A/N- Hello all, this one-shot is an expanded form of two of my drabbles in my story, Fractions- ch. 137 and 138. You don't need to have read them to get this.
Now keep in mind that I only know a minimal knowledge of medical stuff so most of it is completely pulled out of my butt. So please do not get too offended at the mistakes that crop up.
This is dedicated to my Fractions' reviewers and readers!
Exuberant and cheerful humming bounced around in the physician's chambers, melding in with the sound of bubbling potions. Sunlight streamed in through the open window and warmed the back of the young warlock sitting at a disorganized work table. Merlin was cutting up valerian root to be placed in the tincture simmering softly in front of him. His humming stopped momentarily as he carefully placed the shreds into the potion and when he began stirring it, the warlock began to whistle.
Normally he would not usually be so pleased about making potions but he would have been training with Arthur now if Gaius was not busy. And the king had been in a surly mood when he had arisen this morning, so Merlin counted his lucky stars that he got out of it. The court physician was in the lower town, treating a contagious flu that had been lingering for weeks which meant that his other duties needed tending to- and Merlin was the one who fit the bill. The warlock smiled to himself, knowing that Arthur was not best pleased at having to be tended to by George.
When the potion in the small basin appeared to be the right colour, Merlin stood up and grabbed the set of vials standing by and got one ready to pour the remedy inside. He was so intent on not spilling a drop that the suddenness of the door opening caused the glass vial to drop from his fingers. Merlin turned towards the entrance, ready to tell off either Arthur or the knights but froze when it turned out to be Lord Agravaine. Merlin snapped his mouth shut and cleared his face of any annoyance or wariness if might have held.
"My Lord, is there anything I can do for you?" Merlin wondered.
Agravaine glanced around the chambers, absently straightening the cuff of his midnight coloured doublet. "Ah, Merlin. I was wondering if Gaius was around." He fixed his dark eyes on Merlin and wore a smile that the warlock pinned as false.
"I'm afraid not," Merlin told him, "he is busy tending to the sick in the lower town."
"Shame, shame," Agravaine tutted, not sounding all that surprised. Merlin hoped that the suspicion he suddenly felt did not show through his eyes. It was common knowledge that Gaius had been abnormally busy. "Perhaps you can help me then."
Merlin tried hard not to frown, and harder when Agravaine strutted closer. He reminded Merlin of a peacock, only stuffed into black feathers that were too small for it. The warlock offered the lord a stiff smile. "Of course."
Agravaine grinned and his eyes shone like glossy beetles. "Excellent. Well I'll cut straight to it, shall I? Has Gaius ever mentioned a sorcerer named Emrys to you?"
The warlock involuntarily stiffened and knew the action was not lost on Agravaine when the lord's eyes narrowed a fraction. "Em, no I can't say he has," Merlin answered. "But I'll mention it to him when he returns."
Agravaine's smile turned rapacious and he clasped his hands together, all the while walking slowly closer to Merlin. The warlock looked down at the closing distance between them and he could no longer keep up his pretence of a smile.
"Are you certain...it doesn't ring any bells?" Argravaine wheedled.
"No, sorry." Merlin's tone was clipped.
Agravaine breathed an airy laugh through his nose. "You want to know what I think?" He asked when he finally stopped in front of the warlock. "I think that you know this Emrys and you and Gaius are keeping him hidden." The sickly pleasantness that inhabited his voice was long gone now.
Merlin crushed the urge to swallow. Agravaine was much too close to the truth and the pressure caused Merlin's palms to sweat. Why was the lord suddenly questioning him now? Perhaps Morgana was angry at having the Catha turn against her.
"I've never met anyone called Emrys," Merlin told him stuffily, unknowingly raising his chin. It was true, for how can one meet oneself?
"You're a liar!" Agravaine growled and took another step forward forcing Merlin to lean back into the table.
"I'm not!" Merlin fumed- his tone defensive due to the fact that he indeed was a liar.
"Tell- me- the- truth!" Agravaine whispered.
As Merlin went to deny any such lie telling on his part, Agravaine seized his arm. Merlin gritted his jaw but stood his ground. "I don't know what to tell you," the warlock stated in a low voice.
