Out of Time
Chapter 3: Out of Doubt
A/N: I know this is late and I'm sorry. I just got so busy this past week that I had no time to take this chapter and type it out. But there it is and we've got some fun things going on, hopefully you enjoy it. In this chapter Addison gets herself in a lot of trouble, the real question is whether or not Arthur can save her. Please tell me what you think :)
Lady Helena swept into the grand hall where Uther was awaiting her. He welcomed her with open arms but instead of letting him hug her she had stopped short of him and curtsied politely.
Uther lowered his arms and tried to smile at the woman gracing them with her presence. "What a pleasure it is to welcome you to Camelot," he whispered politely.
"The pleasure is mire," she said with a low silken purr. "I am delighted to have the honour to sing at your festivities."
Uther nodded curtly. "I trust you found no troubles on your journey."
"None at all, but Iam weary from it," she told him.
"Yes, of course. My men will take you to your room. Tomorrow night you and I will dine and the night after is the celebration," he reminded her.
Lady Helena nodded curtly. "Thank you, my lord."
Had Uther cared to notice he would have seen the dangerous gleam in her eyes paired with a vicious smile. But he didn't, so he was unaware of the dangers in the store.
Arthur had not been at the welcoming of Lady Helena, having had no choice but to deal with the disturbance at the lower gates. His father had been far from happy with him, but he couldn't argue with Arthur's princely duties. So once his father was done with him he headed straight to the dungeons to check on Addison. Merlin should have taken her back by now, but when he got to her cell she was not there.
Addison's cell was lavish compared to most servant quarters, practically a palace compared to the rest of the cells. Her bed was covered in big fluffy pillows for her neck and large quilts because she was always cold. Three of the walls were covered in bolts of bright blue silk save for one wall where she had made Arthur pay various artists paint pictures of her and her friends. Arthur had made certain that most of them were of him and her. She had carpets on the floor to keep her feet were getting cold, three shelves, one filled with books, one for her knickknacks and jewelry and the last for her clothes and shoes.
But she wasn't there.
Angry Arthur stormed out of the dungeon. She must still be with that big eared twerp, Merlin. He expressly told him to bring her back right away. HE had been climbing up the stairs to go in search of them when he heard it. A familiar peel of laughter echoing down to him, Arthur paused on the stairs and waited. Sure enough Addison came into view a happy smile on her face and beside her was Merlin grinning foolishly at her.
"Did you see how fast his fingers moved on his harp?" she asked Merlin, her eyes were on him she hadn't even noticed Arthur a few steps away from her.
Merlin hadn't noticed him either. "That was nothing compared to your dance moves," he told her and Addison chuckled again.
Arthur tried to bite down his rage but he was sure it was colouring his cheeks. "Have fun did you?" he snapped.
Instantly their eyes turned to him and Addison's joyous demeanour faded completely. Clearly he was not to be privy to their happiness and this just made him angrier. He glared ferociously at Merlin. "I told you to take her back to the dungeons."
Addison stepped forward. "Don't be cross Arthur. He couldn't say no to me, you can barely say no to me and I so did want to see that harper at the Tavern and you've been so busy!"
"You took her to the..." Arthur stammered before trailing off. He had been planning to take her there that weekend. He promptly shut his mouth and frowned sternly down at her. "Go to your cell!"
Addison huffed but she got up on her tippy toes and kissed Merlin's pinked cheeks before turning to Arthur and curtsying. It shouldn't have angered him but seeing her lips grace this uncoordinated, undeserving bean stalk burned him with a rage he didn't think was possible to feel.
Addison pushed passed Arthur and continued down the stairs. Once she was gone Arthur turned on Merlin. "There's something about you Merlin, I can't quite put my finger on it," he growled dangerously. "But I suggest that you tread carefully from now on."
It was a vague threat, but it worked. Nothing was going to come between he and Addison and he'd kill anything that tried.
Merlin, with potion in hand, was making his way over to Lady Helena's quarters when he heard a large crash and a booming voice cry out: "How did you even get out of your cell?"
Instantly Merlin changed direction. He found Addison picked up pieces of a suit of armor as Uther stood above her. Merlin jumped to her rescue. He grabbed her arm and pulled her to him. He bowed to uther before saying: "There you are. I'm sorry Majesty. Gaius wanted to check up on her after yesterday's fall but I had to deliver Lady Helena's tonic first."
Uther pointed a stern finger in Addison's face. "If I catch you without your escort again I will order you to be leashed every time you leave your cell." He warned.
