There once lived an old man, not too far from here, with a thin, frail looking body and a weathered face. When he stood, he looked as if he was ready to topple over, his back curved outward and his head bowed, as if there was a great weight on his shoulders, leaving him incapable of standing properly.
He didn’t speak much. In fact, if anyone were to bother asking, most would say that he couldn’t speak at all, that his voice had been taken from him, or that he had lost it after decades of weeping and pleading with the Gods. He spent his days sitting by the same old lake, his eyes, a blue that matched the color of the sky during a summer storm, staring out into the distance; waiting.
He was always waiting.
That much was clear to anyone who looked upon him, though no one knew what he waited for.
Some who took the time to notice this man said that he was waiting for a lover who had left him long ago; someone who meant more to him than the entire world. Someone who he had lived for, and who he would have died for.
Others said that he was waiting for a dear friend, someone who he had lost, but had been promised to be reunited with again.
There were even a few said that he was waiting for the world to end; for the sun to go dark and the seas to overflow; for the forests to burn to ash and for the glaciers to melt at last.
Little did they know that they were all right, even while they were wrong.
Yes, he was waiting, but he was also watching.
And he was listening.
And he knew, just as he always knew, time and time again, throughout the many centuries that he had been forced to live, that the other half of his soul was returning to him.
Arthur was going to rise soon.
One day he stood from his spot by the lake suddenly, as if something off into the distance had startled him. His blue eyes seemed to brighten, alighted by a great flame, and his old, weathered face split into a grin, the first smile that anyone had ever seen grace his thin, chapped lips.
And finally, those that stood nearby and watched this ancient looking man heard him speak for the first time.
“Arthur,” he whispered, the named escaping him like a prayer; like the most sacred of promises.
And then he disappeared, seeming to evaporate into the air like mist.
No one knows where he had gone.
No one, that is, but the creatures of olden days, the faeries and vilia who hid themselves from mortal view, taking the shape of water droplets, flowers, and trees so that no one would notice that they were watching.
They knew where he had gone. Or more correctly, they knew to whom he had gone to.
They knew that this old man hadn’t really vanished, or ceased to exist. No, he was still very much in the world. Except, not quite, or not as whom he had been for so long.
Where once there had been an old, ancient man with age spots and missing teeth, and hair so long and white that it seemed to come directly from the clouds, now there was a younger man, the same young man that these creatures had known so very long ago, when he had been nothing more than a clumsy, good hearted boy following after his future king.
And beside him stood a man who seemed to have been created by the finest of sculptors, with hair spun out of gold, and eyes dyed the clear blue color of the sky. He stood tall and proud, his shoulders broad and his arms thick with muscles. He looked as if he had the weight to carry on many burdens.
So really, it was no wonder that the other man, once so old and worn, was finally able to take on his true form.
He was free of his great burden once more, now that Arthur was there with him.
“Merlin,” the blonde man, Arthur, called him, as that was his name, and the worlds seemed to rejoice upon hearing it spoken once again.
They embraced, arms wrapping around each other and heads bowing together, foreheads touching. Their laughter and tears mingled with the air around them, and the world went on, giving them the privacy that they deserved.
They deserved this moment.
They deserved to be with each other once more.
Because, after all, they were two sides of the same coin, two halves of the same soul. Though one could exist without the other, they were always more at peace with the other beside them.
That was as it should be.
And as it would always be.