Title is from the MCR song, the fic is not really in anyway related to the content but I think it fits. This fic took quite a spectacular turn around from where I started out and was heading originally but you know, I'm pretty happy with it.
"Would you give yourself to the spirits to save your prince?"
"It is my destiny."
"Perhaps. But your time among men is not yet over, Emrys, even if you want it to be."
The Cailleach looked towards the tear, Merlin followed her gaze. His heart stopped, Lancelot was walking towards it, he paused to look back at Merlin, to give him a final good bye. The young warlock's heart was in his mouth, he could not say anything. He was frozen, with fear? With uncertainty? He was not sure. All he knew was that how he felt at that very moment was colder than any Dorocha could ever make him feel. Merlin could only watch as Lancelot, Knight of Camelot, one of his best friends, one of the few people in the entire world who knew the wizard's secret, walked to his death.
The Knight opened his arms as if he were embracing the tear, like an old friend, like he had done towards Merlin so many times. This was not right. Merlin was supposed to be the one sacrificing himself. Not Arthur, not Lancelot, no one but Merlin. Finally, as the tear began to swallow Lancelot, and Merlin began to lose sight of his friend for the last time, he found his voice. Strained and filled with pain as it was, all he could muster up was a heart wrenching "No!" This was the last word Sir Lancelot heard before being cast away into oblivion, and Merlin repeated that single word again and again.
He was in shock, to say the least. It didn't even register in Merlin's mind that the tear between the worlds was restored and Camelot was safe once again. Slowly, Merlin sank to his haunches, too weak to do anything but sit on the ground, still repeating that word. He guessed time had passed, though he was not entirely convinced. Then, Merlin's shock induced stupor changed into one of grief. He crawled his way over to where the tear had been, where Lancelot had disappeared, and cried.
Black smoke swirled through Arthur's mind, clouding it. He could hear something, vaguely. It was dull, masked by the smoke. As Arthur attempted to clear the black, brief moments of the noise flashed through his mind, but the second he could hear the noise properly it was snatched away, left only to echo through the black. Eventually, he did not know after how long, Arthur realised somebody was crying. No, crying was an understatement. They were wailing, screaming, Arthur was sure tears were involved but crying seemed too little to describe the sound. Why was somebody crying? Maybe someone had died, Arthur mentally shrugged, then he stiffened and the black smoke clouding his mind was blown away by panic and fear. He opened his eyes to more darkness, which slowly grew lighter as his eyes adjusted. There was a torch burning dimly, the only light source in such a vast chamber.
Arthur saw Gwaine lying on the ground a few feet away, where the Cailleach had flung him. The prince rubbed his stiff neck, it felt as though he himself had been flung, but that wouldn't make sense. The Cailleach wanted Arthur to sacrifice himself, surely she would not have stopped him. Then another heart wrenching sob broke into his thoughts and Arthur slowly stood, turning towards the noise.
His blood stopped. "Merlin?" he called out uncertainly, beginning to make his way to the figure huddled on the ground, mere metres away. "Merlin? You ok?" he called a little louder. There was no response from his servant which made Arthur a little worried, but then Merlin really never did do as he was told. In the back of his mind Arthur was aware of Gwaine stirring behind him. A good sign, he thought.
Arthur increased his pace, wanting to get to Merlin quickly. The man was hysterical. When he arrived, he kneeled next to Merlin, laying a hand gently on his shoulder. Merlin didn't even seem to notice. "Merlin," Arthur shook his shoulder. "What the hell happened?"
His servant sniffed loudly, obviously trying to calm himself down enough to speak. Merlin lifted his pale hands and wiped his face, trying to rid himself of tears. But more still fell. "...Lance...Lancelot," was all Merlin managed to gasp out.
For the first time since waking, Arthur realised Lancelot was not around and was quick enough to put the clues together. "Oh god," he said quietly.
