Title: Look to Another
Pairing/s: Merlin/Arthur, Merlin/Gwaine, Gwaine/Percival
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, Morded, Gwaine, Percival
Summary: Arthur has his arm around Mordred’s shoulder. Gwaine has his lips by Merlin’s ear. Merlin has his eyes on Arthur’s face...surely, though, someone's going to to come out of this smiling?
Warnings: Spoilers for 5x02
Word Count: 713
Prompt: 28: Jealousy
Author's Notes: I was thinking about this prompt while watching the episode and *shrugs* this sprang to mind.
Arthur’s eyelids flickered blearily at the feeling of another man’s arms supporting his weight. They looped loosely around his waist, and he moaned at the various, throbbing pains that were making themselves known all over his body.
For a moment, he assumed that it was Merlin keeping him upright, and he gave the shoulder he was clinging to a grateful squeeze. It was only when he took in the wary expressions of the knights (his knights, whom they had managed to save, they were safe, they were safe) that he considered the possibility of another young man, guiding him away from danger.
He gasped, struggling to make his knees straighten and fighting against agonies that made him want to retch.
At once, Percival was on his other side, a huge strong body to lean against. Arthur’s vision swam disconcertingly as he was lifted higher, so that his feet weren’t dragging so much against the ground. Percival was helping him, and Mordred was refusing to let him go—for it was Mordred, Arthur realised now. Mordred who he thought ought to be a small boy, but who had just killed a woman who loved him.
“Merlin,” he managed, the word coming out shrouded by a ragged breath.
“I’ll get him, Arthur,” Gwaine stepped forwards quickly, relief passing over his handsome face at the chance to find the dark haired man, and reminding Arthur of all the time Merlin had spent, sitting silently and alone, while the knight had been gone. Of all the times his manservant had said, his voice soft:
“He’s going to make it back. Gwaine has to make it back.”
Arthur gritted his teeth against the urge to say no and insisting on going to look for Merlin himself. It would be no good anyway—he could barely walk.
“A strange creature,” Gwaine’s voice carried in the darkness, and Merlin jumped a little where he lay, before turning his head to see Gwaine’s broad, naked chest, and the familiar smile.
“Me, or him?” He asked, his voice rough but teasing as he jerked his head towards where the Diamair had just vanished behind the rocks.
Gwaine took a few steps nearer, until he was able to bend down and pull Merlin into a tight hug. “Both,” he said, his breath hot against Merlin’s ear. “God, mate, I missed you.”
“I missed you, too.” Merlin smiled, revelling in the embrace, and how easy it was to be open with Gwaine in ways it never was with Arthur.
“Someone brought Arthur to us,” Gwaine was saying as he drew away, and helped Merlin onto unsteady legs. “Mordred, I think his name was. Bastard didn’t think to bring you along, though. Although, he probably wouldn’t be strong enough to carry you and the princess...”
“Mordred’s with Arthur?” Merlin blinked, a frown creasing on his face.
“Yeah,” Gwaine shot him a curious look. “Hey, what’s wrong?”
Merlin quickly shook his head, feeling his cheeks redden. “Nothing!”
But, when he spotted the others, namely Arthur with his fingers brushing almost imperceptibly and perhaps accidently against the skin of Mordred’s neck, he felt his stomach flip in the same way as it had years ago, when Cedric had taken over his role as manservant and, more recently, when Gwen had walked down the aisle.
Absently, he felt Gwaine’s elbow knock against his.
Gwaine followed Merlin’s gaze with his eyes, and clearly saw the way it rested on the sliver of bare skin on show beneath Mordred’s scarf, before moving to focus on Arthur’s face.
Arthur’s own skin was dirty, and his hair dull in the dim light of the cave, yet Merlin still looked upon him like he was the greatest thing to walk the Earth. He would deny this of course: whenever Gwaine prodded him about it, about how he felt towards the king of Camelot, Merlin would blush and tell him to shove off.
It was still there, though; plain for anyone to see that Merlin loved Arthur, in a way that he had never loved Gwaine.
Over the top of Merlin’s head, Percival shot Gwaine a look—a small smile that enhanced the sweetness in his face. Gwaine sucked in a shuddering breath, and felt his own mouth twitch a little in response.