A/N: Not beta'd, so all the mistakes are my own, don't own Merlin though. I wrote this when I was listening to Apocalyptica's cover of Nothing Else Matters (actually I was studying but the music was to damn beautiful...) Enjoy!

The Sound of Watercolours

The tranquillity of the place worked wonders for the turmoil in his mind. The clearing he stumbled across was besides a small rippling creek. One jump and he was across. But he didn't, he sat down on the soft grass, gazing in front of him. On the other side a few trees grew, enough to give the shadows a green shade, but not enough to hide the forest that surrounded him.

Children used to play here, Merlin assumed as he noticed the stones that were securely placed across the creek. They formed a playful dam, making the water caress the rocks as they speeded its way to the distant sea. But that was a long time ago, considering that moss grew upon them now. Merlin wondered if the children had also cut simple boats out of wood, using leaves as canvas and acorns as passengers. He used to do that, summers in a row.

He wasn't running away from something. He wasn't neglecting his duties nor his destiny. Whatever Gaius, Arthur or Kilgarrah may think, he wasn't doing that.

He was just... here for a while.

To be embraced by something so unspoiled and innocent, by something so entirely opposite from who he was now. He had boasted in the past about who he was, what he could do. I can take you apart with less than that. He was right. He didn't strain a muscle or broke a sweat. He hadn't even blinked. How strong was he exactly?

For now he had no desire to find out the limits of his power. There were still boundaries he couldn't cross – and some he prays he'll never cross – not because he's afraid of this knowledge. He's afraid of something much worse... What if he hadn't any?

But here, at this moment in time, those questions didn't matter.

Merlin lay down below the afternoon sun, jacked folded neatly underneath his head. He had pulled his booths off and felt the grass tickle between his toes. It was then that he noticed, his magic noticed something buried on the other side of the creek. Something that had been waiting for the right moment.

Without looking up or moving a muscle, Merlin let his magic loose. Not the powerful blasts nor the roars of thunder, but soft strands of magic dwindling across the water into the black earth.

The sprout grew hesitantly at first. A leave uncurled, carefully exploring the feel of the air before swishing up, making place for another. As it unravelled itself rapidly, the small tree blossomed and bloomed. It grew heavy with leaves, turned colour and withered silently before the cycle started all over again.

The warlock breathed in the change, revelled in the magic that flowed between him and his tree. He was breathing synchronous with the very earth itself.

Creating life was as much a part of him as killing. He just needed to remind himself of that other side. Desperately.

The tree continued to grow until the whole creek was filled with colourful leaves and white blossoms. The branches reached across the water, reached towards Merlin who was sound asleep carrying a content smile upon his face.

The breeze, the water and the shade, they all moved melodiously as a summer's lullaby.

Whoever looked upon the young man there would never guess the burdens he carried. They would only see a man fast asleep fully at peace with himself and with the world.

And that was fine, he could pretend for a while longer.

He was that strong.

The End.