Title: Once In A Blue Moon
Rating: PG-13 for language
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: It takes a heroic act to earn any thanks from Arthur.
Warnings: None, unless you count hurt without much comfort.
Word Count: 575
Prompt: #55 Blue
Author's Notes: Several firsts in this drabble for me—first person POV, present tense and a modern (not canon) setting. I finally settled on the ‘blue moon’ tie-in instead of ‘depressed’ blue or ‘cold’ blue or anything else that came to my mind. Thanks once again to inspired_being for the beta--she always improves my drabbles.
Thud. Thud. Thud. Somewhere, someone is hammering relentlessly. Just stop it! With every pound of the incessant hammer, the infinite darkness explodes into a flash of bright white light despite the fact my eyes are screwed tightly shut. There is also a sharp painful, stabbing in my chest.
In between the thumping, I hear something else… A low groan and gasps for air. Oh, it's me; my groaning and breathing. A fierce burning is crushing my lungs. I can't pull in a full breath.
Since the bright white light is already flashing, I may as well open my eyes. I chance opening them just a slit and see more darkness with bright lights here and there. Not much different from having my eyes shut, so I close them again.
There is a cool breeze moving across my face and I can't repress a shiver. Moisture from the air collects on my skin. It mixes with the tears threatening to seep past my eyelashes.
"Arthur?" I hear from beside me. It’s Merlin. "Are you alright?" Stupid question.
"Course not, you idiot,” I gasp, “Wha' happened?" I turn toward his voice, immediately regretting shifting my head. How the movement of my head is connected to the squeamish lurching of my stomach, I do not know. With the stilling of my entire body, however, the nausea subsides
I chance opening my eyes again and see a blur of brown, blue and red. With a bit more concentration, the blur settles into Merlin's lanky form. He is anxiously peering at me, his forehead crinkled with worry.
"Where does it hurt, Arthur?”
"My bloody head is aching…” I wheeze out. “And I can't catch my breath."
Behind Merlin, I can see more colorful blurs gathered ‘round. Their murmuring sounds are audible now. I can also hear the wail of an ambulance siren shrieking closer.
I repeat my question, more insistent now, "What happened?"
Merlin stammers as he clutches at my hand. "Th-there was a van sp-speeding toward you. You didn't see it coming as you crossed the street to meet me. So I had to tackle you, to get you out of its way."
I can see he has tracks of tears down his face, as he attempts to wipe them away with the sleeve of his coat.
"So you're the reason my head is pounding and my lungs are on fire?" I blurt out.
Defensively, Merlin explains, "It would have been much worse if the van had struck you. But you still landed hard on your side and smacked your head on the pavement. I'm sorry I couldn't conjure up a bed of pillows for your royal backside to land gently on."
I can see he's smarting from the criticism. And worried and scared. Silly fool, but a good friend. As much as I don't like to do it, I will say it now to calm him down. He needs to know I’m not really angry with him. I clear my throat, unaccustomed as it is for me to express honest feelings. "Thank you, Merlin…for saving me."
His jaw drops open and his eyes shine brightly as he responds with, "Well, I can hardly believe it. But I guess, once in a blue moon, it's possible for you to thank me."
I'm confused. I look up at the night sky and see a pale golden disc partially obscured by clouds. "Blue moon? You clotpole, the moon is yellow, not blue."