Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Arthur catches M&M exchanging glances.
Word Count: 494
Prompt: We Need to Talk
Author's Notes: Continued from Sweetness.
It was at a feast for some Duke’s arrival that Arthur noticed it. And once he did, he felt like smacking himself in the face for not noticing before. Morgana, seated on the other side of the King, kept looking at the wall where servants waited to do their masters’ bidding. He followed her gaze to see Merlin looking directly at her and smiling.
Hadn’t he warned them about this? He thought he’d made it clear that if they were caught doing something like this, Merlin would bear the brunt of the punishment? Ugh!
After the fourth such exchange, Arthur had had it. He pushed back from the table and stood. The King and Morgana looked up, but all he told them was, “I’m feeling a little tired from training today, I think I’ll retire.”
“Of course, Arthur,” the King said.
“Sleep well, Arthur,” Morgana replied.
Arthur walked over to Merlin and grabbed him by his sleeve. He leaned in to say, “We need to talk.”
Merlin looked at him wide-eyed, and handed his pitcher of wine to Gwen, on his right. He had no choice but to follow Arthur as the Prince still had him by the sleeve. Arthur strode from the room, holding tight to Merlin so the servant would have no chance to escape.
Once they reached his chambers, Arthur opened the door and shoved Merlin in before him. He closed the door behind him and turned to face his servant. “What do you think you’re doing?”
“Articulate as always, Merlin. I said, what do you think you’re doing?”
“What do I think I’m doing? What do you think you’re doing, dragging me up here like this?”
Arthur sighed. “Merlin, I saw you and Morgana exchanging glances. I thought I told you that nothing could happen between you?”
Merlin flushed. “It’s nothing. Just harmless glances.”
Arthur wanted to smack something. He walked over to Merlin and held him by the shoulders. “Merlin, has it ever occurred to you what would happen if the King saw those ‘harmless glances’?”
Merlin said nothing, but his face paled as fast as it had flushed.
“Look, I don’t know if anything else is happening between you two or not, and I don’t want to know. We both know how I feel about forbidden love. But you’ve got to be more careful. Please.”
Merlin grinned. “Oh, so you do value me.” And just like that, the uncomfortable atmosphere vanished.
“Don’t be absurd. I just can’t stand watching executions. Now, ready me for bed.”
Merlin moved to begin his task, and Arthur relaxed mentally. Hopefully Merlin and Morgana would listen to him this time and be more careful in whatever they were doing or not doing. He honestly didn’t want to know. But it did remind him painfully of the situation between him and Guinevere. Maybe that’s why he felt so strongly about this situation. He envied their ability to carry on when he couldn’t.