Addison nodded eagerly, threading her arm with Merlin's. Uther left and Merlin dragged her away, before Uther could change his mind. "Thanks for rescuing me," she said.
"No problem, now we're even," Merlin said trying to flash her with his most charming smile. "How did you get out anyways?"
"So, shall I accompany you today?" Addison asked, changing the topic and Merlin nodded. "Good I was bored anyways."
They walked together in silence until Merlin got the courage to ask her another question. "So, uh, I've been dying to ask... why do you have to live in the dungeons?"
Addison's absent smiled faded as she thought over what he asked her. For a moment he thought she wouldn't answer but she surprised him. "I'm a witch," she said with a serious tone.
Merlin was so shocked by that answer that he came to a complete stop. He had never thought he would find another person like him in his life, least of all in Camelot. She could understand what it was like to go through what he was going through. "Well, not really," she said quickly. "I mean, Uther thinks I'm a witch."
Merlin frowned. "Oh," well that was disappointing. "Why didn't he just kill you then?"
As soon as the words were out of his mouth he knew they were insenstive. He opened his mouth to apologize but Addison was chuckling. "Well that would be because I saved Arthur's life a few times and Arthur was very adamant about not killing me," she said. "That and I don't know how to get home."
"Where is your home?" Merlin wondered. "I mean it can't be that far, you got here after all."
Addison came to a halt and Merlin turned to her wondering what he had said wrong. She pointed to a closed door. "We're here," she whispered.
Merlin looked around and realized that she was right. He knocked sharply on the door, he even waited but there was no response. Merlin turned to Addison. "Just wait here," he tried to order, but it sounded more like he was pleading. "I'll go drop this off and then we can go walking."
Addison nodded happily enough and Merlin opened the door. He put the bottle on the dresser half noticing that the mirror was covered for some reason. It was because of that dark bolt of fabric draped haphazardly over the mirror that his eyes caught something else. It was an old, leather bound book, it sort of looked like the one Gaius had given him, but that one was filled with magic.
He opened the book and turned two pages taking in what looked a more specific type of magic compared to his book when he heard: "Whatcha looking at?" as Addison appeared behind him.
Merlin jumped and turned to her. "I told you to wait outside!"
"I don't listen to anyone, not Arthur, or Uther, so why would I listen to you," she said with a scoff and then swept him aside and glancing at the pages. She flipped through it quickly before adding: "Loks like a book on magic."
"How would you know what a book of magic would look like?" Merlin shot back.
Before she could answer the sound of fast approaching footsteps reached their ears. There was a frantic rush to put everything back as they had found it, and during this the fabric covering the mirror slipped off. Merlin rushed out of the room, he didn't realize that Addison wasn't with him until he was two floors away and it was too late.
Addison had paused, only for a few moments, to fix the fabric that had fallen. It was those few seconds she thought she could spare that turned into her downfall.
"What are you doing in here?" Lady Helena asked from the doorway and Addison abandoned the fabric and let it slide away.
She quickly grabbed the vial Merlin had left and turned to her. She bowed lowly and smiled as politely as she could hoping she didn't look too suspicious. "Gaius sent me to give you your tonice," she explained, showing her the little bottle. "I'm clumsy and knocked the mirror over."
Lady Helena stomped the short distance and snatched the bottle out of Addison's hand. "Thank-you," she said crisply.
"I'll just fix my mess and get out of your hair," Addison whispered quickly. She turned to the mirror despite Lady Helena's protests. "I'm really excited for your performance. I wish I could go but Uther doesn't trust me to behave..."
She had pulled the mirror up and trailed off. The reflection over her shoulder that should have been Lady Helena wasn't hers but some haggard looking old lady. Addison whirled around, her eyes wide and screamed: "Magic!"
Lady Helena hissed a knife appeared in her hand. She lunged for Addison who luckily dodged and ran for the door. "Look, I won't tell anyone, I promise!" she cried. Lady Helena started humming dangerously and Addison had enough. She threw the door open and ran out into the hall. She took practically two steps and ran right into Uther. "Oh thank God!" she cried.
"Uther, Uther, come on!" she said, gripping the front of his black tunic and pulling him to Lady Helena's open door. "She's a witch, like with magic and everything. She tried to kill me, so you're gonna kill her!"
The fake Lady Helena appeared and calmly dusted off her pleats before saying. "You're majesty, thank goodness you've caught her. I found this serving girl going through my jewelry, no doubt wanting to make off with my more expensive pieces."
