This story starts in the curse of Cornelius Sigan, when Merlin wandered out of the smoke and we couldn't tell if Merlin was possessed by Sigan or not. In the tv show, he successfully subdued Sigan rather quickly. Well, in this fic, he did not.
Sigan entered his body, and he felt his awareness be ripped from him as Sigan's consciousness overcame his own. He felt himself fall to the ground as a battle started over control; Merlin felt himself shaking with each blow dealt. He needed to regain control of his own body, or Sigan would do untold damage to his home.
"Àdwæscan angsumnes!" [suppress mind/will] Sigan yelled in Merlin's mind, and he felt the fight leave him. His world became soft and comfortable, and he felt himself floating in content ness. It was like the feel of soft blankets after a long day of hard work, and he had no desire to leave this feeling behind. It was almost as if he forgot about himself as he dimly felt his body get up and walk through the fog towards Gaius.
"Sigan," he heard filter into his ears. "You will not get away with this."
"And who is to stop me?" Merlin heard his own callous laugh enter his ears, as if from very far away. He turned away from the unwelcome disturbance. "Your most powerful sorcerer is now under my employ. And from what I understand, all sorcery is banned in Camelot anyways." Merlin's voice scoffed, laced with an unusual cruelness. The voice that resulted almost did not sound like Merlin at all.
Gaius visibly wavered under the strength of that statement, but did not budge. "You cannot get away with this," he stated with the force of undeniable belief. "Someone will stop you," he insisted strongly.
"I'd like to see you try," Sigan laughed. Merlin felt the emotions of Sigan, the malice and the hate. Merlin was disgusted, and before he could act out was folded deeper into Sigan's enchantments. Do not leave here, a voiceless thought echoed. It is comfortable, and happy here...
He heard a clanging of armor, and Sigan turned around to meet the sight of Arthur and the knights standing up, dazed from their stint of unconsciousness.
"Merlin?" Arthur's confused voice called out to the figure before him.
"Nice try," echoed a twisted mockery of the familiar sound. "But guess again." His voice was mocking and distorted, an inhumane sound to anyone who knew Merlin.
"Sigan has possessed Merlin," Gaius called out from where he stood. Arthur's face twisted into fear and rage. "Look into his eyes, you will see they are black with dark magic." Merlin turned away mentally from the dark magic he felt in his body, subdued by the enchantment Sigan had prepared.
Arthur's hardened face trained on Sigan. "I will not let you get away with this." He growled the threat towards Sigan, hand gripping around his sword in fury.
"How do you intend to stop me?" He echoed back, amused. "I am immortal; I need no body and cannot be killed." Merlin's face hardened to cruelty. "Camelot will be mine."
Gaius ran over to where Arthur stood, exclaiming "His soul must be forced back into the crystal where it was found!" The knights stood in formation around Gaius to protect the aging man,
Sigan reached a hand into Merlin's coat pocket and pulled out the heart-shaped crystal. "Oh, this?" He mocked. "Only Merlin could do that, and he seems to be a little incapacitated at the moment." Sigan smirked, and raised his hands towards Arthur and the knights. "But we've been puttering around enough, don't you think?"
Merlin felt the intent, felt the threat towards his closest friends as the words graced his lips, but stopped Sigan cold before his magic could react. He fought the enchantment, and it felt like swimming in waterlogged clothes as he wrestled for his body versus Sigan. He felt his knees buckle as he swayed towards the ground, all fours as his face contorted in pain. He shook and spasmed as Sigan fought for control of his body.
"No," he ground out as though trapped under a pile of stones. "I will not... Let you hurt them," he said, out of breath as he buckled fell, head hitting the ground. He felt tendrils of Sigan reach out towards his arms and legs, and the magic trailed down his arm as he reached out towards Gaius, and Merlin slammed it down. Merlin felt his own magic wrestle with Sigan's, and felt the sensation burn his eyes. They were swirling black and gold as the battle for Merlin's body raged on.
"Merlin," said Gaius's voice, now very close to his ears. He looked up to see Gaius kneeling next to him. "Fight him, you can do it." Merlin felt his other hand trapped around the crystal, and black magic surged through him as the crystal shattered in his hand, the pieces sharp in his grip.
