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Fic: Lo, An Idiot.
newgirl:zooey
little_giddy
Title: Lo, An Idiot.
Words: 4290
Spoilers: Through to 1x11, mild.
Rating: PG13
Warnings: One or two uses of bad language.
Summary: Arthur and Merlin (friendship tending to pre-slash). Arthur finds out: dilemma, guilt, a  generally surprising lack of emo, Morgana rocks my socks, fluff might happen too. Ah, good, the insults were out of the way. Only the lying to go and it was all over.
A/N: Line thievery: one line nicked from Stargate: Atlantis. Bonus cookies if you spot it.

"Arthur-"

"I'll call the knights-"

"No- move!"

As the creature sunk to the ground in the basement where Arthur had found Merlin wandering, chasing a voice that reminded him of another, Merlin's last thought was bloody dragons always have to wreck everything.

*

"You little idiot," Arthur muttered under his breath, taking Merlin's arms and throwing him over a shoulder. The rolling sensation of being carried along began to send Merlin into unconsciousness, but he forced himself to stay awake, remembering that he had a very important reason to do so. Just because he couldn't remember it didn't make it unimportant. "I'm going to pretend we're both very drunk. You're going to do the same, but by pretending to be unconscious. Do you hear me?"

Merlin let out a groan, one that he hoped conveyed ow, my legs, my arms, my head, my bones, ow, but the hulking great lummox carrying him seemed to take it as 'yes, sire, of course, sire,' which was not what Merlin had meant in the slightest.

"Sire?" Merlin heard a guard ask respectfully in a puzzled tone. Merlin began to stir, trying to call some form of energy into his limbs and received a hard fist against the back of his thigh for his trouble. He slumped obediently onto Arthur's shoulder.

"My servant intercepted some exceptionally strong mead meant to make me look like an ass," Arthur answered jovially, voice slightly unsteady. "I got the rest, but this one got the worst of it."

It was a less insulting cover story than their usual and didn't even risk him going to the stocks. Merlin supposed he should be grateful, but he was too busy wishing he could be sick and sleep, preferably in that order.

The guard's voice took on a tense, worried edge. "Do you want me to throw 'em in the dungeon? The knights these days, sire, beggin' your pardon-"

"No, no," Arthur brushed it off benevolently. It was a tone Merlin recognised from a conversation about rat stew. "Honestly, they aren't worth the effort, and my revenge will be all the better from them waiting anxiously for it."

The guard heard a dismissal in Arthur's reply and walked on with a deferential 'sire.'

"Close-" Merlin muttered, eyes opening slowly and struggling to stay that way, "that, it was-"

"Merlin," Arthur ground out with very little patience, "shut up. You sound like an idiot. You are an idiot."

"You-" Merlin tried to push himself up to look at the prince carrying him and failed, head slumping back down before the finger that had pointed at his master and prince accusingly, "-uncalled for."

"Idiot," Arthur repeated under his breath, shaking his head as they crossed the wide corridor.

*

It would have been downright hilarious if it hadn't been so very serious.

Arthur carried Merlin halfway across the physician's workroom, praying that various pieces of flooring and furniture didn't give them away, all of which was rendered useless by the lighting of a candle a metre behind him.

"There. Isn't that better to see by, my lord?"

Arthur winced.

Gaius walked up to beside him and prodded Merlin in the cheek. "Oh, don't bother with the stairs, Prince Arthur. That cot by the table will be fine."

Arthur complied wordlessly, watching as the physician bent over the muttering, mostly inert figure and frowning lightly. He should leave. He should very much leave, especially before Gaius noticed what Arthur knew he couldn't help but notice, and especially before Arthur noticed Gaius noticing.

"Hmm."

Too late.

Gaius had two fingers on Merlin's chin and had smelled the air above his mouth.

"Gaius, I should-" Arthur gestured over his shoulder and faked a yawn. "Long day. Tomorrow. Later today. You know. Being prince."

Shut up, shut up, shut up. You sound like Merlin.

"Yes, yes," Gaius nodded, eyes on his patient. "You know what this one is like. One whiff of a tankard and all that."

Arthur froze, hand clenching on the door and back rigid. "Gaius. You know he hasn't had a drop."

"Sire?" Gaius stood and stepped towards him.

