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Journey's End

Fic Title: Journey's End
Author: j_corrosion
Characters/Pairings: Merlin, Arthur, Lancelot, Gwaine, Gaius, Leon, Agravaine, Gen
Rating: R
Word Count: 5,792
Warnings: angst, some violence, death

Summary: Merlin would have never thought that it would have come to this, to have Arthur as his enemy.

Written for the Merlin Reverse Big Bang to a lovely piece of art by demonprince_005





When Arthur thought back to where all of this madness began, he couldn’t quite place the moment, no matter how hard he tried. What it had led up to, the betrayal, that was painfully clear but before that everything was muddled. He’d wandered his chambers at night, going over and over everything that had happened over the last year, trying to pinpoint where things had changed but he was never successful. As he stood over his throne, eyes and thoughts dark and clouded, he prepared for the meeting of his council. Today is where this ended, for better or worse.


---


Merlin, on the other hand, knew exactly where the starting point was, the precise moment was burnt into his memory for as long as he lived. He still wasn’t sure if that moment spurred his downfall or his ascent to something grander, he’s pretty sure that Arthur would see it as the former. He looked over at Lancelot and saw the strength and faith in his eyes that convinced him that he had done the right thing. Lancelot always made him feel better. “Are you ready, Sire?” Lancelot’s head almost bowed as he spoke.
“I thought I told you not to call me that” Merlin smiled, a smile which grew as he saw Lancelot’s grin but still could not cover the heaviness in his heart.
“Sorry, force of habit” Lancelot’s eyes glinted with his smile. Merlin wondered how Lancelot could stay so calm, “Plus, I know you hate it.” Merlin also wondered why he had never been afraid of him, no matter what strength of magic he had shown in front of his friend, the brute force he had at his command. So many others had not afforded him such kindness.

“Merlin” Lancelot laid a hand on his shoulder, “There is nothing you could have done to prevent this. He brought it upon himself” Lancelot’s tone was soft and steady; Merlin wished he could have had that amount of faith in himself. He wonders idly if he has managed to corrupt the valiant soldier.
“I hope so” Merlin muttered and then stood, laying a hand on Lancelot’s shoulder, a mimic of the comforting hand on his own. “Thank you, my friend. You have been a lifeline to me these last few months” his eyes met Lancelot’s, drawing strength and conveying his sincerity at the same time. He’s not sure what he would have done without Lancelot, or Gwaine, he’s sure that things would have been a lot bloodier anyway. They have been his conscious when all he wanted was revenge and his strength when all he wanted to do was give up. He thought of Gaius, anger and sadness rising up in him in great tides. What happened to Gaius had been hideous and heartbreaking and completely avoidable.
Lancelot removed his hand from Merlin, “That’s what friends are for” he smiled, and went to leave the room. “We are ready when you are” he said just before he shut the door behind him, leaving Merlin with his thoughts.

---


“Arthur” Merlin asked, not sure if he meant the word as a question or a statement. He looked at the man in front of him, his king, rain drenched blonde hair was covering his eyes but Merlin didn’t need to see them to know of the anger emanating from the other man.
All he could hear was the rain thundering on the earth around him, buzzing from the last hour’s activity, but could not hear what he wanted to hear. And that particular silence scared him more than anything this world could throw at him.
He wanted to reach out and grab Arthur by the shoulders and explain. Explain what it all meant, what he did it all for, for Arthur, for Albion. But the silence continued and the rain lashed mercilessly at their exposed skin.
And just when Merlin thought the silence would last forever, he heard it. “Sorcerer” the word was quiet but it cut through him like a blade. Even the emotion had been removed from it. No anger, no pain and absolutely no acceptance.
He opened his mouth to defend himself, to explain once again that not all magic users were evil, perhaps even to lie and to play innocent.

“Yes” was the only strangled thing that would escape his burning lungs. He felt like he had been holding his breath for years and could now suck in the thick, heavy air around him, to drown rather than suffocate.
It was unbearable.

