Merlin had time to think, Not again, before the world crashed down around him.
Okay, so it was actually the ceiling. And it was just a part of the ceiling.
But the important part was that it was happening again.
He dodged out of the way, towards Arthur. He was pointing a sword in the general direction of a tall man dressed in black, holding a smooth black staff.
The sorcerer flicked his eyes past Arthur and to Merlin. He began to raise his staff and Merlin stopped.
"Not again!" he exclaimed. The sorcerer stopped at the strange outcry. Merlin drew himself up. "That's it. I'm not doing this again," he stated, beginning to pace to the left.
"What are you talking about?" the sorcerer asked. His eyes were flashing darkly. "And why should I listen to you?"
"I'm talking about how you're about to destroy the throne room. Again," Merlin stressed. "And how I'm going to end up cleaning it. Again."
"I fail to see how this matters to me," he shrugged.
"This is the third time this month that some idiot sorcerer has decided that now was just the perfect time to attack Camelot, and that the better idea would be to attack King Arthur's throne room, the symbol of his power, etc etc, and furthermore, that the best idea in attacking his throne room is to attack. The. Roof." Merlin stopped in his pacing, as he had reached a point near the wall, and now the sorcerer was between him and Arthur, facing towards him.
"I'm not doing this again," Merlin said again. "I refuse to let—" He broke off, distracted by a black smoke shooting at him. Why do they always like the color black? he wondered as he dodged.
"You are in no position to refuse anything, boy," the sorcerer sneered. Then he gasped and looked down in astonishment at the sword protruding through his ribs. He looked up in confusion. "This is embarrassing," he murmured before collapsing to the floor.
Arthur stood behind him, a curious expression on his face. He looked at Merlin. "Did you mean to distract him, or was that a complete accident?"
Merlin grinned. "It was the plan, sire." He brushed his hands together and squinted at the ceiling. "Hey, Gaius, how long do you think this one will take?"
"Not too long," Gaius answered. "It's a good thing you stopped him before he could do any more damage."
"Before who stopped him?" Arthur questioned. His voice held a slightly threatening note.
"Merlin," Gaius answered absently, scrutinizing the roof. "You know, this would be easier if the ceiling hadn't been broken so many times."
"Who stopped the sorcerer?" Arthur repeated in disbelief.
"Merlin," Gaius answered again.
"Gaius, it was my sword that—"
"That killed him," Gaius interrupted. "But it was Merlin who stopped him from doing any more damage."
Arthur stared in confusion, then threw his hands up. "You're all crazy," he muttered, turning and walking away.