Hello! Welcome to a odd, little Merlin fanfic!

If you are one of my "Just me Here, Shivering"/"Kalidoscope" fans, then I am working on the next chapter. It is a big, fun(fun, fun~) chapter, so please bear with me...

Possibly terrible summary(depending on your opinion). I do apologize for that. I tried to follow a format similar to the episodes'.

Disclaimer- I do not, in fact, own Merlin. I am only on Season 2 though. I already think it should have a fanfic though! :)

Anyways, I hope you enjoy my little fanfic~

ONWARDS!

The Darkest Hour

"I know how to make him suffer the most," a small voice whispered. It resounded against the cave walls and the pool of water. Darkness and quiet followed after, but it only lasted a few moments.

"And how might that be?" an older voice crackled, weak and tired in sound. A small girl walked into the small rays of sunlight, ankle deep in the water. Her dark brunette hair hanging far past her nicely sized breasts.

"If someone cares for another, losing that person will hurt them more than words can even begin to describe," she answered with a smirk.

"Oh? And who might the arrogant Prince Arthur hold most dear?" the crackling voice asked. The girl laughed.

"Have you no eyes, oh Exalted One?" she asked. Her dark eyes glowed blue for only a mere second.

"Indeed I do not. Not since that prince stabbed me in both!" the voice yelled menacingly. The girl cowered slightly before bowing.

"Forgive me, Master Cynemaer," she whispered.

"Just answer my question," Cynemaer snapped ruefully. The girl straightened, brushing off her tattered peasant garb.

"He holds a mere manservent as his most precious," she concluded. Cynemaer laughed lowly to himself.

"What a load of hogwash! How could a prince like him see a manservent as something dear! I fear you are a dunce, Henrietta!" Cynemaer roared, poking fun at the pretty girl. She growled lowly, clenching her fists at her sides.

"It 'tis true!" she insisted, her lower lip poking out a bit.

"Then prove it," Cynemaer replied seriously. Henrietta turned and left the cave.

"Oh I will," she muttered under her breath.

.

"Merlin! What are you doing, you idiot?" Arthur cried in exhausperation. Merlin looked up at the future king, at a loss for words. How could he explain what he was doing in such a conspicuous place? Not the truth, he only knew that much. He laughed lowly and nervously.

"I could ask you the same thing, sire," Merlin replied. Arthur sighed, crossing his arms over his chest. He was very close to being fed up with his manservent. He was an idiot!

"I asked you first," Arthur replied, gritting his teeth. Merlin swallowed nervously. Arthur was obviously at the precipice of blowing up. Merlin immediately pointed out toward the castle.

"What is that?" he cried, as if something horrifying was there. Arthur's face fell slightly as he turned to look.

"What?" Merlin took off as if all of hell was breaking loose. It probably wasn't the best idea, but it was sure a hell of a lot better than attempting to explain his "warlock" circumstances. He hoped that he could think of something before Arthur caught him.

"He-Hey! Merlin! Get back here!" Arthur yelled and took off after the worst manservent in all of history. He would wring the idiot's neck when he caught him. Merlin skidded around a corner and a pair of pale, skinny arms grasped him and pulled him into the shadows.

"Ich nasen masudium," a female voice whispered, and they disappeared from Camelot. Merlin was thrown into a pool of water and immediately flipped out. He was going to drown! He flailed his arms, trying to keep from drowning.

"Garren porium!" a girl shouted, and Merlin was immobile and unable to speak.

"Henrietta, I see you have the one you spoke of," a dark voice slid into the cave. The girl pulled Merlin out of the water lazily.

"Yes. Now we shall see how he reacts," Henrietta smiled.

.

Arthur skidded to a stop and looked around. Where had Merlin gone? He looked around for a few minutes before giving up. Arthur felt sure that Merlin would turn up again in a few moments. Merlin couldn't avoid him forever.

Arthur returned to the castle and continued about his business as usual. It wasn't hard to do, but as it grew later and later, it became harder to convince himself that Merlin would show up eventually. He finally made up his mind to pay a visit to Gaius if Merlin didn't show up by nighttime.

.

Henrietta held a small bug in her hand. It was called an annex beetle, but to those who were more familiar with the black insects, knew it as the death bug. It laid its eggs within the person's ear, where they would incubate for a week and then hatch. After they hatched, they would move deeper into the skull. There, the female beetles would slip into the blood stream and the male beetles would remain in the brain, slowly building nests that would lead to internal bleeding and swellin around the brain. The host would suffer for two weeks with only a hope during the first of these weeks before finally dying.

