This was the third time he had heard the same speech. Merlin was the first, followed by his father, but Gwen was the first person he answered the rhetorical question for.
"What do you think you are, Arthur? Invincible?"
She was outraged, voice shrill, face distorted between concern and frustration. With a faint pout, the prince pulled his head back.
Gwen shook her head, exasperation clearly etched around her gaping mouth.
Merlin only had to hear it from Gaius, but the man repeated most of the speech multiple times. When he had finally had enough of expressing himself, he ended with a quizzical expression.
"What do you think you are, Merlin? Invincible?"
Merlin opened his mouth to respond, tilting his head contemplatively as he brought his lips together again. Suddenly he broke into a grin, giving a single chuckle.
Gaius closed his eyes and sighed.
The next day, the magical creature they had all but killed before attacked the citadel. Gaius watched from the window in his chambers. Guinevere watched from the doorway of her home. Both looked on with fear coloring their gaze.
It was erased the moment Merlin stepped up to Arthur's side. The boys shared a grin and the worried onlookers imagined they saw an invisible wall rise in front of them. Individually, they seemed small and fragile. But when they stood together, they were larger than life.
They were invincible.