Title:The consequences of our actions
Character/s:Merlin, Arthur, Gaius
Summary: Arthur wants Merlin to get better
Warnings: mention of sexual slavery, hurt!Merlin
Word Count: 521
Author's Notes: Now betaed by the lovely derenai. Part of my "My special one" series.
Arthur looked at Merlin, asleep on the cot in Gaius’ rooms. He looked so frail. Arthur hadn’t noticed how thin Merlin had become and how tired he looked.
“Gaius? How is he?” The Prince asked, turning to the Court Physician without letting go of Merlin’s hand.
“Tired and very weak, my Lord. It seems like he hasn’t eaten enough in the past weeks.”
“But I always ask the servant to bring him a bigger portion!”
“I know my Lord, but the boy is stubborn and…”
Gaius didn’t finish his sentence, looking at the Prince with a sad gaze.
“And? Continue Gaius. Tell me everything you know! I want Merlin to get better and I’ll do everything I can to help him recover.”
“Living here is very stressful for him,” Gaius confessed.
Arthur sighed. He knew that Merlin wasn’t getting accustomed to his new life as easily as the others but he had thought the boy was finally getting happier. It seemed like he was wrong.
“And… The nobleman… What did he do?” Arthur asked fearing Gaius’ answer. He needed to know though.
“Apparently nothing more than threaten Merlin, Sire. He’s unarmed. Just very shocked.”
“When will he wake up?”
“I can’t say. His body is weak. He needs sleep and food to recover. It can take some time.”
“I’ll come back later,” he said. But as he let go of Merlin’s hand and stood up, the boy started to squirm and moan.
In a second, Arthur was back next to Merlin, holding his hand.
“I’m here, Merlin. I’m not going anywhere. I’ll not leave you alone again. I promise.”
Merlin still squirmed and Arthur took a fresh and humid cloth to wipe his forehead.
“I’m here, Merlin. I’ll not let anybody harm you again. Never.”
Merlin calmed down.
“Gaius. Can Merlin stay in my rooms when he recovers ?” Arthur asked as the Court Physician had witnessed the scene.
“It can be arranged, my Lord. Though, he will need a constant supervision and he has to be fed with soup or broth each time he wakes up. I can ask a maid to…”
“No!” Arthur interrupted, “I’ll look after him myself.”
“But… Sire. It’s not the Prince’s place to…”
“Gaius, he’s mine and it’s my duty to ensure he’s happy and well…”
Arthur didn’t add that he had already failed one time and didn’t want to let Merlin down again. Gaius nodded.
“I’ll prepare some strengthening potion for Merlin and then he can go to your rooms.”
Later, when Merlin was settled in Arthur’s bed, the Prince sitting next to him and still holding his hand, Arthur felt tears prickling his eyes.
He had failed. He hadn’t been able to protect Merlin and make him happy. He had been blind not to see how selfish he had been. Finally all of Merlin’s accusations made sense for Arthur. He had abducted him, taken him away from his family and home… And now he had nearly lost him.
Guilt left a bitter taste in Arthur’s mouth and he knew that was only one way to get rid of it.