"Neither Merlin nor myself have been near a drink all night." Arthur turned, meeting the physician's eyes. "What options do you leave me with, Gaius? Tell my father that a servant he has come to believe loyal and an old friend have betrayed him in a way he sees as worse than any other?"

Gaius blinked and his eyes flickered between Merlin and Arthur. "Well, Prince. Our lives are in your hands."

Arthur left.

*

Merlin sought him out and found him outside on the ramparts, looking over the approach to Camelot. He'd always known Merlin was both stupid and idiotic, so it was a surprising luxury that he could still be surprised.

The dark haired man looked around the nearby area before asking, "How long have you known?"

Arthur looked quickly as his servant and back out again to focus on a distant wood. "You look terrible. Even worse than usual. I'm astonished you're showing yourself in public."

Merlin's head dropped and came back up. "Gaius says I'm fine to be up and about. How long have you known?"

Arthur clenched his hands on the edge of the stone wall and pushed off it to turn and lean against it. "I've suspected for three weeks, but frankly-" Merlin nodded, eyes wide, "I couldn't believe anyone would be so stupid as to enter the royal household as a sorcerer." Arthur swallowed and rolled his eyes. "However, the depths of your idiocy continue to astonish even those who think they know you."

Merlin pursed his lips and snorted.

"How can you be calm?" Arthur asked incredulously, shaking his head in disbelief. "I could have you killed right now. A few words to my father and-" Arthur snapped his fingers. "You and Gaius both."

Merlin looked up and blinked. "I don't have the energy to be otherwise." The slight smile slipped. "Leave Gaius out of this."

"Or what?" Arthur shot back stubbornly. "He protected a sorcerer in the palace of Camelot. Who will protect him?"

"Me," Merlin replied simply, hands clenching at his side. "The same way I protected you last night."

Arthur stilled against the castle wall, both the ice in Merlin's tone and the memory of the somewhat dramatic introduction to the smaller man's abilities freezing him in place.

"I have been trying not to notice when you slip away or follow where no sane man or servant would follow," Arthur said deliberately and slowly, eyes on the stones near his feet. He looked up, knowing a tremor was beginning to slip into his voice. "So long as I didn't know, I didn't have to do anything. I'm not completely stupid. Suspicions are often false and Will bought you doubt. Do you understand?"

Merlin nodded, leaning against the stone wall and letting out a breath. "What will you do?"

Arthur shook his head. "I don't know yet." He looked up. "You break the laws of Camelot. Gaius breaks the laws of Camelot. Magic is dangerous. My father-" He shook his head again and looked away.

"Exactly," Merlin answered with the same tired half-smile. "'I' break the laws of Camelot - not my actions, my existence. And magic is dangerous. I think I proved that. Dangerous like a sword in your hands." Arthur heard Merlin sigh and cough, saw him tug his sleeves further down over the backs of his hands against the cold.

"Go inside, Merlin." Arthur didn't look up. "You're going to catch something and Gaius will lecture me for it."

Merlin hesitated but inclined his head and walked gingerly inside.

*

Arthur skulked- no. Arthur did not skulk. He hit his fist off his forehead and realised that since the blessed advent of Merlin in his neatly ordered life, he did many things he'd never done before, and that this latest one happened to be skulking. Before Merlin, it would have been some form of more combat-ready thing, like tracking, but that had a purpose and this didn't. Not really.

My existence. Dangerous. Like a sword in your hands.

The prince turned the angle of his body and neck to look through the gap in the door, chin raised. Merlin was sitting on the edge of the cot that Arthur had deposited him on the night before. He didn't need to hear it from the younger man, that he'd wanted to tell Arthur. That much had been patently obvious from the way he'd rattled off points in an argument they hadn't had yet, rattled them off as if they'd been beating him on the head like steel on a closed visor.

Merlin closed his eyes, clasping his still-shaking hands together between his knees and leaning forward.

"Are you listening to me, my boy?"

Arthur pulled back instinctively as Merlin's head jerked up. "No," came his servant's tired answer. "I stopped listening when you made it clear you wouldn't leave."

Gaius sighed and rolled his eyes. "Give your prince more credit. If nothing else, he can count. I think the tally stands at ten to one."

Merlin smiled crookedly and slowly. "You're keeping score?"

"It's an educated estimate," Gaius answered primly, shoving a bottle into Merlin's hand that was greeted with a look of hatred. "It'll help you get your strength back." Arthur had to applaud the physician's pragmatism. He took the moment that Merlin was fully occupied in swallowing whatever concoction he'd been giving as a chance to put in, "And I see no bag packed by your door. Until then, I remain. Perhaps after."

