Title: Your Name He Prays
Summary: In which, Arthur confesses to a few things.
Warnings: Mild religious practices (prayer; confession of sins)
Word Count: 1054
Prompt: #91 - Atonement
Author's Notes: I'm not sure if the religious practices should be a warning, but in case anyone doesn't want to read about it, I wanted to write it in there. I don't consider it a warning but ehh, better to be safe than sorry, yeah? Anyway, I wanted to write a quick note about this before you read:
Arthur is an Angel. In this verse, the codes of "purity" and "chastity" in which he vowed to follow means never falling in love and never engaging in any sort of physical intimacy (both romantic & sexual), which is why the events play out they way they do. So in case anyone is confused at Arthur's confessions later on in the story (because as far as anyone knows, Arthur's done nothing beyond kissing with Merlin), that's the reason why he's "sinned".
Okay, enough of my rambling. Onto the story, enjoy!
Don't forget to read the rest of the Angels & Demons verse.
The sun is warm on his face.
Arthur, for all his sudden fascination with the dark, is inevitably a creature of the light. He blinks up at the sky, a small smile gracing his lips at this, at the way he feels so alive. It's like he could forget everything and just take off, leaving his worries and fears behind him.
But his heart sinks as he remembers why he's here. He reminds himself why he's here, still in the Human world, when he should be back in Heaven. He reminds himself specifically of what he needs to do.
Arthur looks up at the tall structure, stained glass windows revealing pictures and stories that he knows as if it's his second language. This is the only place he could think of to come, where he wouldn't be heard, wouldn't be seen, where no one would look at him twice. He closes his eyes for a second, takes a deep breath, and walks inside.
The church is empty, as he suspected it would be. It's not Sunday and it's not time for anything in particular to happen, so he'll have at least a few moments to himself. Just being inside of the building makes him feel energized, yet quiver at the core of his soul simultaneously.
Arthur stands in the doorway for a moment, gazing around at the pews and how the sun streams color through its massive windows, how warm it feels inside, blooming in the room. It's as if peace exists here and only here, as if there's no place in the world that is more peaceful than this place. He wishes vainly he could stay forever, encased in his own world, where no problems lie, where he doesn't care, where he isn't afraid of anything. But he cannot, as no one can.
Then, slowly, he walks forward, approaching the altar at the back of the room, where the sunlight directly hits. It's as if God himself is watching him, waiting for him, as if he's known all this time Arthur would come to him.
Maybe he has, Arthur thinks, but doesn't voice this aloud.
He stops, just a few centimeters from the light, and stares into it, as if searching it will give him an answer, something to say, the key back to his old life, his past. But then he stops himself, knowing deep down that this path he's on, he's chosen it gladly, and he wouldn't change it if he had to do it over again.
He grimaces slightly at the thought, but doesn't speak.
Arthur hesitantly kneels down, his knees pressing into the wooden floor, watching the dust dance in the light. He takes a deep breath, steadying his beating heart, before closing his eyes, inclining his head upwards.
“Dear Lord in Heaven,” he whispers, his nerves taking hold, despite himself. “I've come before you today to tell you of my ventures.”
Images flash in his mind as he speaks, dark hair flashing across his eyes, crooked smiles and wandering gazes, blue and black mingling together. He thinks of Merlin, only Merlin, the core of his sins, the very embodiment of all that should be wrong in his life. But then he remembers their shared, lingering touches, and hot, desperate kisses that leave him aching for more and more again and again. He longs for that intimacy, longs for that love he feels so vividly in his very being. He hadn't known it before, but he does now. As if there had ever been a doubt in his mind that he loved him. The first time Merlin kissed him, he knew he'd been lost, that there would never be any going back. If loving Merlin, that wretched Demon, is a sin, then he will gladly continue to sin for the rest of his days.
“I know that, in the past, I have always striven to abide by your teachings, remaining pure and chaste as well as follow the code of my fellow Angels. I have always done as you willed it, dear Lord. However now, I find myself astray,” he goes on, still quiet, still soft. “And I'm not sure if it's the right choice.”
Arthur swallows the lump in his throat, willing himself to keep speaking. “However, I cannot...I cannot claim that I regret it, dear Lord. Whether that choice was right or wrong, I made it, and I will not regret it for the rest of my days. I have broken our code. I have allowed myself to fall prey to the charms of those darker than us, the ones who walk beneath us. I have allowed myself to fall in love with a Demon.”
The words sound so foreign to him, knowing that he thought he'd never have to say this.
“I cannot make amends for what I have done, dear Lord. Nor can I say I wish to. He treats me in kindness, unlike those of his kin, and he loves me as I love him. I will not deny the part of myself that he now owns, even if it goes against your will.”
Even if Merlin is still pulling a ruse, he thinks seriously. Even if Merlin's pulling a ruse, that he doesn't really care about me, I don't care, either.
Because he knows, somehow. He knows that Merlin's feelings are genuine, just as his are. He is afraid of this, in some way. But he presses on.
“Dear Lord,” Arthur continues, inclining his head now towards the ground, the picture of subservience. “I know that I have done you wrong. I know that I shall be forsaken for the rest of my days. But hear me, dear Lord, for I ask not for forgiveness, nor do I seek atonement for my actions.”
He opens his eyes, staring straight into the light, the mingling of colors and sunshine. Arthur watches it glisten with ferocity, as if conveying every raw emotion he's ever felt, ever encountered.
“I ask not for your forgiveness, dear Lord,” he says again, ever soft. “I'm just asking that you allow me to be selfish, this one time.”
A beat passes, and he stands. Making a cross in the air with his hands, he inclines his head respectfully, one last time, before walking away, the dust trailing in his wake.