This story is based on the Trailers for next week. I have read the spoilers briefly some time ago and I promise there is nothing in here that isn't evident from the Trailers of Le Morte D'Arthur (Ep.13). You have been warned but if you watch the trailers you have basically seen what I am writing about.
This chapter is very Angst-ridden because I felt like it. This is my take on what we see, it by no means, means this is the accurate ending to the series. I very much doubt in fact their version is like this. But as I said, I like Angst and Uther's face was just too perfect for this chapter not to be added.
This was supposed to be a One-Shot so I don't know how it came to be so long. lol. :) I hope you enjoy.
Scroll down if you want to read this.
Warnings: CHARACTER DEATH.
EXTRA: I couldn't resist, we needed a new chapter..
He was sure Arthur had returned to full health as easily as he had fallen sick. It had been a matter of a few days and colour had returned to the sunken cheeks and once he'd started eating properly not long after, he'd been back out training, hunting and had been so active Gaius had thought he'd collapse from sheer exhaustion. Uther however had never been so pleased; they'd had twice the amount of deer they needed to feed on for a whole month of meals, and at least five times that in Peasant. He wasn't foolish enough to think he was just a lot healthier, he knew it was because the prince had never been subjected to stay in bed for so long, he wasn't used to being told what to do and he had seen that boredom had overcome him. So, it had been with that knowledge that he had sent Arthur out on his first order outside the gates of Camelot. In fact, he'd sent him far into the woods, to a cave on the East borderline. Arthur had gone almost willingly, Knights and servant in toe. But that had been almost five hours ago…
Arthur never failed him, he'd likely not caught the beast and the boy knew better than to come back empty handed. Uther had no doubt his son was hammering the final nail in the creature's coffin. The throne room seemed oddly quiet though, he hadn't permit Arthur to stray far from the castle and just to avoid his room, had taken to listening more intently to Kingdom discussions and following his father around trying to get as many orders out of him as possible. Perhaps being sick more often wouldn't do him any harm at all. He smiled wryly and passed through the doors, his red robe blowing up behind him with impressive elegance.
He'd only made it to the first step when the first scream reached him. He paused and drew his sword, the usual cautiousness taking over; maybe the beast had evaded the Knights and had made it to Camelot? It had been here only the day before had it not? A second scream and Uther turned to the nearest Guard. "Find out what is going on." The simple command was spoken with the sincerest aggravation and he continued to his room, he'd be called if it were important, perhaps a peasant had died and the remaining family were in shock? It seemed a reasonable explanation, death wasn't uncommon. He'd reached his corridor when a scarcely dressed woman threw herself at him, clinging to him, sobbing desperately.
"MORGANA!" He yelled in the mere surprise. "Calm child. You are like a wild animal. What's troubling you?"
She shook her head; her hair fell in curls around her abnormally pale face.
"Arthur. You need to find Arthur." She cried. She looked so terrified a sudden shard of terror struck his own heart and he stumbled back from her weight.
"Why do you say this? What have you heard?"
"I dreamt it. Uther, he's going to die, you must call him back."
At that, a warm smile graced his lips and he stepped forward again, one hand reaching out to stroke her cheek. "It was just a dream, come child. We'll drink inside, calm your nerves." He turned with a role of his eyes, the momentary worry shaken. Her dreams, she'd always had nightmares, always imagined death and had it come? No, not once. He had figured it was just a side affect of her father's untimely death, the poor child that she was.
She was still sobbing, making desperate gasping sounds and begging to be understood. He soothed her for as much as he could take it, then sent for Gaius and had her taken away. Such a worrier, there was nothing to worry over. He smiled again and turned his attentions to the window. She'd soon see; Arthur would be back before Nightfall…
"… You claim then, that the west villagers are under guard?"
"Yes sire. Our men have taken defence along the outer boarders, making sure their men do not cross our boarders."
"Very good. I would like notice as soon as the battle is won."
"Right, My Lord."
The Knight sat down, his greying beard tucked under chain mail, stretched as his head bobbled. Another stood, third in a long line of even longer speech givers; all with propositions on war and defence methods.
