Warning: temporary character death, dark themes
Word Count: 17,455
Notes: Written for the Merlin Big Bang, boxofmagic. And do go look, I got a lovely book cover from thisissirius, go admire!
Summary: Merlin thought he had problems when he was only Arthur's manservant, and trying to hide his magic. Now he doesn't have to hide any more, but as King by right of conquest he wishes things were that easy. Rulership is a lonely business, and it actually hurts more to imagine what Arthur might have done in his place - but Merlin does it anyway. They had a destiny. Merlin refuses to let it go.