merlinsdeheune (merlinsdeheune) wrote in camelot_drabble,

Worn and Lovelorn

Author: merlinsdeheune
Title: Worn and Lovelorn
Rating: G
Pairing/s: Merlin/Arthur
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, some random knights
Summary: Merlin is loved, even when he thinks he is not.
Warnings: Minor reference to unhealthy eating habits.
Word Count: 1424 (!!! I don’t even know what happened)
Prompt: #217 Classic Rock
Author's Notes: This was such a difficult choice to make. So many wonderful songs to choose from. In the end, I suppose my own situation and hopes/wishes somehow made it into the story. Plus, this song seems so Merthur.
Inspired by ‘Somebody to love’ by Queen. Not beta-ed. Sorry!

It felt as though the world was turning upside down, but really it was just Merlin tripping over his own feet. Again. The dirty laundry he’d been carrying down the steps had flown out of his hands, and now lay at the foot of the stairwell.

He heard a couple of maids snickering as they walked past him. He knew he should get up off his knees (which were already starting to throb painfully) and go about his duties. He should. He will. In just a moment.

He knew he wasn’t being lazy, no matter how much his mind told him otherwise. He was just so tired.

He’d been up all night, trudging through the forest to talk to Kilgharrah and back. All for more cryptic warnings he couldn’t make heads or tails of. As a result of that he’d been late delivering Arthur his breakfast that morning, who promptly retaliated by throwing a spoon at him.

After that, it had been a mad rush of getting Arthur ready for morning practise and delivering Gaius’s remedies to people. At least Gaius hadn’t asked him to clean the leach tank this time. Yet.

Between all that he’d forgotten to eat breakfast. And probably dinner too last night. He felt a little woozy, but that was alright, he had gotten through days when he felt much worse before.

Hands on the wall, he pulled himself up. The serket sting was itching again; he must remember to ask Gaius for a salve. But for now, there were more important things to worry about - like Arthur’s socks.


Sometimes Merlin wondered why he was doing this. Not the protecting Arthur thing; that he would do at the peril of his own life. But the whole double life thing. It was exhausting. He had done all his daily chores for Arthur and Gaius, helped out Gwen with some of her chores, done the extra work Arthur piled on him, stopped a sorcerer from poisoning the food in the kitchen, put the fear of God in that sorceror and warned him to never come back, and was now currently polishing Arthur’s sword in the armoury. All within the space of a few candle marks and the only thing he ever got in return was being called an idiot, and more chores.

Merlin wondered if Arthur would ever see him for who he really was; if Arthur would ever feel about Merlin the way Merlin felt about him. Merlin scoffed at his own thoughts. Arthur couldn’t possibly ever love Merlin. Definitely not in the way Merlin wanted him to.

He jerked back into reality when he heard a few knights returning from patrol, something tightening inside him when he heard Morgana’s name.

“... said he saw her heading east.”

“But it couldn’t possibly be the Lady Morgana, could it? She wouldn’t risk coming this close to the city”

“You didn’t know her when she was the late King’s ward. I wouldn’t put anything past her.”

“You think she might try attacking the citadel?”

“I don’t know. We haven’t heard anything about her gathering up men enough for an army. But we should inform the King as soon as possible. We never know what she might be up to.”

Merlin tried to breathe properly again. Morgana near Camelot. This was very likely the danger Kilgharrah was talking about. Merlin sighed. He would have to go out into the forest to see if he can find Morgana, or any clue as to what she was up to. It looked like it was going to be another sleepless night for him.


Arthur removed his belt and tossed it onto his bed with a noise of frustration. Merlin was late bringing him his dinner again. But that was not what filled his thoughts. Merlin had been looking increasingly tired recently. Arthur had tried to rile him up this morning, but he didn’t even get the usual snarky insult in response. Added to that was the fact that Merlin had been looking more and more gaunt with each passing day.

Arthur turned back from the window when he heard the door creaking open. Merlin pushed in, holding the dinner tray in his hand.

Arthur’s eyes narrowed when he saw the way Merlin was holding himself, as though his sides hurt. He tried to think of any injuries Merlin might have sustained recently, but came up blank. He also noted that Merlin’s face was set in that particular frown which meant that he was thinking of doing something incredibly stupid and dangerous.

“You are late,” he informed Merlin for the sake of it, but Merlin merely noded. Now Arthur was really worried.

Instead of saying anything however, Arthur simply walked over to the table and plopped down on his chair. He pointed at another chair imperiously, and silently watched as Merlin sat down.