"No!" Merlin cried, and his grief gave Sigan purchase to shove him down as his black magic flooded through his veins and he stood up, gold in his eyes engulfed by black once more. Merlin felt as if he had an entire ocean on top of him, and he struggled to remain conscious inside his body as Sigan spoke.
"There is no way you can defeat me now," he spoke smoothly. "For there is nowhere for my soul to go."
"Merlin!" Arthur cried. "I know you're in there, you must fight!" Merlin tried to follow Arthur's command, but felt weaker than a newborn babe. Sigan's mind felt like an enormous, immovable weight on top of him.
Sigan laughed loudly and callously. "I can feel his futile fighting right now; he will get nowhere." They heard footsteps coming from the courtyard, and Uther strode out to join them with his captains behind him.
"Oh, the whole royal family is here," Sigan cooed. "I love a set."
"Sigan has possessed Merlin!" Arthur cried. "He has magic." This was enough to get Uther to draw his sword in anger.
"Guards!" Uther yelled. "Seize him!" The battalion charged the sorcerer, swords drawn and in the air.
Sigan merely laughed, waving his hand and exclaiming "Astrice!" As all of the guards were thrown back against the wall, unconscious or dead. "Was that your grand plan?" He mocked. He reached his arm out toward Arthur, and Merlin fought in vain to regain control of his body as Arthur was raised up into the air and held by Sigan's dark magic.
He felt himself speak, his voice cold and emotionless. "I will kill your son in front of you, and then you, and then the throne of Camelot will be mine." He turned to Arthur, and blew the knights away with his other arm as he walked towards the prince. Now all that remained was Gaius, Uther, Arthur and Merlin with Sigan in control. Sigan turned toward Arthur, so that only Arthur could see the cruel intent in his eyes.
"Merlin!" Arthur cried, clawing at the invisible force around his neck. "You have to fight!" Across the courtyard, the hopelessness and disbelief as evident on Uther's face; no man could fight the control of a sorcerer, or so he thought.
As Merlin felt Sigan's magic contract around Arthur's neck, he found small purchase in Sigan's control and threw it away as Arthur gasped for air. The golden wisp reflected in Merlin's eyes, and Arthur only knew that in this situation, that was a good thing. "Merlin, keep fighting!"
Merlin heard Arthur's cries, and dipped to one knee as he peeled Sigan's magic away from Arthur. His feet met the floor again as Merlin put a hand down to steady himself, shaking as badly as before. Sigan's mind and magic hit him with the force of a thousand armies, and even his considerable magic was being taxed to keep Sigan out of his mind. Merlin knew that if he did not win, Sigan would take care of him for good.
He pitched forward, and he felt Arthur's hands at his shoulders as he knelt down in front of Merlin. "You must fight him, Merlin. Defeat him, or Camelot will surely fall." Merlin brought his hand up to grip Arthur's shoulders as well, as he scrunched his face in pain. It felt as if all of his limbs were on fire, and Sigan's magic attacked him sharp as ice. He gasped in pain as he looked at Arthur. He felt his strength fade as his head dipped towards the floor.
"I'm sorry... Arthur..." Merlin whispered, quiet as death as he felt his strength wane and Sigan's power grow. He felt the strength leave him, as if a ghost.
Arthur grabbed Merlin's face and held his head up to face him. His blue eyes were almost watering. "Merlin, you must fight him. I cannot lost Camelot," his voice choked for a second, "and I cannot lose you. You must defeat him!"
Merlin was moved by the depth of Arthur's emotion. While Merlin had always valued Arthur as his highest friend, and this was the first time Arthur had ever even hinted at the same sentiment for Merlin. He gathered up his strength, and felt the gold in his eyes increase as he looked at Arthur, choking out his next words in a haze of pain.
"For you, Arth - " his voice erupted into a scream as his magic ran headlong into Sigan, pain taking over his body. He broke out into tremors, and felt himself hold his own head in pain, tremors taking over his body. He screamed as he let his magic flood through his limbs, washing out Sigan's control like purging poison from his veins. His magic painfully purified Sigan from himself, and he felt Sigan burn up from the force.
He felt on the point of unconsciousness, and dimly recognized that Arthur probably knew about his magic now. But when he looked up into the blue eyes of his friend, and they looked back with relief and happiness, he thought maybe Arthur hadn't found out after all. Merlin collapsed on his old friend, unconscious before the impact even happened.