Story Title: Prince of Chivalry.
Pairing: Arthur/Gwen--What could be better?
Rating: T, just in case.
Summary: When a glance into the future allows Arthur the chance to see himself in a new light, will he dare follow through with it?
Disclaimer: I own nothing of Merlin. I am simply a fan who had this idea in my mind and felt the need to run with it.
"Merlin, are you mad at me, or something?" Arthur's voice rang out from behind the four folding panel wall that created another room, or at least an area for the young Pendragon to change shirts. That choice itself seemed foolish now that he found the one shirt laid out for him was unfit for a man of his stature, even if it remained to be one of his favorite articles of clothing.
Merlin, the young servant, peered his head from around the main door, his attempt to escape for a few seconds to get the Prince more food that he had requested seconds ago foiled. "I never said that." Her argued his case silently, slipping through the door as it shut quietly behind him. "You make me a little frustrated," Came the muttered reply to which Arthur bore no statement that deemed Merlin's words heard.
"Then, what is this?" The prince took two steps to the side and then walked forward, the shirt upon him, one arm raised in the air. His fingers then slipped through the torn hole in the sleeve of the beloved article of clothing, his eyes widening testing his servant.
"That is—well, that is a hole." Merlin commented, the boyish grin spreading across his face at the dramatic disbelief expression that now covered over Arthur's features.
"Yes, yes it is, Merlin. Now what are you going to do about it?" He slipped behind the panels once again, pulling the shirt over his body with a gruff, tossing it over the top of the panel. In the moment of peace, he winced when he heard the water glass drop on the ground and the hasty attempt by Merlin to set it right. Within a few moments, a hand shot through handing Arthur another shirt which he tugged out of his hand slipped over his body, taking one last inspection before walking out of the panel. "Much better."
Making his way towards the elongated table simply for him, he sat himself upon the chair, ignoring the creaks that it let out miserably under the prince's weight. Reaching forward, he picked up the red apple from the silver plate and nibbled on the edge as though testing it before taking a big bite from it. His eyes flew towards Merlin who had a small smirk on his face while he stood there, arms folded together. "Something amusing?"
Quickly, Merlin shook his head, the smile wiping off of his face. "No, nothing at all. Perhaps Gwen could help with-"
Arthur's eyes flew wider as he studied Merlin. "What are you talking about?" Of course, the Pendragon knew of course that he must of mumbled the beauty's name in his sleep. The dream, was of course, a reality that occurred merely few days ago. But that didn't stop Arthur from wanting it to come true again, if only to change the ending finally. He had planted the rose in her home, but the pair hadn't been able to rectify the difference they carried.
"Oh, nothing. Nothing at all." Merlin's features replaced the smile on his face, forcing Arthur to roll his annoyed eyes and continue chomping on the apple, his head bowed towards the plate. Merlin quickly refilled his glass before standing back once again, looking towards Arthur before shaking his head as though the prince should have known better. He should have and he did, but nothing stopped him from thinking about the maid. And Merlin knew it.
Polishing off the water in the glass, he stood up and pushed the chair back, walking around the edge of the table before falling short in front of Merlin with an eyebrow raised, index finger pointing towards the warlock. "Tell anybody and I will-"
"Put me in the stocks, yes. I know."
"No, Merlin." Arthur rose an eyebrow even further, a careful glance on his face while he continued staring at the man's eyes. "I will have you hanged." And with that, Arthur dropped his hand and walked out the room, watching as guards all along the corridor showered him with a bow of respect before passing him by. Merlin, of course, kept a close enough gap between the two so as not to get in Arthur's way, but still persisted in his duties of being his servant.
"What have you got planned for today?" Merlin then grimly asked, knowing beyond well that Arthur would have him clean the stalls after the taunt he received about Gwen. But that didn't matter, knowing enough he had been able to cause a blush to creep up Arthur's cheeks alone would allow him the ability to ge through any amount of work.
"You'll be cleaning the stalls, and then shinning my armor. There's been a series of thefts in town and I think I have finally located where the thief is hiding out. We will head out there in the afternoon." Ticking off his fingers as he listed the activities, he found himself so grasped by his own words, he nearly fell over the King's ward as she came dashing around the corner, Guinevere at bay behind her.
