A/N: Delirious Merlin is rather fun and this little scene was somewhat popular in "Patient Zero" so I decided to expand it. I certainly enjoyed working in some inside jokes and quotes from friends- not that any of them read my work (or perhaps because of that fact).
Yes I realize there are anachronisms and such, but I was feeling indulgent regardless so why not go all the way?
Hope you enjoy :)
Gaius levered himself up from the bench; still somewhat weak from his bout of ill-health.
He hated having to wake his ward but it really was best to monitor the progression of his head injury- said concussion having been worsened by the confrontation with Morgana.
Hobbling over to the door he heard sounds of distress and hurried inside to see the warlock batting at the air, casted left arm and bandaged right flailing pitifully.
"Argh" Merlin yelled, grasping at the air. "The table man!"
Potentially amusing as the situation was, Gaius wasn't about to let the young man hurt himself further and so he stepped forward, resettling wayward arms against a battered chest.
"Arthur! Leave me!" Gaius frowned as Merlin became more agitated "save the- pajamas..."
The physician looked at his patient in consternation as he drifted off and began snoring.
"Merlin." He said, gently patting the pale face.
Cloudy blue eyes opened slowly, not quite focusing.
"Hello.. blurry, blue... person?"
"It's Gaius, Merlin." He reached forward, checking the pupils and finding that they (if nothing else) were normal.
"Pleasure to meet the both of you."
Gaius leaned closer. "We're the only two people here, you know."
"Where's this Merlin fellow then?"
Rather startled at this revelation, the servant answered slowly "You know, I think you may be right."
"No need to worry about that now. Let me help you sit up for a moment."
"Oh I can do that myself-"
He sat up abruptly, only to clutch at his broken ribs and pitch sideways off the bed.
The elder barely managed to get him back onto the cot as Merlin spluttered indignantly "Did you see that? The bed tried to knock me off!"
Gaius nodded, placating his surrogate son.
"Yes, I'll be sure to discipline it later. Now, if you can just drink this for me I'll let you get back to sleep."
Merlin wasn't entirely certain whether sleeping was a desirable activity or not, especially on such a traitorous piece of furniture, but the blue liquid looked rather inviting so he reached for it willingly- only to miss.
He giggled like a child, stating "I fail at eyes."
"Here." Gaius pulled the stopper from the vial and placed the potion in Merlin's hand.
A white eyebrow raised slightly, in time with the pale hand as it navigated the path to pink lips, successfully tipping the liquid down the unsuspecting throat.
"Tastes like... condescension..." he muttered thickly, sinking back into his pillow.
Shaking his head, Gaius reached forward and tucked the blankets around his boy.
Merlin hummed contentedly. "Thank you, Father" he said, leaning into the physician's touch.
The old man grasped at his robes over his heart, a warm feeling fast washing over him and a wide smile spreading over his face as tears formed in his eyes.
"You are so very welcome, my son." Gaius whispered the words, kissing Merlin on the forehead and locking this moment away in his heart to cherish forever.
Straightening with only a slight wince, he retreated to his workroom, ready to do it all again in a matter of hours.
A guard calling out the time woke Gaius from his reverie, bringing him to the realization that he had been grinning foolishly at the wall for the past two hours.
Chuckling at himself he once more gathered his robes and made his way to the small back room.
This time he found his ward resting peacefully, a slight smile still on his face.
He absorbed the scene for a moment before moving to wake Merlin.
Waking up more fully this time, Merlin greeted Gaius and wished him a good morning. (It was dark outside, but why argue?)
Finishing his examination and seeing that Merlin seemed to be (relatively) cogent Gaius asked:
"How do you feel, Merlin?"
The aforementioned gazed at him seriously. "I have a rugburn on my knee from chasing my tail."
"A- rugburn?" Gaius queried.
"Yes." He nodded, then added as an afterthought "it's squishy."
Clearly he had been mistaken about his ward's improved mental state- or perhaps he had made the potion a bit too strong.
The physician blinked a few times then reached to adjust the blankets.
Might as well look.
He had hardly finished the thought when he found himself being awkwardly embraced by a once again half-asleep Merlin.
"Mother." He nuzzled Gaius' shoulder. "When did you get so- round?" he asked, clearly confused.
"Merlin." the physician huffed with only mild annoyance "you need to lie back down before I tie your arms to the bed."
Merlin put on a look as if he may actually know what was going on, but then ruined it by speaking.
"You know, anything will twinkle if you look at it long enough."
This pronounced with the air of a court philosopher.
Gaius sighed "I have better things to do than sit here and watch you twinkle. Now, lie down and go to sleep."
Satisfied that the invalid was once again wrapped in peaceful slumber- and despite his proclamation of having more important matters to attend to- Gaius settled into the lone chair in the room to gaze at the most important person in his life.
"I'm so glad you're okay, my boy."
He laughed softly as Merlin mumbled in his sleep ("Di' som'n say 'baby'?") and amended "Well, you will be... you will be."
He spent quite some time contemplating the precious sleeping form, warm thoughts filling his head and heart – though one recurring question was nagging at him.
What in the name of huckleberries are pajamas?