Gwaine came to slowly, he thought so anyway. He could not remember a particular moment in which he thought I am awake, so he guessed it must have happened slowly. He had a splitting headache and for a few moments was only worried about himself. But something niggled at him, told him to open his eyes, get up, remember what happened. The knight frowned, something was wrong but he could not, for the life of him, remember what that was. At first he thought maybe he had a rough night at the tavern; it would explain the headache and the loss of memory, but no. There was something else. Vaguely, as he became more aware of his surroundings, Gwaine heard voices. Murmuring was not the right word to explain them, he could tell they were loud, very loud, but they seemed…fuzzy in his mind.
Gwaine slowly brought hands to head and massaged his temples. God, he wished they would stop talking, whoever they were. Then, like a brick thrown to his face, Gwaine was overloaded with missing memories and scenes from the last however long it was. Adrenaline kicked in and pumped throughout his body, causing his headache to dissipate, for the moment. He launched himself up and, after steadying for a brief second, took in the scene that lay before him.
He had to concentrate to see through the almost-dark, but managed. The noises he heard turned out to be body-racking sobs being snatched from Merlin's mouth.
Internally Gwaine froze, but his body moved. He hurried over to Merlin to comfort and find out what was going on. Why was Merlin crying? Merlin had his back to the knight but Gwaine knew he was crying. No one made sounds like that unless tears were involved somehow.
Thoughts spun through Gwaine's mind, groggy as it was. Merlin was crying, Arthur was with him, although the Prince did not seem as upset as his servant. Vaguely, through the heart breaking bawls, Gwaine could make out strained, slightly incoherent words. Lancelot? Did Merlin say Lancelot? Gwaine, not as quick to put the factors together, came to a halt with Merlin and Arthur at his feet.
"What the hell is going on?" he demanded.
Arthur looked at him, sadness shining up from the depths of his blue eyes. "Lancelot," he began at length, "Lancelot sacrificed himself to stop the Dorocha."
Gwaine shook his head, "No," was all that managed to find its way out of his mouth. The knight continued to shake his head, a lone tear spilling from his gleaming eyes. Later, he would ask why Lancelot? What had actually happened? And Gwaine would find out the events, but that would come later. At that moment, Gwaine let himself wallow in his grief.
To say that the Knights of Camelot had grown close in the past year would be an understatement. Gwaine had gone from having only one friend, Merlin, to having a band of brothers. Even Arthur managed to weave his way into Gwaine's heart, though he would never let the prince find that out. When it came down to it, Gwaine more than trusted all of them, he loved them.
But now, Lancelot, the noblest and most downright pure of them was whisked away in the briefest of moments. One small, tiny, insignificant moment in time had changed Gwaine's world forever.
Gwaine stood in shock, and watched as Arthur rubbed his face over with his hands. It was something the prince did when he was upset or exhausted, Gwaine had learnt. At that moment, Arthur was probably feeling the effects of both. Merlin seemed to be calming down slowly. His sobs became fewer and less pronounced, until he was just sitting, staring into the darkness.
Gwaine couldn't blame Merlin for his reaction, everyone knew the air between him and Lancelot was different. Out of all the knights, Lancelot had known Merlin the longest, but there seemed to be something else, something hidden that none of them could figure out. Gwaine was much more perceptive than he let on and he knew the two shared something special, he was curious, but respected their privacy. When the time came he would find out, he knew.
Gwaine's thoughts were cut short as he heard the rustling of feet from not very far away. Almost as soon as he heard the noise Leon, Elyan and Percival entered the enormous chamber. The three knights dropped their defensive positions almost immediately after they scanned the room for any threats, then made their way towards the three men in the middle of the chamber.
"Where's Lance?" The way Elyan asked it was in a very similar fashion to the way he asked if Gwaine was alright, a year previously. He was trying to be optimistic, but his voice wobbled with worry.
Arthur, in reply, just shook his head slowly, "Gone."
The ride back to Camelot was arduously long. Merlin was still not fully recovered from the Dorocha, even with the magic help of the Vilia, which made it difficult for him to be riding for long periods of time. Though he never once complained, or asked to stop, Arthur watched out for him and gave them all regular breaks. He also gave Merlin an extra shirt, just to be safe.
