I don't own Merlin. T for language.

There's one moment, one split second before his body comes in contact with the frozen ground, where time seems to stand still. The din of battle sounds miles away, and Merlin feels like he is able reflect. However, only one notion makes itself known in his swirling mess of thoughts, and that is simply, fuck destiny.

And then time resumes it's semi-normal, wobbly path and he absolutely slams into compact––dirt? no, more like stone––and he hears the quite audible 'crack' or something snapping. His flailing limbs do little to still his momentum and he flips head over heels, landing with a final wheeze partially covered by a thicket of bushes.

The air is absolutely stolen from his lungs and Merlin is having a difficult time regaining it. He gasps like a fish out of water, his vision mottled over with shades of blue and black and gray. No, no, no unconsciousness, he wills himself. You still need to make sure that Arthur is in once piece. But gods almighty, his head hurts, and the pain in his wrist is so strong it's making him physically ill. It feels like the ground is sucking him downward, and he feels a faint pull, like he's actually being swallowed by th––

"Oi! Merlin?"

If he could, he would have sighed.

"Merlin?" Goodness, is that––concern? in the prince's voice? No, no. Impossible. "Merlin, for gods' sake." The quickening of footsteps. Merlin fears that he will succumb to the pull of unconsciousness if he turns his head to look.

Arthur appears in his clearing vision, overhead. "You alive, then?"

"Seems to be, thanks." His voice cracks.

"The magician got away."

Ah, too bad. "Sorry."

Arthur just sighs, running a hand through his hair. He surveys the forest, hands on hips, before turning back to Merlin. "You're just gonna lay there, then?"

"Dunno if I can stand, if I'm honest."

Exaggerated eyeroll. Prat. See how he likes it.

"You're such a girl, Merlin!" Two arms are heaving him up before Merlin can protest, depositing him on uncertain feet. He cradles his surely-broken wrist close to his chest and sways slightly. "Arthur?"

His own voice sounds strange, like he's farther away than he actually it. But that's impossible, you can't be far away from your own voice.

Whatever the case, Arthur isn't paying attention; his back is turned and he appears to be marching back to a clearing of trees, where the ambush started.

Lightheadedness overtakes Merlin, a feeling he's somewhat acquainted with, the outcome of being overworked and underfed. Please don't pass out, he begs. Pleasedon'tpassoutpleasedon'tpassoutpleasedon'tpassout.

For a reason beyond him, he decided to takes a step forward. Stomach churning, he calls out again. "Arthur!"

i'm gonna be sick i'm gonna be sick i'm gonna die in these woods i'm gonna be sick i'm sorry Kilgharrah and Gaius and the druids and gods i'm gonna be sick

The prince turns around with an excessive sigh. His lips start to move but words don't ever reach Merlin's ears because he feels the world tilt violently underneath him and the ground is rushing to meet his aching head and he thinks he might hear Arthur call him name, but he can't be sure because he succumbs to unconsciousness.

Everything is easier when you're asleep.

a/n: to be continued i guess maybe review please but only if you want too