Merlin sat across that blasted little breakfast table in Arthur's room, absentmindedly chewing on a bite of and apple. Arthur ate slowly, almost unwillingly, across from him. No matter how hungry the body was, grief would not allow for much room in the stomach. Merlin could hardly watch him, could hardly sit there while Arthur was falling apart, and altogether hardening his heart on the inside.

Merlin had finally gotten one out of two things he had wanted for a long time now. In the process, he had lost the opportunity for the other. Arthur had finally recognized him as a 'friend', but now that the title had been bestowed upon him, he felt a terribly painful sting in his chest. The guilt was indescribable.

The other thing he had wanted, wanted so deeply that he had been foolish and arrogant enough to think he could arrange it, was lost. He should have known Morgana would find out some how. He should have known that she would try to thwart any possibility of the Uther getting better. But he had been confident, and in the process he had murdered his master's, Arthur, his friend's father.

No matter how much Merlin may have disliked Uther, he could never kill someone Arthur loved so dearly… And who loved Arthur just the same.

Now Merlin sat with apple mush in his mouth, staring dazedly at Arthur. Arthur took no heed, and Merlin knew it was because Arthur could not pay attention to anything right now.

Merlin realized that everything comes at a price. Arthur's birth had come at a price. Now Arthur's friendship came at a price too.

He could never show Arthur the light inside his fingers and the brilliant gold that would flash through his eyes. That beautiful, bright, hideous, dark and disgusting light. His fingers twitched, as if his body wanted to expose him. He could hear Arthur's broken, angry, voice now…

Magic…

It was poison on his lips.

Is pure evil.

He was pure evil.

And for the first time, Merlin believed him.

And for the first time, Merlin believed he deserved to be burned at the stake.

Arthur looked up at him, tried to smile, and it just came out as a disastrous grin of sorts. Yet it was still radiant, tainted by his sorrow it was a whole ugly kind of beautiful.

Merlin finally swallowed. As the now tasteless mush slid down his throat he imagined a noose tightening around it, and Arthur's voice ringing out, declaring him a Murderer.

It did not matter how many times Merlin had saved his life, all that would be apparent was that Merlin had taken his father from him with magic.

He knew then, that he had lost all he ever truly wanted. For this friendship had been gained in such a twisted way, that Merlin felt he did not deserve it.

Selfishly though, as Arthur tried desperately to hold back the shining tears welling up in his eyes, and Merlin did his best to not notice, he would do anything to keep it.

Then why did he feel, for the first time in his life, like dying?