"Stick with what you do best….NOTHING," Arthur yelled at Merlin from across the room. He didn't have to hear Merlin's erratic breathing to know he to was becoming mad. He couldn't deal with this anymore, all the mistakes, all the dodging, all the misplacement, he had enough and was finally giving it a voice. He new this sentence had been used before when Merlin sewed up and now it was happing again!
Hearing a scraping he figured Merlin was leaving so he threw his sword onto the table. When would he learn that he couldn't do everything? He pensively thought back to the day when they had been close friends despite master and servant; those days he was carefree, happy to have a friend. That went out the window when the king's ward was found and since then they had grown apart. It seemed every day something would fuel their tempers; something would get in the way, and as if something was being hidden, pushed back into the shadows. Until the only acknowledge they had was a 'yes sire, no sire, you're done with serving duties servant'.
Then he had come into his chambers to find Merlin on the floor trying to pick up a broken vase with his hands, he looked up at Arthur and only gave a simple explanation, "it fell when I was dusting sire." Arthur yanked him to his feet and Merlin tried to grab his jacket knocking his sword onto the floor in the process.
Arthur slowly turned at the noise and found Merlin had not left, he was in fact laying on the floor; pale, shaking, and clutching his chest. He felt something pass through him as Merlin looked up to him and his eyes pleaded. Merlin took a stumble forward and collapsed on his side.
"Art- hel-," he wheezed his chest growing uncomfortable.
Arthur looked around the room and found a pitcher of water on the table; taking it, he rushed over to Merlin, gently cradled him, and dripped water into his mouth. He found himself rubbing circled into his back, something he found mothers to do when their babies were coughing. Merlin then lurched forward, coughed the water out, and seemed to be coming back to normal.
"You ok?" Arthur found himself asking. He wanted to mentally kick himself because obvisly he was not ok; one who went into an attack like that over a disagreement was not ok. He helped Merlin sit up against the back of his bed and sat the pitcher down.
"Fine," was all Merlin could say. He found that while the pain was gone from his chest it left a nasty headache. All he wanted was to go to Gauis, tell him what happen, try not to get into detail, and go to bed. He wanted to forget everything that happened in the last hour. He swayed when he got to his feet but managed to stay up; he gave a nod to Arthur. He looked around the room and picked up his neckerchief from the broken vase pieces on the floor.
"You shouldn't move around that much, why don't you rest," Arthur said as he watched Merlin move about.
It was the lest he could do; besides if it had been back then he would've been able to yank Merlin by the arm and make him stay. Back then, his best friend would grumble and mutter curses as Arthur led him to a chair. Back the he would've joked about nurse Arthur. Back then, this wouldn't have happen.
"It's all right sire, this isn't the first time. I'll be back in the morning."
Merlin slipped from the room and down the hall.
Arthur stood staring at the door for perhaps the third time that night. He had come down here after a lot of thought only to leave and come back again. Really, it wasn't that hard to open the door. It was the person inside that made him wait for hours. He cleared his throat and pushed open the door. He walked into a downwards room and walked by a couple of tables before stopping in the middle by a pair of old eyes.
"Sire what brings you here?" Gauis asked getting up from in front of the fire. He put down the blanket he had wrapped around his shoulders onto his bed and looked at the prince. He had not seen the prince for a while and only got used to it being that way. However, deep down it still felt like a different demission.
"I came to see Merlin, to see if he is…alright," the blonde said glancing to a door across the room.
Gauis smiled at him and rubbed his head, "He's alright a little shaken up, but alright. He's in his room if you want to see him."
Arthur glanced back over to the old man and shook his head, "if he's doing ok then I sure there isn't a reason to see him. I sure he's teird, I'll just go."
"That's enough Arthur penndragon! I don't know what happen to you two in the last month but I've had enough. Stop dancing around this whole back to prince and manservant thing and go see him! Now!"
Arthur gulped and headed towards the door, no need to anger Gauis more! He gave a soft tap and heard a weak "come in." Pushing open the door he found Merlin in his cabinet putting away his cloths from today leaving him in a soft tunic and pants. He seemed distracted for he just said, "Really Gauis I'm fine. I just had trouble breathing that's all. The window was open and it's humid outside."
"You don't sound alright to me Merlin," Arthur said commenting on the strain voice. He watched Merlin back up and look at him. His face now held color but his eyes were still glassy.
"Sire, did I forget something?"
Merlin twisted his hands together not meeting his gaze, he had not expected to see the prince until tomorrow and here he was in his room. Couldn't he let him alone; couldn't he see that he just now was settling back into normally?
Arthur walked over and picked up a sack and causally began to place odds and ends into it, it was something he was used to. He paused for a minute as he found a widdled stick on the other side of the bed. He showed it to Merlin who just started at him.
"Really Merlin I know you enjoy picking every herb in the land, but a stick? This is worse then the time you brought home the rock with those dung beetles hiding inside."
Merlin shrugged at him and placed the stick onto a makeshift table. So what if he thought the stick would make a nice knife for Gauis to use. He sat on his bed not letting his eyes off the prince.
"I wanted to see if you're okay, you kind of weren't yourself," Arthur said finding the courage to say the question asked by Merlin's gaze.
"Sorry, but I'm fine thanks. I'll get up bright and early to make sure you make it to the hunt Uther has planed. I promise too not screw things up, but than again, that's what i do best at nothing isn't ? Good night," he finished while turning over in his bed and leaving Arthur to stare at his back.
"You said this wasn't the first time it's happen when was it the first?" Arthur wasn't leaving just yet.
"When the questing beast knocked you out, when my mum's village was under attack, when Gauis was accused of treason, when I was held under by that shit faced witch hunter, and when you and me stopped…talking and everything got so messed up," he said loud enough for Arthur to hear as he rolled back over to see him. He down caste his eyes and played with the bracelet on his wrist.
"There just attacks I get if something is different to me and blown out of idealistic life, or when something triggers my anxiety."
Merlin looked up at Arthur who walked over to him and pulled up a chair, he rubbed his face with his hands. Well how was he going to deal with this? He looked at Merlin to see a frown crease his features and he found his mouth talking.
"It's not something to be ashamed of Merlin. Everyone handles things differently you know, you just have a habit of not being able to breath, but I know you make up for it in different ways. I am sorry for being difficult for the past month I don't know what happened to tell you the truth. I think I just wanted to have my father and morgana see me for the prince I am and I should not have done that because I lost my friendship I had with you.'
Merlin smiled at him, "thanks, at least you're princely enough to admit it! I know you didn't mean what you said earlier you just were handling it in your own way like you have been doing."
Arthur smiled to, "yhea well maybe it wasn't the best way. Thanks too you to Merlin, look why don't you get some sleep alright and I'll see if I can stay home from that hunt."
Merlin sat up and blinked, was Arthur under magic? Apologizing was one thing but staying home from a hunt! Arthur laughed at him and stood up.
"Don't look so surprised mer, I know you'd go through all the trouble to stay with me if I was not up to standards, you grumble I sure though. Besides you're not getting out of duty after all, I do have something I need your help with and we have some catching up to do!"
Merlin looked at him amusingly, "what do you need help with?"
"Oh just trying to fix that vase you broke, because friends help friends get out of trouble. That vase was from a high lord that my father knew and it be your hide he'd skin for finding it in pieces," he said walking out the door as he called a last good night.
"Night…Arthur," he called back, happy for the first time in months.