A gentle smile overcame both the men as he glanced towards who they considered friends, even if the king would have disapproved. As Morgana passed by, Arthur glanced behind his shoulder before giving Gwen his world famous smile, which she returned with a small absent blush on her chocolate skin. Attempts to hold his tongue rather than speak to the woman forced Arthur to continue smiling as though he had been struck by Cupid-which, he had-and Gwen to simply bow and walk off, carrying her skirts as she hurried to catch up with Morgana.
As Arthur glanced over his shoulder once again, which Gwen had mirrored, he found himself staring till they disappeared around the corner. Then towards the chuckling servant. "Shut up, Merlin."
"I didn't say anything!" He defended himself quickly and followed behind Arthur who began walking even faster than before.
"It's what you were thinking."
"How do you know what I was thinking?" Cocking his head to the side, Merlin paraded behind as they climbed down the stairs together and walked towards what Merlin assumed to be the dining hall where the king was probably gorging himself on his own breakfast.
"Because you are predictable."
The guards before the main doors quickly pulled the two beautifully engraved handles and took a step to the side, allowing Arthur entrance into the dining hall where his father sat at the head, hands nursing a goblet before him. Reaching up, he took a delicate hungry sip from the silver before setting it back down and giving his son a rather gracious smile. "Arthur." And with that, all was needed to be said as Arthur made his way further into room, Merlin keeping his distance at bay.
"I believe that we have located the source of the thief and where he stays. I would like to take a few men out there this afternoon." He began reporting, hands folded in front of him while his eyes and firm features were pointed towards Uther, determination crossing his features.
"Good, good. Yes. Take them out, see that this matter is dealt with." Uther announced into the room, words booming with power as he picked up the glass once again, polishing off the royal liquid hidden inside.
"Very well." A small bow and two steps to the back gave Arthur the option to dismiss himself. Spinning on his heel, carefully made his way out the doors that were still open and waved for Merlin to follow. At a safe distance, Arthur found himself rubbing the back of his neck rather nervously, taking in a small breath as he kept his eyes in front of him.
"Is something the matter?" Merlin questioned softly, raising a brow, a double step allowing him to be next to Arthur this time.
"Of course, Merlin. Everything is perfectly fine."
Horses galloped across the pebbled ground around the courtyard before leading the prized Stallion, upon which Arthur was riding, on the path across the side of the small but powerful town and into the earth mounds and forests resting all around. Within a short time, Arthur had paused the horse's prance and stood over the hill, eyes gazing towards the Castle in which he himself resided. Merlin forced his horse to take a gentle two steps forward before he himself looked out towards the scenery and then towards Arthur.
"We will walk from here." Arthur announced and the hurdle of metal clanking echoed within the confines of the trees as three knights he had taken with him hopped off of their horses and chose a tree to which their horses would be tied too. Arthur himself hopped off, handing the reins towards Merlin who grabbed the rope walked back his horse and Arthur's towards a tree where he tied the ropes around, making sure it was strongly tight. Although, well behaved horses as the ones they had would do well to stay put when commanded.
Silence clouded the area as he began taking steady steps towards the lowering platform into which the main dangers of the forest lay. The strong Knight and Prince carefully rose a hand in the air, glove covered fingers curling into a fist before his index finger pointed in front. A quick glance behind him had shown him his knights knew what they were fixing to do and then towards Merlin who would follow him, of course. And soon, the course was laid before him, knights following their leader further and further into the land.
Sunset broke through the bright sky, darkening the area. But that didn't allow a moment hesitation in the great leader as he continued taking careful steps through the dried grass, boots careful to not carve into the twigs, shattering the silence all around and giving away their location. Merlin, confused as ever, simply took every step as careful as he could. The howls of a lone animal echoed, his concentration lost, his footing messed up and he found himself walking through a pile of twigs, crushing them in defeat.
Arthur spun his head towards Merlin, eyes narrowed in a glare. "Shh!" He commanded loudly, the whisper half a decibel lower than what he anticipated it to be.
"Sire, look." A knight in the back spoke out as all five hunched low to the ground. Eyes then focused on the building before them, a high rise of monumental size stones laid in a small maze style path before them. Each stone held a large etched in cryptic symbols. The one closest to them held a large scorpion ready to attack, while the ones around held an archer and a fish. A lion lived somewhere close as well, the symbols as mystic as the layout around.
