Title: Laid Wide Open
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Merlin shares his scars and, finally, his secrets.
Warnings: Very mild angst followed by fluffy fluff. Past violence.
Word Count: 540
Prompt: #3 Scars
“And what’s this one from?”
Merlin grunted as a thick finger poked the center of his chest. He’d wondered when Arthur would get around to asking him. It was a curious mark to be sure, mottled and circular. There really was no way to explain it, other than the truth.
“I was hit by a magical fireball.” There was silence from Arthur’s side of the bed for a moment, and then Arthur let out a snort.
“Only you Merlin. Only you would get hit, right in the middle of your chest by a magical fireball.”
“Shut it.” Merlin shoved Arthur in the side, but his face morphed into a crooked smile. It was kind of funny when he thought about it. Here he was, supposed super powerful warlock, and he couldn’t avoid a giant flaming spell head straight for his chest. Merlin was brought out of his musings by Arthur’s hand stroking over his shoulder. He was lightly touching the sill-tender mark there.
“This is from Morgana’s bandits isn’t it? The time you went missing.”
His previous mirth left him. Merlin swallowed thickly. The dealings with Morgana and Agravaine were still a sore spot for both of them. “Yes, that was from Morgana’s men.”
“You never told me what happened to you, you know. While you were gone. It’s like we’d forgotten about it as soon as it was over.”
“Is there a question in there or are you just attempting to be observant.” Arthur smacked him half-heartedly in the arm. He lifted up onto his side so he could look Merlin in the eyes.
“Why do you always try to be clever and distract me when I try to have a serious conversation with you? Honestly, drawing blood from stone is much easier.”
Merlin’s face scrunched up. “I just,” he flailed for an answer he wasn’t really sure he had. “There are some things, Arthur, that I’m not proud of. And, I’m not sure I want you to know all my secrets. I’ve kept them for so long…”
Merlin trailed off, gaze shifting away from Arthur. Arthur placed a gentle hand on Merlin’s cheek and drew him back to look at him. “I’ve done things I’m not proud of either. You know that. I’ve told you my secrets because I trust you. I want you to know me and everything that I stand for. Don’t you want the same?”
Merlin looked at the earnestness in Arthur’s eyes and felt something loosen in himself. He did want that. He’d wanted that since the moment the Dragon had told him of their destiny.
“I want to know all your scars Merlin. Not just the ones on your skin.” He ran his hand down Merlin’s neck, across the pink slash on his shoulder. The sensitive skin tingled and Merlin’s eye fluttered.
“I love you.” He blurted, having a moment of embarrassment at the surprised look on Arthur’s face. “That’s the first secret I should tell you I think.”
Arthur smiled sweetly at him and murmured, “I love you too.” Then he settled down onto Merlin’s chest with one ear pressed down so he could listen to the rumble of Merlin’s voice as he told Arthur he story. Arthur’s hand never stopped stroking over the scar on his chest.