Title: The Truth
Characters: Arthur, Gaius, Morgana, Gwen, Merlin
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters of Merlin, sadly enough!
Spoilers: There aren't any spoilers in this chapter.
Summary: When Arthur discovers Merlin's secret, he has to chose whether he still considers Merlin to be his friend or if he has turned into his enemy. Loyalties are tested and nothing will ever be the same for the young wizard.
Thank you, Candy-Cake, for all the help you have given me with this story! What would I have done without you?
Arthur needed to reach his bedchambers, he needed to know what had happened up there. Opening the door of his chambers, he held his breathe, not knowing what to expect.
M M M
Arthur's gaze immediately fell upon Merlin's pale face. That couldn't mean much good. Purple skin still surrounded his eyes, though his chest was moving steadily up and down.
"How is he?" Arthur asked, going to stand next to Gaius who was bended over Merlin, wiping away dried blood from his face.
"The bleeding has stopped," he answered. Only then could Arthur see the faint smile on the old man's face. That was at least a good sign.
"What does that mean?" Arthur wanted to know. He could see it should be good news, maybe even great news, but he still wanted to hear Gaius actually say the words. He had gone through enough to be saddled with false hope now. Carefully watching Gaius' expression, he waited on an answer.
"It means he is getting better," Gaius smiled. It appeared he couldn't quiet believe it himself that Merlin was improving.
Only now could Arthur breathe freely. Everything was seeming to be working out. Behind him, Morgana and Gwen entered. They hadn't seen Merlin like this before, they hadn't even known how injured he was and so the shock on their faces was very apparent.
"What has happened?" Gwen demanded to know, running to the young servant and pressing her hand on his forehead. As her gaze locked with Arthur's, she waited on an answer.
"He will be okay, Gwen," it was Gaius who reassured her, "trust me."
"But what happened?" Morgana spoke, joining Gwen by Merlin's side. Concern filled her voice.
"Edward," Arthur simply answered her, "but I took care of that as welll now."
Gaius looked him in the eyes for just a brief second and almost immediately, he had the answers he needed. Focusing back on Merlin, he checked his pulse.
"His heart is beating stronger again," he noted, "he should awake in a few hours."
"Good," Arthur sighed with relief. At least now he knew he had made the right decision by killing Edward. Merlin was alive, that was all that mattered.
M M M
Like Gaius had predicted, Merlin's eyes had opened after a good six hours. Arthur would have never believed it, but he had been happy to see Merlin awake again. He might be a terrible, even horrible as a servant but, he had proven to be a good friend and Arthur feared the idea of losing a friend like that. He only wished he could actually tell Merlin this, but his lips had remained sealed. He was the Crown Prince after all and he shouldn't show too much compassion, should he?
In the end, was Merlin really a good friend? Was that actually true? Arthur couldn't help but think about Edward's last words. The Druids know him as Emrys. Emrys. What if Merlin did have a double life ? By day he was his loyal servant and by night a sorcerer who wanted destruction and annihilation. Could Merlin truly be that person? Why else would the Druids even have a different name for him?
Nothing made sense anymore.
The young Prince turned around, away from the window he had been gazing from. Before him, in the doorway, stood Merlin, still a little pale, but he appeared better look ing at least. It couldn't be that this young man was a sorcerer, an evil sorcerer. He appeared like he couldn't even harm a bug.
"You shouldn't be walking around, Merlin," he said, his voice soft, "Gaius said you needed rest."
"I'm feeling fine," Merlin said, walking fully into the chambers now, "thanks to you apparently."
"I could have easily killed you as well," Arthur sighed, turning back to the window, "I didn't know what would happen if I killed Edward."
"Still," Merlin said, "I feel like I should thank you."
"You can do that by giving me some answers," Arthur said. He knew his voice sounded harsh now, but he didn't really care. If he didn't start to understand all this better soon, he would go mad with all this. He needed to know after all that had happened if Merlin was still Merlin.
"Answers?" the young servant couldn't follow.
"You're a sorcerer, Merlin," Arthur said, looking into Merlin's eyes. He tried to make him say the word as neutral as possible. "You practice magic."
"Only for good purposes," Merlin quickly said, defending himself.
Arthur could see the sudden fear in the eyes of his servant. Was Merlin afraid of him? Why would a sorcerer be afraid of him? He sighed deeply. Perhaps Merlin truly could be trusted. His faith lay in the Prince's hands after all.
