Title: The Albion
Character/s: Merlin, Gaius, Arthur
Summary: Arthur arrives at the Albion Institute, and Gaius is prepared. But it's the arrival of someone else that worries him more.
Warnings: mpreg, illness, throwing up, sadness/depression, angst
Word Count: ~1080.... sorry....
Author's Notes: This turned out nearly the way I wanted it, but I had to stop.
One:But I don't know any lullabies
Two:Moving on without you 1/2
Three:Moving on without you 2/2
It took less than a week from Arthur agreed to stay at the Albion till he was safely installed and getting ready to have his first check up and conversation with doc Gaius. The Institute had organized transportation from his house all the way to the doorstep of the Albion. All he had to do was pack. He was relieved to find his room free from the flower patterns and lace trimmings he had seen in the brochures. His room had blue striped covers on the bed and matching cushions on the sofa. He sat down in the easy chair and turned on the TV. It had a solid armrests and he could rock back and forth. It was more like a hotel room. Only the bed was indeed a hospital bed and the building had one delivery rooms per floor and one surgery on the ground level. He nearly dozed off when it struck him that this chair was meant for nursing. He opted for a shower instead of dwelling on that thought.
Gaius was older than Arthur had expected, with white hair and bushy eyebrows. But he was kind and knowledgeable and Arthur had no doubt that he was top of his game. Arthur was weighed and measured, he peed in a cup and had some blood taken before he was given oatmeal soup which miraculously remained on the inside. Then he was released to his room where he fell asleep instantly.
Gaius made sure to walk Arthur to his room after their first meeting. After that he scheduled an ultrasound examination and made sure the tests would be checked as soon as possible. He was lost in thought and paperwork for a few hours until Merlin knocked on his door. Gaius found himself smiling at the sight of him. Gaius had put the young man through a wide variety of work in a short amount of time, all in addition to his school work. He had been on Gaius’ short list of students he wished to see in action even before the debate with Aredian. This was his way to check if Merlin could handle the pressure and to help him gain as much experience as he could. It wouldn't do Arthur any good if his doctor was nervous and stuttering.
-Merlin. I wish for you to assist during the ultrasound tomorrow. I was hoping you would do the magical assessment.
Merlin looked stunned. By now he knew the folder by heart, and they had talked about the case in general terms like symptoms and treatment of hyperemesis gravidarum, general pregnancy issues and how to recognize signs of depression. But he never expected to be the first to sense the baby.
Gaius' raised eyebrows told him that he was expecting an answer.
-Yes, of course. I am flattered, but... There are more qualified people here than me.
-You are a natural at this. And while others may be more experienced...
-Truth is, I spoke with his father today and he is flying down here as fast as he can and I truly wish for the young man to have seen a friendly face before he arrives. I cannot think of a friendlier face, or anyone more likely to stand their ground and defend him. For he is in no state to defend himself.
-You think he would harm his own son?
-Oh no, not intentionally. I have had dealings with him in the past, he is strongly against magic in medicine. He does have his reasons, but the expecting man is exhausted and I fear his father will do more damage than good.
He received a solemn nod in reply.
-I am sad to say I am familiar with the sort.
-I may need someone to stay with him and keep him company should the father arrive at an inconvenient time. Maybe answer a few questions he might have.
Merlin nodded again, grave serious.
-Besides, Gaius added with a lighter tone, I promised the man I would bring my best qualified man, and I hope you will not make a liar out of me.
Merlin smiled sheepishly, proud and honored at the Professor's trust in him.
Arthur's first thought the next morning was that he was closer to Merlin now than he had been in what felt like ages. He blinked towards the bright sunlight from the window. Merlin had talked so much about this city. Arthur suspected he could find the university easily enough from memory. He imagined Merlin somewhere out there, moving about in his kitchen bushy-haired and humming. Or maybe he was sitting with a text book and a muffin at the coffee place near the uni.
What time was it anyway? He turned towards the clock on the wall and his eyes fell on a figure curled up in his easy chair. His hair was shorter than Arthur remembered, he wore a lab coat with a name tag and he had removed his shoes so you could see his smiley face socks. A dark bruise clouded his pale face.
He gasped and sat up in bed. A very bad move to make as his intestines rebelled and he rolled to his side to retch into his trusty companion Mr Bucket. His eyes watered at the pain and at how unfair this was. He had wanted to stand on his own feet when he finally spoke with Merlin. He had wanted to look healthy instead of ghostlike. He wanted to be cool and composed so that Merlin would know that he could do whatever he wanted because Arthur would be fine.
Instead his stomach tried to turn itself inside out and escape though his mouth. A glass of water was pushed into his hand and it felt better to have something come up rather than just acid. It stopped eventually and he realized Merlin was behind him on the bed, rubbing his back gently. He moved back onto the bed rather than hanging over the edge. God, it felt good, it had to be magic. He rolled over and hid his face against Merlin’s chest. Arthur’s hand moved on their own accord under his shirt to touch the man he loved so insanely much. Merlin rested his chin on Arthur’s head and held him tight. He was crying and it was Arthur’s fault. So why was Merlin the one whispering apologies?