Disclaimer: I own nothing pertaining to BBC's Merlin

PS~ see an errors give me a heads up, i suck at editing my own stuff...

He felt so small.

As Kilgharrah flew hard and fast toward the mountains the same thought echoed over and over in his mind blocking out all else. He felt so small. Lying limp and quiet in his talons, nothing but fragile bone and white skin separated the warlock Kilgharrah carried from his great claws.

In the years Kilgharrah had known Merlin, in all the times he had seen Merlin rush into his prison without fear of facing a giant, ancient, angry, power , and rush back out into even further danger, it had never occurred to him to place the thoughts "Weak" and "Merlin" anywhere near each other. And now he could sense Merlin's strength ebbing away.

For the first time in over twenty years urgency swelled within Kilgharrah. How much time did Merlin have left? The questioned remained unanswered.

Kilgharrah's own largeness washed over him as carried Merlin. The expanse of his wings as they beat across the sky, the shifting of his muscles under rock hard scales, and the power residing in limbs that dwarfed tree trunks all occurred to him as he focused his strength in restraint, on not crushing Merlin in claws too large to feel their power until too late. More than twenty years spent chained in the dark and the world had forgotten the strength of dragons. Apparently so had Kilgharrah.

He flew faster.

In the distance mountains grew from the horizon. Dark and jagged in their bareness the sky looked soft in comparison. They would be safe here, sheltered from unfriendly and friendly eyes alike by the looming peeks. There weren't many places in the world a thirty foot dragon could hide safely. This was one of them.

Kilgharrah lowered Merlin to the ground with what gentleness he could manage in claws too massive for dexterity. He wondered darkly if might just break Merlin now and ruin everything.

Merlin's head rolled as Kilgharrah laid him down. He did not call out, or cry or moan. Even when Kilgharrah jostled his puncture wound. His labored breathing continued on unevenly as it had throughout their flight.

Kilgharrah began the spell that would save Merlin. He drew power from deep within himself and then reached further. He pulled up magic from the fiery heart of the earth itself so that when he spoke the words to heal, they were the sound when fire kisses ice, when wind whistles through rock, when roots grow in new spring soil. The spell was deafening because it made almost no noise at all.

Kilgharrah's eyes slid closed and he reached his mind out and brushed Merlin's consciousness. He sensed the slow return of strength and life into the boy. It would take time, but Kilgharrah knew patience.

He settled into the rock to guard the young Merlin. He would wait and watch. He could do no more. Merlin had to fight now.

A cold rain fell late that night. Merlin shivered as rain soaked his clothes and face. Kilgharrah unfolded his wings over Merlin to shield him. Still Merlin made no sound.

When the rain stopped and the stars returned to the sky Kilgharrah folded his wings up and continued his vigil.

The young Warlock shook and Kilgharrah wondered if he was cold, even as his hair stuck out at odd angles from his head with sweat. Merlin's limbs twitched, his hands grasped at something only his fevered mind could understand. And all the while Kilgharrah kept guard.

As Merlin struggled on a feeling stirred within Kilgharrah. He wanted to draw Merlin in close and warm him, but knew the fire under his scales would burn the boy. He wanted to stroke Merlin's forehead and gauge his fever, but knew no feeling would pass through his rough talons, and that any heat Merlin gave off would be nothing compared with his own fire. He wanted to brace Merlin's body against the spasms, and knew he could accidentally crush Merlin with claws of iron and steel.

He felt helpless.

Kilgharrah, who stood thirty feet tall, breathed fire that would have brought down Camelot (if not for a certain warlock), and spoke the language of magic mountains and myth felt helpless.

So he watched Merlin.

The intensity of his guard grew until he watched so motionless that he became like one of the surrounding rocks.

Merlin spoke once that long night. At first there was no change. His body continued to twitch weakly as he fought off the poison, but then among the shuddering breaths was an exhausted sigh.

Merlin rolled over slowly, his clouded eyes raised to meet Kilgharrah's.

"I didn't think you would answer my call." His voice was hoarse, more a whisper than proper speech, but a smiled played on his lips at the end as if he were truly pleased Kilgharrah had heeded him.

The boy does not know the strength of his gift mused Kilgharrah. He did not know that more than magic bound them, and drew Kilgharrah when he was called. The earth, the air, the sky, the sun all bound them together. To ignore Merlin was to ignore the very earth itself, to deny his lungs air, or his heart fire. It could not be done.

With thinly veiled amusement Kilgharrah answered, "Merlin, I could not resist a dragon lord, even if I wanted to.

"Thank you. I'm grateful." Merlin's voiced diminished to the rustling of leaves.

Merlin tried to pull himself up and gasped in pain as his poisoned body refused to cooperate.

"Lie still" Kilgharrah prodded

Merlin leaned back, face tight, refusing to release another sound until-

"Oww, my head…"

"The serket's poison is powerful. I have given you an enchantment to help you heal, but it will take time."

Between them stood fire and ash, an almost ruined city, promises, darkness, broken trust, wind in fallen leaves, secrets, running water a great chasm, light, and Magic

Merlin nodded.

He was already asleep.