They were all dealing with Lancelot's death the best they could. Arthur tried to stay strong for his knights and Merlin, though he tried to do so without coming off as arrogant and uncaring. The knights knew that Arthur was trying to maintain some sort of composure and leadership, but tried to give him a break, and allow him time to grieve.
Leon was, as ever, at Arthur's side being as helpful as possible.
Gwaine was annoyingly quiet for everyone's liking.
Percival, in betrayal of his normal self, was talking a lot, about trivial things mostly.
Elyan seemed on edge, and he found his teeth grinding every time Percival opened his mouth.
It was safe to say tensions were high; however at the same time, they were still all looking out for each other. The trip did take slightly longer to get back, but that was because they were taking things slower. There was no rush to arrive back in Camelot, to face the happy faces of the people, and announce the sad news. No one wanted to do that.
During one of their rest stops Merlin was sitting close to the small fire when he spoke his first words since leaving the Isle of the Blessed. He turned to Arthur, who was standing slightly off to the side, keen eyes observing his knights.
"You ok?" Merlin's voice cracked slightly from the lack of use.
Arthur nodded once. That one nod told Merlin all he needed to know about the prince. He was not ok, but he was dealing. He had to be strong, and would grieve in his own time when they were back at Camelot. That is how the situation was going to be whether Merlin liked it or not, and there was nothing anybody could do about it.
But Merlin being Merlin pushed him, "Are you sure?"
Surprisingly, Arthur remained stoic and just nodded again. Merlin, I'm warning you… the nod spoke.
For once in his life, Merlin accepted Arthur's words, and left it alone.
During the third day of riding, Camelot could be seen in the distance. "Home," Perce stated what everyone had been thinking. "You know," he said conversationally, "I never thought I would come to Camelot in my life. It just didn't seem like the place for me. Who would have thought? I found a home in this place, and you guys. And it never would have happened if I had not have met Lancelot…" he trailed off slowly. It was the first time anyone had brought up Lancelot, and Percival hadn't even seemed to notice until he finished what he was saying.
Surprisingly though, everyone seemed ok. There was no awkward silence, just a moment of solemnity before Merlin asked, "And how did you two meet? I don't think you've ever told me that."
"Well, Merlin, my friend, that story is for another time."
"Oh, come on," Elyan whined, "give us a story."
"Ok," Percival drew breath and gathered his thoughts. "It started when I was at this tavern in Mercia…"
"You've got my interest!" Gwaine piped up, and they all laughed.
Arthur eyed the men around him as they listened intently to Percival's story. They had suffered a terrible loss, all of them. And no way was their grieving over, but they were ok, they were doing alright and that, Arthur thought optimistically, that was a start.
Yeah, kinda corny ending but anyways… So, because I have viewed the season 4 trailer I know dearest Lancey is obviously not proper dead
and is coming back at some stage, which will then, of course, ensue much Arthur-angst by way of Gwen realising that she regrets not giving a little lovin' to Lance before so she should when he comes back... BUT I thought The Darkest Hour Part II was fucking amazing (although NOTHING in comparison to The Wicked Day *happiness!DIES*) and so this is my fic, sort of the aftermath of dearest Lancey's sacrifice.
So what did ya think? Crappy? Not crappy? PLEASE review! I know I say it all the time but I really do love them! Also, writing this I thought I might write a fic about how Lance and Perce actually met. I mean, it bothers me that I don't know, so there's a possible fic for the future. Obviously I will write a tag to The Wicked Day at some point in the future, not sure when, and also a new SPN fic coming soon, as well as updates for Secrets and a few Ranger's Apprentice fics *namely WWHI Book 2 and Bedridden*
So that's just a bit of what's going through my head at the moment. I will really try hard to update more regularly though, I had a pretty hectically shit year this year from a mixture of school and other stuff, and now am starting year 12 *fucking yay* but yeah. It will be full on but I have 16 frees a fortnight so that'll *hopefully* give me time to write :)
Love you all..