Arthur sucked in some air and held it. He breathed in again, a huge gulp of oxygen. His head was spinning. He rested his head on the wall behind him with a soft thud. His thoughts were spinning untempered through his head, chasing each other faster and faster until the clanging of his sword falling to the ground broke through the cacophony. He mind pleasantly numb, he look down at his fallen sword without comprehension. He was still sucking in great lungful's of air, and his heart was beating wildly beneath his ribs. The Prince didn't think about what happened, why he had run, faster than he believed possible, his sword unsheathed, unused in his hand. He did not know how long he stood there, slouched against a cold stone wall deep within the castles depths. A single, solitary thought broke through the silence of his mind, opening a floodgate of deafening emotion.
Suddenly he was furious. And the future King of Camelot, shouted and yelled, punching the wall, raging against his fear and betrayal all directed at his servant. Because Arthur knew what he had to do. It was the duty of every citizen of Camelot, especially of the Prince himself, to report sorcerers, witches and all manner or magical beings.
'Like Merlin.' A voice in his head whispered cruelly.
'No!' A part of his mind rebelled, rejected. 'I would have known! This is Merlin for god's sake, he's an idiot, not a…'
As if in response his mind played over the events that so tore the Prince.
Arthur had been woken by one of his men to settle disputes two of his knight were having. Grumbling to himself, as he thought up ways he could punish them in the morning, Arthur made his way slowly back to bed. As he was passing a long passage in the eastern part of the castle, he heard a strange noise, a cross between a neigh of a horse and a sneeze. Relived that he brought along his sword just in case, he as quietly as possible, unsheathed it. He crept down the passageway sword at the ready, his body tense, listening intently. He heard the sound yet again, this time with a voice following it seconds later. Arthur was unable to make out what the hushed voice was saying but going by the tone of it, whoever they were, were undoubtedly trying to be quiet, and failing miserably. He rounded the corner and saw a figure up ahead. Arthur moved slowly and carefully, moving with a precision that only years of training could give someone. As he moved closer to the figure, shrouded in darkness, their back toward him, Arthur could make out a box shuddering on the ground at the feet of the unknown man. The man was holding his hand at waist height, fingers spread, pointing at the wooden case. A sort of greenish, golden mist appeared between the hand and the box, that was curling around itself like it was alive. The hair on the back of Arthur's neck stood up. Magic! He realised still approaching silently. With a flick of the figure's hand, the mist wrapped itself around the box and formed a golden metal band. The man sighed and picked up the box. Arthur finally caught sight of the figure as it stepped into the light of one of the torches to pick up some sort of bag. He, without thinking, quickly ducked into a handy alcove and held his breathe. Not noticing anything out of the ordinary, the figure rushed off, not noticing the hidden Prince. After a few minutes, Arthur stepped out of his hiding spot and looked in the direction the figure had gone. No, not the figure, Merlin. And with that thought, Arthur took off in the other direction, running blindly, sword still clutched in his hand
"Damn it Merlin!" He shouted his echo the only reply.
This wasn't fair, the position he had being put in. He knew what he course of action should be, but didn't know what it would be. Merlin betrayed him after all, he deserves to be punished, but certainly not killed. And really, Merlin? Merlin who thought it would be a good idea to put his father in a dress. Then again maybe that was the plan all along. Not the dress part, but fooling Arthur, getting close to the future King. Playing with his feeling. Maybe Merlin even did something to him, to make Arthur keep Merlin around; he really was incompetent, so there must be a reason. It would explain a lot of things, like why Arthur was feeling certain things towards Merlin. Certain things that he didn't want to examine too closely.
Arthur put his head in his hands and sighed. This was Merlin he was talking about. He wouldn't do those sorts of things. But then again, Arthur thought, I guess I didn't know Merlin nearly as well as I thought I did.
Arthur slumped to the ground. And as he made the decision that would change both his and Merlin's lives either way, the future King of Camelot, certainly did not cry.