ANANANAN

If you're interested in reading a story, be warned this involves more complicated stuff than just badass Merlin, there's other stuff like plot fillers and the various emotions that come through after a dramatic event. So if you came here just expecting awesomeness, the writer in me is putting other stuff in there too. The awesomeness starts again on the 3rd page of my word document.

Watch this http:/ www. you / watch? v=a6nNmPag2F0& feature=related (remove the spaces) That's my frame of mind while writing this.

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Morgana retreated. Mostly because Morgause insisted she did so but also because the scene in the courtyard terrified her more than it should. All the things she had faced, she'd never been so certain that she had met her downfall. Not even with Uther. It seemed she'd gotten rid of one fear of her life only for another greater threat to take its place.

"Who is Emrys?" Morgana asked her sister as the party rushed through the corridors.

"A myth. Do not be concerned, Morgana, he couldn't possibly be telling the truth," she soothed. But Morgause didn't even look convinced herself, her lips still pressed tight into a thin white line and her movements too hurried to look otherwise.

"Besides," she added. "He can't possibly fight an immortal army on his own."

"You can't possibly fight an immortal army on your own!" exclaimed Leon. Merlin met his gaze and for the first time, his cold mask cracked into a smile.

"You don't know until you try," he replied. "And I'm going to give it my best shot." Leon didn't doubt him for a moment. Sure Merlin was a sorcerer and a powerful one, but he knew he was a good man. Plus, if his performance earlier was anything to go by, he was also not someone you simply arrested.

"Good luck, Merlin," he offered. Merlin nodded to him.

"I need you to find Arthur. He's in the Valley of the Fallen Kings, moping. Even if I can't beat Morgana and Morgause, it should be a good enough distraction for Arthur and the others to finish the job."

"You can count on me," affirmed Leon. Merlin watched as he left for the stable and turned to the remaining knights.

"Knights of Camelot," he started. Some looked back at him with narrowed eyes, some with awe, most with fear. Merlin felt a pang, but gazed back unflinchingly. "It has been an honour to fight with you, even if you didn't know I was. Arthur should be here soon, I'm asking you to stay here and let me take care of the citadel for now."

Had they been told this half an hour ago, they would have laughed in his face. No one dared protest now. Accepting this wordless agreement, Merlin turned to the doors of the citadel. All of the immortal guards that had remained outside during Morgana's demonstration were now amassed at the door. Merlin drew his sword and advanced slowly.

Merlin had been gone for two hours. Far too long. Gwaine and Elyan paced, knowing that they couldn't look for him without drawing attention from the immortal patrols. Gaius knew that Merlin could protect himself. He did after all have magic. But as his guardian he was painfully aware of the fact that the boy wasn't invincible and he was far too reckless for his own good. Arthur didn't seem to be aware of anything, remaining where he'd been sat for most of the day. Gaius went over to him with a bowl of food.

"You need to keep your strength up, Arthur," he said, offering him the bowl. The prince took it wordlessly and placed it on the ground next to him. Gaius sighed. If Merlin was there, he might have been able to get the man talking, maybe even raising his morale. Yet Arthur still had no idea how much he truly needed his servant.

The group startled at the sound of someone approaching their cave. Gaius hung back as Arthur, Gwaine and Elyan surrounded the entrance with swords drawn, cautiously. Hope that Merlin had come back hung in the air.

"Leon?" Arthur called, a hint of disappointment in his tone. Still, he was relieved and confused at the knight's entrance.

"Arthur you must come to the citadel immediately. The knights are waiting for your command, we are ready to take back Camelot."

"Sounds like a trick," said Gwaine, his sword still pointing to the knight.

"It was Merlin, sire," he appealed to Arthur. The prince stared in confusion. "He freed us, he – " Leon stopped for a second. Gaius caught the flicker of unease on his face and watched him closely. "Merlin distracted them. The army has retreated into the citadel, now is our best chance." Arthur trusted that his knight was telling the truth, Leon was the longest serving knight he had and also the most loyal, so he didn't doubt his words. But that didn't mean he had to like them.

"That idiot, he's going to get himself killed! You don't just distract an immortal army!" he exclaimed, incredulous. The worry was evident in his tone to those who knew him. Gaius didn't pay attention to Arthur. He was watching Leon's face avidly.

"He is a brave man, Arthur. He said he was going to give it his best shot." There. Gaius spotted it. That look of admiration, he recognised it. He'd worn it himself.

Oh, Merlin what have you done now?

Gwaine chuckled quietly. "Sounds like Merlin." His distrust of the knight disappeared. The story was too unbelievable to be a lie.

"We're going to Camelot. If for nothing else than to pummel some sense into that idiot's skull," Arthur growled. Leon looked alarmed at the thought while Gaius wondered just what kind of magic Merlin had done for one of Arthur's best knights to already respect him. Leon noted Gaius' questioning look and realising that the physician must have known, nodded slightly. They all made their way to the cave entrance. Arthur stopped when he noticed the old physician following him.

"Gaius, I can't allow you to come, it's too dangerous."

"Just you try and stop me, sire," Gaius replied. Arthur was briefly taken aback by the passion in his voice. He should have expected it, really. Merlin was like a son to the old man, he cared for him just as much if not more than they did.

"I brought a horse," offered Leon. "We can return to Camelot separately." Arthur nodded. For all he knew, this could be the last time he'd return anywhere. Something more than duty was pushing him to reclaim Camelot, something inevitable and too vast for him to comprehend.

