Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, Lancelot, Gwaine, Percival
Summary: Arthur lets slip a secret that Merlin wasn't ready to share
Warnings: Um some attempts at angst
Word Count: 798
Author's Notes: Disclaimers & Unbeta'd. I honestly don't know what happened. This was supposed to be some tooth-rotting fluff, but it expanded somehow, like honestly meant to be a funny lil happy story. I don't really know what happened. Nick is to thank for the title lol.
“Merlin!” Arthur peered round the corner of the hallway of the East Tower. The castle was large, but that shouldn’t mean Merlin takes every opportunity to turn their lives into a game of hide and seek. “Merlimph” Arthur walked straight into Percival’s arm, not really paying attention to where he was going.
“Arthur!” Percival turned to Arthur and Arthur noticed Gwaine and Lancelot behind him. “Sorry, it’s just the knights... we felt we should say. We know about… well, I mean, we know about Merlin.”
Arthur paled. The knights couldn’t know, Merlin had made sure they were careful. Very careful. “Um, ahem, know what exactly? There’s nothing to know. We’re not doing anything. I mean, I know we have midnight poetry sessions in dark corners of the castle, but that’s a normal thing for a King and his manservant to do, right? I’m sure Father used to have late night history lessons with Geoffrey.” Arthur’s mouth had a mind of its own apparently.
Percival’s face was marred with confusion. Gwaine however was grinning with delight. “Called it! I knew they were sleeping together. Hand over my winnings.” He held his hands out in front of Percival, Lancelot not even bothering to hide his laughter as Percival poured out what looked like a large sum of gold coins into the cup formed by Gwaine’s hands.
“What Percival meant was Merlin’s magic.” Lancelot spoke, his voice hushed just in case anyone was passing by. “What you’ve just admitted is a story for another time I feel.”
“Oh.” Arthur felt like an idiot. Of course they were talking about the magic. Merlin had told Arthur just this morning as they lay in the King’s bed in their own bubble, kissing lazily, that he would tell the knights about his powers today. “Oh.”
“Another time?!” Gwaine had latched on to the end of Lancelot’s words. “What? No, I need a story now.” He waggled his eyebrows in Arthur’ direction, and really, why did Arthur even take Gwaine on a knight? Oh yes, his undeniable sword skills and loyalty, but really, where was the loyalty now?
“Arthur! Have you seen Leon? I can’t find him!” Merlin called from the end of the corridor. Arthur put his head in his hands. This day had started off great. Really great. And suddenly it was all coming crashing down. He felt Merlin approach and took a deep breath. Perhaps this would all go fine and the Knights wouldn’t let on that they knew about them. “Gwaine are you alright?” Gwaine was starting to go a little blue from holding in his breath. He seemed to have about a thousand and one burning questions.
“How long has it been? Who initiated the first time? Were you drunk? Where was I when you first kissed? Was it on patrol? Was it when we saved you from the wyvern in the Perilous Lands? Was it whe--” Percival had mercifully covered Gwaine’s mouth with his palm, but Gwaine didn’t stop. His hands were still moving around animatedly and his eyes asking more questions. There was a faint mumbling sound where his voice was muffled by Percival’s hand, but other than that it was suddenly very quiet.
“Arthur.” Merlin turned; a fake grin plastered on his face, promising Arthur a whole world of pain later on. “Would you care to tell me exactly what Gwaine is talking about?”
“Uh, well, ahem. You see,” Arthur glanced around, hoping Lancelot would generously save him. Alas, that traitor was too busy trying not to laugh. “Um. Well. I was looking for you.” He finished lamely.
Merlin’s eyes narrowed and the fake smile turned straight into a frown. And not the pouty frown that Arthur liked. This frown was the one that told Arthur that Merlin was deeply unhappy. He gripped Arthur’s wrist (with a strength that Arthur should definitely not be finding attractive, not right now) and pulled him away from a still-mumbling Gwaine.
“You told them.” He had his arms crossed with Arthur backed up against the wall. “I. Asked. For. One. Thing.” Merlin enunciated each word with a jab to Arthur’s shoulder. “And that was to let me tell them everything. Ev-e-ry-thing.” He jabbed Arthur a bit more, before turning around and walking off in the direction he came from, slamming the door (to what Arthur was sure was a broom cupboard) behind him.
“Merlin! Half of the secret was mine to tell too, you can't live in your own bubble for your whole life. Merlin, wait!” Arthur called after him. He pulled, and wasn’t surprised when the door didn’t move. “Merlin, please, let me explain!” He pounded on the door and kept going, even while he heard his knights’ feet shuffle away. He carried on and on until it felt like his knuckles were raw. He sank to his knees at the door. “Merlin.”