Title: Special interest
Pairing/s: None yet
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin, Gwaine
Summary: Arthur don't understand Merlin. Gwaine knows something is different with the boy.
Warnings: mention of sexual slavery
Word Count: 825
Prompt: #84 Interest
Author's Notes: Thanks to derenai for the beta! Part of my serie : "My Special One"
Arthur came back to his chambers quite late that night. The meeting with his father hadn’t really gone smoothly.
At first Uther had been pleased to know that Arthur has found another “toy” for his collection and Arthur’s enthusiasm was visible.
Everything had gone downhill when Uther had asked Arthur how much he had paid for Merlin. Then Arthur had said how he had seen Merlin for the first time and asked his Knights to bring him back to the Inn later.
Arthur had never heard his father shout like that. About dishonoring the Pendragon’s line by taking a man without his consent, by acting like a spoiled child.
Arthur hadn’t understood. What was the problem? Of course Merlin wasn’t a slave like the others but he should have been honored to be chosen by the Prince of Camelot.
His father had finally sent him away with the promise to never act under compulsion any more. Arthur had sworn. After all now he owned the masterpiece of his collection, he didn’t need to find another “toy”.
Gwaine followed the steward to the Prince’s chambers. He was surprised that Arthur had chosen to spend the night with him. He expected the Prince to spend the next few nights with Merlin like he always did with a new “toy”.
When he came in, Gwaine found Arthur sitting in front of the fireplace, seemingly lost in his thoughts.
“Sire?” he asked carefully, coming behind Arthur and putting his hands on his shoulders.
“Gwaine, how many times should I tell you to call me Arthur when you come here?”
Gwaine smiled. He admired the man as much as the Prince and he often needed some time to forget that Arthur was his Prince and just focus on the man who needed some company to forget the burden of his responsibilities.
“What do you want tonight, Arthur?” he inquired as his hand were gently massaging Arthur’s neck. He felt the tense muscles under his finger relax slightly.
“Can we take a bath, first?”
“Of course, I’ll call a servant!”
Gwaine let Arthur settle between his legs and lean against him in the warm cocoon of the bath. Arthur only asked for this position when he was particularly stressed or upset. And Gwaine didn’t need clue to guess what was troubling him.
In fact, after a few minutes of silence, Arthur asked: “Have you talked to Merlin, today? How is he coping with his new life?”
Arthur had never asked Gwaine about the others but it seemed like everything about Merlin was different.
“I saw him this morning, to help him choose some outfits with the tailor.”
Gwaine paused. No, he would not lie to Arthur. He was sure that Arthur was a good man even if his attitude towards Merlin had been terrible. But if he realized how bad he had behaved with the young man, it would perhaps make things better.
“He wasn’t very cooperative… He doesn’t want to be here, Arthur.”
“I know… But I don’t understand why.”
“Because he never imagined his life like this, he was not prepared to end here like me. You took him from his simple and peaceful life, Arthur.”
“But it’s an honour to by one of the Prince’s toys! He should know that!”
“It is an honour indeed… when you’re prepared for it, when you’ve learned it! Not when you’re taken by a stranger! You didn’t even ask… You didn’t let him time to adjust or to say goodbye to his friends, to his mother.”
“His mother? He didn’t say anything about his mother!” Arthur seemed really surprised and Gwaine remembered that Arthur had never known his own mother who died giving birth to him.
“I’m not sure he’s ready to confide in you yet.”
Arthur didn’t answer but sighed deeply. Gwaine put his arms around his chest to hold him firmly.
When the water was getting cold, Arthur finally spoke again.
“I would like him to trust me…”
“It will be a long path, Arthur. Now, he hates you from all his heart.”
For a moment Gwaine wondered if he hadn’t crossed a line but Arthur sighed again.
“What can I do? I can’t let him go! He’s so perfect! He the one I searched for for years, Gwaine! When I saw him, it was like being struck by lightning… A revelation… I need him!”
“You need to be patient. It will take time for him to adjust to his new life and probably even more to understand you…”
“I’m ready to wait.”
“Then let him write a letter to his mother.”
“But, my toys can’t have contact outside of Camelot!” Arthur argued.
“Isn’t Merlin different from us? Isn’t he special?”
“I suppose… I’ll think about it,” Arthur said, untangling himself from Gwaine arms.
Gwaine knew that Arthur would allow it.
“You’re a good man, Arthur,” he said as the Prince was helping him out of the tub.