Arthur stared out at the village from the window of his room. He watched as the villagers went about their morning business, and the knights went about theirs. He watched as servants walked in and out of the castle. He watched as Guinevere left to run an errand for the Lady Morgana, and ran into Merlin on his way in. The pair stopped for several minutes to talk.
Didn't they have work to be doing? Who told them they could stop and shoot the breeze? Arthur certainly hadn't given Merlin permission to do so.
He could see them both laughing over a joke Merlin had told. Who said he could tell that joke? Who gave her permission to laugh at something he said?
Arthur realized, as he watched their conversation progress to an eventual end, that his jealousy was a bit ridiculous. However, knowing it did nothing to make him stop feeling it.
"Good morning, Sire," Merlin said, entering his room several minutes later. Arthur was still standing at the window, staring down at the people, though the object of his affections was no longer among them.
"Ever been in love, Merlin?" Arthur couldn't help but ask.
"Ex-excuse me, Sire?"
"Have you ever been in love?" Arthur repeated, turning to look at him.
Merlin pondered the question for a moment as he set the Prince's breakfast on the table. "Yes, I suppose I have."
"Then perhaps you could tell me something," Arthur said, as the servant began to help him into his armour. "What do you do when such love is unrequited? When- when she looks at you, but doesn't even see you, because- she's too busy looking at someone else?"
"I don't know," Merlin said after a bit of thought. "I haven't figured that bit out yet."
"Oh please," Arthur said, almost laughing. "I see the way Gwen looks at you. How could I complete with that?"
Merlin fumbled with the Prince's armour.
"I- I hadn't realized your feelings for Gwen were so deep," Merlin stuttered.
Arthur turned to look at Merlin. There was a look in the servant's eyes that made him want to risk everything.
"It's not Gwen I'm in love with," he said, looking away. "It's you."
The Prince's armour hit the ground with a loud clang. Arthur turned to look at Merlin. His mouth had fallen open and his eyes were wide.
"What did you say?" he asked in disbelief.
"I'm in love with you," Arthur replied simply. There was no taking it back now.
Merlin stared at him, his mouth opening and closing repeatedly. It might have been almost humourous, in a different situation.
"Look, you don't-" Arthur began, but was forced to stop when Merlin's lips collided with his own. Arthur responded quickly, running one hand through Merlin's hair, while the other arm looped around his waist, pulling them closer together until their bodies were pressed against each other.