title from heather dale’s ‘mordred’s lullaby’. everything recognizable, as always, to eddy and adam. s5 spoilers/speculation.
Merlin doesn’t really see the man standing behind Emma and Regina at first. He’s just a man with a long black coat and a red vest and a hook bought at such a high price. Then he steps between the two women and speaks.
“Well, now that the great sorcerer is among us, maybe he will tell us. Can you do what your apprentice said? Can you free Emma from the darkness?”
And Merlin suddenly knows. He knows this man.
And he sees more than just the coat and the accent and the despair and determination in his old, old eyes.
He sees the day the boy’s mother dies, him weeping on her chest, his brother just staring numbly at her cold and empty face with his hand on the boy’s shoulder, his father standing in a corner, about to announce their voyage to anywhere, just to leave this tiny town full of memories and two graves, one so very little and one bigger.
He sees that night the boy awakens, notices his father missing, and weeps into his brother’s shoulder.
He sees the day the boy’s brother, much older brother, becomes a lieutenant. He watches as the boy hugs his brother goodbye, promising to move up through the ranks so quickly he’ll beat even Lieutenant Liam Jones at his pace through the naval ranks.
He sees the morning the young man boards the Jewel of the Realm to sail alongside his brother. The Pegasus sail unfurls and the ship lifts into the air, and he watches as the man laughs.
He watches as the man makes a deal that he knows not how to keep with a tricky demon.
He watches as the man clutches his dying brother, suddenly just a boy again. Just a little boy begging for his brother to come back.
The man, suddenly an older man, never a boy again, burns the sail. He becomes a pirate in the blink of an eye. His ship is the Jolly Roger. Some would call him a villain now.
He watches the pirate drink with Emma Swan, but it’s a night that the man won’t remember. Cannot remember.
He sees the pirate in a tavern where the wife of the coward who will become the Dark One falls in love. She runs with him the next night.
He watches as the pirate meets the Dark One. He sees the Dark One kill the woman he loved. He watches as the Dark One creates the only enemy who will do anything to destroy him. The pirate sails to the only place he can live long enough to find a way to defeat his enemy.
He sees the pirate through the long three hundred years, the three hundred years that brought him the knowledge of the Dark One’s dagger and of a way to find and kill him.
He watches him meet Emma Swan. The woman who is his true love.
He sees as he fails to kill the Dark One. He watches with pride as he realizes that revenge cannot bring him his happy ending.
He sees him fall in love with Emma Swan. He returns to even Neverland for her and her child. He watches as the man, not a villain, not anymore, never again, sees his love across the town line. The man finds Emma in a land he cannot hope to understand.
He confesses his love for Emma Swan to a witch. He lies to protect her and her boy. He follows her to the end of the world or time. Finally, Emma Swan returns his love.
He watches them fall more in love every day. He watches as the Dark One deceives the man and takes his heart prisoner. He watches Emma restore it. He watches as Emma toes the line between the dark and the light and the man brings her back to the light, every time, when no one else can.
He sees the man’s face when Emma sacrifices herself. His face is despair and determination and love, such fierce love.
He watches as the man uses everything he has to try to bring the woman he loves back to the light. Merlin sees that this man, this man and the boy alone can bring her back. They are her true loves. Only they can help her back.
He sees all of this in a moment.
Then he sees the man’s name.
This is Killian Jones.
“Sure,” Merlin replies.
Finally, as Killian’s face softens in relief, the sorcerer sees the last piece of the puzzle.
This is the man who will fix Arthur’s mistakes.
This is the man who will help to destroy the darkness with his final breaths.
This is the man who will do anything to save the woman he loves.
DO YOU SOMETIMES JUST REMEMBER HOW IN LOVE MERLIN AND ARTHUR ARE AND THEN YOUR LIFE JUST SORT OF LOSES ALL MEANING BECAUSE THESE MEDIEVAL GAY MEN HAVE EVIDENTLY RUINED ALL HOPES YOU HAD OF BECOMING A RESPECTABLE MEMBER OF SOCIETY?????????