Hello all. Well this is a bit weird, but this is actually the first thing I've written in years! But this story has just been bugging me for weeks, so I finally took the time to sit down and write it. So I hope you enjoy.
Something was wrong. It was cold. It wasn't supposed to be cold. Merlin couldn't figure out why this was bothering him. Upon searching his body, he could feel the familiar warmth in his chest, the eternal fire at the center of his body that never left him, constantly burning at the center of his very soul. His magic. But apart from that there was nothing. Everything else was unnaturally cold.
The first thing he felt was the unbearable pain coming from the back of his head. The next thing he noticed was the pain shooting through his arms. He attempted to move them, but it didn't take long for him to realize that he couldn't, for they were bound and chained above his head.
That was when he started to panic. The last thing he could remember was riding out with Arthur to patrol the woods outside of Camelot.
Typically they would've gone with a few of the knights, usually with Gwaine, Leon, and Percival, but the past few months had been quite. For Merlin, it had been a little too quite. In all his years living in Camelot, he couldn't remember a time when someone or something wasn't trying to attack Camelot. For years Merlin had been working day in and day out, stopping some force or another, more often than not a sorcerer of some kind who was hell-bent on destroying them all. But for three months there had been nothing.
No assassination attempts against Arthur or Uther, no attacks from some unknown magical creature, and not a single whisper of the use of sorcery in the entire kingdom. Camelot was at peace for the first time in years. And while everyone else in Camelot was pleased with this new change of events, it had Merlin on edge.
He couldn't argue that he wasn't happy with the fact that Arthur's life was no longer hanging in the balance every other day, or that his magic wasn't constantly on the verge of being exposed to the entire kingdom. To be honest, it was kind of refreshing to be able to wake up every morning and realize that they only thing he had to worry about for the day was whether or not he would have to muck out the stables. But it still didn't feel right.
After weeks and weeks of nothing, Merlin had to shove the thought into the back of his head, the thought that something wasn't right. But even after months it was still there, pestering him in the back of his mind, trying to tell him that something was very wrong.
In the beginning when Merlin tried to express his concerns to Gaius, the old physician would just tell him to take pleasure in this short 'break' from his inescapable and never-ending destiny and to just enjoy himself for once. So he tried.
And he did. It wasn't like he had never enjoyed himself before, but those three months had been different. He spent more time just talking and being a friend to Gwen, the friend that she deserved. And it wasn't just Gwen, Merlin actually spent time with the knights when he wasn't with Arthur. After a few failed attempts, Gwaine eventually managed to convince Merlin to join him on one of his nightly trips the tavern. And from there it was history. Merlin and Gwaine's trips to the tavern became a regular occurrence, two or three nights a week Merlin with the company of Gwaine and a few of the other knights would head down to the tavern to enjoy themselves for the night. And every once in awhile Arthur would make an appearance, usually halfway though the night when everyone had already had a little too much to drink. When he did make one of his rare appearances, he would never drink, instead he would just sit there with them laughing and enjoying himself as his friends made fools of themselves.
During those months Merlin joked around and talked more with Arthur than he had in his entire time living in Camelot. Merlin had considered Arthur a friend for sometime before, but over those months their friendship had grown even stronger. Arthur was no longer just the Prince of Camelot that he had sworn to protect with his life.
Merlin now understood what the Great Dragon had meant when he insisted that he and Arthur were two sides of the same coin. Years ago his mother had told him the same thing, her words still ringing in his ears, "You belong at Arthur's side. I've seen how much he needs you, how much you need him. You're like two sides of the same coin." And for the first time in all his years at Arthur's side, Merlin felt like they truly were.
During those months of peace, Camelot had become a happier and safer place. It was this feeling of safety that put Arthur and Merlin alone in the woods that afternoon. Over the weeks they had been letting up on the number of knights required to go on patrol. Prior to this, it had always been at least five knights per patrol, but now they felt comfortable enough to go in pairs of two, comfortable enough to let Arthur and Merlin go by themselves. Over the months everyone had started letting their guards down. This was their fatal mistake.
Arthur and Merlin had been riding through the woods, getting ready to head back to Camelot when it happened.
It wasn't often that Merlin got to be completely alone with Arthur, so he took this time to try and pester Arthur into discussing his feelings for Gwen.
"Come on Arthur, you can't deny your feelings for her." Merlin goaded the prince as they trotted along on horseback through the woods.
"You can lie to everyone else," Merlin smirked at the man riding beside him "but you can't lie to me."
Arthur grunted,"Do we really have to talk about this right now Merlin?"
"Yes we do Arthur." Merlin insisted, "This is the only time we can talk about it. Look around us Arthur," Merlin referred to the silent and empty woods surrounding them, "There's no one else around, there's no better time to talk about the fact that you're in love with Gwen."
"Will you please be quiet Merlin?" Arthur interjected. "With a mouth like that it's a wonder the entirety of Camelot doesn't know about...this thing." he gestured with hands.
Merlin let out a cheerful laugh beside him. "Okay, whatever you say princess."
Just as Arthur was about to pelt an apple core at the useless servant something happened. Arthur watched as Merlin was suddenly yanked backwards off his horse by some invisible force and thrown into a nearby tree. The sound of his head cracking against the trunk was unmistakable in the silence around them. And just like that his beloved friend and servant feel to the ground in a heap at the base of the tree, a pool of blood forming around his head. Before Arthur could make his next move, he felt something slam into the back of his head, knocking him out cold.
The last thing Merlin could remember was getting jerked from his horse and the pain that followed. Then everything went black. They had been captured. They. That's when Merlin felt his heart stop. He had no doubt that Arthur had also been captured, but why him too? What really concerned Merlin was the fact that he was taken out first before Arthur. Why would anyone take out the servant before the prince, the prince who had been trained to kill since birth, who was one of Camelot's strongest and most capable knights? None of it made sense.
As Merlin slowly slipped back into consciousness, he couldn't help but blame himself. It was obviously that somebody possessing magic had attacked them, and Merlin let them. If he had been on his guard he could have stopped this from happening. He should have been able to sense someone with magic nearby, but he didn't. Over the months he had become lazy, he let his guard down, and now they were paying the price.
The first thing he looked for when he finally managed to pry his eyes open was Arthur, and he found him. A couple feet away Arthur was sitting on the ground with his arms shackled above his head, much like Merlin's. Thankfully he was conscious.
It was obvious that they were in some kind of dungeon, somewhere deep underground. The heavy air around them made that clear. And it was cold.
Arthur hadn't noticed him yet, but his eyes were focused on something else entirely. Following his line of sight to the other side of the room, his breath caught in his throat when he found her eyes. At first it was all he could see, her green and cold eyes piercing though him from the shadows. When their eyes met, she smiled and stepped forward from the shadows.
Well there you have it.
Like I said it's been quite some time since I've written anything so I'll try and update it soon.
I'm already planning on doing some major writing tomorrow! :)