Author's Note: Sort of a sequel to Fair Warning because so many people liked BAMF Merlin. It'll just take a minute for him to show up in this one. I really should be working on any of my other half-completed works, but this is the one inspiring me the most right now, soooo….Reviews and comments make the world go round!

EDIT: Ha! I was having issues with a starting point, but this week's Merlin totally gave me all I needed. This is officially an alternate storyline from the middle of "Castle of Fyrien".

If Morgause and Morgana didn't manage to kill Arthur, Merlin most certainly would. He bolted back down the passageway after the prince, cursing rather vehemently in his head. Gwen and her brother were safe…or at least should be, if Gwen followed directions better than Merlin.

Which pretty much anyone did, so it was safe to assume she'd led her brother out to the horses and they were making their escape.

And that stupid, idiotic, noble, PRAT went running off to save Morgana from her own sister and Cenred when the spoiled princess would've been just fine being left behind.

I wonder if there are spells that could knock some sense into the man?

Merlin skidded to a halt outside the chamber where he could hear Arthur and Morgause. He poked his head around the side of the wall, gauging whether or not Arthur needed his help just yet. Morgause had managed to defeat him with a sword before…maybe she would opt for the same weapon?

Merlin cursed again under his breath when he saw what she conjured instead.

"Or a bloody tornado of fire. That's not the least bit of overkill," Merlin muttered to himself. He raised his hand, contemplating whether or not he should do something before Arthur managed to get himself cooked. Admittedly, he was a little curious how the prince thought he was going to take out a magical whirlwind of flame with a sword, but who was he to question Arthur's 'years of combat experience'?

Arthur didn't look like he was going to save himself, and Merlin muttered the spell under his breath. It was just supposed to snuff out the flames. Instead, like most of his spells seemed to, it blew it completely out of proportion and made half the room explode and come raining down on its occupants.

Speaking of overkill

Merlin didn't much care if the rubble hit Morgana or Morgause, but he inwardly cringed when he saw Arthur go flying back several feet and hit the wall. Oops. He was beginning to strongly suspect his magic was just plain not compatible with spells. They either did nothing or exploded in his face. Or Arthur's, in this case.

As the dust was settling, Merlin bolted into the collapsed room, skidding to a halt beside Arthur.

"Come on, no time for a nap," Merlin snapped. "Castle collapsing. Let's go!" he hooked one arm underneath the prince, who was starting to rouse, but not quickly enough and helped him to his feet.

Morgause and Morgana were beginning to come around too, and Cenred groaned as he tried to sit up.

"I bring a roof down on them, and they're out of for less than a minute," Merlin grumbled. "Some help."

"What did you say?" Arthur slurred, trying to gather his feet under him, but failing miserably. Judging from the speech, he'd used his head to break his fall…again. Hopefully it wasn't too serious.

"I said you're not being much help," Merlin said, trying to get Arthur out the door before Morgause recovered enough to try and cast another spell. Hopefuly something less dramatic than a firestorm, but he doubted it.

"No!" Arthur said, suddenly pulling back. "Morgana!"

"I'll come back for her in a second!" Merlin lied frantically, pulling against Arthur's weight.

"No, get her first!" Arthur insisted, stubborn and noble as usual.

"No, you first, Arthur. Crown prince trumps King's ward. Let's go," Merlin insisted, yanking on Arthur's arm. They'd almost made it to the doorway when Morgause's chilling voice rung out through the destroyed room.

It wasn't a spell he immediately recognized, but then, all he had was a book passed down from a healer, and Morgause was taught by a High Priestess for most of her life. He recognized the effects though. He was frozen in place, and he felt Arthur's half-assed struggles cease. Great. Both of them were caught.

"I don't know what the hells that was, Prince, but if that was your best shot, this is almost insultingly easy," Morgause said haughtily.

Insulting? Try having a royal prat of a prince given credit for your distraction, Merlin thought furiously. It may not have been good magic, but it was at least his.

"Cenred, get up. Take these two back to the dungeons. We still have what we wanted," Morgause said, walking (with a slight limp, Merlin noticed with grim satisfaction) around in front of the two so she could see them face to face.

"Merlin, is it?" Morgause said disdainfully. "You've been causing problems for us for some time, boy. I should kill you now, just for the aggravation you've caused me."

The blonde witch stepped closer, barely six inches from Merlin, who glared balefully back, wanting nothing more than to strangle the life out of the woman with his bare hands.

"Trouble I caused you?" Merlin snapped. "Try the other way around."

"Ooo, a feisty one. I think I've changed my mind. Breaking you should be an…adequate diversion," Morgause smiled demurely.

Out of the corner of his eye Merlin could see Cenred finally getting off the ground, brushing the debris from his leathers as he also limped over.

"Cenred, take them back to their cells. This time, make sure they can't move. And remove the Prince's armor. He won't be needing it anymore." The witch turned back to Merlin, a smirk on her lips. "I'll be down shortly, once I've changed into something more…appropriate."

Merlin quickly squelched the line of thought that phrase brought to mind.

"GUARDS!" Cenred bellowed, making Merlin cringe.

Several men in suits of armor came rushing in, and Merlin vaguely wondered where the hell they'd been the last few minutes. Good help was harder to find than he thought.

Cenred repeated Morgause's orders as the blonde waved her hand, muttering the counter spell.

Merlin almost dropped Arthur's now dead weight to the ground under the sudden ability to move again. Apparently Arthur hit his head pretty bad. Hopefully it wasn't too damaging, Merlin thought. The Prince had scant few brains as it was. He could ill afford to lose any more.

And just because he couldn't help it, he added, "Well I guess we know who wears the pants in this relationship."

He had just enough time to think to himself I really must learn when to shut up before the fist collided with the side of his face, and the world went black.

Ok, so mostly just snarky Merlin right now. But I assure you, BAMF Merlin will be making another appearance. This was just to get the ball rolling before I lost my train of thought or inspiration. Read and review, constructive criticism ALWAYS welcomed. But reviews are like awesome cookies of gooey goodness.