Title: Cries of Unshared Grief
Summary: Someone finally notices Merlin's grief/sadness/guilt when Merlin starts having nightmares.
Ships: Merlin/Freya, Arthur/Gwen (though I don't think Arthur and Gwen are in this that much)
A/N: First actually going to maybe be posted Merlin fanfic. Hooray! Oh, Merlin, you're so angsty and sad. I don't know exactly where the inspiration for this came from. Probably just the general 'Merlin's life sucks' thing. I know that other people have done the Merlin nightmares fanfictions before, but I hope mine is sufficiently original to not spark any author wrath. Here goes! Oh yeah, I forgot! Spoilers for some of season four! And you can probably figure out when it takes place if it means that much to you.
They were on a hunt. Of course they were on a hunt. They were always going hunting and Merlin hated it. He could understand killing for food, but killing defenseless animals for fun was not something he would ever understand or enjoy. They couldn't go any further today, so they stopped and made camp. Or rather, Merlin made camp while Arthur, Leon, Gwaine, Elyan, and Percival did…whatever it was they did while Merlin made camp. Merlin really wasn't sure what was so important that they couldn't lend a hand. He made the fire, brushed down the horses and cooked the stew. They ate together, laughing and talking about the next day's plans. Then it was time for bed. Gwaine took the first watch while everyone else settled down into their blankets and slept.
During the day there had been several odd instances, and these were what occupied Gwaine's thoughts as he stared into the dying fire. The first odd thing had been when they were attacked by bandits. This in itself wasn't odd. Camelot and the surrounding areas seemed to have more than their fair share of bandits around. The odd part was when a branch conveniently fell on two bandits that were about to attack Arthur from behind. Very convenient. Then, they had come to a lake. It was a very beautiful lake, wide and blue, surrounded by trees on all sides, typical but beautiful. Gwaine had turned to Merlin to share the delight in the beauty of the lake, but Merlin had not looked happy. At all. In fact, if Gwaine remembered correctly, Merlin had looked rather as if he were about to cry. Then the moment passed and Merlin smiled at Gwaine. They moved on. But over the course of the long day, Gwaine had caught Merlin looking miserable quite a few times, always to be suddenly greeted by a swift smile that didn't quite reach Merlin's eyes. So, Gwaine was fairly certain that there was something wrong with Merlin and that Merlin did not want to talk about it. He also thought it probably had something to do with the lake, but that sounded very odd.
Merlin was asleep and dreaming. Though, really there should be a word other than dreaming for having nightmares. His dream started out well. He was kissing Freya on the shores of the Lake of Avalon. They were happy and in love. Then Gaius came in and raised his eyebrow disapprovingly at the pair of them. "Merlin, this is not your destiny," he spoke with Kilgarrah's voice. Then Arthur's sword point appeared through Freya's chest, and she fell to the ground and melted into water. "I am your destiny, Merlin," Arthur said, scowling. "You should be looking after me, not her." As Merlin fell to his knees and cried, his tears dissolving into the puddle that had been Freya, Arthur stood over him, pouring out a list of chores and tasks for Merlin to do. The dream changed.
Now Will was smiling and laughing at him as they ran through the tunnels near Ealdor, and out into the sunlight on the other side. As Merlin emerged, he saw Arthur fighting off three bandits at once. He rushed to help Arthur, but more bandits reached Will as Merlin started toward Arthur. Merlin used his magic and the bandits surrounding Arthur vanished, but the ones around Will remained no matter how hard Merlin tried to banish them. Arthur stood there and watched as Will was run through with a sword and the bandits vanished. Merlin rushed to Will's side and as he died, Will spoke. "Arthur over your own friends and family. You made your choice, Merlin." Merlin cried while Arthur looked on, lecturing Merlin about the evils of magic. Then Arthur changed into Uther, who was raising his hand while Merlin's head was on the chopping block. His hand came down as Gwen stared at Merlin in shock, betrayal on her face. As the axe came down, the dream changed again.
Lancelot looked at him sadly. "Your destiny is more important, Merlin." He walked through the tear with open arms. Arthur walked towards Merlin, his face full of anger and betrayal, with Gwen and Percival behind him, also looking hurt and angry. "Why did you let him do that Merlin?" Arthur asked, "Are you really that useless? You couldn't save anyone if you tried." "I thought you were my friend, Merlin," Gwen joined in, "but you failed me."
Balinor was carving a life sized dragon out of wood. Hunith stood next to him, watching him carve with a loving smile on her face. Then Uther came riding up behind them. He set fire to the dragon, which went up in flames immediately. As Merlin ran forward to stop him, Uther stabbed Balinor in the back and Balinor fell while Hunith cried, Uther smirked and Kilgarrah looked on laughing. "You really thought you could have a father, Merlin?" he laughed. And Uther laughed with him and even Hunith laughed as she changed into Nimueh. "The bargain is struck. I hope it pleases you," she said. Then Nimueh became Morgana, the new Morgana, but looking scared and helpless. "Merlin, please, beware. This is just the beginning," she sobbed. Merlin stepped forward to comfort her, but instead found himself choking her, killing her. He tried to stop himself, but his hands weren't his anymore. He suddenly found himself where Morgana had been, with himself still choking him.
Merlin's (the Merlin who was choking him) eyes flashed gold. "See what you've done? What you are?"
"Merlin! Wake up!"
Suddenly he was standing in the courtyard, tied to a stake. In front of him were Will, Freya, Balinior and Lancelot. They were all tied to their own stakes, with pyres beneath them, awaiting the flames. Arthur stood on the balcony overhead. "These people are accused of using sorcery and concealing sorcerers. The punishment for either of these crimes is death."
Arthur lowered his hand as the pyres underneath Merlin's loved ones were lit. Their screams shattered the silence in the courtyard. Merlin screamed with them.
"Merlin wake up! It's alright!"
All at once, there was nothing but ashes left.
A/N: If I get one review I will continue. I will probably continue anyway, but I shouldn't be telling you that because if I don't tell you, you are more likely to review. Ah well, secret's out now. I hope this chapter wasn't too short though it probably was and yes, this will quite possibly be a reveal. Eventually. Peace, love, and all that awesomeness. I leave you for now with a not-exactly-inspirational-but-possibly-amusing quote: "I think I should take some of this (aconite) with me from now on. You never know when you might need to kill someone!" -Merlin