How to Save a Life
Summary: After Camelot finally settles down from weeks of chaos, Arthur finally notices something wrong with Merlin. But is it too late? WARNING ATTEMPTED SUICIDE IN LATER CHAPTERS.
1. Step one
Arthur smiled as he looked down out of window. No more were buildings burning down; no more was smoke turning the sky a harsh black, no more were there screams and deaths. The dragon was dead and Camelot was rebuilding. Now everyone was working as equals to make Camelot better then before, now people were living on for lost loves ones. No sorcerers were attacking and trying to kill Arthur, everything was fine now. Arthur could finally relax now; there was nothing to worry about.
Expect one thing.
Arthur smiled fell as his eyes spotted a figure swiftly, hunched and silent, walked through the crowds as he carried herbs. Swiftly – unlike the clumsy oaf he was use to. Hunched – not walking proudly, always never bowing to anyone higher then him at all. Silent – he would never shut up normally. And no smile. Through he was too far away, Arthur could sense that his cobalt blue eyes were either glazed or empty. Unlike the usual eyes that held so many emotions of care freeness.
Stepping away from the window as Merlin disappeared from sight, Arthur thought as he started pacing, his mind on his manservant. The sight he had just seen was the main image. What had caused that? Merlin never got sad or anything, he was usually would be the one that cheered up Arthur when he was gloomy. Merlin had this sort of puppy character, always yapping around cheerfully. He would get angry and sometimes took things too seriously but other than that, he was always happy.
Something was wrong.
What was worse was the fact that this wasn't the first time he was like this, Arthur realised. Subconsciously, Arthur had noted that Merlin back chats weren't always there, still coming up but not always. And the other image, Merlin scrubbing at boots with the same glazed eyes. Arthur had put it down for him just taking the water thrown at him to seriously, distracted by just getting rid of a beast and preparing for the treaties. Yet now nothing was distracting Arthur, he realise that couldn't be it.
Something was definitely wrong.
Step one: you say we need to talk
When Merlin came in carrying Arthur's dinner right on schedule – the proper schedule, Arthur noted with concerned, not Merlin's schedule – Arthur was sitting down waiting.
"Merlin, sit down for a moment. We need to talk."
Merlin looks up, confusion in his eyes. Yet Arthur saw they were still glaze.
"What's wrong?" Merlin asked, putting the plate in front of Arthur and watching him. He didn't sit down.
He walks, you say sit down, it's just a talk.
"Sit, Merlin. Nothing wrong's, I just wanted to talk to you."
Merlin nodded, slowly walking over to the opposite chair. He fidgeted besides it but Arthur kept waiting. Eventually he sits down.
"So, what's on your mind? That if there is anything in your mind, I wouldn't be surprise if there wasn't." Merlin said, grinning jokily. Yet it wasn't his normal grin.
He smiles politely back at you,
You stare politely right on through
Arthur watched Merlin closely, picking up his fork and chewing his food. That was what his grin was – polite. And Merlin was never polite.
Arthur noticed how skinny Merlin was, his wrists look like they could snap of easily. Keeping his face calm while inside he was frowning, Arthur reached for a second plate and filled it up with food before passing it to Merlin. Merlin looked at it in surprise.
"Eat; you look nothing apart for skin and bones." Arthur said firmly.
"I've always look skinny. Haven't you noticed?" Merlin joked
"Yeah, practically when I have to lug you bony body around when you've passed out." Arthur said. Or the time you got poison, he added in his head.
Merlin picked up a fork but didn't do what Arthur expected. The way Merlin look, it looked like was ready to wolf down five of these meals, but instead Merlin just toyed it, not lifting his arm up any higher then an inch. Arthur sighed, frustration kicking in.
"Merlin, what's wrong?"
Merlin nearly dropped the fork in surprise, "Huh?"
"I said, what's wrong?"
"Nothing's wrong, I'm perfectly-"
"You are not fine. You've been acting not like your self ever since the druid girl thing."
Some sort of window to you right
Merlin tensed as Arthur said 'druid girl' through Arthur didn't know why. He waited for Merlin to say something but Merlin wouldn't even look at him, his eyes averted to the right as if hoping for an excuse to escape.
"And despite you improving in being a good manservant, I'm beginning to miss the old Merlin. So come on, what is it?"
Merlin didn't answer. His eyes furiously went blank, denying anything was wrong. Arthur paused, not knowing if he continue talking or wait for Merlin to speak.
"Is there anything you need, sire?" Merlin asked, his eyes suggesting his tone to be harsh yet it stayed blank. Merlin stood up and started gathering Arthur's armour, not waiting for orders.
"I'm fine, Arthur."
Merlin didn't spare Arthur a glance as he marched out, his body language telling the truth that his mouth lied. He was not fine.
As he goes left and you stay right
Between the lines of fear and blame
And you wonder why you came
Arthur sighed as he slouched down in his chair, pushing his plate away. Why wasn't Merlin telling him? Arthur would tell him if there was something upsetting him, if he didn't Merlin would force it out of him. Why couldn't he do that?
Didn't Merlin trust him anymore?
Where did I go wrong? I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life
Arthur didn't know what to do. Merlin hadn't been alright these past weeks. With the chaos, the Merlin he knew was slipping away.....why?
Not knowing what to do, Arthur just went to bed, hoping, praying he was just seeing things and Merlin was alright. By tomorrow, he would be back to his loveable self won't he?
As Arthur fell asleep, he was unaware that on the other side of the castle was a young raven haired boy sobbing the night away in his pillow.