Pairing: Arthur/Merlin, Morgana/Gwen, Lancelot/Will
Disclaimer: Don't own Merlin
Summary: Merlin is tired of the centuries in between reincarnations in which he's so alone, so he stops looking for Arthur, making a life for himself. And yet Arthur comes back into his life, and even without his memories Prince Arthur is playing for keeps.
Note: Lancelot is a little ooc because I needed a fun, flirty friend for Merlin and somehow I didn't see Will as flirty---unless it was towards Merlin.
Warning: AU. Gay People EVERYWHERE! lol
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Merlin awoke in pure agony.
It took him a couple of minutes for his vision to clear enough for him to realize that he was in bed in the flat he shared with Lancelot, and the wizard pouted as he tried remembering how exactly he’d gotten to bed.
He and Arthur had gone back to the flat, he’d pulled out his hidden bottle of scotch for some false courage, and then the next thing he knew he was in bed.
Merlin’s eyes widened in horror as he sat up in bed, groaning when his head hurt him like hell, but other than that the rest of his body wasn’t sore at all, and he was still wearing his clothes.
He didn’t know whether he was relieved or disappointed at the fact that he and Arthur hadn’t done anything last night.
Saying an anti hangover spell he’d created and perfected throughout the years, Merlin sighed in relief when the pain disappeared, as did the fuzziness in his brain. His legs were fine as he stood from the bed. He clenched his arse experimentally, proving that no, there wasn’tany soreness at all.
Shaking his head, Merlin ran his hand over his head and tried to remember what had happened after he’d obviously become spectacularly pissed the night before.
He winced, remembering the stories Lancelot liked to regale him with of how much of an arse he made of himself whenever he was as royally pissed as he was sure he was last night.
Great, now that I’m not sure I want to fight this anymore, I went and frighten Arthur away.
Growling, not sure why his life always had to be so messed up, Merlin grabbed a quick change of clothes and was about to go to the bathroom when his hand froze on the door’s handle, hearing Arthur’s voice.
Unable to believe that Arthur was still there, Merlin opened the door quietly, allowing the voices to be less muffled and easily heard.
“He’s hilarious.” Arthur was laughing from the vicinity of the kitchen. “He started telling me stories of Camelot, did this horrible dance thingy he called the Highland Trot or something, and then started telling me how much of a prat I was for making him wear some godawful hat! I’ve never enjoyed myself as much as I did last night.”
He really needed to stop getting drunk.
Lancelot chuckled. “He once told me I was too goddamned noble and should have just taken the credit ‘for the Griffin thingy’. I have no idea what he was talking about, but I just agreed and went along with it.”
“So what happened after that?” Lancelot asked.
“Well, he kinda vomited on the bathroom floor and collapsed right outside the door, so I dragged his bony arse to the room he’d told me earlier---repeatedly---was his, and then cleaned up the mess in the bathroom.” Arthur admitted. “I didn’t think you’d appreciate coming home to it.”
“I didn’t know princes knew how to clean.”
“As a rule we don’t.” Arthur admitted. “But Morgana always told me that I couldn’t be a prat and that if I didn’t learn to do things for myself I’d end up having someone to wipe my arse for me, and the thought was so horrifying I found myself learning to do trivial things like cleaning and cooking.”
“Talking about the princess,” Lancelot spoke. “Have you heard anything from her or Gwen maybe? I feel horrible now that I know she didn’t realize who you two were, I mean, even with the makeup and the getup it was obvious for me who you two were.”
“I got a text from Morgana around three this morning.” Arthur informed him. “She said that she was at Guinevere’s home, and that they were talking and working things out.”
“Good.” Lancelot sounded relieved. “Gwen needs something good happening in her life. Working at The Dragon’s Lair is probably the best thing that’s happened since her da went and died on her, leaving her in a pool of debt.”
“Yes, well,” Arthur hesitated. “She’s not exactly in debt anymore.”
What exactly did that mean?
“What do you mean?” Lancelot asked, echoing Merlin’s thoughts.
“Well, after Morgana met Guinevere she had her investigated.” Arthur sounded guilty. “I told her that she shouldn’t, that Guinevere deserved some privacy. Morgana didn’t listen to me, as was to be expected, and she discovered the ludicrous amount of money the poor girl owed these seedy loan sharks, and she immediately sent one of her minions to pay off the loan sharks and warn them that if they ever went near to or threatened Guinevere again they’d have to deal with her.”
Merlin was shocked.