“Arthur” he started, trying to rid himself of this torture, he needed to talk, needed to make it feel like old times. Like Arthur would just punch him lightly on the shoulder and they would ride back to the castle, laughing. But that would never happen again, he thought mournfully. “I…” But he got no further as a fist exploded into the side of face. As the darkness engulfed his vision, Arthur’s broken face watched him until there was nothing.

---


Arthur was pacing, knew that it had been a habit of his from his youth but ever since ‘that incident’ it was almost a constant state. “Sire, please” Leon almost sighed despite himself, he caught himself as Arthur glared icily at him. He often forgot that Arthur was no longer the child, nor the arrogant prince. He often wished those days were still upon them.
Arthur paused a moment, as if the beast inside was calming, but a moment later he shook his head and continued to pace. “Forgive me, Sire, but it doesn’t have to be this way” things had been strained between Arthur and his second in command ever since Merlin had gone, Leon had watched Arthur change, become bitter and vindictive, something he had never in all his years to expect from his King. Arthur was never like his father though it seems now that he was.
“Yes it does” his tone may have been resigned but there was a strength to his words that Leon recognised as something that he had no chance of arguing against.
“Agravaine was right, like always. Magic is dangerous, no matter who it belongs to. It must be stopped at all costs.” Arthur almost looked like he was crushed under the weight of his decision. Leon knew that Agravaine’s influence on the young king had been gaining in strength, even since Uther’s death he had been weaving his threads, but with Merlin’s magic being discovered and his escape, in had become even more powerful.
“Sire, Merlin causes little harm. I feel that directly antagonising him will only cause more trouble”
The young king glared at him, “He is undermining my laws, causing rebellion within the kingdom. It must be put an end to” Arthur finally slumped into a chair looking exhausted, Leon was sure that he had barely slept in months.
Agravaine was a poison, he thought bitterly, poisoning his King against his own people, against his own friends. So many had died these last few years due to Agravaine’s influence, so very many needless deaths including too many of his fellow knights. His own views on magic were uncertain, but he couldn’t believe that they were all evil, that was madness. And they certainly didn’t deserve to die.

“There must be a better way, surely no one else needs to die” he knew he had spoken out of turn as soon as the words left his mouth. Arthur half growled as he leapt out of his chair, sword drawn and pressed to his throat before he could even blink.
“Don’t you dare question how I do things, I am your king!” Arthur shouted into his face and despite the threat and the anger, Leon could see the guilt swimming in Arthur’s eyes, the poor boy was drowning in it. He understood for the first time, Arthur hadn’t eradicated the man he once knew, he was still there, confused and self loathing, but still there.
Leon took a step back and bowed, “I apologise, sire, I didn’t mean to speak the way I did.” Arthur re-sheathed his sword and marched out of the room, looking for Agravaine no doubt.


---



When Merlin awoke, his heart sank when he saw Camelot’s prison bars in front of his throbbing vision. The pain he felt was less from the blow to the head but more that his friendship and loyalty to Arthur had amounted to nothing. No benefit of the doubt, no leniency.
Sinking back into the cold ground, he knew he could escape easily; it would be no effort at all in fact. But he couldn’t bring himself to want to escape, not when Arthur was still out there. Maybe he could change his mind, make him see him as he really was. At the back on his mind he wondered if Arthur hadn’t already seen it and rejected him regardless. Despair weighed heavily on his soul.
“Merlin!” he heard a strangled cry, he looked up into Gwaine’s upset face, “I’ve just heard what happened, are you okay?” Gwaine’s dark, sorrowful eyes lit something deep inside of him.
Merlin opened his mouth to reply but his throat rebelled and he couldn’t, though he was sure that the dried tears and despair he could feel pouring out of him like magic were answer enough.
Gwaine reached through the bars to grab his hand, “He’ll come around, he has to” Gwaine’s soft, lilting voice almost made him believe it.
“He won’t” of this Merlin was starting to become sure about the more he thought about it, that look he had seen in Arthur’s eyes, it was almost hatred.
“Merlin, you’re his best friend, he has to let you go. He’ll see that your magic doesn’t make you evil” Gwaine sounded so sincere, Merlin wished that he were right.
“Arthur has always been against magic, even I can’t escape that” he looked away, he couldn’t stand the hope gleaming in his friends eyes.
“Don’t. It’ll be okay, you’ll see. Lancelot is with Arthur right now, he’ll make him understand.” Merlin looked up again, an uneasy feeling settling at the pit of his stomach.
“He’s what?!” but Gwaine didn’t get chance to respond as several booted feet began marching down into the dungeons, the sound vicious and foreboding. The uneasy feeling turned into full blown fear as he saw Lancelot with them, hands bound and a look of defiance on his face.


