The Perils of Training
Info~ Oneshot, a little Merlin whump, slight humor, Arthur getting frustrated. Who doesn't want that? No spoilers, any season. Some swearing.
A/N~ Hey guys! This is something I wrote that is based from one of my drabbles from Merlin Moments. If you've read my drabble, then do you remember what it was called? Guess! (Or you can cheat.)
I do not own Merlin or its characters, I only borrow for my own entertainment. :D
Merlin gripped the shield and sword in one hand, a crossbow and its bolts in another, and a target strapped to his back. He had been rudely awakened only 20 minutes earlier, before the sun was even up. Arthur wanted to get a head start with training, for his tournament next week. "Arthur, I swear I'll kill you."
The prat walked ahead of him, strutting his way to the training field. Arthur ignored his comment, saying, "I want to practice with a moving target today, so I hope you aren't tired." Merlin sighed, and Arthur smiled without turning around. They continued there journey through the corridors, on there way to the practice field.
Merlin stumbled at least five times, almost falling onto his face. He struggled to get a good grip on the equipment. But none of this bothered Arthur. He was used to Merlin's grumpy mumblings and his stumbling ways. Even if he did fall, he always picked himself up again, mostly unharmed. The worst injury he ever got was a cut that ran the length of his calf. A few stitches and a bandage later, and he was back at work. Merlin was more careful with any sharp object after that encounter.
Finally, they reached the training field, just as the sun began to peak through the trees of the surrounding woods. The freshly trimmed grass sparkled with dew and the birds were singing there morning songs. Merlin loved to listen, but Arthur didn't care much for nature's beauty. He preferred to kill and injure its creatures for his own entertainment.
Arthur grabbed the crossbow from Merlin's arms, "Come on, get ready, no need to waste time."
"Arthur, we have all day." Merlin dropped the other weapons off to the side, and slid the target off his back.
"Great, then we should be able to get lots of practice!" Arthur selected a bolt and proceeded to load the crossbow. Merlin rolled his eyes and picked the target up once again. He struggled to pull it up, it was after all, a very large piece of wood. He hefted it into his arms, and positioned it comfortably. "Come on Merlin, hurry up!"
"I'm ready, sire." he called from across the field. He prepared himself, ready to spot a hole and quickly avoid it. He learned that the hard way.
Of course what he didn't know was that Arthur also brought a hatchet, and not a small one. It was a full two feet, with a large head of iron. Arthur held it in his hand while Merlin stood behind the target. "Start running, then!" And Merlin ran as hard as he could, zig-zaggy and sprinting. He had plenty of practice to become an expert target.
However, he wasn't prepared for a heavy blow from a hatchet, and he stumbled. He saw the divot, and was prepared to avoid it, until he was knocked down. His toes fell into it, and he lost his balance. He heard the crack, and he knew something was wrong. The ground got closer and closer. When he finally hit it, he felt like he was dying. His whole right leg was on fire. He groaned when he lifted his head, and slowly let his head fall back to the ground.
Arthur was sure something was wrong. He watched Merlin stumble, but he didn't see the hole that his right foot had just sunk into. Merlin fell. Hard. He heard a crack, but he wasn't sure what it was. He kept watching, waiting for Merlin to get up. But he didn't.
"Idiot." He said under his breath, as he began to walk over to the man on the ground. Then the walk turned into a run. He got to Merlin's side and found him breathing heavily and in pain. Arthur fell to his knees and placed his hand on Merlin's shoulder. The manservant's forehead was wrinkled with agony, and his eyes were shut tight. "Merlin?" He moved the target which was lying halfway on top of him.
Merlin didn't speak for a minute, but soon his breathing regulated and the pain in his face lessened. "What'd happened?
"You fell and…I think you hurt your leg. Tell me what hurts."
"My ego." Merlin looked up at Arthur angrily.
"No, really, tell me." Arthur asked again. Merlin looked down at his foot.
"My ankle. I..I think its broken. I heard a crack when I fell, and it hurt like hell. Now it feels like a numb throbbing." Merlin winced again. His left foot was limp and twisted in a completely wrong direction.
