A Lot of Golden Things
Just as Merlin had fallen asleep with the sun setting in his tired eyes, he woke up with the sun rising in his tired eyes. Blinking, he pushed himself up onto his knees, and then stood up. Arthur was already up and eating some bread.
Merlin put a hand over his eyes, shielding them from the sun, and stumbled over to Arthur. “Is it already morning?”
Arthur got up from his spot, put out the fire, and picked up his sword. “Yes. Now, let’s get a move on. This journey is taking long enough.”
Merlin, thankful that Arthur wasn’t asking any questions about Freya, picked up his bags and put them on his shoulders with a small wince. Soon, they were walking through the forest towards Lake Avalon.
By the time sun was starting to go down, they reached the lake. They set their things down, and Arthur prepared to go to the lake. Merlin noticed that he had not put down his sword, though they would have no need for it. Nor his dagger or his crossbow.
Merlin realized, if he was to do what he wanted, Arthur could not be there, or even near the lake. He would hear and see everything, and that was something that simply could not happen.
Merlin was walking to the lake when he pointed in the direction behind Arthur, said “Look!” quickly, and took the hilt of a sword and bashed it on the back of Arthur’s head. He swayed, his eyes rolled into the back of his head, and he collapsed into a pile of leaves. Merlin dragged him by the arm so that he was leaning against a wall of rock and moss, and then ran to the lake.
When he got to the shoreline, he wasted no time in summoning Freya. The lake turned gold, and soon she ascended. She glided to the shoreline to embrace Merlin, and gave him a small kiss. When they resurfaced, she said: “What are you doing here, Merlin? Is something wrong?”
He smiled widely and said, “I’m here to bring you back.”
She gasped and shook her head. “You can’t,” she muttered, “Someone will have to die. I don’t want that to happen on my behalf.”
Merlin shook his head as well, and whispered to her. “Nobody will. I have an idea.”
And she smiled, a reluctant smile as she looked up at his boyishly charming face. “Alright,” said Freya, granting her permission, “As long as nobody else dies or gets hurt.” They held hands, and soon Merlin closed his eyes and leaned into her slowly.
They kissed, a passionate, deep, searching kiss, relieved to have found each other and drinking in every in of each other. Freya wrapped her arms around his neck and stood on her toes to get closer to him, and Merlin had his arms on her back as she ran her hands through his hair.
After a while, the they came apart, arms still wrapped around each other. If anything, they were more in love than before, though it seemed an impossible feat. They stared into each other’s eyes, drowning in affection, until they started to talk.
Merlin sat down on the shore, and Freya laid down in the water with her head sticking above the surface.
“How have you been, Merlin?”
Merlin didn’t seem to want to answer, but eventually he did reply. “I’ve been alright. You know me.” He said, with a toothy grin, but Freya stroked circles with her thumb on his hand.
“I know you haven’t, Merlin.” She murmured sadly. “And it’s my fault too.”
Merlin got up on his knees and then bent downwards towards her sullen face. “No, it’s not your fault,” he explained, “It’s fate. Fate has brought us apart, and fate will bring us back together too. If I’m sad, that’s because fate is taking too long.”
Freya smiled at him, unable to resist his infectious joy. “It has been too long, Merlin.” She looked up at him, but something on his arm caught his eye. “Merlin!” she gasped, and moved forward to get a better look at him.
The burns on his arms were wrapped in bandages, but the bandages were white so you could see the angry red lines going up and down his forearms. It really did look worse than it was. “What happened to you?!”
Merlin had a frank look on his face. “Ah, that. Morgana.” And he explained to her the entire story. Freya was being a very good listener. She gasped at all the right parts, and clenched his hand when she had heard what terrible things Morgana had done to them.
Afterwards, Merlin’s head snapped up. “I forgot! How have you been, Freya?"
She gave a small smile. “I’ve been missing you, and that is all I have been doing. You’d think that being Lady of the Lake would be a bit more interesting, wouldn’t you?” However, Merlin could tell that she was joking, so he gave a big grin and a chuckle.
Becoming a little more serious, he said: “I’ve missed this. Missed seeing you, talking to you, missed you.” They each gave a shy smile, and leaned in for a smaller, lighter, glad-to-have-you-back kiss. This went on until Merlin remembered that Arthur would not remain unconscious forever. They slowly broke apart.
“I’m sorry. but I don’t have much time, Freya. We have to get started. But after this, we will have all the time in the world.” Nodding, Freya stepped back into the middle of the lake and Merlin began to chant magical spells.
His eyes glowing gold, like dying embers in their dark surroundings, Merlin’s voice grew steadily louder and more rich in power until he was yelling the words. Soon, his eyes flashed the brightest gold, brighter than anything anyone had ever seen, and the magic had done its work. He was able to get in a few words to Freya over the sound of rushing wind.
“You - have - to - kill - yourself -” Merlin shouted over the magic.
“What?” Freya screamed.
“When - you - kill - yourself - it’ll - bring the - balance back - to the world and - you - will come back, I - promise... hurry!”
And Freya’s eyes glowed gold as well, and she collapsed like a little doll onto the water as the golden surface of the lake exploded outwards, sending a pulse of golden light flying outwards, leaving Lake Avalon navy blue as it had always been. However, the pulse knocked Merlin onto his feet as the golden light disintegrated in the air in a huge explosion.
Though his head was pounding and he had had the wind knocked out of him, Merlin jumped to his feet and waded through the lake to save Freya.
He saw a small ball of light from the top of the lake, and he swam down to it.
Holding his breath, he saw the faces of many magical beings in small bubbles surrounding Freya, who was floating aimlessly. She was surrounded by streaks of gold going this way and that.
The faces in the bubbles calmly said: “We are healing her; she has been very badly hurt. You will find her again soon.”Convinced, as he trusted the water spirits, Merlin swam back up to the surface, where he waded back out and ended up dragging himself to the shore. His head was buzzing and felt very light all of a sudden. As soon as his feet were barely touching the water, his head fell down to the pebbly ground and he passed out.