Merlin slammed the bottle onto the table with what was clearly all the strength he could muster, arm visibly shaking in the process. "How far am I going to get, Gaius? I went to the ramparts. One flight of stairs. You found me on the floor and that was luck. That thing-" Merlin shook his head and leaned back out of Arthur's limited vision with a sigh.

Arthur blinked, remembering the wan figure he'd faced earlier. Merlin had looked like the morning after Beltane, true enough, but he hadn't looked that bad.

"And that is why you are still here," Gaius said mildly - mildly enough that Merlin pushed up and back into Arthur's sight. He should leave, he knew, but he had the vaguely relevant excuse that he needed more information to make an informed decision to keep him there.

"No. Other side of the coin," Merlin answered honestly, the eye that Arthur could see wide and the clasped hands tightening to whiten already pale knuckles. "But it's my gamble, not yours."

Arthur could only presume Gaius gave Merlin one of his fearsome raised eyebrows, eliciting what appeared to be a bad impersonation of it from the dark haired boy in return before Merlin curled away from the narrow field of vision, lying on the cot with his back facing Gaius and Arthur, who left.

Merlin had to be able to walk to stand in front of his father and then walk to a beheading. He owed him that dignity at least.

*

Two days passed. Arthur avoided his father studiously with the ease of long practice. Direct summons went astray at a gold coin palmed to the guard, a wide grin and an easy wink that suggested Arthur had something better to do. His bedroom was occupied at odd hours, his servant's serious illness blamed for everything and anything it could be remotely applied to- messages going astray, apologies unconveyed, two dinners unattended. He was going to land Merlin in the stocks again at this rate, but considering it was all his fault in the first place, Arthur saw it as appropriately petty.

Morgana - damn Morgana - wouldn't take such slights silently. He supposed, when thinking charitably, that it was better to face her and lie to her than to come before his father, when options would suddenly dwindle to one unpleasant reality. Mercifully, Morgana was not the head of the kingdom and he owed her no full honesty.

She was also wholly incapable of knocking.

"Oh, there you are," she grinned brightly and rattled off. "I would have knocked, but I was surprised you weren't off wherever you were. New girl, is it?"

Arthur let out the sigh that was standard armour whenever Morgana felt like being insufferable, bracing both hands against the fireplace. A pointless gesture: unless he wanted to load it up himself, it would remain dark and cold.

"Why do you ask?" Arthur looked at her with an impudent and crooked smile. "Shall I send to you when I intend to propose before the court?"

"Please do," Morgana shot back, sliding into a chair. A chair. Now he'd never get rid of her and get back to his own knotted, circular thoughts. "Until the players return, I'm simply at a loss for entertainment after I've brushed my hair."

Arthur didn't reply beyond the raising of an eyebrow.

"What's going on, Arthur?"

Ah, good, the insults were out of the way. Only the lying to go and it was all over.

"What do you do with secrets, Morgana?" He hadn't given his mouth permission to say that, but now he was on the dark, long road to ruin, he had to keep going. "Don't tell me you've never had any."

There were worse people to confide in than Morgana, he supposed. Druid-protecting, insufferable woman, but she might have creative input if nothing else. And she was unlikely to go running to his father before Arthur had decided a course of action - she liked the uncoordinated little thorn in his side. She probably thought he was cute, ears sticking out like village signs and all, and she'd made it clear that she thought Merlin's service improved his general hygiene and wardrobe.

Morgana blinked and her fingers rose and arched on the table, body clenching inwards. "I can almost believe you haven't."

"Nothing -" Arthur shook his head. "Nothing like this. There's things you don't tell people, obviously. But nothing -"

"-solid," Morgana nodded, standing. "Nothing heavy, important and yours."

Arthur wanted to ask how it was she knew so much of secrets but realised he didn't want to know. One complicated secret lying in his gut like badly smoked game was enough.

She tentatively put a hand on his upper arm, keeping her distance and looking at him from under hooded eyes. "I'd say be careful who you tell them to - who you trust. Secrets are loaded crossbows, and you're handing another person one to point at your chest."

Arthur swallowed, watching as she closed her eyes, sighed and walked out of his rooms. Not his, exactly. And certainly not his chest. It didn't make it any easier.

