Arthur could feel his mind racing, but he couldn't grasp onto thoughts. The glass was cool against his head, and he wished he could just stay here for the moment.
What Merlin had said bothered him. Can magic truly be good? Even when the entire time people were going against Camelot with magic? Maybe Uther was wrong, but Arthur didn't know a time when he wasn't wrong. He always was right.
With a groan, he went to the table and sank down in the chair. His hands moved over his eyes as he tried to wipe the cobwebs from his mind.
Even if he allows Merlin to use magic to help the people, what if Uther finds out? He slammed his hands against the table. For a moment, the split pain brought him back to reality before his mind wandered again.
Arthur pushed himself away from the table. His eyes were slightly glossy as he left his chambers. The door click closed behind him.
When he looked up again, he was in front of Gaius chambers. He raised his hand to knock before he let it fall limply to his side. His eyes were trained on the floor.
He knows he had no reason to be here, but he needed to talk to someone he semi-trusted.
Arthur almost jumped out of his skin when the door was suddenly opened. Merlin gave the prince one look before pulling him into the room.
It took a few seconds for Merlin to get Arthur comfortable in front of the fire. As a last resort, he gave Arthur some cooled-down tee from the morning.
"Is there something I can help you with, or do you want to wait for Gaius?" Merlin kept his voice even and low.
The shadows and guilt were clear in Arthur's eyes, and as much as Merlin wanted to ask what is wrong, he sensed that being quiet would be a lot better at the moment.
"Would you mind if I just wait for Gaius, please?" Arthur's voice was low as he stared into the flames. The cup was cool in his hand, and it gave him something to focus on.
Merlin was silent as he sat on a chair, just waiting. The time felt like it wasn't moving but both knew that it was moving.
Arthur jumped slightly when the door opened.
With a nod from Merlin to Gaius, Merlin left the room. He was slightly worried about Arthur, but he knows that there was nothing he could do.
"Arthur." Gaius's voice was soft as he crouched down next to Arthur.
Arthur was silent as he looked up. Tears were brimming in her eyes. He bit the inside of his cheek.
"I don't know what to do." The turmoil was clear for anyone to hear. Arthur turned to face Gaius properly.
The years since he was a small child had passed, the fears that just keep growing inside him and now with his hands being tied.
A silent tear fell down his cheeks.
"I don't know what to do." The second time came out quieter. A tired admission.
"What happened, son?" Gaius couldn't keep the worry from his voice even if he tried. How many times was it needed for him to treat wounds that had become infected? Never once did Arthur cry in pain?
A small hiccup left Arthur's throat. "I have magic, and I fear it. According to Merlin, it can be a wonderful thing and for a moment I had felt the wonderfulness.
"But what if Merlin is wrong? What if I am a monster? How do I know how magic will change my life?" Before Arthur could continue, Gaius pulled him into a tight hug.
The sudden contact made him stiffen up before he relaxed. Why on earth was it safer with the court physician than with his own father?
"You will never be a monster child. You fight for what is right, and you did it since you were a little boy. Your magic is still part of you. If it wanted you evil, why did it rather locked itself away?" Gaius kept his voice low and warm. Even though he just wanted to shake sense into Arthur.
"But what if Gaius? We both know what Uther had preached about magic…" Before Arthur could continue Gaius stopped him.
"Uther preached it because he doesn't understand magic, Arthur. He thought that he could dedicate magic and that isn't how it works. He used magic to have you, child.
"When it didn't work like he thought it would, even after repeated warnings from Nimueh and Igraine that it wouldn't work. That is why Uther hates magic." Gaius trailed off slightly as he realised that he had revealed a big piece of information.
Arthur leaned slightly back, his mouth was tight as he tried to hold the emotions back that were threatening to spill out.
His throat felt like someone had stuffed it full with swords. The cup fell from his hands. Everything felt numb.
Gaius grabbed a vial, quickly opening the cork. Before Arthur could move, Gaius pressed the vial against Arthur's lips. It took only a few seconds before the potion worked.
Arthur sank to the floor, his eyes falling close. With hard movements, he got Arthur onto the cot.
He could feel the headache forming. Why on earth had Uther thought that not listening to Nimueh was a good idea he didn't know? Maybe if he had realised the truth from the start, then everything would have been different for them.
Maybe then he would have been a father for Arthur. And realise that his son was part of the magic, maybe he would, could have accepted him.
Merlin was silent as he slipped into the room early evening. He had a feeling that the prince was still with Gaius, since his room was empty.
When he saw the strawberry-blond hair reflecting slightly the firelight, his eyes scanned until they found Gaius.
With light steps, he made sure not to step on any creaking boards or bump into something.
"What happened?" His voice was low as he crouched down next to Gaius.
The physician pinched his brow slightly before he looked at Merlin. "Long story. Arthur should wake up in an hour. Will you make sure he has something to drink, please?" Gaius didn't wait for an answer before he left the room.
Merlin sighed slightly before he poured some water into a tankard. His eyes flashed gold, and the water cooled down.
His mind wandered slightly to his parents and for a moment he could feel gratitude for everything they did for him, for standing by him even when everything was difficult, they always made him felt love even when everything went wrong.
Here it was different. From the few interactions he had seen between Uther and Arthur, he couldn't help but get the feeling that it is a lot worse than they let anyone seen.
The time went by faster than Merlin would have expected, as he crushed herbs that Gaius would need for the next few potions.
Arthur sat upright with a start. His eyes were wide and his hands clenched into the blanket. It took him a few moments to gather what had happened. Except for a slight twitch by the corner of his eye, he didn't show that something was bothering him.
"Arthur?" Merlin's voice was loud in the room's quiet. He crouched down next to the cot as he gave Arthur a quick once over.
"Are you alright?" Merlin wanted to reach out and comfort but he knows that the touched would not be welcomed.
Without saying a word, Arthur stumbled from the cot. His mind felt blank and as if someone had hit him repeatedly over the head.
The hallways moved slightly in and out of Arthur's vision, and there was an irritating buzzing sound in his head. He wanted nothing more than to forget everything.
It was a stupid decision to come and see Gaius.
Merlin was silent as he followed Arthur back to his chambers. He could feel the worry slowly expanding in his heart as Arthur stumbled through the room.
It was only thanks to magic that Merlin was able to catch Arthur when he suddenly fell. The worry only intensify when he realised that Arthur's breathing was unnaturaly fast and there was a cold sweet building up in his neck.
With some difficulty he managed to manouver Arthur to his bed.
It took a few tries before Merlin got Arthur to drink something. The prince was silent the whole time, just slightly clutching his left arm as if it was in pain.
An extra update this week, since it feels like a Sunday today for me.
I hope everyone is still enjoying the story. Please tell me what you think of the story and constructive criticisms are always welcome.
I can also be found on Tumblr lover-of-midnight