"The identity of Emrys," Agravaine said forcefully and tightened his hold.
Merlin winced when the lord's fingers dug into his arm painfully. "You're hurting me," Merlin ground out, unable to resist looking at the vice grip below his shoulder.
"Oh, am I?" Agravaine asked amiably. Merlin looked into the lord's dark eyes and saw anger he was not certain that was meant for him. It was directed at him though and Agravaine squeezed his arm harder. Merlin was so alarmed at the ferocity he shoved the lord with a force that belied his slim build. He tried to slip past the stumbling noble but was grabbed from the behind. Merlin's arm was forced up in a hold exactly like the one Arthur placed on them when they first met. "Ow!" Merlin shouted and surged onto his toes when Agravaine pushed his arm upward. It was definitely more painful the second time around. When Merlin believed he was in danger of having his arm broken he tried to appeal to the lord. "I don't know who Emrys is!"
"I do not believe that for a second," Agravaine spat from behind him, only pushing Merlin's arm up more. He stopped when the resistance became tighter.
"I'm telling the truth!" Merlin lied. The pain fueled desperation certainly made it sound like he was.
Later, Agravaine would curse his stupidity for letting his anger get the better of him, only because Arthur kept a stern eye on him after the whole debacle, but at the moment the thought of having no answers for Morgana terrified him. Agravaine angrily shoved Merlin's arm upward and felt it snap with a loud series of cracks. The warlock emitted an agonized shout and fell down to his knees when Agravaine released him.
Merlin's eyes burned with pain and anger and he quickly shot up and turned around clutching his arm close to his body. The warlock backed up from the looming noble only to remember that the table was there. He jumped at the surprise and almost lost his balance when he dashed to the side to avoid the advancing lord. Agravaine caught his arm and hauled him backward, making the limb burn in agony. The physician side of Merlin's brain kindly informed him that his shoulder was dislocated on top of his arm being either broken or fractured. Agravaine kept Merlin's broken arm in a tight grip and loomed over him, speaking in deadly quiet tones.
"You will tell me who Emrys is!" he hissed, so intent on the servant that he did not hear the door open.
If Merlin had not been facing the door, he would not have noticed for the pain splintering down his arm. But Sir Percival was extremely difficult to miss.
His eyes met with the knight's and Merlin watched as Percival processed what he was seeing. He witnessed shadows flood the knight's eyes, and knew that if he was the one receiving that look he would likely need the chamber pot. Agravaine whipped his head around to view what Merlin was looking at and promptly dropped him. The release of pressure made it feel like his arm set fire and Merlin sunk to the ground with a pained groan.
The second Merlin hit the floor, Percival was upon them surprising everyone with the sheer speed he moved at. He barely realized what was happening as Percival's heavily muscled arm blurred toward Agravaine. The knight's sturdy fist smashed into Agravaine's cheek and the way the lord's jaw shifted when Merlin heard a loud crunching noise told him that what broke was not Percival's fingers, but Agravaine's face. He remained rather stunned when Arthur's uncle flipped over the table, causing his work to crash and shatter spectacularly over the floor to land with a loud smack on the ground below.
Merlin was exceedingly unsurprised when there was no movement from the other side of the table. He looked up and decided that the knight looked exceedingly tall and very intimidating from Merlin's point of view. Percival was quickly kneeling before him, one of his vast hands resting on the shoulder that wasn't broken. Merlin discerned the way Percival's bright blue eyes narrowed when the knight noticed how he held his arm. The warlock could not help the grin that sprang on his lips. "Percival," he breathed, "I'm really glad that you're my friend."
Percival gave him a stunning grin in return. "Me too," he stated simply. The knight then looked at Merlin's arm and glanced apologetically at him. "I need to set this back into place."
The warlock shifted uncomfortably knowing that if his arm was throbbing now it would seem like a tickle compared to the agony that would occur when Percival would pop his arm back into place. He shook his head. "We need Gaius," Merlin breathed out slowly, "wasn't a clean break."
Percival frowned deeply. "What do you mean?"
