This is dark and angsty, and you have been warned. Something that popped in my mind long time ago, but now had the time to write it.
This tragedy will make your hate turn to love.
Merlin lying on the floor of the burning physician's chambers.
Story: Give up the ghost
This tragedy - it would make him a martyr. Merlin breathes in and out, in and out. He stares the ceiling, already black because of the smoke. The flames roar everywhere around him, burning hot. They rattle as they eat hungrily everything in their way.
Merlin is calm. The burning room around him - the exploding potion bottles, books turning to ash, windows breaking, the roaring sound, the thick grey smoke, and the heat drowning his body under it - the fire in the physician's chambers; it couldn't touch him. The destroying, burning fire.
I was always meant to die into the flames.
Merlin blinks, as the smoke forces his eyes water. He lies on his back, hands clutching to fists. The heat is unbearable. He always knew this would be the way he would die: burning alone. But not here. From all the places he had been in his life, not here.
Burning to ash, so it would mend Uther's guilt for his wife's death. Burning, because Arthur turned his back. Because he had found out his magic, and exiled him.
Because Arthur turned his back.
No apologies. No happy ending.
And this tragedy - his violent death, would make Arthur to love him, would make him become a martyr in people's eyes.
It would be alright to grieve him. It would be alright to to think that maybe, just maybe, he wasn't as evil as Arthur had thought.
Maybe Arthur would grieve. Maybe he would mourn after Merlin. For all the years they spent together. For everything they did and said. For everything.
Merlin closes his eyes. Someone is screaming his name, he can distantly hear it. Outside the broken windows, outside the burning door. Outside of this. His personal death sequence.
It was actually better this way. He would die anonymous, nameless - history wouldn't remember him, no one would read about him from a book. He was the new name for failure, something to make the peasants look Arthur with pity.
This blood wouldn't be on Uther's hands, it would be on Arthur's. Sleeves stained red.
Merlin. It would become the synonym for a tragic young death. Not for the greatest wizard of all time.
Arthur & Merlin.
The destiny had got it all wrong.
Their names would never be entwined. Never.
Except between the two of them. Arthur hadn't wished him well.
Merlin coughes for air and writhes. Someone screams his name again.
So this was it. The grande finale, the climax. The ending, the last page of the story.
Death waiting him in the flames, playing with him just a little more. Hide and seek.
Arthur would miss him. Merlin was sure of it. Arthur would miss him, think about him every day in the rest of his life.
Merlin's eyes pour water and he coughes for air. His body twists in pain as the fiery air burns his lungs.
He knows he will haunt the crown prince, the future king of Camelot to the rest of his days, hanging at the back of his mind like a ghost. Because Merlin knows the hesitation would be there - the slight suspicion: what if? Arthur would consider it. That he wasn't an evil, lying betrayer. That maybe, he had been telling the truth.
It would haunt him.
The memory of laugh, the memory of smiles and hugs and close calls. The bicker, the tears. The hate. It would become a flash in the mirror, which disappeared before you could turn around. Reality check without no reality.
Merlin watches as half of the ceiling collapses, last of the potion bottles exploding. The cold stone floor is soothing, comforting. People are watching this from a safe distance outside, covering their mouths with hands, shocked, with wide eyes.
Yet this never shocked them when it was done in public, in front of everyone. The victim tied to the pyre, helpless, unmoving.
Merlin smiles weakly.
'If I die young' became 'when I died young.'
He would become a tragedy. Young life ended too soon. His memory would haunt Arthur. Maybe Arthur could forgive him this way. When he had no need to face him ever again.
What is it like to be a ghost?
Merlin closes his eyes, coughes for air. He is burning, burning...
He has waited. No one has come. Arthur hadn't rushed into the room to pull him out. Carry him away from the flames, whisper soothing, panicked words to his ear, pleading him to survive.
No. Because Arthur wouldn't do that - risk his life over a sorcerer. Over a servant, a friend maybe - but not over a sorcerer. And that was Arthur had defined him to be.
The wait was over. Merlin had already died, these flames couldn't touch him. Because you can't die twice.
He would become a ghost.