Arthur's father had yelled at him for a good 20 minutes before Arthur could 'explain' that the griffin had flown off towards some outer villages and he didnt want to risk loosing its trail by reporting that they would be gone longer. Of course the king had not apologized to his son, he had simply waved him off, sighing.
Arthur had made it look as if he were heading to his chambers but as soon as he knew he was out of sight he practically flew to the physicians tower, only slowing when he came to the door. Pushing it open lightly he saw Gwaine and Lancelot talking with each other while Gaius looked over Merlin who was fast asleep on his stomach and looking better already.
"How is he?" Arthur asked nervously.
"He should recover soon, a week of this salve and he should be able to return to light duty" Gaius replied "He wont be back to full strength for a month or so but he will recover"
Arthur breathed a sigh of relief and dropped down into a chair by Merlin's bed, earning him glances from the two knights.
"I don't think he will be returning to work" Arthur said finally "After what I did I dont think i deserve his loyalty"
"Hey Arthur" Gwaine called "Just so you know, I'm sorry for all the trouble I gave you"
"What on earth possed you to tell him that now?" Asked Lancelot shaking his head like he was talking to a child.
"Well he ought to know" Gwaine replied, turning back to the cards that had been laid out on the tabel between the two.
"Thanks Gwaine" Arthur smiled, at least his knights didn't hate him anymore.
Merlin gave a light moan in his sleep and tossed his head to the side, Gaius quickly grabbed a rag out of a bucket of water that had been sitting not to far from Arthur and placed it on the warlocks forehead.
"His fever has come bacl?" Arthur asked worriedly, The warlock had lost it by the time they had returned to Camelot, what could be wrong?
"Only slightly, it's not dangerous, more likely stress induced" Gaius sighed watching Merlin's eyes flicker under his lids, Arthur hoped he wasn't dreaming about his time with Layton, even though deep down he knew that was more than likely.
"Hine on ylde eft gewunigen wilgesiþas, þonne wig cume..." Merlin muttered, Arthur could see his eyes opening slightly though the irisis were rolled up into his head, obviously unconcious and glowing dully.
"What-?" Arthur started before he was interupted by Lancelot.
"He was doing that before, the other night when you walked off Arthur" Said Lancelot, "We couldn't figure out why, nothing magical is happening"
"It happens when he is sick sometimes" Gaius explained "It was a fight to convince other people it was just muttering, last winter when he caught the flu the fever was so strong he made all the loose objects in the room start floating"
"Arthur swa sceal geong guma gode gewyrcean"
Arthur swung his head round to look at Merlin when he heard his name, making his neck give a twinge of pain much to his annoyance. Was Merlin using magic against Arthur in his dream? Was Arthur attacking him? The prince felt his guilt knot up in his stomach again.
Merlin woke to voices, he felt warm and safe in his own bed once again. Safe. It was something he hadn't felt in a while now. He didn't want to open his eyes yet, he was too comfortable. He knew he should though, Gaius would most likely want to check his back and the brand. He hoped Gaius could do something about it, he didn't want to be branded as a slave for the rest of his life.
Somebody was there, cracking his eyes open he saw Arthur sitting on a chair a few feet from him, obviously wondering if the warlock was aware. Merlin didn't mean to but he quickly puled himself up into the siting position, backing up against the head of his bed defensivly. He could see Arthur stiffen. That when Merlin looked down and noticed the ring was gone, instictivly his hand flew o his check where only a thin line was left from where the jewel had cut his face.
"I, just came to make sure you are ok" Arthur mumbled to the floor.
"Where's your ring?" Merlin asked slighly nervous though he wasn't sure why.
"I threw it into a lake" Arthur admitted, running his hand through his hair "I... I didn't like looking at it"
Merlin just stared, he wasn't really sure how to respond.
"I'm so sorry Merlin" Arthur sighed, his voice cracking ever so slightly "If I hadn't reacted the way I had...Layton would never of gotten his hands on you"
Merlin knew Arthur was aiting for his answer,nervously he licked his lips and responded.
Arthur losed his eyes, not that it mattered they were all ready looking at the floor. Even though he knew it was true it still hurt to hear Merlin say that.
"This was your fault"
Part of him wanted nothing more than to bolt from th room and never come back, but he knew he deserved the harsh words, after all, it was his actions that caused all this pain.
"And I forgive you"
Arthur's eyes snapped open and widened, raising his gaze to meet Merlin's. The warlock looked like he honestly meant it, but how could he?
"What?" Arthur gaped blinking in confusion "But I..."
"You havent turned me in, even though you know what I did and who I am, plus you came to rescue me, I think that makes up for what you did" Merlin smiled "Besides I think you have recieved enough punishment from Gwaine and the knights"
"Thankyou Merlin" Arthur had never said anything so sincerely in his life.
"Arthur, just near the bed there is a false floor board, it's where I keep my magical things" Merlin admitted which caught Arthur off gaurd "Can you pass me my magic book?"
After a moment of stunned silence Arthur made his way over and found the fake flooring and lifted it, passing a thick leather bound book to his friend who went flicking through the pages.
"Here" He said pointing to some runes on one of the pages, "This spell is used for helping scars fade, it wouldn't usually work on something as serious as my shoulder but I think I have enough power to make it heal..."
"Be careful, you don't want to over exert yourself" Athur warned feeling nervous, he had very little experience with Merlin's magic, that he knew of anyway.
"dolgswaðu ácwínan!" Merlin commanded, placing his hand over his shoulder, eyes glowing very brightly. After a few seconds Merlin dropped his hand and leant back against the head of the bed looking like he had just run a marathon.
"Are you ok?" Asked Arthur quickly jumping to his feet.
"You...tell me" Merlin breathed with a small smiled pushing himself up into a more comfortable position. Arthur nodded and peeled off the bandages around his shoulder carefully. Arthur smiled.
"Your skin is completly fine!" He exclaimed "Well a little pink but no numbers"
"I never was good with healing magic" Merlin laughed.
"I'm just glad your alright" Arthur admitted, "So...this magic thing...how often do you use it?"
"Alot, the stories I could tell you wouldn't believe it" Merlin sighed, but it was a happy sigh.
"Well, after all this is I think I can" Arthur boasted "Come on, tell me"
Merlin laughed and quickly started up his tales from the moment he arrived in Camelot, Arthur hung on his every word. As did several silent knights who, unknowingly to Arthur and merlin, had been sitting outside the door for some time.
All sporting grins on their faces.
Things were going to be fine.
Wow, Ive got to say Im happy I finally finished this story, Ive been loosing passion for it. Ive gotten a message with a request for a story so I will be starting that up soon.
I really hope this story was enjoyable :)