A/N: Set during The Poisoned Chalice.

Disclaimer: Merlin isn't mine. I wish he was...

Merlin was burning up. He thought maybe the room was on fire, but he couldn't seem to get up to find out. He could hardly move. He couldn't even seem to open his eyes.

"How are you feeling?" said a familiar voice next to him. He turned his head slightly, as much as he could manage, and he felt a little better when he saw who was sitting by him (it didn't occur to him to wonder why his eyes seemed to be open now).

"Terrible," he said.

"Yeah, well, you look it," said Arthur. He smirked.

"What are you doing here?" said Merlin. He had a vague idea that Arthur had gone to do something very important, but he couldn't think what it was. Something princely, most likely.

"Did you really think I'd leave you right now?" said Arthur.

"No," said Merlin, then: "I should be able to -" he tried to get up, thinking of his magic book, but Arthur stopped him.

"Don't," he said.


"You need to rest. Gaius said so," said Arthur. "Just relax."

"I can't just relax," said Merlin. "I feel - I think I'm dying, Arthur."

"You can't die now," said Arthur. "Remember what the dragon said?"

"Yeah," said Merlin. "Dragon. Right..." he turned to face Arthur again. "How did you know about the dragon?" Arthur didn't answer. "Arthur? Arthur?"

"Arthur's not here," said Gwen. "He's out trying to help you, Merlin."

"He can't hear you, Gwen," said Gaius. "His fever's too high."

"I know," said Gwen. "I just thought it might comfort him to know..." she trailed off. "Is there anything else I can do?"