“Princess Morgana threatened loan sharks?” Lancelot sounded scarily impressed.
A woman in love…
Usually he did these things the normal way, but the warlock didn’t want to waste any time in the bathroom, so he magic’ed himself clean, teeth brushed, clothes changed.
Merlin dropped the clean clothes in his hand on the ground and followed the voices. “Does she realize just how bloody dangerous those scum bags are?” Why was Merlin surprised? He knew from lifetimes of experience that Morgana was utterly scary when it came to Gwen and her safety.
“Hey you.” Arthur grinned, standing up from where he’d been sitting on the stool, leaning against the counter. “I would have expected you to be having the hangover from hell this morning.”
“What? Merlin?” Lancelot snorted. “Bloke can’t hold his liquor but I’ve never seen him with a hangover. It’s like magic.”
Merlin decided to ignore that, stealing the buttered bread Lancelot had just finished preparing and had been about to take a bite out of.
“Hey!” Lancelot complained, pouting. “That’s mine!”
“People in love are just supposed to survive on love, not bread.” Merlin quipped, taking another bite out of the piece of bread just to spite his friend.
“What’s your excuse then?” Lancelot sniffed.
Merlin went beet red.
Arthur chuckled. “Aw, give him some slack. The bloke vomited out his guts all night before finally passing out. He needs it more than you do.”
Merlin ducked his gaze.
That was it.
He was never drinking again.
“You have a point there, mate.” Lancelot announced, already putting another piece of bread in the toaster.
“Sit down you,” Arthur motioned for Merlin to sit next to him.
Merlin looked around him thoughtfully before sitting down as asked, continuing to nibble on his toast. “So, talking about love and all that, how did things go with Will?” He smirked. “Didja spend the night with him?”
Lancelot went beet red. “I’m not easy!”
Merlin raised an eyebrow.
Lancelot put all of his attention on buttering his toast. “Am not. We just talked all night. Talked. You filthy minded cur.”
Merlin snorted around a bite. “Right.”
“We talked!” Lancelot nearly stamped his foot at Merlin. “Talked!”
Merlin knew that Lancelot and Will had just talked, Will was a gentleman like that, but teasing Lancelot was jus too much fun.
“We’re going out tonight as well. To talk.” Lancelot declared with a sharp nod in the warlock’s direction. “And maybe a movie.”
“Good for you, mate.” Arthur smiled.
“Thank you.” Lance nodded.
Merlin continued to chuckle, shaking his head.
“Maybe we’ll make it a double date one night, yeah?” Arthur continued, slapping Merlin up the back of his head.
“Are princes allowed to go on dates?” Lancelot wanted to know.
“Since when are we dating?” Merlin turned to Arthur, rubbing the back on his head. “You don’t know anything about me! You----.”
“After last night I think I know more about you than you think.” Arthur was suddenly serious, eyes narrowed. “I know I know more about you now than even Lance does.”
Lance raised an amused eyebrow at that. “Really? Now this sounds intriguing.”
Merlin went numb in fear.
I’m NEVER drinking AGAIN!
“And anyway,” Arthur relaxed back into cool charm, grinning. “You told me all about your life as the warlock Merlin, and your lives as a chef, doctor, counselor, soothsayer, farmer, factory worker, air force pilot during both world wars, nobleman, carpenter, butler, landscape designer, animal breeder, fisherman, fireman, policeman, school teacher---even told me about your life as your father.”
Merlin dropped the last bite of his toast as those words came spewing out of a grinning mouth, but it was the eyes shooing venom at him he recognized oh so well that left him in this stupor.
“I’ve never heard of half of those!” Lancelot exclaimed, completely unaware of the tension in the room. “And I’ve seen him drunk more times than you! I feel slighted!”
“You shouldn’t.” Arthur was speaking to Lancelot, but his furious blue orbs were on Merlin. “You’ll come to find, Lance-alot that when it comes to Merlin and I, we’re kinda special. You might call it destined.”
Merlin gulped, finding his throat painfully dry. “There’s no such thing as destiny.” He whispered.
Arthur’s lips curled in a sneer. “Really? Merlin? Is there no such thing like one’s word either? Because if I make someone promise me something I expect them to keep that promise. Especially if it’s to remind me of the most important thing in my life!”
Merlin’s eyes widened in horror as before him stood Prince Arthur of Camelot.
Somehow, something he’d done last night, had brought back on the memories…and Prince Arthur was pissed.
