think about how much merlin must want arthur to see him like this? fearless, powerful, utterly free, simply alive–he’s riding a dragon, for heaven’s sake.
do you ever think he learns a new spell, maybe one that makes a broom do a dance or a wooden bird fly across a room, and just looks around with that shining grin on his face, waiting for arthur to thump him on the back of the head and snap at him for being arrogant, all the while hiding a proud grin–but of course it never happens
and do you ever just remember how much merlin sacrifices for arthur–he risks his life time and again, he spends time doing boring chores he would otherwise run far away from, he lies and hides and bottles things up so he can keep everything together for arthur
but if you step back and think about the greatest loss of all