So this is a drabble that was a request from my roommate actually haha. Anyway I had almost finished it awhile ago but I took forever to wrap the whole thing up. The request was for a dark!Merlin who was creepily pining after Arthur so, enjoy! As always I own none of the characters~

He watched from the spaces between light, ever present, a mere spectator within the confines of the king's shadow. Merlin waited and watched the king pace back and forth. He was reminded of the sea, waves receding in and out, in and out, back and forth. Arthur was a lot like the sea. Loyal, fierce, nearly unstoppable when he wanted to be, harsh, calm, and all the contradictions that only applied to water. As Merlin watched the blonde flow from one part of the room to another he thought of other ways Arthur was like the water. Fluid, impossible to contain, and sometimes, when the sun hit him just right, his hair shone like the lights of heaven might. And his eyes became the deepest pools of passion, sparkling defiantly in the face of a challenge. If freedom had a form and body it would be Arthur.

And Merlin so desperately wanted freedom.

"How could this happen?" Arthur's panic brought the young warlock from his silent revere.

He waited for the king to address him, blue eyes wider than the expanse of the horizon as he looked for answers. "Whatever do you mean, sire?" He asked as if he didn't already know.

"Guinevere! Her betrayal. Explain!"

Merlin pressed his lips together, as a dark echo of laughter filled his mind, rattling around and itching to get out. He pushed the urge down, and down still as the king beseeched his wisdom. He found a sick sort of joy in the way Arthur emphasized his distress when something terrible happened. The other man's misery gave him the utmost satisfaction. Simple. She was in the way so I had her remove herself. He thought darkly, silently cackling at the simplicity behind his motives. His desire understood perfectly, Arthur on the other hand, would take a more delicate approach. Merlin shrugged with an innocent ignorance he didn't possess. "I haven't the faintest idea, sire."

A frown split Arthur's features in the most delightful way. It was clear this explanation wouldn't do. So like Arthur to be displeased with a simple truth. (Though the truth Merlin chose to tell him was indeed false, the warlock didn't consider the king clever enough to figure that much out.) He had hidden many things from Arthur over the years. He didn't see what good telling the truth would do now that things were said and done. Gwen had chosen Lancelot and that was that.

(Though the king would never have to learn of Merlin's involvement in helping the matter along.)

It may have seemed cruel, or self-serving, or all around despicable, but it wasn't his fault the king couldn't see passed his own foolishness. Arthur was pacing again, running ceaseless patterns into the carpet under his boots. And he continued on like that, for hours, days, weeks.

Merlin continued waiting and watching as the hurt contorted the king into a hallow shell of a man. The light drained from his eyes, his skin a pallid mockery of its usual glow, the sunshine color in his hair turned to straw. It was beautiful. And knowing that he, Merlin, had been the direct cause of this metamorphosis gave him a devious sort of pleasure. Because now the time was right. This man was less than putty in his hands.

"Arthur." Merlin said gravelly, putting a hand on the other man's shoulder to still the mindless pacing. The king looked to him helplessly, ready to collapse out of misery or exhaustion. It didn't matter. "You must stop this." But he didn't want it to stop. He wanted this state drawn out, passed the breaking point, complete and total despair.

"I can't." Arthur said stiffly, unable to keep his eyes fixed on the man in front of him. He moved out from underneath the hand on him, brushing by his manservant to continue pacing.

Back and forth.

"You're really and truly depressed, aren't you?" Merlin's tone lacked the pitiful sympathy he knew Arthur expected from him.

It gave the other man pause, a confused glance over his shoulder. "Of course I am, Merlin! My wife to be betrayed me. With one of my own knights!" He rounded on the servant, only to pass him by again to keep the rhythm going.

Back and forth.

"Yes. And after all you did for him. What ungrateful swine." His tone was icy, the words snarled and spat out. He was so close. It was all coming together. Just a bit more patience. He reminded himself with little regard to the man that was unwinding in front of him. Merlin regarded his retreating form coolly, the joy of this little façade wearing thin.

"He wasn't—well. Maybe….maybe he was. I just—I don't understand. Did I do something wrong? Did I not treat them both well? I loved her, with all my heart. "

Merlin nearly gagged at the confession.

"And I regarded him so highly. I made him one of my knights—against the law. How could he…?"


"How could they?"

Very. Soon.

Arthur had just passed him again, when Merlin rushed forward and wound his arms around the other man's waist. The king halted, stiff and surprised. Merlin couldn't stop himself from inhaling deeply, pressing his face into the back in front of him desperately. It felt…amazing.

"Sire…" He spoke softly, hoping it made him sound sincere. "You mustn't let them do this to you."

Arthur remained a clammy, rigid body within his arms. That was alright. It was enough for Merlin. Enough for now, anyway. He could sense the discomfort welling from within the body in front of him, so he slipped his arms off the other man immediately, feigning shyness. "Forgive me, sire. I just—I don't want you to suffer any more. I don't want them to succeed in ruining you. You are a great man and you will be the Once and Future King. I swear it."

This seemed to touch some chord within the king, as the tension in his back began visibly relaxing. Merlin's mind curled into a delighted smirk. Arthur trusted him implicitly, with his whole heart and soul. It was only a matter of time before the warlock had him completely under his reign, and in that moment he realized with a sick sort of glee that the sea would soon be his.