Character/s: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: When Merlin is hurt, Arthur must care for him.
Word Count: 374
Prompt: 446, Agape (selfless love)
Author's Notes: canon era
“Merlin, you idiot! Why did you have to go and do that for?” Arthur said.
Merlin heard the concern behind Arthur’s words and laughed, though he lay bleeding on the forest floor. “I couldn’t very well let you die, now could I?”
“But you’re not wearing armor. You could have been killed.”
“I know. But it’s what I do for you. Every day, it seems.”
Arthur frowned as he knelt. “I didn’t expect to have to take that declaration seriously.” He turned to shout back toward the knights, “Help! Could I get some help here?”
Merlin grinned. “I’ll be fine. You just have to push the bolt through.”
“Is that what Gaius taught you?”
“No, it’s common sense, really. If you pull it back the way it came, it’ll do more damage than if you just push it through. Give me a stick.”
“For me to bite down on so I don’t hurt myself more.” Merlin rolled his eyes.
“Oh, right.” Arthur grabbed the nearest stick and shoved it in Merlin’s mouth.
“Hey!” Merlin took the stick out. “Now wait until I get this back in my mouth then push it.” He put the stick back in his mouth.
“All right, here goes. One, two, three . . .”
The stick stifled Merlin’s yowl of pain as Arthur pushed the bolt through Merlin’s shoulder. When it was out, Merlin took out the stick and moaned. “Now we need bandages,” Arthur said. “Do you keep any with you?”
“Not on this trip. You insisted we get out the door before I could pack any. Just tear up my neckerchief and use it.”
Arthur removed Merlin’s neckerchief and tore it in two. He helped Merlin sit so he could apply pressure to both entry and exit wounds. After a while, one of the knights came over to help him. Merlin insisted they use his shirt to fashion a sling for his arm and to hold his bandages in place.
“Are you sure you can ride?” Arthur asked.
“I’ll be all right until we get to Camelot. You did a surprisingly good job back there.”
“Yes, now don’t let it go to your head.” They rode home, bickering all the way, as usual.