Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Merlin ponders over keeping his secret of actual importance.
Word Count: 305
Prompt: #53 Pretending
Author's Notes: Thank you to inspired_being for continuing to beta my drabbles. This one is set during episode 4.12 “The Sword in the Stone: Part 1.” I wanted to try a shorter piece than I have done before, so I just tackled Merlin’s point of view on hiding his magical abilities. Arthur’s initial quote in this fic is directly from the show, so not my words.
“Merlin...it’s a good job you don’t have anything of any actual importance to keep secret, isn’t it?” Arthur whispered forcefully. He was angry with Merlin for not keeping the secret of the holes that had been added to the King’s belt. Percival practically choked on his wine as he sniggered into his goblet.
Merlin let the forced smile slip off his face. Keeping secrets. His whole life was a secret. It saddened him that his closest friends didn’t know who he truly was. What he could do. What he had done, to protect the King and Camelot, to fight Morgana. He had to pretend to be someone he was not. His magic had to be kept a secret. Merlin had to lie.
Arthur was his closest friend but he rarely saw Merlin’s wisdom and thought him an idiot most of the time. Merlin longed to tell him the truth; how he had been helping him become the king he was meant to be. He wanted to tell him of their shared destiny--how he would help Arthur build a new kingdom in Albion, one based on justice, acceptance and truth. But all Merlin did was lie.
The lies had now stretched on for years. At first, they were necessary, because he hadn’t known Arthur well and he needed to ensure he wouldn’t be executed for his magic. As the years progressed, he no longer feared the King would order him to be beheaded or burned. However, Arthur would feel angry and betrayed once he realized Merlin had hidden his magic for all the years he had known him. Banishment from Camelot was still a real possibility. If he were sent away, he would not be able to protect the King as well from afar; to help him achieve his destiny. So Merlin continued to lie.