Title: Lucky Escape
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Merlin has an opportunity to escape
Warnings: mention of sexual slavery
Word Count: 607
Prompt: #101 Lucky
Author's Notes: Thanks to derenai for the beta! Finally a sequel to my serie : "My Special One" .
Merlin looked at Arthur, lying on the blanket he had thrown on the forest floor. He quickly assessed the situation. He was alone with Arthur in the forest and the Prince had fallen asleep after the picnic they had shared. He was alone… In the forest.
Without any hesitation, Merlin stood up and started running.
He couldn’t believe it. That was so unexpected. If Arthur was clearly trusting him more and more since the past week, the Prince had never let his guard down when they went outside of the castle. Today, though, after having finished the delicious food the cooks always prepared for them, Arthur had yawned. Then they had talked but Arthur’s answers had gotten shorter and soon, he fell asleep.
As Merlin kept running, the branches were scraping his face but he didn’t care. He had to run as fast as possible to go as far away from Arthur as he could. As far away from Camelot.
That’s when he spotted the fault in his plan. He had no idea where he was going. Was he really going away from Camelot or running to the castle? And where did he want to go? Ealdor? Of course, but if he ended there, Arthur would find him in less than a day.
Merlin didn’t know any other place to go. He had spent all his life in Ealdor and then the last months in Camelot.
He stopped running, his breathing was fast, his side hurt. He slowly realized how foolish he had been to think it would be so simple to escape, not to understand it would take more than luck to go away from Arthur.
Arthur…. Merlin remembered his face, relaxed and content as he slept under the shadows of the trees. Arthur was trusting him enough to fall asleep and Merlin had destroyed that because he hadn’t been able to see further than the end of his nose.
Merlin took a deep breath to calm down. There was only one solution. He just hoped that Arthur hadn’t woken up.
When Arthur opened his eyes and looked at him sleepily, Merlin still hadn’t decided what he was going to tell him to justify the scratches on his face and his torn clothes.
“Merlin! What happened?”
Arthur was suddenly more awake and he kneeled next to Merlin, letting his finger roam on his injured face.
“I… I wanted to gather some berries while you were sleeping… I saw some bushes as we came,” Merlin lied.“But I heard some noise and… I thought it could be some wild beast so I run here and… the branches…”
“Merlin,” Arthur repeated, his voice soft and caring as he drew Merlin closer. “I shouldn’t have fell asleep… We should have gone gather berries together! You shouldn’t have gone alone, the forest can be dangerous, you know.” He put his arm around Merlin’s shoulders.
Merlin’s apologies were sincere even if Arthur didn’t know their true meaning.
“It’s okay. We should go back to Camelot and let Gaius tend your wounds.”
Later that day, when Merlin was back in his room, he thought about the events of the afternoon.
He still couldn’t believe he had been so close to freedom… he couldn’t believe he had turned back.
But what was troubling him the most was why he had decided to go back to the clearing. What were his true motives? The fear of getting caught? The fact that he didn’t know where to go? Or something else? Something that was still buried in the depths of his heart, something he wasn’t ready to exhume yet.