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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fan Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

A Valduggery Story that will also be fnished :)

Arthur would never admit that he actually cared about Merlin, it was better that way. If he regularly insulted him and bullied him, then they wouldn't expect anything of each other. But relationships of any kind aren't that simple. They quietly depended on each other, no matter how much they tried not to. If anything went wrong, and they couldn't deal by themselves, they'd run to each other. That's probably what started it off...It's probably what made Merlin fall in love with Arthur Pendragon.

"Gwen, I love you! I thought...I thought you felt the same?" Arthur did everything he could to make sure his voice didn't crack, but even through the facade, you could hear his pain. Gwen pushed her hair out of her deep brown eyes. She had felt the an extent. But she got fed up of waiting. She couldn't not be his for that long. So she found someone else. Michael, the village black smith. He had thick, wavy brown hair and eyes of piercing green.

"I'm sorry, Arthur. I truly am," she placed a hand on his arm and smiled softly at him "You'll be fine, I promise. Goodbye Arthur," with that she bent down and picked up her satchel. With one last look at her home, she walked out. Michael was going to take her somewhere else. Somewhere far from here. No more would she have to see Arthur's beautiful face. No more would she have to see his pain. Arthur stood, dazed next to the table. He could feel the tears welling up in his eyes, and he wiped them away. He was a prince, some stupid, flouncy serving girl wasn't going to break him. Even though it felt as though his entire being was cracking, shattering in to a million pieces. The pain inside of him took over, and he fell to the floor. Everything that he had, the secret that was his...gone. She was gone. Did she even care? Of course she did...She was Guinevere. If anyone cared, it was her. And probably Merlin. Oh, Merlin. He needed that ridiculous idiot as he lay on the floor, tears streaming down his cheeks. Arthur lay there for what seemed like days, but was mere minutes. Eventually he fell into a deep sleep, dreaming of summer picnics and hand holding when her...

Merlin was worried now. Arthur had gone to se Gwen seven hours ago... It was dark now and he hadn't heard from either of them. Dinner was in an hour, and he really didn't want to face the wrath of Uther, if he didn't have the prince. He moved with purpose, swiftly walking towards Gwen's hut. He had a feeling in the pit of his stomach that made his entire being quake with angst. He turned a corner and could see her door left wide open, and the darkness seeping into the house. His swift walk became a desperate sprint as his heart pounded. He reached the door only to find Arthur curled up in a foetal position, severely shivering from the cold. Merlin bent down and checked his pulse, only to find he was asleep. He let out a sigh of relief, and went to Gwen's room to fetch a blanket. He returned and covered Arthur up with it. He sat down next to him, against a wall. It took several moments for the fact that Gwen wasn't there to register in his brain. He stood up cautiously, his eyes searching for any evidence of her whereabouts. He walked through to the bedroom. Her wardrobe was empty and all her trinkets gone. Half of her household items were missing and the house an unbearable sense of despair. She'd left. Gone. Somewhere far away from Camelot by the looks of things. Arthur was stirring and Merlin bent down to him.

"Come on, prat. Let's get you to bed," he managed to get the prince standing, and he stumbled tiredly out of the house and up the hill towards the castle. They were approaching the castle gates when Arthur stopped and turned to Merlin.

"I loved her, Merlin. I really did," Arthur's voice faltered and tears began to stream down his face once more. Merlin rested his head upon the blonde's shoulder and softly said

"I know, I truly know," cooing into his ear. His heart cracked anger and sadness. Gwen had been his friend, but now he could never forgive her the pain he had caused Arthur. He furrowed his brow and made a pledge to himself that should she ever return to Camelot, she would regret it.

They reached Arthur's chambers and a now fully awake Arthur walked in and sprawled himself on his bed. Merlin stoked the fire and tidied the table which had 'important' documents, about knights and lords and such, in a mess all over it. He collared a page in passing outside of the chamber and asked him to deliver a message that the prince was not feeling his best and that may he please have some soup delivered right away.

Ten minutes later, a rather grumpy kitchen matron appeared with a steaming bowl of venison and vegetable soup. Arthur sat on his bed and began to eat, not very enthusiastically. He only got about a third of the way through before he put it upon the side table. Merlin tried to convince him to eat some more, but the prince was having none of it. After a final attempt of getting him to eat, and getting nothing in return but a very blunt

"Piss off, idiot," he decided it may be best he do just that.

"I'll see you in the morning, sire. Try to get some sleep, Arthur," he said, his voice full of concern. He made his way to the door and was about to exit when he heard Arthur say his name. Merlin spun around to see him sat on the bed, his knees tucked into his bare chest and arms wrapped around them. Tears graced his eyes, making them shine in the glow of the fire. Merlin's heart skipped a beat.

"Yes, sire?" he enquired, almost failing to speak at all because his mouth was so dry.

"Will you sit with me awhile? Just to talk?" the prince asked, his voice portrayed apology. Merlin simply smiled and went to sit next to him on the bed. He asked what had happened, and he got something mumbled about the blacksmith and that Gwen was gone for good. He couldn't get much more of that, so he moved the subject to the skills of the knights in Arthur's entourage. After twenty minutes of talk, Merlin's stomach made itself known with an awful rumble. It was about to eat itself, he was sure.

"Merlin, what have you eaten today?" Arthur asked. Merlin hesitated.

"A roll for breakfast and a slice of ham with a square of cheese for lunch," he replied, and Arthur's jaw dropped. That was less than he ate for a snack! Let alone in a day. He passed what was left of his soup to the scrawny manservant. He was apprehensive at first, eating a prince's food was a first. But he eventually took a mouthful of the soup and taste overwhelmed him. It was delicious. He ate, with a distinct lack of grace, as Arthur watched in amazement. When Merlin finished the soup his face was full of content. He was tempted to lick the bowl but decided against it. He was still in the company of a prince. A prat of a prince, but a prince all the same. They spoke into the early hours of the morning. About life, love and ambition. Arthur mentioned his mother and tears streamed down his face once more. Merlin wrapped his arms around his naked chest and let his shirt become damp with tears. They lay down next to each other, no longer able to speak, just enjoying the presence of eachother.

Merlin awoke half way through being kicked off the bed. He landed with a thump on the cold, stone floor.

"Merlin, get your incompetant arse off my bed and get me breakfast! Now!" Arthur barked. Merlin picked himself off the floor and memories of the night before flooded back. Arthur crying in to him, and falling asleep in his bed. He'd known that in the morning Arthur would of returned to his arrogant, prattish self. The man he loved had returned to the guy he disliked. Sighing, he walked out of the chambers and stomped down to the kitchens.

Arthur ran a hand through his blonde hair. He hadn't meant to let himself open up. It hurt when he spoke of the past. He panicked. He was scared. He needed Merlin. He didn't want to need him. He didn't want to depend or put his trust on anyone, let alone Merlin. He would only end up hurting him. Because in the end, he would push him away when the pain got too much. He could hear footsteps approaching his door, and he composed himself as Merlin walked in with a tray of food. And proceeded to fall flat on his face.

Submitted: December 23, 2010

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