This is just another oneshot. What if Arthur heard Sigan talking to Merlin in the big showdown? How would he react?
Spoilers for all of season 1 and the start of season 2.
I don't own anything you recognise (meaning anything from Merlin).
Also, thanks to my reviewers, who pointed out a few mistakes I made, I have now fixed them. :-)
Please read and review.
Arthur felt his head pounding, his shoulder aching and his entire back and side one constant throb of pain. Mumbled voices reached his ears, but his eyes weren't listening to his brain, remaining shut. Cedric's voice drifted into his hearing, "Who would have believed it? You, a sorcerer. And a powerful one."
Arthur frowned, wondering who the evil man was talking about.
"I won't let you hurt him." Merlin's determined voice echoed in the square. Arthur tensed up, his body protesting to the tense movement as he realised what Cedric was saying. Merlin has magic? No way. No, absolutely no. Arthur refused to accept Merlin was evil.
"And you're going to stop me?" Cedric asked, sounding very disbelieving.
"I'll stop you." Merlin repeated, his voice soft and seemingly conflicted.
"He does not deserve your loyalty. He treats you like a slave." Cedric told Merlin, Arthur knew they were talking about him and wanted to sit up and demand an explanation, to deny Merlin having magic, to hear him deny it but his body didn't respond to his orders, his eyes staying shut and his body lying limp.
"That's not true." Merlin told Cedric, the protesting sounding weak even to Arthur. Arthur mentally frowned at that.
"He cast you aside without a moment's thought." Cedric pointed out to Merlin and their silent observer; Arthur.
"That doesn't matter." Merlin argued.
Arthur heard the hurt in the servant's voice even as he denied the hurt. Arthur realised he had been treating Merlin badly, and had just dumped him for Cedric, and Arthur felt a wave of guilt wash through him but pushed it away to focus on the conversation, temporarily accepting the fact he was unable to get up or open his eyes.
"But it must hurt so much. To be so put upon, so overlooked. When all the while you have such power."
"That's the way it has to be."
Arthur was surprised to hear the boy just accept the lack of appreciation and acknowledgement for his supposed deeds (Arthur still wasn't accepting the fact that Merlin was magic) and just accepting Arthur walking all over him and ordering him about.
"Does it? You are young, Merlin. Look inside yourself. You have yet to discover your true power. I can help you. Think, Merlin, to have the world appreciate your greatness, to have Arthur know you for what you are."
"That can never be." Merlin told Cedric, his voice not sounding convincing at all, more wistful then anything.
"It can, if you join me. Together we can rule over this land. Arthur will tremble at your voice. He will kneel at your feet."
"I don't want that." Merlin's voice was hard and determined, cut off and cold. No longer a boy wanting his master to recognise his efforts. Now the protector protecting his Prince. Arthur was shocked at the difference.
"You'd rather be a servant?" Cedric sounded surprised that Merlin didn't want to join him.
"Better to serve a good man than to rule with an evil one."
"So be it. If you will not join me, I will become you and your power will be harnessed to my will."
There was a gasping sound and Arthur strained his ears (the only thing he could use at the moment) and was shocked to hear Merlin's voice speak out what was obviously a spell, his tone strained as if fighting something strong.
"Ic þín sáwol hér beléac, abide þæt ic þé álíese."
Arthur's mind drifted off and he lost consciousness right as he heard Gaius call out to Merlin.
Arthur woke up in his bed, his memory hazy yet one thing was clear in his mind. Merlin had magic. He used magic to save Camelot and Arthur. It just proved that magic wasn't necessarily evil, after all, stumbling, bumbling, idiotic Merlin didn't have the brains to be evil, nor the heart for it. He protested when they go hunting and Arthur killed animals. He couldn't kill a spider or a rat, he had to capture it and let it out in the forest. He had given up his life for Arthur and drunk the poisoned wine, believing he wouldn't wake up. Merlin wasn't evil. He may have magic, but he wasn't evil.
"Sire, glad to see you awake. Time you woke up, lazy bum, you've been sleeping for two days now." Merlin's voice entered his hearing and Arthur found it a lot harder to match this Merlin, his voice light, teasing and fun with his serious, powerful and cold voice when he casted the spell the night of the attack.
"The city?" Arthur coughed, his voice rough and sore after not using it for two days.
"Fine. Damages were minimal, what was damaged is being fixed now by guards and builders. There were 7 deaths, and a lot of people were injured but will all recover completely." Merlin told the Prince, holding a cup to his lips and his other hand supporting Arthur's neck, lifting his head so Arthur could sip the cool water.
"Merlin, my boy?" Gaius asked suddenly, entering the chambers.
"Arthur's awake." Merlin told him, moving away from the bed and to the side while Gaius' hands replaced Merlin's, skilled hands deftly checking Arthur's shoulder and his reflexes.
"Your concussion has gone. How is your arm?" Gaius asked the Prince, helping the boy sit up.
Arthur stretched and winced at the pull of healing skin. "Fine, how much have I missed?"
"Not much. Sir Leon has been organising the repairs and ordering the knights and other soldiers about in an attempt to clean up." Gaius told the Prince. "Stay in bed for the rest of today, tomorrow you can take up your duties again."
