They're forever unable to cross the treacherous seas of their lives, even when all it amounts to is crossing a room. Merlin/Arthur


Waltzing With Destiny

Those brilliant blue eyes remain fixed upon his own, flickering azure in the candle light.

Throughout the night they sway as he sways, the music surrounding them and leaving them alone together in the marble ballroom swelling with the tides of dancers trying to separate them. Failing to separate them. They're tied to each other. The vibrating strings of violins fill the air with emotion and the many women in their swirling dresses and fluttering ribbons flit behind and between the two of them but for all that, they are alone.

Merlin stands beside this table or that, helping Gwen with the empty dishes and abandoned, half-filled glasses of forsaken amber courage. He is always watching. Arthur discusses this matter or that with the visiting dignitaries, politely turning dance requests into conversations. Watching.

It is Morgana that transforms the night for the two of them, just like magic; the music imbuing them with the heady wish to hope and igniting their souls with their intrinsic courage. They are given a reprieve from those who seek unknowingly or otherwise to waylay them. It is Morgana who asks for Arthur's arm with no intention of keeping it, leading him onto the dance floor despite the objections, creating a path through the bending, twisting, curving couples, the sucking sea that seeks to drag Arthur to their depths and never release him.

Watching.

Blue eyes are always watching.

And when Morgana leads Arthur away from the dancers to the enveloping darkness of an arched corridor, Merlin follows as though tied to him; a kite in the wind, forever bound to the ground. Gwen continues her duties without pause but with a soft smile and the sound of a light accompaniment to the strings hums through the air around her and the dancers who know no better move relentlessly to their music.

Blue eyes pierce a darkness that the rest of him is lost in as Merlin follows faint footsteps and is led to the half open door of a large antechamber, blanketed in the feel of emptiness and disuse. One blue eye shutters as the other widens and a soft cheek is pressed against the grain of the wooden door. He gazes inside and tries to distinguish shadows amongst shadows.

He sees only one; a lone figure with his back to the door, absorbed by the sight of an empty city. The occupants of its houses are in the room they've just left. The colours beyond the glass seem molten; tone and shade alone evident in the cobalt cast from the full moon above. Merlin, still drawn inexorably forward, slides completely into the room and leans his weight back carefully on the door until only the barest sliver of candlelight from the ballroom is allowed to throw a chink of golden light across their somehow subdued solitude.

The music seems to transcend all barriers and fills the room as it does every other in the cavernous castle but the sound of voices and laughter is only a murmur and Merlin can easily hear his heartbeat and, he fancies, Arthur's as well. Arthur turns as Merlin moves forward and their eyes meet again as though their connection had never broken, the sight at once like a breath of air long denied, yet so similar to the curious movements of the dancers earlier; bodies dipping around and between others, circling and sidling until one found oneself in the arms of the one they belonged with. A never-ending dance.

The violins slide easily from one piece of music into the next and Arthur's eyes spark with some light of mischief as he proffers his hand with a courtly bow and only the slightest air of a joke. Merlin, forever irrepressible, grins and steps forward without hesitation to slide his hand over Arthur's; palms brushing, caressing and meeting, skin on skin, fingers twining and squeezing.

A different light ignites in Arthur's eyes and Merlin raises an eyebrow challengingly even as his breathing hitches. Arthur, of course, notices. There is no uncertainty, no wavering, no faltering. Their movements are fluid and sure and the strings take them away, lift them somewhere entirely new as they move, breathing the same breath and feeling the other's warmth. Entirely familiar.

As the masters play their instruments and fingertips dance across strings in the smoothest of rhythms, as ghosts flit between ghosts a world away and music streams from the walls, two young men go beyond the fabric of their existence to a place where birth and standing and life mean nothing and there is only them and they are home.

Dancers mill about the ballroom's marble floor and move to the pretty music and laugh at the silliness of it all - none understanding - while in the next room, two young men transcend forever.

~-~

AN – This is what happens when I write to my friend about Merlin (which I think I have her addicted to now – go me! ^-^) and try to watch Pride and Prejudice at the same time :) – the movie made me think of Dark Waltz by Hayley Westenra; one of my favourite songs, the lyrics are absolutely beautiful and also for the same reason I love monet, art for the sake of art is like the essence of emotion, nothing's deeper or more raw. if you can, listen to it while you read – I listened to it as I wrote and it's where the story is born I think ^^

Interesting how I've gone from red leaves to blue rooms, quite unintentional :)

This also started out in third person but I changed it in my second to last draft, do think it suits? It just has more of an air of immediacy to it I think, and it draws you in a little more.I was also thinking when I read it back, you could easily imagine a more sinister end with those last few words ^-^ not that this was ever supposed to be angst (and I don't think it is now either :)) – it just... could be... if you squint... –squints-... see?

Thanks to everyone who reviewed my last merlin fic, saying such lovely things and encouraging me to continue (heh, hope you don't regret it now :D) - I'm gonna keep looking for inspiration, though I'm trying to limit it to oneshots since I have quite enough multi-chapter fics to be going on with right now :), and welcome any thoughts on it ^^, oh, and sorry if you think my descriptions were too... um... flowery...? I just felt a little lyrical as I wrote and I thought that element should remain :). Oh, and sorry if it's a bit short (especially in comparison to my huge author's note – sorry!

Have fun all and thank you for reading ^-^ x

I'll keep you company

In one glorious harmony

Waltzing with destiny forever