Title: Hiding Your Truths, Wearing Your Lies
Character/s:Arthur and Merlin
Summary: Arthur seeks answers from Merlin.
Word Count: 980
Author's Notes: Following Necessary Lies, Positive Truths
“Just, what the hell where you thinking, Merlin?” Arthur slammed the door behind him, closing off his chambers from the rest of the castle, and more importantly, prying ears.
Merlin had been silent the trip back to Camelot, which was fine with Arthur, giving him time to process what he saw Merlin do earlier that day. No matter how many times he said it in his head, he still couldn’t believe his bumbling servant and friend was a magic user.
Merlin was a sorcerer!
If Arthur did see the evidence in front of him, he would never believe it.
“I wasn’t. I just saw him throw that hatchet, and reacted.” Arthur couldn’t argue with that. He was good with the sword, but there was no way he could have deflected that strike.
“How long?” Merlin's forehead wrinkled in confusion over Arthur’s question, “How you have you been using magic?” Arthur new he wasn't going to like the answer, when Merlin looked anywhere but at Arthur. “Merlin answer the question.”
“Since I was born.”
“Someone taught you when you were young?” This time it was Arthur's forehead showing his confusion.
“No Arthur, no one taught me. I was born with magic.” Merlin answered with a shake in the negative, “From a young age, my mother told me the importance of hiding what I could do, to keep me safe.”
Arthur began to pace in the open space between the door and the foot of his bed, “So your mother knows. Anyone else?” Merlin's whispered answer of, “No, no one,” was a lie if he ever heard one. He was protecting someone, but the problem was, Arthur was finding it hard to believe anything coming from Merlin, since he found out he had been lying since the day they met.
Arthur could understand why Merlin didn't announce he was a magic user; Uther would have had him killed. But, why did Merlin leave the safety of his own village in a land where magic was not outlawed. Unless he was since to destroy Camelot somehow. But then why wait five years, and then just save Arthur in some random attack?
There was too many unanswered questions, he couldn't make a decision on what he knew, or at least what he thought he knew. But how could he get the truth? Threaten him with the dungeon or his life? The life of his friends that knew about him? These where all actions Uther would have taken, actions Arthur didn't want to practice. Especially against someone who used magic to save him, not destroy him.
Stopping at the table, Arthur put his hands on the back of a wooden chair, holding tightly, “Okay, this is what we're going to do, you are going to sit right here, in this chair, and tell me everything. And I want the truth Merlin. I understand why you hid your magic, but when you came to Camelot it was illegal then, and still is now. You understand?”
Arthur watch Merlin swallowed hard, “Yes, sire.”
“No, don't start with that. Merlin, I thought we were friends, and as you know I don't give many people my trust or friendship, like with you. Today, I find everything I know about you is a lie.”
“Arthur, I’m sorry. I couldn’t for your safety. Your father had no problem hurting his own daughter, don't you think he wouldn’t have punished you for knowing, after killing me.”
“How can I trust you?” Arthur sat heavy in his chair, across from Merlin.
“Arthur, think of how many times you narrowly escaped death,” Merlin voice lowered to a whisper, “I could have just let you die.”
Even though he said it, Arthur could see the pained look in Merlin’s face, for even thinking it, and he was right. This wasn’t the first time he had a time he narrowly escaped death. He just thought they were strikes of luck. Not magical intervention.
The next problem then was, if he found out and other people knew, it would be a matter of time before someone who discover Merlin's abilities, some one will to do harm. Problem was how long did Arthur have before he could fix things? The magical ban was a situation that was long overdue for him to decide on.
“Okay, Merlin, this is what we are going to do. First, we are going to act like today never happened. You will continue to not use magic at all. This is important, I need time. Right now Camelot has gone through years of citizens that have been told, or seen firsthand, how bad magic can be. It will take time to change the belief of a kingdom. And fear is a strong teacher, it is harder to learn acceptance.”
“I understand, Arthur.” Merlin sounded like a child being chastised by a parent.
“Second, I need to know who knows your secret.”
“No, I need to make sure they are trustworthy. I also, need to know in case we have to break rule number one. If something where to happen, I have to know who to turn to.” Because, with their track record something was bound to happen.
“Third, and lastly for the time being, when I leave the castle, you leave the castle, if I stay, you do too. I feel more comfortable knowing where you are at all times. This is so I can stop any accusations and you're protected. My sister is still out for Camelot. Can you imagine what damage she could do if she found out about you?”
“Arthur, I can take care of myself.”
“So you’re going to stay awake and never sleep? Look for an attack from any angle?” Arthur asked arms across his chest.
“No because there is safety in numbers Merlin. And I am the king, people will notice if something happens to me. Not you, at least until someone notices you’re missing. I will feel better knowing where you are.”
Arthur reached over and gave Merlin’s hand a reassuring squeeze, “Merlin, you’re my friend, you should never have to hide anything from me.”