Title: Shattered [Part 2]
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, Freya (OS)
Summary: Merlin had failed her in the worst way possible
Warnings: child abduction, mourning, murder of a child, minor character death, misery
Word Count: 800
Prompt: #302: What Would I Do Without You
Author's Notes: Again, sorry for everything
It was supposed to be a small service, just friends and what little family they both had left. Arthur’s father even made an appearance despite his indifference to their relationship at the beginning. Freya had quickly melted his heart.
And now she was gone.
The cold rain fell around Merlin, splattering onto his nice oxfords and soaking him from the knees down where his umbrella couldn’t protect him. It was the ideal weather for such an event, a setting straight out of a blockbuster film: A group of mourners dressed in blacks circling a freshly dug grave with the grief-stricken parents toward the center, one with an arm around the other, staring listlessly as a much too small casket was lowered into the rain-soaked ground.
But of course it wasn’t a small private service. The media couldn’t leave them well enough alone to bury their baby in peace. They had to be there—thankfully quiet and at a somewhat respectful distance—but watching and waiting on the sidelines, recording every delicious minute of their agony and pain. It angered Arthur to no end.
Merlin saw none of it.
He was completely numb, all his grief, pain, and anger having been used up over the past week until he just felt empty. Even Arthur’s arm around his back hardly registered, just another comfort he couldn’t feel. It would pass with time, he knew it would, but for now not even Arthur’s warm embrace offered any reprieve from the misery.
Freya. All he wanted was his little girl back.
He wanted to see her smile again, to hear her tiny off-key singing or her peals of laughter as Arthur spun her around the kitchen. He wanted their walks to the park, her little warm hand in his tugging him along as she yearned to go chase after the ducks. He would even take her tears as she cuddled between him and Arthur on the couch watching The Fox and the Hound for the umpteeth time. Anything, everything just to have her back again.
But she had been snatched away too soon.
He would never watch her go to school, fall in love, and help mend her broken heart. Never see her fits of passion and help her pick a focus for her studies. To pack up their car with her belongings and move her into university. To meet the person she would later marry, laugh as Arthur’s protectiveness lead to an interrogation, and then years later walk her down the aisle. To hold her hand, to kiss her forehead, wash away the tears and scrapes and give her the life she deserved.
He’d never get to see her grow up
An overwhelming agony overcome him so suddenly his knees buckled. With a squelch of mud and rain, his knees suck into the grass as sobs wracked his body. Hands scrambled for purchase on the wet grass as he hunched over and cried, long deep gut wrenching wails of pure grief and despair.
Freya had been his whole world, the person he had shaped his life around. When his brother and wife had died suddenly leaving their month old daughter to his care, he had barely had time to grieve, dropping everything to take care of her. She had become his daughter in all but name, and then later, his and Arthur’s daughter.
But he had failed his brother. He had failed to watch over her, failed to keep her safe.
Failed her in the worst way possible.
Soft soothing litany of words penetrated his anguish and Merlin finally became aware of Arthur beside him, kneeling in the wet grass and mud, hands rubbing calming circles onto his back. Rain dripped on his back and head, drenching his suit and plastering his hair to his tear-streaked face. He barely registered the cold, his body trembling with so much grief and sorrow he didn’t know where it ended and the cold began.
Without a word, Merlin leaned back into Arthur, turning to bury his head into his shoulder. Arthur’s arms immediately folded around him.
They didn’t speak for a long time, just knelt in the grass by Freya’s grave in the pouring rain, taking comfort in each other, sobbing and wallowing in their shared overwhelming grief for their lost child. Their friends and family stood beside them, silent pillars of strength and support, sheltering them from the watching eyes of the media.
Merlin no longer cared. He was too far gone to care. His life had been turned upside down once more, only now his greatest gift and joy in life had been taken away, leaving him swirling in a void of misery and despair. One that he wasn’t sure Arthur could save him from.
For without Arthur, he would be lost.
But without his darling Freya, he was nothing.