*

He saw Gaius for the first time the next morning, grinning in the crowded passageway as the bell sounded the hour.

"How is my servant, Gaius? Still contagious?"

There was a raised eyebrow from the court physician, the one that said, so that's the story.

Arthur wondered exactly what other story they really could have gone with.

"Yes, I am afraid so, sire," Gaius replied flatly. "The fever is coming down, but it would be best if he remained in his room. He can tidy it while he's there."

"Terrible thing," Arthur shook his head, meeting Gaius' eyes and letting the grin slip, "I do regret sending him to the woods for those particular mushrooms, seeing what he caught there. Still, he needs to get to know his cupboard, so it's not all bad."

Gaius didn't reply, merely looking around as the last of the servants cleared from the hall.

"Is it always like this?" Arthur asked quietly, indicating that the physician should walk on and he would accompany him. "Every time he, you know-"

Gaius shook his head. "No. This is the first in the time he's been in Camelot. In truth, I am slightly worried. The lad says it's nothing, of course, but he also said it sounded like a dragon." Gaius' expression eloquently stated what he thought about Merlin's account. "What did he fight? I can treat this exhaustion better if I know its cause."

"Really?" Arthur asked, skeptical.

"No," Gaius replied, a hand on his doorway. "But it would stop it nagging my old brain."

Finishing describing the creature and wondering if doing so was enough to get him beheaded, Arthur looked through the open door to see a pale figure looking through a door at the back of the workshop. As Gaius closed the main door, he heard the smaller door shut.

*

He could avoid being in his father's presence no longer, which meant that his head had to decide something and quickly. He'd lied outright to his father on previous occasions, but he expected that his father had done the same and expected it of him. It wasn't like he was going to tell his father about conquests (unless he inexplicably wanted to marry them apparently), drinking too much, or various borderline magical episodes in which his father had clearly been unreasonable and no harm could come of it. My ever-present servant in the castle, no, no, not a powerful sorcerer at all was a whole other keg of mead.

Also, his father was right; magic was dangerous. Merlin had admitted that much himself. And it irked Arthur, he could admit in the privacy of his mind, that something had not only slipped by him for months on end but that something of such import had happened and he was doing nothing about it. Surely he should be doing something. But getting Merlin's head chopped off because he, a prince of the realm, couldn't bear to sit on his hands seemed excessive.

"So when can you expect your manservant to return to his duties?"

Jerked out of his thoughts, Arthur looked up sharply and blinked.

"I'm sure Merlin will be back when it's safe for him and us," Morgana intercepted smoothly, throwing Arthur a look that told him he'd better be grateful. Arthur didn't question how she knew that whatever was going on centered around Merlin, rolling his eyes but smiling when Uther was talking to the servant at his shoulder.

He'd sat in silence. He was gathering information. That wasn't the same as lying at all.

*

Merlin found him in the dark practice yards farthest from the castle, shredding a target's knee with quick crouching slices, turning as he rose to sink the long edge of his blade into the neck of the mannequin and causing it to bleed straw.

"Well," Arthur began, turning to face his manservant, "At least you're dressed this time."

"I was dressed the last time," Merlin raised an eyebrow.

"In a blanket," Arthur scoffed.

"And other clothes," Merlin added as if it were of the utmost importance, "sire."

Arthur froze, looking at the smaller man back in his usual red and blue. He'd never been listening, he thought all of a sudden. If he had been, he'd have heard how exactly enforced that sire and that my lord was on Merlin. It was his only particularly arrogant habit, and arrogant only if you happened to be labouring under the delusion that Merlin was an idiot manservant. Arthur happened to know he was an idiot sorcerer, one that seemed hell bent on the preservation of a lot of lives not his own.

"So." Merlin shifted awkwardly from foot to foot as Arthur hesitated.

As Arthur opened his mouth, the ground began to rumble and they looked at each other with wide eyes.

"What're you looking at me for?" Merlin asked, moving to a place a good ten feet from Arthur's side and scanning the area. "I definitely killed it."

Arthur tossed his sword in his hand until the hilt lay comfortably and solidly in his palm, eyes combing the dark ground for any scary as hell scaly monsters that might be exploding from it. "Yes, Merlin, and making the earth move is the act of a very dead thing!"

Merlin smirked and coughed.

