Title: Lines We'll Trace, Lies We'll Tell
Character/s: Arthur, Uther, Merlin
Summary: Merlin has never been just a mere manservant
Word Count: 243
Prompt: 97- You and I
Author's Notes: Thank you to jelazakazone for the beta! This has been expanded into a longer fic and I'll post the link when I finish :)
“That boy, he is only a servant,” his father said again, lips twisted into a frown.
“ How many times must I tell you Arthur, that your life is more important than that of a mere servant. And when you are king, you will need to understand that many will die for you. It is both a burden and expectation that you are expected to bear. This ridiculous folly of yours to look for that damned flower has already caused an uproar among the nobles. I expect that to never happen again.”
Arthur's eyes snapped up to look at his father, but Arthur had been clearly dismissed as Uther turned to look down at his reports.
He knew better than to say anything more. Closing the door quietly behind him, his father's word still ringing in his ears, Arthur tried to push away the image of a pale, exhausted Merlin perched on the chair and the quiet “thank you” that yet had managed to echo in the small chambers earlier that night when Arthur had visited Gaius.
“He's only a manservant,” Arthur repeated to himself, tasting the lie.
The stoic, quiet replacement for Merlin while he was on the mend and his lonely, empty room down the winding corridors should have been a welcomed change. But all Arthur could think of was the warm chatter and bright blue eyes that weren’t going to be there waiting for him as he left his father’s chambers.