AN: Hi! At last, I've gotten round to writing a Merlin fic! Can I just say, I am LOVING this series, and Colin Morgan is gorgeous and and and yeah...
So this is my first fic for this fandom- so please don't be too harsh, I'm trying my best! It's going to be co-written by me and MaryAndMerlin- whos doing the next chap (and is frankly awesome)
This is set after the Gwaine episode, so clearly some SPOILERS FOR S3XE4
Merlin, Arthur, and all the faves will make an appearance- this is sort of a prologue really, hopefully to get you asking lots of questions!
Disclaimer: I don't own Merlin, the BBC, or even Colin Morgan- and the last is the one which causes me the greatest sorrow... however, all orginal characters and ideas belong to me and Maz, so DO NOT STEAL. Pretty please.
It was twilight in Camelot. The grey shadows clung to the forest outside the city like dusty spider webs, growing as the sun's dying light faded further into the night. The forest itself was quiet- eerily so, and still-though the crunch of feet through the undergrowth replaced any natural sound.
A would be knight, drunk and banished, stumbled along a rough track, a flask of ale in one hand as he sang horrendously off key.
"I once came into Camelot,
I didn't stay for lo-o-o-ng,
I met a friend and a pretty girl
And now I sing this song.
"I met a corrupted king" Here the knight paused, laughing mockingly at himself and taking a swig from the flask before continuing with even more gusto than before.
"And his son a golden prince
and maybe I thought that this
blue blooded man was worth it."
He finished in a low, quiet voice, more of a whisper to himself. Sobering instantly, his eyes dark, the man disgustedly tipped the rest of the flask onto the ground, tying it to his backpack.
He ran a dirty hand over his face, wiping away some of the sweat, and laughed a little again as he brushed his hair away from his forehead.
"What would Merlin think of me now?"
He bit the inside of his cheek, then straightened, marching more purposefully through the trees. Behind him, Camelot still loomed over the trees.
Gwaine didn't look back.
"How long now?"
A tall, slender girl turned to her companion as they climbed the side of a gully in the same wood. Her friend- who was identical to the other in all but eye colour and her lack of freckles, shrugged and sighed, seeming a little impatient.
"I dunno Lil- how could I? I mean- if you ask again, I could try and remember the last time I went to Camelot. Not that it would help, since I never have."
Lil pulled a face. "First, it's Lilian- Lil makes me sound like a kid." The other girl didn't comment and she continued. "Second, I was just wondering- I mean yeesh, it doesn't hurt to make conversation."
Lilian threw her hands in the air in melodramatic exasperation, and the other smiled in spite of herself. "Asking the same question more than a dozen times is not making conversation."
Lilian whirled on her, then grinned easily when she saw her friend was too.
"Fair enough Amelia- what do you want to talk about?"
Amelia shrugged again, lifting the small pack on her back a little higher as they got closer to the ridge of the gully.
"Marcus? I mean- I want to see him too, but...don't you think it's a bit weird- him suddenly getting in touch after all these years?"
Lil snorted. "You think too much. This is Marcus we're talking about, he probably just forgot the name of the village or something." She laughed at her own thought, eyes shining as she talked about the boy.
Amelia let a small, shy grin creep across her features. "Fair enough. He probably did."
Lil's beam grew wider when her friend agreed, and she practically skipped up the rest of the incline. "Yep, that's Marcus. Forgetful, absent minded, mental-"
"Clumsy," Amelia interjected and Lil nodded, counting off the qualities on her slender fingers.
"Clumsy, funny, did I say mental?"
She turned, though she kept walking up the hill, as she asked in jest. This meant, as her foot found its way over the lip of the hill, she didn't notice the rag covered man creeping up behind her.
Amelia did. Blue eyes suddenly shining gold, the girl shouted a warning even as she threw the man back with magic. Startled, Lil spun as another man came running at her- a sword drawn and in the air.
Instinctively, the girl fell into a fighting stance, crouching. Once the man was within an arms reach, her eyes shone gold and he was thrown against a tree- dropping the sword as an invisible force slammed into him.
Scooping it up, Lil warily scanned the trees whilst Amelia settled into a similar graceful crouch behind her.
"You ok Mimi?"
Amelia growled. "You know I hate that name!" She flung a dagger, and as her eyes shone it flew with unerring accuracy into the neck of the next bandit running from the cover of the trees.
Lil lifted her sword as two more came running at her, using it to cut one down whilst using her magic to make the earth crumble beneath the other, burying him up to his chest.
"I don't think this is the time! Besides, you always call me Lil!"
Amelia was opening her mouth to reply when there was a collective war-cry, and dozens of angry thieves came stampeding from the undergrowth, murder in their eyes. Lilian straightened, as did Amelia.
Lil readjusted her grip on her sword, whilst Amelia withdrew an arrow from the quiver tied to her pack and took her bow off her torso, preparing to shoot. Her eyes glowed, and her face was fiercely intent- pale features cold and eyes glowing unnaturally bright as she murmured.
Lilian lifted her chin, staring the closest bandit straight in the eyes with her own- burning molten gold as she grasped her sword with both hands, getting into a defensive position.
Gwaine pressed a hand to his pounding skull, regretting tipping the ale away already. Why did something so nice have to have such horrible side effects?
It took several moments for the sounds echoing through the woods to penetrate his fogged mind- but when they did, his hand fell from his head to his sword as his eyes quickly scanned the woods.
He could see nothing, but the noise was unmistakable, and carried easily in the otherwise tranquil evening- men yelling and screaming, the clash of swords, the pounding of feet.
He took a second to hide his pack in some bushes, and mark the location with 3 twigs shoved in the ground, then he set off after the source of the noise at a run.