"Thank you Gaius. Merlin, stay here, I need to talk to you."
Gaius bowed his momentarily and walked out. the moment he shut the door, Merlin turned to Arthur and groaned, "Please not more chores! You're not even awake for 5 minutes and you're ordering me about. I've spent the last two days helping Gaius and all the knights, your father deciding that since you didn't need me the others could use me and then I was expected to still look after your room and scrub and dust on top of Gaius needing me to help with injuries and then –"
"Merlin, I know you have magic." Arthur cut him off, his voice quiet and wary of being overheard.
Merlin froze, quite comically, his mouth still hanging open mid-word. "What?" Merlin demanded.
"I heard you talking with Cedric. He wanted you to work with him, you denied it and then cast a spell, killing him or something." Arthur explained.
"Sire, your concussion made you hallucinate things. I don't have magic." Merlin demanded.
Arthur sighed and decided to repeat what he heard to prove he was there, "I believe Cedric said something like, 'Arthur will tremble at your voice, he will kneel at your feet'? Do not worry Merlin, I am not going to turn you in."
"What?" Merlin repeated, even more shocked.
"You think I would hand my friend in to be killed?" Arthur asked, extremely hurt and insulted Merlin thought he would betray the servant like that.
"No, but I know how much your father's approval and respect means to you. Finding a hidden warlock would make him proud of you. And he is your father, why would you go against him for me?" Merlin asked, sitting on the edge of the bed nervously.
"Merlin, I will never tell a sole that you have magic, because I know you. You don't have the ability to harm others or even mean any harm to others. You got upset when I killed a rabbit for food." Arthur told the boy.
"I don't have magic."
"Excuse me? I thought we just established that I wasn't going to rat you out?" Arthur asked, upset the boy was still denying it.
"Sorry, should've started differently, but I figured, since you know about my magic, I could share everything with you and explain everything. I don't have magic. I am magic. I never learnt how to use it, I just knew. I grew up and before I knew how to walk and talk I was floating things to me and driving my mum insane. I didn't need to learn to walk; I just levitated myself to places. She sent me to Gaius to learn how to control it, as it was getting stronger and harder to hide and since then he has been teaching me. I saved your life at that speech, but not just with the dagger. I made the chandelier drop of the witch trying to kill you then slowed time to move you out of the way. Since then I've been saving your life and making sure you don't die so that you can become King."
Arthur was silent for a moment then said, "Go through everything that has actually happened since we met, not the version I know."
"It's going to take a while." Merlin warned him, settling more comfortably on the bed as Arthur leaned back against the pillows Gaius had moved behind him. Merlin sat in front of him, cross-legged.
"I'm in no rush. And all your other chores and things can wait, I'll make sure you won't get punished."
"Ok, but I just want to say I am sorry for lying, for every time I have lied." Merlin told him.
"I understand why you had to lie Merlin, I won't get upset over the times you've lied to me." Arthur told the boy, meaning what he said. He knew that Merlin had to lie. When they first met, if Merlin had told him he had magic, Arthur would've handed him over without question. Arthur couldn't have said when his opinion changed, maybe it hadn't until he had heard Merlin was magic and Arthur just couldn't accept Merlin being evil, so he had decided magic had to be able to be good. Who knows, but Arthur knew that he would protect Merlin and his magic even if Uther himself was after the servant.
"Well, when we were fighting, I used magic to trip you up and make your mace get caught but stopped when Gaius saw me and gave me that look, you know the look where he raises and eyebrow and stares disapprovingly and makes you feel like a fool and idiot even if you've done nothing wrong," Merlin explained, noticing Arthur's confused look and continued as the Prince nodded in understanding, "So I stopped and you threw me in the dungeons. During the next couple of nights, I kept hearing a voice calling my name so I followed it down to the dungeons to a tunnel under the castle. I distracted the guards, which by the way, need a lot of work, considering how easy it is to sneak around them, seriously, the amount of times I've snuck past them or managed to convince them I wasn't doing anything suspicious, man, Camelot's security needs some discipline and needs to be looked at. I climbed down the tunnel and into a cavern where the Great Dragon was waiting."
"Wait, you know about the dragon?"
"Yeah, don't interrupt, this is going to be hard as it is, to make sure I tell you everything and not leave bits out so it gets confusing later on."
"Continue." Arthur waved a hand, clamping his mouth shut.
"So, the dragon told me that it was your destiny to be the greatest king ever and unite the land and so on and it was my destiny to protect you and to see to it that you don't die and fail. His exact words were quote Arthur is one side of the coin and you are the other unquote. I yelled at him, told him he was wrong cause you were a prat and an idiot."
"It's true, you were." Merlin kept on talking, excited to share this with his Prince and friend. "So the feast came and the witch pretending to be Lady Helen, Mary Collins, she made everyone fall asleep but my magic kept me awake until I blocked my ears and I dropped the chandelier on her to stop her. I then slowed down time to move you out of the way of the dagger. I saved your life twice and ended up becoming your manservant to clean up after you and be ordered about, I don't see how that is fair at all!" Merlin pouted momentarily but kept going with the story. "So I served you, unwillingly to begin with but you got better. When you were fighting Valiant, I summoned the snakes early to reveal himself to Uther and yourself. During the plague, I healed Gwen's father from the sickness and then helped you defeat the Afanc by summoning some wind to mix with the fire and attack it. I helped Lancelot kill the griffon by enchanting his weapon to pierce its skin."
