Title: Empire of Midnight
Summary: The throne must not be empty.
Warnings: Possibly influenced by the Lich King cinematic.
Word Count: 217
Prompt: #5 (Crown)
Author's Note: My local network crashed as I tried to post this at the last minute. If I'm too late, my apologies. That will teach me to procrastinate.
There was nothing except the sweeping thunder of his sword, the ache in his arms and the warm rain of blood. He saw only his enemies, and didn't think to watch his friends. When the crush of battle finally allowed him a breath, it was stolen by the sight of Merlin approaching the throne Arthur had been struggling so hard to reach. It was as though the line of soldiers had opened up to let him pass unbloodied through their ranks.
Men were still dying all around him, but all Arthur could hear was a stillness, the absolute quiet of the universe holding its breath. The king wanted to scream at his servant to stop, but the silence was too heavy. He could only watch.
Merlin didn't flinch as he settled onto the obsidian throne. When the curving crown of shadows slithered over his brow, his features showed only calm determination. His composure seemed justified when he didn't die the horrifying death that supposedly awaited any mortal foolish enough to take the Seat of Midnight. It was a power meant for gods, a raging river that would destroy any man who tried to tame it. Yet Merlin did not perish.
When he saw the rising tide of magic in his friend's eyes, Arthur almost wished he had.