Title: Don’t leave me
Pairing(s): Merlin/Arthur, if you blink
Summary: Merlin gets seriously sick
Word Count: 476
Author's Notes: Too much in a hurry and too cold-ish myself. Sorry, not beta’d. But I needed a bit of h/c.
Merlin coughed again and lifted from the mattress only to sink back when the fit was over.
Arthur got up, still holding Merlin’s hand and didn’t really know what to do. Of course he’d noticed that Merlin wasn’t as lively lately and that he didn’t chatter away like he used to. But sometimes his manservant was in thoughts and he needed to give him his space, even though he missed the mischievous grin and the twinkle in his eyes.
The shadows beneath Merlin’s eyes had gotten darker and Arthur gave some of Merlin’s usual jobs to someone else, thinking, Merlin was just a bit overworked after all this time.
But then he’d fainted on the way to the training grounds and lay in the wet grass for a while before someone went looking for him since he was supposed to bring some new swords over.
Arthur had dropped everything to run over when he heard the maid yell out and hadn’t left Merlin’s side since then. He made Percival carry Merlin to his rooms and had sent Leon to fetch Gaius who just raised his eyebrow even higher and murmured something like ‘Told the boy to stay in bed days ago but he wouldn’t listen.’
Of course Merlin wouldn’t listen. He never did, did he?
Arthur had sat at the bed night and day, watching Merlin draw rattling breathes, sweating and freezing at the same time and coughing up his lungs. He had changed wet cloths’ on Merlin’s forehead until the worst of the fever was gone and had held his hand, stroking his fingers over moist cold skin. More than once he asked Merlin how he felt and what he could do when another coughing fit shook him, but Merlin had just whispered “Hurts.” once and hadn’t spoken since then.
In Arthur’s head the worst scenarios played out. What if Merlin didn’t make it? What if the severe cold, like Gaius had put it, was a flu or an even worse lung disease? He would miss him. He would miss the banter, the playful looks, the light accidental touches, the way Merlin spoke his mind and the stubborn look on his face when he thought that something Arthur said or did was stupid.
He hated to admit it, but he had gotten way too attached to the gangly big-eared country boy his father had forced on him. He wasn’t good with servants and usually drove them away, but Merlin never gave, he didn’t bend, he wasn’t afraid of him and that was something Arthur hadn’t experienced in a long time.
Finally it looked like Merlin was sleeping peacefully, snoring slightly as his nose seemed to be clogged.
Arthur reached for his hand again and held on tight. “Don’t leave me. Don’t ever leave me, alright?”
The corners of Merlin’s mouth curled into a faint smile.