Lancelot, looking back and forth between Arthur and Merlin, realized that somehow this had turned into a private conversation. He grabbed his last piece of toast and headed to his room to catch some shut eye before having to get ready to see Will again.
“You remember.” Merlin whispered the moment Lancelot’s door closed.
“Oh, I’m sorry, are you disappointed, Merlin?” Arthur asked, furious, dropping all pretense now that Lancelot wasn’t there. “You broke your promise! You swore to me that you’d find me again and you’d help me remember! You swore!”
Merlin backed away as Arthur stalked him, finding himself pinned against the wall by the furious prince. “Arthur---.”
“You promised!” Arthur hissed, slamming his fist into the wall next to Merlin’s head. “That’s the only way I can bare leaving you over and over again---knowing that you will find me and I’ll have another chance at loving you! But now I can’t even die in peace because I won’t be sure whether you’ll look for me or if you’ll just let me live my life alone and miserable!”
“Ar---.” Melrin tried again.
“If I hadn’t been able to bare the loneliness anymore---if I hadn’t listened to the bloody Great Dragon telling me in a dream to find my destiny in his lair, you would never have come for me.” His voice was hoarse, harsh, and accusing as he pushed away from the wall. “You would have stood by while I married Sophia, lived a lie, and died a miserable old man! All because you got tired of me.”
“Tired?” Merlin hissed, pushing away from the wall. “TIRED?”
“What else could it be?” Arthur hissed back, running his hand through his hair. “You got bored of having the same person all the time, of having to remind me, of---.”
“I couldn’t watch you die again!” Merlin nearly screamed, leaning back against the wall in a near collapse.
Arthur turned to look at him in surprise.
“I couldn’t---I---,” Merlin closed his eyes tightly, lowering his head. “Every time I have to feel your hand go slack in mine---see the life draining from your eyes---I---I die inside. I---Arthur!”
The prince was silent, the darkness of his features lighting somewhat.
Merlin covered his face. “I have to live without you, Arthur. Centuries sometimes before you’re born again, and I’m living like I’m dead because you’re not there!” His hands closed into fists. “And I hate you for leaving, for making me so weak! And I hate myself for not being able to die with you! I want to die when you do! I don’t want to live if you’re not by me because it hurts too much!”
“Merlin…” Arthur whispered, and then his arms were around the trembling, crying warlock, pulling him in closer, tucking him into his body, his chin resting on the top of Merlin’s head. “You little idiot.” He whispered into his hair. “Do you think I want to leave you? I’d give my soulto be eternally by your side, never to part. You don’t think I don’t fear that you’ll find someone else during the time I am gone and you won’t love me anymore? Do you know how frustrating that is?”
Merlin, from where his face was buried in Arthur’s shirt, shook his head, clutching the material of the shirt as if to life itself.
“It’s agony, Merlin.” The prince assured him in a choked voice. “I don’t think I’ve ever told you this, but you’re the first thing I remember as a child. I dream of you, constantly, and it’s so confusing because I can’t remember anything else—can’t understand why I’m dreaming of some gangly boy with a godsawful neckerchief and flashing golden eyes.”
Merlin pulled away, surprised, having never heard of this before.
“And whenever I see you for the first time it just clicks and it makes sense and even if I don’t ever regain my full memories from my past lives I remember you, I remember how you made me feel, and I remember that I was never happy when you weren’t by my side.”
Merlin was shocked.
Arthur---Arthur was a physical man who tried to avoid words as much as he could, so the fact that he was opening up and telling him these things---after so many lifetimes---just proved to him how much this meant to Arthur, and how much it’d hurt him that Merlin hadn’t kept his promise.
Shame filled the warlock and he hid his face in Arthur’s shirt once more. “I’m sorry.”
“I---I can understand that it’s hard for you, Merlin, I can.” Arthur whispered against his hair. “But I’m your prince, and even though you’re the worst manservant I’ve ever had, you’re the only one I’ve ever loved, and I don’t want you to ever break your promise to me again. Never. Especially not about this.”
Merlin smiled against the material of Arthur’s shirt. “Yes sire.”
They both clutched at each other tighter.
Merlin closed his eyes and sighed, happy, knowing somehow that everything was going to be okay.
“Morgana will be pissed that I remembered before she did.” Arthur sounded smug.
Merlin snorted. “I actually think she might know already.”
“What?” Arthur exclaimed, and then whined in a very un-prince-like tone: “Why does she always remember before I do? How is that fair?”