"What is this place?"
"Not sure, but keep your voice low." Arthur carefully stood, raising his hand towards the side of his belt, metal connecting with the leather strap as he pulled out his sword. Behind him, three more swords were drawn and suddenly, Arthur wished he had brought in more men. But, he trusted these men with his life and had trained them himself. They were well prepared for anything and he believed in them. He just hoped they believed in himself.
Turning to his left, he signaled for two of the knights to go left and around the building-if there was an around, it seemed to stretch out for so long. Then to the right, he had the last remaining knight take the right which was in more open ground. The second he heard them scampering to their directions, his fingers tightened against the handle of the decorated sword only claimed by his hands. "Ready?" Without waiting for an answer, he stood and slowly took a few steps towards the middle, eyes dancing from one stone to the next, debating on which held the entrance.
"I think it's through there." Merlin whispered softly, fingers extended towards the scorpion etched stone and through the small gap between. From what he could see, the gap wound around the central building which made it seem as though that laid the best efforts.
Nodding his head, Arthur proceeded towards it, heart pounding against his chest, adrenaline pumping through his veins. Steps taken slowly, one at a time, he followed the path towards the stone and then slipped through the gap. Merlin, reluctant, but sensed his duty to keep on saving Arthur, took in a heavy breath and slipped through himself. What neither expected to see was the wide wall up against the side to which they would align themselves through to proceed further. The wall, incased with rare jewels, stood tall in pure gold.
The tension grew in both the men as Arthur swung a look behind to give Merlin a small look. Clutching the sword handle, he swung the blade gently in his hand, preparing for attack if need be. Merlin took in a heavy breath, casting a look behind to be certain they were alone, prepared to use magic if need be. Then, together, the both continued their progress forward through, hearts pounding.
Quickly, darkness surrounded them, encasing them with no way out, confined in stone and the golden wall. Approaching a set of plain oak wooden doors, carved with a strange symbol on the front, the two gave each other looks. Nervous, but determined to prove himself as he had one on many occasions, Arthur pushed the doors open and stood before the threshold into an open area. Grass covered the ground, a stone table in the center. Upon the table stood an arrangement of twelve candles in a circle, a bowl in the center.
"We should leave." Merlin quickly commented, the sense of magic thick in the air. Though, not a single person stood in this room, that didn't stop the young warlock threatened in fear. Surrounded by walls all around didn't help matters in the least.
Arthur simply stepped over the threshold, blade held outstretched before him, pointing at the center of the table. The doors behind slammed shut, dust flying in clouds. Wincing, Arthur glanced around hurriedly. "Show yourself. I command it."
A wave of air shoved through them, carrying the dust through the open air and trapping itself back beneath the old doors. "It's too late to leave." A woman's voice rang out, the sound dripping of serenity and sweetness forcing the two boys to hold down their guard. The words echoed silently in the air, hanging for a second before the sense of peace lathered itself all around. Another gust of wind flew, this time lighting the candles in the center quickly.
"Arthur, we need to leave." Merlin reached over in an attempt to tug Arthur from the trance till a wave of green and gold dust, in ribbons, wrapped themselves around Merlin holding him close as he attempted to unleash them.
"Let him go!" Disoriented, Arthur began slashing the blade this way and that, careful to avoid scarring Merlin's own flesh but failed.
"I wouldn't try that if I were you." The voice whispered, the sound almost in his ear. Arthur spun to not find a soul in the midst of the room other than Merlin who now looked like he remained unconscious.
"What have you done to him? I demand you release him."
"Calm down, young Pendragon. I mean no harm." A beautiful woman suddenly appeared through one of the walls at the far end. Her elegant purple gown flowed around her, almost indecently sheer while her curled blonde locks flew behind her in haste. As she paused before the stone table, she waved her hand in the air, the green and gold sparkles disappeared in a wave and Merlin then collapsed to the ground, still unconscious. A gentle smile spread across her perfectly plump pink lips as she continued staring at the stunned prince. "I'm specifically here to see you."
My first attempt at Merlin storyline, so be fair.
I know this chapter doesn't get too into the storyline, but I promise, it will come together in chapter two.
Read and review, please.