Summary: It is ritual that keeps Merlin going.
Warnings: None (Spoilers for the series finale)
Word Count: 301
Author's Notes: Woohoo! I managed to write something short! This just hit me out of the blue! Partially inspired by donutsweeper's Wrought and Endured. Awesome story! I hope you don't mind you were my inspiration!
Merlin checked the door, turned the deadbolt, slid the chain, making his home secure. As he walked through the house toward his study, he waved a hand, extinguishing all of the lights save for a nightlight in the hallway. Once inside his study, several candles flared brightly.
There was no electricity allowed. Not in here. Not at this moment.
The desk was void of any objects, the surface completely clean. There wasn't a speck of dust.
As the clouds parted and the moon shone brightly in through the single window, Merlin carefully pulled a fragile piece of parchment from inside his jacket. It was kept close to his heart every single minute of everyday. Except for the moment of dawn when he woke, and the stroke of midnight before he went to bed.
He lovingly and carefully unfolded the piece of paper, laying it on the desk.
Camelot had always had its fair share of visitors and once upon a time there had been an artist of great renown. He had done a portrait of the great prince of Camelot.
Merlin stared down at it, fingers hovering over the fine lines of Arthur's chin. It was more of a sketch, but it was the only true representation Merlin had of what Arthur looked like. He treasured the drawing above all else. And every morning and every night, he stared at it, took his fill almost hungrily, tracing the ruffled hair, smiling at the slightly crooked teeth, staring into blue eyes (he'd magically added the color himself) he hoped to one day see again.
Merlin took a deep breath, let his hand hover over the picture, and said a few words.
Only his magic kept Arthur's drawing disintegrating.
It would have to do until he saw his king alive again.