"We need to get you to Gaius." He looked around, but since they were up so early, no one was there. Great, now I have to carry him.
Arthur helped him off of the ground slowly. A wave of nausea made his stomach overturn. He lifted his swollen ankle off of the ground. Arthur held him steady, never letting go.
"Merlin, maybe we should wrap it, so it doesn't move as much."
"No, its your fault its like this in the first place. You aren't going to touch it." Merlin said weakly.
"Well, I say we wrap it. It'll cause more pain if it just dangles. We need to keep it immobile." Merlin nodded. Arthur lowered him once again onto the training grounds. He took his red neckerchief, and handed it to Arthur who moved toward the broken ankle. As soon as he touched it, Merlin gasped in pain. He bit hard on air, hoping it would lessen the pain. "Maybe you should bite on something. Here." He said, removing his gloves and offering them to Merlin.
"Thanks. Please, be careful." Merlin took in a shaky breath before biting down on the leather. It tasted strange, knowing that it was once the flesh of a living creature. He tried to think about that rather than the pain. His face pinched in agony, as Arthur slowly picked up the swollen flesh, and began moving it into a more recognizable position.
Arthur quickly wrapped it, but each tug was torture. Merlin opened his eyes wide, watched the sun through the trees before the black dots swallowed his vision. All he remembered was someone screaming.
First, Merlin was screaming his lungs out. Then, Arthur felt Merlin shudder and his muscles relax. Crap. Now how was he supposed to carry this dead-weight manservant, across the grounds and up three levels? "Merlin, you sure pick your timing."
He finished the wrapping the ankle and stood up straight once more. He looked down at the man, hands on his hips and pondered, letting his thoughts run rampant through his head. Should I go get help? Should I take him now? Should I leave him? No, I have to take him. It's my fault he's broken in the first place.
Arthur decided. He put his arm under Merlin's back, lifted him off the ground and hung him over his shoulder. Back bent, heaving breaths, he walked across the field heading toward the first drawbridge.
By the time he got there he was out of breath and had laid Merlin on the ground before him. Merlin was still out cold, but Arthur still had 2 more gates to go through, the lower town, and all the corridors before he got to Gaius's chambers. He would be lucky if he could make it halfway and find a guard to help him. Sighing, he picked the manservant up again, and walked through the gate.
"Merlin, when you wake up, I'm going to have so many fun jobs for you to do.." Arthur said through his heavy breaths. He stumbled through the gates, and still no guards, through half the lower town and still no one.
Merlin, however, finally decided to wake from his slumber, and had the misfortune of having Arthur's sweaty back in his face. Groaning, he blinked the blurriness from his eyes. His voice was still a bit worn out from screaming, but his ankle was throbbing, and he didn't like the fact that all the blood was rushing to his head. It only made his headache worse, and Arthur's bouncy walk was jarring his ankle back and forth. Ouch.
"Ar-" he coughed. Breathing again, deeper, he forced more air out. "Arthur. Arthur." Then his face slammed into Arthur's rear when his carrier stopped suddenly.
"Merlin?" Arthur asked, turning his head around. Then realizing his injured friend was awake, Arthur lowered him to the ground, holding his neck. Merlin groaned again.
"Yeah…what happened? Where are we?" He said quietly. He held his forehead with one hand and looked around. They were near the castle's outer walls. "But…how did we get here? We were at the training field, and you were murdering me! That really hurt you know." Merlin said, giving Arthur his pouting face. His put his hands on the pavement behind him and leaned on them.
Arthur rolled his eyes, "Well, if you hadn't been an idiot and fell in the first place…this wouldn't have happened!"
"Oh, blame me! When you're the one who threw a giant hunk of iron at my back!" Merlin grimaced and grabbed a hold of his leg, just above his ankle. "And made me fall."
Sighing, Arthur gave up. "All right, I'm sorry. Ok? We need to get you to Gaius as soon as possible. Why don't I go find someone to help?"
"No! Why should you get someone else to do it for you? Besides…I..I don't think I can wait for you to find someone. Its hurting pretty bad." To add to Arthur's growing guilt, Merlin began to look even more pained. His pale skin was whiter than before, and blood was flushing his cheeks. A sign of fever. Fever is bad.
