'The Eyes To See' was a collection of reveal ficlets and so I rarely delved into the reactions. Several people commented on this and wanted to know 'what happened next' or wanted more details about the poems and drabbles so ... your wish is my command. Here is ...
The Heart To Know.
I'll start with the end of 'The Eyes To See' so that you can get your bearings. More details on this plan in the A/N below.
... previously ...
The Eyes To See
Do not believe you will find him. No matter how hard you search he will remain invisible to you," said Kilgharrah.
"Why? Because he is a coward? Because he uses magic to hide?"
"No, because you, Uther, do not have the eyes to see him for what he is. You cannot understand his magic, his destiny or his love. He has saved the lives of you and your kin so many times, against that advice of many others, simply because he could not bear to see their pain."
"I shall find him."
"You cannot understand him and so you will not recognise him for what he truly is. Your son will be a different matter however. Already the blindfold you created for him is becoming thinner. Already he is starting to become aware of the true nature of the world around him. Soon he will cast his blindness aside and see Emrys clearly for the first time.
"Then he will understand.
"Then Camelot will be free."
1. The Heart to Know
"Arthur." Uther walked into his son's chambers and was pleased to find that he was alone. The prince was obviously preparing for his morning training, having just finished being dressed in his padded shirt and with his armour currently being laid out for him on the table.
"Father, is everything alright? How is the clean up going?"
"Fine, fine. That's not what I want to talk to you about. The dragon ..."
"Yes, that was a surprise, wasn't it? After everything that happened before, I never thought that he would come to our defence."
"No, but that wasn't what I wanted to talk to you about. He spoke to me – The Great Dragon - he told me that ..." The King swallowed hard. "... that there's a powerful sorcerer here, living in Camelot." There was a loud crash as a piece of his son's armour was dropped on the floor, rather than being placed carefully on the table. Uther raised his eyes to the ceiling and noticed Arthur's gaze flick in that general direction and smile affectionately. The king briefly wondered what his son had found so amusing.
"That doesn't seem very likely, does it?" Arthur continued.
"No, but the dragon said he's here, in Camelot - in disguise. He said ... that you would know him."
"Honestly, Father. If that were true then I would have tuned him over to you instantly, you know that."
"Of course but, somehow, I felt that there was a truth behind the dragon's words." He shook his head again. "I know there are none with magic living here – apart from Gaius, of course, but he promised me he'd stop practising and he's not that powerful ..." Uther shook his head. "No he definitely wasn't referring to Gaius."
"Morgana?" Arthur asked, wincing as he asked it. Again the young man's eyes flicked towards the table that his armour was being laid out on and he raised an eyebrow. Uther felt as if the knife, already lodged in his heart, had been twisted in even deeper on hearing that name. Her name. His daughter. He shook his head.
"No, he mentioned her as a separate person, said she was evil and that this ... warlock, was good. He said that he was protecting us, had saved all our lives." He scoffed. "Good? As if a powerful sorcerer could be good."
"It seems unlikely, doesn't it? I wonder why the dragon told you as much as he did?"
"He said that this 'Emrys' was his master – a Dragonlord but, that can't be true. I made sure that there were no sons left to inherit that skill."
"The sons inherit? I see. Well, of course, Balinor was the last Dragonlord and he d- ..." The prince suddenly froze.
"Arthur, what is it?"
"N-nothing." The prince's eyes flicked briefly to the table and then back again. He shook his head, as if ridding himself of some unpleasant thought. "What else did the dragon say about this ... Emrys?"
"He said that he would be invisible to me, but that you would see him. What sort of spell do you think could do that?"
"... no, you can do that later. Stay here for now."
"Sorry?" Uther asked.
"No it's alright, Father, I was just talking to Mer ..." Arthur stopped talking and stared at his father who simply blinked, a slightly confused look on his face. The Prince frowned and then turned to look at his servant standing next to the table, having completed the task of laying out the armour for that morning's training session. Bright blue eyes looked back at him, wild and fearful. Arthur shook his head again and turned to back to Uther.
"Arthur, what is it?"
"It's nothing. Father, I need to train the knights now but, I shall give what you've said some serious thought."
"Of course, but we should perhaps continue this later. We so rarely have these chances to talk alone."
"Alone?" Arthur looked back at his servant and, despite a hint of fear still evident in those expressive eyes, the skinny young man couldn't prevent a small amused smile from showing at Uther's comment. Arthur found his own lips twitching in response.
"Anyway, I'll not detain you any longer," the king said striding out of the door.
When he'd gone, Arthur turned back to his servant and noted that the terror had returned to his friend's eyes. A confirmation of his suspicions if ever there was one.
"So, Merlin. Do you have anything you need to tell me?" The Prince asked.
"I ah ..." His servant swallowed hard and his eyes dropped back to the table. "I'm really sorry, Sire."
"Y-yes. You see, it's like this. I ah ... think I've forgotten one of your gauntlets but ..."
"Yes ... but ... if you just give me a moment, I'll go and find it and I'm sure that ..." He quickly moved towards the door.
"Merlin!" His servant stopped and turned back towards the prince, wincing as he did so. "Sit! Now!"
"I think you and I need to have a little talk, don't you?"
A/N. Okay, so I know this now seems less finished than the first part but, if you think about what Kilgharrah said in TETS, you'll see that he implied that everything would be alright once Arthur worked it out so ...
I've had the idea for a set of follow-ups in my head for a little while but haven't been sure how to go about it. This is what I've come up with ...
For the ficlets, like this one, I will quote a small part of the reveal story – enough to either refresh your memory or set up the new story for those readers that are coming straight in. For the poems and drabbles I'll probably quote the whole thing – seeing they're so short anyway. In both cases I'll put the TETS quote in italics and separate them with a line break. Does that work for you?
The plan is to write a 'reaction' chapter for every 'reveal' chapter – even though some were only ever intended to be one-shots and some are edits from other stories. If you visit my profile page, you'll see the details of all the new 'THTK' chapters and the ideas I have so far. I've used any criticism you gave me in the TETS reviews as prompts but there are currently a number of gaps and any other suggestions would be gratefully received. (Seriously ... in a couple of chapters ... help!)
So ...? What do you think? You like?