that next spring, camlann blossomed all in red. the leaves on the trees were bruised as though it were midautumn and they hung their branches low enough to touch the place where there king had fallen. where blood had been spilled, wildflowers of a hue unknown to that region exploded from the cursed ground, as though it had been forgiven for the horror it had witnessed. in a land far beyond albion, merlin raised his hand to touch the wind and smiled. camelot stood even still in the place where it had fallen.
Merlin shifts against the stone, searching for some elusive soft place to rest his head. No moonlight streams through the windows tonight; the stars themselves have gone quiet to mourn the passing of the king. The guards keep their watch. The doors keep their secrets as behind them the new king learns how to hold his guilt, something silent and contained and sour, foul and stagnant in the pit of his stomach. Merlin shifts against the stone. His back aches, muscles bunch at the shoulders and stay tense. It is a heavy weight, a different sort of guilt. There is no helplessness to it, only a desire for repentance, a slow burn heavy between his shoulders. He presses his back into the stone, hoping no one can see it shining inside him. Treacherous, another thing to hide. He closes his eyes for a moment and the moment stretches away from him.