Title: Surrounded By Truth
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: The truth hurts, but it doesn’t hurt forever.
Warnings: Angst and Cliffhanger
Word Count: 670
Prompt: #16 Bleeding Heart
Author's Notes: The next instalment in the Seen and Hidden ‘verse. For those that were hanging out for this, I hope you’ll be able to hang on some more. This was destined to be angsty in part but I promise I will not leave it that way.
Arthur looked at Merlin sternly. “No… you can’t be. I’d have known. I’d… You couldn’t keep a secret like that from me.”
“I know it’s hard to believe,” Merlin tried to explain but Arthur cut him off.
“Because it’s not true.” Even as he said the words, Arthur knew somehow that they were only him trying to hold on to the hope. Hope that the one person… the one he trust with his life. Someone he would die for. The one he thought he could trust to be truthful with him. He has been hiding this from me.
“Arthur,” Merlin said the name softly as if it would help ease the horrible feeling in his chest. He had to tell Arthur the truth and hope that the connection between them was strong enough for Arthur to understand. He cleared his throat and tried again. “Arthur, I’ve possessed abilities with magic since the day I was born. I’ve been hiding and covering up my abilities my entire life so I wouldn’t be killed as a consequence of your father’s hatred for magic. By the time I got here, it was pretty much second nature to hide who I really was; hide my magic. And I had to be more cautious here since I was so close to your father.”
“You have…” Arthur didn’t want to say it. Saying it would make it too real and he couldn’t take it back. Once he said it, he knew he wouldn’t be able to deny it any more. But the sincerity of Merlin’s voice was more than enough for his body to know it was all the truth. The feeling of his heart being torn from his chest was enough.
Merlin was waiting silently for Arthur to finish. He could see the pain of the thought in Arthur’s eyes. He was hurt and Merlin’s lie had hurt him. In that moment, watching the pain in Arthur’s eyes, he wanted so much to take everything back and pretend it all really was a joke.
But no, he couldn’t.
It wouldn’t be fair.
Arthur deserved to know the truth after all these years.
The past events, which had led to Merlin’s decision that this was the time to tell Arthur, now lay forgotten in all the pain spoken in that one word.
Merlin stayed silent. The weight in his chest had grown heavier and he didn’t trust himself to speak. He didn’t know what words would make both their pain go away.
Arthur spoke again, this time a hint of anger in his eyes and voice. “You’ve been my manservant and by my side more than just about anyone for all these years. How could you…?”
As the words fell on Merlin’s ears, he wasn’t sure which of them hurt more. All he knew was he wanted the pain to stop. He needed it to stop.
Arthur saw Merlin’s eyes change from their normal blue to glowing amber. His anger disappeared and was replaced with fear, but it wasn’t the only feeling. This was Merlin in front of him. The instinctive trust between them, which had existed since he could remember, was still there. The fact Merlin possessed magic had not changed that.
Merlin felt his magic responding to his raw emotions and start to reach out towards Arthur. He focused on removing the pain and telling the other side of his coin the truth he had been blinded from; the truth on Merlin’s side of the coin.
Magic danced over Arthur’s skin and he wanted to ask Merlin what was going on, but the power pulsing from his manservant was so strong, it was overwhelming. He couldn’t get the words to form in his mouth.
Instead, he felt his fear retreat, along with the pain in his chest. For a split second he thought he felt a hand caress his heart then the feeling was gone as quickly as it came.
All that was left to flow in the magic surrounding him was truth.