Trapped in a Cave

WHAT IF Merlin was trapped in the cave instead of Nimue? *insert evil cackle here*

"Nimue! Nimue!" Merlin watched as she bolted through the crevice in the rock away from him. The moment Nimue passed through the crevice there was a sudden rumbling and the rock wall began to close. Merlin horrified and shocked waved his hands trying to stop it, but had no effect. He rushed forward and grabbed the rock as if he had the strength to force it to stop. "Nimue!" Merlin gave one more cry before becoming permanently sealed inside the cave. Everything stopped moving. The silence was deafening.
Merlin stumbled back a few steps and glanced around him, wildly looking for help. The magical forest and his hut inside the cave were the only things he saw. He was completely alone, sealed inside a cave full of illusions. Nimue was gone.

Merlin had tried everything to escape, but it was like being sealed inside a tomb. He had no idea how long he had been trapped in here. Weeks or months? There was no sun or moon. No way to keep track of time. He was surprised Mab had not come to gloat. She had him perfectly trapped and yet she had not appeared to him once. He refused to call for her. What good would it do? She had no reason to let him out of here.
Thoughts of Nimue constantly gnawed at Merlin's thoughts. Was she alright? Had she really betrayed him? She was just upset. Surely she hadn't known he would be trapped if she left. She would never do something like that. Mab had tricked Nimue into coming here. Nimue wasn't responsible. Merlin tried to reassure himself, but still had so many questions and doubts.

Mab watched her prey from afar, green eyes flickering like flames. She smiled as she watched Merlin release his temper on the rock face, trying for the thousand time to reopen the door. Because of his insufferable stubbornness, he had still not called on her. She wanted to gloat, oh how she wanted to flaunt her victory in his face, but not yet. It was still amusing to watch him suffer for his stupidity.

Merlin sat down on a tree stump, rubbing his face in irritation. This had to be a game. She was trying to wait him out. He began to feel really anxious about Arthur. Arthur was a strong king, but Merlin feared what would happen if Merlin wasn't there to see through Mab's schemes. Merlin didn't even know the outcome of the battle between Arthur and Mordred. But there was no way Arthur could have lost. He had Excalibur. Merlin sighed in resignation. There was no other way. "Mab!"

Mab dropped her scrying crystal in surprise. The waiting game had finished sooner than she had expected it to. A truly terrifying smile spread across her features and she disappeared.

Merlin waited half an hour and still Mab hadn't appeared. Was she going to make him beg?

"Mab! I know you hear me! I'm done playing games with you!"

Still she did not appear. Merlin tossed a pot across the ground in anger.

"Temper, temper." Mab's soft drawl came from behind him. Merlin whipped around and came face to face with his enemy at last. He shot her a stone cold glare at her words. But a wave of relief shot through him anyway. He had truly started to fear that she had decided to ignore him and leave him to rot for the rest of eternity in this place.

"Are you enjoying your stay in my cave?" Mab purred at him."Do you like the decor?"

Merlin sorely wished he could punch her.

"Where's Nimue?" he hissed through clenched teeth.

"You mean you lost her? What a shame. That's what you get for trusting a mortal." Mab examined her fingernails as though already bored with the conversation.

Merlin switched questions. "How long do you think you can keep me here? Where's Arthur? What's going on?"

Mab smiled. "Interested in the outside world? But why? If you stay here you won't have to fight anymore. I'm giving you the chance to live in peace forever."

Mab slowly approached, as if she moved to fast he would bolt. She reached for him. He did bolt then, but he couldn't go far. It was a small place, he reached the walls of it only a few feet behind the trees.

Merlin turned around back pressed against the wall and looked up. Still no sky visible. The ceiling felt like a great weight pressing down on him. He felt like a trapped animal in a confined space. His breathing sped up and his pupils dilated in claustrophobic panic.

Merlin stirred from the ground and groaned heavily. He glanced around at the trees, strangely colored in the otherworldly light of the cave. He must have fainted at some point during his panic attack. Mab was gone again.

