It had been hundreds of years. The days passed slowly but as each full year went by he wondered where the time had gone. And why had it gone on so long.
It was now pass the turn of the century and Merlin was still alone. All the time he had waited for Arthur he did not bother to make any lasting relationships, knowing they would end before he did.
All those years and it still hurt like it had hurt the day Arthur died. He was so tired of living the same life for so long, but kept it up for the sake of his king. He'd been promised a future with him though he didn't know it would take so fucking long.
There were many nights when doubts had no trouble easing their way into his head. Maybe it was a lie. Maybe it wasn't meant to be. Maybe all of the waiting was for nothing and time will come and go and he'll still be there looking for him. He was always looking.
The best nights were also the worst. Cliché as it seems he did dream of Arthur. And when he did, it felt like Arthur really was alive again and Merlin was alive with him. During that time he could return to the days of Camelot. He could return to his life. But when he woke up with the lingering embrace of Arthur still around him his smile always turned to tears when he realized the reality of his feelings. Everyone was dead and he wished that if Arthur wasn't going to come back anytime soon he would at least leave him alone. It hurt to be so so close to bliss and to have the truth thrown in his face.
So most days he tried to forget his name, his place, where he was at. He found employment and threw himself into mindless jobs. He traveled the world so he could run away from the memories. Sometimes he cursed the day he met Arthur. The day he left his home so eager to find something more. He had saved Arthur's life so many times; saved the kimgdom so many times only to be miserable in a flat in London in a world that had gotten loud and demanding.
Sometimes he resented other's happiness. His light was not at the end of a tunnel. It was at the bottom of lake. It swam with the fishes and got caught in their scales. It reflected the sun and cast itself away into a thousand pieces. It shattered with such a force he wondered how all of the generations after couldn't still hear it breaking. He tried to pick it up and hold it but a promise had been made and hope had stolen him. And he couldn't let go.