AN: Hey everyone! I've been working on this story for probably about a week and I'm so excited it's done. Now to be honest this isn't one of my best. I got this idea stuck in my head but I have SO many stories stuck in my head that I just kind of rushed through this one because I wanted to keep working on my others. Still despite the lack of effort on my part I am VERY pleased with how it turned out. I worked pretty hard on the interactions between Arthur and Merlin and even Gwaine, Gwen, and Gaius.
So here's the story, angsty goodness and I have more to come so subscribe if you like my writing and like that kind of stuff!
This was not good. This so was not good. Merlin and Arthur had been in plenty of bad situations before but Merlin couldn't think of one that had been worse than this. Then again, it always felt that way right before they were going to die, or at least right before he thought they were going to die, and they had always gotten out of those situations before obviously because they weren't dead now... Still he was sure even if he thought about this later (if he even survived this,) he would come to the conclusion that this was by far the worst situation they had ever been in.
Surrounding them was a mixture of mercenaries and sorcerers, nearly forty men combined. The sorcerers were not that powerful and the mercenaries not that skilled… at least not compared to Merlin and Arthur. To their back was a sheer cliff, they were pressed so close to it that Merlin could easily see over the edge and they were so high up that clouds blocked the view to the ground. At the moment they were at a standoff, no one approached but he knew they were just waiting for something, perhaps the opportune moment to attack with the least amount of them dying as possible.
That lead him back to his first thought of this was so not good. He held a sword in his hand, though he knew which weapon he would secretly be fighting with. They had been separated from the knights when first ambushed which seemed to be a purposeful ploy on the parts of their enemies, but Merlin was nearly attached to Arthur at the hip. There was no way they would separate Arthur from his secret protector.
The more Merlin gaped at the people surrounding them the more Merlin came to the conclusion that they could not win this… not without him revealing his magic. This was not the way he wanted it to go down, he was supposed to reveal himself to Arthur back in the safety of Camelot, perhaps after Arthur had accepted magic or maybe to convince Arthur too accept magic not now when they were in mortal peril.
Merlin turned his attention to the man standing beside him. Arthur seemed to be weighing the options as well and by the look on his face he was coming to the same conclusions, without , of course, the knowledge of Merlin's magic to fall back on.
They were pressed shoulder to shoulder, facing different directions, creating a V shape. The enemy was on three different sides, the cliff on the fourth. Merlin whispered to Arthur. "This is bad isn't it?"
Despite the situation he heard Arthur give Merlin an exasperated sigh. "No Merlin. This is perfect, exactly the situation we want to be in."
Merlin ignored the biting tone. "We're not going to make it out of this are we?" He asked. Even though he was fairly sure he had to be absolutely sure, and he trusted Arthur's judgment when it came to battles far above his own.
But Arthur didn't answer him, and his silence was answer enough. Merlin hesitated a moment longer, waiting for that moment when something would happen, a miracle of sorts, that would keep him from having to reveal his magic like he had so many times before in the past, but the moment didn't come, the mercenaries and sorcerers watched them with evil grins, surrounding them slowly, waiting for something, what they were waiting for Merlin didn't know but hopefully they would wait long enough for Merlin to ask this one last question.
"Arthur… there's something I have to know…"
"Arthur… there's something I have to know…" Arthur was about to speak to the men surrounding them, about to give their surrender when Merlin interrupted him.
"Not now, Merlin." He hissed.
He held his arms up and let his sword fall. "We surrender." He said.
"Arthur what are you doing?" Merlin hissed at him.
"This is a no win scenario Merlin, maybe at the very least I can get them to spare your life." Arthur whispered back.
Merlin began to sputter some sort of loyal and self-sacrificing response but was interrupted by a rather ugly man who stepped forward to speak for the band of renegades. Arthur was actually kind of surprised that they had managed to pull together such a rag tag group and wondered who was behind it.
"We have no intention of capturing you." The man said. "It is in our best interests if you die."
"Then what are you waiting for?" Arthur gritted out.
The man smirked. "Let's just say we're savoring the moment." He said.
"Arthur…" Merlin whispered urgently and Arthur resisted the urge to roll his eyes in that moment.
"What?" He hissed back.
"I have to ask you something." Merlin stated.
"Now's not really the time." Arthur growled.
"Please…" Merlin whispered and Arthur didn't respond, surprised by the pleading he heard in his manservant's voice. Merlin took his silence as consent and continued. "Do you trust me?" he asked.
The question surprised Arthur and he gave one of his customary responses. "You're a complete idiot who can't even manage his chores properly." Arthur mumbled.
"Arthur…" And the pleading and seriousness in Merlin's voice changed his reaction.
"Yes." Arthur said. He wasn't about to get all mushy with Merlin, a simple answer would suffice.
"What if I did something crazy?" Merlin asked.
"Honestly Merlin you're standing right next to me and that's crazy enough." Arthur muttered.
"What if I did something you never thought I could ever do?"
Arthur had no idea where this was going, this was a really strange conversation, even for Merlin.
"What the hell are you talking about, Merlin?" He asked.
"What if I had magic?"
The word made Arthur's heart freeze but immediately a bubble of laughter slipped out. "That's funny Merlin." He said. "But now's not the time for jokes."
"I'm not joking."
"There's no way you could ever have magic." Arthur stated very confidently.
"But what if I did? Would you think differently of me? Would you trust me?"
Arthur wanted to brush this off but he could hear how important this was to Merlin so he stopped and actually thought about it. "I don't know." He finally responded and he heard a sad sigh from Merlin in response.
