Fic: Shredding Destiny

Characters: Merlin/Arthur/Gwaine/...?

Rating: K+

Disclaimer: This is but another ode to the work of the fabulously talented Merlin creators and writers. I really don't mean to disrespect their work at all, just embellish and embroider their wonderful world and color it a little differently.

Big thanks go out to my beta, Eilonwyn, for her amazing, amazing editing!


Something was wrong—not where the eyes of mortal men could see, but underneath, where the powers of the Old Ones and the beginnings of magic lay. Something was very, very wrong. The lesser gods whispered and soothed as they could, touching here and there, hoping to affect the events that were growing so far out of their control. Their stirrings nudged the greater gods, who rolled over in their slumber, causing tremors in the earth. Their sullen anger birthed dark clouds to stain the sky, mixing with the pungent smell of fertile land as the winds raced and the very foundations of the earth shuddered.

In a distant realm united to our own, the Ancient Trees shivered to their roots and gusts of wind disturbed the eternally calm waters of Lake Avalon. Voices cried out, so many that the greater gods fully awoke and cast their weary eyes across England. They did not like being tied to Time, forced to take note of the transient things that came and went too quickly to earn hate or love. But now the foundation of their existence, the magic that had birthed them, was sputtering and struggling for life. Awake and alarmed, they knew there was only one person with enough magic to awaken the Old Ones. Was it his time upon the earth already?

Yes, the lesser gods replied. We were there.

They had witnessed the portents and followed the magic as it began to gather and seep into the form of a tiny mortal. Full of wonder, they had protected his mother as he grew and watched his birth with awe. They found it impossible to leave his side and so guarded his crib and mesmerized his bright blue baby eyes with feats of playful magic. His entire world danced with love for his gaze alone.

As he grew, it was more work than they had anticipated keeping him safe and helping him avoid the dangers that were so naturally drawn to one with so much magic. Soon enough, the lesser gods cast the net of their protection over all of Ealdor on his behalf, blessing the crops and the wells and constantly forcing the eye of the king away from this small community.

But then, as all men have done, Emrys grew, and left their circle of protection for the larger and more dangerous land of Camelot. Destiny had claimed him for its own; the lesser gods could but watch from a distance and content themselves to infuse his life with love when he returned home.

The greater gods knew the truth of the story, and immediately their gaze sharpened. Together, they turned their focus on the one person endowed with enough magic to end a world, if he so desired: Emrys. He was in grave danger, moving closer and closer to the moment when his magic would splinter like a shattered glass. With a cry that birthed quakes up and down the coast, the gods drew the tattered remnants of Destiny to their chests and began to influence the world once again.

They worked, as they always did, through the strength and compassion of men, giving a nudge here and there, illuminating truth and lending strength. But all the while, they felt such dread as they had never felt before, and feared the moment when they would have to directly interfere. Forcing a mortal vessel to hold the complete power of the gods was a perilous undertaking, but as events unfolded, it looked more and more necessary. The moment was drawing near when Emrys would hold the fate of the entire world in his hands.

The Old Ones could not take away that moment, nor persuade Emrys's enemy to relent—the vile deed was a certainty. Instead, they invested their hopes in the other mortal caught in Destiny's thin web of design. Protection ringed Camelot, surging up from below the ground and giving its King all the peace and all the time he needed to think, to render truth from deception, to grasp at things he could barely understand and in doing so, decide the fate of a nation.

Truth be told, he was in no way comfortable with this situation...

story continued in Shredding Destiny, the sequel to Burning Bridges