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Will

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Everyone says you are the most stubborn and strong-willed person they ever had the privilege to know. But no, they never use the word stubborn, nobility or peasants, they wouldn’t dare. Because the cold of the dungeons isn’t worth it, nor the humiliation of the stocks. You are the Crown Prince and no would dare earn your ire.

Except, He didn’t care.

You’re already using the past tense.

One hand on his chest and the other one tangled with his fingers, you will your skin to feel a beating heart. You will his heart to beat again. Whatever works.

His eyes are glassy and unfocused but you wouldn’t know because you’re not looking. That’s too big a proof. Not that you need it. you were always able to feel his life. His joy, his thoughts, in a surprisingly unsubtle way. Not because he was an open book but because he glowed with it. like you had those special glasses Gaius wears sometimes and they allowed you a sight no one else knew existed.

His hand is cold.

You will some warmth into it. Nothing happens. Maybe those compliments are also lying to fatten up the Crown Prince. But no, they couldn’t be. Because he said them too. He never used the word strong-willed. That would have been a compliment. That’s not how you and he worked.

Uther found out and you were too late.

He fought. You saw him fighting even if you couldn’t move, you could see. See the way he tried to escape without harming them, see the way he looked at you when he realised there was no way out of this.

You let go of his hand to press your other hand to his chest too. Willing it to move, willing it to fight one last time.

He died without his magic, cuffed in cold iron and soaring in the knowledge that he had saved his prince one last time.

A hand closes around your shoulder and tugs. you lift your hand and tug back harshly enough that your father comes into your sight, sprawled on the courtyard floor, his face a picture of surprise.

“The enchantment has not lifted yet,” his voice booms.

You huff out a dead laugh, not sure where it came from. It’s not resentment you feel, it’s not anything. From the moment he stopped struggling on the noose, you haven’t felt much. Everything has a silk white curtain over it. Your sight, your hearing all half working. But working.

“I’ll be dead within the week,” you think you say, “so will you,” you are sure he heard you. You watch with a detached fascination as your father draws the wrong conclusions.

You turn away to him and look. You look and look at his chest still willing it to do something, till the guards pulling you away become less gentle as your father’s voice becomes more frantic.

You think of fighting to hold on, but what for? He wasn’t in that face that you still couldn’t look at.

It does happen within the week. It stings to see that it’s Morgana, standing tall and proud and condescending over you with your own sword to your neck. You did fight this time because He had too, but really it was useless.

“Any last words, brother,” the venom in those words aren’t the only thing that surprise you.

In the end, you don’t say anything as your sword sinks into your chest when Morgana runs out of patience.