“Arthur...beautiful, you in here?” Merlin called and quietly entered the mans’ chambers.
“I’m here...” A sad voice croaked.
Merlin looked around and found Arthur behind the changing screen, siting against it, curled up, under a blanket.
Merlin looked at him with sadness and bent down and lifted the blanket and shifted so the two where under it, tears streamed down Arthur’s face, he was sweaty and shaking badly.
Merlin carefully cradled him in his arms, stroking his sticky hair, hushing him.
Arthur sobbed and hugged him tightly, burying his warm face against Merlin’s cool neck, sobbing into him.
“Shhh i’m right here...shhh...” Merlin hushed.
“Merlin i don’t want you to leave!” He wailed suddenly, making Merlin jump.
“It was just a dream Arthur...nothing's going to happen to me, i assure you.” He hushed and kissed his temple gently and hugged him tighter.
“It keeps...replaying, over and over again!” He sobbed, gripping Merlin’s back painfully.
“It’s a dream Arthur, nothing more...nothing less love.”
“Don’t leave me please...whatever happens...don’t...” Arthur croaked lowly.
Thats when the tears fell from Merlin’s eyes.
“I won’t you know i wont...” He said gently but strongly as he kissed the king’s hair, not caring how tightly he was holding him, or how stuffy it was, how sticky and sweaty Arthur was, he didn’t mind it, only focussed on comforting his lover.
“Shhhh...” Merlin hushed him and gently lifted Arthur’s head, his palms holding Arthur’s wet cheeks, his fingers weaving through the mans’ hair.
“I won’t ever leave you...” He whispered, smiling gently and leaned in, giving him a gentle kiss, Arthur sobbed into it and hugged him with love and care, desperate to feel Merlin.
After a long while Merlin pulled off the blanket, making the man whimper but Merlin pressed the mans’ face against his neck, holding him close, shielding him form the outside world.
“Lets get you cleaned.” Merlin whispered and gently lifted Arthur up with care and lead him to the bath, with one hand he held Arthur's back and head against his shoulder, Arthur hugged him tightly, burying his face against Merlin’s shoulder as he prepared it.
When he was done, the man laid the jug on the desk and hugged Arthur tightly.
He undressed the man, pulling off the cold and wet clothing off of his clammy skin and laid it down, Arthur climbed in and Merlin kneeled behind Arthur and washed him.
Arthur hummed as the warm water cleaned him, how Merlin’s arms slid across his chest, holding him close, his lips kissing along his shoulders, Arthur slid down and covered himself in the water and wiped a cloth along his shin, cleaning away his stench and sweat, Merlin lightly stroked his hair in comfort and Arthur froze, taking deep breaths and lay against the bath, head laid back, eyes closed, completely relaxed.
Merlin smiled and leaned down, capturing Arthur’s lips, his hand under Arthur’s dripping wet hair.
Arthur let the water trickle off his arm as he lifted it up and ran his hand across Merlin’s hair, dampening it.
Merlin hummed and kissed him deeper, Arthur’s tongue slipped in and explored Merlin.
After a while Arthur drew back, both panting.
“I love you.” Arthur whispered, kissing Merlin’s cheek.
Merlin smiled. “Lets get you out.” He hushed and Arthur climbed out of the bath, Merlin toweled him down and dressed him.
Arthur took Merlin’s hand and pressed his against his cheek, eyes closed with a caring smile plastered on his lips.
“You’re so precious to me Merlin..” He whispered peacefully.
Merlin smiled and held his cheek.
“As you are to me, Arthur.” He hushed and kissed his fore head.
Arthur hummed, smiling more.
“I’m glad your here, just here, breathing and alive with me...” Arthur whispered and hugged him close.
Merlin hummed and snuggled against him, kissing the mans’ chest.
“Arthur?” He whispered.
“Yes love?” Arthur hushed, kissing his hair.
“Love you...” He whispered and drifted off.
Arthur smiled gently and kissed his hair and lifted Merlin into his arm, placing his head against Merlin’s as he climbed onto the bed, holding Merlin close he pulled the covers over the two and pressed Merlin against him and hugged him protectively and pressed his head against Merlin’s neck and lay there, eyes closed, feeling Merlin against him, hearing his breath, feeling his strength and calm heartbeat.
“Thank you, Merlin...thank you...” He whispered and fell asleep.