Title: The Days Without You
Character/s: Merlin, Freya, mentionings of Arthur and others.
Summary: Arthur has been out fighting in the recent war, and when he's mentioned as one of the many missing soldiers on TV, Merlin gets worried.
Warnings: None unless one were to be affected by things dealing with loved ones being in war.
Word Count: 526
Author's Notes: I almost put a happy ending here but since the prompt was despair I decided not to stray from the mood. Enjoy.
Merlin sat on the edge of the forest-green couch, his chin resting on the palm of his hand. His nails were chewed to the quick, and Merlin was pretty sure that his stomach was starting to cave into some dark void out of hunger. But there was no way that one would be able to move Merlin away from the television.
A different voice was heard over the soft drone coming from the television, “Merlin? What are you still doing awake?”
“It’s only 9:36,” Merlin answered immediately.
“But don’t you have to work early tomorrow?” Freya—who stayed in Merlin’s flat to keep him company for the time being—stepped towards the TV in able to tell what Merlin was watching. Her face softened when she saw the bolded words that appeared on top of the screen:
7 Military Soldiers reported missing since two pm. Soldiers are to be named soon.
Freya sat down—more like squeezed next to; the couch wasn’t exactly a perfect size—next to Merlin and put her arm around his shoulders, hugging him towards her.
“Arthur’s in that troop. He could be one of them. He could be dead,” Merlin’s voice dripped with sadness.
He eyed a picture that stood on top of the TV set. It showed Arthur and Merlin sitting on a bench in some park. Arthur was laughing, his head thrown back, and Merlin had a toothy smile plastered on his face.
Merlin kept the memory of that day with a small smile. He and his group of friends (Arthur, Freya, Gwen, Lancelot, Gwaine, Morgana, and Mordred) had gone touring around the area and Morgana managed to snap a picture of the moment.
Now Merlin sat on the couch, not with Arthur, but with Freya. Arthur had left a year and a half ago, with promises to be back again soon. He had felt the need to fight in the current war, to help fight for his country.
Merlin remembered the argument the two had the night Arthur brought up the topic of joining the military. His father, Uthur, was one of the commanders in the Army. Even though they talked over and fought, Arthur left two days later, kissing and hugging Merlin goodbye.
Freya interrupted Merlin’s train of thought. “Merlin, they’re about to announce who the missing soldiers are.”
Fear took over Merlin as he looked back at the Television screen.
This just in: The soldier’s names have just been reached. Keep in mind that these following people are missing and/or dead: Elyan Smith, Percival Hopper, Cedric Sigan, Gregor Muirden, Leon Knightly, and Arthur Pendragon.
Merlin’s heart dropped. His greatest fear has come true. Despair ripped through him like a storm as Freya pulled Merlin into a tight hug. Fat tears rolled down his face.
There would be no more late nights in front of the TV with Arthur. The flat would never hear the sound of Arthur’s laughter again. Merlin would have no one to whisper sweet nothings to in bed before falling asleep.
And the realization that Merlin’s best friend was gone would always be there whenever he woke up again in his empty flat.