Merlin walked back to his hut in the clearing and grabbed a bucket. He tipped it over his head and felt refreshed by the cold deluge of water. Merlin sat heavily and tried to come up with a plan. He needed to focus. Getting emotional and out of control didn't help, it just caused him to hyperventilate in this constricted space.

What could he do to get Mab to let him out of here? There had to be something he could bargain for his freedom.

Merlin felt her behind him. He didn't turn, didn't move an eye, and refused to acknowledge her presence. Mab waited patiently, not approaching him.

Finally, after waiting what seemed like hours to Merlin in this tense standstill, Mab spoke up,

"Have you finally calmed down?"

"How can I be calm when I'm trapped in here?" Merlin finally looked at her and noticed she was smirking again. His blood boiled at the sight.

"Come now, it's not that bad. It's your home from long ago. I thought it would please you." she chided him.

Merlin decided to get straight to the point before he lost his temper with her again. "What price will compel you to let me leave here?"

"..leave here?" Mab's smirk grew. "Keeping you here is priceless. Why would I let you leave?"

"Because you can't keep me here forever!" Merlin rose to his feet.

"Au contraire, I can." Mab retorted calmly.

Merlin unconsciously took a step toward her in anger. Mab rolled her eyes.

"But I might have an idea." Mab drawled. "Ah yes, I think I know my price now."

"Well?" Merlin demanded when Mab was not forthcoming.

"I want to you to bind yourself to me."

Merlin choked and stumbled back a few steps in shock. His previous anger forgotten, he simply gaped at her. "Are you out of your mind?" he gasped.

"Not at all. That's my price. Take it or leave it." Mab spoke with finality and disappeared.

Her disembodied voice floated in the air. "Let me know when you decide."

She's insane. Merlin thought. A binding...? There's no way he could agree to something like that. It would only intensify the battle of wills between them. But clearly Mab thought her will was stronger, that she would win, otherwise she would never have considered a binding.

But it might be his only chance. And if he could endure it in the long term, then he could possibly use it to his advantage as well. "Alright Mab, I accept." Merlin spoke quietly, but Mab heard him and was immediately at his side.

She held out her hand and waited for him. "I have your word that you will let me out of here?" Merlin confirmed.


Merlin grimaced and reached forward grasped her hand. A shockwave burned through him and he almost collapsed on the ground, but managed to stay on his feet, grasping Mab's hand like a lifeline. But it wasn't a lifeline, the intensity was coming from there. Several more burning sensations went coursing through his right hand, up his arm, and through the rest of his body until he finally passed out.

His eyes opened slowly and gazed in confusion at the dark ceiling above. His whole body felt like it had been beaten by rocks over and over. "I suggest you take things slowly."

Merlin turned his head and spotted Mab sitting on the other side of the room, gazing into one of her crystals. Before Merlin could reply, he drifted out of consciousness.

He seemed to drift in and out of waking for quite some time. Mab could not move from her location. She literally could not move far from him until he was feeling better thanks to the binding. It would make her feel ill and probably kill Merlin if they strayed too far from each other at the very beginning. But this plan would work. Now he was hers for the taking. Merlin thought he could escape, but she had only tightened her grip on him. She stroked her crystal and smiled.

Merlin awoke feeling much better, but found Mab still in the room with him. He ignored her and made for the door as quickly as possible. Just as he touched the doorknob, he doubled over in pain as his head spun sickeningly. "What do you think you're doing?" Merlin accused her once his head had calmed down.

"I wouldn't move too far from me just yet. It will make you sick." Mab approached him.

Merlin found he could open the door and step out. Mab stopped moving for a moment and Merlin took a step further from her and was met with the same pain as before. And Mab just stood there smirking at him.

So that's about ten feet away. If I move any further from her, I feel awful.

"You said you would let me go." Merlin complained.

"By all means, go!" Mab gestured out the door. "If you can..."

Merlin didn't move. Mab took a step forward, and then Merlin took a step away. So this pattern continued. She walked out of the room and Merlin back away as much as ten feet allowed him to.

Merlin drank deeply from his goblet, shuddering at the unpleasant memories. He glanced around at the table of men in Camelot. For weeks, he had been tethered to Mab like a dog, never able to stray far. But finally he had found the strength to leave completely. Now he had the advantage. The connection made her vulnerable to him. It was down to a battle of wills.