Merlin gritted his jaw as the rest of the pain started to claw at shoulder and down his arm. "Not just a dislocated shoulder. I think there's a fracture somewhere in there too. Can't exactly tell, my whole arm is on fire but I heard it." He grimaced at the pain that wouldn't go away and then suddenly remembered where he was. "I need you to go to the bookshelf over there." Merlin nodded his head to the bookshelf empty of books but laden with various bottles containing a variety of potions.
Percival glanced at him before striding to where Merlin was pointing with his good arm, making sure to send a wary glare to the unconscious heap that was Agravaine. "Grab the brown potion on your left. No the other one. Yeah."
The knight hurried back and opened the stopper for Merlin who took it gratefully and downed it in one swallow. Merlin noticed as he was grimacing in disgust that Percival was staring menacingly at Agravaine once more. "Alright," Merlin interrupted the knight's no doubt inviting thoughts. "I think it's a good idea if you can put my arm back." The potion was not numbing his arm as well as he wanted though.
"Are you certain?" Percival asked. "I thought it wasn't a clean break."
Merlin nodded. "I'm certain." He pried off his neckerchief and looked quizzically to Percival when the knight took it out of his fingers. He twisted the cloth and folded it so it was firm and then gave it back to Merlin who flushed embarrassedly. But there was no judgement held in Percival's pale eyes, only concern and the vestiges of anger.
"Will this not just aggravate your arm more?" the knight wondered.
"Probably, but it's better than having it just hanging there." He placed the cloth between his teeth and nodded.
"Sorry about this, Merlin," he said softly. His brow was furrowed guiltily so Merlin did his best to smile around his neckerchief.
Percival certainly did not waste time. He wrapped his hands around Merlin's arm and shoulder which made the warlock think his limb might as well have been a twig. The knight was not as quick as Gaius would have been but was surprisingly gentle as he rotated Merlin's arm back into the socket. Merlin slammed his eyes shut and did his best not to scream from the agony- the neckerchief thankfully muffled his yells. The potion he had taken did not do much in his opinion and he barely noticed when Percival was done and keeping him still. Merlin was crouching in on himself and grunting through the pain, feeling bad for the now profusely apologizing Percival. He keenly his arm pulsate with scorching fervour. Dark plumes of fire danced across his eyes as oblivion reached for him but he miraculously fought it off. He wished he hadn't though when he heard the click off the door opening. He groaned, desperately wanting no company at the present time.
"Merlin!" Arthur's pompous voice shouted before the door was open. Percival looked down alarmed at the muffled curse words coming out of Merlin's mouth. Of all the people that Merlin would hate to see him like this, Arthur was number one. "Gwaine's gone and- what the hell?"
"It's your own fault!" Arthur griped, "stop complaining." He rolled his eyes skyward. The king and Gwaine were walking through the sunlit halls toward the physician's chambers, ignoring all the strange looks they were receiving.
"My fault?" Gwaine asked acidly, "you are the one who seemed happy to cut my fingers off." They had been sparring, and Arthur went to disarm him but Gwaine stubbornly did not let go of his sword. Which led to the reason the knight had a gash across his index finger and knuckles. It just so happened that the incident had ended Arthur's already thin patience and he had called off the training session. He was looking forward to complaining to Merlin.
The king was too fed up to get angry at the knight. "It's a training session, Gwaine. Accidents happen."
Beside him, Gwaine scoffed. "Right. I think you're just mad that Merlin's been too busy for you. So you are taking it out on little old me." Arthur sent the knight a sidelong look and Gwaine couldn't resist laughing.
"Hmm, well his break is over now. Potion making can wait. I wonder what's taking Percival anyway, I sent him to collect Merlin ages ago."
Gwaine rumbled in agreement and then decided to moan and groan, holding out his hand like it pained him greatly. Which it likely did but there was absolutely no reason to complain like the knight did. Arthur heaved a sigh of great relief when they entered the final corridor and came into view of the main door to the physician's chambers. The king quickened his pace and hurried to open the door, calling out to his lazy servant before it was open. "Merlin! Gwaine's gone and- what the hell?"