The death bug Henrietta held was sleeping, but pregnant with around twenty eggs. She was tempted to plant it within Arthur's manservant. Keep the boy for a week, and after the week, plant the bug and return him home. It could only end perfectly. Death bugs were basically unheard of to the people of Camelot. Merlin wouldn't stand a chance.

.

Arthur stormed into Gaius's chambers. He couldn't believe Merlin had yet to even show up for duty. In fact, Arthur didn't even care about the little incident that transpired early that day. He was just worried, terribly so and the gods be damned to hell if he were to admit it.

"Have you seen Merlin?" Arthur asked Gaius, not even considering the possibility that Gaius might be out. Luckily for him though, Gaius was there, working at some odd elixer or something. Arthur didn't care.

"No, not since this morning," Gaius replied. Arthur froze in shock. Gaius had to have seen him sometime that afternoon. Otherwise... where else could he have hidden from Arthur?

"Are you sure?" Arthur insisted, feeling a bit panicked.

"Is there something wrong, Arthur?" Gaius asked. Arthur straightened up and shook his head.

"No. It's nothing," Arthur replied and walked out, returning to his chambers. He went to bed without dinner and turned out the lights in his room by himself. He didn't get to say good night to Merlin.

.

Two days passed and Arthur was only able to pull together a meager search party. Uther wouldn't allow him to use many of the knights for petty things, such as finding a missing manservent.

Arthur wandered the halls of the castle, deep in thought. He saw Merlin everywhere. The idiot was just fine and up to his usual idiocy.

But that wasn't true. Merlin was no longer in Camelot, it seemed. He was gone. Arthur touched a hand to his forehead, leaning into it a bit. His other arm was wrapped around him. There was a strangely painful feeling that made his chest feel impossibly tight.

"Why do I feel this way?" he whispered to himself. Arthur finally retired to his room, hiding beneath his covers. The room, the castle, everything was too empty. He clutched his pillow.

"Merlin..." Arthur flipped onto his other side and swore, "I'm going to murder you when you get back." He was only greeted by a fitfull sleeping pattern.

.

Henrietta slid the beetle into Merlin's ear while he slept. A few moments later, the beetle crawled back out and returned to dust. She stared at the manservent. He had lost a lot of weight during the week, not that she really cared though. She hoisted him up and brought him to the border of Camelot.

"You're free to return home, servent boy," Henrietta said releasing Merlin. He stumbled forward on his own two feet.

"Why-" but she was gone before he could even finish his question. He stumbled into the city, his knees threatening to give out on him with every step. Then someone grabbed his elbow.

"Where have you been?" a gruff voice asked. Merlin looked at the knight and had no idea who he even was.

"The prince has been searching tirelessly for you for a whole week," the knight continued irritably. Merlin didn't really understand, so he remained quiet. He was just tired and hungry. Nothing more, nothing less.

.

"Sire, we have found your manservent," a knight informed Arthur. Arthur suddenly came to life.

"Where is he?" Arthur asked, his hands shaking with impatience.

"He has been taken to Gaius. He wasn't in good health when I found him," the knight replied. Arthur was already halfway down the hall rushing to Gaius's chambers the moment the knight uttered Gaius's name. The knight was left feeling rather dumbfounded.

When Arthur burst into Gaius's chambers, he was greeted with a very unpleasant sight. Merlin was skin and bones. Bruises covered his upper body, and there was no telling how he looked on his lower half. Gaius looked up at Arthur, a bit surprised.

"Arthur," Gaius said slowly. The to-be king gazed at Gaius with a fierce look.

"Is he going to be okay?" Arthur demanded to know.

"It appears so, I haven't done all the tests yet though," Gaius replied. Arthur towered over Merlin. Merlin stared up at Arthur and smiled a bit.

"I'm here now," Merlin pointed out. Arthur smiled slightly and suddenly felt like everything was going to be okay. The pain in his chest even disappeared.

"Idiot," Arthur replied, looking irritated instead of happy, "I'll leave you to it then Gaius." Arthur left and took the long nap that he'd been desperately in need of for quite a number of days.

.

