Hello everyone! :)
I decided to return to the world of Merlin fanfiction with a multi-chapter story. However, I feel I should warn you: my multi-chapter stories have been known to fizzle out when I lose inspiration AND updates will be random and unpredictable to a busy year in an attempt to get into University :/. Still, I thought I would post it anyway, just because I felt guilty by saying to some lovely reviewers that I would write another story and then didn't straight away.
This is gonna be Merlin/Arthur bromantic (of course) but I've tried to bring other characters to the forefront as well to make it seem a bit more like the show.
Summary: AU to 3x02. In the midst of the battle, Merlin's courage and selflessness could prove to be his downfall: "His world erupted in an explosion of crimson colours."
The summary sucks a bit, but I've realised that's probably the most difficult part of this whole fanfiction malarkey ;).
I do not own Merlin (no matter how much I wish I did) but it is enjoyable to steal the characters for a little while.
Anyway, please enjoy! :)
Merlin gasped, rolling on his side as the intense heat burned furiously at his back. He felt it singe at his jacket and jerked around on reaction, sapphire eyes widening upon discovering how close he had been to obliteration. The ochre flames roared higher, yearning out towards him and the warlock flinched back, forcing his elbow beneath him as he fought his way back to his feet.
His chest heaved, adrenaline pumping feverishly through his veins while his stare flicked around the destruction. Flames seemed to emerge from every side of the courtyard, devouring already felled bricks and attempting valiantly to bring down their walls further.
The sight was a painful one to endure, but one that he would evidently never forget; the fall of Camelot.
Arthur, come on, where are you?
The servant began to move with an urgency that encompassed him. His long legs deftly dodged around the debris with surprising ease, despite his apparent clumsiness as a manservant. He raced forth with a purpose towards the lower town, knowing that it was soon to be overrun and, without a doubt, the most perilous area of the city to be in at this time.
Sighing, he increased his pace; he had no doubt that Arthur would be there. Honestly, the clot-pole almost seemed to go looking for chances to be killed. How he had survived for so long without the concealed warlock on his shoulder really was a mystery.
The animalistic snarl of another fireball as it hurtled above him made him flinch, but he wasted no time in seeing where it landed. He had little time as it was, uncertain as to just what idiotic mess the prince had landed himself in by now. The sound of the imminent explosion as the sphere of fire collided made him wince, but he raced onward. There was little he could do to stop any further airborne attacks without risking weakening himself and leaving the rest of Camelot defenceless in the face of sorcery.
There was more to Morgause's and Morgana's plan than using Cenred and his army as pawns; he just knew it.
A startling whinny brought him skidding to a stop, his intense gaze swivelling instantly to the stables. His jaw dropped marginally at the flames he saw racing along the rooftop and licking hungrily down the walls. It would be devoured before long. The grave clash of battle snapped his head to the other side, knowing that at present, Arthur would probably be more grateful if Merlin ensured his survival rather than that of his horse.
With his decision made, he took a step towards where the prince was, fighting bravely for his kingdom. With regret, he forced the sound of desperate whinnying to the back of his mind; the horses, regrettably, would not be the only losses that Camelot would suffer this day.
Merlin froze, a shiver racing down his spine at the unmistakable scream coming from the burning stables. Turning, the warlock glanced fearfully towards the source of the plea, swallowing dryly as the actual pitch of the word registered in his mind.
It was a child's scream…
The death of a child, an innocent, was something that he could never condone and would never forgive himself for. And, despite Arthur being his priority, Merlin was certain that the prince would be able to last longer without his immediate help than the youngster would. With this thought in mind, Merlin raced towards the furiously blazing stables.
As he approached, the pair of sapphire eyes flashed a vibrant golden; reflecting the glare of the intensifying flames. The stable door flew open, releasing a pillar of smoke that forced the young servant back a few steps. He coughed as the vile ash clogged at the back of his throat, already raising an arm to cover his nose and mouth protectively.
