And then they were still, oh-so-very-still, neither of them moving except to breathe, for their hearts to pound. It was nice, comfortable, perfect, the way it always was, one fitting firmly against the other with no space in between them, suffocating and reassuring at the same time. A heavy sigh blew feather-light on Merlin’s skin, ruffling his hair, tickling his ear, and Arthur whispered, “I promise.”
Merlin smiled, weakly, faintly, knowing that if Arthur didn’t have any other choice, Arthur wouldn’t keep that promise. He would do whatever he needed to do to make certain that the mission wasn’t compromised, to return what belonged to him, to keep those he loved safe. Arthur would put himself on the line, and Merlin was damned if he was going to let Arthur take the fall for any of them.