Title: Once and Future
Summary: Merlin doesn't return to Camelot.
Warnings: Hurty-feelings; 5x13 tag
Word Count: 276
Prompt: #145 Fair
Author's Notes: Woops its been a while since I posted here :)
Merlin doesn't return to Camelot.
There's a weight to his body; grief, perhaps, or something heavier; something he has seldom experienced before. Albion's will runs through his veins; like stardust, it scatters ethereal words from his tongue and shines golden behind his eyes. It is the air of his lungs and the beat of his heart, and Merlin has carried its burden through his life. But never before has he felt its pull; its cruel gravitation towards the ground. Never before has his shoulders felt so heavy - lead shackles around his limbs, and a noose around his neck.
His face is tracked with tears. The bitter trails will scar, Merlin is sure, and blister scarlet reminders of his failures across his skin. It is not fair. It is not fair that he should live - he, the land's most blubbering, useless warlock to exist - while others should perish. Arthur deserved better than to give his life like this - for his kingdom, his people, and his family, yes, but reeling from betrayal and torn by friends-turned-foe.
Merlin is just at fault as any. The people of Camelot will not forgive him, just as Merlin cannot forgive himself. It would not be fair to reside in the kingdom that he helped destroy, and he cannot bring himself to face his friends. It is cowardice, he knows, but maybe for once Merlin has earned the right to shy away.
(Would that be fair?)
The last of Arthur's fire burns eternally in the distance. It breathes strong against the blusters, and the waters of the lake breathe back.
For their King.
(Camelot's king, once upon a time).