Summary: Arthur takes Merlin back to Camelot
Word Count: 549
Author's Notes: Thanks, issy5209 for the beta!
This is a sequel to last week’s Home
Even though they both were soaking wet, Merlin enjoyed sitting right behind Arthur as they neared Camelot. He smiled sadly as he remembered how intimidated he’d been when he saw it for the very first time. Ever since then, he’d called it ‘home’. He wasn’t so sure anymore.
That Arthur had come to get him…Merlin didn’t know what to make of it. He had only followed because he was so surprised that his King had come for him in person. Had he sent any of the knights, he would probably have sent them back.
They arrived and Arthur ushered him into his chambers. “Fire’s warmer in here.”
Arthur sent for two hot meals and started to peel his wet clothes off.
“What are you standing there for?”
“After all these years, I’d assume you know how to undress yourself.”
Arthur rolled his eyes and sighed. “After all these years, I’d assume you could do the same. You’re dripping on my floor and most likely you will have caught a cold. Get out of those wet clothes.”
“I don’t have dry ones here, I should go back to…” Merlin started for the door.
Merlin turned again, supressing a shiver. What did Arthur want now? Why had he come for him at all? He was only trouble and…
“There are enough dry clothes in my cupboard. If you wanted, you could just as well dry yours with a charm or something. I know you could and once we’re done arguing over the stupid stuff, you could…” Arthur took a deep breath. “You could tell me why you were gone for hours? Why you went there.”
Merlin’s head sank and he looked at the tips of his worn old boots. “What do you mean?”
Not even bothering with a belt, Arthur stepped closer. “I know that you go to that place in the woods when something’s troubling you, when you think Camelot gets too much and you need time to think without having to deal with court and…me.”
Merlin’s head shot up but he didn’t know what to say.
“I wouldn’t know how to deal with everything here without you, Merlin.”
Arthur had never looked at him like this before. They’ve had interesting conversations and more and more Arthur had involved him in decisions, discussing every aspect until deep in the night. After getting over the initial shock of finding out about Merlin’s magic, Arthur had sought his company more and more often. But never before, he’d been so open and vulnerable.
Merlin just looked at him.
“But if you feel you can’t bear with all of this any longer, I’d understand.”
Was that fear in Arthur’s eyes? Merlin drew a shaky breath. “It is just…” Could he tell his king that he was in love with him? Wasn’t that the secret that would push the limits too far?
As he stood and tried to find the right words, Arthur leaned in and kissed him, just a soft touch, but by far the best thing Merlin had ever experienced.
They jumped when there was a knock at the door.
“I won’t repeat myself,” Arthur’s voice didn’t give him away as a servant entered and brought the meals he’d ordered. “Get out of the wet clothes, Merlin. You’re dripping on my floor!”