I do plan to continue my other works! Sorry for being MIA-my cat recently had been sick with cancer and passed away, and I'm also trying eto do National Novel Writing month, so both kept me fairly occupied. But I couldn't stop thinking about this plot during The Dark Tower episode!
It had been a year since Merlin had gone missing. A year since everything changed. A year of darkness and sorrow. An unspoken rule had formed.
The name Merlin was forbidden to be said out loud. Whenever one of the knights slipped on that unspoken rule in front of the king Arthur's face turned grim and pale, and his eyes became sorrowful.
During that year Gaius had become weaker, physically and mentally. The strain of losing Merlin to an unknown fate was almost too much for him to handle. Gwen's constant care and devotion to him was what kept him alive.
Everything became darker with Merlin gone. Even Gwaine had stopped smiling and joking around as much. The knights banter pretty much ceased to exist.
Then one day Arthur was haunted with a terrible nightmare. A nightmare that shook him to his core.
He woke, covered in sweat.
"Arthur!" Gwen sat up next to him, worry in her eyes. "Arthur, what's wrong?"
He shook his head and continued to gasp for breath.
"I know where Merlin is," he finally said as he got up. She sat in bed, her eyes widened in shock.
"What?" He started to get dressed.
"Arthur! You're not making any sense!"
He continued to ignore her.
"Arthur, please!" She reached over to him and grabbed his arm.
Finally Arthur sighed.
"I dreamed of him," he said slowly. She didn't interrupt. "And it was more than just a dream...it was like a vision." He bit his lip. "He was in a dark tower...alone, in a dark room only a small window for sunlight. He was hurt, he was scared."
"That sounds horrible-but how do you know it was a vision and not a dream?"
"Because of where he was at-"
"You mean in a dark tower?" He nodded
"Arthur." She climbed out of bed. "You are not making any sense!"
Slowly he sat down.
"Now," she pressed. "Why are you so sure it was not a dream?"
"Because of where he was," he repeated simply. She looked confused,
"Right, because of some dark tower-"
"Not a dark tower, THE Dark Tower."
"I've never heard of it..."
"No you wouldn't have. No one who knows about it speaks about it. It curses any knight who tries and goes there. It's outside Albion border."
She sucked in her breath, not daring to hope.
"Just because you dreamed of it-"
"Please!" He looked at her, his eyes begged her to remain silent. "I know it was a vision. Someone was telling me his location. I would not have automatically dreamed of the Dark Tower. I had forgotten about it until now. I could...I could practically feel him, Guinevere."
She put her hand to her mouth.
"I could feel his pain...his cold...his suffering...it was real."
She looked down.
"And what if it was fake? What if it was a trap?"
He shook his head.
"I have to go, Guinevere," he whispered. "I have to...I have to go there and try and find him. If I don't...this vision will forever haunt me."
She nodded, got up, and kissed his forehead.
"Then I shall wait here," she murmured as she hugged his hand. "For your return, hopefully with Merlin."
The forbidden name being spoken felt strange to both of them. Arthur nodded and kissed her gently on the lips. She watched him as he summoned the guards to get the knights.
"Oh Merlin," she whispered. "Wherever you are...hang on, we haven't given up hope. Arthur needs you, and so do we all..." Her voice trailed off as Arthur left
The knights were surprisingly easy to convince. It was like they needed to search for Merlin one last time. They rode in grim silence, as all of them bore false hope.
Leon traveled close to Arthur.
"Is everything all right, sire?" He knew it wasn't. Arthur's had only one facial expression since Merlin had vanished, and it was flat.
"How exactly do you know that Merlin is...alive?" Leon hated to talk about Merlin like this. Arthur continued to stare straight ahead, his expression unchanging.
"I just do, Leon." His voice was rough, like it had aged. Leon nodded, and knew not to push it.
They continued towards the Dark Tower, even when darkness fell. Finally they arrived. They hurriedly went into the Dark Tower without hesitation and continued to the top floor. Arthur led them, and it was like he knew exactly where to go. Not that there were many staircases to pick from.
Finally he pushed open the door and there was Merlin. They all stared in utter horror. It was Merlin all right, but it wasn't the Merlin they remembered.
This Merlin was curled in a ball, clothes torn, and muttering to himself as he rocked back and forth. He had his hands pressed to his ears, as if to block out the silence. Or what was hidden in the silence.
"Merlin?" Arthur quietly, relief in his voice. Relief that Merlin was still alive. "Merlin? It's me, Arthur." He reached over to touch Merlin, but Merlin jerked away.
"No!" Merlin's shriek made them all jump. Gwaine bit his lip and tried.
"Come on, mate, you remember us don't you? It's me, your friend, Gwaine..." He too tried to touch Merlin, but Merlin scooted as far back as he could.
"Get away!" All the knights looked pained at this,as well as confused and worried.
"Merlin, please..."Arthur swallowed. It broke him to see Merlin like this, and it made him furious. Whoever did this would pay for it, and pay for it dearly.
"Merlin, let' s get you home-"
"No!" Merlin's whole body started to shake. "You're not real," he then said, which stunned all of them.
"What?" Gwaine asked, confused. "Of course we are."
Merlin just shook his head.
"You're not real, you're not real, you're not real," he muttered as he rocked back and forth and tears trickled down his face. "You're not real!" He screamed into the air,causing them all to jump. "Please," he gasped. "Go away, you're not real." He continued to mutter you're not real over and over again.
It was then they realized that they may have found Merlin, but wondered how much of the old Merlin was still there. And if they would truly be able to bring all of him back home. Or, were they too late and was Merlin broken forever?
It's short, but should I continue?