Title: From There to Here
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, Gwen, Gwaine
Summary: This wasn't why Merlin had thought Arthur would return, but Gwen thinks it's perfect.
Word Count: 440
Prompt: #135, path
Author's Notes: Also written for vix_spes for the Happy October Swap.
Merlin looked at himself in the full length mirror; suit and bow tie and green tinge all. "I can't do this," he croaked, his breakfast threatening to make a reappearance.
Gwen, reincarnated like most of their friends, clucked her tongue at him and brushed away some invisible lint from his shoulders. "You can and you will. I'll never forgive you for running away, never mind Arthur."
Arthur. Merlin swallowed hard and turned away, shaking his head. "It can't...Gwen, this...the prophecy always said he'd return when Albion had need for him. There isn't...there's nothing now. There's no enemy at the gate, no threat to Britain."
She raised her eyebrows, a smirk playing at the corner of her mouth. "I've heard you talk about the prophecy, ad nauseam. In case it missed your notice, Albion is gone. From what you've hinted at, whatever kingdom Arthur created is, in its form, gone. It's been replaced. If Albion ever needed him, that time has come and gone."
He opened his mouth to argue his point--Albion had just become part of Great Britain--but she pressed her hands to his chest and leaned up to kiss his cheek. "I don't think Arthur came back for his kingdom. I think that this is just magic saying thank you. A reward for your selfless acts to save Arthur and his kingdom and those he held dear."
He shook his head. "Gwen, that isn't how magic works. It's not how the Goddess works. She takes, but rarely gives."
She shrugged. "Then this is the biggest thank you ever."
The door opened. Gwaine, Merlin's other 'friend of honor' (because while Gwaine might have found it amusing to be called a maid of honor, Merlin certainly didn't), leaned his head in. "Time. Let's get this started."
And now the path lay before Merlin in startling accuracy. It stretched out, from the shores of the lake where Merlin said goodbye to Arthur to just two years ago when he found Arthur, lost on a road. It stretched out from this little anteroom to an altar where a priestess waited for them, Arthur and Merlin. To finally be married as they couldn't have before. To be united in more than destiny.
There went his breakfast again. Gwen took his hand in hers and squeezed it. "It's going to be perfect, Merlin."
He closed his eyes and took another deep breath. "Perfect. Right."
"Merlin?" Arthur called from outside the room.
"There he is," Gwen whispered. "Waiting for you. Don't keep him waiting as long as he kept you."
Merlin chuckled and nodded. "Right. Let's get me married."