The king gaped at the scene that awaited him, becoming worried over Merlin who was sitting on the floor and being supported by Percival while the servant jolted with pain. Muffled and agonized moans were ripped from Merlin's lips and Arthur strode forward, becoming more worried when Merlin's head remained lowered. But then a splash of black outside the fringes of his vision made him stop in his tracks. Arthur peered past the table and to his fallen uncle while Gwaine rushed past him.
Despite his shock, Arthur put two and two together. Agravaine was out cold, Percival's knuckles were bruised, Merlin was injured, and Percival would never hurt Merlin. "What happened?" He demanded anyway.
Merlin was becoming quieter but his words were hard to hear due to the pain making his voice hoarse. "I don't know who Emrys is," he said frantically. Now that he had become calmer, Percival reached to support Merlin's arm for him.
Arthur moved to crouch beside Gwaine and Percival, gripping Merlin's good arm as if he could tell what was wrong. "Your uncle did this," Percival told Arthur, with a venom that the king found horribly surprising. Arthur's lips thinned at the information he did not want to be true.
"But why?" Arthur asked. "How?"
"Who cares?" Gwaine snarled and vaulted up. "It's clear he still needs Gaius." With that he left to go find the physician but not before handing Arthur a look that the king took to mean as, 'handle your uncle before I do it for you'. And then a final one which blatantly read, 'But I'm going to anyway.'
The king swallowed and looked toward his uncle but did not go to him. How could he when Merlin was just barely controlling his own breathing. "Merlin?" Arthur called.
Merlin looked up to him and then spat what Arthur recognized as his neckerchief out of his mouth. "Mmm." Was all he managed as he clamped his jaw tightly shut.
The servant's eyes were nearly black they had darkened so much, but he offered Arthur a wobbly smile. "...Didn't pass out," Merlin managed proudly. "Thanks, Percival." He then exhaled and looked away from them, trying to ignore the pain as well.
Arthur knew that the tactic would be a failed one so he decided to distract Merlin and get answers at the same time. "Merlin, what happened?"
It wasn't Merlin who answered. Percival's tone was hard edged but he was not hostile toward Arthur himself. "Agravaine clearly wanted information that Merlin didn't have. And harmed him when he did not get it. Broke his arm and dislocated his shoulder."
Arthur looked to Merlin for confirmation and got it when his friend averted his wide eyes.
"But why would he do that?" Arthur asked quietly, unknowingly failing to keep his desperation from Merlin.
"He was drunk," Merlin blurted. When Arthur's eyes hardened, the warlock tried to backtrack but a particularly vicious throb took the words out of his mouth. "Em...Ow... I – think." He tried to curl in on himself but Percival held him firm so he would not aggravate his arm further. Arthur looked at the sweat beading on Merlin's brow and tightly shut eyes and the king did not press him for information.
Percival watched Arthur straighten with a blank expression and instantly knew that the lord was in deep trouble. The king stared at Agravaine almost coldly before looking back to his servant.
"I'm sorry, Merlin," Arthur expressed.
The servant grinned tensely at him, starting to speak but aborting the attempt to hide his face away again. Arthur looked around at the sound of the door opening and rose up to give the approaching physician more room. Gwaine had trailed behind Gaius and stopped at the door, looking as if he was guarding it. Arthur did not discount the possibility after the roguish knight looked at Agravaine like the lord was dirt at the bottom of his shoes. The king did not address him and instead turned his attention to Gaius who was now kneeling in front of his ward.
Merlin looked silently at Gaius who assessed him with an analytical eye. "What are your injuries?" Arthur wondered if the physician had spared a glance for Agravaine at all.
Merlin opened his mouth but shut it contemplatively. He looked at Percival. The knight blinked and then looked to Gaius. "Broken arm and dislocated shoulder," he reported with no nonsense.
"Might be fractured though. Hurts like a... a-" He trailed off when Gaius' eye brow rose slowly.
The physician nodded and got up, walking to a shelf by the back. He rummaged for a bit before heading back with some items, and this time the passing glance he gave Arthur's unconscious uncle made the king wince. Arthur had done many things Gaius had disapproved of, mainly when he was a child, but never witnessed the coldness harden the physician's eyes like it did right then.
