A/N: Okay, since I personally find Dark!Merlin a little too attractive to be completely respectable, I thought I'd give him a try. *grins evilly* And, as you might know, I HATE wishy-washy villains. (Would you people believe that in real life I am a very nice, if annoying, person?) Anyway, it will be set in Season 3, but no spoilers exactly unless you don't know about her character change!
NOTE: Though constructive criticism or even 'I don't like it', is welcome, please don't review and tell me it is OOC of Merlin. I'm saying now that it will be OOC. It's Dark!
First was Morgana.
The lying, smirking little enchantress. Merlin put up with her for as long as he could, keeping the fury under check. It was hard, nigh impossible, to watch her flaunt about Camelot, wrapping Uther about her little finger with every smile that graced her crimson lips. But he put his head down and ignored the little glares she sent his way with difficulty.
But he was just biding his time. He knew all too well that she wouldn't just go away by herself, because the dragon had told him about her destiny, and he wasn't about to let her destroy Camelot. No, he needed Camelot if his destiny was ever to come about.
After stewing over his problem for a while, he knew that he couldn't just let things be, and he couldn't always be on the defensive. Merlin had to get her out of the way, and soon, before she made it even harder on Arthur to accept magic in the future.
She couldn't be allowed to endanger the prophecy that Merlin worked so hard to keep on track.
Albion. Emyrs. What was she beside them?
Still. She had once been a friend. It was a shame to have to do this. It really was too bad… but unavoidable.
Merlin became cautious. He began to walk around with a dagger hidden in his clothes. At first it felt odd, having that sheath pressed against his hip every hour of every day, but he got used to it. Pretty soon he no longer even noticed it, and couldn't remember not having it strapped to his side at all times. It leant him a certain sense of confidence.
Merlin made his plans, but he did not act upon them. Yet. For in the back of his mind, he worried that he would not be able to carry them out, for whatever reason. But another part of him knew that it had to work. He had to get her before she got him.
Finally the time came.
Morgana was walking down the hall alone, her proud head thrown back, wearing her favorite dress and for once not enjoying the way it glittered in the light. Her lips were pulled back into a half-smile, but inside she simmered in her anger. Another plan gone wrong… She gritted her teeth. It was infuriating to have her plans foiled. What kept stopping them?
As though in answer to her question, a hand shot out of a crevice in the wall and latched onto her arm. With a squawk, she was pulled into the niche, eyes widening in alarm, and found herself face-to-face with Merlin.
She hissed his name, her eyebrows going down. "What do you want?" she asked the stupid, meddling servant.
He seemed taller than usual, she noticed, and there was something strange about his perpetually cheerful blue eyes… That was, they weren't cheerful now. "You to stop this," he responded, voice low.
"I beg your pardon?" She knew what he was talking about, of course, but good manners are a habit that dies hard.
He met her gaze head-on, and she felt a little unnerved. He was bolder than usual, too. "Your clumsy attempts to take Camelot," he told her.
His hand, still attached to her arm, tightened, pulling her wrist upward. Her eyes flickered to it, then back to Merlin. Her throat felt dry, and she was confused. What was going on? Since when had Arthur's ridiculous, though clever, manservant seemed so… threatening?
"Yes, Morgana, clumsy. You endanger the chances of magic ever coming back to Camelot like this. You endanger that chance just by being alive, and I can't allow you to do that."
Her eyes widened as his free hand drifted to his side and his grip tightened further. Surely he didn't mean…?
Panicked, she tried to pull away, but he was stronger than he looked. "Merlin," she said, her voice becoming shrill and loud, "let me go! Help! Someone, help!"
But Merlin knew no one was nearby; even if they were, they would hear nothing. As a precaution, he had put up an enchantment to block anyone's hearing.
"Merlin, what are you doing?" she yelped as he pulled out the dagger from his sheath. Of course it would be easier to use magic now, but Merlin couldn't risk it. Magic could not look like the bad guy to Arthur anymore.
"I think it's obvious, Morgana," he said coldly, but there was a spark of regret in his eyes.
He lifted the dagger. "I'm sorry," he told her, and he actually sounded as though he meant it.
She opened her mouth to scream, but just gasped instead as a sharp pain reverberated through her gut. Looking down, she saw her pretty silver dress quickly turning red, and her knees gave out. Her once-smiling lips parted, trying to bring in air. She hit the wall, but couldn't fall anymore; Merlin's hand kept her standing.
Faintly disgusted, the warlock stepped away from her, unceremoniously pulling the knife from her flesh. She fell.
Morgana made a gurgling sound, but it wasn't audible over the sound of blood splashing onto the stone floor. To her, these sounds promised death. To him, that was the noise of approaching destiny.
He looked at his red-stained dagger, whispered, "Glân," and slipped the blade back into its sheath. It was silver again, a silver that Morgana's dress would never return to.
After a minute, morbidly curious, he leaned over to see if she lived still, but he needn't have worried. Her big green eyes were opened wide, but they didn't take in what they landed on anymore. The blood flow from her midsection was slowing, though a puddle of it was beginning to spread into a lake on the floor.
