Arthur sat up with a gasp, hugging himself with his arms, terrified eyes wide and frantic, ears strained, blood thundering in his veins as he imagine a face, so pale against raven eyelashes, dead and so, so, cold.

The future King sobbed once, a desperate sound that rattled off the stone walls and back to him, the fire in his chamber having long gone out, mimicking cold skin under warm fingertips. Another sob racked his body and he threw himself past the curtains, onto the cold floor as he threw on the first thing his fingers touched, brain telling him something was missing, fingers of a boy with a warm touch now laying cold in the rain soaked mud.

Some part of him screamed that it was just a dream, a voice belonging to the one so cold, even as he ran through the dark, muddy streets of Camelot; just a dream, a terrible dream, a nightmare. You got the flower, he's safe, you went to see him and he wasn't cold, the lingering look and his voice, overflowing with warmth and life.

He doesn't listen, though, doesn't stop when he reached the wooden door, throws himself against it and hammers against it, tears mingling with falling rain and stinging his cheeks with their cold fingers.

He almost sinks to the floor to join his other, into the water at his feet so he can be cold too, so the boy isn't alone in the numbing feeling, stopping everything, love, happiness, even pain if it doesn't have his name in it. But the door opens, and it's not quite so dumb, but the cold still lingers, clinging to his skin.

Gaius thinks nothing of his Prince lying on his doorstep, distraught and barefoot. He picks the boy up, noticing as he does so the cold dampness of his skin. The physician smiles to himself, steering the other towards a room that isn't cold, hopefully to a room that will bring the feeling back.

Arthur can see a face with raven eyelashes and hair, but it's not pale, and when he's stumbled over, he discovers it's not cold, either. It's a burning heat and it sooths the numbness, and the cold disappears, as quickly as it comes.

Warm eyes flicker open, and Arthur throws himself into the warm arms, away from the cold and the emptiness, hiding his head in warmth he knows. He settles down in that burning heat, harmless, loving, life-giving flames of love that bathe the both of them in warmth.

Arthur's never cold again.