Warning: shameless fluff, Merlin/OC
You should know, this is taking place during the last chapters of 'A journey destined' and a few months after. So … spoilers for that I guess?
A little over seven years later…
She closed the doors of the Court Sorcerer's chambers carefully, trying to not make a sound. Slowly, she advanced into the large room while incanting a variety of spells to tidy the place up. All around her objects moved purposely, little bottles that sorted themselves onto selves, furniture getting arranged in their proper positions, books finding their way up on the far wall library. It was still early in the morning and none of the maids had come up to either clean or bring Merlin his breakfast. She studied the small table besides the fireplace. Lifting up her hand, Andria muttered a summoning spell that promptly filled its surface with various fruits, bread and cheese and a mug of hot herbal tea. She doubted Merlin would be in any condition to move, let alone leave his chambers for a while, even more without having some proper food yet.
She enjoyed forcing food on him whenever circumstances would allow it. He looked so much healthier nowadays and she liked boasting it was partially her accomplishment.
She went on with the rest of the chores silently as not to disturb the sleeping man in the smaller room. It had taken a combined effort of six members of the Guard, along with her magical prowess, to return Merlin's bedchamber to its former condition after the previous day's events.
The battle with Morgana had been brief but nearly catastrophic. Thankfully, she was now certain that Merlin would make a full recovery. But to achieve that he needed to rest. In relative peace and silence.
Why does he always have to risk losing his life?
Is Merlin-in-the-brink-of-death some kind of… necessity for Camelot's defenses?
"Last time I checked, this certainly wasn't in your job description…"
Andria turned abruptly to find Camelot's Court Sorcerer -and the man of her dreams -Stop it Andria!- resting tentatively on the door frame. He looked very tired, black circles clearly visible under his hooded eyes, skin marred by a variety of cuts and bruises. The white sleeping tunic he was wearing was hanging loosely from his body.
Of course he's lost weight. He gets abducted for four days and he bloody loses weight. Just typical.
"Someone had to clean up this mess, Merlin. I didn't want the maids to come up and risk waking you up. Guess I should have known better," she said scoffing. "You should go back to bed, you look like you can barely stand as it is…" She walked towards the warlock to lend him a hand.
Merlin smiled tentatively when she reached him. She put a hand around his back and let him use her shoulder for support. Definitely lost weight. She began to move inside the bedchamber only to be stopped again.
"No, I much prefer to sit in there for a while. Perhaps even eat something. I seem to be starving…" he trailed off, letting a small laugh at the end.
Andria stared at the man she had almost lost. Not that he was hers to begin with but still. Listening to Merlin's carefree laugh, even the shorter, fainter version of it, was enough to make the sorceress weak on her knees. She had to physically shake her head in order to snap out of it and help him to sit.
They hadn't made it to the middle of the work room yet when she felt him stop. She turned to look, feeling alarmed and ready to ask if there was something bothering him but no words came out of her mouth. Instead she stood there lost in his eyes, eyes that were studying her but betraying no emotion. She held her breath, feeling as she should be the one in need of support and not he. A minute more of this and she might have passed out. But that hadn't been the case.
"You let your hair down. It looks beautiful…" he whispered, his eyes never leaving hers, his hand coming to rest upon the small of her neck. Andria's heart was beating so hard she feared it might explode. They must have been standing there entangled for quite some time, she wasn't sure. She was too afraid to speak, not knowing if the sudden sound would break the magic of the moment; make him realize what it was he was doing. Regret it.
"I thin…" she began to say only for him to silence her with a kiss.
A few months after that morning…
"But I never get to attend anything! It isn't fair, mother!"
Gwen sighed, clearly having had enough of her son's tantrum.
"Silence, Aidan! This is not a manner of conduct suited for the heir to the throne… The feast will continue until the late hours of the morning and it's no place for an eight-year old boy…"
"Nine! I am almost nine!" he interrupted.
"Fine. Nine. Still not going to the feast tomorrow…" said Arthur. The little prince frowned dramatically and dropped his gaze to the floor. The King had spoken.
They continued their way through the corridors silently.
It was late in the evening and the Royal Family of Camelot was retiring for the night, after having their dinner in the small dining hall. It was there that King Arthur had announced to his son that he was to be left out of the following night's celebrations. They hadn't stopped arguing with the boy from that moment on.
Aidan was practically at the verge of tears, something unacceptable for a prince. It is so unfair…
"But it's Uncle Merlin's wedding, father! Why can't you make an exception just for tomorrow night?" he continued after holding for a few minutes.
"You are going to the ceremony and you will be congratulating Merlin and Andria there. End of discussion."
The finality of his father's words made Aidan's pace falter. He stopped for a moment, leaving his parents a few feet ahead of him, and crossed his arms in front of his chest.
It wasn't fair. He was Uncle Merlin's favorite person in the world, he had told him that himself! It would be a betrayal for him not to be there, in the 'happiest moment' of his Uncle's life –as mother liked to refer to the wedding-. Perhaps he could sneak in after his nurse had fallen asleep. Hmm…
Pondering how he could slip some sleeping potion –slip some sleep, ha!- to his unfortunate nurse –I am too old for nurses anyway, I am a man now!- Aidan began pacing again, his face kept grumpily down, following a few steps behind his parents.
