Title: For Eternity
Summary: Post-series. Merlin remembers.
Word Count: 261
Prompt: #476, ink
He doesn’t flinch anymore.
The first time, yes, he’d been anxious about what to expect in spite of all the research he’d done and the care he took in who he selected. But when the tip of the needle had first touched his skin, he’d jolted, just a little, though not nearly enough to break the man’s concentration thankfully. He’d debated whether to give up the idea entirely, especially since the pain wouldn’t necessarily go away. But hadn’t that been what he’d counted on when choosing to get the tattoos on his ribs? He wanted—no, needed—the reminders. So he let it go on, regardless of how much it hurt.
The second wasn’t quite as bad.
The third was even easier.
This one was the last.
He waved off the bandages for a moment to get a look in the full-length mirror on the wall. The names ringed his body, woven amongst the dragons. They weren’t obvious unless somebody got close (and nobody but the tattoo artist has been that close to him in years), but he can read them all in spite of the reversed image.
And now Arthur.
He saved Arthur for last, not because he was least important but because those were the memories he already knew he’d always have. The name was emblazoned on the front, just left of center, as near to his heart as he could get, but the distance didn’t matter. Arthur had lived in Merlin’s heart for centuries.
Now, he would have all of them for eternity.