Title: Heavy is the hand
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: The weight of the sword was a stark reminder of what Merlin could face if he ever revealed his magic.
Word Count: 329
Prompt: 307- Picture prompt
Author's Notes: I loved this picture. Merlin looks so broken in 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.
Heavy against his throat, the weight of the sword was a hard reminder of why Merlin hid his true self.
Another murder, a young peasant condemned for using magic, and Arthur had let it happen. Arthur hadn’t shouted or cut his way through the crowd, had only sent a few muttered words into the king’s ear, then with Uther’s sharp glare sent Arthur’s way, he had turned back and stood there and watched, impassive, as the boy’s head was cut off. And when it was done, Arthur called for a bath and a hunt the next morning as if nothing had happened, as if the blood spilt on the cobblestones was an inconvenience, not the evidence of an agonized death of a boy barely younger than Merlin himself.
The boy had even looked a bit like Merlin. It was easy to think that Arthur might not have objected to another execution had he known about Merlin’s magic.
With a shudder, Merlin slumped down, let the sword scrap at his skin.
It was a stark reminder of just what was at stake, of what his fate would be if he slipped even once. His throat cut, his blood soaking the courtyard, and broken body tossed into the dung heap for the carrion birds to eat.
The sword, that beautiful piece of art and death, was for Arthur alone, but Merlin was beginning to wonder if Arthur was worthy of it. Or if Merlin was worthy of gifting it to him, for Merlin was as guilty as Arthur was for not rescuing the boy in time.
Both of them, the pair of them, afraid for different reasons, and other people paid the price of it.
With that, Merlin knew. Until they were both worthy of something more, worthy of kingship and magic, Merlin would keep the sword hidden.
He would keep himself hidden, too, until the day when both would be revealed.
Merlin could only hope that day would come soon.