Title: Love Me Blind [Part 2]
Pairing/s: Merlin/Arthur, Morgana/Arthur (no incest)
Character/s: Merlin, Hunith, Balinor, Gaius, (Arthur and Morgana OS)
Summary: He had only been deceiving himself.
Warnings: blindness, depression, broken heart, mentions of mental illness
Word Count: 760
Prompt: #300: Unkept Promises
Author's Notes: Wow for once this one isn't over the word limit. Shocker
The house heaved with the dark sombre cloud of silence. Only the sounds of footsteps and hushed tones permated it’s hallways and gloomy rooms. No laughter, no bright chatter. No music.
It was a silence the house hadn’t known for nearly twenty years now.
With a creak of old bones and a grunt of effort, Gaius extracted himself from the bedside chair, his weathered and worn leather medical bag moaning with strain as he picked it up. Merlin lay as he was, too exhausted to move, eyes closed out of habit and hope that maybe just maybe, he might be able to fall back asleep. He knew he had been sleeping in excess as it was and a part of him knew it couldn’t be good, but he was too tired to care. Too tired for much of anything anymore.
His door brushed against the carpet as Gaius exited, greeted by the murmur of fabric as his parents shifted on the landing, no doubt anxiously waiting to assault the old doctor with questions about the health of their youngest.
Merlin tried to will himself to sleep faster.
The door must have left open a crack in Gaius’ wake for the conversation filtered through on whispered words and subdued tones.
“He is indeed ill.” Gaius’ voice was direct, profesional to a fault. He was a doctor first, and the Emrys family friend second. “Undernourished and exhausted. Has he been eating regularly like he ought to be?”
Hunith answered with breathy muffled words. “To the best of my knowledge, yes. He has been absent for a fair few suppers but that isn’t uncommon with Merlin. He’s always kept to himself.”
“Has he seemed out of sorts recently? Mood change, odd behavior or disinterest?”
It was Balinor that spoke up then, his deep baritone voice laced with concern. “The piano has lay cold for nearly a fortnight now. It is most unusual.”
There was a shuffling footstep, a sigh and brushing fabric. It was barely discernible to even Merlin’s acute hearing. Honestly, he didn’t want to bear witness to his own condemnation. All he wanted was to sleep and wake up to discover all of this had been a horrible dream. To realize Arthur was nothing more than a fantastical manifestation born from the fires of a feverish cold.
“He used to play every day, doctor.” His mother’s whispered words were sorrowful, lost, filled with pain. What was left of Merlin’s heart cracked further. “Most of the day, in fact. I’ve never heard the house so quiet.”
“Indeed. I believe this is no sickness of the body, but more of a sickness of the mind,” Gaius said, his voice becoming smaller, harder to distinguish as the group moved further down the landing. “Melancholia is not unheard of in individuals who have a disability. Those who have experienced trauma and suffering…” The last of Gaius’ words were swallowed up by their retreating footsteps, sharp on the wooden stairs until they faded altogether.
He hadn’t meant to, honestly he hadn’t. He had promised himself he would do better, he would put effort into showing his sister, his family, hell even Arthur that he was fine. And he did, for a bit, or so he thought. He had thought he was still maintaining the carefully constructed ruse until a fainting spell just that morning nearly had him tumbling down the stairs.
Clearly he had only been deceiving himself.
When had it all changed? He was losing track of time, could hardly even remember the last meal he ate or what it was. Nor could he even remember when he had stopped entering the drawing room altogether, his desire to play pushed aside to make room for wallowing, for escaping out into the orchard to get away from anything and everything that reminded him of Arthur. Until that stopped as well as his energy flagged and his bed seemed more appealing than most everything else. Now he was just constantly exhausted, weak, nearly feverish. Or perhaps that was also just a manifestation of his mental sickness.
Either way, he was unwell, that much was abundantly clear. Morgana was worried, his parents uncertain. He promised to stop being a burden on his family but had only made it worse. They had tended to him his whole life and now he was
Now, against his will, he was fully embracing the role of useless disabled son that he had been trying to shake off his whole life.
And he could hardly dredge up the energy to care.