TITLE: Two sides of the same coin
CATEGORY: Gen (Canon)

CONTENT WARNINGS: Angst, Merlin and Arthur bromance
SYNOPSIS: My first ever Reveal One Shot

DISCLAIMER: Merlin is not mine, and never will be, although as a fan it's fun to play around with these characters. No money has been nor will be made from this. It's from a fan for fans to read. Merlin is owned by the BBC and Shine.

Two sides of the same coin

"Merlin, what's wrong, speak to me, Merlin?"

Arthur's frantic voice reached his abused mind and body. He couldn't stop trembling with cold, while fire seemed to envelop him in a fierce hug. He had tried to push it away, but his magic wouldn't work properly as he was too weak, too wasted. He could feel his life force, his magical energy, slowly and painfully whirl around and ebbing away until there was almost nothing left. And it made him want to scream out in terror even though there was only a whimper coming from his lips.

Morgana knew what she had done to him. Done op purpose and the thought alone almost send him over the edge. This wasn't happening, he didn't want Arthur to find out about his magic this way, never this way. But if he didn't grab onto his own self, force himself to heal, he would die. And if so, Arthur would die as well, which was out of the question.

Merlin knew what he had to do to survive, for both of them to survive. He'd made a choice.

"Arthur?" He couldn't open his eyes to look up at the man next to him. The man who had a hand on his shoulder in a gesture of support and strength while he lay on the ground, fingers clawing at the dirt of the forest floor.

"Merlin, are you all right?" Arthur's voice sounded worried, a fear clinging to his words that made Merlin tremble even more than he already did. "You can't die on me, not here." The voice was thick with emotion and it made Merlin focus on it so hard it actually hurt. His head felt like exploding and he knew he had to act, quickly.

"Ho, hold me?" It came out of his mouth as a barely heard whisper.

"Wha, what?"

Merlin couldn't explain, as he was feeling too weak and there was no time. Morgana knew and he hated her for it. If Arthur would not do this, all would be lost. If Arthur even doubted, all would be lost. He had to be strong, for the King's sake. He could regret it later.

"Just, just do it." His teeth chattered, a spasm of pain travelling up his spine and back, "now!"

Merlin knew he was good at using a commanding voice in a way that made even Kilgharrah raise his brows at times. He never used it with Arthur before though, and he was saying a silent prayer that it would have the effect he was hoping for.

Not opening his eyes he suddenly felt Arthur's strong arms around him, pulling him up and pressing him tightly against his armoured chest. And even though his armour was cold, the warmth of the man's soul and the offered comfort overwhelmed Merlin's body immediately, and he felt his magic flow back slowly, like Arthur's touch was enhancing everything that he needed to heal, although it wasn't enough, yet.

A simmering golden glow started to resonate from his toes and made his way up through his legs, arms and body. It was like a golden fog that surrounded them, small droplets of water warming and falling on their skin.

"What is that?" He could hear Arthur whisper near his ear, shock apparent in his voice, but he didn't move. He kept his hold on Merlin's body. "Is that, are you doing that?"

"Yes." One word that was going to have consequences, one word that would change everything for good or bad. One confession that would test their bond, and since Morgana found out he had magic, it was all she wanted. To break their friendship and loyalty, and only leave chaos behind.

"You have magic?" The King gasped and was about to release his hold on him, but Merlin knew they would be lost if he did. Morgana had made sure of that. He had to make Arthur see it, believe it, believe in him.

"Don't let go," he panted, trying to catch his breath. "If you let go, I'll die."

"Die?" Without any hesitation Arthur renewed his hold on him. "I won't let you die, Merlin."

Merlin felt his eyes fill with tears, and the emotion made the golden fog thicker and more secure, like a warm blanket. "But, I have magic."

There was a long silence, but Arthur's renewed hold didn't diminish.

"I won't let you die, I will never let you die, you're my friend." Arthur's own tears were falling, leaving a trace on Merlin's exposed neck, and wherever they fell the feeling of friendship and love breached the cold some more. Morgana's powerful spell was wearing off with Arthur's believe in him, even with magic. In their equal bond. Two sides of the same coin.

This was the most powerful enchantment of all. Morgana had lost.

The end