Gaius knelt down in front of Merlin and leant forward, cutting away Merlin's sleeve at the shoulder with a knife. The pieces of clothing fell to the ground revealing Merlin's pale arm which was mottled with dark bruises, and Arthur's eyes centered on the one unmistakably left from fingers. Behind them, Gwaine swore. "Broken," Gaius said immediately. Arthur looked to him and followed his gaze to the shallow curve on the side of Merlin's upper arm, bending the limb where it wasn't meant to be bent.
Arthur felt a sensation like he was kicked in the gut. His uncle had hurt Merlin. Percival's face immediately became tighter. "I didn't do that did I?" The knight asked.
"No," Gaius answered as he reached for the small bowl of cream he brought over. "This will hurt, Merlin." He started gently smoothing the cream over Merlin's arm and the servant winced uncomfortably.
"I only feel my shoulder, not...that," Merlin informed him and looked curiously and slightly disturbed at his arm.
"Oh it will come," Gaius frowned. "I've seen breaks like this one."
"How did it happen?" Gwaine called out. He appeared satisfied that Agravaine would not wake up any time soon and went to sit on the table Merlin was leaning on. He let his leg swing softly against Merlin's uninjured side, earning a smile from the servant.
Gaius finished smearing the gooey paste and replied to Gwaine while looking at Merlin. "I am assuming he pushed your arm up your back with considerable force."
Merlin chose not to nod since it pulled at his shoulder. "Yep," he sighed and then eyed Gaius who was now reaching for his arm.
"Your back was facing him?" Arthur's muted exclamation was surprisingly loud in the room. The image that Gaius had conjured led him to think of the counter move all knights were schooled in. He remembered the first time he had met Merlin and the boy had tried to punch him- Arthur had used what was likely the same hold Agravaine employed.
Merlin smiled in a placating manner, following Arthur's thought process.
The king blinked at the floor, visualizing Merlin trying to walk away but Agravaine catching him. Drunk or not, Agravaine had some answering to do.
"Hold him steady please, Percival," Gaius asked. He grabbed Merlin's neckerchief off the ground and unceremoniously stuffed it into his ward's mouth. The servant glared at the physician. Both Arthur and Gwaine leaned forward as Gaius got ready to set Merlin's arm.
Just as Merlin looked away, Gaius wrenched the servant's arm down and pulled. Everyone but Gaius and Merlin winced at the dull crack. "Keep his arm against his chest," Gaius told Percival and took Merlin's neckerchief out from between his teeth.
"I didn't feel anything," Merlin told him and continued in an offended voice, "besides my shoulder." The knights in the room looked alarmed until Gaius informed them that it was normal. The physician then wrapped a sling around Merlin's arm and tied it securely.
"I'll give you a potion now for that will quickly change. I'd appreciate it if you would bring him to his room, Percival."
"I'll do it," Arthur stated. He strode over to Merlin whom Percival had stood up.
"My arm's broken, not my leg," Merlin said with a sulkiness that Arthur could not remember hearing before.
"Shut up, Merlin," Arthur declared and placed a hand on Merlin's good shoulder, leading him away from Percival. The strapping knight smiled at Merlin before warning him to be careful.
"Heh, thanks," Merlin called back as Arthur led him at a slow pace so he would not jostle his arm too much. "But Arthur's gone- ouch- all mother hen like. I'll be fine." Merlin winced at his arm but his grin to Arthur was still impish.
Arthur made sure the guilt he was feeling did not show through his sky blue eyes. "Merlin, are you comparing your king to a chicken?"
"A female chicken," Merlin corrected.
As Arthur engaged Merlin in distracting bickering on the journey to the servant's room, Gaius asked Percival to go fetch some water. "I'd like to keep the swelling down," he muttered while bustling around for ingredients to whip up a potion for Merlin.
Oddly enough, Percival smirked at the word 'swelling' and glanced to the crumpled Agravaine before striding from the room. Gwaine then sidled over to the lord and peered downward. A wolfish grin stretched on his lips when he saw the state of Agravaine's face. There was blood leaking from his nose down to his jaw which was clearly unhinged and swelling terribly. Not to mention that the lower side of his face was starting to bruise a vivid shade of purple.