His heart pounded and his breath burned, and he reveled in the opportunity to forget everything except the feeling of his body forcing him through the undergrowth. Ignoring the occasional branch, and jumping nimbly over exposed roots and hidden burrows, the noise grew louder and louder as Gwaine got closer.
His first encounter with the battle was a body- face first on the ground, the bloody head of an arrow sticking through its back exactly where the heart would be- Gwaine tried not to comprehend the incredible skill of the archer who'd shot the man. Instead he leapt over the corpse and kept going.
The bodies increased as he got closer, and Gwaine wondered how many people could possibly be involved in this fight for there to be so many casualties- he even considered turning back. However, he quickly quelled the idea- someone may need his help. Clearly these people were bandits, and whoever they'd attacked may need the use of an extra sword hand.
A sword came down towards his head and Gwaine ducked and parried before he really had a chance to think. In seconds his attacker was on the ground, but already there was another coming- his face half hidden by a torn soiled cloth. Gwaine let out a battle cry and threw himself at the thief.
Around him, the others pre-occupied themselves with the sorceresses, as of yet unnoticed by their gallant would be saviour.
That's not to say the girl's hadn't noticed his arrival though.
"Who's that?" Amelia shouted to Lil over the battle cry of a man she took down easily with a dagger from her belt.
Lil frowned, her eyes shining as the tree above the man in front of her suddenly stooped and threw him down the valley. She turned to Amelia.
"Who's who? I don't make a point of getting to know bandits."
Amelia rolled her eyes, which glowed golden as she spun and muttered an incantation which made the dagger she'd just thrown lift out of one man's body and fly into another wild eyed thief who was running at them with an axe.
Having dealt with the latest attacker, she put a hand on her hip. "Thanks Lil, I gathered that. That guy. The one that's fighting for us clotpole."
Lilian frowned, and unthinking she sent her magic into a fierce blow she dealt a man who decided to get too close- sending him flying.
"That was uncalled for- I am not a clotpole."
Amelia rolled her eyes and turned back to the battle, holding up her hands as she caused a rain of branches to fall onto a pair of men running towards them.
"Just tell me if you recognize him."
Lilian huffed, but did as she was told, eyes searching out an anomaly in the greatly diminished mass of outlaws.
There- a tall, dark haired man threw himself valiantly against one man and then another. As she watched, he twisted one of the thieves swords out of their grip, catching it and turning it on a different man as they came at him from behind.
She couldn't help a small smile tugging at the corner of her mouth. "Nice move," she murmured.
Amelia's urgent cry dragged her out of her fascination with the frankly handsome man fighting for them.
Lilian looked up in time to see an arrow flying towards her- she had no time to duck, and reacted instinctively, eyes shining brilliantly as the weapon froze in mid air and spun back towards her attacker. She didn't notice the unknown man glance up and see the magic- or his expression of shock.
Instead, breathing a shaky sigh of relief, Lil took up her sword again, waiting for the next attacker. Amelia backed up to her, fighting hand to hand now with a sword she must have taken from one of the bandits.
"Pay attention!" Though her words were scolding, Lilian could tell Amelia was shaken, and nodded.
"Sorry Mimi." Amelia said nothing, just turned towards one of the remaining survivors and swung a burning sword, taking him down with one blow.
As Gwaine and the girls continued to fight, the bandit's numbers dwindled, growing less and less until finally the few remaining simply fled.
Gwaine refrained from going after them- he knew Arthur would be more than capable of dealing with them, and besides- these girls- apparently magical, intrigued him. Slinging his sword back into his belt, he walked over, slapping on his best, 'charming knight in shining armour' expression.
"My ladies, are you well?"
The one closest to him- who held a deadly, elegant sword in her tiny fist- looked indignant. However, her friend- who must be her twin sister, since they genuinely looked identical apart from their clothes and eyes, laid a hand on the swordswoman's arm, shaking her head a little before speaking.
"We're fine thankyou, and much indebted to you Sir?"
"Gwaine," he supplied with a smile, "though I'm no Knight."
The green eyed girl with the sword frowned- almost like a child. "But I thought- from the way-"
Again her twin stopped her, smiling a little at Gwaine- though the expression seemed rather chilly. "I'm Amelia, and this is my twin, Lilian. We are from a village near the western mountains called Adel."
Gwaine smiled, bowing- a little too low to be considered sincere, taking Lilian's hand as he rose. She was incredibly beautiful- her wavy auburn hair falling dark and rich around her pale face, which was dusted with a scattering of freckles that framed her fierce green eyes.
When he kissed her slender, sword free hand, it wasn't entirely unwilling- and nor did he miss the softness of her skin, though her palm was a little calloused.
"It's a pleasure."
Lilian blushed and tried to hide it, yanking her hand back a few seconds too late and biting her lip. Amelia shot her a suspicious glance and gave Gwaine an icy look that warned him off treating her the same way.
Gwaine took the hint and coughed a little, straightening.
"Well, I'm glad you're both well- it's a miracle you survived such an attack." He said it lightly, one eyebrow raised as he gestured to the dozens of unconscious forms on the ground around the girls. Lilian's eyes widened and she looked to Amelia, who simply folded her arms, meeting Gwaine directly in the eye- though she too knew Camelot's laws well enough.
"A miracle. Indeed- we were so lucky you came to save us."
Gwaine beamed, revealing bright white teeth- far cleaner than those of most travelers, and nodded in agreement. "Yes- you were lucky…it's just like magic."
Oooooh. Who are the girls? Who's Marcus? Are they a danger to Camelot? What's Gwaine going to do about their magic?
Please please please do berate me for such a horrid ending to the first chap, inquire about the twins, guess about Gwaine and Lil, theorise about Marcus...really, just say anything you think, but say something please, Me and Maz really appreciate it!
Hope you enjoyed it, thankyou for reading!