A/N: So I'm making a Merlin Advent calendar :) There are pictures as well, but you'll have to go to tumblr (caldera32 dot tumblr dot com) or The Heart of Camelot to see them. Happy December, everyone :D

Freya watched Merlin approach the lake. The ripples of the water's surface and the moon's reflection obscured his form, but she would always recognize him. He had been coming every year on this day since her death, often staying all night.

This year something was different, he had brought someone else- she could see Merlin beckoning them forth from the forest. A tall figure walked out, but the dark of night and a voluminous cloak concealed their features from her. She only wondered about this new person for a moment before her attention went back to her love.

He was taking out the candles now, one for each year she had been in the lake. They were disk-shaped to float on the water and Merlin placed them all carefully before nudging them further out with his magic, lighting them a moment later. But what's this? There were only eight here when there should be nine.

Brown eyes swiveled back to the shore in time to see the mysterious companion kneeling with the last candle. Hesitant hands lit the wick and pushed the light in the direction Merlin's had gone. As Freya tried to puzzle out this stranger's identity she heard them whisper two words.

"I'm sorry."

and then

"Thank you."