Disclaimer: I don't own Merlin.

Summary - Companion piece to LovesAngst's How I Remember It. Arthur's POV as Merlin fights for his life. Two-shot. No slash.

Thanks to: Miles333 for being the best beta anyone could ever ask for. And to LovesAngst for giving me the permission to do a companion piece to her fic in Arthur's POV. Enjoy! :D

Also, you don't have to read How I Remember It before this unless you want to. This story can stand alone.


It's been thirty-five days since I thought I would lose my manservant Merin. And I still do not want to recall what happened. However, Gwen suggested that I write about it, which might help me get over the events. She told me that if I continue to brood about it, my father would ask me what was wrong. And that is the last thing I want.

Morgana is bad enough, constantly asking if I'm alright, if I want to talk about it. I know she means well, but I don't want to talk. To her or anyone else. I know I couldn't take Father asking me also. So I reluctantly took Guinevere's suggestion, knowing that she and Morgana would keep prying until I do something.

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I think it first started when Merlin got a terrible head cold. It wasn't anything serious, just the usual sore throat, sneezing, and sniffling that comes with a spring cold. But it was bad enough that I decided to give him lesser work, having one of my father's servants do the rest.

I could tell even with the easier work I gave him, exhaustion clearly continued to overtake him.

About a week later, on a warm spring day, I noticed that he looked worse than before, if that was possible. When he hardly spoke, which I assume was from a sore throat, that was my first clue he was feeling worse then he did before. Merlin can't go an hour without making some kind of noise.

Anyway, as I ate my breakfast and he tided some of my room, I reminded him that we had been planning on going hunting this afternoon around lunch time, before it got too hot. I had hoped that the fresh air would do some good for him, though I didn't tell him that. I didn't want to ruin my reputation by showing that I cared too much for his wellbeing. But I could tell by the look on his face that he dreaded the idea of going.

He said something about not liking the idea of carrying my stuff around the forest while I swaggered about being the harbinger of death. I might say, I would never do this. I don't swagger.

So I shot him a dirty look as I finished eating and said I was going to talk with my father. I would be back soon and he needed to have my things ready. And he could rest if he needed to. And again, I didn't say this, but the invitation was there if he wanted it.

Being Merlin, he managed to croak a simple "Yes, Sire." I, of course, could hear the heavy sarcasm and shot him another dirty look. He looked surprised and I guessed he realized he wasn't hiding his sarcasm as well as he apparently thought he was.

I won't go into all the details of the talk I had with my father; it was filled with decisions about our people and other kingdoms who wanted to declare war on us.

And by the time we finished, I was more than angry at my father, which with my temper was never a good thing. He wanted Camelot to declare war on a neighboring kingdom that hadn't caused us any problems yet. I didn't want to. And by the time we were done, both of us were too angry to speak to one another.

When I got back to my room and opened the door, the first thing that caught my eye was all my cleaned hunting gear, positioned neatly at the foot of my bed. Beside them was some lunch and a skin that was filled with what I assumed was watered wine.

The next thing was Merlin. He was paler then I ever thought that a man could get and was sitting by the fire, shuddering.

I was barely over the threshold before his head jerked up and he blurted out that he wanted to stay back here.

I guess I was still angry with my father because my snappish retort was less then nice.

He then managed to say although he did hate hunting trips, he really didn't feel well and he was fairly certain the cold he had thought to be almost over had returned with a vengeance. That there was no way he would be any use feeling like he did and for Heaven's sake, he couldn't even turn his head.

I had a brief image of us hunting and Merlin sneezing or coughing and scaring the game away, and for some reason, I found that oddly amusing. That calmed me down somewhat, causing me to push the argument I had with my father out my mind for the moment. I told him that he could stay behind and I could get some of the men to go with me. Then I quickly added that he needed to bloody better get some work done later. Of course, I knew he wasn't about to be able to, but it did make me feel somewhat better.

