Disclaimer: The day I own Merlin will be the day Mab gives it to me. :) No money is being made, either.
Queen Mab rolled over in bed, her naked form brushing against King Vortigern's. She closed her green eyes, allowing herself a moment of silence. What had just transpired should never have come to be. She should not be in King Vortigern's bed; she should not have screamed for him, she should not have given him any power over her. She should not have opened her heart to this mortal.
She tried to slip out from the bed, but Vortigern caught her arm in his sleep. She sighed. Even in the world of dreams, his soldier's instincts were sharp. Now she could not leave without waking him, so she lay back down. He wrapped his arm around her middle, and muttered, "You didn't actually think that you could sneak out on me, did you?"
"No," replied Mab in her half-whisper of a voice, opening her eyes.
"Good," he said.
There was a pause, and then, "You know, I meant it when I said that I don't believe in anything."
"I know," she said, running a pale hand thorough her long, tousled back hair.
"But I was thinking," he murmured, "that I do believe in some things. I believe in my sword, my kingdom, in me, and I realized that I believe in you."
"What do you mean?" she asked, not daring to hope that she may have a new champion.
"I mean that even if I don't believe in the Old Ways, I believe in your power. I realized that I have always believed in the power inside a man or woman, and that yours is more powerful that any other's. And that you alone have to be the closest thing to a God—or Goddess—that I've ever even thought of. So I guess that that means that I believe in you. Is it enough?"
"Is it enough to keep me from disappearing? Yes."
"Good," he whispered, pulling her close, kissing her pale, slender neck.
She arched her back, her hair falling behind her, her body responding, but not in the normal way. No flush appeared anywhere on her flesh, and her pupils did not dilate. That she kept them open was unusual in itself. Her lips, still showing purple lipstick, parted slightly, and she stared at Vortigern. Her long leg slipped around his waist with amazing flexibility, and she pulled him to her.
He smirked, and then gasped as she reached down, and her hand found its intended mark.
"You will be the death of me," he grunted.
"I hope not," she replied.
They awoke sometime later to the sound of trumpets. Vortigern slung his arm over Mab, to protect her. She let out an irritated sound, and rolled out from under him.
"It is the war call," he hissed.
Mab had already gathered her clothes—purple robes and a breastplate—and slipped them on.
"Stay behind me," Vortigern advised, as he pulled on his own armor, that Mab had thrown at him.
"I could be saying the same to you," she replied, pushing her way out of the tent.
As Mab walked away, she could heat Vortigern's cursing as he struggled with his armor. She sighed; she had not planned on having Vortigern trying to protect her. It was getting a bit out of hand.
"Mab!" he yelled.
She kept walking.
"Griffons!" screamed the sentry.
Here Mab smiled. While she had looked out of place before, now she was completely in her element. She strode forward, holding out her hands. The griffons, who were tearing at the soldiers, suddenly looked up. They sensed Mab's magic, and they leapt on her.
She lifted her head. A weapons rack flew at the griffons, and they were pushed backward. A sword fell from the rack—a long, thin rapier—and Mab caught it, holding it in the guard position. "Come on, little griffons," she murmured. "I'm not afraid of you."
She spoke the truth. Griffons did not scare her a bit. They did, however, frighten the hell out of Vortigern's army. They ran away screaming, leaving her to defend herself…and them.
Mab created a fireball, and let loose. It slammed into the griffon, and it disappeared. So did the rest of them.
"Lady Mab?" came a tentative voice from behind her.
"Queen," she corrected automatically, turning.
A young boy—about six or so—stood there, looking frightened. "Q-Queen," he stuttered. "The Lead Archer told me to find you. He requests your help."
"Lead me to him, please," said Mab.
The boy started off, and she followed quickly. As soon as they reached the line-up of archers, he ran off.
"Queen Mab," said a man with a log, dangerous-looking bow. "I am Ardes, the Lead Archer. I am in need of your help. Fire arrows would be a huge advantage, but we can't seem to get the fires lit on the arrows."
Mab waved her hand, and the arrows flamed.
"Thank you, my Queen," said Ardes.
"I should be seeing how the King Vortigern is getting on," said Mab. "Please excuse me."
Without waiting for an answer, she walked away.
Vortigern ran up to her. "I told you to wait!" he snapped.
"Yes, but what you tell me is not important," she replied. "I am going back to my land."
He nodded mutely.
She disappeared, and the flickered back. "Vortigern," she said. "Come back to me."
"I will," he replied.
Mab appeared in the middle of the battlefield. She pulled out her favorite sword; a long, thin blade that was so sharp that it looked as though its edges disappeared. She was in her armor, and she was not happy. Uther's men were slaughtering Vortigern's army.
"Queen Mab!" shouted the man that Mab remembered as Ardes, the Lead Archer.
"Ardes?" she yelled.
"Queen, King Vortigern needs your help! He is in combat with Uther!"
"I shall go to him. Thank you, Ardes," she said, and sent a crackling ball of energy towards Ardes's enemies; effectively eliminating them.
She took off in the direction that Ardes had pointed out, occasionally slicing through one of Uther's soldiers. By the time she got to Vortigern—who was, by the way, holding his own within a knot of enemies—her scale mail was no longer the pristine silver that she'd started out with. Her hair was shining with blood, and her white skin was smeared with it. She rushed into the knot of men, stabbed one, and sliced the head off of another. Vortigern grabbed her arm and ran out of the opening she had created, dragging her with him.
"Mab," he said, as she snarled and stabbed another man by reaching around Vortigern's waist. When she jerked the sword out of his body, she nearly cut Vortigern.
"Calm down! Anger does not work in battle!"
"Oh, yes it does," she muttered.
"Not for us mortals!"
"Well"—she carelessly caught an arrow that had been meant for Vortigern, and tossed it to the side—"I'm not mortal!"
"Mab, please calm down!"
She paused for a moment. Silence reigned. "All right; I am now calm."
"Good," he murmured. "Now, where is Uther?"
"He is following you. I did not notice him before, but he must have been in the knot of men that was attacking you."
"Yes," replied Vortigern. "You nearly severed his arm."
"Well, he shouldn't get comfortable, because this time, it will be his head." While most people would have spoken with bravado, Mab simply spoke the truth.
"Are you sure you wish to make your alliance this clear?" asked Vortigern.
"Yes," replied Mab. "I am dying, Vortigern. The Old Ways are dying. I have no choice but to make my alliance known. This is the best way I can find to fight for myself and my people."
Uther suddenly charged up to them. "Vortigern!" he yelled. "Why do you have your woman on the field with you?"
Mab bristled at his snide comment, and threw herself at him, extending her sword arm gracefully. Her sword sliced trough his shield and she brought Uther down without a thought, springing up with inhuman grace.
"I'm not his 'woman,' and I came to destroy you!" she snapped.
"Who are you?" he gasped.
"I am Mab, Queen of the Old Ways."
"You heathen are inferior to the Christian faith!" screamed Uther.
"And that is why you are on the ground, and I am pointing a sword at you," Mab said quietly.
"She is right, Uther," said Vortigern.
Merlin stepped up. "Mab!" he shouted. "What right have you to participate in this battle?"
She turned. "My people are dying," she murmured. "I think the question is: what right have you to stop me?"
"You killed everyone I love!" he shouted. "I have the right to oppose you!"
"You do," she replied. "And I have right to stand for what I love."
"You don't love anyone!" Merlin said, walking to to her.
She looked at Vortigern. "You're wrong," she whispered, and in true Mab fashion, stabbed Uther and left, leaving Vortigern to ponder her words and try to get through the rest of the battle.