Title: Arthur’s strength
Pairing/s: Merlin/Arthur pre-slash
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur Pendragon
Summary: Arthur thinks about his servant
Word Count: 344
Prompt: Camelot Drabble 95: Song prompt “Strong”
Author's Notes: Follows along from the first drabble. Hmm. Might end up turning all the drabbles into a longer story. Let’s see.
Arthur waited for the warm glow of magic to fade, and for the soft click of the door behind Merlin’s leaving, to open his eyes.
Of course he knew that Merlin peeked in on him every night. And of course he knew that Merlin added a bit of his magic to shield and protect his prince.
Eventually, Arthur knew he and Merlin would have to lay bare all the secrets between them.
But in the Camelot that now existed, Merlin could not be safe from the law if his magic was revealed.
Arthur snorted. Merlin somehow thought that he, Arthur, wouldn’t notice the soft gold glow of Merlin’s eyes when he used magic, or that he, Arthur, remained oblivious to the machinations of Gaius, Merlin, and the others who occasionally wandered into the kingdom, lost, and in need of assistance. Magical or otherwise.
Arthur had known, from the moment Merlin saved his life for the first time, that there was more to young man than was evident on the surface. Arthur watched, silently observing Merlin’s struggles to balance his new work as Arthur’s manservant with his covert study and his need to help others. When Arthur realized that Merlin was gifted with magic, he had, indeed, struggled to accept that the brave, kind, occasionally snarky, and--it must be said--truly beautiful man had the power to bring down Camelot, if he so chose.
But Arthur also saw that within Merlin lay great compassion and strength, strength that Arthur relied upon more than Merlin himself knew.
Together, eventually, they could build Camelot into a worthy place for all.
But as long as Uther lived, Arthur was stuck, hiding his true self, his true motivations, and his true feelings for the manservant who so quietly went about his duty.
Arthur turned over, muscles aching, and closed his eyes. Tomorrow would be another full day of protecting his people. And though Merlin might not have known it, it was he who gave Arthur the strength to get up and face another day wearing the mask of Uther’s son.