Arthur paused and rolled his eyes. "Mortal peril. Pay attention and get your mind out of a cesspool, idiot."

Merlin laughed outright, it dying on his lips as he spun to an area of the field behind him.

Arthur moved to stand by his side, looking critically over the creature for any signs of the injuries they'd inflicted on it in their last meeting. It looked around, pawing the ground.

"Light?" Arthur hissed, watching it sniff the air and growl, wondering exactly how he was staying calm.

"It's got poor eyes," Merlin hissed back, meeting Arthur's eyes. "We can barely see, but neither can it. Your choice."

Arthur considered it. "Never mind. It's bigger than we are."

Merlin nodded and clenched his hands behind his back. "Wyvern. Female- the wings are nearly useless on the females, according to Gaius. Distant cousin of the dragons, old magic in their veins, but deeply stupid."

The wyvern jerked her head around to glare at them, eyes flashing on her prey.

"But apparently," Merlin continued in a tight, tense voice, "They have very good hearing. Remind me to add that to Gaius' book."

Arthur and Merlin moved back step by step in time as the wyvern moved forward slowly. It was a bizarre game of chicken, waiting for one of them to strike or break the pattern.

"Too much to hope for that the other one was a lonely bastard," Arthur bit off with a wild grin to Merlin, who couldn't help returning it before the prince sobered. "I'm going to run. You're going to go to the side and hit it with something on the underbelly- where I cut the last one. Can you do that?"

Merlin jerked a look at him. "You're not bait material."

Arthur heard the authority in Merlin's voice and was surprised. Still, given Merlin's still weakened state, it was the only plan that might work. "I am tonight," Arthur shot back, grinning again. "What's it waiting for?"

"We're new - it's not sure what we're capable of yet. And we killed its mate. It's being cautious." Merlin reached out and grabbed Arthur's arm, still moving in formation. "If this doesn't work or you're going to tell Uther about me, do me a favour and let it kill me while I'm unconscious. Get yourself out."

Of course I'm not going to -

Arthur didn't get a chance to reply or even examine the reply that had been a half-formed instinctive thought, Merlin pushing him backwards roughly and making a dodge to the side. Arthur swore and turned, running towards the stables as Merlin threw himself behind a target as the wyvern began to gather speed and chase the shinier object - him.

As Arthur reached the stable door, grabbed it and turned to watch, two things happened. The first was the rippling through the air of sonic waves towards the wyvern, pushing it back with a low howl towards the extreme edge of the practice field. The other was a tongue of flame and his sword turning bright orange, as if it were still in the forge.

He thought for a second that the wyvern had shot flame at him, but looked for Merlin and had to do a double take because Merlin was attempting hand signals. Fair enough, it was only a rudimentary 'I stay, you stab' and then a fairly good, if overdramatic, imitation of someone collapsing from exhaustion-

Arthur ran for it.

He reached Merlin's prone form and stood in front of him, eyes on the approaching wyvern and reaching out a foot to kick Merlin's side. Merlin's hand made a motion towards pushing him away before promptly collapsing again and Arthur thought oh, shit.

The wyvern paused thirty feet in front of them and reared before clawing at the ground again.

"I'd let you kill him," Arthur called out, feeling ridiculous talking to the stupid beast, but glad that it seemed to confuse her - it probably presumed he was incanting a spell or some such after seeing Merlin do the same. "But I've just found out about this deal we have where he saves my life and I save his. I think it's my week."

It roared again and charged. Arthur ran forward, wincing at the thought of the acrobatics he was intending to perform in chain mail, and counted his steps. On seven, he threw himself to the grass and rolled over twice, coming to his feet directly under the wyvern- the one lifting itself a paltry ten feet into the air. The sword grew hot in his hands as he clasped both hands around the hilt and pushed up into the soft underbelly of the wyvern, which howled satisfactorily and slumped in a very dead heap. From underneath, Arthur saw red lights in its ribcage before it collapsed.

Unfortunately, it managed to slump with a very heavy leg right over Arthur's torso.

*

"Yes," Arthur said from his position on the ground, "I am aware that this is amusing, Sir Lars, but would you kindly help me up."

Three suddenly straight-faced knights lifted the leg of the wyvern off of Arthur, who stood up, muttering.

"See?" He asked them, seeing his father and Gaius striding across the field in the distance. "Was that so hard? Or do I have to talk about how hard it is to get good help these days?"

Merlin.