In short, it looked like he was punched by Percival.
The throne room during late night time hours was not an inviting place. The king sat on his throne very much in his element as he regarded the way the moonlight fell like silver velvet through the lofty windows, coating the vast room in a pale glow. It was the only light that presided in the room since the king had the candles blown out- the effect was striking, Arthur had to admit. The room was made up of cavernous shadows and wane light only. Arthur looked to the main doors as the lone helmeted guard started to open them. Another guard stepped through and bowed. "Your Majesty," he greeted and his intimidated voice echoed down the large room. "Lord Agravaine is here like you requested, Sire."
"Send him in," the king dictated, his voice and bearing the most formidable thing in the room. The man bowed and retreated, shortly being replaced by Arthur's uncle. The guard at the entrance shut the doors and stepped in front of them after the lord passed through.
Agravaine bowed deeply when he entered and began the long trek to the throne. His apprehensive footsteps resounded loudly in the empty space and Arthur offered no greeting. The lord made his way with his head down, and Arthur doubted he felt any relief upon finally approaching. The king let his disappointment and cold anger rule his expression.
Agravaine placed one knee on the ground and bowed, clearly trying to win some forgiveness. The sight nearly caused Arthur's lip to curl. When the lord began to get up, Arthur's voice cut the silence like the hiss of scalding metal touching water.
"Did- I- say you could rise?"
Agravaine flinched and remained on one knee. "I am sorry, Sire," he breathed.
"What else are you sorry for, Agravaine?"
The lord gulped audibly, and it was no wonder since Arthur had not been this furious at Agravaine ever before. Arthur came close when he suspected his uncle of being a traitor but then he had no solid proof of anything.
But now, Merlin's broken arm was more proof than he cared for.
"Yes," Agravaine said and finally looked up. The sight of his uncle's swollen and bruised jaw cast into hard shadow by the moonlight strangely did not move him. "I apologize greatly, Arthur, for harming your servant. I was not myself."
Arthur's eyes narrowed infinitesimally. "Yes, Merlin seemed to think you had been drinking," he stated, making sure his low opinion on the matter was clear.
A flicker of surprise passed over Agravaine's face, causing Arthur to lower his head to study the lord. Shadows passed over his face. "Or is he lying, my lord?" Perhaps Merlin could not think of a reason for Agravaine's aggression besides him being drunk. Arthur had almost hoped that he had been, but now...
"I am sorry, Sire," Agravaine said and cast his eyes downward. "But I admit that I was. I hope you can forgive me."
Arthur nearly vaulted up from his throne but his only reaction was his eyes widening in fury. "You think that gives you an excuse?" He asked harshly. "You harmed my servant, Agravaine and you better pray you have a better reason than that."
Agravaine looked up momentarily stunned. "I- I- was looking for the sorcerer, Sire, that killed your father-"
"Tread lightly, Agravaine," Arthur warned quietly.
The lord put his head down in what Arthur took as fear but really was scorn for his nephew. Agravaine carried on gently. "And I thought that if Gaius had known where to find him, perhaps Merlin would know where he is currently."
"The sorcerer who..you are speaking of is named Dragoon. The one you were interrogating Merlin over is named Emrys. I do hope you are not trying to lie to me, dear uncle."
Agravaine's eyes were still trained on the floor so the prince did not see panic flash in them. He soon collected himself and looked up to the king, appearing offended. "Of course not, Arthur. But this Emrys is a very powerful sorcerer, the two likely know each other. They are a danger to Camelot."
This time Arthur would not be mollified by Agravaine's words. "If this sorcerer is so powerful, why has he not put Camelot in danger before?"
"I fear it is only a matter of time-" He broke off, realizing that this was quite possibly the worst time to question the king.
Agravaine shifted uncomfortably but Arthur did not give him leave to stand. "And did Merlin even know who Emrys was?"
The lord averted his eyes momentarily. "No he did not, Sire," he admitted quietly.
Arthur waited an uncomfortably long time before speaking, his voice getting quieter and more lethal with each word. "I am gravely disappointed in you, uncle. I thought you were a considerate and kind man, not one that would strike out at a servant when their backs are turned because you did not get your way."
