Title: The Circle
Character/s: Mordred, Merlin, Arthur, Gwen
Summary: Arthur finds Merlin whispering over Gwen
Word Count: ~380
Prompt: #34: Devotion
Author's Notes: cecilegrey wrote an amazing fic where Mordred healed Gwen. I wanted to play with what might happen if Merlin healed her and Mordred covered for him. I thought this prompt would make for an interesting lens through which to view it.
Merlin heard the susurration of a blade being withdrawn from its sheath as he uttered the last syllable on the spell he hoped would heal Gwen. Muscles aching from the power he’d just used, he yearned to slump forward, but the blade at his throat prohibited movement.
“Merlin, there had better be a good answer for this,” Arthur hissed.
“Sire!” A shout came from the other end of the corridor. “Oh, sire, there you are. I’m so relieved.”
Mordred wasted no movement, striding efficiently down the corridor. Arthur remained focused on Merlin, sharp blade pressing uncomfortably on tender flesh. Merlin would have laughed at the irony of Arthur’s blade kissing his throat, but knew that would draw blood.
“My lord,” Mordred’s silky voice intoned, “I’d gone to find Merlin because Gwen had fallen and I knew that Gaius was out today and Merlin...” He trailed off. Merlin realized that Arthur must have been giving him that look.
“You’re babbling. Get to the point.”
Mordred coughed. “Um, right. So, I went for Merlin because I know he has some healing skills.”
“And why weren’t you with him just now?”
“Oh, Merlin sent me for herbs.”
“Yes, see, they are...” Mordred’s voice trailed off again and Merlin could hear him rummaging around in his pockets and his pouch before he said, “... right here!”
Merlin tensed, worried that Arthur would lose control and slice his throat, but Arthur never wavered.
Merlin heard Mordred’s voice much closer, could almost feel his breath on his ear. He realized Mordred had knelt down.
“My lord, I swear to you, Merlin would never hurt your queen. You don’t need my words to know this is true.”
Gwen moaned, drawing their attention to her prone form. Her eyelids fluttered as she raised a hand to the back of her head.
Arthur removed the blade immediately, sheathing it. Merlin helped her sit.
“What happened. Why are you all leaning over me in the hallway?”
Arthur laughed with relief, but Merlin felt his collar tighten as Arthur fisted the back of his shirt and twisted it.
“You and I are going to have words later, Merlin,” he hissed in Merlin’s ear.
Merlin gulped and looked pleadingly at Mordred who nodded.
“Emrys, your secret is safe with me. Always.”