They were about to turn for the Royal chambers, when he heard his mother's surprised scream and he immediately tensed, alarmed for the safety of his mother and father.
What happened next would for many years to come remain a mystery to the young princeling.
"Aidan, don't look!" he heard his mother distressed shout and of course turned to see what all the fuss was about.
It took him a moment to take in the scene unfolding before his eyes. There, in front of his mother and father, stood Uncle Merlin, dressed in his favorite night shirt, though looking more disheveled than usual, with Lady Andria, who was also in her night garments. Aidan blushed fiercely. He wasn't supposed to look at a Lady in her undergarments.
"S-sorry, mother…" he stuttered, and turned around appropriately.
He could hear his father was now fully laughing, while his mother had come to guide him away, towards his room, using another route.
"Couldn't wait until tomorrow night, could you, Merlin? My poor son will probably be traumatized after this… I honestly am shocked with your behavior! Not yours, my dear Andria. You look lovely by the way…"
"Arthur!" the queen chastised while she grabbed Aidan's arm and forced him away. "Stop teasing the poor souls!"
He managed to hear his Uncle Merlin mumble something, but soon the prince and the Queen were too far away to make out what they were saying. Aidan still felt rather perplexed by the whole situation, but was pretty sure there had to be a logical explanation to this entire debacle.
"Mother?" he dared ask, as soon as they had reached his chambers.
Gwen stared at him, like she was suddenly scared of what he might say.
"Why was Father angry with uncle Merlin? And why had uncle's face gone red? Did he felt bad for Lady Andria being seen with her undergarments?" he still flushed slightly, even only by mentioning something forbidden like that.
The queen looked very much alarmed and simultaneously very, very much amused.
"He isn't angry with him, Aidan. Let's just say he was mildly scolding him for being too impatient concerning certain… matters. I'm afraid it is one of the things you have to be a grown up to really understand, love," She said sweetly.
Of course Aidan felt very disappointed upon hearing that. From his personal experience, no one told him about grown-up matters. No one except Uncle Merlin, that is. And for some reason, the little prince had a feeling his uncle wouldn't want to explain this particular situation to him.
Well, what can you do…
His mother seemed a lot more relaxed now. She went to the cupboard to retrieve his night shirt and returned to start helping him get ready for sleep.
After she was finished, she went to pour him some warm milk from the pitcher left on the table.
"I hope father doesn't scold him too harshly. Poor uncle… He hadn't even tied the laces of his breaches. And in front of a lady no less… He must feel so ashamed."
The pitcher fell from her hands, shuttering into hundred little pieces.
Arthur made it to his son's rooms a good quarter of an hour later. When he entered, he met with Gwen, who was sitting in a chair by the fireplace, holding her unfinished embroidery in one hand and gesturing for him to be silent with the other.
He practically tiptoed to her.
"Is he asleep?" he asked in a hushed voice.
"I think… What happened with the… lovebirds?" she said, keeping her voice down, while her eyes were full of mirth.
"Oh, it was extraordinary… I have to admit, in the end even I felt sorry for the poor man… Andria was shaking from embarrassment…"
They shared a moment of stifled laughter in expense of their friends. Gwen recovered first.
"Really, Arthur. You should be ashamed of yourself."
"Me? He was the one trying to do you-know-what in the middle of the corridor! Where anyone could pass and see! He really is an idiot… Did Aidan mention anything about it? He must have a lot of questions…" he stopped upon hearing a light shuffling from behind him.
Turning around, he saw his son wrapped in his blanket standing in front of the door to his inner bedroom. The boy looked dazed and solemn.
"I can't sleep, father…" he let out a deep sigh.
Gwen gave him a shove before he had a chance to respond to the boy.
"Go. Tell your son a story… Take your time as well, I'm going to try and calm down Andria, make sure she doesn't call off the wedding tomorrow," she said, and after shooting him an accusing glare she made her way out of the prince's chambers.
Aidan climbed on his bed and quickly got under the duvet. Arthur lay beside him, his shoulder providing a soft pillow for the boy to rest his head.
"What do you want to hear tonight?" he asked, keeping his voice low and calm. "Do you want me to tell you about the time I had to save your mother from the bandits? It was more than ten years ago I think…" he started, getting into his story-telling mode.
"No, you told me that last week. I want something different…" Aidan interrupted. "Magic. Can you tell me a story about magic, father?" he asked in a small voice. Arthur could tell he was starting to fall asleep.
"Of course I can," he felt the boy relax in his arms. "I'm going to tell you a story the likes of which no one has ever heard before. It is a story about dragons and griffons, armies of immortals and evil sorceresses.
A tale of legendary warlocks."
That's it! It is over… I want to thank my beta, Arwyn-t, for being so patient with me and for loving this story as much as I do.
And of course all of you, my dear readers, who have supported me and the fic all this time!
Leave a review if you liked it, it would be awesome if it makes it to 100 reviews! It's your last chance to make me feel loved :D