Arthur was trying. He really was. He was banging at whatever was keeping him back, screaming, no.
So he had to watch, helpless, as magic and magic, love and hate, good and evil fought.
He could see Merlin losing more strength every second. Morgana was relentlessly blasting him.
Arthur didn't know, but he was sure that Merlin couldn't block everything.
And then it was too much. Merlin collapsed, eyes rolling up in his head.
And Arthur fell forward, unaware he had been leaning on the barrier.
"Is he…" he dared to ask.
"No," Morgana said, "But you must choose. And choose wisely, for you live with this."
And Morgause walked in, holding a struggling Gwen, knife to Gwen's throat.
Arthur closed his eyes and sank to his knees. He started begging.
"Morgana, please, no, don't make me, Morgana, please, please, please."
"Who, brother?" she sang, "The one you love, or your 'self proclaimed brother'. It is a matter of life and death. Take your pick!"
Arthur considered. Every part of him was saying Gwen, except his brain.
His brain was nothing.
"G-Gwen." he said hesitantly.
"Good," Morgana said, "Very good."
And in a burst of light that blinded every angel, Merlin was dead, and Morgana was gone.
Arthur woke with a start, as he did every day now. He always woke believing that Merlin was alive, that he would come in to wake Arthur any minute, and they would argue, something would get thrown, everything would be normal.
And then, as it did every morning, the truth of his dream sunk in.
The horrible truth.
Merlin wasn't coming back, and it was Arthur's fault.
A/N: Please review!