Disclaimer: These characters do not belong to me.

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They bring his lover to him, hands bound behind his back, head pushed forward so he is bowing. They grip him by the arms, surrounding him with weapons; no one will underestimate his power. They place him at his feet as he sits on his hard-won throne, ruler of his people, and feels something heavy and final settle in his stomach.

"You should not have come here," he says quietly, facing the man he loved. His guards pull his head up roughly so that a stoic face is shown; stoic except for his eyes. You can't kill me, those eyes say, glittering with the absence of fear. You can't see me even hurt, as I could never see you hurt a time before.

He can't argue with truth.

"Let him go," he orders. There is triumph in the man before him.

His guards shift, uneasy. "But, he's dangerous," they protest, hands unwilling to drop their weapons. As if he weren't intimately familiar with that danger already.

"I know," he says, and he flashes his eyes gold and they drop, hearts stopped before they hit the ground.

Merlin steps off his throne and takes Arthur's hand. He leaves the room, leaves his people, leaves the place where magic lives in secrecy and togetherness. He leaves the hidden world where he is a ruler of his kind, leaves it for Arthur, because there is no other choice he could make.

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Notes: :D Please let me know if I fooled any of you, or if it was obvious it was Merlin on the throne.