Merlin began to recover and returned to his duties as Arthur's manservent. Arthur was feeling something strange stirring in him though. Merlin made him feel excited and got him tongue-tied at times. He didn't understand the strange turmoil that took over his mind when Merlin was near. His heart even began to pound. Merlin, however was quieter. There was something wrong with him, which made Arthur's heart clench. He always wanted to take Merlin in his arms and shield Merlin from whatever terrorized Merlin's heart. A strange feeling for the arrogant prince.

"Merlin? Are you okay?" Arthur stopped Merlin by grabbing his arm one night. Merlin stood in silence, just savoring the warmth of the hand that held him in place. He turned to Arthur slowly.

"I don't know," Merlin replied, his voice quiet, almost disappearing like a ghost. Arthur stared into Merlin's eyes for a long moment.

"Then stay here tonight," Arthur replied. Merlin's eyes widened a bit.

"But-" he began to protest, a little bit of life coming back into him. Arthur smirked slightly.

"You cannot protest. I order you to sleep here tonight," Arthur affirmed. Merlin sighed, resigning to Arthur's decree. Arthur smiled a bit to himself because Merlin was becoming more like himself, livlier. Arthur couldn't stand seeing Merlin act like that.

"Am I sleeping on the floor then?" Merlin asked after Arthur had sat down at his dest again. He was writing some sort of document, it seemed. Arthur looked up, but didn't speak. He seemed to ponder this for many long moments.

"No, you shall sleep in my bed," Arthur decided aloud. Merlin turned a shade of pink.

"Then where will you sleep?" he asked slowly.

"Same place," Arthur shrugged as if it were nothing. Merlin sat on the floor uncomfortably. Arthur himself felt a bit on edge, but he forced himself to continue working on his writing. When Arthur finished, he approached Merlin, seeming fearless. He lifted the skinny guy off the ground and tossed him on the bed then lay down beside him.

"See? No big deal," Arthur told Merlin and closed his eyes. Merlin lay stiff, unable to will himself to sleep. Arthur began to shift not too long after he fell asleep. Merlin was soon trapped in Arthur's arms and pulled against the prince's body.

"Merlin..." Arthur breathed into Merlin's ear. Merlin blinked several times. Arthur was cuddling someone in his dream and whispering Merlin's name? Merlin suddenly felt indescribably embarressed. Arthur was dreaming about Merlin, it seemed. Suddenly, Merlin felt happy and comfortable. Arthur was dreaming about him no one else. Merlin fell asleep easily, getting the best sleep he had in a while. Besides, the mattress to Arthur's bed felt like a cloud.

The awkwardest moment of the two boy's lives was waking up in a mess of limbs with another guy. The main reason for this being awkward was because Merlin was not supposed to like this or even know that Arthur was whispering his name in his sleep. For Arthur, this was awkward due to the close proximity of Merlin and all his beauty. It made Arthur want to wake up like that every morning, but Merlin probably didn't feel the same, therefore it was very, very awkward. So much so, that neither could even make themselves move. At least until a bird chirped, frightening Merlin so much that he basically jumps into Arthur's arms. Arthur immediately grips Merlin as tight as he possibly can in a sort of automatic reaction and then they freeze again.

"A- Arthur... What are you doing?" Merlin asked slowly. Arthur immediately released him and began to get up.

"What are you talking about, you idiot?!" Arthur snapped with his back to Merlin. Merlin's heart dropped. So it was just him.

"Nothing," Merlin replied, smiling. The smile was fake, and Arthur knew it. A pit grew in Arthur's stomach, and he felt a bit guilty. Then Merlin collapsed against Arthur's back. Arthur jumped to his feet.

"Merlin!?"

Moment's later, Arthur is racing through the corriders with Merlin in his arms. He bursts into Gaius's chambers, as seems to be rather usual for Gaius at this point. He knows exactly who this is.

"What's wrong Arthur?" Gaius asked, looking up to see Merlin in the prince's arms. He wondered why Arthur even cared so much for Merlin. At this point, it was beginning to appear rather romantic instead of simply platonic. Gaius decided not to think too much about it though. He directed Arthur to the bed where Merlin could rest and began to inspect the boy.

There appeared to be nothing wrong with him.

Three days passed and welts began to appear on Merlin. Small, barely noticable bumps that were colored a light pink. The bumps constantly moved as well. That was when Gaius discovered what was wrong, and began to fear that he was too late.

