Title: The North Wind (Ch. 6b)
Pairing/s: Arthur/Merlin, I swear.
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: The Valley of Lights was a mythical place, home to Gods and magic. Arthur Pendragon vowed he'd find the glacier of the North Wind, and bring proof of its existence back to his village.
Word Count: 414
Prompt: #300: Unkept promises
Author's Notes: continuation of this.
Words had failed him time and time again, it was nothing new. For most of his life he'd struggled to say what he really was thinking, what he felt, once the words had left his mouth they'd already been morphed by what Arthur believed what was the right to say, considering what other wanted to hear from him.
Except, this time, he knew nothing but the truth would do. His hands closed into fists, he bit his bottom lip, worrying the skin until he was tasting copper.
"You said you're doing this for your sister," the Guardian began, Arthur nodded. "When I saw you by the waters I thought you were one of those so called adventurers seeking things they can't understand, wanting to unearth the secrets of the Valley. I never imagined you could’ve been here for someone else and not for your own gain."
Arthur scoffed loudly. "Isn't that too much of a cynical view for a God?"
He surprised by laughter, genuine, without malice. "When you've lived as long as I have you start to become jaded, whether you want it or not," the Guardian said. "But don't worry, I'm still an optimist on my better days."
Arthur didn't like the silence inside the cave, the wind spoke too loud, and there was something unsettled about the way the Guardian stared at him, as if he knew something Arthur couldn't even begin to grasp.
"I think I'll be able to help you," the Guardian said, his voice terribly loud, yet Arthur felt his heart seize up. "If you want me to, that is."
Arthur jump to his feet, his eyes wild. "I do. I prom--"
"No, don't go around making me anymore promises. There too easy to break and I don't need them," the Guardian said. "Just, answer me this, why go through all this, the cold, the hunger, for your sister?"
He looked down, his boots were worn. "Because I love her, and I want her safe." His words were so soft, they could barely be a whisper, but somehow they'd reached the Guardian because he too was on his feet, his hand heavy on Arthur's shoulder and his eyes on his. He was smiling, eyes crinkled and in that moment he looked young, warm, friendly, no longer a mythical being with unlimited power. It was simply...him.
"Call me Merlin," he said. Arthur's eyes widened, he couldn't move.
He rolled the word around in his tongue before saying, "Merlin."