I just want to state one thing here. 

I know men friendship, I see it everyday. I have dude friends, my two brothers have friends, CLOSE friends. And while neither of them have held one while he was dying, I’m pretty sure that none of them would have hold their face close like Merlin did, OR for the love of fucking GOD, GENTLY PUT THEIR HAND ON TOP OF THE OTHER’S AND DELICATELY RUBBING IT LIKE FREAKING ARTHUR DOES TO MERLIN. This is almost romantic, this is sweet and loving, and tender, it’s no friendship here. Arthur is dying okay, but he’s still aware of what he’s doing. He asks Merlin to hold him and he touch his hand so softly, this is so beautifully romantic and loving that it hurts even more than the freaking scene itself.

Well I just wanted to say it. This needed to come out. :)

Here’s one where the King and the Court Sorcerer are definitely not holding hands during Council 

His subconscious still looks for Arthur. He notices men with sandy blond hair and bright blue eyes. He looks out for those of noble disposition, caring and strong and selfless to a fault. Every time a royal pregnancy is announced Merlin feels the anxiety hum through his veins for the following six months, but it always ends in tears of disappointment. They are never Arthur.