Le Mort De Merlin
'…No. I'm happy to be your servant. Till the day I die.'
Damn it. Damn it. He should've known that idiot was going to pull something like this. Looking back on it, it was obvious he was going to do something stupid, that he wasn't expecting to come back.
That he was trying to say goodbye.
'But you must learn to listen as well as you fight.'
Had he followed Merlin's advice, would the boy still be alive?
'Promise me this, if you get another servant, don't get a bootlicker.'
Arthur cradled his head in his hands, mourning the friend that he never got the chance to know.
Gaius woke up in the Isle of the Blessed, drenched but alive, which was why he immediately knew that something went wrong. That theory was confirmed with the sight of a red neckerchief, lying on the ground innocently.
Oh, Merlin, you stupid boy. What have you done now?
With some effort, Gaius pulled himself up and staggered towards the neckerchief, heart thudding against his chest, beating out a rhythm of Pleasebeokaypleasebeokay
Merlin was lying against a stone, not a mark on him but horribly, horribly pale. He seemed almost ethereal in the dim light, all pale skin and gossamer lashes. Like a doll, still and beautiful.
He had no pulse.
And Gaius wondered, holding his surrogate son in his arms, how to tell Hunith that her son was dead.
Gwen was a very kind person.
'You have such a good heart, Gwen. Don't ever lose that.'
She wanted to heed his words, really. But no matter how kind she was, she could never quite bring herself to forgive Arthur. No matter how good a man he was, he was still the reason Merlin sacrificed himself in the end. And it doesn't matter how much she tries to hide it, beneath shadowed eyes and subdued smiles, she will always feel that little stir of resentment every time she looks at the crowned Prince.
One day, she will marry a knight that she loves, and they will have children and live happily. But sometimes, when she's feeling particularly nostalgic, she'll think about little Merlin's namesake and if anything would've changed, had he been alive. Wonder if Merlin was happy, wherever he was. And she wished the best for that clumsy, wonderful boy that had been a hero in disguise, after all.
Whenever Morgana thinks about Merlin (in her weakest moments, when she finds herself remembering her fonder memories, instead of her revenge) she thinks of a gangly, foolish boy; after all, who would ever sacrifice themselves just to protect the cruel, unjust Pendragons?
She didn't know him as well as the others did, but she distinctly remembers Gwen crying, sobbing out between chokes of ohgodmerlinwhy and whatdidhedotodeservethishewa smyfriend, that Arthur's manservant was dead.
She was shocked; sweet, loyal Merlin? The boy with the crooked grin and sharp tongue and no sense of authority, the one that would bicker with Arthur with no qualms and blush when she teased him?
Surely not that Merlin, because…because somehow, Merlin seemed invincible, riding besides Arthur though he couldn't swordfight. Getting out of dangerous situations out of pure luck and still having the gall to joke about it afterwards. It was sobering, to realise that her friend had sacrificed himself (for Arthur, of all people, who treated him like dirt and insulted him and seemed to see him as a friend).
But really, those thoughts were useless. After all, it was just one more death that could be blamed on the Pendragons.
Gwaine had never met Merlin before, outside of stories. He wished he could, though. The kid seemed decent, unlike so many these days.
Of course, it was none of his business. So he packed his bags and continued his travels outside of Camelot, never knowing what the boy in the stories could've done to him.
And somewhere far away, a dragon never hatches.
AN: So, um. First ff in a few years. Kinda choppy, though. Not gonna write about any other knights because, outside of Lancelot, all of them would kind of have the same ending as Gwaine, never knowing Merlin outside of stories. Besides, I'm too lazy to write all of them.