Well, here's the last chapter!
I am staggered by the amount of reviews I have! THANK YOU! We're nearly at 100 now....................
Arthur kept to his word and stayed with Merlin to make sure he was absolutely fine while the young warlock had a much-needed rest. He just stood by the door watching his friend sleep, relishing the sight of him being alive. Merlin's face was strangely peaceful for someone who had gone through the worst birthday of his life.
Gaius woke Merlin a while later after he discovered some news from his research that he though his nephew should know about.
Arthur had fallen asleep in a chair, arms folded and chin of chest, snoring quietly so they left him there and went into Gaius's workshop.
"There's not much written about The NightmareChild but from what there is I gathered that Nimueh, Jethro and Koran's souls are trapped in the cube for good …hopefully." Gaius said as Merlin peered bleary eyed at the book before them on the table, "Your soul did go there for a time but because it wasn't for long you were released. Just to be on the safe side, however, I think it would be best if the cube were disposed of properly."
"We can throw it back into the sea at Brinkwell." A voice suddenly said over their shoulder and they whipped around, "You know, return it to where it came from and all that." Arthur suggested breezily.
"How long have you been there?" Gaius demanded, wondering if he's heard the bit about Merlin's soul.
"Just long enough." The prince replied and turned to Merlin, "We'll go to Brinkwell tomorrow." He turned to leave but then seemed to remember something, "Oh, and by the way, happy birthday."
The next day in the early hours they set off back to Brinkwell and got there just as the sun peeped over the horizon and cast a warm light over the small town. A few seagulls flew overhead in the white sky and foamy waves crashed against the rocks while some children poked around in a small pool, finding a crab and putting it in a bucket, laughing merrily and skipping over the sand to show their mother.
The two young men made their way up to the end of the long and empty pier to the furthest end where the wind was most wild. It whipped Arthur's hair erratically as he pulled the broken cube from his pocket and held it firmly in his hand.
Merlin stood a little way back, watching him.
Arthur looked at the cube with azure eyes once more, thinking how neither he nor Merlin would ever have to suffer at it hand again, before hurling it with all his might into the sea where it disappeared behind the waves.
Merlin went to stand beside him, just brushing his shoulder, as they gazed over the vast ocean spread before them and a faint salty spray filled the crisp clean air.
"It's gone." Arthur said quietly.
Merlin didn't need to reply so he said nothing.
The prince looked down at his friend's injured arm guiltily, a look of self disappointment written on his face. Merlin noticed and put his hands behind his back so he couldn't see it. He hated how Arthur has inwardly beating himself up about it, especially when it had been an accident.
Arthur sighed and looked away again.
"What's up?" Asked Merlin, looking at his friend but Arthur didn't reply, "Are you okay?"
Arthur couldn't tell Merlin what he had felt when he had thought him to be dead, that wasn't something the prince of Camelot would do. But Merlin was there, looking at him, worried for him, even when he wasn't fully recovered himself and should be more concerned for his own welfare.
"I…I was worried about you but you're fine. I'm glad." Arthur turned around and started walking away. He needed to be alone for a while but Merlin's voice froze him just there.
"Thank you, for everything, Arthur."
The young prince felt something strange inside his heart. Something warm, something familiar when listening to Merlin. He didn't say a word – Merlin would only start laughing but it was true. Arthur felt different for Merlin. He wasn't his servant anymore. He would never be able to think of him as anything other than a friend now.
"You destroyed the cube. I would be dead if you hadn't…" Merlin said but trailed off, not wanting or needing to finish the sentence.
Arthur turned around again, his eyes found Merlin's and suddenly, as it was the proper thing to do, Arthur smiled at him.
"Sorry, but your the hero here, Merlin. You saved me, you gave your life for me because I was just a stupid, arrogant prat who never listens." He said with slight bitterness, "I'm sorry nobody will know. Everyone will say that I, the prince, save your life." He started walking again, taking a deep breath of the crisp air as he went.
"I know." Merlin said; speaking so low that Arthur couldn't hear him, "I do love you, my friend."
"Did you say something?"
"Yeah, I'm hungry." Merlin muttered, smiling at the ground, "Let's get something to eat."
He fell into step beside Arthur and for once, they walked together as equals, not master and manservant.
I would just like to thank the following for all the suport they gave me in the 3 weeks it took to write this who are...
Bare-Footed-Muse (my partner in crime and bafflingly hilarious)
Loopstagirl (for the fantastic support and asking me to Beta her first fic)
Sheileth (my long time fan)
Winchester-Jackson-Petrelli (my AMAZING Beta reader)
Meganpp (for purely hateing slash as I do)
SilverFirePegasus (for commenting so many times on my work)
WolfWithPantherEyes (for the far too kind words that I don't deserve)
Punk Chopsticks (for being gobsmackingly cool)
lttlbrat93 (for all the reviews and messages that ABSOLUTLY rock)
Sannepan (another of my partners in crime)
Dr Dragon Mistress (for being awesome)
MerlinStar (for awesomeness)
Mystery-Immortal (for being heartless...)
kazuryoshi (for the lush reviews that I am gobsmacked by)
CHEERS, GUYS! I couldn't have done it without you!