"My lord!" Agravaine exclaimed, "I deeply regret my actions, I fear I will never forgive myself. I am truly sorry." He bowed his head and stared at the floor. Arthur thought that Agravaine's jaw was probably killing him.
"Stand up, Uncle" Arthur ordered. Agravaine did as Arthur asked and winced, but otherwise he was still and the picture of regret.
"I count Merlin as my dearest friend, and if you ever lay a hand on him or anyone that does not deserve it again... let us just say I will be doing more than just chatting with you," Arthur's voice was quiet and menacing in a way that reminded Agravaine very much like the king's half sister. The lord could not fight back a shiver. "Remember that I am King, and do not forget."
Agravaine nodded. "Yes, Sire, you are too gracious, my lord."
"If you were not my uncle..." Arthur said and let the statement hang in the heavy air between them. "Now, leave."
Agravaine bowed and did his utmost to keep his hurt pride from surfacing as he walked away. The guard at the entrance opened the door for the lord and looked at him as he approached. Arthur kept a stare locked on Agravaine and remained looking at the doors even after he fled them. Arthur glanced to the side as the sound of laughing came from the guard.
"Bravo, princess," Gwaine called, coining his old nickname for the king. "I can smell the piss from here." Gwaine took off his helmet with a flourish and started to saunter toward Arthur.
Arthur stood up and hid his amusement at Gwaine's comment. "Did that do for you, Gwaine?"
The knight made a face. "No, I heard tell of no punishment whatsoever. That bastard broke Merlin's arm!" Gwaine would never honey coat his words for Arthur, and the king could not expect him to when Merlin was the cause.
"Leave it, Gwaine. There is not much I can do."
"Weren't you just reminding him that you were king? You can do whatever the hell you want," Gwaine scowled.
"I must retain decorum. He is my uncle."
Gwaine stepped forward and Arthur could see in his eyes that whatever restraint he previously had was thrown out the window. "To hell with decorum! Merlin is your friend! He stood by you for years when anyone else would have left, and you replace him with the bloke whose only been around for one. The same bloody one who attacked Merlin, a weaker, smaller man when his back was turned. Drunk my horse's ass. I'll swallow a sword if that's true."
"Remember your place," Arthur advised.
"I do," Gwaine said without his previous passion. "You'd do well to remember yours, mate."
Arthur stared after him as the knight left, refusing to look down. Midway across the room, Gwaine stopped and turned around. "Well are you coming or not?" He asked impatiently.
Gwaine gave him a sidelong look. "We are drinking with Merlin tonight. Gaius is out and Percival already brought what we need."
Arthur started walking but frowned at Gwaine. "Gaius said that Merlin-"
"Can't have any alcohol, I know. That's why we will drink and thereby provide entertainment for him. And you, unless you want a hangover in the morning."
The king shook his head in wonderment. "No, someone has to keep you in line and Merlin won't be able. I suppose I shall bear the burden."
Gwaine grinned and slapped the king on the back. "Good man! Hey, you think you can cancel our patrol tomorrow morning?"
Arthur just handed him a single look. Gwaine was stumped before regaining cheer. "Well how about you send Agravaine with us?"
The king sighed and quickened his pace to stride away from Gwaine. The knight stopped and then laughed.
"That wasn't a no!"
Can I say Gwaine laying into Arthur was not part of the plan? Also I had an unhealthy amount of fun writing the Arthur and Agravaine scene.
...I broke my arm once (my right arm, and wasn't that annoying). When I was seven I was jumping off a swing but let go too soon and then fell backwards off of it. Apparently there was a crack but I guess I didn't hear it over me doing a back somersault lol. But when I looked at my arm, midway between my wrist and elbow was bent upwards- I was mildly freaked. I didn't feel anything though and not even when my brother (who was also seven) ran over and pulled it back into place. It only started hurting until maybe fifteen minutes later. Heh the doctors were stumped at my xrays...
I really hope everyone enjoyed the story! Any review and constructive criticism is loved, I would very much like to know what everyone thought :)
Thanks for reading!