Uther walked through the halls of the castle as fast as could, without looking non-regal. King Bayard was arriving any hour now and his sons were nowhere to be seen. Ever since the disaster of his first visit both kings had know the next would be somewhat tense and so the castle was in an uproar making sure everything was perfect. The kitchens were so full of steam you could hardly tell where you were going. He had been searching for the princes for over an hour now and was beginning to get exasperated. His frustration grew as he walked into the hall where many people were hard at work readying the room for the feast tonight. Unfortunately neither Merlin nor Arthur was one of them.
"For the love of Camelot has anybody seen my sons?" The king sighed, running his hands through his hair. Those two would be the death of him.
"Come on you slow poke!" Yelled Arthur as he ducked yet another branch as he ran through the trees, careful not to let the crossbows slung over his shoulder catch on anything.
"It's your fault our horses ran off!" Merlin laughed chasing after his brother, "If you had tied them properly we wouldn't be running like this"
"Well if you hadn't been sitting in your room re-reading the last letter Elena sent you we could of left on time!" Arthur jeered making Merlin blush.
Arthur just laughed, both of them really didn't mind this mad rush back to the castle. They hadn't meant to stay out hunting this long, they hadn't caught anything big anyway, only rabbits. Which a grumpy Merlin was forced to carry over his shoulders since Arthur took the crossbows. In the long year that had passed since the dragons attack thing had been peaceful in Camelot, for once. In a little under a year Merlin was going to come of age and Arthur looked forward to getting him completely drunk at the celebration.
The people gave the two affectionate smiles as they ran through the lower town, laughing as they went. Arthur even managed to steal a glance at Gwen who tossed him an apple from her basket. Merlin shot his brother a teasing glance resulting in Arthur's face turning as red as the fruit.
"Your father is going to have to build another set of stocks so you can both go there at the same time!" Gaius growled as the princes arrived at the front door to the castle leaning on their knees whilst catching their breath.
"Oh come on Gaius, we're not that late" Arthur replied
"Yeah, we have time to change!" Merlin continued as they quickly handed their hunt and weapons to some servants.
"Oh really?" Gaius questioned with his trade mark eyebrow, "Well a messenger arrived about 5 minutes ago announcing that Bayard is to arrive in 10"
"So that gives us five minutes to bathe and change then be at the stairs waiting for him?" Arthur gaped, Gaius nodded. Merlin turned to Arthur grinning.
"I'll bet we can make that" He dared.
"Last one to the stairs has to explain to father why we were late!" Arthur laughed as he set off up the stairs.
"Hey you got a head start!" Merlin yelled, running off after him.
"I can't decided if I prefer Arthur as the arrogant bully he was or the huge child Merlin turned him into" Gwen sighed with a smile having just come in the door. Gaius sighed with her.
"What are we going to do with them?"