The rising dawn painted the sky in deep reds and oranges as the limitless canvas stretched out towards the horizon and beyond behind the mountains. The air was thick with silence as King Arthur and his knights sat around the banquet hall in Pendragon Castle.
For the first time as King, Arthur felt completely useless...what power he had seemed devoid of any use. The image of Morgan weeping hysterically while being restrained by her nun and Leontes was scraped violently into the walls of his cognizance.
He could not comprehend what she must have been going through and Arthur's heart went out to his sister and her ill child. It weakened his soul to see what he remembered as a happy, plump baby...now resting limp and pale in a bed far too big for the boy's little body.
The young Marrok had contracted a severe case of fever and the Castle healer believed he would not make it through the week. This news had sent Morgan into a frenzy and for days she mixed potions in an attempt to clear Marrok of his sickness. Though she achieved at slowing her son's symptoms, the once hard-faced and proud woman crumbled under the realization that even she was powerless to save her son.
And so she sent for Merlin as a last resort, Morgan had grown up hearing of the miracles preformed by Merlin. She had even witnessed her own father rise from his deathbed with new-found strength after a session with the skilled Sorcerer.
Never would Morgan have succumbed to asking for Merlin's help, she would have rather suffered and died before seeking his sympathy. But no longer was she the center of her existence...in truth she would endure hell before accepting Merlin's help if it were her own life at stake. Yet with Marrok's life on the line, Morgan would have kneeled before Merlin, kissed his feet and begged with all her might to will her son better.
When Arthur arrived with his noble knights the scene that graced his sights was one that shocked him and his men. Merlin leaped from his stead and ran into Pendragon Castle without even casting a glance back. It was a most unusual reaction as Merlin was always on high alert when visiting Pendragon, it was no secret that he did not trust the King's half-sister.
And yet a blind eye was passed on Arthur's safety and the King was not the only one the mutely quiz the Sorcerer's actions and odd behaviour.
Merlin had gone straight to work and only minutes after his arrival had a distraught Morgan pulled from her son's side. The nun's attempts of pulling the panic-stricken women were fruitless and the calm and collected Leontes stepped in to drag Morgan away.
Merlin had later forced a sleeping remedy down her throat, when her screams of release had gotten too much. The fiery resentments soon quieted down and Morgan fell into a sedated slumber.
That was where Arthur found himself now, with Morgan still in drug-hazed dream...her nun still caring for her. Merlin locked up in young Marrok's room doing only god knows what. And the King and his knights littering Pendragon Castle's festive hall, all plagued with the night's display.
Hours had passed a no news had come, only once was Arthur blessed and granted permission to see his nephew...though no sooner had his eyes fell upon the white, sweat-drenched face had he regretted it.
"It is of terrible sorrow when a boy so young, so reaped of a life lived is struck by such an illness." The voice startled all men and their eyes widened in surprise at the culprit who had worded the dreadful thoughts each man was thinking.
"Do not speak so gravely, the boy is not yet dead Gawain." Kay answered from where he sat in a dimly lit corner.
"Kay's right! We should think positively...Merlin has accomplished miracles in the past, why not now?" Leontes spoke out positively, sending a reassuring smile Arthur's way. He could see how worthless the young King was feeling and took it upon himself to quench all negative feeling.
"The young Marrok will survive this with the healing hands of Merlin and he will grow to be a brave lad...who better to teach him to fight than his own uncle the King?" True enough Leontes' kind and warm words had lightened the damp a grief filled atmosphere.
Arthur smiled in appreciation and was about to reply when the heavy doors to Marrok's chambers were pushed open. All heads snapped to attention as a physically and mentally drained Merlin walked out. Dark bags circled the lower region of his eyes and his face was glazed with sweat, though the smallest of smiles was evident as he looked up to meet Arthur's stare.
"Marrok will live, he is tired and will need a lot of rest...but he will live to see many days." Was Merlin's only response, and in that moment all occupants in the room eased with relief.
The crisp evening air had cast all worry and stress away, leaving a sense of tranquility to engulf Pendragon Castle in its wake. Once Morgan had awoken to the news that her baby had survived, she had rushed to her infant's side and had gushed over his little body.
She had stayed by his side for most of the day, until Sister Sybil had shooed her out by claiming she was smuggling the healing boy. Morgan of course put up a fight, though finally left when she had her mentor promise to look over Marrok while she was gone.
Morgan found herself walking out onto the balcony that faced the west, there the glorious scenery of hills and trees awaited her. She sucked in a long and deep breath as she closed her eyes, ridding herself of the nightmarish thoughts that had corrupted her slumber. Marrok was alive and he was gradually getting well, it was all she wanted...her baby to recover and now he was on his way to doing so.
Yet she could not shake the feeling that it was her own fault, that as his mother she should have protected him from the harshness of the world. And she had failed in her duty, having to call for the man who had abandoned her baby. It caused her great pain knowing the man who didn't want Marrok, was the only one who could save him.
"You are not a bad mother Morgan, you cannot fight all of his battles for him...learn from this experience, know that he is strong." The deep voice she could never forget broke into her private sanctuary, causing her to whip around furiously. There Merlin was in all his glory leaning against the wall, a look of past madness and dead panic on his own features, though she chose to ignore them.
"Do not sprout your lies to me Sorcerer...he is my responsibility, I am the only person he has in this world and I failed him in the moment he needed me most." She bit back harshly, as a flame of self-loathing ignited within her right before Merlin's eyes.
"Do not think I take your ability and mercy for granted, I graciously thank you for saving my son's life...but you have no duty to him, you could have just left him for dead-"
"GOD DAMNMIT MORGAN! Do you view me as being so villainous that I would let that child die, that I have no duty to that sweet boy...I AM HIS FATHER AND DO NOT FORGET THAT, for I never do." Merlin whispered his eyes expressed the pain, anguish, torment and reasoning that tortured him every day he was away from his son.
"You're his father!"
This was definitely my favourite chapter by far and I'm hoping you all feel the same. I pray I'm able to keep up. I want to thank: pixiie18, LylSev, ROSELLA1, Nat and Narutoske for the amazing reviews. I'm really blessed to have you guys reading my story. Also thanks to all who Alerted and Favourited...it means so much!