There was a knock on the door, and they pulled away from each other reluctantly, Merlin hesitating a second before pressing a kiss to Arthur’s chin. He went to the door and looked through the peephole. “Talking about Morgana...”
“The cockblocker.” Arthur grumbled.
Merlin snorted, amused, turning to raise an eyebrow at him. “Who said you were going to get any?”
Arthur raised an eyebrow knowingly, imperiously, gaze trailing up and down Merlin’s body.
Merlin blushed softly, looking away, body warming under that gaze.
Arthur chuckled knowingly.
There was another knock.
Merlin still paused, turning to Arthur. “What happened last night?” For some reason he just needed to know. “What did I say or do that made you remember?”
Arthur was a little tense at the remembrance that Merlin hadn’t planned on bringing his memories to the surface. “You---you’d think that it would have happened with you telling me about all of our lives together and how much of a prat I was during every single one…”
Merlin chuckled. “You were.”
Arthur smirked, shaking his head, relaxing slowly. “But what made me remember was when you stopped talking, looked me in the eyes, and said: ‘My life was meaningless before you stumbled into it.’”
He remembered those words.
Arthur had told him that during his first lifetime.
It’d been his declaration of love, while they’d lain happily in his bed, after their first time together intimately. He’d whispered those words into Merlin’s hair before drifting to sleep…
“Oh.” Merlin finally whispered.
Arthur smiled. “I couldn’t even get a good yell at you afterwards though because when I finally recovered from the shock of the memories returning I found you vomiting your guts out in the loo, and then you fainted…”
Merlin groaned, embarrassed.
He didn’t think Arthur would ever let him live down the fact that he fainted.
The knocking became pounding.
The warlock shook his head, having forgotten about Morgana, and opened the door.
The princess stormed into the flat, her mascara runny, her skin paler than usual, her clothes wrinkled and her hair a mess. Her expression was somber as she looked between her brother and Merlin and then resting solely on Arthur. “You remember.”
“Lucky you.” She grumbled at Merlin. “Gwen still doesn’t remember anything!”
“Since when have you known?” Arthur wanted to know, still obviously ticked that she’d remembered before him.
“Since the first time I was forced to watch a Merlin Emrys movie with you.” Morgana shrugged.
Arthur blinked. “But you were bloody six at the time!”
“It’s not my fault you’ve always been slow---in every lifetime.” Morgana sniffed, folding her arms over her chest.
“Now just wait one minute!” Arthur bellowed.
Merlin motioned for him to lower his voice. “Lance is trying to sleep!”
“Screw him!” Both royals snapped at Merlin before returning to glare at each other.
“Why so bitchy, brother dearest?” Morgana sneered. “Did I just cockblock you?”
Arthur, having no shame whatsoever, nodded, folding his arms over his chest.
“Good.” Morgana declared evilly. “Because if I am not getting any I don’t see why you should. I’ve waited longer to find Gwen and have her as mine than you have Merlin, so if anyone has first dibs it’s me.”
“You were bloody six!” Arthur cried out again, somewhat horrified. “You shouldn’t have wanted to have anyone at the time!”
“Enough.” Merlin commanded, causing the siblings to turn and look at him in surprise. He took in a deep breath, turning his attention on Morgana. “I take it the conversation with Gwen didn’t go well?”
Morgana sighed, shoulders sagging. “She understands my reasons behind it, wants to continue being friends, and who knows, maybe even ‘double date’.” She leaned against the wall in defeat. “She wants to double date! With men!”
Arthur looked a teensy bit sorry for her.
“She’s confused right now, Morgana.” Merlin went to her and placed a comforting arm around her shoulders. “She likes you, it’s obviousto everyone, but you’re the bloody Princess of Wales, and she doesn’t have her memories. Anyone would be intimidated by that.”
“I know.” Morgana sighed. “And father’s known dislike towards homosexuals probably isn’t helping my case.” She turned to Arthur, determined.
Merlin wondered what they were silently discussing.
Morgana smiled and then turned to Merlin. “You’re her best friend in every lifetime. You talk to her. Make her see reason.”
Merlin opened his mouth.
“Good chap, always knew I could count on you.” Morgana grinned up and him before moving out of his grip, grabbing Arthur, and dragging her brother out of the apartment.
Merlin watched them go, a little worried about that sinister glint in Morgana’s eyes but deciding that Arthur would keep her from doing anything too extreme.
Sighing, he grabbed his jacket and keys, and left the apartment.
He needed to see Gwen.
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