Title: A Patient King
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Grumpy kings do not make great patients, especially after they've been laid up for two days.
Word Count: 1060 (Oops!)
Prompt: 67 Healing
Author's Notes: Thanks to deinonychus_1 for the beta. Sorry, particularly for the corny title. Was in a bit of a silly mood.
A Patient King
Arthur was pouting.
Of all his many talents, Merlin admired Arthur's ability to pout the most. There was just something about the way his bottom lip was pushed out that made Merlin think of other ways that mouth could be utilised and...
"Merlin! Are you even listening to me?!"
Okay, not pouting any more, just cross. It wasn't as if it were even Merlin's fault that Arthur was laid up, Leon of all people was the one who'd managed to slip during a practice fight and barely missed removing the crown jewels. Another few inches would have done it. Leon was hiding in his quarters, mortified, with Gwaine, Elyan and Percival all trying to pacify him. Well, Elyan was anyway. Percival wasn't saying a great deal, and Gwaine was just being Gwaine.
What else did he have to do? Gaius had insisted he stay with Arthur and ensure he rested until the wound healed. Apparently Arthur would bully anyone else. It had been two very long days.
"Then why are you still standing there? Fetch me my sword."
Because he didn't bully Merlin, not at all.
"Gaius said you were to rest until the wound heals. And really, if you want my opinion..."
"... you shouldn't be fighting so much now you're king."
The difference, Gaius pointed out, was that Merlin didn't take any notice.
"Just fetch my sword or I'll get up and fetch it myself." Arthur glowered at him from the bed.
It was possible, Merlin thought as he reluctantly obeyed, that Arthur just wanted to hold Excalibur like a particularly reassuring comfort blanket, or to ascertain that Merlin had been cleaning it properly. Perhaps he even wanted to clean or sharpen it himself, though that was unlikely.
In fact it was none of those things. Arthur had decided that even if he couldn't fight whilst his leg was out of action, he could still exercise his sword arm. Merlin almost choked when Arthur said that, and was just glad Gwaine hadn't heard and they were spared the obvious suggestions. Arthur sat up in bed, trying to wield Excalibur. He managed to hit the wall, the bedpost and the bed. Merlin kept well back.
"You know that looks ridiculous, don't you?"
"Shut up, Merlin." Arthur hit the bedpost again, swinging extra hard this time. This time the sword stuck. From his awkward position sitting up in bed, Arthur struggled to free it. "Well help me!"
It had almost been easier to pull it from the stone. Merlin climbed up on the bed and but still couldn't get the right angle and was too close to Arthur to risk using magic.
"You really are useless," Arthur grumbled. "Out of the way, I'll do it."
He moved to get up, so Merlin immediately sat on him, his legs straddling Arthur's hips, careful to avoid the healing wound on his thigh. It was, he realised, an interesting position rife with opportunities if only he were brave enough to take them. Arthur looked stunned for a moment, then recovered and glared at him.
"What do you think you're doing?!"
"Saving you from yourself. Gaius said you weren't to move around too much."
"Get off me!" Arthur gave him an ineffectual shove, and Merlin wondered why it hadn't been harder. He should be on the floor. "How can you be so skinny and yet so heavy?"
"I'm not as heavy as some people." Merlin could reach Excalibur easily now, pulled it out and wielded it above his head. "Hah! Now I'm the one true king!"
"Only of the bedchamber," Arthur retorted, then seemed to think about what he had said and looked distinctly uncomfortable. He covered it up by reaching to take Excalibur but Merlin held it out of reach. "Give me the sword, Merlin!"
"Make me!" It was very childish, but Merlin was tired of listening to Arthur sulking and complaining about being trapped in his bedchamber. He pushed his luck, wriggling back a little. When he heard Arthur gasp he did it again just for the satisfaction of watching a slight flush stain those royal features.
"I am your king, Mer-lin. You'll do as I say."
When he slid forward again, the undeniable interest from the royal groin was growing hard against him, and Arthur was gazing up at him with uncertainty written all over his face. The combination was enough of an invitation and Merlin leaned in for a tentative kiss, closing his eyes and deepening it when he met no resistance. For a few moments Arthur was kissing him back, and then suddenly he broke away and was leaning over the side of the bed. Merlin blinked in confusion then realised Arthur had managed to wrest Excalibur out of Merlin's grip whilst his manservant was distracted. He'd at least given up on the idea of practicing with it, and was carefully laying it down on the floor, like the precious thing it was. Then he lay back, folding his arms behind his head, and gazed up at Merlin.
"We were discussing you doing as I say."
Merlin had thought they were sticking their tongues down each other's throats, but evidently he was mistaken. He could feel a cold chill wash over him. If that had been one of Arthur's tricks, another game of one-upmanship, he was going to find it very difficult to come to terms with it. He just nodded, not trusting himself to speak.
"First, get off my bed."
Merlin obeyed. He felt a little sick. He couldn't look at Arthur.
"Go to the door."
It was quite difficult not to burst into tears. He'd be doing that as soon as he was back in his room.
He glanced back at Arthur as he bolted the door, hardly daring to hope. The idiot was lying there shirtless now, grinning at Merlin, amused by his own joke.
Oh, he'd pay for that.
But still, there was a problem.
"You're injured. We can't..."
Arthur smirked. "Oh, I think you'll find we can. And Gaius only said I was to stay in bed for a few days. He didn't specify what I could do whilst I was there."
"And remember, we're doing what I say."
It was a blatant abuse of power. But just for once Merlin wasn't going to argue.