---



Merlin looked at the two men on either side of him; he had never met men so loyal and kind. Even before they knew of his magic, when they knew of him only has a servant, they treated him as an equal and as a friend. It’s all he had ever wanted of people, but mostly of Arthur. He thought he had gained that level of friendship but it had been proved to be a false assumption.
These last two years of exile from Camelot had been extremely difficult but he knew he would have never survived without Lancelot and Gwaine. Together they had found an old abandoned castle (albeit rather decrepit) in what was once Cendred’s kingdom and turned in into somewhere liveable. Ealdor was out of the question, he could not bring such danger to her door. He needed her to be safe so he stayed away. Even now she had no idea where he was, as much as it pained him he knew it was for the best.

They had survived but did not know what to do, two knights and a sorcerer, they had been used to busy, turmoil struck lives but now had nothing once again. When the depression of their situation lifted, it had been Merlin who had approached his friends with the idea. They had to save all the other innocent sorcerers now that Arthur had continued his father’s path of the destruction of magic.
Merlin had heard from the druids that soldiers of Camelot had been rounding up known magic users, slaughtering outright those who refused to go to the castle for questioning.
Seeing his brethren killed by someone who was once his best friend, it was too much. The anger raged within him and he killed; killed knights of Camelot, killed those his righteous anger demanded as payment for the lives of innocent magic users.

“I’m not a monster, am I?”
“Don’t ever think that”


Merlin bit back tears and wondered it Gaius was wrong. He had killed so many now that it almost felt normal. He hated himself for that feeling; though he had felt it long before all of this when he had murdered Nimueh. He couldn’t blame Arthur for all of his rage; it was a part of who he was. He was a monster.
“Do you think Gaius would hate me for what we have done?” Merlin couldn’t bring himself to look at his friends, only stared ahead into the distance and the gentle swaying of the forest.
“He would understand. You, we did what we had to do” Gwaine replied, the struggle of killing his former brothers in arms weighing heavily on him too, as it did Lancelot.

---



“Where’s Gaius?” Merlin almost screamed, there was only so long they could evade the guards before they were either recaptured or things turned extremely messy. Something that none of them wanted. Gwaine glanced around the corner, checking the coast was clear before the swiftly moved down the corridor.
“I don’t know, Lancelot should have been back by now” something was very wrong, he could feel it under his skin.
Hearing guards behind them, they ran into the balcony section of one of the smaller halls only to see the most horrific sight.
They entered just as Agravaine was pulling a sword out of the collapsing body of Gaius. Lancelot’s unconscious, bleeding body lay nearby.
Merlin was screaming but he didn’t realise. Magic was seething out of him and causing a storm in the hall. Agravaine flew back viciously, it was a wonder the man didn’t snap his neck as he hit the wall behind him, a pity Merlin thought to himself. But he had to get to Gaius, to Lancelot.
Moving faster than humanly possible, he found himself by Gaius’ side, his hands covering the bloody would. He looked up to see Agravaine crawling through the door and was torn, he wanted to destroy the man once and for all but Gaius required his full attention.


“Þurhhæle dolgbenn” his voice shaking, the spell had no effect, “Þurhhæle dolgbenn!” he screamed again but still the spell did nothing but make his skin ache at his inability to control the situation. Gaius’ eyes opened slightly and took in Merlin’s tearful, terrified frame.
“There is nothing you can do. Too late for me” Gaius’ voice was extremely weak as he slowly grasped Merlin’s hand.
Tears were streaming down Merlin’s face, “Please. No” he wanted to scream the words, to scream down the whole of Camelot.
Gwaine came running into the room, “No…” He muttered, stopping in his tracks briefly. He had seen the carnage but its immediacy shocked him, it always did when people close to him were involved.

