Merlin pushes himself far too hard and too much. He handles agents through bad missions, constantly works on new tech to make sure they are always ahead of the bad guys, trains and test the newest recruits to make sure they are ready for anything, even after they make it as knights.
So when Harry finally worms his way into Merlin’s life, and he get’s to know the man and not the position, he finds someone who is desperate to relinquish control, even if it’s just for an evening.
Merlin heads home after an exhausting stint at the mansion, and when Harry hears that he’s actually at home, he simply invites himself over. When he gets there, Merlin is as casual as he’s ever seen him - tshirt, blue jeans, bare feet. More importantly, his tattoos are on full display. Harry’s only ever seen the ones high on his arms when they’re sparring, and he’s usually too focused on not getting pummeled to pay attention to them. So now he’s paying attention to them, and Merlin is just too tired to be bothered to cover them up.
So Harry can tell that Merlin had no plans to actually take care of himself before he crashed in bed, so he decides to just take over. He tells Merlin they’re getting takeaway, and orders Merlin to go take a shower and then come back and set the table. And he just means it as a way to take care of Merlin, nothing more. And Merlin doesn’t show any signs outwardly that it affects him, just grumbling and turning towards the bathroom. But Harry notices that one of his tattoos, a man on his upper arm, has changed.
Instead of being stiff and alert, the tattoo shows the man gently sagging, arms at rest at his side rather than at parade rest.
(I’m not sure what the tattoo actually is - I was thinking some sort of soldier, from his brief stint in the Marines, but the only important thing is that it’s a person.)
And so it goes, all evening Harry just makes choices for Merlin, and gives gentle orders, taking all of the decisions and responsibility from the man and seeing that he’s taken care of. And as the night wears on, Merlin is finally relaxed, sprawled on an armchair making snarky comments on the program on the telly that Harry had put on. It’s not really more than one would expect from a good meal and some drinks with a friend. But Harry has been watching him closely, specifically the tattoo. And he sees how the man in tattoo is kneeling - hands palm up on his thighs, eyes closed, throat bared just slightly.
And Harry knows, he finally understands what it is that Merlin needs, and he’s determined to see that the man gets it.
MY DUDES! If you’re a Criminal Minds fan lemme tell you this, my fucking crush LOOKS and SOUNDS like fucking Spencer Reid!!!!!!!!! SPECIFICALLY LIKE THIS GIF!!! THATS WHAT HE FUCKING LOOKS LIKE AND I JUST NOTICED THIS TODAY!!!! GOD HELP ME!!!
honestly I am so confused by interpretations of Enjolras as some Charismatic Revolutionary Controller of Minds when the very first interaction we see him have is Courfeyrac yanking his chain about Rousseau
like, he’s a likeable guy, clearly! His friends love him! He gives one heck of a speech! But there is a notable lack of people holding him in Awe or even Doing What He Says in 90 percent of his not-immediate-combat interactions.