First off, I hate titling things because I am so indecisive about it. So I hope you liked the title because I literally spent like an hour going through a list of possible titles. (Did you guy's know that there's a 'random book title generator' on the internet?) Good gravy... :( *shakes fist and sneers at indecisiveness*
Secondly, and after my short rampage, HI GUY'S! I'm actually very excited about this! I've finally decided to publish a collection of one-shots because frankly, it's annoying when you are suddenly attacked by vengeful plot bunnies and can't write a one-shot because you've no where to publish it and you can't put it in a drabble because it wouldn't get everything across right, and you don't want to post it by itself because you think it's too short, but you're not sure whether to start a new collection because you don't know how often you'll be able to update. So, after many, many weeks of more indecisiveness *slams head into desk* I said, 'What the heck?' and went and did it anyway. Rejoice! Alright, now for the reason you're here in the first place...
Summary: Arthur has his own doubts
Characters: Arthur and Merlin
Warnings: *spoilers* scene from 5x12 that frankly just hurt my feels a lot, so then I thought this is what might have been going through Arthur's mind, Arthur's POV
Word Count: 724
Arthur glanced down at the tender parchment in his hands to hide the disappointment and hurt in his aquamarine orbs. "No, no. It's fine…"
The king looked up and saw Merlin looking at him with his own brand of hurt in his calcite colored eyes. He settled his gaze on a chair next to the servant before he shook his head and glanced back to the parchment that held their battle plans; for Camlann… "It's fine. I understand."
…No, he didn't.
Merlin was standing there in front of him, not two yards away and looking at him with watery, hollow, tanzanite eyes, lying. Merlin would never lie unless it was because of something of extreme importance. And even then he wouldn't lie about it to Arthur; not to his friend. But he was…
His mind retraced the beginning of the conversation…
"I'm afraid I won't be coming with you, not this time… I'm sorry."
Of course, he knew Merlin was telling the truth when he'd said that. There was a regret, and sadness that had laced his tone. He truly was sorry that he wasn't going, but still… His topaz eyes still sparkled with gathering tears and his face looked equally pained.
"I have an urgent errand to run for Gaius – vital supplies that I can't contain here…"
Arthur was looking straight at him, and Merlin was lying… He shifted the parchment in his hands and tried to contain the small ache he felt in his heart.
"Vital supplies?" he'd asked.
He could understand if Merlin wanted to stay behind so that he could protect Guinevere, to make sure she was alright and to be there for her if the worst happened. He could understand if Merlin wanted to stay behind to make sure they had the infirmary prepared and fully stocked for the inevitable wounded they would have. Heck, he could even understand if Merlin wanted to stay behind because he was scared, even if it was greatly out of character.
"Yes… It's not that I'm -"
But it wasn't any of those.
Arthur could see it there; in those stormy blue eyes that were below his obsidian black hair. There was another reason he wasn't going with him, he just wasn't telling Arthur…
Merlin's voice was low and soft, giving away a small part of his underlying agony to the king as it snapped Arthur out of his trance. "Arthur…"
The elder man interrupted him, voice only a little louder as he forced a mask on his face. "You know, Merlin…" he looked up and his honey-blond hair flashing in the light and his red tunic in sharp contrast with it.
He scrunched his brow, but not in disbelief or in confusion, but in thought. "…all those jokes about you being a coward…"
Arthur's eyes softened a little as he finally met Merlin's locked gaze; tumultuous sky against a pained tanzanite. The crease in his brow lessened. "…I never really meant any of them…"
And he never did. Merlin had done so many things: he'd saved Arthur's life more than a dozen times; he'd helped him take back Camelot twice now when the dangers against them were insurmountable; he'd fought a dragon with Arthur and then went off to distract another one when they were in Ismere just so Arthur could get Gwaine out of there…
Merlin, who was staring at Arthur with something akin to desperation in his hollow blue eyes, was…
"I always thought you were the bravest man I ever met."
He'd never told anyone though, kept it to himself, but he remembered that Lancelot said things like that every so often, so did the rest of the Knights, even Guinevere and Gaius – because Merlin was…
…But if he didn't have the courage to tell Arthur – his best friend - the truth about whatever it was, whatever was obviously putting him through so much pain because he feared what Arthur might think of him, then…
He turned away slightly, weighing the roll of parchment in his hand as it seemed to burden him all the more. Arthur could still feel Merlin's imploring, watery blue eyes on him, boring holes into him as he shuffled his feet.
The next words came out before he could even stop them as small tresses of doubt ebbed through his mind and heart.
"Guess I was wrong…"
All right, first one's done! I have a gazillion more coming, the only problem is time. So like I said, there's defiantly not going to be a schedule for this because if there was I would just be twenty times more stressed to meet the deadline... Sorry guy's! I'm off to bed shortly... if I have enough self control to get off the computer... *rolls eyes* I'm still slightly fangirling over 5x12 but sleep is pulling at my brain... I CAN'T WAIT FOR MONDAY! *squeals* :DDD *breathes*
Well, I hope you liked it and I hope you review! Constructive criticism and prompts are always welcome, trust me. Thanks for reading! Goodnight world! :)