Hey guys, here is the final chapter. Nanesanto70 ! Hi, you have no idea how pleased it makes me to 'see' you again :) Thank you so much for your continued support! You have no idea how jealous of you I am, I hope you enjoyed London and got to see all of the sights, I love it! I also say your review to "Fires Lead To Smoke," thank you for such a sweet comment! Carol27, Arthur never seems to cry so I thought it was his turn for once, I am a bit evil like that. Also thank you Dobby'sPolkaDottedSocks for another lovely comment! Irene, you like Torchwood too ! YAY Ianto is the best! Why do all you people get to meet the cast, why am I missing these opportunities :( Absentminds, sorry to make you cry :S I know I am bribing but I do love your comments, so please review again even though this is the last chapter and I have nothing left to bribe with (Although I am part way through a new longer Merlin fic which I will mention at the end). Please, please please! Mika271170, oh dear I really am making lsots if people cry … glad you liked it, also thanks Anim3Fan4Ever, that comment really made me smile. So here you go, last chapter, quite fluffy with a chance of rainbows :)
Merlin awoke the next day and peeled his head off the book of herbs that he had been working on the previous night. He had been trying to clear his mind and had fallen asleep on top of it with his Gaius' battered quill still in hand. It was his birthday today, not that he had mentioned it to Arthur, and he quickly got dressed, ready for just another day at work.
Gaius of course had other plans, he had bought some fresh fruit from the market, apples (Merlin's favourite) and some fresh strawberries. When Merlin walked into the room and saw his breakfast he grinned widely, his piercing blue eyes widening with delight.
"Happy Birthday my boy!" Gaius moved forward and wrapped his as-good-as son tightly and handed him a small package. When Merlin opened the present he let out a small gasp. It was a brand new red neckerchief and from the looks of things it was made of real silk. It must have cost an arm and a leg, far more than Gaius could reasonably afford. For once he was lost for words, so he quickly slipped off his old one, which was tattered and had acquired numerous holes over the years, and slipped on the new silk one. The cool, smooth fabric felt incredible against his milk white skin and he beamed.
"Thank you so much. It is beautiful." Gaius grinned at Merlin's reaction. The boy deserved so much more but this would have to do for now. He was so kind, loyal and loving, Gaius was certain that even if he had bought Merlin a package of manure he would still have been happy.
"I am glad you like it my boy. Come now, let's have breakfast."
That was it, Merlin was in heaven. He beamed when he bit into the flesh of the strawberries. They were perfectly ripe and were incredibly sweet, he soon had juice dripping down his chin. Merlin ensured that he savoured every mouthful and wondered for a moment what it would be like to be Arthur, who got fresh fruit for breakfast every day. Then again, he probably took the fruit for granted and didn't appreciate it as much. Merlin then moved onto the apple, forcing himself not to wolf it down in three bites. This was a special breakfast and he wanted to make it last as long as possible. When he finally finished he sat back with a smile pasted on his face, along with some stubborn strawberry juice which he hadn't been able to wipe off, which Gaius pointed out causing Merlin to blush slightly.
"Well, I think I had better be off then. Don't want to keep Arthur waiting!" Merlin jumped up and walked over to Arthur's chambers with a lighter feeling than usual. A good breakfast really did wonders. When he opened the door, without knocking as usual, he was met with a huge surprise. Arthur was already up and dressed, sitting at a table in front of a large wicker basket. Merlin shot him a confused look when Arthur stood up and picked up the basket.
"What's going on?"
"Well I wasn't going to let your birthday go unnoticed was I?"
"Um, I guess not. How did you know?"
"I am the prince of Camelot Merlin, I know everything." Merlin just smirked in response and Arthur refrained from throwing a goblet at his head. That could wait for tomorrow.
"Come on, I haven't got all day, we need to set off."
"Set off?" That certainly sounded ominous to Merlin.
"Yes, set off. Well done Merlin, you are not deaf and have learnt how to repeat a sentence. Congratulations. This day marks a monumental occasion, and not just your birthday!"
Arthur took up the basket and led Merlin to the stables, where two horses had been prepared. Merlin followed wondering what Arthur had in mind and merely followed. The long journey was filled with their usual banter and insults, things were clearly back to normal after yesterday, and when they finally arrived at their destination Merlin gasped.
"Well, I know you have a thing for lakes, so I thought this one was rather impressive." Merlin had to agree, it was perfect. The lake was surrounded by meadow, long grass and wild flowers working together to create an idyllic landscape. Merlin looked around in awe, this place was beautiful, and the fact that Arthur had begun to lay out a picnic made it all the better. Both men tucked into a feast of chicken, bread rolls and the finest cheese money could buy and Merlin was beaming for all he was worth. He sank into the soft grass and closed his eyes, enjoying the heat of the sunrays beating down on his skin. He quietly contemplated whether this day could get any better. Turns out it could. Arthur had sat up and pulled a small package from the wicker basket which Merlin had not seen.
"I got you a present." Arthur looked slightly awkward when he handed over the package and quickly added, "If you don't like it you can change it."
Merlin nodded and took the present in slightly shaking hands, his long fingers caressing it.
"The idea is that you open it Merlin."
"I know you prat." Merlin retorted swiftly and pulled the paper of. He gasped at what he saw, it was a long thin wooden box which when opened revealed a beautiful quill, the most expensive that money could buy. The tip was made with silver and the black, iridescent feather was long, each strand perfectly aligned. Merlin picked up the quill and rolled it in his hand speechless.
"It was the least I could do. I hope that you like it. I thought, well I thought that you should learn in style."
"Thank you Arthur, it is beautiful."
"Only the best for my friend, if you are going to learn something you better do it properly. I am the prince after all and I want a clever servant!" Arthur joked lightly, relief spreading through him. Merlin liked the present. Thank goodness.
"Not everything is about you Arthur," Merlin immediately joked. "I am not just learning so that I can write all of your speeches!"
"Clotpole! Anyway, at least by the end of this I will be an educated idiot!"
So, that's that. I hope you liked it! Just to let you know I have planned and written a couple of chapters for my next Merlin fic which will be longer and probably begin to come up next week, so please keep an eye out for it! Until next time…adios and I love you all. And of course please review xxx