Title:Five times Arthur caught his knights hiding and one time he was the one hiding
Pairing/s: Arthur/Merlin mentions of other pairings
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin, Gwaine, Percival, Leon, Lancelot, Elyan, Morgana, Gwen
Summary: What the title says!
Word Count: 1462 (oops)
Prompt: 62. Hiding
Author's Notes: Thanks to derenai for the beta!
Arthur was getting back to his chamber after a long meeting with his father when he saw an apple rolling on the floor in the hall. He picked it up and looked around him. Nothing.
As he bit in the fruit, another one came rolling in front of him. Arthur was pretty sure apple trees were not growing in the castle halls so he looked around more carefully.
And then, the Prince spotted the feet poking out of a curtain… Two pair of feet… One pair so big they were unmistakable.
Slowly, Arthur came closer to the little alcove hidden behind the curtain. Now, he could even hear the breathings.
He gently grabbed the rim of the curtain and drew it open in one swift move.
Percival and Gwaine were huddled in the small alcove, their arms full of food. Roasted chicken legs, bread, cheese, apples, grapes… All coming directly from the kitchens.
Percival had the decency to look sheepish. Gwaine was just eating an apple.
"Your behaviour is disgraceful! You are Knights of Camelot!" Arthur said, very seriously. He was not really angry but he didn't want to let them go so easily.
"We know, Sire… We will never do it again," Percival promised. Gwaine didn't say anything but it wasn't like Arthur had hoped for more coming from him.
"Morgana?" Arthur called, knocking on her chambers' door.
He heard some noise coming from inside. Then an answer.
"I'm coming, Arthur!"
Some seconds later, the door opened. Morgana was looking a little bit flushed. Arthur supposed she was suffering from the heat that had been reigning in Camelot for a week now.
"I just wanted to talk to you about King Frank and his daughter's visit."
"Oh… Of course… Hum… You… Come in?"
Arthur entered the room. Morgana was strangely alone. Gwen was nowhere in sight.
"So? What do you want to tell me?" She asked, looking in a hurry.
"I just wanted to tell you that Uther has asked you plan some activities to entertain the young Princess Yseline."
Arthur was looking around while talking and he spotted the red cloth caught in the wardrobe's door.
"Oh… Of course, I'll plan something… I… I'll think about it!"
"Great! I'll leave you now."
Morgana nodded and lead Arthur to the door.
"Oh, and say hello to Leon for me… And tell him to be careful with his cloak!" Arthur added, smiling.
He was pretty proud when he saw Morgana blush furiously just before closing the door violently.
The haystack moved. Arthur supposed the Knight had nodded.
"Can you tell me why you're hiding in there?"
Another move. Probably a "no".
"Let me guess, then. I suppose it has nothing to do with the young serving girl who was watching us train and making doe eyes to you."
Gwaine head poked out of the hay.
"She's not here anymore?"
"No… You're safe… For now."
"She didn't look like…"
"You didn't see her in bed!"
"Is that why you're hiding, then? You can't handle her?"
"No!" Gwaine answered, offended. "It's just that she wants to do it again…"
"I would have thought you would like that…"
"It's just that… I've also … Hum… With his brother, you see and…"
"And?" Arthur asked, slightly amused.
"His brother was way better than her!"
Merlin was calling the Prince from the other side of the training field. He was running towards him.
"Merlin, what's going on?" Arthur asked, interrupting his conversation with Leon.
"Is he hurt?"
The Knight had been defeated by his Prince during the training but he hadn't looked wounded.
"Not really… But… Can you come?"
Arthur nodded and followed his manservant to the armoury.
Gwen was waiting outside, looking worried.
"Merlin? Can you explain me?"
"Hum… Sir Lancelot is… Hiding… In a… Closet."
"I think you should go talk to him, Arthur."
"Please, Sire. He can't stay there!" Gwen added.
Arthur sighed. Sometimes he was thinking that his subjects were just going nuts!
The Prince entered the armoury and stood in front of the closet.
