Title: Between the Sinners and the Saints
Pairing/s: Merlin (one-sided)/Arthur , Arthur/Gwen
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, Gwen
Summary: Love takes and takes and takes and we keep loving anyway.
Word Count: 342
Prompt:#252: Wait for it.
Disclaimer: I do not own the BBC version of Merlin; It and Shine do. I am very respectfully borrowing them with no intent to profit. No money has changed hands. No copyright infringement is intended.
Love doesn't discriminate
Between the sinners
And the saints
It takes and it takes and it takes
And we keep loving anyway.
As he watched Arthur kiss Gwen in front of the whole of the court and everyone began to shout their approval of their new queen, Merlin tried not to grimace. Painting a smile on his face, clapping as wildly as the rest, ever-denied dread beating against his chest, Merlin pretended to be the perfect manservant, the perfect friend to them both.
It was all a lie.
He loved Gwen, as ally and confidant. He did wish her well, he did. She was the saint here, the one who might burble and stumble and wring her hands in worry, but she was pure of heart and she made Arthur happy.
But as she kissed Arthur back, whatever love Merlin had for her evaporated into desolation.
Because Merlin loved Arthur, too. But it was a different kind of love, one that raged and tore, was fire and ice and pain. For Arthur, Merlin would do anything, be anyone, deny his very soul if that's what it took. Merlin lied and lied and lied, pursuing destiny with falsehoods and betrayal, living in the shadows so that Arthur could remain safe.
The dragon had once said that he was the light to Morgana's darkness, the love to her hate, but Merlin was beginning to wonder if he wasn't the sinner here, that it was his darkness, his unrequited love for Arthur that sullied everything he touched.
Sometimes it kept him up at night, tossing and turning in despair, but there was nothing he could do, nothing he could change.
Because as Merlin smiled his crooked smile and pretended to be happy, he knew that, as tainted and desperate as his love was, it was the one true constant in his life. Arthur was the sun and moon and stars and Merlin would love him and want him and need him, no matter how much he wished he didn't, until the end of time.