The thought slammed into him as he reclaimed his sword, moving towards the target and reaching a pale-faced, stirring Merlin.

Arthur yanked Merlin to sitting position and hissed in his ear. "We're going to lie. You're going to be the noble servant who risked his weak health on your first day out of bed to warn me about a distant foe and I'm going to be the gallant prince who killed it."

Merlin nodded, looking a bit dazed and nauseous. "Throw in it hitting me on the head, please."

Arthur looked at the giant mound of wyvern thirty feet away and remembered the weight of the leg on his body. "I'll see what I can do."

"About what?" the king asked, Gaius standing behind him and looking between the prince, Merlin and the fallen wyvern.

"A compress for this one's head," Arthur said sagely and quickly, shaking Merlin lightly by the shoulder. "The idiot exposed his own hiding place and might have just -" Arthur looked between a tired, amused Merlin and his wide eyed father, "-saved my life."

"Is that so?" Standing, dragging Merlin with him, Arthur had to look twice. His father was beaming. The madness continued when he slung an arm around his son's shoulders. "Gaius informs me that this is a very small dragon."

Arthur twisted to look at Gaius as Merlin slipped away from his side. "He does?"

Gaius fixed him with a look. "Yes. Indeed I do, sire."

As his father talked enthusiastically of how Arthur was really showing signs of maturity, earning the name 'Pendragon' and how even that idiot servant boy might not be so bad, Arthur thought idly about how omitting things and lying outright were practically the same, and how he'd better get used to it.
 
*

Arthur lay awake in his bed as the light crept through the window. He could have closed the curtains around the bed and blocked it out, but he'd chosen not to.

A knock sounded at the door. "Come in."

Merlin walked in. "Sire."

"Glad to see you're back at work, bright and early," Arthur grinned, leaning back on his pillows and stretching out as Merlin stood at the bottom of the bed.

Merlin cast a look towards the closed door and ducked his head with a grin. "It was the dragon hide," he explained, shaking his head. "Dragons have old magic. Apparently," he grinned crookedly, "I'm shiny new. They don't mix so well."

Arthur snorted and boosted himself up to sit at the edge of the bed. "So if I'm not going to do anything about this gobbledegook you'll insist on using-"

"-to protect you and Camelot-"

"Yes, yes," Arthur waved that off, fixing an eye on his manservant. "What exactly are you going to do for me in exchange?"

Merlin pursed his lips and clasped his hands behind his back. "I could- no. You'd never-"

Arthur eyed him suspiciously. "I'd never what, Merlin?"

Eyes bright with suppressed mirth, Merlin shook his head and looked seriously at Arthur. "You'd never want to kill the evil things with me, would you? I mean, they'd be big. And might have claws. And they'd definitely be magic."

Arthur considered it. "If you're scared, I could always help." He stood and slung an arm around Merlin's shoulders as he spluttered. "And I did do most of the heavy work with the wyvern."

"I'm sorry, sire, you what?" Merlin's eyebrows had closed together in a manner that suggested he was displeased as Arthur moved away.

"And you think I'm worthy of a magic sword, Merlin," Arthur continued, leaning on a table.

Merlin looked up from laying out Arthur's clothes. "Temporarily. I'm not a dragon."

"You're not-" Arthur paused, shaking his head, "I don't want to know."

"Oh," Merlin grinned, holding out a jacket for Arthur to put his hand into the sleeve, "you will."

END.

Yes, this show is an obsession. Oh dear.

Oh, I love this! Merlin draining himself to save Arthur makes my heart go *thud thud*. I am totally putting this on my rec list.

Hee, I love your icon. Swordy is possibly one of my favourite lines (and in that ep. THAT EP.) *does dance of joy* Thank yo very much! I figure the show has to do it eventually, lol. :D Thanks!

*EG* and hee! Rat stew!

For you:

During the next food shortage, Arthur looked at the monstrosity in the bowl served to him. He'd thought Merlin's village bad. He'd thought Merlin's impromptu castle hunting horrific. Merlin drew him a suspicious look as he halved it silently and pushed the container back across, gesturing that he should sit and eat. Sniffing it, Merlin winced.

"Well," Arthur broke the silence, "just close your eyes and think of rat."

Merlin nodded and hit the edge of his bowl against Arthur's.

"Merlin looked up from laying out Arthur's clothes. "Temporarily. I'm not a dragon."

