Title: Early spring
Summary: Arthur thinks it’s his duty to take care of Merlin, even though it makes him sick
Word Count: 628
Author's Notes: Thanks issy5209 for the beta! Seems like I am only capable of g-rated stuff lately…
Merlin looked up when he heard the sound. He’d been busy with his writing all day, not even noticing that he’d been provided with tea and food all those hours. Alarmed, he took his glasses off. “Arthur?”
As he expected, Arthur had jumped up and started pacing. “’m okay, just…go on writing, you need to finish this.” He coughed and drew another raspy breath.
“Have you taken your meds?”
Concentrating on his breathing, Arthur just nodded.
Merlin got up. He wanted to wrap his arms around Arthur to tell him to calm down, but he knew that would only make him panic which was to be avoided at any cost. “Let me make you a tea.”
“I’m fine.” Arthur slowly walked back and forth in front of the TV.
“I know you are.” Merlin knew Arthur was anything but okay, fighting the early stages of an asthma attack. He moved about carefully, as if nothing was wrong at all. If he started to get hectic now, he would only worsen the situation; he had learned that lesson very early on. He brewed the tea and sat it down on the coffee table, watching Arthur’s back where he was standing at the window before he went to get Arthur’s spray.
“Here.” He held it out.
“I can do without it.” Just then a coughing fit took over and Arthur reached for the window sill.
“I know you want to do with as little meds as possible. So…maybe…just once?” Merlin just offered the inhaler which Arthur grabbed.
When the attack had subsided and Arthur sat back on the couch and leaned his head against the back rest, waiting for the spray to widen his bronchia to make the breathing easier, Merlin sat next to him, throwing him a worried look. “What triggered this?”
Arthur didn’t even look at him, the inhaler still clutched in his hand. “Spring is early this year.”
“Yeah, but we’ve been inside all day.” Merlin reached over and ran his fingers over the back of Arthur’s hand. “Is there something new that makes your allergies act up?”
Swallowing, Arthur didn’t say anything for a while. “I…”
Merlin’s eyes narrowed when he remembered what he had eaten all day, fresh fruit and a great salad. “You’ve been to the market.” He could have kicked himself. It was Saturday, they went to the farmer’s market on Saturdays to get fresh produce and to cook together. Since he had been busy with his work, he hadn’t even noticed that he missed what day of the week it was. And Arthur, the fool, had gone out, ignoring the fact that the sudden outburst of spring would bring forward his allergies a lot more than any other year where it got warm slowly and not everything started to bloom at once.
He leaned over and put a small kiss on Arthur’s forehead. “Don’t do that again, okay? Kick me until I notice that it’s my turn to go.”
“It’s my duty to take care of you when you are so busy.” Arthur inhaled his spray again.
“It’s your duty to be okay. If that means I have to go to the market by myself, I will.”
“I hate summer.” Arthur frowned. While all their friends had fun outside in the sun, he would be locked into the house until October.
Merlin kissed his cheek. “I know.” He wouldn’t go into the discussion about how much Arthur hated that nobody had invented anything that really helped yet. It would only make Arthur even more cranky and that wasn’t what he needed now. “Let’s watch a winter movie. How about ‘Frozen’?”
Arthur grinned and shook his head fondly. “You and your animated movies.”
And Merlin knew that the worst was over for now.