Title: Da capo (Part 2)
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, ensemble cast
Summary: The nightmare continues.
Warnings: Imprisonment, psychological trauma
Word Count: 816
Prompt: Suspense Month - "No! Stop!"
Author's Notes: Continuation of last week.
The screen had been dark for a while and at some point the lights had gone off.
Despite himself, Merlin had gone to sleep, his arms still cradling his head.
He didn’t know how many hours he slept for, only that the lights were suddenly switched back on causing him to sit up abruptly in bed.
A sharp pain in his head reminded him his injury most certainly hadn’t healed itself, but for the moment he ignored it, looking around instead with trepidation.
The screen was still blank and he breathed a sigh of relief. He wasn’t sure how much more he could take of seeing Arthur … of not knowing …
Knocking himself out of that dismal train of fought he noticed a bowl of food on the floor with a bottle of water next to it.
He eyed it with distrust, not knowing what it might contain. So far, his captors had given him no reason to trust them.
But he couldn’t deny he was hungry.
He wasn’t sure how many hours later it was, but eventually his stomach won over his doubts and he caved in to hunger.
The pasta had gone cold, and the salad wilted, but Merlin had to force himself to go slow.
How long was it since he’d last eaten?
The water helped to ease his headache, but once he was finished, uneasiness returned in full force.
The blank screen was mocking him.
“You know,” Gwaine said, his arm slung over the back of Merlin’s chair. “This is all really stupid.”
Gwaine’s breath was heavy with alcohol, and his grimaced as his eyes drifted over the rest of the room.
“What is?” Merlin asked.
Gwaine was about to respond when Arthur dropped into the seat on the other side of Merlin.
“Here, I got you a drink,” he said, sliding a beer glass in front of Merlin.
“Oh, cheers,” Merlin said, lifting it up to take a sip. “You were saying?” he added, turning back to Gwaine.
But Gwaine had gone.
The screen flickered back into life and Merlin jumped in spite of himself.
It was the scene with Arthur again. The attacker behind him lunging forward, iron bar in hand.
But this time, the clip didn’t stop.
Merlin was on his feet, worry and anger swirling in his belly.
Overhead, the light flickered.
Arthur’s attacker brought the bar down once, twice, against Arthur’s crumpled form, and something just shy of a scream caught itself in Merlin’s throat.
“Why are you doing this?!” he demanded, backing away from the screen till his legs hit the bed. “You cowards! Come out and face me!”
The screen abruptly went black and Merlin felt a strange tingling sensation in his fingertips.
“What have you done to him?”
“Is it … is it something to do with Uther?” Merlin asked, trying to catch Arthur’s attention.
Arthur had a small scowl on his face, his gaze drifting from Mordred, to Valiant, to Alvarr, and back again.
“No …” Arthur sighed. “No, it’s just …”
He snapped his gaze back to Merlin and then moved to Merlin’s drink.
“You’re not drinking,” he frowned.
“Not until you tell me what’s wrong,” Merlin replied, a frown crossing his face too. He reached out and took a drink all the same.
“It’s nothing, Merlin. It’s just been … a rough week. And I don’t like Mordred and all them hanging around.”
Merlin leaned close, his lips just brushing Arthur’s.
“I could distract you?”
The screen was on again.
Arthur crumpled to the ground again and again. Merlin tried not to look, tried to ignore the blood, tried to stop the bubbling rage and terror spilling out of him.
The lights overhead flickered again.
“Please. Please. What have you done to him?”
The tingling in his hands was worse, a sick feeling burned its way up his throat.
It must have been the food.
The attacker brought the bar down over Arthur’s fallen form and Merlin’s hands balled into fists.
“Stop. Please stop!”
It didn’t stop.
A sob tore itself from Merlin’s throat.
Merlin felt a sudden dizzying, frightening rush, his vision went white-
There was a loud bang and when Merlin blinked the whiteness out of his eyes, he looked up to find the screen, cover and all, shattered into pieces.
The kiss broke apart, the heat of it making Merlin feel dizzy.
“I’m sorry,” Arthur murmured.
Merlin’s vision went dark.
Arthur, pushed himself up from his chair with a grimace, and leaned towards the screen in front of him.
Gwaine, a scowl on his face, pressed a button to rewind and they watched as Merlin screamed out, his eyes going gold, and the screen cracked as if hit by a bullet.
Arthur pressed his lips firmly together before letting out a breath.