Arthur gasped as he emerged from the water, battling the weight of his body as it felt heavier than usual. He did not look around to yet soak in his surroundings, for he was far more focused on finding land. Which, didn't take too long to discover. He saw it in the very near distance, requiring only a few strokes of his arms until he neared it. He practically crawled onto the ground and once fully out of the water, he fell onto his back, gazing up at the sky that felt far too bright in this moment. His chest heaved as he closed his eyes, coughing out any remains of water that lingered in his chest.
To say he was disoriented, was an understatement. His head spun, his mind attempting to piece together what had happened . . . yet his body felt worn and exhausted from the mere swim. No. Surely there was more to it. Whatever the case, Arthur only opened his eyes when he felt another presence. A familiar aura of someone around him, one that he was never quite able to explain. Sure enough when he opened his eyes and raised to sit in an upright position. He saw him. Unmistakable and somehow always there when Arthur needed him. "Merlin?" Both a question, and acknowledgement . . . and either way, his tone was filled with relief.
So much had changed -- somethings for the better, somethings for the worst. But now there was a storm on the horizon, one that would define history, one that they would need Arthur for. But he had died, leaving Merlin alone. The young warlock was older now, a wiser man, a stronger man, but still lost without his best friend.
Eyes drew wide as the splashing of water drew his attention. Steps were taken in the direction of where the king would emerge into a world so drastically changed. For a moment his expression was hard, forged through the years of being without Arthur but when his name was spoken the look softened as lips spread into a small smile.
"Welcome back, your majesty." How much did he remember? Could Arthur recall the hold death had over him as his time drew near the end. Did he know what sacrifices were made to bring him back? Did he know how much time had passed? Merlin approached him, offering a blanket to dry himself. "Here, take this."
Welcome back? Where had he gone? So many questions raced through his mind and it only made it throb even harder. He reached out for the blanket, a nod of gratitude as he used it to first wipe his face, before proceeding to the rest of him. He then looked at Merlin, really looking at his friend. He looked . . . different, and yet the same. Older, but . . . there was also something else different about him.Something he couldn't quite place. Perhaps once recent memories returned to him, he would figure it out. Yet, his last moments were still a haze. One that he hoped Merlin could shed some light on.
So instead of voicing all the questions from his mind, he asked one simple one . . . and perhaps not simple at all. One that seemed to cover all of what Arthur wanted to know for now, or at least gave him a starting point to it. "What happened?" He asked, still noticing his voice was slightly groggy. How long had he been unconscious for? This certainly wasn't the first time darkness had consumed him and Merlin's face had been the first there. Yet, Arthur couldn't help but feel . . . that there was something drastically different this time.
Merlin was quiet as he watched Arthur towel the water from himself; uncharacteristically so for those that had known him. Merlin was a talker, a joker, or at least he had been. He wasn't the same person many remembered him to be. Time had changed him, war, secrets, warping him into a different person. And now... with war on the horizon once again, he couldn't be that carefree boy anymore. He had to be the adult. The wizard willing to do what was necessary.
Thoughts were pulled to a standstill when Arthur spoke, asking one all important question. What happened. Words became entombed in a constricting throat, refused to be spoken. How could be tell him the truth? How could he admit to having meddled with forbidden magic to bring his best friend back from the beyond? He had to admit it though. Lying would have been worse, and he had grown tired of keeping secrets from the prince-turned-king.
Merlin swallowed hard to dislodge the lump in his throat. Turned to stare are a particularly fascinating tree. "You died." There was no other way to say it, no gently way to break the news to him. "You died on the battlefield. And now I've bought you back... because we need you. We need the King."
Arthur had what? Merlin did what? Arthur tried to comprehend his words, tempted to mock Merlin for saying something so proposterous. But . . . there was something about his tone. His demneanour. It was all very, unfamiliar. A weight to his words that Arthur could not laugh off. And, it was unsettling. As he tried to process them, flashes of what once was entered his mind. "Mordred," he said suddenly. He remembered. Standing on a battlefield. Facing Mordred. The blade piercing his armour before . . . he did the same to the other male. "Morgana." Another name that was undoubtedly linked to his death . . . no, her death. He had watched her die.
He had seen her slain on the ground because Merlin had-- Merlin. Arthur's eyes slightly widened, the hand that gripped the towel limply falling to his side as he just stared at the man before him. He felt frozen, numb, and yet so many things raced through his mind at the same time. His lips parted as if to speak yet no words came out. He remembered. He remembered every moment. He remembered Merlin. And that . . . "You have magic." He didn't know what his tone yet. Shock. Surprise. Perhaps it was emotionless. Arthur hadn't the faintest clue. Their conversations while Arthur had apparently been dying, played over in his mind. The bottom line though, was that Merlin had magic. And he had used it yet again, to somehow bring Arthur back.
Bright blue hues became hidden behind reluctant lids as the Druid's name was spoken, and then her name. Merlin did not want to think about them--either of them. The wounds were still raw, with salt was being rubbed in them. Merlin had tried so hard to find a balance, to right the wrongs without costing more lives, and in the end he had only made things worse before it had gotten better. If you could consider what had happened better. And then Arthur had spoken again, this time voicing a secret that had only been revealed before his passing. Merlin did indeed have magic. He always had. Always had he been working in the shadows, using his skills to protect Arthur, protect Gwen and Gaius, the people of Camelot. But there was still a danger to having a revived Arthur know the truth.
Whether he had died and come back, he was still the king, and his law would be enforced. What would happen now that he knew his closet friend was guilty of using magic. Merlin swallowed the lump lodged in his throat but could not find the will to look at the revived king.
"That's right." He replied, the tenor of his voice softer than it had been in years, tinged with a hint of fear, the sting of rejection. He could not be at odds with Arthur. Not now. Not after everything that had happened. Not before everything that was going to happen. "I have magic, Arthur. I'm a sorcerer, a warlock, a dragon lord, all things your father feared and despised."
My name is Catherine by the way; Call me Kate. *Smiles* You're lucky to have your mother, I ... wish I had at least someone I can talk to, You know? At least i have Arthur. *sits by the window and looks out*
Sunkissed Paradise Crafted By Alisha A 2014 Adoxography Exclusive
This theme is best viewed on Google Chrome
"Sunkissed Paradise" premade theme created by Alisha of Adoxography and Proboards Support for use on Proboards v5 Forums. Tabbed content script by Kismet of RPG-D. Icons adapted from Font Awesome. Please only modify this theme according to the creators conditions and specify them here upon doing so.