Title: Sweet torture
Character/s: Arthur Pendragon, Merlin
Summary: Merlin reflecting on his feelings for his prince.
Word Count: 442
Prompt: Unrequited pining (Prompt #419 bingo round 2)
Merlin walked into Arthur's room and drew open the curtains. He turned to look at the bed. Arthur had burrowed under the blankets until only his hair was visible among the sheets. It made Merlin smile, the sight of that golden mop.
He went and stood beside the bed and called out the young prince's name. Arthur stirred, but he didn't wake up. Merlin wanted to reach out and run his fingers through Arthur's hair, caress his cheek and kiss him on his princely nose...not that he would ever do any of those things. But he couldn't help thinking them, sometimes.
Why he loved Arthur as well and deeply as he did, he couldn't explain. There was a certain inevitability to it. Two halves of a whole, Kilgharrah had called them. And he certainly felt like that. He needed Arthur in his life. He needed to see him and talk to him every day. He needed to watch over him and keep him safe. He needed these things like he needed to breathe.
He called out Arthur's name again. This time Arthur did wake up. He grumbled a bit, but he opened his eyes. He looked at Merlin and smiled what Merlin had come to think of as his morning smile. Mornings were his favourite time of day. It was the one time when Arthur was relaxed and unguarded.
"Morning Merlin," he said, smiling affectionately at him.
"It's time to wake up," Merlin said, trying and failing to keep the bessotted smile off his face.
"And you can't let me sleep just a little bit more?" Arthur said looking all boyish and innocent.
Merlin's heart brimmed over with affection for this adorable man. He knew that nothing would ever come of his feelings for Arthur. He knew that he was destined to pine for his prince and future king, for the rest of his life. He understood that. It hurt. It hurt every day and yet somehow, moments like this one made it all worth it.
"No. I'm afraid not. You have a council meeting in an hour."
"I hate council meetings."
"I understand why. But your father won't be pleased if you're late. So up you get."
Arthur huffed, looking adorable.
"Fine," he said as he sat up and the sheets fell off him, revealing him in all his shirtless glory.
This was another bit of torture that Merlin had to endure every day. Arthur swung his legs off the bed and stood up, yawning. Then he walked past Merlin, squeezing his shoulder affectionately as he did so. Merlin sighed. Then he shook his head and got on with his day...