Merlin sometimes imagined it as a chain between them with both tugging in the opposite direction. Until now, she had been able to drag him around on that chain. But now it could work the opposite way and she would be at his mercy.
Merlin filled his goblet with more wine, determined to drink his troubles away for tonight. The "chain" still hurt, but it was a tolerable pain. He could endure it.

A couple hours later, Merlin stumbled up the stairs in his room and almost ran into her. She cursed him, "Can't you find a better way to spend the evening? All I can feel now is your complete intoxication. And I can't focus because of it."

Merlin laughed and grabbed her. She looked really beautiful and he couldn't quite remember why he didn't want to touch her. The moment he was touching her, he no longer felt any pain from the binding.

Mab stilled like a serpent in Merlin's grasp, green eyes gauging the situation. She did nothing as Merlin pulled her face close to his. If Merlin had decided to make a fool of himself tonight, then she would let him. She could laugh at him in the morning.
But Mab pulled her face away from his in a moment of indecision. Merlin's lips found her neck instead. The kisses he planted there left her trembling for more. His mouth continued on a downward path into her décolleté.
Her dress only clung to her hips now as he sucked and kissed her chest fervently. There was no pain from their connection, only intense pleasure. He felt like he could sense more than just her body, perhaps her desires and emotions as well. Her lips finally came crashing down on his and he must have seen stars. Her mouth moved softly against his at first, but became more urgent by the second.
They fell onto the bed in a tangle of limbs, but Mab managed to get on top of him. She could feel him. The only thing that separated unfulfilled lust was his trousers and her dress. She paused for moment and it seemed to him like she was thinking about leaving. He couldn't allow that. He wanted her so much.
His hand slid up her leg under her dress until he reached what he was looking for. She gasped aloud as his fingers slid deftly through her hot flesh. Mouth slightly parted, eyes dilated, as she watched him work. The torment of desire inside her soared higher as his fingers moved. He moved his hand away, but she grabbed his wrist. She seemed to lick her own taste from his fingers. It was such an erotic gesture he couldn't wait any longer.
He pulled her body underneath him and locked his mouth on hers once again. Her legs locked around his waist, urging him forward. He felt like his soul slid inside her as they became one. Or maybe her soul slid inside him, he wasn't sure. He moaned into her mouth. It was too perfect, too intense. He buried his face in her neck and hair as their motion continued. Her dark nails dug furrows into his back. Her trembling body lifted to meet his again and again until finally, there was silence.

A silky whisper sounded in his ear, "I'm impressed, did Nimue teach you that?"

"No, Nimue would never allow me to touch her like that." Merlin groaned through his hangover and then realized who he was talking to.

Mab laughed softly and Merlin tried to get away, but Mab followed, green eyes glowing like a cat. "You can touch me, Merlin." Mab licked her lips. "In fact, I insist."
She grabbed him and pinned him to the bed. He could feel her sticky arousal between her legs where she sat on his chest. He felt short of breathe. She leaned forward and dragged her lips up his neck to his mouth. Forcing his mouth open with her own, her silk tongue caressed every crevice until his fingers curled in her long hair and he forced the rest of her body down against his.

He finally torn away from her though he felt ill in doing so. He crossed the room and stopped not able to go any further until the sick feeling went away. It was worse than the previous time when the binding had first been done. What had he done?
Mab followed and pressed her naked breasts against his back, planting kisses on the back of his shoulder as her arms wrapped tightly around him. He couldn't move or breathe. To move away was unbearable, to stay was unbearable as well.
"Merlin..." she purred. "You cannot win."
She maneuvered her body to the front of his and pulled his face down to her.

He kissed her beautiful fingernails as shivers ran through him. He no longer remember why Nimue had run from him. They had been in the cave together, argued over something, hadn't they? His thoughts were hazy. She was gone for good. But what did it matter?
His fingers ran through her molten folds and she moaned for him, kissed him. His green eyes stared down into identical green eyes as a small smile crawled across her face. "Merlin, my sweet..." she breathed.

"Are you enjoying your stay in my cave?"