Aja Golde (jellybeanz_04) wrote in merlin_flashfic,
Aja Golde
jellybeanz_04
merlin_flashfic

All of this is for you. Wishes challenge.


Author: Jellybeanz_04 (Aja Golde)

Rating: G
Length: Around 1,000

Characters: Merlin and Arthur (and a wee bit of Uther)

Summary: His father’s hand was on his shoulder, “All of this is for you.”

Notes/warnings: Spoilers for the series (let’s just say the whole thing). I played a little bit with tense, because I wanted to use it for dramatic effect in the first and last paragraph. Let's see how well I broke the rules, shall we?

 

 

All of this is for you

 

In Arthur’s youth, the city of Camelot was often covered in layers of soot, and at night smoke clouded the stars. Arthur would sit out on a balcony and trace the ash on the railing with his pinkie. Once in a while, Uther would come out and stand behind his son, looking over the pyres with a defiantly raised chin.
                “All of this is for you,” he would say and then go back inside.

                Arthur would nod, and think he understood.

 

                Some years later, when Arthur had begun training with a sharpened sword, he often saw his father looking over the maps of the city.

                “It’s Samhain,” his father said, “People debase themselves with magic on this day above all others.”

                They never celebrated Samhain at Camelot.

                “I think a hideout could be here,” Uther pointed to a hut on the map, “you will come and see the consequences for practicing evil in this city.”

                Later that night they stood outside a house and knights threw burning pieces of wood at it to make it catch fire. The screams made Arthur want to turn into his father’s side and cover his ears.

But his father’s hand was on his shoulder, “All of this is for you.”

                Arthur couldn’t nod. The guards slew any who tried to escape the burning house.  

 

                By his early adulthood, Arthur had seen many executions, but in his chamber he sometimes could forget about that.

                “Arthur,” Merlin called to him, voice hushed, “come over here.”

                And Merlin waved him outside onto the balcony, clutching a thick blanket around his shoulders, “You have to see this view.”

                “I live here Merlin, the view is hard to miss,” he rolled his eyes but went out to the balcony anyway, his breath frozen on the wind.

                “Look at the stars,” Merlin pointed, as if it was not obvious where they were, “Have you ever wished upon one?”

                Arthur raised a delicate eyebrow.

                “When I was young I would look up at the brightest star and make a wish on it.”

                Arthur just shook his head, amused. What business would stars have to go about granting wishes anyway?

                “Come on Arthur, try it,” Merlin nudged him with a bony and very cold elbow and Arthur knew he’d have to bring him inside soon.

                “I already made one, don’t be such a prat,” Merlin wheedled.

                Merlin’s face was pale and his lips were blue, but his mouth was smirking and his eyes were already searching for the perfect star for Arthur to wish upon.

                “I suppose,” Arthur gave a long-suffering sigh and lifted his head to find a wishing star, when suddenly clouds billowed up from a street in Camelot. Wood smoke burst into the sky, and the stars became fuzzy, and Arthur’s gaze was drawn to the bright flames that surrounded a doomed house.

                He felt Merlin shiver beside him.

                “It’s Samhain,” Arthur said by way of explanation, before he drew Merlin close to him.

 

                Near the end of his life, or when it seemed like the end of his life, Arthur couldn’t really think of anything anymore. He wasn’t quite sure if he was gone already, or if he was a lingering lost soul, but then he felt his father’s arms around him, and he heard the pounding of his heart. Arthur wondered if his own heart was still beating.

                His father was trembling, and Arthur felt screams shake the chest he rested against.

                “This isn’t what I wished for,” Uther shouted, or perhaps he whispered.

                Only Arthur heard him saying it in another time and place, standing over a bed filled with sweat and blood and stroking the face of a pale woman. A baby squalled in a servant’s arms.

 

                A few years later (after he died but then didn’t), he was a man, finally of crowning age, groomed to be a great king. But now he was punching the walls, and he was seeing his future crumble before he could grasp it.

                “Don’t hurt yourself please,” Merlin said thinly.

                Arthur heaved off the wall and came to stand in front of Merlin, “I will not allow this to happen.”

