Merlin trekked through the sunlit forest, inhaling sharply when sweat trickled down his brow and fell into his eyes. He dropped the heavy gear he was carrying and swore softly as he rubbed his stinging eyes. When the pain ceased and his vision cleared he sat down in the grass, resting his back against a tree. He tugged at the chain mail around his neck, breathing heavily. His sweat soaked hair clung to his flushed face as he rummaged through one of the bags, searching for a water skin.
Merlin uncapped the water skin and nearly downed the contents in a single, greedy gulp. His thirst had been quenched, but he still felt uncomfortable. The undercoat beneath his chain mail clung to his damp skin.
He glanced around the forest, hoping to spot a river or lake near by. He gathered what little energy he could muster and stood up, following the dirt trail that lie ahead. When he reached the forest's clearing he spied a large, glistening lake in the distance. He grinned and rushed toward the tantalizing water as his bright red cape billowed behind him in the faint breeze. When he arrived at the shore he quickly stripped and unknotted his neckerchief.
He never went anywhere without it. He plunged into the lake, enjoying the way the cool water soothed his warm skin and rinsed away the sweat. Merlin shut his eyes and let himself relax, floating along the lake's surface and listening to the birds chirp.
For a moment, he allowed himself to forget about Arthur and how he risked life and limb for him by playing the decoy knight. His only reward was being loaded down with gear that needed to be carried back to camp. After his swim, he headed back to the shore and discovered that all his clothes were missing except for his frayed, red neckerchief.
The first knight was normally the one that put a stop to the younger men's shenanigans, but there was only silence. He knelt to pick up his neckerchief and wrapped the thin, worn fabric around himself. The neckerchief stretched far enough to successfully cover his assets. He sighed as he walked back through the forest, gathering the gear and returning to camp, only to discover that Arthur and the knights were gone. He slung his bags over the horse's back and mounted.
The horse and her rider galloped out of the forest, heading down the winding, dirt path that led to Camelot. Merlin rode through the lower town and tried to ignore the disapproving glances, rude gestures and startled shouts from those he passed.
The horse swiftly carried her rider away before anymore angry fathers chased after them. Merlin received snide comments from the guards as he entered the castle and some stares, shrieks and a few approving glances from servant girls. He nearly gave a servant girl a fright when he sprang from the shadowy corridor and grabbed a bed sheet from her laundry cart to cover himself.
In his haste, he slipped on the end of the sheet and crashed into Princess Mithian as he rounded a corner. They both yelped, landing on their bottoms. She stopped abruptly upon noticing his apparent lack of clothing and looked away. He quickly pulled the sheet over his shoulders and covered himself. He looked down, blushing brightly and tried not to wince as he stood up. The princess had a layered skirt to cushion her fall, but all that came between his scantily clad backside and the hard floor was a flimsy, white bed sheet.
He reached out to Mithian, helping her up with his free hand and clutching the sheet with the other. They rushed toward her chamber door and she flung it open and they darted inside just as the royal couple turned the corner to enter the corridor.
Merlin shifted his weight from foot to foot nervously. Mithian laughed, gesturing for him to take a seat beside her at the table. Before he could answer, a knock sounded against the door. Merlin sprang from his chair and hid behind the princess's dressing screen. She gathered her flowing skirts and quickly rose from her chair to answer the door. I hope he hasn't gone to sulk at the tavern.
Poor Merlin," Gwen said, giving her husband a disapproving look. You know how he is. She found a young serving girl roaming the halls and gave her a note for Gaius. Soon after the old court physician entered her chambers with clothing concealed in a small sack.
He sat beside the princess as his ward recalled the embarrassing ordeal, putting on his clothing behind the dressing screen. Gaius shook his head. It appears that some things never change.
We should be going. In the evening Merlin met Mithian in the library as she requested. His heart raced as he approached her. She stood beside an elaborate stained glass window and the moonlight shone through, causing shadowy patterns to play against her pale skin and olive green dress. A smile dimpled her lovely face when she saw him emerge from the shadows.
She brushed her dark, slightly curled hair away from her face and kneeled, reaching for a small, red book on a lower shelf that caused the bookshelf to move. It creaked as it slide to the side, revealing a secret passageway. And I won't reveal your secret. Mithian smiled and reached out, pulling his hand away from his face. If you wanted dumplings that badly then I would've gladly given you my own. His fears began to subside.
He placed the book back onto the shelf, meeting the princess's confused gaze. In the morning Mithian was jolted awake by the echoing of shouts, foot falls and the loud crash outside her chambers. She nearly tumbled out of bed, heading towards the door in a daze as she rubbed her sleep clouded eyes.
The princess opened the door and saw a blushing, young servant girl, rushing to pick up fruit mingled amongst shards of shattered porcelain. The servant girl looked up in confusion when Mithian started to laugh.
The girl gathered the last bit of porcelain and put it onto the tray. She stood up and curtsied before departing. The princess dusted off her nightgown and went back into her chambers. Mithian sat at the table, enjoying her breakfast when there was a knock at the door. She grabbed the lacy dressing gown hanging from the back of her chair, slipping it on and quickly tied the silk belt around her waist before opening the door. It's too good. She passed him a plate filled with sausages, various fruits and scrambled eggs. I couldn't possibly eat all of this on my own.
He isn't a very good cook. She laughed. I would gladly share my dumplings or anything else you might like. I'm grateful to Arthur and Gwen for inviting me. He was momentarily startled by her request, glancing toward the door to be sure it was locked. Merlin placed his fist close to his lips, whispering a spell. Mithian gasped when she saw a golden glimmer beneath his dark lashes. He looked up and opened his outstretched hand, revealing a small, flickering flame. I'm glad to have met you. He looked down after the flame had faded away and a self conscious smile tugged at his lips.
She gently grasped his hand and placed her other hand atop his palm, fingertips tracing a pattern over the callused skin. He doesn't know it's my fault, but I'll still be blamed anyway. Merlin gazed at her expectantly, eyes widening when she cupped his face in her hands and chastely kissed his soft,full lips. He smiled, looking slightly dazed for moment before Arthur shouted his name again.
Then he waved quickly and headed out the door, feeling happier than he had been in a very long time. Story Story Writer Forum Community. TV Shows Merlin. How could Arthur and the knights bear being dressed in armor during the summer? The author would like to thank you for your continued support.
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