Title: In the Aftermath
Character/s: Leon, Merlin, Arthur
Summary: Merlin's hurt, and he gets the care that is needed.
Word Count: 390
Prompt: 319. Sensitive
Author's Notes: My first drabble! <3
“Ah!” Merlin yelped, fists clutching at the bench he was sat upon, the wood digging into his palms.
“If you would just… hold still.” Leon dabbed at the sensitive, raw skin around the severe wound inflicted right below Merlin’s knee with a wet cloth. His hold on Merlin’s calf was gentle, but firm enough to keep the leg from jerking.
Leon had brought Merlin to his own tent, almost having to resort to carrying the reluctant servant. He’d placed him down on the sturdy bench and carefully slit the fabric of his breeches from knee to hem so he could get a better look at the laceration.
The air inside the tent was cool and stale, and as Leon worked, he had to breathe in through his mouth to resist the stench of blood and death just beyond the flimsy walls.
Merlin was gnawing incessantly on his lower lip by the time Leon had finished wrapping the wound in a cloth. It would do for now, at least until the physician had time to minister the proper treatment.
Leon sat back on his heels and lifted his head so he could thoroughly examine Merlin.
Merlin was staring sightlessly at the flaps of the tent, his eyes wide with something that eerily resembled sorrow. Leon wondered what could have put that look in his eyes, wondered if he was ever haunted by the screams and cries of dying men like Leon sometimes was.
Leon said, “He’ll be all right, you know.”
Merlin flinched, as if startled by the sound of Leon’s voice in the quiet that was the aftermath of war. His brows furrowed, but his gaze did not waver. “I should be with him.”
Leon didn’t protest outright. Instead, he said, “He would want you to rest.” And that was true. In his absence, Arthur would want Merlin looked after, would want him cared for. And Leon was never one to defy an order, indirect as it may have been.
Merlin said nothing. A sheen of wetness coated his eyes, exhaustion written in the bruised skin beneath them.
Leon stroked the smooth flesh at the underside of Merlin’s knee with his thumb, hoping he could provide some comfort to the man who looked so lost and broken.
He was content in the knowledge that it was something Arthur would’ve wanted.