Hey everyone! So, first of all, I want to apologise for taking so long with this, I have no good excuse other than A – Levels and the frankly distracting season 5 of Merlin.
After reading this epilogue, please read the author's note at the bottom. I will be revealing the results to my poll there and I also have something to say to you all.
"Merlin, stop pacing for god's sake, you're not going into battle."
Leon shook his head accusingly at the manservant who was striding nervously from one side of the room to the other. The sun was high in the sky outside, lighting up a beautiful spring afternoon in Camelot – not that Merlin had noticed of course.
"Then why do I feel like it?!" Merlin hissed indignantly, halting and spinning to stare at his companion. Leon placed a hand on the manservant's shoulder comfortingly.
"Merlin, I understand how this may feel to you, but Arthur needs your help now. With Morgana's army approaching, he needs more than just man power."
"But we haven't spoken about my..." Merlin flapped his hands about, involuntarily swatting at Leon, "...Dragonlord...ness since he found out! I was beginning to think he'd forgotten!"
"But he hasn't, has he? Merlin, this is a good step. He's acknowledging your power, he wants your assistance."
"He wants me to talk about dragons in front of the whole battle council!" Merlin wailed hopelessly.
"The whole battle council that consists of me, Gwaine, Elyan, Percival, Gaius, Her Majesty the Queen and Arthur. You've got nothing to be worried about!" Said Leon incredulously. Merlin opened his mouth to reply but was cut off by the sound of the council room doors opening and the knights pouring in. Leon gave him a sharp tug that directed him to stand behind his seat, and then followed him. Gwaine appeared beside Merlin and gave him a cocky grin, while the others took their places at the round table.
"Please sit." Arthur instructed the people around the table.
And a few moments of scraping afterwards, the council had begun.
"See!" Elyan said, thumping Merlin's back, yelling over the din of the 'Rising Sun' pub later on that evening. "That went brilliantly!"
"Told ya it would be fine Merlin." Leon chuckled, watching the manservant over the table. Minutes later, Gwaine appeared at the table, hands laden with tankards for the knights and their companion.
"I would like to make a toast." Gwaine said seriously, and Merlin saved that thought to memory of the one few times Gwaine had been serious in the face of mead. "To Merlin, our resident Dragonlord, manservant and most of all, friend. To Merlin!" Cheers echoed around the table and soon chatter broke out amongst the group. Merlin soon found himself being manhandled into a back breaking hug by Gwaine, as the charming knight plopped down beside him.
"Don't have any other secrets you've been keeping from us eh?" Gwaine said jokingly, and Merlin knew he was kidding but that didn't stop him from stuttering nervously.
"I...um...well...I can juggle?"
The table erupted with roars of laughter.
"Pull the other one mate; you can't even catch the things Arthur throws at you." Percival chortled. The manservant huffed but couldn't keep his angry facade up and his face cracked in a blissfully happy grin. That night was one of the best Merlin could ever remember, even when he found himself dragging a soon-to-be-hung-over Gwaine back to his chambers. Just before he left the snoozing knight in peace, he whispered,
"Thanks Gwaine." To the unexpected reply of,
"All in a day's work mate." Merlin chuckled and went to shut the door before he was stopped by Gwaine's slightly slurred voice, "Merlin?"
"Could you possibly arrange for me to fly on Kilgarrah?"
Well, first of all, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has ever read or reviewed this story. Your support throughout this is what kept me going and trust me when I say I am eternally grateful. I honestly never imagined I'd reach 20 reviews never mind 50+!
And as a thank you, I'd like to reveal the next projects I'll be working on, the winners of my poll! I'd also like to thank everyone who voted on that as well, I had a total of 40 voters all together and these were the top two!
Lifeless Words – A whump-filled fic about how everyone reacts when Merlin returns to Camelot without his voice.
This one won with 33% of the vote. Now, there were two fics tied for second place (there would be you bloody awkward lot – kidding!) so I picked the one I think I'll be able to write more on, which is;
A Father's Secrets – A 'destiny vs. duty' fic about how Merlin copes with new, startling knowledge of Balinor.
And this one had 20% of the vote!
Sorry to everyone who voted for something else! But if it is any comfort, they're still on my list and I will probably still end up using them!
So yes, please review to tell me what you thought of the story as a whole, maybe even if you're interested in a sort-of sequel (not making any promises)? And put me on your Author's Alert List so you know when I begin these stories!
Much love to you all, and I wish you all good fortune in your writing or reading endeavours (personally, I recommend 'The Student Prince' if you haven't already read it. Even if you don't like Modern!AUs, because I don't but I still absolutely adored it!).