With a wave of his hand, the King motioned the younger man speak, he did so with a nod of his head and continued on about the importance of preserving food, "should we suffer another, greater famine." Uther barely listened. He was more interested in the face that dusk would soon approach and then the night. It was dangerous to lurk long in the forests, Arthur and his men should have returned.
It felt like hours later when the man finally sat and just as another rose, the door opened with a loud bang, he'd have reprimanded the guardsmen but he looked somewhat panicked as he entered.
"My Lord, the Prince is back." Uther smiled, nodded and made to wave him away but the guardsmen looked set to continue, his face still postured with that dismal, scarred look.
"They carry a body, milord."
That caught his attention, he looked up, mouth forming the question. "Whose?"
"They are too far to tell, I shall bring news as soon as I can." The man left, the door closed and Uther turned to his men.
"A terrible shame, I sent our best fighters to kill that creature." A nervous laughter racketed the hall. "Continue." He gestured the man who was half raised from his seat.
"Thank you Milord. I'm proposing the rise of-"
But Uther never found out what had been intended, screams, lots of it from all angles it seemed.
"What the devil is going on?" Silence greeted him.
"The Prince! The Prince…" More screams and Uther frowned, when had anyone greeted him like that? He'd not heard such yells toward his son before.
A ghostly looking guard entered. Face ashen.
He didn't need the sentence spoken. That terror returned; shards of glass seemed to claw at his insides, hot sickness pressing in his stomach. Before he'd even allowed excuse, Uther ran from the Chambers, toward the main door.
He wasn't even sure if there was screaming, he couldn't hear anything apart from buzzing, silence and then more buzzes. He felt dizzy and ill. His son's body lay on the shoulders of six men, he looked as though on the crucifix, head hanging low and arms flopped out carelessly.
He could feel the stinging in his eyes as they carried him across the Courtyard. Their heads bowed as they stepped forth. He felt Gaius beside him but couldn't turn to him. His eyes were fixed on Arthur. The blond hair filthy with mud, his face streaked in blood and his armour stained crimson. He couldn't breathe, couldn't think. How was this even possible, it was just a beast! An animal!
Gaius's earlier words swum in his head and the hotness in his stomach seemed to bubble up.
"If struck by the beast, the victim is doomed to death for there is no cure for such a venom."
Then Morgana's sobs maintaining that Arthur was dead, or to die, and here he was… Dead.
"No, my Boy!" he managed to choke and stepped forward blindly to meet them. His eyes saw the servant, shell shocked, soaked in blood and tears, move away and crash to the floor some yards away. "No." He repeated, they lowered Arthur's body to his feet and Uther sunk there. Knee's colliding to the floor in such an unkingly manner.
Not one word was spoken as Uther dragged Arthur's body up, cradling him like he were a small child. His tears falling freely, who cared about dignity now? He'd lost his wife already, what unjust world would take his son too? Through his shaking sobs he barely registered the many eyes on him. Knights, Servants, Noblemen, Townspeople, they were all there, watching, waiting, staring in shock. Whether at the fallen Prince or the broken King, he was unsure.
He wasn't sure how long he knelt there. Arthur's cold body pressed to him, he tried to remind himself he had been like this with that curious malady. Who was to say he was not suffering that now? But just looking at Arthur he could tell. There was no life, no nothing in Arthur. His eyes closed, face buried in Arthur's hair.
It was only at the metallic sounds of swords being drawn did he look up. Face wretched and blotched, eyes fogged with unshed tears.
Her, smiling, leering, smug. He had no strength to fight her and simply stared, she seemed oblivious to the many swords pointed her way. Her head tilted at Arthur and she grinned wickedly.
"You said you did not want a son, I was merely obliging to your wishes."
"Bring him back!" The command was strong and sharp; he was surprised he had that strength.
"I can not."
"I did not want him at the cost of Igraine's life! You tricked me. You knew what I meant and you knew how precious he was to me. She is dead, that is your revenge, not my son."
She continued to leer at him and stepped forward and crouched down; again oblivious to the army of people swarming her.
"What would you give to have him back?"
"Anything. Bring him back…"
She laughed again, loudly, cruelly. Uther flinched and clung to the blond harder, determined to keep him away from the manic woman before him.
