Title: Ignoring it all
Pairing/s: hints of Arthur/Merlin
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Ignoring memories can sometimes be a tricky thing - no matter how hard you try.
Warnings: talk of character death.
Word Count: 267
Author's Notes: Hopefully, eventually I will get out of the angst-pit that I'm in right now with regard to Merlin.
Sometimes Merlin was so focused on magic that he had no time for memories.
In the moment, deep in the intricacies of spells and rare herbs and the precise language of magical processes, death's cold grasp was forgotten; the agony of waiting, waiting for a breath that never came was painstakingly ignored; the gaping hole in his chest, that Arthur-sized grief, was filled with distractions and formulas and bubbling potions.
Sometimes it almost worked.
He arranged to keep everything at bay with exertion and meticulous fabrications and sheer determination.
But then there would come a hint of wood-smoke scenting the air or the sound of horses and chainmail and swords echoing in the distance or the potion-sharp tang of herbs that reminded him of kitchens and capons and warmth. Worst were splashes of red, Pendragon colours, in a bird winging through the trees or leaves turning in autumn's embrace or the cluster of berries growing just beyond the cave.
And the careful constructs would come crashing down and he'd have to fight all over again to forget. More effort, more magic, more memories to ignore. It was an endless cycle of desperation and grief.
More than once, he'd thought of using magic to erase it all, to give him peace at last.
But he knew he couldn't. Arthur deserved better than to be forgotten because of Merlin's failures.
And so it went, cycle upon cycle, year after year - waiting for the day when his grief might turn to joy and he could make new memories and finally, finally feel Arthur's warm hand in his own.