"Sire? Why are you here! You shouldn't have bothered for a poor lad like me!"
"You're one of my finest Knight, Lancelot! Of course I'm here for you! But why are you hiding here?"
There was no answer so Arthur waited. Finally, the door opened slightly.
"Is Gwen still here?" Lancelot asked, poking his head out of the closet.
"She's waiting outside with Merlin."
And then, the door closed again.
"Lancelot! What are you doing?"
"I can't see her! I can't"
"But why? Have you some pimple on the face?" Arthur couldn't hold back a small laughter.
"Don't mock me! I… I'm not worthy of her! I was ridiculous on the field! I fell on my ass! And she saw it!"
"It was a training!"
"But… How could I court her when I'm such a poor Knight? She's so beautiful! Elegant! Her hair is like threads weaved by a Goddess! And her eyes… They're so deep I'm falling and falling… And her skin…"
Arthur sighed. It was starting again… Lancelot's love for Gwen was getting out of hand lately… And his love for courtship and poetry didn't help.
As the Knight was still praising the maid, Arthur went out of the armoury.
"So?" Merlin and Gwen asked in the same voice.
"He is reciting poetry about Gwen again… I suggest you ask some servant to bring him his supper here, tonight!"
Gwen looked slightly shocked as Arthur and Merlin exchanged a knowing smile.
Finally, after months of hesitation and pinning… No, not pinning! A Prince did not pine! So after months of hesitation, Arthur had finally decided to do something about the strange feelings he had for his manservant.
Therefore, he had decided to do the things according to the rule and woo Merlin properly.
And what a better way to start than a pic-nic in the meads around Camelot!
But as Merlin and he were settling, Arthur had the feeling of being watched.
As they sat on the red blanket Merlin had brought, Arthur looked around more closely. Soon, he noticed the way one of the hedge was moving even if there wasn't any breeze. And behind the foliage he could make out some figures. Five figures. It wasn't hard to guess who they were.
Merlin looked at him, beaming. And for a second Arthur forgot about their watchers. Merlin seemed so happy, his smile was so beautiful.
"Hum… Merlin… Do you know why five of my finest Knights are currently hidden behind a hedge watching us?"
"Where?" Merlin asked.
Discreetly, Arthur showed the silhouettes to Merlin.
"Oh no… They really did it!" Merlin sighed.
Merlin looked at his hands.
"Hum… They… They think they need to protect me… As I don't have my mother here in Camelot… You know… Protect my… virtue."
Merlin blushed saying the word and once again Arthur was distracted. He was so cute when he blushed. But then Merlin's words registered.
"Protect you? From me?"
"I see… I suppose they will need more training, then. And I'll ask Leon to supervise it… That will give me more free time!" Arthur explained with a little smile.
Merlin smiled too.
"That seems like an excellent idea!"
Arthur looked around. The clearing was small, circled by tall trees and dense bush. It was perfect.
He tightened his grip around Merlin's wrist and led him to the centre of the clearing.
"Don't worry. They won't see us!"
"But… But what if they come looking for us!"
"Merlin, Gwaine and Percival are busy playing in the stream. Leon is guarding the camp. Elyan is sleeping and Lancelot is probably writing odes for Gwen!"
Merlin's protest was cut off when Arthur sat on a stump, pulling Merlin with him till he sat in his lap.
"Merlin, stop worrying."
Arthur gently stroked Merlin's side and kissed him briefly.
"I would not take the risk of being caught doing that with you! You should know it."
Merlin nodded but still looked unsure.
"Merlin… You know I love you, right?"
Merlin nodded again and this time a small smile appeared on his lips.
"But I want it so much… Please?"
Hearing the Prince begging was so rare that Merlin couldn't resist anymore.
He leaned and kissed Arthur lovingly. Then he slightly turned around and murmured some strange words.
Hearing this foreign language was always fascinating for Arthur. But not as much as watching Merlin's eyes turn gold or watching the little blue butterflies flying around them.
It was beautiful and strangely soothing.
"Thank you," the Prince murmured, kissing Merlin's neck.