                Merlin smiled that smile Arthur hated, the ‘leave-me-to-die-because-its-better-for-both-of-us-so-don’t-act-like-an-idiot-please’ smile.

                Arthur fled the dungeon and took the stairs up to the great hall two at a time. He strode in, trying to feel like the great king Merlin believed he would be, and stood before his father.

                “I will not allow you to kill him,” he said as evenly as he could, despite the anger that threatened to rip out of his chest.

                “He’s a sorcerer,” Uther said, as if that explained everything. But it didn’t.

                “Yes, he made that perfectly obvious when he saved my life.”

                “The consequences for practicing magic-“

                “I know the stupid law,” Arthur said, before he realized he called the law stupid.

                Uther rose, fists clenched at his side, “This is all for you.”

                “I don’t want it,” Arthur said evenly.

                Uther made some strangled sort of noise Arthur couldn’t label.

                “You’ve given me decades of death, of smoke and screams and of burnt and decapitated corpses.”

                “Magic is what nearly killed you,” Uther hissed, and Arthur tried in vain to remember the beat of his father’s heart and his anguished cries. He couldn’t.

                “Magic is also what gave me life,” he said, and watched his father’s face as he realized, realized Arthur knew.

                “Magic took your mother from me,” Uther rasped.

                “And gave you me instead, and then you give me over twenty years of executions. I do not want to inherit your war. Merlin has saved my life; he shall not die for that. Nor will anyone else.”

                That is what I wish for, Arthur thought, though there were no stars in the daytime to wish upon.

               

                When Arthur is a great king many years later, back from exile, he stands on his balcony and overlooks the city he has labored over for so long. Great bonfires fill the city, but they are not burning bodies. They roast sweet meat and warm the populace of Camelot as they celebrate another holiday, another year of peace.

                “Enjoying the view?” he asks his companion.

                Merlin no longer wears ridiculously thick blankets, as he now cloaks himself in warming charms, but that smirk is ever present, “The stars are as lovely as ever.”

                “I meant the bloody festival!”

                Merlin runs a cursory glance over the city, thriving and pristine after the rebuilding and hygiene projects, “Personally I always thought Samhain was a bit of a stupid holiday.”

                “You prat,” Arthur chuckles.

                The smoke from the bonfires is nearly clear, barely choking, and Arthur allows himself to look at the stars.

                “What did you wish for Merlin?” Arthur asks, “Back in Ealdor and during the days when you were a servant?”

                Merlin smiles, but his eyes aren’t searching for the brightest star. Instead, he casts his gaze across Camelot, which is filled with merry and drunken singing, “This.”

                Merlin’s eyes flash gold.

                “Me too,” Arthur says.  

                “Thank you,” Merlin whispers.

                Arthur wonders if he’s whispering to the stars (it seems like something Merlin would do), but Merlin is looking at him. His eyes are blue once more, and his smile is soft in the light of the fire and in the twinkle of starlight.

                Arthur just snorts and draws Merlin close to him. All of this is for you.  

Subscribe

  • ADMIN: CHALLENGE CLOSED

    the purple prose challenge is now closed. check out stories for this challenge in the tags or the memories. a new challenge will be up shortly.

  • Admin: the Purple Prose Challenge

    As suggested by maryavatar, we want to see all your most OTT, cliched, overblown imagery. If you've been hankering to describe Merlin's…

  • ADMIN: CHALLENGE CLOSED

    it's time to put those masks away and stop frightening people! i'm getting a bit terrified and need to calm down. the the samhain challenge is…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 11 comments

  • ADMIN: CHALLENGE CLOSED

    the purple prose challenge is now closed. check out stories for this challenge in the tags or the memories. a new challenge will be up shortly.

  • Admin: the Purple Prose Challenge

    As suggested by maryavatar, we want to see all your most OTT, cliched, overblown imagery. If you've been hankering to describe Merlin's…

  • ADMIN: CHALLENGE CLOSED

    it's time to put those masks away and stop frightening people! i'm getting a bit terrified and need to calm down. the the samhain challenge is…