Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Warnings: Angst, Major Character Death
Word Count: 200
Prompt: 124 Excuses
Author's Note: This is a two hundred word angst fest.
The doorbell rings at exactly six forty-five just like it has every night for the past nine days. Merlin waits for him to use his emergency key.
“I was in the neighborhood,” Arthur announces just like he has each time he lets himself in, take out containers in hand. Merlin burrows further into his blanket nest. The television is playing some sitcom and the laugh track is giving Merlin a headache. He keeps his eyes closed, drifting.
Arthur has taken off his suit jacket and put takeout into a bowl. He manhandles Merlin into a sitting position and places the bowl into freezing hands before sitting next to him on the couch. Merlin dutifully takes a few bites. Chewing is exhausting. He puts the bowl on the coffee table and curls into Arthur. He can’t stop the tears from coming. He doesn’t even try.
Arthur’s bowl joins his and he gathers Merlin close, rubbing soothing circles on his back as he murmurs “I’ve got you, Merlin. I’ve got you.” Merlin is shattered but Arthur will gather the pieces together until he’s ready to mend.
Will has been gone for ten days. It already feels like forever.
Merlin holds on tighter.