Disclaimer: I don't own Merlin.
A/N: This was supposed to be a drabble but it was 30 words over to start with.
"Eat something," Merlin demanded of his master, holding out a plate with a small amount of meat and vegetables on it.
Arthur looked up at Merlin, eyes coming into focus, "I'm fine." He coughed.
"Eat or I will make you," Merlin said playfully despite the dark circles around his eyes.
"I'd like to see you try," Arthur replied.
"Arthur," Merlin's voice was terse, tension radiating off his body.
"You eat it," Arthur said, noting the way his servant was eyeing it.
Merlin shook his head and shoved the plate in Arthur's face, "I've already had my ration, today."
Arthur narrowed his eyes, "It's not rat, is it?"
"It's not rat." A weak smile.
Arthur, finally, picked up a piece and made a show of popping it into his mouth.
"Thanks," he said, though food was like dust on his tongue.
"No problem." Another small smile and something akin to relief on Merlin's face as he walked to the bars of the cell. Arthur watched as the door closed between them.
"I will get you out of here."
"Don't promise something you can't keep," he said, tiredly and leaned against the wall, the straw itchy and course against his bottom.
"I will fix this," he promised, eyes bright with determination on an empty stomach, "I will."
If you are a little confused why Arthur is in a cell. It's because throughout history in times of famine, the peasants sometimes revolt against the nobles. Take the French Revolution for example.