What I was hoping would happen in the episode 'His Father's Son.' I was just hopping for this when I watched this episode, thought I might just write it out. Just a short little two part thing. Hope you enjoy.
Arthur was talking with the Queen of Carleon, hoping to make a bargain. A one on one fight, winner take all. She listened, and just as it seemed she would go for the idea, who should enter the tent but his bumbling servant Merlin. A surge of anger pulsed through Arthur, most of it directed at Merlin, but part of it at himself for not realizing the idiot would follow him.
As Merlin was placed besides Arthur and forced to kneel, they eyed each other, each trying to convey a message.
"Sorry about this," Merlin finally said.
The Queen's head snapped from the servant to Arthur. "You know him."
Arthur looked at the Queen, fear filling him as well as more anger towards his friend. "He's my servant, he must have followed me here. I knew nothing about it," he said looking between them.
"Kill him," the Queen commanded and another pulse of fear shot through Arthur.
"Wait, please. Let him go. He's just... a simple minded...fool." Arthur tried to persuade.
The Queen looked hard at Arthur. "That is two favors you've asked of me this night, Arthur Pendragon.
Arthur swallowed nervously, fearing what she would do to the idiotic fool he cared too much about. The Queen turned from him and sat in a throne. She looked over Merlin with a pensive look. Arthur waited and Merlin looked between the two powerful rulers. He was kicking himself for getting caught.
Finally the Queen spoke. "Very well, you shall have you trial by combat, but I cannot allow you to ask two favors of me this night."
Arthur tensed. He feared she had decided to kill Merlin anyway. What she said was much worse. "Instead of a warrior fighting for you, it shall be him, your servant." Arthur was about to protest, but the Queen continued. "If you do not agree to this, there will be war."
Arthur collected himself once more, thinking on her words. He couldn't risk war for one man, but it was Merlin. He thought quickly.
"Then in order to keep things fair, you must choose someone who is not a soldier," he said. Merlin couldn't fight well, but he must have learned something in all those training sessions . He hoped he could at least hold up against someone else who had never been trained.
The Queen considered this. Of course the combat had to be fair, she had no choice but to comply. "Very well. I will announce my champion tomorrow at noon, and then, they shall fight. To the death."
Arthur nodded, hoping it was the weakest person possible.
"Now go, before I change my mind," the Queen said.
Arthur pulled Merlin up roughly and they left.
As the two walked back, Arthur did his best to suppress his anger, but was failing miserably.
"You idiot! You've ruined everything. Now I will lose you and half the kingdom!" He ended up saying in a fury. He would have thrown something heavy at the idiot if he could of found anything.
"I was just trying to protect you." Merlin said back.
"What is wrong with you. Why can't you ever just let me be?"
"I'm your friend. I was looking out for you."
"I appreciate that in your very confused way you're only trying to help, but please... don't do it again." Arthur said turning away from him. "That is if you survive this."
They made it back to the tent in silence. Arthur was still trying to think of a way to get Merlin out of this, for the Queen to reconsider. He could think of nothing. He prepared for the worst. He turned to Merlin.
"Tomorrow morning I will train you as best I can before you fight. You better not lose, Merlin." He said shaking his head.
"Arthur-" Merlin began.
"Stop. Just... go sleep.. your going to need it." Arthur said waving him off. He couldn't deal with Merlin right now.
Merlin decided to obey him for once and went to sleep.
Arthur didn't sleep at all. He tried thinking of anyway to get out of this, but nothing came. He prepared to lose his friend and half his kingdom. He knew Merlin couldn't win.
The next morning, Arthur was tasked with explaining to Agravaine and the knights the happenings of last night. Each of them listened quietly. When he was done all of them waited for Arthur to say it was all a joke.
"You're kidding right?" Elyan said unsure after a long silence.
"I'm afraid not. As soon as we are done talking I need to train Merlin." Arthur said with tired eyes.
"But sire, we can win this war, I know we can," Sir Leon said.
"I don't doubt it, but at what cost? How many men will be slaughtered?" Arthur said.
"And what if we were to lose this trial? We can't give up our land," Elyan argued.
"That's the deal I've struck," Arthur said a bit begrudgingly. "I believe it to be fair. I stand by it," Arthur said, not really believing his own words.
"But the boy, he can barely hold a sword let alone use one," Agravaine said.
"We can only hope that their champion is just a poor with a sword. We still have time to teach Merlin a few tricks. We can still win," again he didn't believe his words.
No one spoke. Arthur nodded as if reassuring himself and went to go train Merlin.
Back at the Queens tent, the Queen, Alice, was trying to decide on a champion. She had considered one of her own servants, but none of them had ever held a sword. She knew the weak rat of Arthur's servant couldn't hold up in a battle, but she didn't want to take any chances. Morgana walked through the flaps of her tent and bowed to the Queen briefly.
"I heard you aren't going into battle but are doing a trial," Morgana said snidely.
"Indeed. All I need do is choose a champion," she said without looking at the witch.
"Who did Arthur decided upon?" Morgana questioned.
"He didn't get to decide. His servant followed him and as a consequence, I choose him as Arthur's champion," the Queen explained.
"Merlin? A servant fighting for half of Camelot. Arthur would not agree to this."
"That is why I must choose an equal opponent. He said I must choose someone who is not a soldier. I can think of no servant of mine who can handle a sword," the queen thought glumly.
"Are you sure the only terms he gave was that it couldn't be a soldier?" Morgana questioned. The Queen gave a nod. Morgana smiled. "My lady, I think I may have an idea." she said with a smirk.
"And just who do you have in mind?"
Morgana just smiled. "Myself of course."
The Queen paused, then gave a smile too. "I think I just found my champion."
End of part one