As soon as Arthur stepped into his chambers after his
training, he said, “You’re dismissed Merlin, you can have the night off.”
“Seriously?” Merlin didn’t sound at all convinced.
“Yes. You may go.”
“You sure? Because you’ve been in a bad mood all day and I feel like you’re joking.”
“Yes, go spend time with Guinevere or something.” Arthur said between gritted teeth.
He was trying to be nice. Apparently it hadn’t been working because Merlin was right, he had been in a foul mood all day. He had heard Guinevere whispering to Morgana about Merlin, and something about a kiss, and for some reason it left Arthur discontent. Maybe a bit more than discontent. After all, Arthur had risked life and limb for a stupid flower, been thrown in the dungeon, and practically disinherited all to save Merlin’s life. All he had gotten was a ‘thank you’ from a blanket-wrapped-Merlin who looked like a drowned kitten, and apparently Merlin had kissed Guinevere for some reason. Not that Guinevere wasn’t adorable and deserved affection, but he had hoped Merlin’s personal affection would go to him instead.
“You are serious.” Merlin smiled, looking far too delighted about having a night away from Arthur.
“Yes, go before I change my mind.”
Merlin perked up. Grinning like an idiot, he dashed out of the room like it was on fire.
Arthur sighed. He wished that Merlin would think of spending time with him, without thinking about work. But he knew that he couldn’t become friends with his servants. After all, it was the lesson his father had tried to give him only the week before. Perhaps he should have listened.