Sorry that this is late again. I'm bad at this.
Merlin was mucking out the stables when he heard someone coming up behind him. But still, he jumped when he felt someone slip their hands over his eyes.
"Guess who?" Arthur whispered, his lips brushing Merlin's ear and making him shiver deliciously.
"Oh Arthur it's you," Merlin twisted in Arthur's arms. "You better get out of here before my boyfriends finds you." He grinned.
"Still not funny," Arthur said but the smirk brightening his face contradicted him. "Come on," he said, grabbing Merlin's hand and pulling him along.
"Where are we going?" he asked.
"You'll see when we get there."
They were headed down through the lower town and towards the woods at the edge of Camelot. When they left the boundaries of the town the sounds quieted quickly and they were very alone. It was quite a warm day but it was perfect in the shade of the trees. Sunlight fell through leaves, dappling their faces in strange patterns and, Merlin thought, making Arthur look positively ethereal. Merlin's breath caught in his throat and Arthur looked over.
They walked on another minute or two when they came across a picnic. A red blanket was laid out on the grass, a wicker basket sat on top.
"You hungry?" Arthur asked.
"Starving! I've been mucking out stables all morning."
The two sat down on the spread blanket and ate a lunch of chicken sandwiches with a bit of wine. The two fell into an easy conversation of teasing and laughing and flicking food at each other, spurred on by the feeling of freedom afforded by their being away from Camelot.
"Did you make this?" Merlin asked. Arthur gave him a guilty look, causing Merlin to laugh.
"Don't worry. I'll teach you to how to cook some day."
"You can cook?" Arthur said, looking at him skeptically.
"'Course I can cook. It's not hard, really."
"Well I look forward to learning then if you'll teach me."
"We'll just have to make sure you don't blow up the kitchen," Merlin said, grinning, "and we'll be fine."
Arthur threw a piece of chicken at him that got stuck in his hair. Merlin threw a piece back and the resulting food fight quickly dissolved into a wrestling match, the two rolling around for several minutes before flopping on the ground laughing and out of breath. Arthur looked over at Merlin and moved closer, bringing their lips within inches of each other's. He moved torturously slow, knowing exactly what he was doing. Merlin's heart raced in his chest but he stayed still. Arthur reached up and pulled a leaf from Merlin's dark hair, held it in front of him and said simply, with a wicked smile, "You had a leaf in your hair." Then he jumped up and dashed away.
"Arthur Pendragon!" Merlin shouted. "You awful tease."