Character/s: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: The coffers are empty, and there's still more to be done
Warnings: None, wow, I'm having a very... clean week... (probably because I'm writing something original and angsty)
Word Count: 265
Author's Notes: Fluffy! (I need cheering up for car damage reasons, don't worry, all is fine)
The wars have taken their toll on Camelot’s people. Morale is low, strength with it. Arthur doesn’t know if they can withstand another battle. But that’s not the only problem. Camelot’s coffers, once full to the bursting, are near empty. Arthur can sweep the dust from their bottoms.
“It’s no good,” he tells Merlin one evening, “We simply can’t afford another campaign.”
“But sire, you must,” he insists, moving to ease the tension from Arthur’s shoulders, hands slipping under his tunic, “Or else Albion will never be united.”
“Merlin, there’s no gold!” Arthur snaps, standing, pushing Merlin’s hands away from him.
Merlin sighs, and thinks for a moment.
“There’s plenty of gold,” he tells Arthur, words slow, for once thinking them through before they leave his mouth. He takes hold of Arthur’s hair before he can open his mouth to protest, playing with the soft-spun strands of it between his fingers.
“Here,” he says, and his hand slips away. He calls on the magic, just briefly, so that he knows Arthur will see his eyes flame.
Merlin lets his hand seek Arthur out again, his palm coming to rest over the heart of a King.
He smiles a little, and looks up to find that Arthur almost echoes the expression.
“In fact, if you look hard enough, there’s gold all over Camelot.”
Arthur draws Merlin to him, and Merlin wants to tell him that right there is another thing as precious as gold, but Arthur kisses him before he can find the words. And Merlin doesn’t mind, because perhaps Arthur knows already.