Title: The Walk to the Lake (Time Will Tell, pt 4)
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: Merlin and Arthur take a walk to the Lake.
Warnings: Attempts at angst
Word Count: 511
Prompt: Lovers Remember All (Artist Appreciation)
Author's Notes: The art was bloody beautiful <3. Also disclaimers and unbeta'd. Also I can't write, and like usual it sounded better in my head.
Catch up: || Part 1 || Part 2 || Part 3 ||
When Arthur was in Camelot, he enjoyed taking trips away from the castle, the fresh air and sunlight lifting his moods dramatically. Normally, Arthur’s hair shone in the sun, his skin would tan naturally and the metal of his chain would reflect the sunlight, making him look more angelic. Today, though the drizzle was light, it had already seeped through Arthur’s cloak and Merlin’s boots had started to make horrible squelching sounds with every step, reminding him he needed a new pair.
They had walked through the forest behind Merlin’s home countless times, so when Merlin let Arthur take the lead he hadn’t expected him to take them to the lake. Arthur waded in until the water was knee-deep. Merlin knew he was thinking deeply, the habitual clenching of his jaw matched with his pouting lips was enough of a giveaway. Arthur’s hands were clasped in front of him, almost as if he were paying his respects to someone at a funeral, his head bowed.
“I’m sorry.” Arthur said, after a while.
“What for?” Merlin asked when he didn’t continue. Arthur held his hand out, inviting Merlin to stand to his right in the water. He took Arthur’s hand, the warmth from Arthur’s palm spreading through him.
“I should remember more things, everything, but I don’t.” Arthur’s blue eyes turned to Merlin. “I only remember a little.” Merlin didn’t know what to say. They’d had this conversation countless times before Merlin broke down and told Arthur his story. This time however, was different. This time Arthur was talking about their private moments, the moments they shared in his chambers when the castle was fast asleep. He hadn’t told Arthur about those things. Arthur laced their fingers together, dropping his eyes to where their hands were joined.
“Wha--what do you remember?” Merlin said, swallowing past the lump in his throat.
“Little bits, like the way your eyes crinkle when you smile, and how you were always by my side, even if I pushed you away. How you taste.” Arthur looked to Merlin’s lips and Merlin swallowed audibly. He didn’t move back when Arthur took a step forwards; he didn’t flinch when Arthur’s hand reached out to his neck, fingers curling in Merlin’s hair at his nape, stroking ever so slightly. “I want to remember. Will you help me remember?”
Arthur didn’t wait for a verbal answer, taking Merlin’s intake of breath as confirmation. The hand placed on Merlin’s neck pulled him closer as Arthur tilted his head to the right and leaned in, his gaze fixed on Merlin’s mouth. His lips pressed hard and urgent, challenging Merlin to reject him. Instantly, Merlin was transported back. Back to deserted corridors and dimly lit rooms with just the two of them. How Arthur made Merlin feel safe, not something to be feared.
Before Merlin knew it, Arthur was drawing back. But Merlin didn’t want that. No, he wanted Arthur to stay -- stay close, stay here. So he pulled him in again by his waist and decided he would hold him; then, now, and forever.