Character/s: Arthur, Merlin, Agravaine
Summary: Arthur meets someone unexpected while visiting his parents tombs
Word Count: 713
Author's Notes: Royals
Arthur hesitated at the entrance to the royal burial crypt. He hadn't been in the vault since his father's death. The only reason he was here was to see the lid of his father's tomb.
Merlin put his hand on Arthur's shoulder. “You don't have to do this today.”
Arthur took a deep breath. “This sorrow will not lessen in time. I still feel the pain of my mother's loss and I don't even remember her. I am the King, Merlin. I must be strong in all things.”
“I understand.” Merlin nodded. “But it's just me and I won't tell a soul if you cry.”
Arthur glared at him and stepped inside. He walked toward the tombs but stopped short when he saw someone standing by his mother's tomb.
The figure looked up and turned around. It was Agravaine.
Merlin slipped into a shadow out of sight. He knew that if Agravaine saw him he would act and speak differently with Arthur.
“Sire.” Agravaine bowed. “My apologies. I came to visit you dear sweet mother. I miss her so. My sister was the sun itself. I see her in you Arthur.”
Arthur walked to his mother's tomb and placed a kiss on her stone forehead. “I often wonder what she would think of me. I have no memory of her to gauge her thoughts.”
“She would be proud of the king that stands before me.” Agravaine grinned. He turned to look at another tomb. “The stone carver captured a good likeness of your father. However, he seems more kind and gentle in that image that I knew him to be.”
Arthur stepped over to the other tomb. He looked at his father's face. “This is the man that I knew. My father… not the King.”
“I believe being King must be a difficult thing.” Agravaine frowned and stepped away from his sister's tomb. “I will never know the weight of a crown but I can imagine. If you should need someone to speak to I would offer my services.”
“Thank you Uncle.” Arthur placed a kiss on the stone forehead of his father. He turned away from the tomb to face Agravaine. “Tell me your opinion on Cenred. I'm sure you must have heard things during your travels.”
“Alas, there is not much to tell.” Agravaine smiled. “He can be volatile but once he is made aware of reason he can be a strong ally. Are you thinking of what fate your sister will befall as his queen?”
“What?” Arthur frowned
“I had heard there is a marriage contract. The young man that serves me walks out with Lady Morgana's handmaiden. He said the lady leaves us soon for Cenred’s keep.”
“And what is your opinion on my decision?” Arthur turned to his mother's tomb showing his back to his uncle. He glanced around until he met Merlin's gaze.
“An alliance would keep him from attacking you further.” Agravaine shrugged. “Your sister is a royal. She knows that such a marriage is her duty to you and an honor. If it would ease your mind, I am available to accompany the Lady Morgana during her journey.”
Merlin started to move but the look on Arthur's face told him to stay hidden.
“Thank you Uncle. I would like that.” Arthur turned and smiled. “I must go. My queen is waiting for me.”
Agravaine bowed. “Of course Sire.”
Arthur walked to the entryway and watched as Agravaine went to stand by Ygraine’s tomb once again.
Merlin slipped out of the shadows and past Arthur into the passageway.
Arthur grabbed him by the arm and put a finger to Merlin's lips to silence him. He pulled Merlin out into the courtyard.
“Arthur, he is in league with Cenred. You must see it.” Merlin pulled out of Arthur's grip.
“Tell Sir Gwaine and Sir Leon that I wish to see them in my chambers.” Arthur grabbed Merlin's arm again. “Then I want you to get Morgana and bring her to me.”
“Arthur, what are you going to do?” Merlin felt his gut twist.
“I am the King. Do not question me. Do as I command.” Arthur released Merlin. “Now Merlin!”
Arthur sighed as Merlin ran off. “This must end now. Forgive me Mother. I have no choice.”