T r u t h s

"You'll never find yourself until you face the truth."

They sit opposite one another. The fire flickers in between them, dancing in their eyes.

A dull warmth settles at their cheeks.

Why didn't you tell me?

There's an unspoken rule that they're not going to look at each other.

How could I? The warlock is leant forward on his knees, his gaze in the fireplace. It wasn't my place.

To tell the truth? asks the prince, and he sounds irked.

No, says the warlock, and he's annoyed now, too. To put you in that position.

Oh yes? And what position would that be?

The biting sarcasm in his master's words is how the warlock knows this is eating him up inside. Satire is the prince's guise and he, Merlin, would say something about it, but the moment is solemn and the situation even more-so, so he lets it go.

Torn between what your father would do, says the warlock, and what you know is right.

And how do I know what my father would do isn't the right thing to do?

It sounds like a challenge, but the prince is frightened and Merlin knows it. There's a vulnerability in his words, an uncertainty that breaks his heart. Like a child. He's asking for answers.

There's only one answer the warlock can give. You don't.

There's a silence.

His prince - Didn't you trust me?

The answer he didn't want to give.