"He is worth more than any Kingdom."
She laughed icily again and it must have pierced every soul. "No magic can bring him back, Uther Pendragon. But are you so hypocritical that you would banish magic when it does not please you and then beg its return when you want something?"
Uther didn't answer, he couldn't because he knew she was right but he had never suspected for a moment he'd be holding his boy in the middle of a courtyard begging for magic to restore his life.
"If you do not bring my son back to me, your death will mark his revenge." The threat seemed empty and ridiculous, the usual order and strength seemed vanished.
Her bitter laugh reached his ears. "I brought him into this world." She stroked his hair and cheek, looking almost maternal as she moved her hands gently. "So I can take him just as easily." Her fingers turned than and scratched deep over the paled skin, bringing more blood to his perfect face.
He reached out to grab her hand, restrain her or do something, but she disappeared in smoke as though she had not been there at all.
It seemed the onlookers were paralysed to their places, for it seemed no one could breathe, sharing in the Prince's slumber.
"Arthur!" He looked up as Morgana, paled and dressed only in a slip. She repeated the Prince's name as she rushed forward and then crumbled opposite Uther, eyes staring in horror at the bloodied face. She looked just as sick as Uther felt, her shaking body leaning over the dead blond's, his blood soaking through her white lace gown.
"My dear..." Gaius's crooked voice pulled her from her shocked state and he bent over her, pulled her up by her arms and held her close as he moved her toward Gwen, who stood over Merlin, gaping in shock just as everyone else.
The attention returned to Uther as he picked Arthur up carefully, carrying him just as he had weeks before when he had collapsed during an evening feast. This time no steady heartbeat pulsed through his veins against Uther's hands. This time no uneven breath hit his face and neck.
The journey to Arthur's chambers seemed to take an age. Uther laid him on the mattress whilst Gaius pulled at the covers, dragging them down the bed. They pulled off his boots and threw to them to floor before once again, Gaius took a corner of the covers and pulled it, unfolding the hem so that it could be stretched over Arthur's face. The King bowed his head and knelt once more at his son's side, prayers he hadn't spoken since Igraine's death, whispered urgently under his breath.
Uther ignored the footsteps of the Physician and his young ward leave, pretended not to notice the way one of them stopped at the door and paused for minuets before they continued, shutting the door behind him.
"There has to be something! He can't die!"
"Merlin, he is already dead. There is no magic, good or evil, that will bring Arthur back. It is a sad fact but it is a true one."
Merlin was sat on the bench at the table, eyes staring unseeingly at the wooden table, his head had dropped the minuet Gaius had professed there to be no remedy to fix the untimely death of the Prince.
"He's supposed to be King." He whispered. "I was supposed to protect him so he could be King."
"Not even you can protect him every time." The reminder only served to annoy him further. He'd failed Arthur, he'd failed the King and Gaius; he'd failed his destiny and the Dragon. This whole Kingdom had been failed by his inability to protect the one person he was told to look out for. He scowled at the scratched and worn wood, anything to prevent more tears.
"Go wash yourself off."
He had forgotten he was still wearing Arthur's blood and as he looked down at himself he felt the vile rise in his throat. The beast had taken one swoop at Arthur and had knocked him unconscious; the venomous teeth had dug into his flesh before Merlin had even been able to prevent it; Venomous teeth that held no cure.
"Uther sent him, he knew it was dangerous and he still sent him!"
Gaius turned back to Merlin, mouth open as he tried to form the best answer.
"If the King knew for one second it would kill Arthur, you believe he would have sent his son?"
"Probably, doesn't usually seem to care where he sends Arthur, why not to the mouth of a monster?"
"You are speaking nonsense, Merlin. I know well how much Arthur means to him, how hard he tried to have him. Uther would not put him in real danger knowingly."
Merlin didn't answer, he couldn't at that moment; he no longer had any trust at all in Uther's decisions, if he'd ever had any in the first place. So he nodded instead and stood and moved to his room.
Arthur was really dead. Was really gone and would be buried, never to be remembered.
AN:: Again! This is not a spoiler of the actual programme. I have no idea how the series ends, if it ends like this I'd be shocked and distraught.