I just want to say I love this picture. And it inspired a fic. I dunno if you wanna read it, but here it is regardless:
It was today-- November 12th, 2013-- that Merlin woke up, gasping, shaking, shivering, and crying from a nightmare. His tiny flat seemed to press in on itself and he clutched the blankets, heaving out gasps and tiny whimpers that didn't matter-- no one was coming to rescue him.
Tears coursed down his cheeks when he finally gave up and let them go, flopping backwards to stare at the speckled ceiling. He wanted to eradicate something-- he wanted to eradicate himself, maybe. Maybe that would work, maybe it would work this time, maybe....
Of all the places he had lived, this was not the worst or the best. It was a simple flat with all the functional things it needed. A bathroom, a kitchen, two bedrooms.... he always had two bedrooms. He deluded himself into thinking that perhaps it was because he knew that he had a soft heart to take in strays with nowhere to go, but there was no tricking his own subconscious. That room was for Arthur. When and if he decided to show.
The dream Arthur had taunted him-- stood on the edge of the bank in a cloud of golden light and said that he'd never come back. Merlin leaned back against the pillow and tried to quell his heart, slamming like a drum inside his chest.
Maybe it was useless, waiting so long. Maybe he should just... give up. Go settle down, make a family somewhere. But he'd tried that a few times and after fifty or sixty years he'd lose them again and they'd just be another hole in his long life.
It's funny how he only knew Arthur fifteen and yet there was absolutely no one more important in his life. Swinging his legs over the edge of the creaky mattress, he stumbled into the bathroom and gripped the edge of the porcelain sink. One more time. That dream had been more vivid than most-- as if the Arthur was daring him to attempt one last time. Go down to Avalon, or what was left of it. Sit by the shore until the sun rises and let your tears leak into the filthy mud. Get questioned by the early morning fishers and boaters.
He'd do it once more. It had been almost a thousand years-- perhaps more. If Arthur didn't come back to him this time, he'd move across the world. As far away from Avalon as possible. He wouldn't wait any longer.
He couldn't wait any longer.
Merlin splashed some water on his face and grinned lopsidedly. He looked as boyish as ever, even after all this time. Being able to control his age had benefits, he supposed. At least he didn't look all one thousand years of his old life.
Catching a cab to Avalon was easy-- cabbies didn't really ask him questions much anymore, and it was simple to just flash them some money and ensure their silence. He padded out onto the cold grass and mud just as the beginning rays of the sun struggled over the horizon.
To anyone else, it might have been pretty. To Merlin, it was just extremely sad. He took his place-- it was his place, he'd been sitting in this same clump of grass on this same bank of this same lake for a thousand years after all-- and watched the sun explode over the horizon.
But.... that was odd. His watch made it clear that the sunrise wasn't supposed to come for at least another forty-five minutes. Maybe an hour. And the lightshow was coming from the absolute...wrong.... direction....
A /tug/ came on his heart, one so strong and so prominent he almost sprawled forward into the mud. He let out a whimpering cry, scrabbling to his feet and racing down towards the water.
But... his heart....
The fake sunset dimmed and in the water, standing just offshore and up to his waist in water, stood a deluded, confused, drenched, King of Camelot.
Merlin's heart flipped and without warning he started to cry. Not just cry, but sob. He wanted to fall to his knees but he couldn't, so he just raced haphazardly towards the figure, slipping in the water, soaking himself, but not caring. All he needed to do was touch him...
It never occurred to Merlin this could be another joke. A cruel, cruel trick of his subconscious. He knew, this time, more than ever, that it was his King. Merlin barrelled into Arthur without stopping and they both went over backwards into the shallow water.
He was firm. He was real.
Merlin clung to Arthur as hard as he could, hand wrapping around his back to sink into the cloth of his cloak, face pressed into his shoulder and body situated between Arthur's legs. He was sobbing harder than he'd ever had before, even when he lost Arthur that first horrible day. He could barely breathe or see, everything was a mass of tears.
And then Arthur's arms came to loop around his back and he held him firmly back, shaking him lightly and murmuring soothing words into his ears. This Arthur-- /his/ Arthur-- was taking care of him, was soothing him, was comforting him....
He was /real/.
"Shhhh," Arthur murmured raggedly, his own voice clogged with unshed tears. He'd cry only after taking care of the dissolved servant in his arms. "It was promised I'd come back to you, wasn't it?"
Merlin whimpered brokenly, face pressed into the only skin he could find-- Arthur's neck-- feeling Arthur's pulse under his nose.
"I'd come back to you. I've been watching you, Merlin. I've been with you every step of the way. I've--- I've wanted to hold you, to beg with you, to console you, to leap for joy with you.... and I'm here, I'm back, I'm with you.... I came back for you."
Merlin's entire body seemed to convulse at the thought of Arthur watching him, being with him after all that time. Seeing him at his lowest and his best. Constantly on his footsteps.
He pulled limply out of the touch to see Arthur, his /Arthur/, staring at him with those lovely blue eyes he'd missed so much. Without a second thought, he pushed forward and met his lips with his own, kissing him firmly and wrapping his arms in Arthur's hair. At first his King was confused, but it didn't take long for him to melt back into the kiss. Merlin wasn't sure if that meant he loved him, or if he realized that in this strange new land Merlin would be the only thing familiar.
They had a lot of work to do.
But they were together again and Merlin and Arthur can take on the world.
Donald Kennedy of
Kody Koala is an
artist based in El
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Bluefley has a gallery filled with artwork that whisks you off in to a Sci-fi daydream, and keeps you captivated for hours. Marc has been a member of our community for over a decade and has achieved nothing but success with his astounding commitment to interacting with the community, sharing a prolific amount of video tutorials and generally being an all round rockstar deviant. It is no joke that we are absolutely delighted to award the Deviousness Award for April 2014 to ... Read More