Merlin nodded, a little queasy, and then turned away, careful to stay away from any of her blood.
He walked away and left her there behind him, his mind finally at ease.
Morgana was first.
Second was Sir Leon.
A good, strong knight. Really, it was worse than Morgana—much worse. He wasn't trying to bring down Camelot, after all, and Merlin was unused to getting rid of friends of the kingdom.
But when Leon found out about the magic, he didn't see any other choice.
It was partly Merlin's fault. He accepted that. Ever since Morgana's death, Uther had grown slightly lax in watching for magic, as he was too busy looking for the murderer.
(Murderer? thought Merlin. Oh, no, I was protecting the kingdom.)
If Merlin cheated a little now – practiced spells in bed, or said a small incantation to make armor polishing easier – chances were that no one was going to notice. But he became just a little too careless.
He shouldn't have done that, stopped watching his back so meticulously. And now he was sincerely sorry that he had.
But it was too late for that, and so Merlin had been forced to do damage control, or his destiny was going to suffer. Really, the Great Dragon could've told him that being this all-powerful Emrys was going to require him to make these decisions.
When it happened, Gaius wasn't in. (Recently he'd developed a strange aversion to spending time with Merlin, as though he suspected something...) Merlin, therefore, was eating his lunch alone when Sir Leon came in, searching for Gaius.
It was truly terrible timing, as Merlin, clumsy as always, had just knocked a cup of water from the table and onto the floor.
Cursing angrily, Merlin decided that he didn't really feel like getting more or cleaning up. Instead, he let instinct take over: his blue eyes flashed gold, and the water slid back into the cup. The wooden cup then righted itself, speeding through the air and back onto the table.
That was when Sir Leon burst in, calling, "Gaius, the king…" He trailed off and stared at Merlin, his eyes going big.
Merlin was nervous. Had he seen that? The cup had been nearly back on the table by the time he came in, but perhaps…
"Merlin?" Leon's voice came out strangled, his face a little pale. But perhaps that was just because of the news he was carrying to Gaius; Merlin could not be sure.
"Yes?" he said politely, standing. "Gaius isn't here, sorry."
"You… you just…"
He'd seen, Merlin realized, swearing like a sailor in his mind. But perhaps the warlock could convince him that it was a trick of the light? "I just what?" he asked innocently.
"You just made that cup fly…"
Merlin felt his eyebrows draw together, hiding his alarm. He tried not to remember that Morgana had done the same thing to him… And she had died. He did not want to die. "That's not funny, Sir Leon. You shouldn't say that. Of course I didn't."
Leon nodded firmly. "You did. I saw you."
"Maybe you just thought you saw…?"
But Leon was quite convinced. He yanked out his sword and took a step closer, the blade pointed in Merlin's direction.
Merlin stepped back and threw up his hands to show he wasn't going to fight. "Sir, please. Magic is illegal, and that's the only way to make a cup fly!"
"I know." Leon's face was drawn and it was obvious that his mind was made up.
Merlin's face paled. He had to do something.
Leon continued, "I'm arresting you, Merlin. You're coming to the king."
Merlin's hands dropped to the edge of the table behind him, apparently grabbing it for support. "But he'll kill me." His gaze dropped to his feet. He couldn't go to the king. He couldn't die. He had a destiny!
Leon couldn't say anything against such sound logic, but he began to come forward again, sword inching lower, because he saw that Merlin was obviously not going to fight back.
But then, suddenly...
"Sir Leon!" Merlin's head jerked up and his voice held such horror that the man jumped and looked around—a deadly mistake. In an instant Merlin's hands were up again, but this time one of them held the hidden knife.
Before Leon could recover himself and run forward, Merlin threw the knife with a shout of, "Hedfan yn syth!"
And then the blade had gone through his throat. Sir Leon was dead before he hit the ground.
Merlin straightened his shirt as he looked at the body, eyes narrowed. He hadn't meant to do that… Strange, but it all happened so fast. His wife, of course, would be terribly upset, and Merlin was distantly sorry for that. Sir Leon was a casualty in this war to bring about destiny.
The warlock couldn't place why he felt so cold inside. Only a few months ago, wouldn't he be sobbing on his knees before the body? He had, after all, nearly considered Leon a friend.
Now he was dry-eyed, and felt nothing but the adrenaline leaving his system. What was with that?
I have gotten a lot smarter, he decided, and then prudently left the room, after cleaning up his bowl and retrieving his knife. He hurried through these movements, worried that he might be caught in this room with an incriminating corpse.
He went into the armory. When Arthur found him an hour later, panicked because there was a dead man in the physician's chambers, near Merlin's room, and no one had seen Merlin in quite a while, Merlin would shake his head. He would then assure the prince that he had been down here all afternoon, working, and he had gotten so much work done that naturally Arthur believed him. The prince was just glad that the killer hadn't gotten Merlin as well.
Sir Leon was second.