Title: Worth Waiting For
Pairing: Arthur x Merlin (Merthur)
Summary: "Why do you always sit here? What are you going?" - "Waiting." - "What for?" - "Something worth waiting a thousand years for." - Merthur reunion fic, but from a different point of view! SLASH.
Rating: T just in case!
So, I will admit, I cried at the end of the last series. I loved Arthur, and him and Merlin obviously had something going on! Anyway, I wasn't really happy with the ending, not because it wasn't good, but I would have liked to see a Merthur reunion. I am aware that many people have done this type of fic before, but I wanted to do a sort of different take on it. I tried to do one just from Merlin and Arthur's points of view, but I didn't feel like it went well enough. While I was doing it though, I got the idea for this fic, and well, that was good!
I hope you enjoy!
Every morning, Jordan Glover sat at her local Camelot Cafe, to work on her writing. And every morning, she couldn't help herself from watching the old man who sat, looking out at the lake. He always sat in the same spot, every morning. The same time, every day, for at least three hours. As a writer, Jordan couldn't help but wonder what the man's story was. She wondered why he came to the lake every morning. And she wondered why he looked upon it, with such extraordinary fondness, and sorrow, at the same time. She sometimes thought up stories about him. Reasons why he might come to the lake every morning, and why he always left after three hours exactly.
She wondered if he was waiting for something, or someone. It was fairly unlikely he wanted to just sit by the lake and look out at the water. Sometimes, she saw him bring down a pen and paper with him, as if he was going to draw, or write something. But he never did. His fingers often twitched, as if he wanted to pick up the pen and just do something, anything, but then they just fell limp, as if he didn't see the point. He seemed to do that a lot. He chose instead to look out at the water, and just . . . sit there, for hours.
She wondered what he thought about, when he looked out at the lake. He must think about something. Maybe he thought about the reason he was waiting. The memories that he had of the lake or of the person he was waiting for. Sometimes, the man would get this, smile that just spread across his face. It was full of so much joy, and so much sadness, at the same time. It was full of happiness, and sorrow, hope, and bitterness. And other times, he would just start to laugh, just completely out of the blue. His shoulders would begin to shake, and it would seem as if he wasn't able to control himself. For a while, he seemed to completely forget himself, and he would just laugh, and be happy. But then it was as if a sudden thought hit him, and he remembered where he was, or what had happened to him to tarnish that memory that had made him laugh so much. And then . . . . Well, then he just went back to watching the lake.
It never seemed to matter either, what the weather was, or how busy the town was, he was always there. He would sit, in his camping chair, wearing moderately warm clothes, and just watching, and waiting. He would sit there in rain, snow, and even the freezing cold. And over time, she became even more curious as to why he sat there.
Whatever it was, it obviously meant a lot to him, if he was willing to wait so long, without giving up. And it became quite obvious after the first few months that he was waiting for something, well, someone.
She tried to write about him sometimes, little short stories, reasons why he might be waiting. Some were romantic, some were sad, and some were downright insane. But she never managed to finish them. She couldn't quite get the ending right. And she still ended up wondering about him all over again. Because, no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't figure him out. And she didn't like that. She didn't like not being able to figure people out, and was always searching for answers to her questions. As a writer, typically, she should be imaginative, which she was, but she was still quite a stubborn person, always wanting to know why.
And that's why one morning, a particularly rainy one, she found herself running out of the cafe towards the man. Her hair already soaked with the rain, and what little make-up she'd had on running down her face, she stood in front of his chair, blocking his view of the lake. The old man looked up at her from under his umbrella curiously. And it was strange. His eyes. They were . . . there was something about them that just wasn't right. They didn't look like the eyes of an old man. They looked wise, yes, as if they had seen a lot, maybe a little too much, but at the same time, they were so full of life, and . . . mystery. Like they held so many secrets just waiting to be told.
For a moment, she just stood there, looking at him. And the only sound that could be heard was the hard rain pounding the pavement. Up close, he could pass for your stereotypical old man. He had a long, straggly, white beard and hair just the same. He looked a bit like Dumbledore from the Harry Potter movies, or, at least that's what Jordan thought. He dressed in typical plain clothes, and had his lunch tucked under his chair. He even had that lonely look about him that most old people had. But his eyes . . . there was just something in them that didn't quite . . . fit with the rest of him. Something just didn't click.
"Why do you always sit here?" she yelled over the rain, straining her voice, and hoping he could hear. And she saw him smile. It was the same smile she had seen countless times before, with so many emotions behind it. It was even more heart-breaking up close. "What are you doing?"
"Waiting." he whispered, the smile still there. His voice surprised her. It sounded like that of a man at least forty years younger. It was just so different to what she had expected. But . . . he just sounded so . . . tired. Like he was almost ready to give up. He sounded so hopeless, and lost. But at the same time, there was one tiny glimmer of hope left in his voice. Like he was hanging on by a thread. Like there was one final hope left, that kept him from giving up.
"Something worth waiting a thousand years for," he replied, his voice so soft, and gentle. Then, he pulled back his sleeve, glanced down at his watch, and gathered up his things. His three hours were up, and he had to go. Once he'd got all his stuff, folding up his chair, and putting his lunch under his arm so he could still hold the umbrella, he gave Jordan a curt nod, and began walking back down the road, the way he came. And she just stood there, in the rain, watching him walk away.
