It was hard watching Colin scream as he imagined the pain of losing your magic and losing all hope of having it restored. Merlin instead focused on containing the fake rocks in the net above. It had taken a lot of testing to determine the right material to use so that is was light enough to hold in the nets, but heavy enough not to bounce when they fell.
He was struck with the realisation that he was going to miss his team. They never doubted when he declared that they would be able to accomplish yet another magical feat. And sometimes Karen surprised him by proving that some clever science could do what he thought he would have to use magic for. Those were always great meetings. He would have to remember to write all of them glowing recommendations.
But that could come after the wrap party. He wanted to use his magic to do something for everyone. Obviously not everyone would know the truth, but he did really want to thank them all in some way for making such a wonderful show about his life. Perhaps he could give them all a small good luck charm in the goodie bags. But that could be lost.
Maybe something more obviously magical that he signed with his real name. Those in the know would know it was from the heart, and those who didn't would think it was just an anonymous message from someone involved who wanted to say thanks in a fun way. Either way, he only had another month to plan something out.
Unfortunately, he couldn't devote too much time to his plan; the last few weeks were an absolute whirlwind. Merlin was consistently out in the woods, using his magic to stir up leaves, erase hoofprints, or pretending to use science to create lightning for pick up shots. On top of that, Colin and Alex were constantly asking for more magic lessons before their paths diverged. Really he couldn't say no.
So he taught them both how to hide the telltale shine of gold. He taught them spells to alter clothing. He taught them to warm themselves up on a cold day. And he taught them card tricks just because, no actual magic involved.
Even as they jokingly complained that he tricked them, he reminded them that they had his number and they knew where to find him. He planned on returning to teaching for the next couple decades. Maybe at a proper university as well. Of course Colin suggested that maybe he should consider teaching practical effects at a drama academy since he clearly was the best. They both knew that would go over as well as Merlin trying to make a living as a trapeze artist. Regardless, he would let them know what he decided and they would always be welcome to stop by.
The last day on set, he had nothing he needed to do. It was only a couple reshoots of knights running through the forest or galloping on horseback. But when the last scene was shot, he joined in the huge cheer that erupted from the crew and cast. There were hugs all around and high fives and plenty of pictures being taken on phones. The air was filled with reminders of what pubs would play host to their celebrations that night. He had beaten the others to booking the back room at The Rising Sun in London and knew that more than the small group of effects people were likely to show up. He knew for sure he heard Bradley and Eoin talking about crashing their party.
Yet when the night arrived, the room was only effects people; maybe the party crashers would come later. They mingled for a little around the high tables and the booths on the edge before Merlin moved toward the front of the room and tapped his glass to get their attention.
"Before we all get too caught up in our drinking I just wanted to say a few words," he began. "I signed up for this project thinking it might be a fun activity, something to pay the bills and keep me from going mad. I didn't expect to be working with such a wonderful group of people as yourselves. You have taught me new tricks and new science. We have bonded over midnight Mythbusters marathons. We have panicked together when the deadlines loomed, yet together we made this show possible. The world may remember the names of the actors, and they do deserve the awards they will hopefully receive." A cheer went up. "But our names may only be noticed by the few who hunt the IMDB webpage. So though our work may be pushed to the side, let us vow to never forget each other. Be a network of support and friendship. And together, let us go out and make some more magic."
"To magic!" Karen called out as she lifted her glass.
"To magic!" the others joined in response. A fitting toast indeed.
AN: And as Merlin says thank you to his team, I must say thank you to mine. First Requiem17 deserves so much praise for helping me edit this entire story and brainstorming with me. Thanks also go to Opalescentgold who looked over one chapter when I was panicking about a subplot.
Thank you to everyone who favourited, followed, left kudos, and especially those of you who took the time to comment both in the past and those of you who find this story after it is marked as complete and still take the time to leave a review.
And of course, with the speech Merlin gave, it would be in poor taste to leave you without a link to the IMDB page where you can find the names of the gifted individuals who were actually able to accomplish what I had Merlin do with magic. Full listing is on IMDB (darn lack of being able to link things on ff) and then scroll down to Series Special Effects.