Part 6

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After pouring over notes and texts for the millionth time, Ellie poured two mugs of tea and silently carried them into Merlin's room. She'd casted a simple spell on them to keep them hot for hours. Merlin had pulled up a chair right at the bedside and had his dark head rested on the edge of the mattress. Arthur was slumbering soundlessly on his back with Merlin's red blanket pulled up around him.

Ellie gently set the mugs on the nightstand, just in case either of the boys wanted one. She began to creep quietly out of the room when she heard Merlin's faint whisper, "Thanks, Ellie.

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Merlin knew there was no way he would sleep the rest of the night. Arthur was back. He was here. He was alive. He was sleeping in Merlin's bed. Merlin couldn't do much other than stare. He had seen millions of faces and people over the years but he'd never see such a perfect jawbone, a jawbone he longed to kiss. No one could rival Arthur's smooth, wonderfully-structured face or his beautiful golden hair that hung around that face and began to curl at the base of his neck. No, there was definitely no way he could fall asleep. Instead he sat by Arthur's bedside and gingerly lay his head down near Arthur's side. He didn't know what the daytime would bring when Arthur woke, but for now he would be content resting next to his sweetly slumbering Arthur.

"Merlin," Arthur suddenly stated clearly.

To his surprise, Merlin had actually dozed off and was suddenly roused by Arthur speaking his name. At the sound of his voice, Merlin's head shot up in an instant.

"Arthur!" he bumbled with fatigue, "Are you...are you okay? How are you feeling?"

Arthur slowly pushed himself up into a sitting position. His confused gaze traveled around the room, taking in its modernism. Merlin realized how strange just this simple room must look to Arthur. Buildings and homes were now structured and built in completely different ways than they were during his time. The electricity alone must have looked downright alien. Arthur's expression suddenly grew very serious as he looked Merlin straight in the eye.

"Merlin...I...died," he stated incredulously.

"Yeah..." Merlin responded awkwardly, "Do you...do you remember anything about it?"

Arthur held Merlin's gaze.

"I remember everything," Arthur spoke.

They stared at each other for a long time, until the intensity made Merlin break eye contact and bow his head.

"When you came out of the lake," Merlin began, "you...you remembered that I..."

"Have magic?" Arthur finished.

Merlin regained the courage to look into Arthur's eyes again, "Yes."

"Merlin, when I was...dead...I think I was in some sort of...in between place. I remembered what happened. I knew I had died. Time passed strangely. It feels as if hardly any time has passed at all. But I knew I was going to return. I don't know how, I just knew. I had a lot of time to think. In fact, that's all I could do was think. Merlin, I've gone over so many different things in my mind. Countless times I've gone over everything that happened in my life since you entered it. Everything we'd been through."

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