Addison narrowed her eyes at the witch. "Why would I steal your tacky trinkets? Arthur buys me jewelry all the time," she cried. Uther cleared his throat and she wisely changed topics. "No seriously though, Uther, that's not Lady Helena, that's an old lady in disguise!"
The fake Lady Helena scoffed. "I am barely a year over your age!"
"That's not what I meant and you know it, you imposter!" Addison cried.
Uther pulled Addison to his side and bowed his head to Lady Helena. "May I offer my sincerest apologise, she will be dealt with sternly," he said.
"Wait! What?" Addison cried. She turned to Uther and tried to shake him, but instead ended up pulling his tunic back and forth. "Uther, I'm not lying, just make her look in the mirror and you'll see!"
"That is enough Addison!" he cried. "I've had enough of your lies, you have embarrassed me in front of our guest!"
"With all due respect if you're letting her trick you into believing she's Lady Helena, I'm not the one embarrassing you!" Addison shot back.
"That's it! You are going straight to the dungeon!" he cried, "A good flogging is what you're going to get and your outside privileges are permanently revoked."
Addison titled her chin up and said rather stoically: "Well you better catch me then and the punched him in between the legs. Uther fell down to the ground groaning in pain and Addison bolted away. As she ran away she heard him shouting for the guards and she knew where she would have to go to escape them. This time she wasn't coming back.
Arthur had purposely refused to see Addison that day to teach her a lesson. To remind her that she needed him and that she wasn't allowed out unless he allowed it. Hopefully she realized that what he did was to protect her and yes he may not have all the time in the world to give to her the time he did give her was precious and she should see it as that and not find someone else to spend her hours with. He returned to his room that evening, tired and sweaty from his evening practice with his knights. He wanted nothing more than to eat his dinner, lie down and rest his aching body.
He was opening the door to his room when Merlin appeared out of the shadows and said but three words: "Addion's in trouble," and that was all it took. Arthur took the hallways searching for Addiosn or his father, he should have been listening to Merlin, who was trailing after him babbling on, but he was too worried to pay attention. His heart was so far out of his chest that he could hear the pounding in his ears, he was more scared than he could ever admit.
He had horrible images running through his mind, knowing that his father had Addison. The longer it took him to find her, the more of those sickly black and purple bruises his father could put on Addison's fair skin. He was expecting the worse, so he was very surprised when Addison suddenly collided with him.
"Oh Arthur!" she said, absently out of breath, she kept looking over her shoulder.
Though she tried to shrug his hands away, Arthur gripped her shoulders tightly and refused to let her move. "What's happening? Merlin says you're in trouble? Are you okay? Where did he hit you?"
"What?" Addison said shaking her head, her blue eyes finally focusing on him. "No, I'm fine, but I can't stay here!"
Arthur held onto her more tightly. "No, it's okay, I can fix it, just tell me what happened!" he ordered.
She pushed Arthur away and side stepped him. "I'm sorry Arthur," she said, a pained look on her face and his heart leapt into his mouth again. An echoing pounding of footsteps and shouts were sudden heard and she started to jog away from him. "It's not your fault, I promise, but this time I can't come back."
"What? Can't come back?" Arthur echoed. "No, Addison, wait!" But she had already taken off. He used to be faster than her, he should have been able to catch up to her but an Addison that wanted to get away was an Addison that couldn't be caught.
He followed her around the corner, but when he got into the hallway she was already gone. He came to a stop, knowing he'd never catch her now. "Don't leave me," he breathed out. There was a brief silence and then from behind him came a thundering herd of palace guards that were supposed to be chasing Addison. Arthur moved out of there way frowning to himself.
When they were all gone, Merlin cleared his throat, making Arthur aware that he was still there. "Where do you think she's going to go?"
Arthur turned his glared to her. "She was with you wasn't she?" he accused. "How did you get her out of the dungeon without my permission?"
"I didn't get her out, she was already out when I found her. I was going to keep her safe I swear but... well... I guess it's a lot harder than it looks," Merlin said.
Arthur scoffed, Addison must have picked the lock of her cell again, or tricked a guard into letting her out before losing him. "If something happens to her, I'm going to hold you personally responsible," he snarled to the younger raven-haired boy before shoving past him to go in search of his father. He was practically trembling he was so scared and angry.
Oh Addison, what if he never saw her again? The prospect was too terrifying to even think of.