The plea was fainter this time and Merlin could vaguely hear a bout of violent coughing from within the stables. Drawing a deep breath while hoping futilely that it would not be one of his last, the warlock ran boldly into the flames.
The first thing that struck him was the incredible heat, forcing Merlin to stagger as though it had become a physical presence barring his path. His eyes blurred as the servant struggled through the smoke and he gagged, arm shielding his pale face desperately, "H-Hello?"
He ventured further, stumbling blindly through the destruction in search of the trapped child. The slightest movement at his side forced him to turn and he instantly flinched in surprise. A shrill noise erupted from the powerful creature's throat as it reared, hooves striking out at him in fear and despair. Reflexes that had often saved his life, he realised, allowed him to throw himself back, missing what would have been a fatal blow by inches.
The fall forced the air from his body and he immediately inhaled, feeling the blackened smoke clog his airways, choking him. He retched violently, leaning forward and trying to expel the murderous substance from his throat. The scorching hands tightened around his windpipe and he struggled to his knees, bent double as he fought for blessed air.
Merlin's head snapped up, tears racing down his face from the sting of the flames coupled with his coughing fit. He squinted through the obscuring smoke and, finally, managed to glimpse a soot-covered face peeking out from beneath the safety of a saddle. The boy hacked once into a raised hand, eyes similarly moist as they fought to see through the fire.
Uneasily, Merlin scrambled to his feet, ducking the lunging flames that had begun to climb above his head and striding to the unfortunate peasant's side. He held out a hand towards the saddle-encased child – clever boy, he thought – the other still pointlessly protecting his mouth and nose.
"Come with me!"
The child obeyed, throwing the saddle off of him and hastily grabbing the older boy's hand. Merlin gripped it with equal anxiety, dragging his charge back the way he had come. A crack resounded above his head, and with an agility that betrayed his lumbering appearance, he leapt back, nudging the boy further behind him. The wooden beam collapsed before them, smouldering in obvious resistance to their escape.
Tugging the boy close, Merlin deftly hoisted him into the air as he soared over the fallen wood. He felt the boy stumble when his small feet connected yet again with the floor and righted him, urging the terrified child on ahead of him.
Another alarmed whinny gave him fair warning and the servant's eyes shifted rapidly to their next obstacle. The closest horse was straining, pulling in distress at the rope that bound it. Merlin's eyes followed the restraint to where it was tethered to the wood and he felt something sink deep in the pit of his stomach.
The rope was alight and seconds away from snapping.
Merlin reacted quickly, dropping the hand from his face and latching it securely onto the boy. With desperation guiding his aim, he threw the child from him to land heavily in the haystack at the opposite side of the stable away from the horses; not yet fully ablaze. Watching as the boy found his target, the warlock darted back, attempting in one last effort to also escape the approaching danger.
He heard the crack before he saw it, the power of the horse – consequently belonging to Arthur – racing past catching him off balance and spinning him around. He had no time to react, no time to even call upon his magic, as the end of the rope shot with deadly velocity towards his head. The still flaming line reflected momentarily in petrified sapphire orbs; a mocking sentiment to the evident lack of a flare of gold that should have been there.
Agony erupted behind his eyes, reverberating through his skull and his world erupted in an explosion of crimson colours. The vague sensation of flying enveloped him before he absently felt his body slam to a halt. The scarlet world faded, the crackle of the still raging fires dimming gradually along with all consciousness.
A scream that the warlock supposed belonged to the young boy, echoed as a hollow drone in his ears while all awareness departed him. His body was paralysed, the darkness smothering him entirely until Merlin relented and fell into the welcoming oblivion.
I know it was quite a short opening chapter, but it was okay. Please review and let me know what you think! :)
I will try and update asap, but please be as patient as you can with me :P. Thank you for reading!
Hugs, Ami-Rose x x x x x ;)