"I won't tell your secret to anyone," Arthur reassured him, "and those that do know, I told them Edward only made them believe you have magic."
"Your father believed you?" Merlin asked.
Arthur nodded his head. "When I told him how it was impossible you had magic, he quiete easily believed me. Then again, looking at you; you don't appear like a sorcerer."
Arthur thought back to his short meeting with his father. He had a lot to explain and he had seen his father grow pale. He had been under the control of Edward for quiete some time after all. Telling his father that Edward only framed Merlin for the magic had been the easiest part really. It did make sense that Arthur standing up for an 'innocent' Merlin would lead to Uther being enraged and thinking he had been betrayed by his own son.
"That's because I'm not wearing a pointy hat or a robe," Merlin joked.
Arthur didn't laugh, though, and he could see Merlin wasn't feeling comfortable as well. "Is Merlin even your real name?"
"What?" Merlin's awkwardness was being replaced by shock now, Arthur would see it in his eyes. "Of course it is!"
The little color Merlin had regained vanished again and Arthur could only shake his head in disbelieve. "So your name is Emrys."
"No," Merlin refused to agree with him, "Only the Druids call me that, I don't even know why. My name is Merlin, a name my mother gave me and it is a name I am proud to wear."
"What about the Dragon then?" Arthur wanted all the answers and he wouldn't stop until he had them, not matter how difficult this all was.
Merlin swallowed heavily. "I spoke to him, yes," he finally answered after a short moment of silence, "he helped me save you on more than one occasion if that is what you want to hear."
Arthur frowned now. He couldn't believe this. "Helped you save me?" he repeated.
"Yes," Merlin said, no arrogance in his voice, "you've been saved many times. Not soon after the first time we met. I slowed down time to knock you out of the way from Mary Collin's knife. I made those snakes come alive on Valiant's shield because otherwise he would have used them to kill you. I helped you defeat that monster, the Afanc, with magic. I was the one that made sure you were safe in the caves when I had been poisoned-"
"Okay," Arthur said, interrupting Merlin's rant, "I get it."
"I have only used magic for good, Arthur," Merlin said, wanting to make sure the young Prince understood that, "and that is the only way I will ever use it. This is who I am and nothing will change that."
"But who taught you all this?" Arthur asked, "Was it Gaius? Did he make sure you become this powerful?"
"I was born like this," Merlin explained, "nobody taught me. Arthur, I can't change who I am, but I made my decision not long after I arrived in the city. I am here as your servant and I will be for as long as you want to have me."
Arthur chuckled softly. "Tell me this, Merlin, how many times have you actually polished my armor?"
Merlin frowned now. He didn't understand what that had to do with all they had been discussing. "I don't know what you mean."
"I mean using your hands?" Arthur laughed now.
"Oh," Merlin chuckled.
"Like you said," Arthur spoke then, serious again, "you made your choice and I made mine. You are my servant and my friend."
Arthur could only hope he made the right decision.
Merlin smiled now. "Thank you."
"Besides," Arthur said, a playful twinkle in his eyes, "keep your friends close, but your enemies even closer."
"Hey," Merlin protested.
"Kidding," Arthur laughed loud and genuine, "just kidding. My armor does need to be polished, however, my shoes need cleaning and my clothes need washing. Now I'm not kidding."
Merlin grunted, turning around, he wanted to leave Arthur alone.
"Oh and Merlin," Arthur called after him, "no magic. You don't want anyone else catching you, certainly not my father."
As soon as Merlin was gone, Arthur was certain of himself. He had made the right decision. No matter what Edward had said, Arthur should just trust in himself and in the people around him. Merlin was his friend, not his enemy and that was all that mattered.
And perhaps, this meant magic could be good, unlike what Uther had always told him. Yes, Arthur thought, not all magic was evil and Merlin was certainly not evil.
AN: That was it. Another story finished and I can't believe how quickly it went. I can only hope this is an ending everyone enjoyed. I loved writting the conversation between Merlin and Arthur here. I hope you will all have loved it with me :) I want to thank everyone that took time to read my chapters and I want to offer my special thanks to everyone who left me a message or review. They were allways so wonderful to read and it gave me the stimulation I needed to write this story. So THANKS!