Author : wanderlust48
Title: Chasing his sorrow away
Pairing/s: nil, but you can see it as pre-slash
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Arthur was still at it. Merlin took care of his King.
Warning pensive mood, snapshot of an Arthur who is hurting badly.
Word Count: 185
Prompt: #111- nepenthe
Author's Notes: thanks camelittlefor the quick beta! This was written quickly and resisted my attempts at editing. Have never done canon before, hope it's not too bad!
Arthur was still at it.
He parried and thrusted. Each of his slashes at the practice dummy was punctuated with grunts.
Merlin watched from the sidelines as the afternoon sun slanted its way across the field, till twilight darkened into night, till Arthur’s frenzy waned.
When Arthur slumped on the ground, spent, Merlin finally took his sword from him. Arthur looked up at him, fringe plastered to his forehead and face slackened with fatigue.
Back in Arthur’s chambers, Merlin bathed him, as he had done every night this week since Gwen left.
Then Merlin sat beside Arthur as his King wordlessly downed cup after cup of wine. When Arthur started sliding down the chair, Merlin gently pried the goblet from his clenched fingers.
Curled up in his bed, Arthur burrowed deeper into the pillows. Merlin was pained to see how Arthur was choosing to chase his sorrow away; sometimes, Arthur's brittle edge was more than he could bear.
Merlin waited till Arthur was out cold, then ventured to kiss his forehead and tuck in the blankets. Arthur would kick them off anyway in his restless sleep.