Title: Letters to Merlin (Chapter 3)
Word Count: 1,581
Summary: Merlin find's a letter addressed to him, a letter than Arthur never intended him to find.
A/N: Third chapter to my Letters to Merlin fic posted a while ago... I thought about this letter when I was at work and thought I should write it down so here it is... hope you enjoy!
Disclaimer: I own nothing more than DVDs and posters. Well, crap.
Merlin walked into Gaius' rooms slowly. He did everything slowly recently; no reason to rush around anymore after all. It's not as though Arthur would need him. Or want him. Dragging himself up the steps into his room, he collapsed face down onto his bed and groaned at how uncomfortable it was to him now he had become used to real luxury. He had been spoiled over this past year.
He sighed and rolled onto his side trying to rediscover how he used to avoid the particularly unforgiving slat a third of the way down the bed when he saw it.
A simple piece of paper propped against the candle beside his bed, his name scrawled across it in achingly familiar handwriting. A memory crashed into him and before he quite knew what he was doing, he had reached across the small distance and broken the wax seal holding the letter (for that was surely what it was) closed.
What he saw stole his breath.
It has been a week. I am trying my level best to avoid people's curious gazes at not seeing you being your insolent self talking my ear off. The questions are starting to make me crazy and I am about three questions away from challenging the next person to ask if I've "finally come to my senses". I think I'm more short tempered now than I have ever been (I'm sure you've heard) and I know exactly why. You do, too I suspect.
I miss you Merlin. I miss you so very much.
I realise that I reacted very badly to your confession and that I said things and did things that cannot be forgiven easily, or at all. Please know that I didn't mean anything I said. I know that my feelings are my own, I know that. I truly do. I knew that even when I was shouting accusations. I am truly sorry for that.
This past week has been hell without you Merlin. I've seen you around the castle. You have been walking slower than usual. The only thing you do quickly is avoid me. You think you're subtle when you dodge behind statues and into alcoves but I've told you a thousand times that I can feel you close. I wonder if that's part of the destiny you've been raving about. Is this destiny the reason that you've stayed with me for so long? I worry that it's all that's keeping you by my side sometimes. Now more than ever.
Gods, Merlin the things I said to you. The things I accused you of. I know none of them are true. I know that all you've ever done is protect me. I knew that even before you told me of your... talent. Though, I will confess that knowing makes a lot of things make a lot more sense. Looking back I'm ashamed that I didn't notice. I blame you for that. You distract me far too easily. They do say that being in love makes a man blind.
Merlin paused, blinking away the tears blurring his vision. This was too much. He could feel his heard being drawn back together. The hope almost hurt. He breathed deeply and continued reading.
That's not to say that I am not angry that you lied to me for so long nor that I am not hurt that you didn't trust me but I didn't mean any of those awful things.
Why didn't you trust me Merlin? Did you doubt my feelings for you? I know I'm not the most articulate man in Albion when it comes to expressing my feelings but surely you know that I would do anything for you? Surely you know I love you more and more with each passing day? I suspect I love you a lot more than you love me right now and I understand why. I hope that you still love me a little. Anything to hold on to will suffice.
I also hope that you will read this and that you will allow me the chance to apologise properly. Every time I come to your rooms you seem to vanish, which is why I'm writing this down. Letters have worked well for us in the past so I'm hoping that the same will work now.
I hope that you will read this. I hope that you will allow me to find you or that you will come to me. I hope that you will let me speak. We surely have much to discuss. I promise not to throw accusations at you. I just want to know Merlin. I want to know why you didn't feel that you could trust me. Did you really think I would hand you into my Father? You've told me a hundred times that you trust me with your life- were you lying each time? If so I worry what else you were lying about.
Please, Merlin. Please come back to me. The robes I commissioned for you arrived this morning. They look like the tailor did a good job but we must test the fit. The fabric is as good a quality as he had insisted it was and they are not as ostentatious as I told you they were or half as gaudy as you feared though I ought not to listen; you're my consort, ostentatious should be what you want. I understand now why you like to blend in though; it must be very difficult to cast with the whole court staring at you. I stare at you regardless of what you're wearing. It's very difficult to tear my eyes from you.
No matter, they'll be waiting for you in our chambers.
Another place that feels empty. I will say this only once; I miss your clutter. I complain constantly but truth be told I like seeing evidence that we are not some elaborate dream. And when I see your shirt thrown over the back of my chair or one of your kerchiefs about to escape beneath the bed I know in my heart that we are more than sex. That we are it. That we will always be it.
I told you in my last letter more than a year ago (a year. Time surely flies) that whatever your secret was, I would not love you any less. That remains true. I love you, as I always have and as I always will.
We have a lot to talk about, Merlin. I understand if you don't want to continue with us. I won't like it and I will fight tooth and nail for you but I will understand your reasoning. All I ask for now is the chance to talk. Perhaps we can be friends again if you don't want anything more than that.
I do. I want us to be us again. I actually find it incredibly difficult to sleep without you kicking me in the shins every time you move. When I do sleep I wake up and expect to see you next to me. I cannot explain how painful it is to wake to an empty bed after sharing it for so long.
I need you Merlin.
Please come to me. Or if you don't want to come to me now wait for me in your rooms in the morning. I will come to you. Please. Please put me out of my misery one way or the other.
I remain yours now and forever, whatever you decide.
I love you.
Merlin stared at the letter for a moment. Read a few lines again and stared at how Arthur had signed off hardly able to believe it. Arthur was right; he certainly found it difficult to express himself vocally but Merlin knew that he was loved a hundred other ways; an extra helping of his favourite pastry, tender kisses expecting nothing more than that, flowers left on his side of the bed.
He waited a heartbeat longer then bolted out of his bed so quickly his head swam. Stumbling down the steps he ran headlong past a startled looking Gaius and down the steps of the tower into the courtyard.
Running through the corridors of Camelot was harder than one would imagine when people stopped to stare at you. Dodging gawping servants and knights, Merlin eventually made it to Arthur's chambers and barrelled in not even bothering to knock- as if he ever did.
Arthur was standing next to his fireplace and turned immediately upon Merlin's entrance. Merlin didn't slow down. He ran right at Arthur and into his arms pressing kisses to every piece of skin that he could reach before claiming Arthur's gaping mouth.
After what felt like hours, Merlin pulled back gasping for the air he so desperately needed, his forehead resting against Arthur's. "I love you" he whispered once his breathing had returned to a manageable level. "I should have told you sooner."
"No" Arthur replied just as shakily "Listen to me Merlin. I reacted badly. Very badly. If you'd told me any sooner I fear what I might have done."
Arthur wrapped his arms around Merlin's shoulders, tugging him to him and holding him close. He buried his face in the crook of Merlin's neck, nuzzling him there for a moment and breathing him in.
"I'm sorry" he whispered "I missed you so much."
"I'm sorry too." a second longer "Now where are these damned robes?"