Title: I'll Be Your Servant
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Random scene from the Tempest AU! Merlin's hiding, and Arthur wants to know why.
Word Count: 314
Author's Notes: As soon as I saw the prompt I thought of this :D
He’s not in the house. Not in their garden, where Arthur had sent him, nor even in the grove of trees where Arthur found him; his favourite place. Arthur knows he shouldn’t be worried, knows Merlin is (mostly) powerful enough to look after himself. And although Merlin isn’t always where he is meant to be, his absence is long and rare enough to make Arthur suspicious.
There’s a strange feeling in the air, a crispness, a tension. Arthur knows it’s Merlin. He knows the island, knows the weather and the pressure that goes with it in the air. This is wrong; Arthur can sense it.
“Merlin?” he calls.
There’s a pause, then a rustle. Arthur turns to see Merlin, half hiding behind a tree, looking away sheepishly.
“What is it?” Arthur asks, watching him.
“Do you want me around, Arthur?” Merlin asks.
“Of course. I’d have sent you away otherwise.”
Arthur starts towards him, but something in Merlin’s face makes him stop.
“But you only ask me to do things for you.”
“I thought you wanted something to do. I thought you liked it.”
Merlin looks up for a moment and almost smiles. He takes a half step towards Arthur, then stops.
“Do you love me, Arthur?” he asks.
Arthur watches him. He’s ready to question Merlin in return, but when he opens his mouth all he can think of is the way Merlin smiles when he knows he’s made Arthur happy, the way the sun shines through him as he starts to disappear, the way he glitters with power when Arthur asks him to use his magic.
“I do,” he says, and he knows it’s true.
Merlin beams at him, and falls into his arms, peppering every inch of skin he can reach with kisses. It’s all Arthur can do to hold on to him, to keep him safe and forever.