Doubled Over With the Hunger of Lions by nightanddaze [Merlin/Arthur]
There's something in the air, pulling them together and pushing the kingdom apart.
Days pass with an odd normality, only broken by the surging of the curse’s tide. Merlin is still a manservant and Arthur is still the Crown Prince and these roles are vital to keeping the world the way it should be.
They still bicker, Merlin still does the million chores required of him, and Arthur keeps up the attitude and stream of death threats. But it is a little different, as if everything has turned just a bit to the left. Arthur doesn’t seem quite as impatient as he used to, and Merlin knows he’s done good enough work to deserve the three and a half compliments he’s received.
That must be part of the curse, affection. Anything to let you get what you so badly need. Merlin lies in his bed, taste of rich pheasant from Arthur’s plate on his tongue, shared laughter in his mind.
He thinks this addiction is almost worth it, for such exquisite friendship.
slán sábháilte by dotfic [Merlin/Arthur]
Arthur and Merlin keep saving each other. Eventually they may even admit it.
He found a long, shallow wound, still faintly bleeding under the cloth, along Arthur's back, and a mottling of bruises on his shoulder. Beneath his touch Arthur's skin felt feverish, too warm as Merlin worked, cleaning the wound and putting a wet, cold cloth over the bruises. He wished Arthur would grumble about clumsy servants or insist on doing it himself the way he sometimes did, snatching the cloth irritably from Merlin's hand, instead of wearing this air of defeated exhaustion.
Merlin let his fingers linger too long at Arthur's shoulder, allowed himself to smooth back the yellow hair that had fallen into his eyes. Arthur leaned forward to rest his forehead against Merlin's chest. Merlin felt the tension go out of him as he leaned his whole weight against Merlin.
He wrapped his arms around Arthur and held on.
An Unnecessary Freezing of Water by shinetheway [Merlin/Arthur]
The next time he opened his eyes he was as cold as he’d ever been in his life.
“You really are something,” Arthur said, and the tension was broken, as Arthur shook his head sadly. “I think Gaius is right, you do have some sort of mental affliction.”
“Slander,” Merlin said airily, limp with relief, and waved a hand, “pure slander. I’m brilliant.”
“You’re a moron,” Arthur said, and for just a second, his voice sounded ever so faintly shaky. Merlin found himself being held, tight, with Arthur whispering, “Don’t ever lie to me again.”
“Never,” Merlin said fervently, and tentatively let his arms circle Arthur. Dead on the ground; the image swam before his eyes, and he clutched at Arthur tightly. Never. Never again.
“The light,” Arthur said, in his ear, and Merlin felt him shiver. “It was the last thing I saw, before. I knew it was you, coming to save me.” He made a quietly amused sound. “You always save me.”
- Merlin: Doubled Over With the Hunger of Lions / slán sábháilte / An Unnecessary Freezing of Water