Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Arthur has to act if he want to help Merlin
Author's Notes: Thanks to derenai for the beta. Follows Life changing surprise and Shadow
Arthur read the report Leon had written for the third time, still unsure about what to do with this information.
Should he go and find him? As he had hoped, he wasn’t far away…
Arthur didn’t know what to do but he knew he had to do something! He couldn’t let Merlin die! And even if that simple thought made him shiver, he knew it was going to happen if he didn’t find a way to help him.
At first everybody had thought Merlin had finally overcome Gwaine’s departure and the discovery of his pregnancy. During the last two weeks though, the young man had seemed more and more depressed, eating less with each passing day, barely leaving his room and crying a lot.
And two days before, Gaius had warned him that if he continued liked that it would hurt him and the baby.
Merlin was now three and half months along and his bump was noticeable even under his clothes when you knew where to look. Arthur looked… Every time. But where women often glowed reaching this stage of the pregnancy, Merlin seemed to falter. He was so thin, so pale.
Arthur visited him every day, sometime even twice. He tried to cheer him up but Merlin always ended up curled against him, in tears.
Arthur knew very well the origin of Merlin’s sadness as he knew it was nearly hopeless to sort it out. But he couldn’t bear to loose Merlin. He loved him so much.
It was that love that finally helped Arthur take a decision. If Gwaine was the only one able to make Merlin happy, then he was going to find him and would do everything to bring him back to Camelot, to Merlin and their child.
The next morning, Arthur went to Merlin’s chambers. He found his manservant curled up in his bed, sobbing silently.
No answer so Arthur slowly approached and sat on the edge of the bed. He gently stroked Merlin’s hair.
“Merlin… I need to go for a patrol today. Reports are coming from bandits in some village half a day from Camelot. I need to go reassure the people their King will look after them. You understand?”
The King felt a barely there nod under his hand.
“I will leave this morning.”
Finally, Merlin looked up at Arthur. His expression and the tears strains on his face made Arthur’s heart clench.
“You… You’ll come back, will you?” Merlin asked feebly.
“Of course! I’ll be back tomorrow in the afternoon.”
“Promise me to take care of yourself and the baby?”
It wasn’t really a convincing answer but Arthur knew he would not have another one. He gently leaned towards Merlin and hugged him.
As Arthur left Camelot, he couldn’t help but think it was his last chance. If Gwaine didn’t come back with him, he didn’t have any idea of how to help Merlin. But he shouldn’t leave all hope behind him. Not before he had tried.