03 July 2017 @ 08:50 pm
Author: <"Moonflower999">
Title: Sanctuary
Rating: G
Pairing/s: Merlin/Arthur
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, (Uther)
Summary: Merlin follows Arthur as he slams out of Uther's office and takes off at a run.
Warnings: none
Word Count: 500
Prompt: Belonging
Author's Notes: This is one of the first things I wrote, shortly after finishing the series a couple of years ago. It seemed to fit this topic. It's very near and dear to my heart, and I really hope you like it! Thanks to Emrys_MK for helping me to fine tune this!


Merlin had been chatting with Arthur's assistant when he heard a door crash shut. He looked towards the massive, ostentatious doors into Uther Pendragon's office suite and caught sight of Arthur's face as he dashed from his father's office. Merlin called to him, but Arthur didn't stop. Merlin ran after him, cursing under his breath as the lift doors closed behind Arthur. He jabbed at the call button a few times and then headed for the stairwell. He ran down the stairs at full tilt, and looked wildly around the lobby, unsure of which of the two main entrances Arthur might have chosen.

"Adam, did you see Arthur Pendragon leave the building? I'm trying to catch up with him, but I'm not sure which way he went!" The security guard indicated the doors facing the park, and Merlin took off, shouting his thanks over his shoulder.

He fared no better spotting Arthur outside, and for a few moments he stood bewildered, unsure which way to turn. He pulled out his mobile and dialed Arthur, but, as he expected, the call went to voicemail. "Arthur, call me back. NOW! I'm looking all over for you, and I'm worried sick."

On a hunch, Merlin crossed over to the park, scanning the area, and headed towards a small copse of trees Arthur had shown him some months earlier.

It was hard to find privacy in a city park, but Merlin knew that as a boy, Arthur had spent many lonely weekends wandering the park while Uther worked. Arthur would play with other children until they were dragged home by their parents or nannies, and he was left alone to his own devices. When the park closed at dark, Arthur would head back to ghost around Uther’s office until Uther was ready to head home. Sometimes he thought that if he had a mum to belong to, who would sit in the park and watch him play and drag him home for supper, he’d never ever beg for even one extra minute.

Some months ago, as they walked together across the park, Arthur had become nostalgic and showed Merlin a small space—a little swath of woods between a brick wall and the back of a row of unobtrusive utility sheds where the park housed maintenance equipment. Merlin made his way past the deserted sheds, and through a small thicket. Suddenly he was in the quiet, magical place Arthur had shown him. A grove of tall pines towered overhead filtering the late afternoon sun. Merlin’s footsteps were muted by the thick covering of pine needles beneath his feet. He heard Arthur before he saw him. The nearly, but not-quite-silent, choking, heartbreaking sobs came from behind a nearby tree. Arthur sat on the ground, his head rested on the bent knees he hugged to his chest. Merlin approached quietly, whispered Arthur's name softly, and slid to the ground next to Arthur, placing his arm around his shoulders.

"Arthur. I'm here, Arthur. I'm here for you. Always." he murmured.

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[identity profile] travelingmystic.livejournal.com on July 4th, 2017 03:17 am (UTC)
This is so lovely. The part where Arthur reflects on how he'd wished he'd had a mother was heart breaking, and written beautifully.
[identity profile] moonflower999.livejournal.com on July 4th, 2017 04:05 am (UTC)
Haha. Thanks so much for your lovely feedback. I laughed because I only added that part today--it came to me when I wanted to be sure to directly refer to 'belonging'. And then I wasn't sure if I liked it better with or without that part...so I asked MK to read it and give me a verdict. :)
[identity profile] travelingmystic.livejournal.com on July 4th, 2017 01:36 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you left it in! The story was so beautiful, but I think that was my favorite part.
[identity profile] ajsrandom.livejournal.com on July 4th, 2017 03:27 am (UTC)
Wow, sad but with a note of hope. I really enjoyed this. :)
[identity profile] moonflower999.livejournal.com on July 4th, 2017 04:09 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for your feedback. It means a lot to me!
I mean this to be hopeful. I feel like Merlin is Arthur's salvation. The boy who missed having a father, but knew the care and nurturing of a loving mother helping the boy who never really had unconditional love grow into himself as a loving, connected human being.
[identity profile] auregan.livejournal.com on July 4th, 2017 04:06 am (UTC)
This is very sad, but at the same time it is such a lovely little story. Poor Arthur. It breaks my heart to see him in such a way.