As Gwaine sped over to Lancelot, Merlin knew he had to keep trying,
Ge hailige” he cried, almost collapsing on top of Gaius. But once again, there was no change.
“Merlin, we have to get out of here” Gwaine urged, his arm around Lancelot’s waist as he attempted to pull him to his feet. Blood was flowing from a blow to his head and perhaps more injuries below his clothing but from what Merlin could see, it looked like Lancelot’s mail had saved him from the fate that had fallen upon the man he called a father.
“Merlin, I have always loved you as if you were my son” it was clear that the effort of speaking was draining what remained of Gaius’ life. Merlin’s hand was at his face, brushing the hair out of his eyes and hot tears falling freely.

“I can’t lose you” his voice was shaking in grief, deep down he knew it was over.
Gaius coughed, blood flowing out of his mouth, he clutched at Merlin’s hand once more and was gone.
Swallowing a moan of pain, he leaned over to place a kiss on Gaius’ forehead, “Goodbye” he whispered mournfully. The pain was as deep and bloody and as raw as the wound that had killed Gaius but he knew he had to get up; he had to help Gwaine and Lancelot or risk losing them too. Agravaine would pay, just not today unfortunately.


---

“I need you both to do something for me” Merlin said as he gestured for Lancelot and Gwaine to be near him. They complied, faces strong and ready for battle. There were no other two people alive that he would want to back him up, he felt so very proud to have them both as friends.
“If things go wrong, I want you to promise me that you will not harm Arthur” both of their mouths opened as they made to protest but Merlin held up a hand to silence them. “He is important, one day, whether he realises it or not, he will create Albion. With or without me. Please, show him mercy” and he knew this for certain. Just has he knew that his and Arthur’s fates were entwined for better or worse, he knew that Arthur would change his mind about magic and would found the kingdom of Albion. And if he had to die to for this change to occur, then he was prepared.

“I need to meet Arthur alone” he stated, pre-empting Lancelot’s coming suggestion that both he and Gwaine accompany him to meet Arthur.

“You will need us with you, you know that Arthur will bring that scum bag with him” Merlin knew that Gwaine was right; he almost hoped it to be true. Although exposing his true nature to Arthur via Agravaine would probably be counter productive, he would certainly feel like justice for Gaius. He shook his head to clear the dark thoughts clouding his vision, but Lancelot and Gwaine had already caught the dangerous look in his eye.
“Don’t worry; you will both be nearby with our army. It will be fine” Lancelot and Gwaine shared a look, they both knew that Merlin’s smile was forced but there was nothing they could do. Merlin was as stubborn as an ox when he wanted to be.

Merlin’s smile sobered and became a genuine expression of how much he cared for them; the other two couldn’t help but return the gesture despite their unease.

“You better promise to come back to us, Merlin” Lancelot said gravely as he took Merlin’s hand and they embraced. Merlin relished the contact; he needed all the strength he could get.
“I’ll try my hardest” he said, eyes locked with the valiant knight’s intense brown eyes, “I promise that on Gaius’ soul” his voice thick with darkness and sincerity.
Gwaine was next to embrace him, “C’mere you” his soft accent hiding his worry badly. Gwaine’s paler brown eyes showed equal amounts of bravery but also a vulnerability he found harder to hide. “We’ll see you on the other side”

Merlin nodded his gratitude, afraid his voice would crack if he expressed his gratitude in words. The knights mounted their horses and took several paces back as Merlin prepared to call the dragons.

