Title: Forever Is the Longest Time
Character/s: Merlin, Hunith, Balinor, Arthur
Summary: Merlin ponders how his parents' love and loss illuminate his own
Word Count: 150
Prompt: Bingo, prompt: 'Long-lost love'
Author's Notes: Canon-based AU
Forever Is the Longest Time
Merlin wondered how his mother had managed all those years. She had loved Balinor sincerely, and had clearly been loved in return. Neither of his parents had found a new partner, both holding on to their long-lost love.
They must have been nursing a secret hope that one day, somehow, they would be able to resume their relationship.
Merlin had seen that cherished dream of a future with her beloved draining from Hunith's face when he returned home to tell her of his father's passing.
Much later in life, when he occasionally pondered whether it would have been better if Arthur had not been prophesied to return at all, Merlin would remember Hunith's devastation in that moment, and he had his answer. He was better off longing and hoping and waiting for Arthur's return, however many centuries might pass. Nothing was worse than the finality of your true love's death.