Title: Nearly normal (Mpreg 11/?)
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Warnings:Mpreg, illness, crying.
Word Count: ~950
Author's Notes: Quick post, had trouble with the web at home.
One:But I don't know any lullabies
Two:Moving on without you 1/2
Three:Moving on without you 2/2
Five:While you slept
Nine: Restless sleeper
Merlin pulled up a chair and lets Arthur hold on to his hand. It would have been easier if Merlin had been angry. But Merlin is being very Merlin-y; a big pile of kindness and warmth. It's not something Arthur deserves, not now. Not when he still hasn't asked about the “altercation” or Merlin's bruise, not when Merlin could just be pretending not to be mad because Arthur is such a feeble, withering flower. He is startled though when Merlin brings an end to the moment by drawing his breath and patting Arthur's hand.
-Ok. We have to get down to business.
Arthur half expects a break up speech and is annoyed at himself for thinking that at the same time.
-Arthur, I really need you to eat something.
Merlin turn away towards the table and returns with a plate.
-Let me instead entice you with an assorted selection of lovely salty crackers. Fresh from the box.
Merlin presented the meal with a benevolent smile, while balancing a trusty, worn hospital plate on the tips of his fingers. A trick he learned years ago when he worked as a waiter and, quite frankly, you did that to avoid touching the plate more than absolutely necessary. A pang of times gone by hits Arthur, but it didn't make the crackers look any more tempting.
-Merlin... You shouldn’t have. Honestly.
He sits up a bit and Merlin puts the plate on his lap.
- You should try to eat. And then we might work our way up to a slice of bread or toast. You will feel better, and maybe you won't need the IV.
Arthur let out a small huff. Just the thought of food was repulsive.
-I had soup earlier.
-Enough to feed a sparrow. I can get you soup if you want.
-Can't I just get the IV? Then later I will feel better and I'll get my appetite back, right?
He looks at the back of his hand. A needle and a tube had to be better than forcing food down only to have it return.
Merlin follows his eyes.
-It’s not that kind of IV. It's the kind that goes in through your nose and back.
He turned his face sideways and drew a line with his finger along his nose and over his cheek. He stops as Arthur gulps and hurriedly puts a Ritz in his mouth.
-You are quite manipulative you know.
Merlin looks apologetic.
-But it was the truth.
Arthur tries to be annoyed and stuffs in two new crackers. For his own good, not because Merlin looks less worried when he does. Humor. Humor makes it easier to talk.
-Yum... This is grand and certainly not dry… I’ll recommend this restaurant to all my friends.
-Yeah, it’s our new motto. Get sick, get crackers!
-Fab. Wine list please?
He waves his hand impatiently until he is handed a glass of water.
-The house white, do enjoy, sir.
And he did, marginally.
-Why can't you just magic me un-sick! Enchant me so I'll eat and not throw up. I give my permission!
Merlin smiles sadly.
-Magic is not a quick fix to a problem. Not when it is more complex than an upset tummy. You know that.
Arthur tries to smile but fails. Yes, he does know that.
Merlin removes the glass and the plate while Arthur thinks of his mother and wondered what she would have thought of all this had she lived.
Merlin moves about and finally sits down with the papers. Arthur sits quietly watching Merlin's face scrunch up with thought and his mouth pouting now and then.
-Why aren't you talking? What are you not telling me?
Merlin looks up at him.
-Why do you think that?
-Because you are acting like there is nothing more to talk about.
When there really, really is a lot more, he doesn't say.
-Come on. You know me. I like information. I like to know what I am dealing with.
Merlin frowns, but seems to agree.
-Your father is here and wants to see you.
Arthur groans and throws his head back on the bed.
-Arthur, I know it's not the most fun and relaxing thing to do... And you don't have to see him now, or today or tomorrow. He's at a hotel, driving the staff crazy no doubt. But he thinks you are dying, Arthur. You are locked up in some magical institute, he’s not allowed to see you and you are not answering his calls.
-That’s because Gaius took my phone at admittance.
Merlin says nothing. He is not fooled. Of course he is not. Merlin was one of the people Arthur should have called long before it came to this.
-I need something strong. Pass the Whiskey.
-Yeah, that’s likely. You can have some ginger tea.
-Make it a double.
-Ok. I'll be back soon.
Merlin heads for the door, but stops and turns.
-I didn't use magic on you.
Arthur looks bewildered so Merlin continues, looking scared and not knowing where to put his hands.
Arthur's heart was barely hanging together before and it certainly shattered now.
-I know. You would never... You wouldn't.
His vision blurred, but he thinks he sees Merlin dab his cheek before he steps out the door.
He is far more puffy eyed and red nosed by the time Merlin returns. Merlin sits on the sofa and Arthur braves to sit in the recliner even if Gaius told him to stay in bed. The tea is a bit unusual, but it is ok. Warm and sort of spicy. It’s nice and comfortable, despite everything. Almost normal.