---



And so they met, Arthur on the back of his prize white stallion, Merlin astride Drust, a trusted ally since the return of the dragons. Kilgharrah had requested this moment himself, but Merlin knew the dragon too well and would not put up with his snide remarks. Besides, he was too impractically large.
Arthur looked like a changed man, dark circles surrounded his eyes and a harshness had taken hold of his face. Where there was once warmth and openness, there was a cold, ruthless man. However, in those sleep deprived eyes, Merlin caught something shining out at him, he wasn’t quite sure what it was but it was there and it was positive.
Merlin couldn’t help but feel a flame of happiness light just to be here with Arthur once again. The one thing Arthur used to give him was hope, and now, truly, for the first time in a long time, he felt hope.
To Merlin it almost felt like old times, despite the dragon, to be beside his king once again. He felt a sadness that it wasn’t under such dire circumstances.
He was about to voice his nostalgia until Arthur, a stern, harsh look in his eyes, drew his sword. Merlin’s heart ached.


“I would have built a whole world for you, Arthur”, his voice was thick with bitterness, “But now I’m here to destroy it”. Arthur was trying not to react but Merlin knew him too well and could see the shock etched into his very soul.
“You have magic” Arthur stated emotionlessly, “I did what I had to do”. If Merlin had any hopes for some sort of reunion, it disappeared in the cold of Arthur’s words.
“Once upon a time I would have happily died for you, for what you were supposed to become” he said, the unease of sorrow lying upon him heavily. “Not any more” the words almost a whisper.
And they both knew it to be true. They were best friends once, unlikely perhaps, but they would have died for each other happily. The future king and his servant. Merlin knew what should have been the truth of their future, the king and his sorcerer, oh how wonderful Albion would have been. They could have made this land a noble, free land, removed from Uther’s tyranny rather than the deeper magic persecution that now covered the land.
“Merlin” there was something broken in the King’s voice that startled the sorcerer, “You betrayed me, you had magic and hid it right under my nose, made me care about you” Arthur looked away briefly but when he looked back, the hint of vulnerability had been masked though Merlin knew now that it was there. “You stole my men, my friends and then mount this war of magic against me” Merlin had previously wondered if he would ever see true signs of Uther in the son, and unfortunately now he had seen them. To hear the old king’s words reflected in his sons was truly unsettling.

Merlin felt his own anger rise, “No!” The earth beneath them shook slightly at his words and a light filled his eyes. “You betrayed me!” he wanted to get off the dragon and go over there to shake some sense into Arthur; “I cared about you and protected you. I put myself in danger day after day, even just by being in Camelot and you return that by ordering my execution” he could feel the magic swirling around him like a suit of armour being stirred by his anger, waiting patiently for his conscious or unconscious thoughts. But even now, he had no desire use it against Arthur. Not matter how much they hated each other; he would not harm his King.
Once again he saw that look in Arthur’s eyes, the one he used to see every day. It was the remnants of their friendship

At the corner of his vision, he saw him. Agravaine was making his way on a black mare towards the two of them, leading an army of mostly Agravaine’s men behind him. Merlin could see Leon and almost wanted to smile at the sight of his old friend despite the sadness that was etched in his face. Then he was distracted once again by Agravaine, a smug grin plastered to his horrible little face. Merlin felt cold hatred grip him, a hatred he didn’t want to let go of. Lancelot had warned him not to let it take control but right now it felt so very good.
The army paused at a gesture from Agravaine and Merlin wanted to chastise Arthur for allowing Agravaine to gain so much control.

Before Merlin could react, Agravaine, without waiting for Arthur, had commanded the army to attack him. They were reluctant to charge at one man regardless of whether he was sitting on a dragon or not, but they had no choice, Merlin understood that.
That was until, as if out of nowhere, Lancelot, Gwaine and his own small army, founded from magic users and non magic users sympathetic to their cause, came snarling towards Agravaine’s men. Lancelot and Gwaine looked like demons from hell, horses at full gallop and swords ready to take down anything that got in their way. It was completely natural for them, the art of the battle, the violence running through their veins. Coming to terms with this had been easy for them and made them balanced people away from war. But on the battlefield, they came alive.

