I couldn't find any fanfics depicting the return of the once and future king (if you know of any good ones, please let me know as I am so not okay with how the series left off), so I thought I'd write one.

Disclaimer: I don't own Merlin or any of the Arthurian characters, nor am I in any way associated with BBC.

Merlin has been waiting. He has seen much time pass; years, decades, centuries. He has seen battles, wars, and world wars; but, still, no sign of Arthur. Still, he waits. He has seen entire societies rise and fall. He has witnessed the invention of cars, of televisions, of the machine gun, of nuclear bombs. He has witnessed the abolition of slavery, the dissolution of sexism, the acceptance of homosexuality, and he has witnessed those who refuse to accept. He has seen the best and worst of humanity. He waits still because he knows that Arthur will one day rise again.

He does not age, though he has used aging spells, which he has perfected to give him the illusion of actually being aged by time. Then, when those around him whose age he has imitated die, he starts over . At first, he made friends, fell in love, fathered children. This was early on in his long life and he never attempted this again, not after he watched all of his loved ones die.

It is a lonely life.

It is a sad life.

He watches time pass him by, watches the destruction brought about by World War III, watches the fall of a seemingly strong (though actually quite brittle) society.

The cars have long since stopped running, the televisions no longer work, and all of those armements, once so admired, have been abandoned out of fear.

He has watched society progress and now he will watch its descent. It is crumbling.

It seems to Merlin that time has begun to move backward. Where there once stood skyscrapers, there now stands castles once more. Houses have changed and resemble the quaint homes that Merlin still remembers and weapons, too, are as they once were. Swords have made a reappearance, as well as the bow and arrow. Guns are avoided like the plague, which has also made a reappearance.

Merlin has begun to wonder whether magic will return as well.

He has not seen another sorceror in a very long time and, for so long, magic has been believed to be a thing of fantasy. Kilgarrah had been wrong; the lands of Albion never did unite and magic was never accepted in Camelot. The harmonious future that the great dragon had fortold had never come to pass. Not yet.

And still Merlin waits.

Sometimes, he reflects on his long life and is surprised by how much he remembers. He can still hear Gaius's voice telling him to get up or asking him to retrieve whichever herb for him, though he has long since forgotten his face; he can still see Gwen kneeling before Arthur during her coronation, though her voice is long-lost to him; he recalls Uther's wrath and fury and this is all he remembers of Arthur's father; he can still hear Arthur shouting at him and he remembers those blue eyes and how they looked into his own as the life drained from them; and he remembers Morgana. She is his greatest regret. He remembers all too clearly the anger and bitterness in her once sweet voice; he remembers the astonishing coldness in her once forgiving eyes. He should have helped her, he should have been there for her, and he should have told her that she was not alone.

It is too late for that now.

So he waits.

He waits for a sign.

He waits for Arthur.

A bit short, but it's really only the prologue. Please review and tell me what you think!