Title: Longing in vain
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Arthur finds his mother's locket
Warnings: Light angst
Word Count: 200
Prompt: 362 Locket
Longing in vain
Arthur had very few mementos of his mother. It was only after Uther's death that he found what had to be Ygraine's locket among the late king's cherished possessions. The letter Y was engraved on the front, surrounded by roses. On the back, the queen's sigil dove was captured in eternal flight.
The golden pendant looked new, and bore no marks of wear. It didn't guard any image or object inside. Ygraine clearly had obtained it shortly before her passing, and surely had intended to insert a miniature painting of her child, or a lock of baby hair. Tragic fate had overruled such a simple, sweet gesture.
As Arthur weighed the jewel in his hand, a far-away look in his eyes, Merlin reflected on the obvious similarities: An empty space within finely-wrought gold, waiting to embrace a longed-for son. An aching hollow at the core of Arthur's heart, yearning to welcome a mother's love.
Death had permanently denied both the queen's hope and her son's longing.
Arthur firmly set his jaw and silently placed the sentimental heirloom at the very back of the royal strongbox.
Merlin knew better than to comment. He never saw the locket again.