I wrote this a while ago, intending to put it in some story or another. But I know me too well, it's just going to sit on my computer while I struggle through exams etc. So that it doesn't go to waste I'm putting it up here as a kind of one shot.
So, Morgana's about to kill Arthur. Merlin has no magic.
Merlin ran frantically, barging his way through the crowd to the centre.
"No!" he yelled, holding his hand out in Morgana's direction. More amused than startled, Morgana paused, contemplating this new development with a smirk on her face.
"I will give you one chance, Merlin, which is more than you ever did for me. Stand aside," she ordered.
Merlin shook his head. "I won't let you do this, Morgana," he stated resolutely.
"Merlin, what are you doing?" Arthur demanded, anger in his voice covering his worry.
"You don't have a choice. There's nothing you can do, I bound your magic. It's only fair, don't you think?" she asked, referring to her last failed attempt at seizing Camelot. "Or would you like some water as well?" she jabbed, betrayal still noticeable in her voice after all these years.
Merlin winced, both at the reminder and at Morgana revealing his magic. Still he stood between her and his King, refusing to accept failure even as the emptiness where his magic had been sat like a weight in his chest.
"I'm not moving."
"Then you shall die where you stand," Morgana said simply, gathering magic into her hand and thrusting it out to the defenceless servant.
"Merlin, no!" Arthur yelled desperately.
The invisible force hit Merlin, throwing him back onto the ground. Gasping for air as the impact stole the breath from his lungs, Merlin struggled back on his feet.
Another hit, this time a red flash, drew a scream and knocked him onto his knees where he stayed, trembling.
"Goodbye Merlin," called Morgana. "Acwele!" Merlin's eyes widened in terror as he recognised the spell.
Arthur watched, horrified as a ball of fire and magic hurtled towards his friend and carried on going, forcing the man's body back through the air. He came to a stop a few feet from where Arthur stood and he lurched forward from his captor's arms. He fought against them in a futile effort as fear overcame him at the sight of his still manservant.
"Merlin!" Gwaine shouted. He shook, a tear escaping from his stricken eyes. The other knights looked away and bent their heads in mourning. Morgana slowly strode forward, smirking in victory.
Merlin lay unmoving.
White. The light surrounded him as he lay suspended in its brilliance. His thoughts were calm and peaceful. It was wrong. There was still something missing, where was it? It had been taken but he wanted it back, needed it more than anything. Sadness shimmered in the meracious stillness.
"Be at peace, my love." A figure in a purple dress appeared before him.
"Yes Merlin, I am here."
Still the emptiness couldn't be filled.
"Freya, I have failed. My magic is gone, I am nothing." Never before had he felt so lost. The loss of his magic was something Merlin felt he could never recover from, but so much worse than that was the realisation that he'd failed in his destiny. He couldn't protect Arthur and Albion would never be.
"Merlin," soothed Freya. "You know more than anyone how hard the road has been. My heart breaks at the struggle you have faced over the years. But you can only guess at the length of the journey before you. It isn't over yet. While your heart still beats, there is hope," she placed a delicate hand on his chest. Bitter tears slipped down Merlin's cheeks. Freya pressed her soft lips against his mouth and kissed him sweetly.
Merlin felt warmth in his chest that went beyond his usual emotions at seeing Freya again. He stroked her hair tenderly, cherishing this bittersweet moment as he always did. He closed his eyes, not noticing the golden glow that bathed the two lovers. When he next opened them, he saw blue.
Merlin frowned in confusion. He was lying on his back on the ground and he stirred, uncomfortable. The noise that he hadn't noticed ceased at his movements. He rolled slightly on his side, pushing his torso off the ground, feeling weak but determined.
"Don't get up," a voice whispered harshly.
He didn't spare a glance for Morgana, still in the process of getting his feet under him.
"Stay down!" she ordered shrilly. Ignoring her, Merlin stumbled onto his feet. He was more interested at this feeling…like a new weight had been added to his body, giving him strength. A puzzled frown remained on his face.
"No!" Morgana shrieked, sending a stream of fire in his direction. Still looking slightly off into the distance Merlin raised his hand and caught it, nonchalantly. A collective gasp sounded from those gathered.
Merlin looked at the restless flame, crushed it within his hand and opened it again, gazing at it in wonder. A red rose bloomed between his fingers and he smiled softly. With a flicker the rose disappeared in a shower of sparks.
His smile fell and a cold, unforgiving mask fell over his face. In a gait that could only be described as predatory, Merlin walked towards Morgana. His eyes began to glow softly, a wind picking up with each pace. The sky darkened above them and the gale forced those gathered to shield their eyes. By the time he reached within touching distance of the terrified witch his eyes burned golden, fierce and unyielding.
"It's impossible," cried Morgana. "I bound your magic!"
Merlin stopped and the ground seemed to tremble beneath him, the skies obeying his will without a single word.
"You can not bind the earth, Morgana," he said in a pitying tone. Suddenly Morgana felt very small in the face of his power. She had only ever felt like this in the presence of two men. The first, Uther she had triumphed over. The second still haunted her nightmares.
"Emrys," she breathed in horror.
"Goodbye Morgana," he said simply, echoing her former farewell. He summoned a sphere of blue swirling light over her head and with a last surge of willpower he brought down lightening.
It crashed towards Morgana, surging through the summoned sphere and encased her in brilliant white light. Merlin turned from the pillar and surveyed the gathered force with glittering eyes, still molten gold. They stared at the warlock for a moment. As soon as one man left, they all scrambled to do the same, those who couldn't teleport, using old fashioned leg work to escape the legend. No one wanted to be the last one left.
Not bothering to watch them all leave Merlin lazily waved his arm, freeing the others and turned back to the previous figure of Morgana. Slowly the light faded, revealing the crystal underneath. He brought his hand to its surface. Morgana stood, her face tilted to the sky and her eyes closed, seemingly at peace. She was frozen in the crystal sarcophagus, still but alive. Even in his rage, Merlin couldn't bring himself to kill her.
Merlin turned to face the speaker with a guarded look. He'd known this was coming from the first, but he was still unsure as to the outcome. Would Arthur be angry? Betrayed?
Arthur just looked confused.
Merlin sighed and his mask crumbled.
He just looks tired, thought Arthur. Like a man who had seen and done far too much. It was an odd look to see on his usually cheerful manservant.
"Yes, I am," Merlin confirmed.