Just then a man emerged from the crowd. Someone they had all been waiting for, Arthur saw the crooked and evil grins on the faces of the men waiting in the crowd. There was something very bad about this man.
The man who had answered them before stepped forward. "This is Eros. He has a very special magical ability. For your crimes, Arthur Pendragon, you will not only die by magic but in the most painful way possible." Arthur almost shuddered and he felt Merlin shudder behind him.
"Let my manservant go. He has nothing to do with this." Arthur requested.
"No." Merlin said loudly. "If you're going to kill him you'll have to kill me first."
Arthur sighed and closed his eyes. "You really are an idiot aren't you Merlin?" Arthur whispered glancing at his servant. Merlin had that cheeky grin, the disarming smile he always had, but there was a certain sadness in his eyes like he was saying goodbye.
"Till the end." he joked and despite himself Arthur couldn't help but smile.
The man shrugged. "Makes no difference to us." He stated.
Eros began to move forward, the man was hunched over and looked to be in pain by the way he walked, or staggered really, towards them, his body was littered with scars, his head bald, in all honesty he looked quite awful. It was almost enough for Arthur to pity the man except for the gleam in his eye and the evil crooked smile on his face. His hand was outstretched as he walked and finally after a long painful wait he stopped, halfway between Arthur and the crowd of men who all took several steps back.
The man opened his mouth and began to speak and a beam of light shot out from his hand. Arthur held his breath waiting for the moment for it to strike but was startled by another set of foreign words to come from somewhere beside him as a transparent shield appeared in front of them.
He turned with wide eyes and stared at Merlin, whose hand was outstretched and whose eyes were burning a molten gold. The sorcerer's spell ended and he stared in shock at Merlin but Merlin didn't hesitate to send his own spell at the sorcerer, knocking him to the ground where he did not move again.
Arthur didn't really have time to process this information, suddenly his sword was back in his hand and the mercenaries who had all been staring in shock like he had were now charging. He was then kept quite busy just trying to stay alive. He heard Merlin shouting those same foreign words behind him, at one point he thought Merlin even roared and he glanced back, to make sure the newly proclaimed sorcerer was still alive, Merlin still had a sword in his hand and was using it to chop down his enemies while he continued to shout out foreign words.
Arthur turned his attention back to fighting forcing himself to dwell on this new information later. Merlin was busy dealing with both mercenaries and sorcerers and trying to block attacks from both on Arthur as well. Finally the last sorcerer that Arthur could see fell to the ground and with that Merlin let out another roar like sound and suddenly at least ten men around him fell.
Followed by another five and soon it was just Merlin and Arthur standing on a bloody battlefield. They were both breathing heavily, Arthur slowly looked up at Merlin who stared at the bodies around him, not wanting to meet Arthur's eyes but finally his curiosity won and his eyes flickered to Arthur's.
Arthur threw his sword into the ground, the sword that had magically flown into his hand earlier and marched towards Merlin. Merlin took a step back but cast an uneasy glance behind him where the cliff was. Arthur grabbed him by his shirt and shook hard.
"WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?" He screamed in Merlin's face, finally the most recent revelation catch up with him. His words were more raw emotion than actual communication. "YOU'RE A BLOODY SORCERER? You never said anything! You've been lying to me all this time!"
"Arthur… I'm sorry, I'm so sorry...Please… I'm sorry, I only used it for you, Arthur, please… I'm so sorry." Merlin was muttering the words over and over again as Arthur continued to shake and scream. Finally Arthur hit him nearly causing Merlin to go over the edge except that Arthur still had a hold on his shirt, he held him there, dangling over the edge for a moment before yanking him back causing him to stumble and fall to the ground.
Then he stepped back as Merlin brought a hand up to his bleeding nose. Arthur's eyes still full of anger, his whole body seething with fury. "No." He said like a response to a question.
Merlin looked at him confused, hurt, scared, terrified to be precise, but slowly stood to his feet as he waited for Arthur to continue. "No, I don't trust you, and I will never be able to trust you again." Arthur didn't know if he actually believed those words even as he said them but enough of him did to say them, or enough of him wanted to hurt Merlin in order to say it.
Merlin's eyes widened in shock, a slew of emotions flew across his face, hurt, fear, denial and then finally sadness and resignation. He opened his mouth to say something but suddenly his face changed, his eyes widened as he focused on something behind Arthur.
"Arthur! Look out!" He cried pushing Arthur to the side and raising his hand to direct it at the crumpled form of the sorcerer Eros. He wasn't fast enough though and the blast of magic that Eros inflicted hit him straight in the chest.
He stepped back his eyes widening in pain and horror. Arthur's face mirrored Merlin's. There was a gaping hole in the middle of Merlin's chest, no blood came forth because the area was charred and blackened and the smell of it was revolting. Merlin raised his hand weakly again at the sorcerer who was still looking at him in amazement and whispered something before taking one step back too many. A light shot from his hand and hit the sorcerer who screamed and this time Arthur knew he was dead.
The force of the spell sent Merlin over the edge, Arthur, still in arm's reach, grabbed at the young man but only managed to grab his handkerchief. For a brief second Merlin's eyes, glazed with pain, met Arthur's, and Arthur nearly gasped at the pain he felt emanating from them, not just physical but emotional and then the kerchief came undone from Merlin's neck. Arthur grasped for his friend and grabbed his hand but it was slick with sweat and slipped through his fingers and he could only watch as Merlin fell and disappeared in the clouds.
Arthur stared in shock, Merlin was gone.
AN: Not every chapter is going to be this long but I wanted to get to the part where Merlin falls. . . I'm not pretending this story isn't predictable so umm… I hope you still like it!