This is brilliant! I really enjoyed this and how original it was- I've read fics where Merlin leaves out of fear before, but none where when he comes back Arthur is so goddamn terrifying. You captured his fear and confusion so well, and even though I know Arthur to be good, his unpredictable reactions around magic made me worried for Merlin. The ending was perfect, though I was hoping for some mention of Arthur sending out a patrol to bring Gwaine back, and maybe offering him the honourable position of godfather/mentor to their son, as a reward for taking such good care of Merlin and being such a dutiful Knight? But it was enough to know that they lived happily ever after, so I can assume something along those lines happened. Beautiful story ♥
It felt like he was watching a movie as he saw the doctor cleaning out his son’s mouth and nose. Jason beamed as their little boy, Jackson was almost certainly going to be his name, was nestled into his arms by a grinning nurse. Distantly, he wanted to hold him too but the mere seconds of relief following his exit had disappeared and the pain was back with a frightening intensity.