Title: The Crystal Cave
Summary: Merlin finally accepts the truth.
Warnings: Depressing, thoughts of suicide
Word Count: 200
Prompt: #100 Century
Time weighed heavily on him, the loss of loved ones growing ever more a burden until he could barely breathe through the pain. To protect himself, he withdrew from life, from people, from memories, until all that remained was the merest trickle of noise.
Solitary, as much removed from the world as he could, Merlin endured in a bubble of near-silence, every sound an accusation, wind and birdsong and a lake's murmurs always stark disapproval. And yet he couldn't leave. Arthur might come back and he'd have to be ready. No matter how much he wanted to bury himself in the Crystal Cave and never come out again, he couldn't.
So he waited, alone and penitent, and tried not to listen to centuries flowing by.
Until the day when planes flew overhead, noisy pollution crossing the sky, and he finally accepted that everything he'd believed in was gone. What remained was a world too frenetic, too alien to live in, a world where Arthur never returned.
Trudging down the road, ignoring a truck that screamed past him, he took one last look at Avalon's promise and turned toward the Crystal Cave.
At least there, buried alive, he'd finally find peace.