No one saw Arthur for days, he missed council meetings and skipped training sessions with the knights. Merlin worried, but didn't have anyone he could talk to about it. Their relationship was still secret to the kingdom and no one knew that Arthur possessed magic.
After a week, Merlin finally decided to confront Arthur and went to his room. The guards outside told him that no one was to enter, King's orders. It wasn't hard to knock them out with a quick spell. Merlin pushed open the doors and found Arthur's room a disaster. There were scorch marks covering most of the floor and walls and the furnishing was charred. The one remaining piece of furniture that was pretty much untouched was his bed, but even that had it's share of burn holes in the sheets.
"Arthur?" Merlin asked, worried. No one answered him and Merlin took a couple more steps into the room. The doors slammed themselves shut and Arthur came from around the corner, eyes red and puffy.
"I'm so sorry, Merlin," he said, his face contorted with pain as he started crying. He walked into Merlin, pulling him close and Merlin folded his arms around Arthur.
"Sh," Merlin whispered, "It's alright. It's alright, I forgive you," Merlin held Arthur there for awhile, holding him close and kissing his face occasionally. Until Arthur's sobs calmed themselves. "I want to show you something, Arthur," Merlin said. He pulled away from Arthur, letting his hands slide down his arms and into his hands until they fell apart. "Magic isn't evil on it's own.
"It is how you use it," Merlin said. He pointed at a book that had been spared from the wreckage and made it float into the air. "That makes it good," he pointed at Arthur's armor, the pieces floating individually through the room, "Or evil."
Merlin levitated as many things as he could find, having them whirl and fly in different directions, moving them like a stream throughout the room. It was purely for fun and to show Arthur how he controlled his magic. A pillow landed in front of Arthur on the ground and Arthur looked from it to Merlin who was facing him now. "Go on," Merlin said, gesturing forward with his hands.
Arthur stared at Merlin's eyes which were holding their golden color, the light in them swirling and moving brightly. It was beautiful and inspiring, but Arthur was nervous and scared. The only time he'd been able to do magic without hurting someone or something was when he showed-
That was it though, wasn't it? Merlin had told him that he had to be specific. Arthur remembered mentally scoffing at the idea that there were dozens of words for fire and he didn't have control over his magic yet.
So maybe magic wasn't evil after all.
Arthur pointed at the pillow and it floated half and inch off the ground before he dropped his hand and turned away, he couldn't use magic. He was afraid of it, afraid of how little control he had.
"Come on, Arthur," Merlin begged, "Just try. I know you can do this, please," Arthur took a deep breath and turned back towards the pillow. It sat on the ground and leered back at him, taunting him for being afraid of a bag of feathers. "I know you can do this, Arthur."
So he tried again. Arthur pointed at the pillow and made it float into the air in front of him. He kept pointing at it until it was at eye level, then he dropped his hand. Arthur smiled because he was doing it. The pillow was floating and no one was getting hurt.
He experimented with moving it around, having it float back and forth with just his eyes telling it where to go. Arthur got more brave as he had it follow a boot that Merlin was controlling around the room and eventually had it moving on it's own without direction from his eyes. Arthur pointed at a piece of broken chair and slowly lifted it to eye level the same way before sending it off after the pillow.
He laughed and Merlin laughed. They stood together alternating between watching Arthur's possessions fly throughout his room and staring at each other. Together they reveled in the beauty that was magic and Arthur's discovery that he could perform magic without hurting someone.
Arthur felt elated, not only because he wasn't afraid of himself anymore, but because Merlin had been there and Merlin had been the one to help him. He didn't know if he could contain the feelings in his chest at the moment and was torn between breaking down and screaming with joy.
And Merlin was smiling at him and it made the feelings in his chest move downward in towards his hips.
For once, everything was good.