AN: Just a little ficlet I jotted down while my friend played me a long soundtrack of what I like to term as "music to kill yourself by". She slept through it, I did not.


by Nightfox

"Your Majesties," He bows low, deep and respectfully to them both, "Good the three of you."

He beams a smile, it's bright, intense and if anyone is paying attention, more than a bit false. No one is paying attention.

No one ever really has. He isn't good at hiding his feelings. He never was. Other people are just good at not seeing him. They see the sunny charm, the surface cheer and never think to look past it to see the pain and despair behind the incandescent smile. He loves his King. He loves his Queen. He doesn't love either of them more than the other. He just wishes he could love them both the same way. However, he does love them both far more than he loves himself. He's happy for them, he truly is. He just wishes he could also have been happy.

He has accomplished so much in his short life. He has remodeled a spoiled, shallow prat of a Prince into the most magnificent majesty of a truly great King. He has stood behind and beside that man and helped him unite small, disparate kingdoms, principalities, dukedoms and city-states into one, united whole. The island empire of Albion. He fought prejudice and won against bigotry and taught a fearful people to trust again, to have faith in the power of magic. He helped his King and his then prospective Queen face down the opposition to her elevation, persuaded an obstinate council and reassured a restless ruling class that a commoner could make an excellent consort for their utterly noble monarch. He eased the passing of a tyrant, saw a mentor find his way to the next life peaceably and cried over a mother taken too soon. His closest friend lives hundreds of miles away, was born over a thousand years before he was, wears scales for skin and gloats that all that the warlock has accomplished was due to his sage advice. There were others who had once called him friend. Now they didn't call him anything at all. They lived their lives for the man on the throne, they lived for Camelot and the Round Table. As he had pledged his life to Arthur, so did they. At first it was for his sake but in doing so they forgot who'd called them forth to begin with. As the King looked through him, took him as a given, so did they.

He has wielded his power righteously, always for the greater good. He has never used it for selfish gain. Since he arrived in Camelot, an earnest and eager sixteen year old with a deadly secret, he has been the most purely noble and unselfish man who has walked the surface of the earth. He has given all and kept nothing back for himself. If balance truly existed then all would have returned to him, gifted back to him by the people for whom he spent his soul. The Druids believed in the Law of Three, that whatever energy you send out into the world returns to you threefold. However, his life has become a one way conduit. Magic, wisdom, passion and love flow forth, ever and always away from him. They fountain outward and are absorbed, greedily consumed by a parched landscape of spirit. That river perpetually winds away from him and still the wellspring of his soul feeds others while waiting in futility for the rain that will return his expended life to him.

Destiny has been realized and the future is secure. The Royal family will soon be three and there is no more need for him. His purpose has been fulfilled. He can go, he is free to find his peace. He drifts upward, gliding noiselessly up, ever upward, over an almost endless staircase until he arrives at the highest point of the tallest tower. His narrow feet slip silently on soft soles, out, out to the edge of the battlements. He casts his eyes beyond the walls of Camelot and Albion is all he can see. It stretches far beyond the curve of the horizon. The moon is shining, full in the dark mantle of the night sky. Her light caresses him, his soul sister. He is a creature of her like. A bright shining skin surrounded by inky darkness, pierced through the center with deepest blue, all dusted in silver smudges. He glides forward and joins her, over the edge and he's falling, falling. He could arrest the dive, moderate the plunge, hover and land but instead he wills acceleration. He rushes to a long overdue convergence with Moon's mother, Earth. He has been too long from her embrace and now they will finally be rejoined as one. From dust and shadow has he come, to dust and shadow now he returns. And as he consummates his conjugality a dark veil draws over the land. The Queen wakes with a scream, the future rushing away from Albion in a spreading crimson stain.

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