Also a BIG thank you to all my lovely reviewers out there! MERLIN LOVES YOU ALL!
Look out for Happy Go Lucky - the sequel!
Here's a little preview to get you (hopefully) hooked...
Brun found himself jerking awake, almost screaming. His tensed shoulders relaxed, as he saw his room in the inn, not the shadowy darkness and ice of the sea. Dreams. He kept having these dreams. They weren't natural, he decided while quickly lighting the candle on the bedside table. A warm orange light filled the room, casting flickering shadows across his face as he stood up and walked over to the window.
He looked out over Brinkwell. Having lived there most of his life, he knew all the streets and alleyways like the back of his hand. The seaside town was awash in moonlight, making everything seem slightly eerie.
He heard the door creak as someone opened it and he turned around to see a man. His attire was rough; several silver earrings littered his face, as did a multitude of scares and tattoos. Brun had never liked him but he was necessary. His reasons for disliking him were many. The first was that the man had an exceptionally ugly tattoo on the very back of his neck – an eye, bright yellow and staring. It unnerved Brun and made him never want to be in its gaze. There were many other reasons but Brun did not have time to go over them as the man suddenly spoke, his voice deep and hard.
He was always so polite around Brun, but the old fisherman knew better. He'd seen him in the taverns and pubs around the town before. The man always started the fights and it was only on rare occasion you found him sober – another of his reasons for disliking him.
"Sheridan." Brun said with the smallest nod of the head to acknowledge his presence.
"We were wondering of our orders, sir." The man went on, leaning on the doorframe and running a huge hand through his greasy hair.
"Yes, orders." Brun snapped to attention.
He moved over to a table by the end of the bed where a chest sat. Removing a key from one of his pockets, Brun pushed it in the slot and twisted it, receiving clicks from the chest. Sheridan looked on as he took out a small, fist-sized cube. He had seen it many times before but he was still amazed by the mere presents of the thing. It was almost as if it whispered to him, telling him things he couldn't understand. He whished more than anything that he knew what it said, but instead of running over to the cube and snatching it away from Brun, he remained by the door, silent as ever. It was in his nature to be silent.
Brun set the cube down on the table, only pausing a moment to take in the silver swirls on it's sides. It was memorizing. On the beach he had been washed up on after his ship was sunk, he had found it. It had been broken – he had thought beyond repair – but then it began to speak to him. It promised him a ship, a crew, a new life. He had nothing, nothing to his name. When it had promised him these things he could do nothing but accept them. He needed to be on a ship, out at sea. It was in his blood. It had told him its plan. It would get him a ship and crew in exchange for his help. When inquired to what the help was, the cube had only specified 'to help us return', whatever that meant. It seemed like a deal to Brun so complied.
He wasn't sure how, but it had rebuilt itself. Once it had been almost smashed it two, split right down the middle, only intact by precious few millimetres, but it had made itself whole again. While witnessing it, Brun was positive it was magical. He had then been afraid. The law clearly stated that anything or anyone magical would be sentenced to death. However, when the cube had told him that no one would find out, he changed his mind. In truth, that part of his mind was ever so hazy…
But no matter – he had more important things to do, one of which was receiving the orders Sheridan required.
"Are you there?" He asked the cube in his hands.
"We are always here." Came the reply.
"Sheridan wants his orders."
"We need the rest of the crew by tomorrow. Make sure he gets every one we need, even if he has to go far to find them."
Brun replaced the cube in the chest and turned to Sheridan who looked at him with those horrible dark eyes of his.
"You must find everyone we need. We set sail tomorrow." Brun told him.
Sheridan nodded once and left with a sweep of his long battered coat. The door closed behind him with a resounding thud.
Brun sighed and made his way back to the window. He felt sorry for whomever Sheridan and his men would pressgang today. The cube had told him to hire Sheridan to kidnap other men for the crew. That's who he was – a hit man. He went out on Brun's orders, taking innocent men for the crew. Brun felt bad about this, ever so bad, but when his conscience had got the better of him and he'd consulted the cube everything began to get hazy again…
What wasn't foggy in his mind was the ship. He wasn't sure of how the cube had got that ship, though he had some small memory of it hurting the previous owner…
Best not to think about that, he decided while gazing at the huge ship, docked up at the harbour, its name painted smartly on the side in white. Emrys.
Bye for now!
Untill I release the sequel there will probably be some more one shots, so keep your eyes peeled!
Remember to keep the magic secret.