"Wait. When you were poisoned, it was you who guided me in the caves with a blue orb, wasn't it!" Arthur realised.
"Ah, probably. Gaius said I had mumbled spells and words in the Old Tongue while I was unconscious and a blue orb appeared in my hand so I suppose so." Merlin shrugged.
"So you're powerful enough to save my life while you are delirious and unconscious and dying without even knowing about it?"
Merlin shifted on the bed uncomfortably. "Suppose so, and just extremely lucky as well." Arthur frowned and opened his mouth to tell Merlin to stop being modest but Merlin kept talking, "Anyway, I helped Lancelot kill the griffon, then when Edwin came to take over Gaius' spot and kill the King,"
"He tried to what?"
"Right, you weren't told about that." Merlin remembered. "Edwin came to Camelot and made Morgana sick by placing a cursed beetle in her ear that was going to slowly eat her brain. He then 'came' to Camelot and cured her by stopping the beetle. He then got Gaius kicked out, and placed the beetle in Uther's ear to kill him, but Gaius came back to stop him and I walked in on Edwin trying to kill Gaius with magic. I stopped him, and then went and stopped the beetle and healed Uther."
"You used magic on my father?"
"I was terrified, but Gaius said it was the only way cause there was no way in hell you were ready to be King. So I healed him, and then everyone was happy for a while until Sophia and her father turned up. They were actually Sidhe, small pixie-like creatures that are immortal but where kicked out of their home and turned mortal as Aulfric, the father, had killed another Sidhe. The only way for Sophia to be accepted by the Sidhe and return to an immortal life was to sacrifice a Prince's soul, so she charmed you into a brainless sheep and tried to drown you. I managed to stop them both and then drag you out of the water which wasn't easy with all your armour on. Mordred, the druid boy, called to me telepathically and I helped him, but the dragon told me that I should've let the boy die because he is one day going to be the cause of your death. That's why I was late in meeting you at the grating, I wasn't going to turn up originally but I couldn't just leave the boy to die."
"You were right to save him Merlin." Arthur told the boy who was clearly worried about what Arthur was thinking – was he right to save the boy if he was really going to kill Arthur. "Even if he does come back and kill me, you shouldn't have left him to die."
Merlin smiled gratefully at the Prince and continued with his story. "Tristan was your uncle, revived into a wrath, who was killed by your father in a battle to the death. He blamed your father for his sister's death, your mother, and challenged him and Uther had no choice but to kill him. I knew you were going to die if you fought the wrath, but I didn't know that Uther was going to fight in your place. I got a sword and asked the dragon to make it able to kill the dead. he did so, by bathing it in his flame and he made me promise that only you would use the sword, because it was powerful and no-one else should have that power but Uther fought in your place and used it and I couldn't really tell the King that he couldn't use it because a dragon said so and I promised said dragon. So Uther fought with the sword, which is why the wrath died, and then I threw it in Lake Avalon, so no-one can use it again. When we went to fight the bandits in my village, I conjured the whirlwinds to defeat them, not Will but he took the blame because he knew I wasn't ready to tell you the truth. When Gwen's father was killed, Morgana turned to Tauren and told them she'd help them kill Uther. When she went to her father's grave with him, she was meant to kill him but realised she didn't want this to happen and I helped the guards take care of Tauren's men without being caught. When you were bitten by the Questing beast I went to the Isle of the Blessed and made a deal with Nimeuh, she would heal you and because to give life, a life must be taken, I told her to take my life. She betrayed me and used my mother's life. I got angry and went back to demand her heal my mother and take mine, but Gaius beat me to it, he had believed that our destiny was more important than his life. When I demanded Nimeuh to undo what she had done, she attacked me and I fought back, killing her and bringing Gaius back to life. When Cedric came on the hunt with us, it was me who threw the spear, I used my magic to send and guide it, but Cedric took the credit. Then he broke into the vault and was possessed by Sigan's soul and he enchanted the stone statue gargoyles to come to life. I stopped them and then stopped Sigan. Well, you know that, you heard." Merlin explained, shrugging and grinning at Arthur who stared back in shock.
"You have saved my life basically every week." Arthur said. Merlin nodded.
"Well someone's got to." Merlin muttered, a little embarrassed. "Oh yeah, Gaius needed help with some patients. I've got to go, but I'll come back later with dinner and to check up on you. Bye Arthur." Merlin remembered, wanting to leave to give Arthur time to process everything.
"OK." Arthur responded. Merlin was at the door when Arthur called out, "And Merlin? Thank you."
"Just doing my job, don't worry about it." Merlin grinned cheerfully back, before ducking out of the room.
"Don't forget to clean my armour!" Arthur yelled after him.
Please review, and I hope you enjoyed it.