Title: When They Died: If There’s A Reason
Pairing/s: Merlin/Elyan, Merlin/Mithian
Character/s: Merlin; side Percival, Gwaine, Lancelot, Gwen, Elyan, Mordred, Alator, Mithian, Uther, Igraine
Summary: Merlin lives again and again. Nobody else remembers where they all began.
Warnings: Major Character Rebirth :P (Reincarnation)
Word Count: 482
Prompt: #252 Wait For It
“...It takes and it takes and it takes
And we keep living anyway
We rise and we fall
And we break
And we make our mistakes
And if there’s a reason I’m still alive
When everyone who loves me has died...”
-“Wait For It,” Hamilton
Merlin lives again and again.
Even though the same people live alongside him during every incarnation, nobody else remembers.
Nobody else remembers where they all began.
Worst of all, nobody else remembers Arthur.
Merlin is so young in his first life when the battle of Camlann takes so many of his friends from him.
Afterward, he spends time around bonfires and in taverns listening to others’ tales of the fallen and telling some of his own.
The stories become grossly exaggerated all too soon.
Not many years pass before he feels the urge to write down memories of the life he once had and stories of the friends he misses.
He hides his scribbled thoughts in a secret four-walled room that his magic helps him build into a hillside.
When he dies for the first time, he only knows that he will be reborn. He does not know if he will remember who he has been, what he has done, or what he has left behind.
Merlin is pleased to find that he remembers.
The memories come to him in a way he can process as he grows up; he will never again be as afraid or unsure of his worth and his role in the universe as he was during his first childhood.
The room of nearly forgotten moments – for everyone else does not remember – only grows in contents, shelving, wall count, and size from life to life.
Merlin meets his friends again and again.
He plows fields as a serf alongside Percival, Gwaine, and Lancelot.
Gwaine is born as Merlin’s elder brother in another life.
He grows up with Gwen and Elyan in a small village, falls for Elyan in this life, and eventually gains Gwen as a devoted sister.
He spends a life as a Druid alongside Mordred and Alator; it is a life full of people who, though they may not remember, do understand.
He is born into the peerage and marries well as the object of Mithian’s affection.
He often meets Uther and Igraine living a loving but childless life together.
He meets his friends again and again, so he is never alone to imagine that his memories are anything else.
In every life, Merlin keeps fresh the cultural memory of King Arthur, the round table, and the knights of Camelot.
He writes his memories for himself, but he speaks about them for the benefit of the people of Albion.
When Merlin’s listeners repeat the story to their families and friends, they also tell of a powerful sorcerer in the background of the stories who helps the king and his golden age come to be.
Merlin believes that Arthur will return.
He sees it as his duty to keep that hope alive in Arthur’s people even centuries after Arthur has gone.
Merlin wants his friend back, but, until that day comes, he has a legacy to protect.