Merlin focussed his vision, only Arthur, Agravaine and a handful of men remained and it wasn’t any of them that he was worried about; it was his own bloodlust baying at the doors. Ignited by the presence of Agravaine and fuelled by the battle of his own men, it was all he could do to stop him bringing death to someone he cared deeply for.
He thought about what Gaius would tell him if he were here right now, he would caution him about acting rashly and would definitely deplore the murder of Agravaine without an attack on his person. He calmed himself with Gaius’ words, even though he wasn’t with him, Merlin wanted to make him proud.

“Still alive, sorcerer?” Agravaine shouted across, a sneer permanently deforming his face. Merlin bit back a growl; it wouldn’t do any good to lose control, especially not in front of Arthur. Though speaking of Arthur, he had been unnaturally still and quiet since Agravaine had joined them. And the way he allowed Agravaine to command his army was especially worrying. Arthur would never have allowed such a thing in the past, not even from his Uncle. If he didn’t know any better, he would have said that Arthur had a spell cast on him. But he couldn’t sense any form of magic on the king, powerful or otherwise. No, brainwashing was perfectly possible without the use of magic, that he was all too aware of.

Merlin smiled; suddenly he knew exactly what he had to do. He had been wrestling with his options and coming up with nothing but misery and death. Should he kill Agravaine and risk siding Arthur against magic forever? Argue and debate his side to Arthur, trying to persuade him with logic and reason? Or even worse, give up on Arthur all together and fight him one and one, risking death for them both?
No, now he could see another way, one he hoped that Gaius would at least approve of over the other options.

He whispered into Drust’s ear, the dragon bowed his head and followed the will of his master. Merlin slid off the dragon’s wing and landed gracefully on the ground, startling Agravaine and his men, but not Arthur. Drust took off into the air and flew safely to the nearby woods.
Merlin faced the group of men; Agravaine’s bodyguards looked petrified, it was clear that they were in no doubt as to whom exactly he was. He was aware of the rumours and the hushed voices when people spoke of him, in the last two years he had gained the reputation of the most powerful sorcerer there had ever been. He doubted the rumours as nonsense but they didn’t hurt at times like these.

Merlin quirked his head and smiled as he raised his hands, the effect making a few of soldiers take several steps backwards. He heard Arthur snort incredulously; it was heartening to know that Arthur wasn’t even slightly threatened by him. He supposed that all those years of calling him an idiot were hard to get rid of.
“I think you need better men, Agravaine, these seem rather timid” Merlin taunted though his voice was schooled into a friendly tone.

It didn’t take much but Merlin could see that Agravaine was already riled, “Arthur, are you going you to allow this traitor, this filthy sorcerer to just stand here and make a mockery of everything your father fought for?” he whispered in Arthur’s ear. Merlin could see it now, these last few years with Agravaine whispering cleverly in his ears, the anger fought within him at the thought of it.

Arthur said nothing and watched Merlin carefully as if he was sizing him up. Merlin wondered what was happening within the brain of the king as Agravaine seemed as confused as he himself.

“Well if you aren’t going to, I shall have to honour your father’s memory myself” Merlin could almost taste the lie in Agravaine’s words and wondered if Arthur too felt it as he stiffened at the mention of Uther. “Guards, kill him” Agravaine ordered.

The men hesitated, and rightly so, Merlin knew than not a man on this battlefield other than Arthur could kill him. And even that was because Merlin willed it so. These men, despite their initial hesitation, were soldiers never the less and did as they were commanded. Surrounding and rushing at him all at once was their ill fated plan, Merlin felt sorry for them as he lifted his hand and sent them all flying to the ground, writhing as they did so. He could have killed them but chose not to do so, it felt wrong.

“Don’t you see what he is?” Agravaine shouted, trying to get his king to react. Merlin turned a little to see Arthur’s face properly; he looked torn, angry, yes, but also conflicted. Merlin felt his hope grow; perhaps there was a way out.

