.

.

He feels like a morning bird in flight, soaring higher than every treetop and mountain in existence, when Arthur lifts him off his feet.

Mordred's weight cannot be an easy task, not with the additional padding and mail-chain and armour—but it's like he's gone weightless, cradled and safe with his king's arms tucked under him, Arthur's laughter warm and loud.

.

.

This is the man the Druids told Mordred he is meant to kill.

They sat him down near the fire as a child, with grave and solemn faces. You will kill King Arthur, because it is your destiny.

But destiny cannot be that cruel, nor the rumors of his treatment of the Druids.

They are a bitter race now. Some choosing to leave their families and friends and crusading for the return of magic, for its acceptance. He cannot blame them, in a way.

Camelot is far better than living on the run. Better than living on the fringes of society where no one knows when the next meal will come, or when bandits and mercenaries will skewer you open come nightfall, or if slave traders will snatch you up as potential goods, or if King Arthur's men will—

Well, in perspective, Camelot is far better if you don't have magic.

But he's gotten on. And so has Emrys.

There must be hope yet.

.

.

Mordred closes his eyes and imagines what it would be like. Imagines sliding the blade of his sword between Arthur's ribs, feeling the gush of hot lifeblood spilling against his hands. Smoke and mildew. The biting taste of steel in his mouth. Arthur's hair, yellow like endless sunlight.

His sun will die, gasping and choking on the air, eyes rolling backwards.

And then, Arthur's blood will flake and crust on Mordred's gloves.

It's a heavy, grounding thought. And he hates it. Hates every vision the Druids forced on him.

.

.

He knows asking Emrys would only confirm suspicions. The warlock already distrusts him.

As much as it pains him, as much as Mordred wants Em—Merlin, Merlin to trust him… Merlin has every reason to be cautious of him. To wish to clip his wings.

.

.

Percival pulls the dead body of the enemy warrior off him, making it easier to breath.

Elyan helps Mordred to his feet, clutching his elbow when the world turns funny colors and spins rather quickly.

Merlin watches from a distance, unsmiling.

Arthur rushes forward, his hand going for Mordred's shoulder. He congratulates him on surviving his first battle, voice sounding dry as timber. But soft, so soft and gentle as Arthur's bare fingers caress against a small wound to Mordred's temple. His entire hand trembles.

A king is not permitted to show emotion on the battlefield, but Arthur is no ordinary king.

Arthur is a good man.

Nothing in the world can make Mordred change his mind.

Nothing.

.

.

Morgana is like the shadows of the moon, filling empty crevices in darkness. She treats him well, accepts his magic.

Would not kill his friends, regardless of their history.

.

.

It's worse than any vision.

Mordred doesn't close his eyes, and lets the enchanted blade of his sword slide home. Confusion emits in Arthur's glassy eyes, tinged a shade bluer, edged of agony.

When Arthur's own sword slams into him, blossoming warmth inside him… he's flying.

Soaring higher than any bird, over treetops and castles and oceans. Mordred grins. A droplet of rainwater splashes on the tip of his nose.

He's weightless, slipping from Arthur's arms holding him up.

Destiny has not ended.

Arthur is a good man.

There must be hope yet.

.

.


BBC Merlin and its characters are not mine. I HAVE A LOT OF MORDRED FEELINGS. AND A LOT OF MORDRED AND ARTHUR, BOTH GEN AND SHIPPY, FEELINGS. Hey, if you enjoyed, definitely let me know. OR IF YOU SHARE MY PAIN OF MORDRED. Comments/questions are so, so loved and appreciated!

kinkme-merlin prompt:

"Arthur/Mordred

Mordred is fully aware of what his destiny entails, but he can't bring himself to kill his King."