Character/s: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: “Maybe you’ll be king someday, Merlin,” he’d said, and Merlin had looked up just in time to see the stiffness in the lines around his mouth, before it was gone, to be replaced by his usual teasing expression.
Warnings: None :)
Word Count: 681
Author's Notes: jdsfdfkg I had so many different things I wanted to do with this prompt but I couldn't find the time to get them done :s I guess this is a tad angsty and I'm not sure about the ending but I hope you enjoy it :)
Merlin dragged himself around Arthur’s chambers, his eyes heavy from lack of sleep the night before. He wondered when exactly he was supposed to catch a little shuteye when Arthur was so busy being King and, consequently, Merlin was run off his feet being manservant.
He knuckled his eyes and smacked his lips absentmindedly, as he unceremoniously pulled the duvet from Arthur’s four-poster, using his magic to make it fly across the room and join the little heap by the door of other sheets and odd items of clothing, which he had discovered scattered about the floor.
Although he’d never admit it, there was something vaguely therapeutic about tidying, with half his mind filled with a hazy golden glow as his magic was allowed a bit of freedom, causing the mop to skate around by itself and a cloth to run over the windows till they were squeaky. While all this was going on, Merlin tottered here and there, scooping up odd little trinkets from under the bed and sorting through drawers, to make sure everything was in its proper place.
He smiled fondly to himself as he recalled a few nights ago when Arthur had come back to his chambers, exhausted after a day of training with the knights and long, arduous meetings, only to drop a kiss to Merlin’s forehead, and compliment him (if a little sarcastically) on the way he’d arranged all of his keys, so it looked like they were having a battle on the mantelpiece. Merlin had beamed because it had actually taken a rather long time to make them stand upright like that without magic (okay, maybe a tiny bit of magic had been involved...)
Now, Merlin was leaning against one of the walls, eyes heavy lidded and slowly sliding shut, when he spotted something, glinting on top of the wardrobe. He hesitated a moment, and then pushed himself forwards with a grunt, expression melting to the amber of sorcery. After a moment the crown rose and then span gracefully towards him.
He caught it, long white fingers curling around the heavy metal. Arthur only really wore it on special occasions because its weight made it almost unbearably uncomfortable to wear. Sometimes he’d ask Merlin to polish it for him, and the manservant liked to think that he was wiping away some of the burdens, which settled darkly over his King’s neck and shoulders.
Merlin turned it gently in his hands, and could feel his skin being bathed in its colour, from where the light hit it and then reflected in a pool on his face. Arthur had mentioned once, a long time ago... a comment in passing that had nonetheless imprinted itself on Merlin’s very heart.
“Maybe you’ll be king someday, Merlin,” he’d said, and Merlin had looked up just in time to see the stiffness in the lines around his mouth, before it was gone, to be replaced by his usual teasing expression.
Merlin had stuck out his tongue, or maybe rolled his eyes, but the words never left him. Because maybe, one day, it would be him by Arthur’s side, with a similar circlet decorating his pale forehead.
There was a second, then, where Merlin couldn’t breathe; when everything was catching in his throat: the desire, the hope, the irrevocable love that he had for Arthur, the thought of which could be triggered by something as simple as cleaning his bedroom.
Trembling, he turned to the body length mirror in the corner of the room, and lifted the crown till it was settled on his head. There in the glass stood a man, but Merlin felt more like a child dressing up. He breathed out, and pressed his hands tiredly over his face.
“Merlin?” A voice he recognised sounded from across the room, and Merlin span around, eyes wide and blue. Around him the mop and cloth dropped to the floor, with corresponding clatters and splashes.
Arthur barely seemed to notice, his eyes trained on Merlin’s face, raking over the tired shadows on his skin, and the weighted gold in his hair.