A/N: Here is the list of music used for The Emrys Strain:
Chapter 1 (Outside Camelot's Boundaries) - "And So It Goes" by Billy Joel; Foul Play, Dragonheart, Aladdin, Cinderella, Sinbad, 101 Dalmatians ref.
Chapter 2 (The Eagle and the Bear) - "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Judy Garland
Chapter 4 (Crystal Clear) - "The Sound of Silence" by Simon and Garfunkel; "Anyone at All" by Carol King
Chapter 5 (The Black Knight) - "Send in the Clowns" by Judy Collins
Chapter 7 (An Act of War) - "Miss Misery" by Elliot Smith; "The Rose" by Bette Midler; "Could I Have This Dance" by Anne Murray; "There's a Summer Place" by the Lettermen
Chapter 11 (Famine and Drought) - "They're Coming to Take Me Away" by Napoleon XIV; "The Long and Winding Road" by the Beatles
Chapter 15 (Having Magic) - "Monday, Monday" by the Mamas and the Papas; "Just Another Manic Monday" by the Bangles; "Calypso" by John Denver; "I Don't Know Much" by Linda Rondstadt and Aaron Neville; "A Picture of Me Without You" by George Jones; "Remember" by Harry Nilsson
Chapter 16 (First Responders) - "The Gambler" by Kenny Rogers
Chapter 17 (The Emrys Strain) - "Piano Man" by Billy Joel; "Margaritaville" by Jimmy Buffett; "To All the Girls I've Loved Before" by Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias; "It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere" by Alan Jackson; "Wild Thing" by the Troggs; "Somebody's Baby" by Andru Donalds; "Wind Beneath My Wings" by Whitney Houston; "You Raise Me Up" by Josh Groban; "Good Lovin'" by the Rascals
A/N: And this is the first part of chapter 1 of part 3, The Artorius Blade
Chapter 1: Domesticated
Merlin stood on the edge of a stage in the middle of a grand auditorium, his back to the empty seats, facing toward the curtained area in the back. All was blackness, save for center stage, harsh-lit in white.
Arthur stood center stage, casual in jeans and a t-shirt and tennis shoes – and in his hand was the immortal blade Excalibur, the edge shining as it had when he'd seen it last. He was watching stage-right, calmly, expectantly. Footsteps sounded, steady, authoritative, and Uther Pendragon appeared, gaunt and grim under the spotlight. He was armed as well, and didn't hesitate to attack his son.
Merlin opened his mouth, and nothing came out. No shout of warning, no director's instructions. His face serene, Arthur's body flowed into instinctive defense, blocking each strike as though the battle was choreographed, rehearsed. But for the rage and hate that shone from his father's eyes. They spun past each other, steps sure as a dance, and then it wasn't Uther, nor yet Thomas Drake that fought to kill Arthur, but an unknown man, seen only from behind, silver hair and impeccable black suit, and his moves flowed faster and faster until Merlin's heart was in his throat, his body and his magic, like his voice, frozen.
Gwen's voice rose in song from the darkness, Hello young lovers, wherever you are, I hope your troubles are few…
Arthur, face now tense, leaped up and kicked his opponent in the chest, knocking him down. Gwaine and Leon slid into view, prone on the stage floor, to grasp the older man's arms, stretch his body between them, as Arthur stood over the older man, raising Excalibur over his head.
Merlin's head turned to the side of its own volition, and there was Freya, standing very close to him and watching the scene unfold. She held a wrapped bundle in her arms, jouncing it slightly and humming along with Gwen's song.
All my good wishes go with you tonight, I've been in love like you…
Arthur gave a cry of pain, dropping Excalibur to clatter on the stage as he bent over his left side, and a spot of blood appeared on the white t-shirt. Gwaine and Leon both raised their heads to stare at the king.
From the darkness, a chorus hissed, Run, Eliza, run – run! Beside him, Freya's eyes widened, and she looked from Arthur to Merlin with slow and utter terror. Merlin's hand rose, and she darted away, the blanketed baby screaming in sudden panic in her arms. Run, Eliza, run – run! the malicious whisper continued.
A single light came up to the side, and there was Gwen, radiant with expectant new life, voice throaty with emotion but still so true on the notes. Don't cry young lovers, whatever you do, don't cry because I'm alone… Arthur gave another agonizing cry as blood poured freely now from the rent in his shirt, and turned to run also, as Freya whisked past him with the wailing infant. Run, Eliza, run!
No! Merlin screamed, and took a step back. His toes landed on the edge of the stage – but not his heel. He tipped backward into darkness, falling, falling…