Merlin groaned slightly. He forced himself back upright when the pain flared through his stomach. His eyes went down and he almost took a step back when he saw the dagger in his stomach.

His knees sank beneath his weight and he fell onto his side, jostling the dagger slightly to the side. He tried to keep a cry of pain inside.

But a slight sound escaped.

His eyes darted to where Arthur was fighting against two bandits and he could see that the prince was tiring. He could see the small pendant on one of their shoulders and he felt himself almost going faint.

They weren't ordinary bandits, they were mercenaries from Gadwent. Merlin could feel his magic pooling trying to work on the wound, but he forced it out.

Blasting the men away from Arthur. His strength leaving him with each pulse of magic as he kept them on the ground.

Arthur was fast to react and killed them easily.

When he noticed that Merlin was silent Arthur turned to face his friend. The blood drained from his face when he saw Merlin on the ground, a dagger in his stomach.

"Merls!." Arthur could feel the panic overwhelming him slightly and for a moment he wished that it was nothing more than a bloody nightmare.

"What should I do?" Arthur glanced up to Merlin as he tried to stop the bleeding.

Merlin's bloody hand's gently folded over Arthur's. It was hard to breathe. "There is nothing you can do Arthur." Merlin's voice was wheezy as he tried to fight through the pain.

Arthur closed his eyes. "I can't lose you. Please, you need to fight." Arthur couldn't help but plead as he looked at Merlin.

Merlin forced himself to keep his eyes open, even when he could feel his mind fainting slightly. "We are too far from Camelot, Arthur. I will be dead before we even hit the road." Merlin tried to give Arthur's hand a slight squash but his fingers were cold and numb.

Arthur could feel tears burning behind his eyes, Merlin was his only true friend and lover. He didn't know how he would ever be able to continue without him.

"What about your magic?" Arthur's voice broke slightly as he a sob slipped between his lips.

"Too much damaged. You have to let me go." Merlin trailed off slightly before he swallowed. "Promise me you would be a fair and just king?" There was a slight bitterness to his words.

He would never see Arthur as the king he knows he would be.

"I promise." Arthur's words were barley uttered into the air when Merlin closed his eyes. A small smile on his face.

This is where he was meant to be. On his kingside, knowing that he would be a wonderful king one day.

The tears fell from Arthur's face onto Merlin's hand, but he holds back the sobs that were trying to break free.

He stayed over the cold body of his lover and friend before he builds a smile pyre. Burning Merlin's body. Wishing he could send him off on the lake, knowing that this was the only way to give him a death worthy of a king as close as he could.

I hope everyone enjoyed this short one-shot. Please tell me what you think of the story and constructive criticism is always welcome.

I can also be found on Tumblr lover-of-midnight