AN: Hello readers! Welcome to our Merlin RP story. Each Chp will be spilt in two – the first half is written by High-FunctioningGinger as Arthur and the second half will be written byNinotsjka1992 as Merlin. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: We own nothing but the plot.
Arthur pulled his crimson cloak tighter around his shoulder with one hand as the other held onto his horse's reins. Another sharp gust of wind cut through the bare trees and washed a chill over him. His breath comes out in small, white puffs.
But his mind wasn't on the cold. Any action taken to prevent it from affecting him was subconscious, instinctual. His thoughts were occupied elsewhere, with more important matters.
Six days ago he, his knights and Merlin set out on a journey to a neighboring kingdom for negotiations over land. They never made it that far. They were attacked on the third day. Although there were no casualties on his side a part of his party was cut off from the rest.
He'd been looking for two days, and would look for as long as it took to find them. Never mind the negotiations. He was worried for his men.
Well that's not entirely true. Gwaine, Lancelot and Percival would get on fine in the woods on their own. They had a supply horse with them and would undoubtedly head for Camelot.
But Merlin was also with them and he was the one who worried Arthur. Idiot could hardly manage his chores, how's he supposed to survive in the woods on his own?
He knows the others will watch after Merlin, but he has a penchant for trouble and it'd be just like him to wander off and get separated from the others.
He notices a flicker of movement in the barren wood-line and draws a sharp breath. But it's nothing more than a bird, fluttering about in the ground.
Sir Illian comes up beside him, matching the pace of his horse to Arthur's and says "My lord, the others and I have been thinking..." he trails of hesitantly, unsure if he should continue.
He doesn't need to though, Arthur knows what he's going to say because it's the same thing Arthur's been telling himself. We should get on to Aurora's Kingdom and do the negotiations. They'll just return to Camelot. There's no need for concern.
"But what if it's not that simple? Morgana's still out there. She could discover them, take the captive. Or the Druids perhaps. What if one of them fell ill? What if Merlin was injured in the battle?" He halts his thoughts abruptly, refusing to allow his mind to travel those paths.
"We continue the search." he says, raising his voice so it carries through the entire company. "I will not leave for of my men to fend for themselves! One of you will ride ahead and carry a message to Aurora and explain the situation. When we find them I shall continue on a complete the negotiations."
There is a collective murmur of agreement and Sir Pelanour offers to ride on as the messenger. Arthur sends him off with a nod and they continue riding.
Later, as the sun is setting and they're beginning to look for a place to set up camp Arthur's ears catch a sound on the wind. He halts everyone with a raise of his hand and strains his ears to listen.
It's definitely human, but whether they're laughing, screaming, crying or simply shouting he can't discern. He reins his horse around towards the direction of the sound and spurs him into a gallop.
His head is throbbing.
That, and his back is aching, thanks to the very, very hard surface underneath him.
Merlin groans - or actually, he tries to groan, but there's something in his mouth that blocks about any sound he would make - and tries to open his eyes, but for some reason, prying open his eyelids turns out to be a lot more difficult than he expected. He manages to open his eyes after what feels like hours and even with his eyes open, the whole situation doesn't make sense.
For one, all he can see from his current position are the stars. This would be perfectly fine in most cases, by example, if he were travelling for such a long time that he would have to spend a night in the open air or if he were looking out of his window at night. However, these stars are moving and Merlin is quite sure that although he's seen quite a lot of starry skies, they never actually moved.
Then there's the unusual heaviness of his body. Merlin knows he isn't particularly strong, but he has never had any problems lifting his arms or moving his head, certainly not in the way he experiences right now. He frowns, trying to remember what he'd been doing before; maybe that would shed some light on his current situation.
They had been travelling, he recalls. Arthur had gathered his most trusted knights - and, of course, Merlin - for a long journey, visiting foreign countries and negotiating for truces and such. It would have been a long journey, Merlin remembered, which was why they had packed a vast amount of supplies before heading towards Aurora, their first destination.
The young warlock tries to think hard, which proves to be slightly difficult as his head is still giving him a hard time. They'd been attacked, he recalls. Now he regrets not paying more attention to Gaius' books on mythical creatures - because, even though he'd never seen those creatures before, he'd known they were mythical the moment he'd laid his eyes upon them. They had been very vicious and fast-moving, all teeth and claws and long, bendable legs as they had circled their group, isolating Merlin and a couple of knights from the rest.
By the time the knights had managed to kill the creatures, Arthur and the others were nowhere to be seen. Merlin had almost panicked right there and then - the kingdom was packed with enemies, who wouldn't hesitate to kill Arthur and he wasn't with him. Lancelot had calmed him down, though, and they'd agreed to return to Camelot as soon as possible, to form a plan.
That's when Merlin's memories start to get foggy.
All he remembered was a sudden, sharp sting in his neck and the world had started to blur. He'd heard Gwaine shout something, but the words sounded funny and blurred and suddenly the ground had been very, very close and the next thing he knows, he's on his back on something hard with a foul taste in his mouth and the stars are moving above him.
Suddenly, whatever he's lying on jerks up and Merlin realizes that he's in a wagon - which would explain the moving stars and the aching in his back. He's lying in a wagon, tied up, gagged and completely on his own.
"Arthur", he thinks and he tries to move, but whatever they used to knock him out hasn't worn off completely and he has to give up, panting and groaning and thoughts swirling through his head at top speed. He has to escape, that's for sure. Whoever has caught him probably has a plan and whatever it is; Merlin does not want to be part of it.
"Let's work on my bonds first", he decides and he starts to call on his powers. There's a faint tingling in his fingertips, but other than that, nothing happens. Merlin frowns and tries again, with the same result. He tries over and over again, feeling panic rise within him with every failed attempt, until he's sure he's going to burst. He can't use his magic!
Then, the wagon stops. There's the sound of someone jumping off of the carriage and walking off and then Merlin hears murmurs and whispers and he tries again, in vain, to free himself, when he hears the footsteps approaching again. A shadow falls over his face and he forces himself to look up at his captor.
From beneath the hood of her deep blue cape, Morgana smiles down on him. "Hello, Merlin."