Merlin stalked through the corridors, sensing the pull of the cup and cutting down any that challenged him. He hadn't made it through unscathed. Blood dripped down his sleeve onto his hand from a gash on his shoulder and there was a shallow cut from his right temple through his eyebrow to the bridge of his nose. The tension from fighting caused his magic to thrum, bathing his sword in a blaze.

He didn't pause at the sight of six guards, striding into their line of sight with a confidence born from the magic and adrenaline running through his veins.

His eyes wandered to the statues either side of the entrance, two dragons embedded into the arch between each door.

"Bebiede be arisan cwicum," he muttered. Shrieking, two dragons attacked the guards closest to them. The guards couldn't ignore years of instincts. They knew that stone wouldn't kill them but Merlin used the distraction to kill them. Once his way was clear he blasted open the doors and strode through.

Morgana and Morgause had watched in trepidation as the chaos behind the doors finally quietened. They then started in shock as the door burst inwards. There in its place stood a figure that had once seemed unthreatening, insignificant. There was no mistake what he was now. The gold of his sword matched the blaze in his eyes, the cuts on his face and shoulder the only sign that he'd carved his way through an army to reach them. At a silent signal, the eight soldiers in the room advanced to circle the warlock who came to a stop, keeping his fierce gaze on the two witches.

"You should leave while you still can," warned Morgana with a confidence she didn't feel.

"Perhaps," Merlin replied softly. He then smiled, wickedly. "But where's the fun in that?" Morgause flinched.

"Kill him," she ordered. Merlin continued to smile unnervingly. He whispered one word.

"Drakon." At his call two dragons stalked into the hall, baring their teeth. The sisters stepped back, horrified. With shattering cries, the beasts descended on the ring of knights. Moving faster than they could see, Morgana and Morgause could only watch as one by one, their immortal protection was destroyed by the hands of Emrys. There could be no doubting his words. Soon enough all that stood in the hall was the imposing warlock and his two dragons.

Merlin's hand shot out to each sorceress, sending them both flying back and wordlessly ordering the dragons to guard them. Without hesitation, he walked to the cup and swept it off the plinth.

"No!" a voice screamed. Merlin saw the attack in the corner of his eye, bringing the sword in front of him just in time. The blaze that Morgause had sent his way crashed against the sword, protecting Merlin. It was after all, forged in a dragon's breath. Behind the blaze, Merlin met Morgause's gaze. A shiver ran through her as a wicked grin was sent her way. With a wordless cry and a blaze of gold, the fire turned on her, evoking a scream of terror from her lips. Morgana rushed to her sister, evading the dragon that snapped at her as she ran.

Merlin slowly advanced on the duo, coming to a halt where Morgana knelt by Morgause's side.

"Leave. While you still can," he said darkly. Morgana looked up at him, anger and fear battling in her eyes.

"This isn't over. I'll be back," she uttered proudly. Merlin smirked at her.

"I'll be here." Morgana had thought that seeing his eyes blaze gold had been frightening. It was a candle compared to cold glint in his eyes now. He continued to watch her as she teleported away and she shivered once she escaped, still imagining his cold gaze on her even as she left the city.

The warlock gazed around the hall, noticing the rubble that remained of the other dragon. He glanced at the last one which remained at his side.

"One last job for you."

The sight that greeted the party of knights as they entered Camelot wasn't what they expected. They had picked up Lancelot and Percival on their way over, realising that they'd been sent for by Merlin. Leon had caught Lancelot's expression once Arthur had explained where Merlin was and realised that he must have known a little about Merlin's definition of the word distraction.

The immortal army was gone. Once they'd gotten hold of a few witnesses they'd been informed that they had simply exploded and Morgause and Morgana had disappeared without a trace. The knights that remained in the city had been deliberately vague when describing Merlin's entrance to the courtyard and Arthur simply assumed that the boy had done something stupid and dangerous.

The king had already been escorted to his chambers and while he appeared shaken, seemed to be fine. When Merlin's name was mentioned, Uther's expression appeared curiously blank and Leon wondered how much Uther had seen of the event in the courtyard. By the time they reached the chamber where the cup of life was held, Gaius had returned after visiting his chambers. Yet even he looked taken aback at the scene.

The pillars either side of the door had almost been ripped apart by some unknown force. In the centre of the room, stood the cup of life, upside down on the ground, appearing harmless for all the destruction it had caused. Neither of these were what caused the group to gasp in awe. The plinth where the cup had stood had shrunk, making way for a greater relic. A carved stone dragon crouched on it, its head pointing up and its mouth wide. From its jaws, a magnificent sword driven into the stone, the weapon forged in a dragon's breath now standing captive in the jaws of stone.

"This appears to be the work of Emrys, my lord," stated Gaius. The others turned to him for further explanation but he remained curiously silent. The sound of running footsteps sounded from down the corridor. Arthur drew his sword, watching the entrance with narrowed eyes. A figure stumbled into the room careering to the ground in a tumble of limbs.

"Merlin!" exclaimed Arthur. The servant in question picked himself up from the floor, rubbing his head and looking around at them all.

"What did I miss?"

BriefShiningMoment

Well it had to end somewhere or it was just going to go on and on. Bit of a weird ending but after all that awesomeness it was going to fall flat whatever I wrote so I went for humour. Not sure how that worked. Thanks for the reviews people! This is the most successful story I've done so far - though I'm not sure how well it ended. Comments?