Title: Flames of Trust
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Merlin knows a way to avoid the flames. He just needs Arthur's help.
Word Count: 984
Author's Notes: I really don't even know what this is or if it makes sense.
The flames were licking at him, caressing up his body as Merlin arched and moaned against the sensation. It didn’t matter which way he tried to twist and turn, he couldn’t get out of the iron grip that was holding him still. His eyes were flaring the same colour as the flames and his head was thrown back as the heat began to get to him.
A strong hand took hold of his throat. The touch was gentle, yet firm. There was an understanding there, a power held within that grip. That hand could end his life just by tightening, by blocking of his air and holding him there while he choked to death. Maybe that would be better than the flames, Merlin wasn’t sure. He knew that he had stilled under the grip, but he also knew that he was feeling safe in it.
This hand wasn’t trying to kill him, it was grounding him, keeping him alive as his body began to panic about the fact that there was more than one way he could die right now. But then rational thought was driven from his mind as he moaned again. The flames were higher now, he could feel them spreading over his heart. It was burning, reminding him of everything that he was going to lose if he couldn’t pull himself back under control. He had the power to get out of this, he just had to think clearly and stop panicking.
He was burning alive, he knew that much. The magic was fighting to protect him, but Merlin was still afraid of being seen. Seemed ironic considering that was why he was burning in the first place. He was holding himself back and it was slowly beginning to kill him as the flames carried on with their purpose. Merlin could feel hot tears running down his face as he cried out again, knowing that he had lost this battle.
The hand over his throat tightened in warning, forcing him back into the present, back into consciousness and alertness.
“Come back to me.”
The soft voice whispering in his ear made Merlin jolt back into reality. He had the power to get out of this alive, so why the hell was he holding himself back? With one last cry, the magic exploded out from him and the flames immediately settled down before disappearing completely. The hand over his throat disappeared as well, and Merlin found that he was falling. He knew he wouldn’t get very far before someone caught him and he fell into Arthur’s arms with a cry, shaking and sobbing.
“Don’t ever make me do that again.” The prince ordered, guiding them both to the floor so that he was able to cradle his lover in his arms properly. Merlin didn’t answer, just settled for taking gasping breaths as he tried to force himself to calm down. He was sure that he managed a vague nod at Arthur’s command, but he couldn’t be completely certain, not when his mind was still telling him that he was burning alive. Arthur didn’t say anything else, just instead opted for holding Merlin until he calmed down.
It was only when he felt the shakes vanishing and Merlin begin to pull himself upright again did his grip tighten, forcing the warlock to stay in his arms. Merlin let out a soft whine of protest, but collapsed back without much of a fight.
“Did it work?” Arthur didn’t hear Merlin’s answer, but he could feel the warlock nodding against his chest. Now that Merlin had burnt once, he would never do so again. His father could tie him to the pyre all he liked, it wasn’t going to work. The magic had created the flames, and it had forced Merlin through the same sensations and fought back. He had won against the flames, he had control over that element.
“Why did it work?”
“You.” Merlin sighed happily as he snuggled into Arthur’s chest, knowing this was the one time that he wouldn’t be pushed away. He reached up a hand and ran it down Arthur’s face, silencing the question he knew was about to come by resting his finger over his lips.
“I’m air. That’s my element. Yours is fire. I won against the flames because I could feel you, grounding me and keeping me safe. You’re my master and my destiny, Arthur, I can only die at your hand, no one else’s. The fire could sense that, it could feel your grip. The only way that would have failed was if I died at your grip. An element can’t kill it’s own master. With you touching me, fire didn’t stand a chance.”
“But if he tries to have me burnt, then the magic will still feel your grip because that is how it fought back this time. Trust me, Arthur, it worked.”
“Good…because I’m never doing that again.” Arthur had vaguely felt the heat, but he had been protected. To literally be holding Merlin as he fought for his life against his own magic had been the worst thing he had ever had to do.
“I’ll never have to ask you to again.” Merlin whispered, twisting in Arthur’s arms until he could kiss him lightly. Unable to stop himself, Arthur found his hands sliding into Merlin’s hair as he practically hauled him closer, deepening it.
“I can’t ever lose you…”
“You won’t, love.” Merlin whispered against his lips, his hand resting over Arthur’s heart. He leant forward and kissed him again, tender and deep this time. As the two lovers gently explored each other’s mouths and lips, the fire behind them burst into life. Spirals of magic and flames danced around the room, cradling the pair.
Merlin and Arthur.
Magic and fire.
Where did one end and the other begin? Now Merlin had joint them together, no one could tell.