Title: Nothing will change
Summary: Merlin has been hit by a spell and that might change everything
Word Count: 976
Prompt: Donate-a-prompt-prompt; Blindness
Author's Notes: Once again, mo time to pester my sweet beta. This is something I’ve been wanting to write for a while but somehow it turned out a bit sadder than I had intended.
“Come on, sit here.” Arthur grabbed Merlin by the arm and led him through the room so he could sit in his chair by the window. “Here, it’s warmer here, the sun shines through the window.”
Merlin sat down but didn’t say a word.
Arthur turned back to where Gaius was still standing by the door. “So, how long will that last?”
“Merlin has been hit with some powerful magic, Sire. It might take a while.”
“But what will we do now?”
“Wait.” The old man shook his head sadly.
Arthur closed his eyes and took a deep breath and nodded. Not even Gaius had an idea about when or if Merlin would get his eyesight back. “Alright,” he was a bit too cheerful when he went back to Merlin after Gaius had nodded and left, “feeling comfy in this chair? Wait, I’ll bring you a blanket.”
Merlin hadn’t said a thing since the incident happened a few days back. They had been ambushed and Merlin immediately had thrown himself into the fight, as always. But it seemed that the sorceress had just waited for Merlin to show up and blinded him with a blow that had thrown his best men off their horses. After that, their attackers had vanished, leaving disoriented knights behind and Merlin had been lying on the ground, holding his head.
Arthur had brought him back to the citadel as quickly as possible in hopes that Gaius could do something for him, but magic as powerful as that couldn’t be healed that quickly.
“Are you hungry?” Arthur went to the door and ordered a bypassing servant to have Merlin’s favourite foods brought up, even though he knew that Merlin wouldn’t eat. He had never seen him in a state like this.
“Merlin,” he sat down on the window sill in front of Merlin, trying to hold his gaze, but Merlin’s eyes stared into nothing. He already missed the twinkle, the teasing looks and feared he would never see them again. “Talk to me, please.” He also missed Merlin’s constant babble, just hearing his voice now would relieve a bit of the tension. Arthur reached for Merlin’s hand and was happy that his manservant, no, his lover, didn’t pull back.
They sat a while like that before it got dark outside.
Arthur got up, pressed a kiss in Merlin’s hair and went to light a few candles and get the bed ready. The night before, Gaius had insisted Merlin stayed in his old chamber but when Merlin had knocked over a few of Gaius’ experiments, he had been glad when Arthur insisted that since Merlin’s condition hadn’t changed, he would stay with him again.
He feared some resistance, but Merlin just let him relocate him to the bed and didn’t protest or help when he changed him into his night clothes.
When he climbed onto the bed after changing himself, he pulled Merlin close the way he had done so often before. They just sat in silence, leaned against the headboard, Arthur’s arm around Merlin’s shoulder, Merlin’s head on his shoulder.
“Why are you doing this?”
Arthur startled by Merlin’s whispered question. Those were the first words he had said in days.
“What am I doing?” Gently, he nuzzled into Merlin’s hair.
“Taking care of me like this. I’m useless now. I can’t be your servant any longer.”
Arthur pulled Merlin closer. “I’m taking care of you because someone’s got to do it, idiot.” He whispered and then pressed another kiss on Merlin’s hair. “And you’re not useless. You might not see at the moment, but that will change and then you will have to clean up this room, it’s pretty messy after a few days, you know?” Arthur hoped that the teasing would get Merlin to join in.
“Others can do that. It’s not like I’m a good servant or anything.” Merlin sighed.
“Yes, Merlin.” Arthur’s voice changed from playful to close to angry. “That’s true, you’re not a good servant. That’s why you have never been just a servant. You’re my friend, my partner, my lover, my protector and you are the court sorcerer.”
“I can’t be that any longer.” Merlin whispered and his voice broke. “I can’t protect you when I can’t see what’s coming. And…”
Arthur waited, just holding him.
“…I don’t feel my magic as strongly as I did before. What…what if it’ll be gone completely?”
That was why Merlin had been so quiet in the past days. He hadn’t been in pain or just shocked by what had happened. He feared to lose his magic!
Arthur wrapped both arms around him and held him very tight. “Then you will still be my friend, my partner and my lover. Nothing will ever change that.”
“It’s not that easy. I’ve always been magic.”
“I know.” Arthur started to understand. Something that came natural to Merlin might be gone. “Do you think…do you think that…I mean…when you can see again it will be back?”
“Gaius is not sure that my eyesight is directly linked to my magic. There are lots of good warlocks and wizards who are blind.” Merlin sighed.
“So we’ll work on one after the other. Don’t pressure yourself and it’ll come back. Or we will find a counter-magic or something.”
Merlin had gone back to being silent.
Arthur scrambled around and pulled Merlin with him as he lay down properly. “Enough worrying for a day. Let’s get some sleep. Sleep heals a lot of things. And as I said, it won’t change anything. I know I’m not saying this very often, but…I love you.”
He held Merlin as he was clinging to him and long after Merlin had loosened his grip on him as he had fallen asleep. No matter what the next days and weeks would bring, Arthur knew that his feelings for Merlin wouldn’t change.