He kept his head down, staring at the great distance between him and the courtyard’s cobblestone. The immense height made him dizzy, made him nauseous, and if he’d had anything in his stomach, Merlin would have doubled over to be sick.
His head pounded painfully, making the young warlock reach up to massage his temples as he told himself it would be over soon. The pain would be gone, the agonizing guilt over having failed would be gone, the constant overwhelming sensation of feeling his grasp on reality slip through his fingers would be gone.
All he had to do was jump. Just lean forward and let gravity do the rest of the work, let the earth’s pull drag him to the stone where his body would lie in a bloodied, broken heap. Then he’d be at peace. He’d be at rest, no longer being tormented by written destinies and fates that he should have prevented. Maybe they’d even give him a proper funeral. After all, nobody but Gaius knew he had magic.
His grave didn’t have to be unmarked like all the sorcerers Camelot had executed over the years. He had been a trustworthy servant to Arthur. All the years he spent faithfully by his side had to mean something, so surely the king would give him a proper grave, possibly even have the grave inscribed. ‘Loyal Servant’ or ‘Friend of the King’, something like that sounded good. He wondered if Arthur would mourn his death with tears, maybe standing vigil for him through the night? Would his king feel guilty that Merlin took his life? He hoped not. After all, it wasn’t Arthur’s fault that he failed. Merlin was the one who messed up, who didn’t see the trial for what it was.
He wondered if the king would ever visit his grave. Would he ever come to pay his respects for an old friend? Or would Merlin soon be forgotten, only remembered by Gaius and his mother? Would the knights remember him? Would Gwen?
He licked his lips nervously, the taste of salt strong on his tongue. A strong wind blew across the battlement, his body swaying with the breeze, nearly tipping him over the edge before he corrected his balance for the compelling current of air.
It felt like a sign, like nature itself was urging Merlin to take the last step and surrender to the peaceful bliss of death.
He inhaled deeply, closing his eyes. His magic sizzled under his skin, trying to force its way out, trying to protect its holder from himself. But he just drove it back, refusing to let anything stop him. He pushed it down deep and locked it into his very core where it could not resist.
The breeze returned, gentler this time, caressing his face and making his hair flutter in the wind. It felt like a gentle push, akin to a mother bird nudging a young fledgling out of the nest for the first time, encouraging it to fly. A calm peace settled over him, and he smiled. He held his arms out, letting the wind wrap around him as he leaned forward and embraced the sky, pitching forward into the open air.
Wind whistled around him as he fell, gravity pulling him closer and closer to his death. The smile on his face only grew as he realized this was it, the end. This was his death, and he welcomed it.