Title: What Was Promised
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, mentions of Mordred
Summary: Things about destiny
Warnings: Character death
Word Count: 462
Author's Notes: Yeah, so I think I might be getting a bit of a block... So I don't really know if I like this, I'm knackered so it's hard to tell
Destiny is only a promise, made by the gods. Whispered in the wind and the sky and the trees and the earth, tied to the hills and the rivers and the crags. Cemented by the actions of men, in battlegrounds and castles, in ramparts thrown up within days, in crossings that grow into towns and markets and fall, slowly, to be rebuilt again. Revealed in twitches of a curtain, in flashes of light and fire and the turning of a sword. In dreams, or in prophecies, or hidden in the depths of a crystal.
And in turn, those with destinies make a promise. To themselves, or to others, to carry it through. And it’s the only promise that can never truly be broken.
Or so Merlin thinks, as he watches Arthur on the dais, standing in front of his throne and raising a toast to the knights of all Albion, his knights, and his land, peaceful and magical and perfect. Arthur raises his cup to them all, and he glances at Merlin, and they both know what they’ve done for each other, what they’ve created together. And Merlin can only think yes, this is right, this is what I promised him as their eyes meet.
The promise sparks between them as he kisses Arthur that night, and every night before, and every night after. It clings to their skin and it ties them together. Neither of them really knows if it touches their hearts, but it doesn’t matter. They love each other, whether the gods will it or not.
Fate lingers in the shadows behind Destiny, hiding even from Merlin’s Sight.
Because there is always a cost. And, watching the armies amass before Arthur, Merlin knows that he would have promised Arthur anything but their destinies, if it would have saved him from this. He sees Arthur’s fate only too clearly, and it breaks his heart. Death comes too soon for someone with so much life within him, so much drive and determination and love for his land, so much goodness. A shadow hangs over Merlin, of the light that will soon be extinguished, and he can’t listen to Arthur speak, only watch the vision of him fall over and over again, and whisper that he loves him, and that this was never what he intended.
Tied to the greatness he promised for Arthur was always the tragedy of his death. And Merlin, blinded by the shining of Arthur’s greatness, has never seen that. Until Mordred is there, and he isn’t just going to escape to attack again. He will win. Today.
Looking across the battlefield, Merlin watches him. And all he sees is another blind boy, following a promise whispered to him by the wind and the reeds and the water.