Arthur picked up a piece of chicken, but Merlin made no move, eyes focused on the grains of wood on the table, face still scrunched up in the same frown.

“When is the last time you ate anything?” Arthur asked.

Merlin looked up startled. “Uh. What? No. I don’t know? What?”

Arthur sighed and pointed at the plate, urging Merlin to eat something.

Merlin looked at Arthur for a long moment before he nodded, but as he scooted forward in his chair, he suddenly let out a pained whimper.

Arthur was at his side in an instant, turning Merlin towards him and checking him over. It didn’t take long for him to notice the scrape on the knees and the torn trousers around them matted with dried blood.

“What the hell did you do this time, Merlin?” Arthur asked exasperated but also silently relieved that it wasn’t something worse.

Merlin flinched away from Arthur’s voice but looked surprised at his own knees as if he hadn’t even realized that he’d gotten hurt. “Must have happened when I fell down this morning,” he replied contemplatively. “Must have hit the wound against the table leg just now.”

Arthur sighed again. He seemed to be doing that a lot around Merlin lately. He looked up at Merlin, not even caring that he was the king, and he was crouching down before his servant. He took in Merlin’s tired eyes, the circles under them and the hollowed out cheeks. Maybe it was time.

He took a deep breath and said softly, “Can you heal it?”

Merlin jumped, looking at Arthur with wild eyes. “He- heal it? Uh.. Umm.. I’m sure Gaius could patch it u-”

Arthur stopped the tirade with his hand over Merlin’s mouth. “I know, Merlin,” he said, smiling sadly.

Merlin’s eyes widened, his gaze flicking to the door and back to Arthur again.

Arthur removed his hand from Merlin’s mouth and Merlin immediately started babbling. “It’s- Arthur, you have to und- It’s for you, It is all for you. My magic, my everything. I wouldn’t hurt you, my magic wouldn’t hurt you. Are you- Please don’t make me leave, Arthur, I have to - I need to be able to protect you.”

Arthur’s smile softened, his eyes taking on a hint of mischief. “You look like you are going to fall over, and you are going to protect me?”

Merlin looked offended for a moment, making Arthur’s smile widen a bit more, before he looked confusedly at Arthur. “How did you- how long have you known?”

“Oh Merlin,” Arthur said, standing up to sit on the table, cupping Merlin’s face in his palms and tilting it up to meet his eyes. “I have known for a while; I was just waiting for you to tell me,” he said, sadness creeping back into his tone.

“I was going to tell you,” Merlin said earnestly. “I would have told you.”

“But you didn’t trust me yet,” Arthur said, matter-of-fact.

Merlin shook his head so fast, Arthur thought it was going to fall off, but before Merlin could launch into another tirade, Arthur shut him again, this time with a single finger to his lips.

“It doesn’t matter, Merlin,” he said. “What matters is the toll it is taking on you. You don’t have to carry so much weight on your shoulders.”

“But you can?” Merlin asked defiantly, said shoulders straightening.

Arthur huffed in amusement. “We could share it,” he said, his finger now slowly caressing Merlin’s lips. When he looked back into Merlin’s eyes, he saw so much hope and love shining in them that he couldn’t help but pull Merlin in and kiss him.

“We can share it…”

"Somebody To Love"

Can anybody find me somebody to love?
Each morning I get up I die a little
Can barely stand on my feet
(take a look at yourself)
Take a look in the mirror and cry
Lord what you're doing to me
I have spent all my years in believing you
But I just can't get no relief,
Somebody, somebody
Can anybody find me somebody to love?

I work (he works hard) hard every day of my life
I work 'til I ache my bones
At the end (at the end of the day) I take home my hard earned pay all on my own -
I get down on my knees
And I start to pray (praise the Lord)
'Til the tears run down from my eyes
Lord - somebody - somebody
Can anybody find me - somebody to love?

(He works hard)

I try and I try and I try
But everybody wants to put me down
They say I'm goin' crazy
They say I got a lot of water in my brain
I got no common sense
I got nobody left to believe
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Oh Lord
Somebody - somebody
Can anybody find me somebody to love?

Got no feel, I got no rhythm
I just keep losing my beat
I'm OK, I'm alright
I ain't gonna face no defeat
I just gotta get out of this prison cell
Someday I'm gonna be free, Lord!

Find me somebody to love
Can anybody find me somebody to love?

Tags: c:arthur, c:merlin, p:arthur/merlin, pt 217:song prompt 5 (classic rock), rating:g, type:drabble

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