Arthur squatted and put a hand on his servant's forehead. Warm, not by much, but his body was reacting. What had Gaius called it? He'd broken his leg when he was young, and Gaius said that he got a fever from…what was it? Infation? No, infamation..in...in… "Inflammation!"
Merlin looked up, confused. "What? Where did that come from?"
"You have a bit of a fever, and I remembered that it is your body reacting to your broken ankle…of course I have know idea why."
"Arthur, can we go now? Its throbbing…" Arthur nodded, grabbing Merlin by the armpits and heaving him up.
"Can you walk at all?" Merlin tried to use Arthur to stay upright, but it was a struggle he lost. If Arthur hadn't been there he would have fallen the ground. "Guess that's a no."
"You think?…You'll have to carry me." Merlin grinned happily, relishing in the fact that Arthur would have to carry him all the way to Gaius's chambers, maybe even to his own bed. Oh, forget the ankle. This was a dream come true!
Arthur rolled his eyes, sensing Merlin's joy. Of course, this is the perfect way to get back at someone. But Arthur was guilty, and Merlin had gained the upper hand. "Fine, but you get to muck out every stall in Camelot once you can walk again."
Merlin frowned, grabbing Arthur's forearm and heaved himself up. His vision faded for a moment, and he swayed, hoping Arthur would catch him, should he fall. He felt strange, like he had no control over his body. But it faded as quickly as it had come on, and he tightened his grip on Arthur.
"Could we go a bit slower?"
"Sure, just let me know if your about to faint, ok?"
Merlin nodded, and swallowed the bile that had risen in his throat.
Arthur's sweat was getting into his eyes. His frustration was reaching a climax, and they were only just past the second gate. The sun was rising slowly, and Arthur could hear the tell-tale signs of life beginning. "Finally." he breathed.
Merlin, who was leaning heavily on Arthur's back, but still hopping on one leg, said nothing. The throbbing in his ankle had intensified, and he felt nauseated thinking of all the steps he would have to climb. The shadow of the portcullis and the tower above them, felt heavenly after there long walk in the sun. A guard was just up ahead. "Hey! You there! OVER HERE!" Arthur bellowed at the sleepy guard, who was quite startled.
"Not now Merlin, I'm busy getting you to Gaius." Arthur ignored the servant. "Hurry! I can't hold him forever!"
"Arthur, I think I'm going to-"
"I said not now! Can't you see that I'm-…" Then Merlin fell, limp and helpless, to the cobbled street. "Shit!" Arthur grabbed at Merlin's jacket, and lowered him once again to the ground.
"Sire! What happened?" The guard arrived, an older gentlemen.
"I had an early training session, and the idiot broke his ankle. Its pretty bad." He lifted Merlin's pant leg, and was sickened once more by the horrific sight he beheld. The ankle had swollen even larger than before, and was turning purple. Merlin's toes were beginning to swell too, quite different from there normal skinny look. Arthur put a hand to his mouth. Ugh, that's even worse than my broken leg!
"Sire, we need to get him to the Physician!" The guard said, sounding slightly panicked.
"I need your help. Fetch some more guards to carry him, now!" Arthur said, gesturing him to leave. Merlin lay, his breathing slightly off, on his back. His flushed face was warm to the touch, evidence that the fever had worsened. "This is my fault, Merlin. I'm sorry."
The guards came, along with Gwen, who heard about the incident. When she saw Merlin being carried away, she burst into tears. Confronting Arthur, she demanded to know what happened.
"Its my fault. We were training, and he ran into a hole. Its just a broken ankle! He'll be fine!"
"Don't tell me he is going to be fine! He is unconscious! It doesn't seem like he is fine, Arthur Pendragon." And with that the maid walked towards Gaius's chambers to see Merlin herself.
Merlin woke to a sharp pain in his lower left leg. He blinked, and tried to focus in on his surroundings. His body was covered in a blanket, his ankle wrapped. There were a ton of small bottles on the shelves, books on every surface, and random herbs hung all around the room. Gaius's chambers, the Court Physician. Strange, he didn't remember coming here. Arthur must have brought him.