This bad news hit Arthur like a bag of sand. He locked himself in his room for the rest of the day, turning away all visitors, including Uther and Morgana. Even Gwen. Gaius didn't allow anyone to visit Merlin as the days went by. Rashes were forming on his skin and blood dripped from his lips. Merlin looked paler and paler. Gaius finally finished the remedy after a few days. He was hoping that he wasn't too late.

Arthur entered the chambers despite Gaius's warnings the very next day. Arthur sunk to his knees beside Merlin, who was barely even concious. Gaius felt in his heart that he had been too late with the remedy. The poison wouldn't save him in time. Gaius felt like Merlin was lost. Arthur took Merlin's hand in his and kissed his knuckles carefully. At that moment, Gaius's suspicions were confirmed. Merlin smiled slightly at Arthur.

"I'm in love with you Merlin," Arthur whispered. Merlin looked so sad.

"Arthur..." he began, his voice as quiet as the winter breeze. Arthur gave Merlin his full attention. Merlin continued slowly, already having difficulty breathing because of all the blood. It was even in his tears at that point. Merlin cried because it hurt so much, "I'm dying. You can't love me, not like this." Arthur swallowed painfully, frowning deeply at Merlin.

"That's not how love works, idiot," Arthur replied. Merlin smiled as bloody tears streaked down his cheeks.

"I love you too, you prat," Merlin said. Arthur's eyes filled with tears as he stared into Merlin's blood shot eyes.

"Don't give up, Merlin. I'm going to be King, and you'll be my right hand, my advisor, my everything. So don't give up. We still have a future to strive for," Arthur told Merlin in a shaking voice. The prince was terrified. So impossibly scared of Merlin's death that he thought pep talks could do the trick. Merlin continued to smile at Arthur, but the smile wasn't happy at all. It was the saddest thing Arthur had ever laid his eyes on.

"Arthur, I'm scared too," Merlin whispered. Arthur tightened his grip on Merlin's hand and leaned over to kiss Merlin's lips.

"You're going to be fine. Don't worry," Arthur replied, holding Merlin's face with one hand. Merlin shook his head and his smile disappeared.

"No matter what happens, promise me you'll be happy," Merlin said suddenly. Arthur was taken by surprise. When Merlin said that, his hopes were immediately dashed.

"Yes, of course," Arthur replied, but began to cry. He could no longer hold the tears back. He was watching Merlin die.

"I'm so glad..." Merlin smiled and closed his eyes.

.

Three years later

A man played a lute dramatically as he began to sing a rather familiar tune. All the people of Camelot knew this song.

"A boy prince

Found first love to be bittersweet

A servant boy dies

With a stroke of magic

Someone is buried

A prince grows silent

Fighting for something

Living for someone else's last words

Quiet,

Hush said the girl

Love fell short

A king who cannot love."

The bard sung the song passionately. It was the story of Camelot's king. A man in a blue cloak stopped to listen to the song. He bore a strange resemblance to a servant boy who died. The servant boy though, was never buried. This led to an eerie tale that scared young children. This man, however, continued on his way as soon as the song was finished.

The cloaked man approached the great doors of Camelot and removed his hood.

"My name is Merlin, and I would like request an audience with the King of Camelot," the man declared in an easy tone. The guards practically ran to tell the king. Merlin was a name that the king held very dear.

King Arthur rose from his throne in a fury.

"Who dares to use the name of the deceased Merlin," he roared in anger, going himself to see the man who approached his doorstep. Arthur would show the man his place, but when the king laid eyes on the man, he froze in his tracks.

"M- Merlin?" he asked slowly in a cracking voice. The man smiled slightly.

"And here I thought you'd turn me away," Merlin replied with a smile. Gaius took Merlin the day after his death to an odd sort of place and left him. It had taken Merlin three years to find his way back to Camelot. Even Gaius had thought Merlin had died. Arthur took Merlin in his arms, grasping him tightly.

"Never. I always had hope," Arthur replied, unable to let go of his beloved. Merlin entered the castle, where the two began to re-familiarize themselves with each other.

"So you never stopped loving me?"

"No, never."

I think that ended perfectly. It was halfway inspired by:

"Forever and Always" by Parachute

Which, I must say, is a delightful song, even though it is very tragic. Anyways, please excuse the mistakes in this. I suck at proof reading my own work. Bleh.

Thanks for reading and a review would be awesome!

~Minatu-chan