A little fall of rain.
“No! Arthur – I can’t lose you,” Merlin half-panted, half-sobbed, as he attempted to drag the increasingly limp king closer to the lake. “I can save you.”
“Shh,” the older man said – although weak, he spoke in the same way he did when the servant needed to polish his armour. “J-just hold me,” he whispered. His eyelids fluttered closed. “The rain can’t hurt me now. This rain will wash away what’s past. And you will keep me safe. And you will keep me close. I’ll sleep in your embrace at last,” he murmured.
Merlin stilled. Arthur had never expressed his feelings quite this clearly. And, knowing he had been in love with the king from the moment he had changed from being an ignorant and arrogant prince to a noble friend. Arthur knew who he was now – he had no more secrets to share. In the end, Arthur loved Merlin more than he hated magic, and Merlin loved Arthur more than he loved himself.
So, Merlin let a tear fall as he whispered his response. “But you will live, Arthur – dear Gods above, if I could heal your wounds with words of love.” Arthur smiled faintly. “Stay with me,” Merlin begged, his voice cracking.
Merlin’s tears were flowing freely now, spattering the ground around Arthur – causing pink and white carnations to grow around his king. They were so wrapped up with the feeling of the other’s arms, that neither of them noticed footsteps coming closer to the lake.
“Andetta broforscipe isrbodung sé bót,” voices started to chant.
Merlin looked up.. They were surrounded by hundreds of magical beings. Druids, sidhes, bastets, afancs, unicorns, dorocha, lamias, manticores, phoenixes, pixies, priestesses, priests, trolls, wraiths and wyverns alike stood together. Some he recognised; most, however, he did not.
“Andetta broforscipe isrbodung sé bót,” they said again. Merlin felt his eyes change, his heart pounding as he joined them in his final, desperate attempt to save Arthur.
“Let love be the cure,” he said, his voice hoarse. In the distance, he could see the majestic shapes of two dragons flying towards them.
“Merlin,” Arthur stirred. “Thank you.”
The king’s body suddenly lifted into the air with a gust of wind, as light shone from within him. Merlin felt his magic drain, and yet, at the same time, grow with an undeniable strength and power.
Arthur returned gracefully to the ground, landing on his feet. He turned to Merlin, eyes shining. In one moment he embraced the warlock and kissed him hard.
Merlin’s hands fell softly to Arthur’s jaw, as their lips finally fell together. Their lips connected with the intensity that only years of longing, waiting and needing could bring.
Merlin pulled away, sadly. “What about Gwen? She’s my friend. I-I can’t do this to her!”
“Gwen and I haven’t loved each other for years,” Arthur said, calmly. “When she returned from exile, we talked. She said she knew how I felt about you, and that she could tell because that was how she felt about Lancelot. We’re just friends. She’d be happy for us, love.”
Merlin’s heart fluttered at the word. “But- but I’m a warlock – a sorcerer!”
“Really? I hadn’t noticed,” Arthur rolled his eyes. “Does it look like I care? You’re my destiny, Merlin. I know it.”
Merlin hummed, still frowning. Arthur longed to kiss away his worries. “But I’m your servant. You’re my king.”
Arthur smirked. “Yes. And I command you to stop worrying. I love you, Merlin. I always have.”
“I love you too,” Merlin said softly, unable to stop the smile that spread across his face. “Is this real?”
Arthur grinned. “I think we deserve a soft epilogue, my love.e. We are good people and we’ve suffered enough.”
Merlin caught Arthur’s lip in a soft kiss. “Tomorrow will be kinder, my love.”
“Then don’t you fret – rain will make the flowers grow.”