"You're not-" Arthur paused, shaking his head, "I don't want to know."

"Oh," Merlin grinned, holding out a jacket for Arthur to put his hand into the sleeve, "you will." "

Fantastic story! Epic so well writen! And your ending is just perfect!!!! :D

Write more! (and obsession are good :D)

Hee! Thank you very much! *g*

I'm not sure I can follow this up, but the plot bunnies seem to love this fandom, so...

Thanks again :D

I blame you and M for the icon and *waves hand* all this in general. That said: He IS shiny and new! And Morgana ROCKS.

IS THAT A MORGANA ICON!? *SQUEE*

Oh, God. We've both had this fandom for about a week and there's already an agreed OTC. *G* That said, I'm absolutely *loving* writing Arthur. He's a bit like Rodney, if that makes sense- his voice is clear, and his placing/opinion seems to be my key into a story, even if he doesn't actually play a big part.

(Deleted comment)
EEE. *does giddy dance of joy*

I'm going to do an uncoordinated Merlin!dance of pure joy for a good, solid minute *G* Thank you so much!


(Deleted comment)
*G* Thank you very, very much!

Oh, I loved this! And it's probably closest to how Arthur will react!

Thanks very much! I hope so- I had real trouble getting him particularly angry or even threatened by Merlin being a sorcerer - mostly the Arthur!voice was saying 'but it's Merlin' as if that explained everything, lol.

I love this - the Arthur / Merlin and Gaius banter is spot on.

I also love that your Arthur has problems lying to his father about it, but eventually does. IMO that's the main reason Merlin doesn't tell him in show.

Thank you very much! The banter and the dialogue is one of my favourite things about the show.

that's the main reason Merlin doesn't tell him in show.

Thank you again! I couldn't make it easy for him to do so exactly- his father is both his king and his father, and those are things he takes more seriously than almost anything else, particularly when he thinks that Uther is right. By the end of the fic, in my head, Arthur hasn't changed his mind about magic- he's mostly making an exception for Merlin (because it's *Merlin*), if that makes any sense.

Fabulous! I love the way Arthur has to reassess his view of Merlin once he knows there's something of actual worth that gives Merlin that cheekiness. And I empathize with the weight of his secret!

Thank you very much! Hehe, I think he'd have to. It's not so much even that it's arrogance: Merlin's just been raised in the knowledge that he answers to a whole other scale and hierarchy, one he happens to be much higher up in.

I love this kind of a whole lot, actually. <33333333

Thank you very much! *G* I LOVE your icon, btw.

YES. THIS.

That's exactly what I want it to be like the first time they team up to fight Monster-of-the-Week together - all MAGIC and SWORD and BANTER and UTTER UTTER JOYCORE.

I've just found out about this deal we have where he saves my life and I save his. I think it's my week. LOL. Although strictly speaking Arthur, you've got a few weeks to go before you catch up...

EEEE. Thank you! *does mad dance of glee*

the first time they team up to fight Monster-of-the-Week together

BECAUSE THEY WILL. Arthur will *know* and they will be *epic* *stubborn* Auntie Beeb will MAKE IT HAPPEN.

you've got a few weeks to go before you catch up...
Ha! OMG, the look on his face if he ever finds that out. Please let Merlin be keeping score already *EG*

Skulking!Arthur! Squished-by-wyvern!Arthur! Hee :D
Wonderful! I love this <-------------THIS-------------------> much!

HEE! Thank you very, very much! *is gleeful*

I love Arthur, and I do take his character seriously. Occasionally. But he's too much like fun to mock. :D

*FLAIL* This fic is awesome. I was very very confused at first, but then it all pieced together, and I like the oldmagic-newmagic conflict, and the banter, and Merlin's cool rationale, and Arthur's ability to lie, and just. Gah. Awesome.

HEE! Thank you very much! I wrote this quite quickly, and I'm sorry if the first section feels jumbled.

\o/

The entire fic is brilliant!

I was alternatively giggling at the boys and wanting to hug them for their confusion.

I really liked the process that Arthur underwent as he finally accepted lying for Merlin's life. *glees*

Thank you very, very much.

I was alternatively giggling at the boys and wanting to hug them for their confusion.

HEE! That's my general reaction to Merlin and Arthur most of the time. They're such... wonderful *boys.* But so very not.

I love how you wrote their interaction, their bantering. What a great story.