AN: Hello. I'm Scare4irony, and I am presenting you with my first Merlin story. I hope that you consider it to be okay. It's based on "The Witchfinder" and it's the scene where Gaius is about to be burned at the stake. Might be AU-ish.



A SECRET BETWEEN FRIENDS

"You did it once before to my father. Are you really willing to let it happen again? And you can stop looking at me like that; I know I'm only a servant. I thought you were a prince. So start behaving like one!" Arthur looked at Gwen and then looked at Gaius tied to the stake. The old man watched fearfully eyes darting between the people before him. He spotted Merlin and avoided the young warlock's tearful gaze. Arthur swallowed thickly, hearing the hiss of the flame as the torch was brought forward...

?_?

"Did you see that?" Arthur ran to Gaius, ploughing into the older man's stomach and wrapping his arms around him tightly. "It was so amazing!" he shrieked, looking up.

Gaius smiled at the inquisitive five year-old, "Hello my little prince."

"Hi Uncle Gaius." Arthur grinned broadly and stepped back, taking Gaius' outstretched hand. "Can you do that?" he questioned looking back at the performers who made little tiny dragons appear out of thin air. "Wow." The sun shone off his golden hair that ran down the back of his neck and stopped just short of his shoulders.

"We have to leave, get back to the castle." He ruffled the blonde boy's hair, ignoring the question. They made their way through the forest where he eventually let Arthur wander a bit ahead of him. The red tunic clad youth darting between the green of the trees and shrubs. "Arthur, stay where I can see you!" he yelled.

"Ahh!" A voice cried to the right of him. Through the dense foliage, he could see a small clearing. He quickly made his way into the little clearing and saw Arthur sitting on a tree stump with blood leaking down his knee. The young prince's head was down and tears brimmed behind his blue eyes. "Clumsy were we?"

Arthur bit his lip.

"Can you walk?" Arthur shook his head.

"Fix it," he sniffled. "I know you don't have the things, but you could use magic," he suggested sheepishly.

Gaius quirked an eyebrow. "And what makes you think I can?" He lowered himself down and examined the knee.

"I saw you." Gaius immediately looked up. "I went to find you because father wanted to ask you something...you turned a rock into a red and yellow flower." Arthur bit his lip again hissing as Gaius accidently pressed his thumb to the cut. "You made me give it to Morgana."

Gaius smiled. "And did she like your present?"

Horrified eyes met his. "She laughed at me!"

Sighing Gaius looked at Prince Arthur who had stopped crying and was now staring at him intently with a wavering grin. "Close your eyes."

The prince obeyed. He heard a few words uttered under the physician's breath and cracked an eye open slightly. Blue smoke came from Gaius' hand and wrapped itself around his knee. Once Gaius stopped muttering he told him to open his eyes. The cut was gone, as well as the blood, leaving only a white little scar – the only reminder of the day's events.

"Arthur, you have to promise me that you won't ever tell your father about what you saw." Arthur's eyes widened. Gaius smirked. "Not just about this. Magic is banned. If you tell him that I've shown you magic. I will die." He stood up and helped Arthur of the stump. "Tell him that we went apple picking."

Arthur furrowed his eyebrows. "We don't have any apples." Gaius took Arthur's jacket that he had shed before and placed it in his hands. Arthur's blue eyes swept over the red padded jacket anmade its way to the pockets which were slightly bulging outwards. He slipped his hands in one of them and brought out a red shiny apple. "Uncle Gaius! There are apples in my pockets!" he squealed.

"Arthur..." Gaius began seriously, "promise me Arthur. Under no circumstances is the king or anyone else allowed to know." Arthur took a bite of one of the apples - its juice trailing down his chin. Wiping the liquid away with the sleeve of his shirt he held his hand up. Gaius placed his thumb in the centre of Arthur's palm and felt the stickiness of the apple as Arthur's hand wrapped around his - their own secret handshake.

Arthur looked up, with his innocent eyes and his open heart. "I promise Uncle Gaius..."

?_?

...Uncle Gaius, Arthur thought fondly. He hadn't called him that in years.

He could feel heat radiating off the torch, the nervous sweat that made his hands clammy, the heavy breathing that was and yet wasn't his own. His eyes flickered between the flame and the physician he used to call Uncle. He was so much older now – grey hairs had replaced the once vibrant auburn hair; dull eyes in place of the bright blue eyes he remembered so well. He was old.

He looked up at Gaius.

"WAIT!"


AN: So was this okay or I should I never return to the realm of Merlin? I'd appreciate any constructive feedback or comments...reviews I guess. Scare4irony