What Merlin had just noticed was that Agravaine had slipped out of his line sight, he turned to find him when the man was upon him, dagger held to his throat. Merlin reacting instinctively, throwing Agravaine violently to the ground with his magic so much so that he heard the man’s neck snap under the excessive force. Merlin’s whole body went cold and he felt numb, the bloodlust wanted to take its time with revenge, make him suffer as Gaius had. But no, the man had died quickly and painlessly. The wound Merlin held for Gaius ripped open as he realised he would never have true justice.
Perhaps that was for the best something whispered at the back of his mind, perhaps he could have redemption for the deaths he was responsible for no matter how he dressed them as noble and necessary.

All the while, Arthur had finally reacted, at the moment of impact he had screamed out, unable to move, not that Merlin had noticed. The conflict was tearing him apart.

“What did you do?” Arthur’s voice was weary but his eyes were dangerous. Merlin turned to face him, his own eyes full of sorrow and inevitable death.

“He would have killed me like he did Gaius” his voice dark and mournful, he looked up from the ground and straight into Arthur’s, the shock of his words striking deeply into the heart of the king.
“You’re lying” though his words were uncertain, an edge of panic bit at them as if Arthur didn’t know what else to do. Merlin looked at him; the heart ache of Gaius’ loss was as raw as the day he died and showed clear in his eyes. Arthur knew at that moment he was telling the truth though his heart and brain were at war with one another, Agravaine’s lies were unravelling.

“No” Arthur marched forward to Merlin, who did not move except to put his hands behind his back in a display of passivity. Arthur punched the taller man square in the face, watching in confused anger as he fell to the floor without a reaction. Merlin just stood and watched his king, eyes full of understanding. It just made Arthur angrier.

“Fight me properly” Arthur growled and punched Merlin again. Merlin fell to the floor, a little bit of blood was flowing from his lip. He looked up at Arthur, sadness and pity in his eyes as he pulled himself to his feet and did nothing more than just stand there.
This is not what Arthur expected, not that he was sure what would happen. He thinks it would just be so much easier if he would do something, attack, fight back, even protect him self at the very least. But the silence and Merlin’s lack of reaction was maddening.
“Use your magic, it’s not like you can pretend you don’t have it” Arthur could hear his own voice wavering and he hated himself for it, hated the way that Merlin made him feel about himself. Like he could be better than the shell that he saw when he looked at himself in the mirror.

Arthur let out a noise like a wild animal and threw himself at Merlin, fist pummelling at his former friend. Once again, Merlin did not react. Arthur leapt off of Merlin, his whole body shaking and tears rolling down his cheeks.

“WHY WON’T YOU KILL ME?” Arthur screamed as he collapsed to his knees, it felt as if his world had ended, like it had when his father had died. There was nothing left of him, not even his honour that he had so often prided himself of. He had become everything he hated about his father and ruined everything that he once treasured. It all seemed so pointless now.
After what seemed like decades, Arthur felt a hand on his shoulder. He looked up to see Merlin, bloody, bruised and battered, but standing there with forgiveness in his eyes. There was even a possibility of hope, even if it was a long way off.

Merlin could feel it too, the air had changed quickly, he could sense that old destiny once again, even if it was weak. Somewhere at the back of his mind he could hear Kilgharrah laughing.
Turning his head, he saw Lancelot and Gwaine standing alongside Leon, watching them. He smiled weakly at them and they smiled back, inclining their heads as they did so.
Yes, change was in the air and the whole kingdom breathed in the fresh scent of hope. Perhaps one day the world would once again be as it should be. Merlin smiled and allowed him self to breathe a sigh of relief, maybe even one day Arthur would call him an idiot again.

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Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
demonprince_005
Feb. 13th, 2012 05:29 pm (UTC)
Wow, this is angsty. And sad, so sad >:

Replied to your message with a link, sorry for taking so long >.<;
sofiaottoman
Feb. 13th, 2012 08:25 pm (UTC)
This was sad, but I liked the sense of hope at the end.
archaeologist_d
Feb. 13th, 2012 08:58 pm (UTC)
I liked that Arthur was so angry that he was lashing out at Merlin. Good job with this.
lady_drose_sd
Feb. 17th, 2012 08:44 pm (UTC)
Wow, this was a magnificent and heartbreaking story. The angst was killing me!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )