Disclaimer: I don't own Merlin, I just like to play in their field.
Title: Remembering What Was Forgotten.
Summary: Merlin is seriously wounded following a hunting incident, with his life on the line his magic weakens and Arthur and Gwaine start to remember. Sequel to 'Underestimated.'
A/N The is a sequel to Underestimated by me, if you haven't read it you probably should before reading this else it may not make much sense. I was inspired by carinims01 to write this!
Chapter One: Blood Of The Sorcerer
It was just a normal day in Camelot when King Prat decided to go one a hunt, the day was warm and bright with not a cloud in the sky. That in itself should have set alarm bells ringing in Merlin's head. But Merlin was enjoying the sun and Arthur's unnaturally good mood far too much to notice.
So when they were attacked by a ten foot Ogre Merlin shouldn't have been surprised- but he was.
Since the unfortunate memory altering incident a few months previous, Agravaine had been revealed to be a traitor and Morgana almost took Camelot- again. But the biggest change was Arthur's marriage to Gwen. Arthur was now well on his way to becoming the King of prophecy and was slowly becoming more and more open minded. So this wasn't the best time for an Ogre to show up.
The Ogre was large green and scary. It bared its blackened teeth at them, its grip on its heavy bat shifting slightly. Before either of them could let out a startled yell it swing the bat down upon them, aiming straight at Arthur.
It was times like this that instincts came into play and Merlin certainly didn't even have time to consider it; he threw himself bodily in front of Arthur.
The bat collided with a sickening crunch upon Merlin's head. Lights exploded in front of Merlin's eyes as he staggered and fell to the floor
"Arthur!" He gasped as he slipped into blissful oblivion. His body lay unmoving on the hard ground, blood pooling around his head.
Arthur lunged forward with Excalibur placing his body in front of the unconscious form of Merlin. The Ogre clumsily swung at Arthur and he managed to quickly dash out of the way, the bat leaving a crater in the ground. Arthur was sweating heavily; he needed to end this quickly. He had to save Merlin. He saw his chance and swung beneath the creatures arm, the blade struck true, sinking into its soft belly with a sickening squelch. It let out a roar of pain as Arthur forcibly pulled the blade out of the now wounded creature. The ogre stumbled dumbly backwards clutching the wound before collapsing- dead.
The sword had never failed him.
"Merlin!" Arthur cried as soon as he realised the Ogre was dead. He threw his sword to the ground and fell to his knees at Merlin's head. He quickly took in the amount of blood and the half collapsed look of Merlin's skull. Forcing his sobs back he spoke urgently "Merlin you're alright, you have to be alright. Do you hear me? I order you not to die." As he spoke he unwillingly let a few traitorous tears to fall before angrily wiping them.
Merlin didn't respond.
Arthur bit back another sob, determined not to let his emotions beat him. They were an hours walk from Camelot, the day was hot and sticky and he had no water. It would be difficult but he had to do it.
Merlin had just saved his life and he had to return the favour. He couldn't go to pieces now, Merlin needed him. His friend needed him.
Arthur sheathed his sword and hefted Merlin onto his shoulder, careful not to bang the man's head. With a determined pace Arthur started the long walk to Camelot.
His back was aching, his legs were burning and his world was beginning to spin, but in the distance he could see the shimmering, glittering and beautiful castle that was Camelot. He had never been gladder to see it. Merlin hadn't stirred once during the journey and he was no longer worried he was now petrified. He knew that this couldn't be a good sign. Only the slight rise and fall of his chest reassured him.
Quickening his unsteady pace he was soon spotted by the two guards at the entrance to Camelot. They rushed over to him and relieved him of his load.
"Get him to Gaius, hurry." Arthur panted, feeling far too light without Merlin. The adrenaline was starting to run out and the lack of water was getting to him. He staggered and one of the Guards started to put Merlin down to help him. "Take him"
"But Sire, let me help you."
"I'm fine, take him to Gaius immediately." They hesitated "Go!" He yelled angrily, he hadn't carried him this distance for him to die because the guards wouldn't listen. They finally left walking quickly as they carried the limp Merlin between him, his head lolling against one of their chests. Arthur sank to the floor tiredly staring after his guards and Merlin, the full events of the day were only just crashing down upon him. He bowed his head as the tears finally caught up with him. He knew that Merlin's chances were slim to none and the feeling of guilt just wouldn't go away. It should have been him.
A few moments later he heard the heavy footsteps heading towards him. He quickly wiped his eyes and looked up.
It was Leon and Percival and they looked worried.
"Sire!" Leon shouted rushing over, as he reached Arthur he gave him a swift glance as though to check all of his limbs were attached and then pulled him to his feet supporting him when he began to sway. "Are you injured?" Arthur shook his aching head.
"The guards said Merlin had been injured. What happened Arthur?" Percival asked, his forehead creased in worry.
"I'll tell the round table later, help me to Gaius" Arthur demanded as he unconsciously straightened his back he threw an arm over Leon's shoulders and prodded Leon into walking.
"But I thought you said you weren't injured?" Leon asked in confusion.
"I'm not, but I have to see Merlin."
Gaius was frantic; Merlin had been brought to his chambers with half his skull caved in. Merlin was barely breathing and it had been hard to deal with, the sight of Merlin's life force caked across his face not to mention the fact he could see the boys brain. Gaius was dealing with it with detached professionalism that did nothing to quell the panic within but did allow him to treat Merlin.
He knew the statistics of head wounds and he knew that if Merlin survived this he would be either brain dead or brain damaged. His Merlin was almost certainly dead.
Death would be better surely than a lifetime of suffering. A lifetime of not being able to do anything for himself. It would be easier to simply let him go.
But Gaius couldn't do that, it wasn't his choice to make to decide who lives and who dies. It went against everything he stood for, not to mention he loved him and even if the odds were against him and even he couldn't even dare to hope. Merlin was a fighter, Merlin was magic and if anyone could survive this it would be him.
Gaius dabbed the wound gingerly, his skull was completely broken. He would most likely have to remove the fractured skull, it would only get infected. He would wait though, see if Merlin could make it a few days before he removed it. With part of his skull missing his brain would be exposed… it was horrible to think of.
He gave him something to clot the blood, he had lost far too much already if the deathly pale skin was anything to go by. If Merlin survived the night it would be a miracle. Gaius finished bandaging his head and sank down on the stool beside Merlin. They were alone now, the guards gone to inform the court.
Gaius tenderly brushed Merlin's hair from his head and sighed softly. "Merlin my dear boy, I think you might have done it this time." His voice cracked and he could feel tears on his face.
His boy was dying and there was next to nothing he could do.
It was then that Arthur rushed in, supported by Leon and Percival. "Sire." Gaius greeted sadly.
"Is he-" Arthur gasped looking from Gaius' tears to Merlin's pale form.
"He has to be alright, he has to live." Arthur said desperation apparent "You have to do something, you have to save him!" His eyes were wide and jumpy; Leon pushed the protesting King into a chair and forced a glass of water into his hands.
"I am doing everything I can."
"Then why are you sat there?" He yelled "Do something! He's not allowed to die Gaius, he saved my life."
Again Gaius couldn't help but think "Arthur I assure you I will do everything in my power to save him, you have my word. But at this point in time it's up to him."
Arthur nodded gulping down the water and standing up "I have to go to the council, inform them of what happened." He ran a hand through his hair and sent a worried glance at Merlin "Tell me if anything happens."
The unspoken 'inform me if he dies' hung in the air.
"Of course but Arthur, even if he does survive he will have some lasting effects. He won't be the same Merlin anymore."
Arthur closed his eyes tightly "Just keep him alive, we will deal with that when we come to it." He said before heading out of the door with Leon and Percival. Leaving Gaius alone, again.
With the shell of his barely alive son.
"Please Merlin." Gaius couldn't help but beg.
A/N Hope you enjoyed, review and all that lovely stuff!