Title: Make a Wish
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin, Gaius
Summary: Arthur shouldn't be riding out in this weather.
Word Count: 1000
Prompt: Let it Snow
Author's Notes: I hope this reads okay, I'm so tired.
“You shouldn’t be out of bed, Sire.”
“Shut up, Merlin.”
Merlin sighed. He had spent so many mornings battling to get Arthur up. But now the prince was sick, and he refused to stay put. The weather was cold, a frost covering the ground with a satisfying crunch and the overcast sky threatening that things were about to get worse.
It was not the type of weather that a feverish prince should be riding out in.
But in true Arthur-fashion, he was ignoring what both his physician and servant were saying and was lacing up his boots. Merlin had flatly refused and now, it seemed, Arthur remembered that he could dress himself.
“Arthur, you can’t go out in this.”
“Don’t you have chores to do?” Arthur said. It would have been more impressive if his voice hadn’t been hoarse and he hadn’t been struggling to stay alert. Merlin sighed, dropping his cloth and standing up. He could argue this point all day but Arthur had got it into his head that he was going out and Merlin knew there was nothing he could do to stop him.
Crossing to the window, Merlin stared down into the courtyard, desperate for inspiration. Two stable-hands were leading horses into the stable, wrapped up against the cold. They appeared calm compared to how they had a week ago: the stable-master had flatly refused to let the knights take the horses out while it had been snowing. None of their patrols were that important to risk both knight and beast in the weather.
Merlin sucked in a sharp breath, hit by an idea. He glanced back at Arthur, who was too busy pretending he was fine to notice what his servant was up to. Then Merlin looked back at the snow-laden clouds.
All he needed was a coating of white and Arthur wouldn’t be able to ride out.
“Please,” he whispered, gaze locked on the threatening sky. Typically, nothing happened.
“I need you to polish my boots while I’m gone.”
“I’m coming too,” Merlin said automatically, not looking away from the sky.
“Who else are you going to force to cook your meals?” Merlin asked, still distracted. He knew Arthur would realise he only wanted to come so that he could keep an eye on his master and nag the prince the entire time about turning back. But Arthur didn’t argue and Merlin knew the prince was also aware that if he refused, Merlin would just tag along anyway.
“Fine,” Arthur said, “then meet us at the stables in an hour.”
Merlin nodded. He moved from the window and headed towards the door. Arthur let him go: Merlin had to get warmer clothing if nothing else if he truly intended to come too.
But it wasn’t clothing that had Merlin hurrying from Arthur’s chambers and back towards his own. After ensuring the door was shut, he flicked through his spell-book, looking for anything that would influence the weather. He had called down lightening, but he had been emotional and his magic had just reacted. He didn’t think he could call upon snow just because he willed it.
Time passed and Merlin flicked frantically. There was nothing in his book about making it snow. The only spells that even mildly affected the weather could have catastrophic effects if they went wrong and Merlin didn’t think risking the entire kingdom just to stop Arthur being an idiot was a good idea.
His hour was almost up and Merlin slammed the book shut despondently.
“Come on,” he muttered, glaring out of the window, “just let it snow already!”
“Merlin?” Gaius had returned from his rounds. “Is that you? I thought you would be with Arthur.”
“The idiot is still planning on riding out,” Merlin said, stomping from his room and grabbing a warmer jacket. One way or another, it looked like he was in for a cold evening. Gaius scowled.
“Can’t you talk him out of it?”
“Trust me. If I could, I would have done so hours ago.”
Gaius frowned, pursing his lips. Merlin knew Arthur though: nothing short of a direct order from the king would stop him now he had the idea in his head.
“Well,” Gaius said, sighing, “you better hurry up before he goes without you.”
Merlin rolled his eyes and hurried from their shared chambers without arguing. He didn’t see the point: Gaius was probably right. He couldn’t protect Arthur – even from his own stupidity – if he wasn’t there.
By the time Merlin arrived back at Arthur’s chambers, he was in a bad mood. He was supposed to keep Arthur safe, and was about to let him ride out in the freezing cold while being sick just because Arthur was too proud.
He burst into the man’s chambers, then blinked. Arthur was lying back on the bed, a blanket over his legs. He glanced at Merlin as he entered.
“There you are. Stoke up the fire, would you?”
“But-?” Merlin didn’t want to mention the patrol in case Arthur had just forgotten what he was supposed to be doing. Arthur rolled his eyes.
“Have you seen the weather, Merlin? No one in their right mind would ride out in that.”
“You were going to,” Merlin grumbled as he crossed once again to the window after ensuring the fire was burning brightly. But when he glanced outside, he blinked. Thick, white snowflakes were falling steadily, the ground already dusted. A smile curled at his lips.
His magic had always reacted to his emotions. Merlin had been wishing rather hard for snow…
“Come here,” Arthur ordered. Merlin looked back at him to see the prince holding up the edge of the blanket. “You’re supposed to be keeping my temperature under control, aren’t you?”
Merlin grinned. He slipped off his thick jacket, toed off his boats and slipped under the blankets with Arthur. All the while, snow continued to fall, creating a white kingdom magical in such a way that even Arthur couldn’t complain.