Title: With Glittering Eyes
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Arthur wants to know more about Merlin's magic.
Word Count: 584
Prompt: #229: Learning
Author's Notes: I apologize for any mistakes, I rushed to write this on a break during classes.
It takes Arthur a day and a half to find Merlin. Finally resolved to not wait any longer he searched high and low only to encounter his manservant missing, any other time he'd complain about Merlin's inability to abide to his orders, or would mock him for being terrible and clumsy while doing his chores. Would push him until Merlin gave him back as good as it gets, because he secretly loves Merlin's spirit and the way he protests right up to the moment Arthur kisses him and he rolls his eyes at him, but always kisses back. Melts into his arms like Arthur isn't really the infuriating clotpole Merlin claims him to be, but someone Merlin feels for.
Gaius was of no help, failing to disclose Merlin's whereabouts or even give Arthur a hint. For all he knows Merlin could be mad, he could be hurt, or he could be well on his way back home. Away from Arthur. The mere thought of Merlin disappearing, leaving without as much as a goodbye or a glance back creates a hole in his stomach, in his chest, an emptiness he's not sure could ever be filled again.
Arthur knows Merlin's absence is his fault --even though he'll sustain until the very end, Merlin is also at fault-- he drove him away, But he was shocked and hurt. It felt awful to realize he doesn't know Merlin as much as he thought he did. It was an accident he saw the flash of gold in Merlin's eyes, the foreign words coming out from his mouth. The magic. Merlin's magic.
He walks back to his chambers, heads hung low, his footsteps echoing loudly enveloping the silence. When Arthur pushes the door open and steps in, he notices something's changed. There's an undercurrent in the art, tastes and smells like the atmosphere after a storm, sends goosebumps down his spine. Walking further in he sees Merlin perched on the middle of his bed, legs bent and feet hidden under the covers like he belongs there and Arthur wants him to, wants him to stay there. With him.
"Merlin," Arthur says, winces at the sound of his voice.
Merlin looks up at him, and Arthur steps back, noticing the dark circles under his eyes, his uncertainty.
They stare at each other, Merlin's lips quirk up in a smile and Arthur feels more like himself, as if the world as he knows it is no longer about to end. He steps towards his bed because he can, because he wants and he sits next to Merlin. Up close he looks the same. The man Arthur has shared himself with, his secrets and feelings.
"I was mad," Arthur begins, Merlin recoils but Arthur grasps his hand before he gets the chance to run away again. "I still am if I'm being honest, and I want to be. I don't want any more secrets between us."
Merlin exhales shakily, hanging his head in shame. "I wasn't hiding from you on purpose. I was scared,"
Merlin shakes his head. "Scared of the world I suppose. People are never kind to those who posses magic."
Arthur knows, has seen the effects of fear and punishment. "Hey, you don't need to be scared of me. I want to know you Merlin. Everything about you.I want to see you. Learn about this...Magic thing."
"Magic thing?" Merlin smirks.
"Don't be an idiot now."
"I suppose I could teach you a trick or two."