Thank you for writing this!
[identity profile] moonflower999.livejournal.com on July 4th, 2017 05:35 am (UTC)
I know, but he's not alone anymore. And I don't think Merlin is going to let Arthur keep believing he has to go it alone. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!
[identity profile] bunnysworld.livejournal.com on July 4th, 2017 05:21 am (UTC)
I love the change in pace. First the hectic running and searching and then the calm and quiet. Poor Arthur had no mom to belong to, but now he has a Merlin. Love it.
[identity profile] moonflower999.livejournal.com on July 4th, 2017 05:44 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for your comment. That's just what I wanted to convey!
[identity profile] schweet_heart.livejournal.com on July 4th, 2017 05:29 am (UTC)
Poor Arthur <3 I'm glad he had Merlin there to comfort him.
[identity profile] moonflower999.livejournal.com on July 4th, 2017 05:45 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for reading and commenting...I wish we could all always have a Merlin to comfort us!
[identity profile] moonflower999.livejournal.com on July 5th, 2017 04:57 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for reading and commenting! You know, I think it's one of the most remarkable things about this series...how much of a devastating need it created for us to make it all better for our poor lovies!
[identity profile] schweet_heart.livejournal.com on July 6th, 2017 02:50 am (UTC)
For sure! I suppose at least one good thing came out of that finale XD
[identity profile] araneieisel.livejournal.com on July 4th, 2017 02:27 pm (UTC)
I really liked two things about this. One is, I know you said it was Merlin/Arthur but that you don't know. Nothing gives away what their relationship is and the ending is very very very Merlin. I could see him doing this even if he hated Arthur. You captured him perfectly.

The other thing I really liked is the part about the park. I could really see Uther thinking an 8 or 9 year old is ok to hang in a park, all. day. long. I could see you doing a young Arthur story on just that.
[identity profile] moonflower999.livejournal.com on July 5th, 2017 05:00 pm (UTC)
If you had asked me a while ago, I would have maybe said I was more interested in Merlin than Arthur...but actually, I think one of the things I'm most obsessed with is Uther's complete failure to be a really loving father. Especially in contrast to Merlin having had a truly loving parent. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!
Emrys MK[personal profile] mk_malfoy on July 4th, 2017 05:36 pm (UTC)

You already know how much I adore this ficlet--everything about it is wonderful and evocative and heartbreakingly beautiful--but I wanted to add that not only has Arthur found someone to be his family, but Merlin has found someone to love and be loved by. These two deserve happiness. Thank you for posting this--it really is a poignant look into the life of someone who was lost but has been found.

[identity profile] moonflower999.livejournal.com on July 5th, 2017 05:08 pm (UTC)
You are so sweet! I love this little story so it was a little scary to post, and your hand-holding really helped me. Yes, Merlin is so full of love...of course he needs to be loved, but his need to give some of the love he's so full of might be even greater. I love what you wrote here, "a look into the life of someone who was lost but has been found."
I think, if no one pursued him, reached in, joined him in his hiding place, that Arthur could spend his whole lifetime curling into himself and away from the world whenever he hurts. I love that Merlin knows how to barge right in and be there with him.
Thank you again, for this lovely comment as well as the help!
[identity profile] archaeologist-d.livejournal.com on July 5th, 2017 07:32 am (UTC)

Poor Arthur. I liked how Merlin knew just what yo do. Well done.

[identity profile] moonflower999.livejournal.com on July 5th, 2017 05:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for reading and commenting! It may be terrible, but I need these pats on the head!