with someone and to know it could never work, so he gave Merlin lots of chores so the boy had an excuse to hover around him all the time without other people getting suspicious. It was a kindness really.

Yes, Arthur thought to himself, he really was a very good master.

A/N Well... I hope you like it as much as the last one... hehe, my brain's a bit weird right now, either it's on the mend from depression or I'm developing schizophrenia (cheery thought) But, thank you for reading and reviews will be much appreciated, they always cheer me up ^_^