Title: Don't Want to Miss a Thing
Pairing/s: Merlin/Arthur, Balinor/Hunith
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin, Balinor
Summary: He had had dreams of his own once.
Word Count: 1000
Prompt: Classic Rock: I don't wanna miss a thing, Aerosmith
Author's Notes:I suck at knowing what is classic rock. Google told me this was a classic rock band, and then I had this song in my head all day so yeah... I hope it is a classic rock song, if not...Enjoy anyway?
Balinor stared at the boy. He couldn’t believe the conversation that had passed between them not even an hour past. Now he knew the truth, he couldn’t believe he had been blind to it up until then.
He looked like Hunith. He had the same stubborn glint in his eye, the same proud and defiant tilt to his chin. The world had named him a bastard and he had risen above it. Only a child of Hunith’s could throw off the shackles the world had placed on him in quite the way Merlin had.
Feeling his eyes drift shut, Balinor wrenched them open and moved closer to the fire. He rarely lit one in his cave, knowing it well enough to not need the light and not wanting to risk who it would draw. He didn’t want to close his eyes, didn’t want to fall asleep. He still didn’t know if he could bring himself to march all the way back to Camelot with the young men. He wasn’t prepared to miss another moment in his son’s life. Not considering he knew he would have to flee from Uther once Kilgarrah had been calmed.
Balinor did not let himself dwell on the angry (and rightfully so!) dragon waiting in Camelot. He focused on his son instead. He had dreamt of a family once, shortly after running out on Hunith. He imagined it with her. It wasn’t one child they would have had, but several. They would have raised them in peace, been happy. With his powers, they would have wanted for nothing.
Instead, Uther had pursued him across half of Cendred’s kingdom before admitting defeat and letting Balinor slink off to live as a feared hermit. He had never dared to make contact with Hunith, had never known about the boy...
He was beautiful, in an ethereal way. Balinor knew he was not the only one who thought so and Hunith was not the other. The prince hadn’t looked away from his supposed servant the whole time they had been out here, and Merlin’s name was the first thing he had said upon regaining consciousness. The touches were fleeting, the glances subtle, but Balinor saw them. He knew if he witnessed their love, then others would. They did not have to fear Uther though; that man couldn’t see love for anything.
Gaius on the other hand... the boy had mentioned the old physician and Gaius had always been shrewd. Balinor had no doubt that Gaius knew of their relationship.
As he was watched, the prince rose, disappearing out into the forest to relieve himself. Balinor continued to study his son in peace, watching the brush of his dark eyelashes against his pale skin. He wondered what magic Merlin had. He could sense his power and knew his son was strong. He wouldn’t inherit the dragonlord powers until after Balinor had passed and the newly found father hoped that was not for many years. Not through his own selfishness, but because he didn’t want to burden Merlin with so much, so young.
“Why do you watch him so?”
Balinor jumped. He hadn’t notice Arthur return. But the prince was standing next to him, his hand grasping his sword in a firm grip. Protectiveness radiated from him and Balinor smiled softly.
“You care a lot, for a prince and a son of Uther.”
His words had the desired effect; Arthur flushed and forgot his initial question. They gazed both remained on Merlin and Balinor witnessed Arthur softening as Merlin smiled gently in his sleep. Balinor knew who it was that Merlin dreamt of, and it was clear Arthur knew it too.
“If you’re keeping watch,” the prince said gruffly, releasing his sword and striding back to his lover. Merlin mumbled something in his sleep as Arthur settled down beside him. Arthur glared at him and Balinor knew the prince wanted privacy. Balinor withdrew, but kept a careful watch on the pair even as Arthur kissed Merlin’s eyelids gently, causing Balinor’s boy to wrinkle his nose before curling in closer to his lover.
He would never choose a Pendragon as a lover. He never considered they had enough love in them. But there was something tender about Arthur, something caring in the way he looked at Merlin. Balinor would indeed keep watch, but he knew he was not the only one prepared to protect Merlin.
He gave them their peace as Merlin stirred properly, having no desire to witness what would come next. But the forest was quiet apart from the sounds coming from the clearing and Balinor found himself remembering his sweet dreams of old. The sweetest of them had not been enough, not compared to Hunith’s tender touch in the night. She had held him, just held him, that first night when Balinor – a complete stranger - had sobbed his heartbreak and betrayal at the hands of a man he had considered a friend.
They had made love the second night, although neither of them had said why they had acted so rashly. Balinor hadn’t slept afterwards. He had remained propped on one elbow, watching his lover sleep, studying the lines on her face and the rise and fall of her chest.
He hadn’t thought of Hunith for years, although there had never been another for him. Seeing Merlin, discovering that their night had not been forgotten by her either, made those memories rise fresh in his mind.
He lost himself to them for a while before realising the boys were quiet. They were fast asleep, Arthur’s arm coiled around Merlin’s waist, holding him close even in dreams. Balinor resumed his original position, watching his son sleep.
He didn’t know what tomorrow would hold. But he knew for this night only, he would keep the watch over his son and he wouldn’t miss a thing. Not a breath, not a sigh. If this was the only night he would know Merlin, then he was going to make the most of it.