Title: I Should Have Listened.
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: There’s someone else Arthur needs to apologise to after Gaius.
Word Count: 594
Prompt: #202 - s4e7 - The Secret Sharer
Author's Notes: unbeta’d
The sun had just began to set by the time Gaius finally drifted off to sleep and Merlin had a chance to relax. The preceding hours had taken more a toll on him then he realised, judging by how stiff his joints were as he stood.
Rolling his shoulders back, he wondered whether the King was expecting him to attend for the evening. He didn't really want to be in Arthur’s presence right now, not after he had ignored and dismissed Merlin’s concerns almost to the point of costing Gaius his life.
He blew out a long breath, shaking his head, before he decided to head to his own bed. Arthur could handle himself for one night.
Merlin had just changed into his sleep shirt, more than ready to collapse into slumber, when he heard the door to their chambers creak open.
Assuming it was someone after a remedy, Merlin didn't hesitant to head back into the main room. He was half way through asking what the visitor was after before he registered who the visitor actually was.
“Well done, Merlin.”
“What are you doing here?” Merlin asked in shock, to which Arthur rolled his eyes.
“Looking for my lazy servant of course.” Merlin felt his features drawing into a scowl before he even had a chance to process the words.
“I thought I would take the rest of the evening off.”
“Did you now?”
There was a pause between them, Arthur slightly shocked at how blunt Merlin had been with him.
“Regardless of what you thought, I need you in my chambers, there’s something that only you can do.” Merlin frowned at this, slight curiosity creeping into his eyes.
“Fine. It’d better be important, prat.”
With that the pair set off into the castle, paying no heed to those that stared at Merlin for wearing his sleep clothes. Until the reached the King’s chambers and Arthur all but threw the door open.
Inside the large bath tube was set up, steam curling lazily from the surface of the water filling it.
Merlin was only vaguely aware of the door closing behind him as annoyance over took him.
“So you wanted me here to what? Wash your hair?” He asked cross his arms firmly over his chest.
“No. It’s umm- it’s for you.”
“...for me?” Merlin could not stop the incredulity in his voice and his eyes quickly found Arthur's expecting the other man to burst out laughing any second.
Instead what he found in those light blue eyes was remorse and hope.
Merlin's lips parted, in surprise, and it took him a while to respond.
“Thank you.” In more usual fashion Arthur simply nodded, before gesturing towards said bath.
Merlin wasted not a minute more in stripping from his clothes and sinking slowly into his hot water, a moan as he relaxed escaping him.
“Now I know why you request a bath so often.” He said, eyes closed, as he ducked his shoulders into the water.
“It turns out you were right.” Arthur's voice was suddenly at his ear, making Merlin’s eye fly open.
He craned his head up, peaking around dark hair, and staring at Arthur’s expression.
It hit that this was his way of saying he was sorry. Merlin let his features relax, bobbing his head once, before the King nodded back, reaching one hand out to brush against Merlin's cheek in a gentle caress.
He sighed, leaning into the touch for a moment before speaking.
“Of course I was right, now if you’dhelp me wash my hair…”