one of my favourite things in the entire world is when there’s a huge thunderstorm outside and it’s raining heavily and you’re in bed swathed in blankets and you have just never felt warmer and safer than you do in that moment
Would you believe this was inspired by the beginning of Shrek? Yes. Because it’s the same.
Stiles dragged his feet a bit as Hilda tugged him forward in line. He was chained up and surrounded by guards, probably about to be sold into slavery, but he still wasn’t going to make this easy for the old broad.
He’d been buying her produce for years, and this was how she repaid him? Selling him to the king for some supernatural creature bounty? No. He was going to make this as difficult as possible.
She glared her beady little eyes at him, dug her sharp nails into his arm a bit more, and shoved him forward another lurching step. The fae at the front of the line was deemed worth twenty pounds, ten shillings and hauled off by knights in armor.
A hellhound was dragged forward in an iron collar.
“I will give you money if you just let me go,” Stiles whispered, he wasn’t above bargaining, but Hilda ignored him. He didn’t have much, but it was probably more than she’d get from these chumps. “Six shillings, right now.”
Hilda rolled her eyes and tugged him forward by the chain looped around his wrists. The hellhound was appraised and hauled off into the back of a closed wagon. It was no doubt magically reinforced; Stiles could still hear it snarling violently, but it wasn’t breaking through the old rickety wooden sides.
“Ten shillings,” Stiles continued, “right as soon as I can get to the bank. Twenty, even! Three pounds!”
Hilda gave him a withering look. “You don’t have that kind of money. Now shut up.” She yanked on his chain and both wrists burned as the iron manacles scraped against the already raw skin. The iron was bad enough without all of the jerking around.
Another supernatural creature was carried off to the wagon—this time a nymph—and then it was Stiles’ turn.
As soon as Merlin’s magic is revealed, Arthur’s response is “Don’t be ridiculous, Merlin.” “This is stupid, why would you say that?”, he refuses to believe what Merlin says it’s true. He knows Merlin. He would have told him. Arthur would have noticed. “I would know!” he says, and starts crying. After seeing Merlin’s magic his expression changes from heartbroken to afraid. Reality hits him, who is this person? Merlin’s confession turns Arthur’s world upside down. “I can’t let you die” means little to Arthur though. Merlin could just be loyal to the crown, to Camelot’s heir. The first positive response happens after Merlin admits “There will never be another like you, Arthur”.
Arthur’s eyes are full of warmth and he even smiles a little. There will never be another like him for Merlin. One of my favorite scenes in 5x13 is the next one, when Arthur asks “Why did you never tell me?”, and Merlin replies with “You’d have chopped my head off.”, Arthur barely moves, he doesn’t even look at Merlin. “I’m not sure what I would’ve done.“ “I didn’t want to put you in that position.” That sentence is what makes Arthur recognize his Merlin for the first time in that episode (not just a good man, but someone who cares about him, someone who loves him). “That’s what worried you”, he says, while staring at Merlin’s lips. Any doubt of Merlin saving his life out of duty goes out of the window when Merlin says “It’s not why I do it” and looks directly into Arthur’s eyes. Like I said before, Merlin doesn’t spend 5x13 showing Arthur magic is good, because sometimes it’s not and Arthur has seen that (maybe that’s why he’s afraid at first of Merlin’s true motives), he assures Arthur he’s still the same person, that he doesn’t have any hidden agenda, he just cares for Arthur’s well being. Last, but not least: “I don’t want you to change. I want you… to always… be you.”, he knows this Merlin, he doesn’t make a joke about Merlin’s many imperfections (because he loves all those little things about him, his clumsiness, the fact that he can’t shut up, how he’s always late…), he says he wants Merlin to always be him, to never change. Because magical or not, Arthur Pendragon loves every single thing about Merlin, his manservant, and it’s been that way for years.