Character/s: Merlin, Arthur,
Summary: Had he completely misunderstood the whole situation?
Word Count: 996
Author's Notes: Fluff this week.
“Why can’t you just admit your feelings?”
Merlin growled angrily to himself as he pummelled his pillow and tried to get comfortable. He usually slept like a log when they returned from a quest. His bed might be nothing in comparison to Arthur’s, but it was still better than the ground. Only this time, he found his own annoying words running through his head. Why had he tried to push Arthur, did he really want the man to say out loud that he loved Gwen so Merlin could go and bury his own feelings?
“Because nothing can ever happen between us.”
Merlin rolled onto his back, angry. Why had Arthur looked at him so intently when he had said those words? Almost as if he had been willing Merlin to see through him. Well, Merlin knew he was a man of man talents even if Arthur did not, but mind reading was not one of them. He had no idea why Arthur had been looking at him like that.
“My father won’t let me rescue a servant, do you honestly think he’d let me marry one?”
“You want to marry Gwen?”
Merlin hadn’t known what to think. His heart had sunk like a rock when Arthur seemed to be hinting towards wanting to marry Gwen and he had been prepared to turn around and walk into a wilderon infested cave rather than have to face rejection like that. It wasn’t Arthur’s fault, it wasn’t as if Merlin had said anything either. But he was sure he hadn’t been imaging the looks passing between them, the casual brush of Arthur’s fingers over the back of his hand while he poured wine at dinner in front of the king. Surely Arthur wouldn’t risk his father’s wrath if it meant nothing? Or it was Merlin they were trying to humiliate and..?
Arthur might have been a complete prat most of the time, but Merlin knew he would never deliberately set him up in front of his father. No one, not even Arthur, could quite tell what mood Uther was in these days and Arthur wouldn’t risk it.
And then there had been his shocked “no”. He seemed stunned by what Merlin was suggesting, as if the thought hadn’t even crossed his mind. Merlin wondered whether he was looking into it too deeply, or whether Arthur had been given him one of those unfathomable looks again. He once more seemed to be willing Merlin to read what was in his heart, something he didn’t want to say out loud…
He sat up, his heart beating fast.
Was Arthur so against the idea of marrying Gwen because he wanted someone else? Was Merlin the one who had been blind? Had he been deaf to the true conversation that he been happening out there by the river, with the sunlight highlighting every single strand of Arthur’s golden hair and making Merlin wanting to bury his hands into it and never let go?
He was almost hyperventilating by the time he found his boots, feet stumbling as he pulled his jacket down and practically ran across Gaius’ chambers. It was lucky the man was such a deep sleeper, for Merlin stumbled more than once and yanked the door open with far more force than was necessary. He couldn’t stop to do anything about it though, he had to get to Arthur right now.
Never before had the journey to the prince’s chambers seemed so long, despite the fact he ran most of the way. He managed to slow down just in time, simply opening Arthur’s doors rather than bursting through them. He had helped the prince ready for bed before he had left, but clearly he was not the only one dreams didn’t want to visit tonight. Arthur was up, sitting by the fire and staring into the flames and looking as if he was seriously contemplating throwing himself into them. He glanced up at Merlin’s entrance and the warlock found himself cursing at how the flames were illuminating everything about the prince.
“Were you trying to tell me something?” Merlin gasped, breathless from his run across the castle and too high on adrenaline to think about how much he would be humiliated if he had all this wrong. The blush that instantly spread across Arthur’s face gave him his answer.
“But…Gwen… You…we went to save Gwen.”
“She’s a dear friend,” Arthur stood up as he spoke, taking a step towards Merlin as he spoke. The servant floundered for a moment, scarcely believing it was true.
“Look into my eyes, Merlin. Tell me what you see.” Arthur took another step closer and Merlin thought he was going to melt when Arthur’s hands came out, taking hold of his arms and pulling him close. For a moment, he forgot what Arthur had asked as his mind screamed at him how he was being held by Arthur Pendragon. But he forced the thoughts aside and stared deep into Arthur’s eyes. A smile was curling over his face after almost just a glance.
He truly had been blind. The direction of Arthur’s affection was undeniable now they were this close together. Merlin wondered how he could have ever thought Arthur was leading him on, setting him up to take the fall. There could be no doubting about how he was feeling, especially not when Merlin found his hand resting over Arthur’s heart and feeling it racing under his touch.
“Mine,” Merlin whispered and Arthur smiled, his finger brushing across Merlin’s cheek in a tender gesture. Merlin found himself drowning in the man’s eyes.
“Yours,” he breathed closing the gap between them. Merlin didn’t have time to be stunned at Arthur’s submission before lips were brushing gently, tentatively over his. Sparks flew as he softly pressed back and Merlin knew that answered the question Arthur hadn’t yet asked. After all, it was totally undeniable now that Merlin felt exactly the same.