He choked out "Yes, Sire", and I got the feeling he would agree to anything then. I got my hunting gear and left him there, figuring he would probably have gone home to Gaius by the time I got back. This was about midday, I believe.

I don't feel like going into the details of my hunting trip. It was too horrible to want to remember. The man that I decided to take was far worse then Merlin, which I know is saying a lot. He tripped at least eight times, blathered non-stop even when I said to be quiet, and even the horse that he chose didn't like him, bucking him off twice.

I managed to get back to the Castle in worse of a mood than I had been in when I had left. And that was saying something.

After dumping my hunting gear off at the stable; it was too dirty, thanks to Ethan dropping it, for me to bother taking to my room. I had just walked into my bedroom and was more then surprised to find Merlin still slumped over by my fireplace.

I was furious at my father, and at Ethan, and seeing Merlin still there fueled my anger even more. I stalked over to him, needing to take my anger out on something, someone, and Merlin was unknowingly there for me to do so.

"Merlin! Just what have you been doing all this time while I've been out – feeding the blasted kingdom?" I admit it now. I bellowed that. Yes, I know, I need to get a hold on my temper. My father has told me that often. Along with Morgana.

My manservant jumped before turning slowly towards me. From what I could see through the darkness of my room, he looked paler than he had before, his eyes almost glassy.

I felt the blood drain from my face as I saw the all too familiar signs. I prayed it wasn't what I was thinking it was.

But I still wasn't sure. I went to my nightstand and picked up the candle. Pulling a match from a pocket on the front of my shirt, I lit it, lighting the candle next. Blowing the match out, I walked back over to Merlin, the candle burning brightly inside the dark room. I placed it onto the fireplace's mantle and tried to see Merlin more closely.

Merlin winced and squinted at the bright light from my candle, bringing one of his arms up to shield his face. He babbled incoherently about not feeling well. I was ignoring that as best as I could as I tried to figure out what my eyes were seeing. Along his pale arm were deep, molted dark spots. And they were huge.

Please, please, don't let it be what I think it is. I begged silently, my pulse quickening as I looked at the spots.

"You should go home, Merlin. Have Gaius take a look at you," I told him, tone softening with concern. If anyone could figure out if I was right, it was our physician. And Merlin did look a little worse for wear. Though I would never tell him this, I did worry about him sometimes.

As it later turned out, I was right.

He didn't answer me, just winced again and dropped his arm, turning away from the candle's flame as he closed his eyes. That was when it hit me. What I saw along his arm…I had to be sure of this again. I gently pulled his arm back up and inhaled sharply.

"Merlin? What happened? You have bruises all over your arm…" I trailed off, sharply inhaling another breath as I dropped his arm. His skin felt like it was on fire. "You're boiling up, Merlin!"

He muttered something about how he didn't feel hot, and that he was really cold, then he begged me to blow out the candle, that it was too bright. That his head was killing him.

I blew out the flame before squatting down and taking hold of Merlin's arm as gently and firmly as I could. "You have to see Gaius."

I was beyond worried now. I was more positive than now and if I was right, what he had was deadly. I was seeing the symptoms of the same illness that had swept through Camelot about two years ago. At least a hundred of my people died from it. My uncle Stefan, aunt Maria, and cousin Nancy had been here, and it had killed all three. I felt nauseated, praying again that I wasn't right. I had lost a lot of people that year, and I couldn't take it if another one was taken by the disease.

He groaned quietly, cracking a blue eye open. He stared at me with a look of confusion on his face before closing it again.

"Come on, Merlin," I urged, standing up and firmly hauled Merlin to his feet. He swayed, noticeably shaky on his feet. I gripped his arm tighter and swung it around my neck, hopefully giving him more support.

The next thing I knew, Merlin was falling from my grip and heading straight to the floor. I swore profusely under my breath and in one quick movement I had him again.

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It's late and Guinevere is knocking on my door, probably sent by my father. I'll write the rest of these horrifying events later, when I get the chance.


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