She never did speak to him again.
It was about a month after she had spoken to him that something incredible happened. It was a day that Jordan would never forget, for as long as she lived.
She got to the cafe at the normal time, and sat in her usual seat, by the window. She opened up her laptop, and set everything up, even though she knew she wouldn't write anything, just like every other day. She turned from her laptop, and looked out of the window. She saw the old man, sat in his seat, his long, white hair flowing down the back of the seat. It was a nice, clear day, and the sun's rays bounced off the water from the lake beautifully, though Jordan knew the man wouldn't be watching that. He would be waiting. Waiting like he always did. For what, she still wasn't sure.
Still, she watched him, as always. It had become a pattern of hers now. Part of her daily routine. So much that she barely even had to think about it anymore. She was too curious. And she knew that she was going to wait as long as it took. She would wait as long as he did, if she had to.
Even then, though, as she ordered her favourite drink, and settled down, she knew that something was different that day. She could see the man's arm, stretched out on the arm-rest, and how he was tapping his fingers impatiently. And he kept leaning forward in his chair, then falling back into it again. He was tapping his foot too, like he was nervous. Obviously, whatever he was waiting for, he had a feeling it was coming. Soon.
And that's when it happened. Or, when it began. The water in the lake sort of . . . shifted. It moved in an unusual and unnatural way, and, if Jordan wasn't mistaken, it even began to glow. At first, she thought it was a trick of the light, but then she saw it. A dark shape, moving under the water, thrashing. And bubbles started coming to the surface. At this point, the man had abandoned his chair, and was now stood, rigid, at the edge of the lake. He hadn't made any move towards the lake yet, though Jordan had a feeling this was what he'd been waiting for. But she guessed that he just wanted to know he wasn't wrong first.
As she looked back towards the lake, she saw the top of someone's head begin to appear. It was very gradual at first, but then a blonde-haired man burst out from under the water. He was gasping, and thrashing his arms around, as if trying to get his bearings. His hair was soaked, but Jordan couldn't help but notice how attractive he was, for a man that had just appeared from the middle of a lake. She watched with intrigue, as the blonde man seemed to notice the old man stood at the edge of the lake. She saw his eyes widen, and his mouth curl up into a smile. He stopped thrashing, and began to swim towards him.
The old man still did not move. He stood exactly where he was, watching the man swim towards him. But then, in one fluid movement, he brushed a hand over his head, and slowly, very slowly, Jordan saw his long, white hair start to recede back into his head, to be replaced, with short, dark hair. And from what she could see from the side of his face, that changed completely, too. His beard disappeared, and his cheekbones became very prominent. He even shrunk a little.
She watched in amazement. As the blonde man emerged from the lake, finally, and she took in his full appearance. He was incredibly attractive; she had to admit, but held himself with a lot of pride, and honour. His whole aura just breathed 'superior'. It wasn't that that surprised her though, it was his clothes. He was dressed in Knight's armour. Chain-mail, long, blood-red cape, leather boots, and belt with a sword hanging from it. She couldn't miss though, the grin that had taken over his face, when he saw the other man. It was like the whole world just fell away, and it was only the two of them. And suddenly, the blonde was running, and it was like it all happened in slow motion. Water splashed around him, and his cape flew out behind him as he ran.
He reached the darker-haired man, and Jordan saw him say something, but she couldn't quite figure out what it was. Most likely, the other man's name. But that wasn't important. She was watching a story unfold before her eyes, and as a writer, nothing could make her as happy, no matter how little sense it made. And she continued to watch, as the two men embraced each other. The darker haired man was facing her now, his head over the blonde's shoulder. He looked up to the window, and Jordan was just about to look away, when he smiled, and winked at her.
So she didn't look away, and she watched still, as the men hugged for what seemed like a few minutes, but probably wasn't that long at all. All that time he had waited though, didn't they deserve a little time together? That poor man had waited years, probably even longer. He needed time to get reacquainted with his . . . friend again.
The blonde pulled back first, but still kept hold of the man, gripping with by the shoulders. The dark-haired man had hold of his waist, and suddenly, the blonde took one of his hands away, and placed it on the other man's cheek gently. He whispered something to the other man, and Jordan desperately wished she could lip read. She knew it was wrong to watch them, but she really wanted to know what he said, because a few seconds after that, the dark-haired man was attacking the blonde's lips with his own.
She watched as the two men fought for dominance, and held each other tightly, not wanting to let go. And in that second, watching those two men, she knew exactly who they were. She knew the story, and everything just fell into place. It seemed impossible, but it was the only answer. And what had Sherlock Holmes once said? "Once you've eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however impossible, must be the truth." And she knew the legend. It couldn't just be pure coincidence that a man dressed in Knight's attire had just wandered out of the lake of Avalon. No, that had to be it. The blonde was King Arthur, and the dark-haired man who had waited so many years was Merlin. And it all made sense.
What had the man said the other day? When he'd still been old? "Something worth waiting a thousand years for." And he'd meant that quite literally. He had waited almost a thousand years for the other man, for Arthur. It just made sense. And as the two men pulled away from their kiss, and leant their foreheads against each other's, Jordan smiled. She'd found the idea for her first book.
Well? What did you think? Please review, it will be much appreciated!