He sat up slowly, wincing. He lifted the blanket from his legs, and looked at his swollen ankle. Gaius had put a lot of wrapping, and it felt stiff and hot.
Merlin was still warm from the fever. He looked around for someone. But know one was there. And he had to pee. "Shit."
Just then, Gwen walked through the door, carrying a bucket of water. She nearly dropped it when she saw he was awake. "Merlin!"
He smiled, "Hey, how long have I been out?"
Gwen kneeled beside his bed, and put a hand to his forehead, "Your fever's nearly gone now. Its late afternoon. You were asleep practically all day."
"Could you, um…could you help me go to the bathroom?" Merlin blushed, his pale skin flushing red. Gwen laughed.
"Sure, Gaius had a pair of crutches made to help you get around. I'll help." Merlin relieved himself, with Gwen's help and made it back to his bed, up the stairs, without falling. His ankle felt much better than it had earlier, and the wrappings helped it stay in place.
"Gwen, where is Gaius? And Arthur?" Merlin asked.
Gwen smiled lightly, "Gaius was called not even a half hour ago. He should be back anytime now. And Arthur, he's hiding in his room. I think he is blaming himself for what happened."
"Why? I'm the one that fell in a stupid gopher hole!" Merlin frowned.
Gwen was about to say something, when Gaius opened the door. Gwen and Merlin looked his way. "What did I miss? Ah, Merlin, up finally! How's your ankle?"
"It feels much better. Did you drug me? I feel kinda loopy."
"Just a bit, I new you'd be uncomfortable. Arthur told me what happened. Looks like you'll be out of work for a while." Gaius took a seat next to Gwen.
"How long?" Merlin asked.
"Well…it depends, most likely a few weeks. And we'll have to work at getting it back to normal." Gaius said, with a look of pity.
"Great." Merlin sighed, and relaxed against his pillows. "So, will Arthur come to see me?"
Gaius and Gwen gave each other a look. "I can…persuade him, if you like." Gwen said, giving Merlin a sneaky smile.
"Get you butt over there now! ARTHUR PENDRAGON, DON'T HIDE FROM ME!" Gwen yelled at the cowering Arthur. He ran to the cupboard and climbed into it.
"He probably hates me! How can I see him like this? Its all my fault!" Arthur said, though his voice was muffled.
Gwen sighed, and opened the cupboard door. "He could never hate you. He wants to see you."
"Really? Well, what the hell! Why would he? I ruined the next few months of his life! All because I wanted to get some target practice!" Arthur spat, climbing out of the cupboard.
"Arthur, he is your best friend. Do you really think hiding from him will help?" Gwen said, crossing her arms.
Arthur slumped, "No."
Arthur opened the door slowly, and peeked around it. Merlin was sitting in the corner by the shelves. A hundred or so bottles of various liquids were spread out on the table. And he watched as Merlin struggled to reach for a high bottle. His crutches wobbled and he nearly fell over.
Arthur took a chance and ran into the room, grabbing Merlin's shoulders, steadying him.
Merlin sat down slowly, breathing heavily. "Thanks."
"No problem. How are you?"
"I'm fine. Nice of you to finally show yourself. I heard you were hiding in your room." Merlin smirked, waiting for Arthur's response.
"Well….I, uh, was sorting. Sorting through some papers. You know, the usual." Arthur said, struggling to find a cover.
"Right….so, you have a new servant yet?" Merlin asked, letting his head hang.
"What do you mean?"
Merlin looked surprised, "I'm obviously going to be unable to work for a while. Don't you have a replacement?"
"Maybe. Does that mean you quit?"
"No! I just thought…" Merlin shrugged. "Well, I'm kind of useless now. At least until my ankle is better."
"Well, if you want a job…" Arthur began, walking towards the door. "I could use a friend. You know, just someone to complain too at the end of the day." He turned and faced Merlin.
Smiling, Merlin nodded, "Why not."
Kinda long. Sorry, the ending seemed crappy, but I thought, what the hell. Its my first oneshot anyway, so it can't get any worse! XD
Anyone up for a review?