Title: Memories are Golden
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Arthur has a trip down memory lane, with a twist.
Warnings: Spoilers (mostly season’s 1 & 2)
Word Count: 1000
Prompt: #18 Gold
Author's Notes: The next instalment in the Seen and Hidden ‘verse. I followed my plan this time and then let the boys take me for a journey. Not a cliffhanger this week (I don’t think), but definitely room for more.
Merlin let his magic wash over Arthur, letting him see and feel the truth he had been blind to in all the years they had known each other.
Images appeared across Arthur’s vision and he saw himself just outside the castle wall, throwing knives at a target moved by his old squire. He thought about how cocky he looked and then realised it wasn’t his thought, but Merlin’s. For a second he saw passed the scene to focus on the reality that was Merlin standing in front of him, arm stretched out and unnatural amber eyes in his thin face.
It was only a second and then Merlin’s memory of their first meeting seemed solid in front of him. This must have been where it all started. And it was. Merlin had used magic to get the upper hand in their little contest and later used it to save his life. The use of magic had brought them together and by Uther’s ruling no less.
Images and scenes from their past continued to flash before him. Some memories lingered while others passed quickly.
Arthur was seeing how Merlin’s use of magic had not only saved his life countless times, but the lives of all those in Camelot. He had used magic to expose criminals, help friends and as a source of light in the dark when he had been barely alive.
He had used magic to help Arthur be the hero and the Prince he was expected to be. He helped strangers… Lancelot; he had seen, he had known and accepted Merlin’s magic, kept the knowledge secret.
Arthur saw the Great Dragon in its cave… my kin… forging his sword while Merlin held it out to him.
Arthur saw Merlin using magic to save Ealdor, not Will.
Merlin used his magic to save more lives; his father, Camelot and him. He had been willing to give his life for others, as had Arthur.
Merlin had stopped powerful sorcerers, thwarted assassins, tried to help Morgana but failed and deceived a witchfinder.
When Arthur had learned a horrible truth of his past, Merlin had sacrificed magic’s return to Camelot to stop him from doing something which would have likely destroyed him.
Over time, Merlin had found and lost a kindred spirit, stopped the destruction Camelot, freed the Great Dragon and truly found himself.
The scenes moved faster but Arthur gained knowledge from them all. The times Merlin had acted behind his back to uncover and impede evil, magic or not, were numerous and Arthur hardly knew what to do with all the information.
Doubt began to enter his mind and was stopped with an image of him with all his closest Knights, standing together, standing for what they believe in. He saw the scene from Merlin’s point of view, beside him as always. Emotions came rushing with the image; pride, belonging, happiness and trust were the strongest feelings. It stopped the doubt and pushed it back.
Arthur continued to see how Merlin’s magic had helped him become the person he was today. It had helped lead him away from his father’s path of destruction, which had been due to blinding pain and anger. How magic had given him the chances to make mistakes and to correct them.
Finally, the images and scenes began to subside and Arthur slowly opened his eyes, not remembering when he closed them. Merlin was the thing his eyes focused on first.
As the warlock (This would be how they would be known from now on, Arthur thought) lowered his arm to his side, the King witnessed the golden evidence of magic leave his eyes. He blinked and the rest of his chamber appeared behind Merlin.
Arthur was suddenly cold. The warmth of Merlin’s magic was gone from his skin and he fought the urge to fold his arms across his chest.
He remained speechless, standing straight with his arms by his sides, starring into Merlin’s face. His chest moved up and down with his slightly quickened breathing. His mind was working at a million miles a minute trying to comprehend all he had seen and all that he now knew.
Merlin was almost mirroring him. He didn’t speak. Arthur knew, by the expression on his face, he was waiting for the King’s reaction.
“Merlin, I…” Arthur started, but didn’t know how to continue. A flash of worry crossed his manservant’s face before doing it’s best to be blank (or was that hopeful?). He couldn’t bear to look into Merlin’s eyes anymore so he settled for taking in the rest of the man’s, warlock’s, body.
His clothes were tattered, torn in places, but relatively clean. A memory of him in neat, formal court entire came to Arthur. It triggered the memory of his plans for an Advisor of Magic.
The King looked back at Merlin’s face, immediately knowing his manservant’s reason for revealing his magic after all this time. Both his heart and his head agreed. Merlin was perfect for the job. He needn’t look anywhere else.
But how would he explain it to all the others? Arthur pushed the thought aside. It didn’t matter now. What mattered was letting Merlin know he understood, and as he thought it, he knew it was true. He knew he understood. How or why, he wasn’t one hundred precent sure on, but he knew it was true.
He would figure the other things out with time. Right now, he would tell Merlin the truth.
The relief that spread across Merlin’s face was instant and his whole body relaxed at the sound of those two words. Arthur saw a broad smile crossed his face before the man brought his hand up to cover it. If the King didn’t know better, he might have thought the movement was to disguise an original movement for a hug.
Merlin moved his hand to sit under his chin and said, “I’m sorry, I would have told you—”
Arthur returned his smile, “I know.”