It wasn’t that anyone had forbidden him from liking boys, it was just that, well, they’d always told him he’d fall in love with a girl. They’d used to tell him how brave and chivalrous he’d be when he grew up, and how great and good a king he’d be, just like his father.
Well, he’d grown up brave and chivalrous, so he’d just assumed everything else they’d predicted would come true. It was just that it didn’t. For one thing, he was starting to question just how much like his father he wanted to be, as he’d started to doubt the person he’d once thought of as God.
After his father all his other beliefs had come toppling down, like a bloody house of cards. Suddenly all the things he’d taken for granted – like magic being evil – were not certain. He’d started to doubt everything, to question everything.
Like how he’d assumed he’d rescue some fair maiden from peril and then marry her. What happened to love? And why the hell was there a voice in his head sounding suspiciously like Merlin telling him how stupid that presumption was? Telling him to wake up and rethink all his preconceived notions.
Recently he couldn’t get his bloody manservant out of his head; when he wasn’t hearing about him, then he was thinking about him. He filled Arthur with a passion, gave him meaning, called him a prat but seemed to make him a proper hero. He made Arthur bubble and fizz and burn until he wanted to scream at someone for not telling him he could feel this way.
Why had no one told him? Had it just been assumptions on their part? In which case where had these damn assumptions begun? And why was Merlin stomping on them one by one, then dancing on their graves singing hallelujah? More importantly, where in all of Albion had that mental image come from, and why was Merlin giggling?
Probably because today he’d killed another one of Arthur’s precious assumptions and forced him onto a newer and dangerous road. Today Arthur had realised that he loved his bloody manservant, and that was that. Nothing was going to chance that and no damsel in distress was ever going to usurp his place Arthur’s heart, this was forever and for always. God help them.