Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, Gwaine, Gaius, Gwen, Uther,
Summary: When Arthur touches him for the first time, the whole room glows.
Warnings: Angst? um.. exile?, betrayal?
Word Count: 494
Prompt: #91: Atonement
Author's Notes: Set in season 3, and 4? Arthur/Guinevere non-existent. Canon-divergence. I know not much creativity in the title, but I didn't have much time. Again, I'm late in posting this. Sorry.
When Arthur touches him for the first time, Merlin is too happy to realize what he’s doing. It’s not until Arthur is looking down at him, horrified, and then scrambling off the bed, looking for his sword that Merlin realizes the whole room is glowing with white spheres of pure light. Merlin tries to call them off, but his magic isn’t co-operating.
Arthur puts him in prison, but doesn’t tell Uther about his magic. Merlin spends a month in prison until one day, Arthur approaches him, looking lost and confused and despite everything, Merlin wants to comfort him. When Arthur asks him to save his father, all Merlin can do is nod.
The first thing Uther does when he wakes up is look at Merlin suspiciously. Arthur’s looks at him apologetically when Uther presses a bag of gold coins in his hands, and then orders his exile from Camelot.
Merlin leaves. He meets Gaius and Gwen, says his goodbyes when he leaves. He can feel Arthur’s eyes as he walks away from the castle, but he doesn’t turn to look.
Its months before the news of Uther’s death reaches him. Merlin’s first instinct is to go back to Arthur and comfort him. He must be grieving. But Merlin doesn’t.
Gwaine finds him six months into the young King’s reign. Merlin’s heard about how Arthur removed the ban on magic, of how he knighted commoners, but he’s still surprised when he sees Gwaine clad in chainmail and the Pendragon red cloak. Gwaine tells him they’ve been searching for him for months now. When he didn’t come back to Camelot after Uther’s death, Arthur sent out search parties. Merlin was hard to find.
When the knights bring Merlin back to Camelot, Gaius and Gwen are waiting for him with smiles and happy tears and there’s a brief reunion before Merlin has an audience with the King. Merlin doesn’t want to, not really, but it’s important if his exile is to be lifted.
Arthur can’t seem to take his eyes off Merlin, and when he asks everyone to leave them alone, Merlin tenses. Arthur embraces him, and Merlin goes, still. When Arthur pulls back and presses a soft kiss to his mouth, Merlin doesn’t respond, even though he wants to. But he can’t trust Arthur anymore, he may have lied to him, but he never betrayed Arthur. Arthur is the one who betrayed him when he threw him in prison, or let Uther exile him. It takes another kiss for Arthur to realize Merlin isn’t going to respond.
Arthur offers him the position of the Court Sorcerer and tells him Ealdor is now in Camelot, but he has to do something more if he wants Merlin to forgive him. Merlin turns around and leaves the throne room, breaking both of their hearts. Merlin can’t trust Arthur anymore, and if Arthur thinks that he’ll find forgiveness by giving him a position in the court, then he is mistaken.