Hi everybody! New story here! I like the idea this one is based on, and I'm excited to see what happens! I hope all of you enjoy it! J If you guys have a suggestion for a Supernatural fanfiction, please, I'm all ears! I really want to write one, but I need an idea. (This chapter has been edited and re-uploaded, thanks to everyone who gave me a heads-up. I went through and read it, and I realized that when I copy/pasted it, my whole story got jacked up! I was doing it from my school tablet. Thanks again guys!)
"MERLIN! I'm an hour late for the council meeting, you fool! Hurry up, hurry up!"
"Sorry sire!" Merlin tied his master's boots quickly. "You're finished, go!" He shoved him towards the door, but Arthur grabbed onto his shirt.
"If I've got to sit through the meeting, you've got to be there too!" Arthur began running to the council room. "My father's not going to be happy…" He
muttered, finally slowing as they arrived. Arthur took a deep breath and made his way in, swiftly taking his seat. Uther looked at his son, his gaze holding quiet
anger. Merlin leaned close to Arthur's ear.
"I'm sorry." All Arthur did was nod, listening to what little was left of the meeting. As the people cleared out, Uther called him over. Merlin trailed close
behind. Once everyone had gone, Uther began to speak.
"How could you embarrass me like this, boy?!" Arthur lowered his head.
"I am sorry, Father. It is inexcusable."
Merlin stepped forward. "My lord, I am to blame. I failed to complete my duties to the proper extent. I made him late."
"Merlin, don't." Arthur urged.
"Don't try to cover for me, Arthur! Sire, it was my fault, I assure you."
"Is this so?" Uther said, looking Merlin up and down. "Well then, we'll have to have you put into the stocks. Guards, take him!" Before either of the boys
could object, Merlin was seized by his upper arm and pulled down to the ever-so-familiar feeling of rotten fruit and vegetables being thrown at his head.
He had been there for at least an hour before Gwen came to him. "Merlin?" He groaned in response, and another head of bad lettuce was thrown at him. "I'd
come to talk to you, but it doesn't seem like you're in the position to do much of that."
"Not in a great mood, either." Merlin added, letting his head droop as he sighed.
"I can see that. Do you need anything?"
"Not at the moment."
"Alright then… I've got to go now, but you know where to find me."
He was stuck there for another hour before guards were finally sent to release him. He sighed wearily and straightened his back, going to wash up before
heading to meet Arthur, who was training the knights.
"Did you have fun, Merlin?" Arthur smirked.
"Oh, shut up." He replied grouchily. He was walking with a slight limp, not that Arthur would notice. He was such an arrogant prat, what would he care if his
servant was having trouble? He certainly wouldn't.
"I tried to cover for you, Merlin! You just had to step in."
"Whatever." Merlin finished out his duties for the day, and was finally dismissed after serving Arthur his dinner. He wandered down into the courtyard, not
quite ready to go home to Gaius, who would no doubt give him more chores. Gwen happened to be getting water from the well pump when he entered the stone
"Are you alright?" That was the first thing she asked him, immediately noticing his limp and the weary expression on his face. Not to mention the dark
shadows under his eyes and the ghostly paleness of his skin, almost translucent. Merlin didn't answer, just gave her a look that showed his pure exhaustion. "Do you
want to talk about it?"
Merlin made his way to a short wall and sat down on top of it, relieving the pain shooting from his ankle. Gwen tentatively sat beside him. "What's wrong?"
She asked him. She put her hand down between them as she shifted slightly to face him.
"It's Arthur! He's driving me crazy, working me harder than I can go! And he doesn't even care! Sometimes it feels like I'm drowning, Gwen, and I don't
know how much longer I can last. Arthur doesn't care, he and Uther-"
"Uther," She interrupted, "is a cruel and heartless man. But I know you don't see that in Arthur. You can see as well as I do that he's different."
"Gwen!" He said, lacking the firmness he'd hoped for. "I'm tired and weak, Gwen. I think I've sprained my ankle too, but does Arthur care? No. I need a
break. I don't ask for very much, do I? I do everything I can, but it doesn't seem to matter. I hardly have time to provide for myself because I'm running around
doing every bit of work he can dream up! I can't remember the last time I've eaten or slept properly!"
"Merlin, Arthur has a lot on his shoulders, as do you. I know he can be arrogant, and pompous, but he really does care."
"I don't think I can do it anymore. Perhaps I should resign…"
"You can't do that!" Gwen blurted, quickly composing herself before continuing. "He needs you, Merlin. You're the only one he really trusts. He has to have
you beside him."
"He doesn't act like it! He's running me into the ground!"
"Please, Merlin. Promise me you won't quit."
"Whatever. I need to go have Gaius check my ankle. Goodnight." He stood and began to walk away. Gwen stood behind him, watching his back as she bit her
lip and clenched her fists, her heart rate and breaths quickening. She gave in.
"Merlin, wait!" She ran in front of him, placing her hands on his chest. She looked up at him desperately, tears forming in her eyes. "You don't know-you
haven't seen… what's been happening."
"What are you talking about?" Gwen took a deep, shaky breath as she tried to stop her tears before they fell.
"I had suspected, with the way Arthur had been so desperate to please Uther as of late, the panicked expression he would get when he realized he had done
something wrong. But it wasn't until today, after the meeting, that I was-that I was sure he-he..." Gwen sobbed once, covering her eyes with her arm, but keeping
the other hand firmly against Merlin's chest. He put a hand on her shoulder.
"Alright, alright, Gwen. I'll try and be nicer to him, but right now, I've really got to go have Gaius check my ankle." He tried to let her go, and started to walk
away. He felt almost criminal leaving her there like that. She ran in front of him again, shoving him as hard as she could to be sure he stopped.
"You misunderstand!" Her fingers entwined themselves in Merlin's shirt as she fought to find the words without breaking down. "After the meeting, I saw
them take you away, and I stayed watching Arthur and his father. I hid beside a wall. Uther was so angry, his voice rose louder and louder at Arthur. And well,
Arthur, he was so… so afraid." Gwen's voice trembled terribly. "Uther grabbed his shoulders tight, and slammed him into the wall. He took his left hand…" She looked
at her hand on Merlin's chest, as if it were Uther's. "He thrust his fist into Arthur's stomach. I could see how much it hurt him, not just on the outside. Arthur fell to
his knees, gasping and holding his stomach. Uther looked down at him so, so very coldly, and took his fist again, striking Arthur in the temple as he strode off. God,
he's hurting him, he's hurting him! I don't know what to do, Merlin!"
Raw and bitter anger gripped the manservant's heart as he held tighter to Gwen. He didn't know what to say, what could he say? There were no words to
express the rage building in his soul towards the king. He let Gwen go, and began walking towards the castle with a purpose. "Where are you going?" She asked him,
jogging to keep up.
"Uther." She froze, grabbing his wrist tightly. He turned to face her.
"You can't do that! Think about it, Merlin. What could you possibly do?"
"Well I'm not just going to sit around and let this happen!"
"If you go to the king directly, not only are you likely to be punished, maybe even exiled or executed, but you will bring more wrath upon Arthur. Do you
really want to hurt him more? I want to do something for him as much as you do, but we have to tread carefully. Anything we do could hurt him more."
Merlin sighed. "What should we do?"
"Just talk to him. See if you can get him to say anything about it. It will make him more comfortable thinking that he was the one who told you." Merlin
"We're gonna help him, Gwen. I promise."