Title: Choosing Doom
Character/s: Merlin, Paxson, Merrilea
Summary: Merlin and Paxson try to convince Merrilea to have her powers bound before it is too late.
Word Count: 1046
Prompt: 241 What are you afraid of?
Author's Notes: Magick, Destiny and Doom #32
“Merlin!” Paxson called out. He waved when Merlin turned and rushed to catch up. “Are you going to see my mother?”
“Yes. Arthur wants her magick bound by the end of day.” Merlin started walking to the dungeon again.
“And if she doesn’t comply, or it doesn’t work, then he will execute her in the morning. I know. He told me yesterday at the midday meal.” Paxson fell in step with Merlin. “I was wondering if I could talk to her before you do it. I want to make sure she will agree.”
“If she doesn’t?” Merlin asked.
“Then I will try to make her see sense.” Paxson sighed. “It’s not like I can force her to do anything but if she gives up the foolish idea of me being king and lets her magick be bound then maybe Arthur will let her out of the dungeon.”
Merlin sighed. “I don’t think that is possible but I understand how you feel. I’ll give you a few minutes to speak with her to make her see that she needs to comply.”
“You know, I’m glad my sister is marrying you. You’re a very fair man.” Paxson smiled. “It’s so strange that I have siblings. Did you know my father well?”
“I had some interaction with him.” Merlin shook his head. “He wasn’t a very good person but he was a strong king. He would never have agreed to let me marry Morgana. He would have never let Arthur marry Gwen. He believed that his subjects should serve him. Arthur believes that he should serve the people. I suppose Arthur takes after his mother.”
“Maybe he just fell in love with the right woman. Gwen is very queen like already.” Paxson wrinkled his nose.
“She has had Arthur around her little finger since the moment he gave her his heart.” Merlin sighed. “I know that feeling. Morgana has a great deal of pull on me.”
Paxson and Merlin stopped at the entrance to the dungeon.
“Go talk to your mother.” Merlin waved him in. “I will wait here.”
“Thank you Merlin.” Paxson walked down past the guards and stopped at the cell holding his mother. She was lying on the floor on some straw. “Mother? Are you awake?”
Merrilea got off the floor and walked over to the door of the cell. “Are you here to help me escape?”
“No. Merlin is waiting outside to bind your magick. Please let him.” Paxson put his hand on his mother’s resting on one of the bars. “If you refuse you will die tomorrow at sunrise.”
“Then I die.” Merrilea pulled her hand away. “Stand up to Arthur. Make his see that this will ruin any hopes he has of a relationship with you. What are you afraid of? He is but a man same as you.”
“He is a king and he is my brother. I will not go against him.” Paxson slammed his hand on the bars. “Mother, I beg of you. Please let Merlin do this. I don’t want to lose you but if you don’t comply then I must.”
“You should be king not him. You were Uther’s first born.” Merrilea shot back. “You would have never put me in here.”
“Please Mother, see sense and go through with this.”
“So you chose him over me?” Merrilea looked him up and down. “You don’t even look like my son. You wear a nobleman’s clothes and carry a sword on your belt. We have lost each other already. Tell Merlin that he doesn’t need to bother. I will accept my fate and die in the morning.”
“You don’t have to.” Paxson closed his eyes in frustration.
“I am not afraid to die.” Merrilea turned her back on her son. “I studied long and hard to get these powers and I will not give them up. they are a part of me now. Binding my magick would be killing a part of myself.”
“I will tell Merlin what you said but he will need to hear it from your lips.” Paxson walked back to the entrance of the dungeon. He looked at Merlin and shook his head.
“I see.” Merlin nodded. “Let me talk to her but I fear I won’t have any better luck.”
“Thank you Merlin.” Paxson started to walk towards to his chambers.
Merlin went down to see Merrilea. “I’m here to bind your magick. Will you let me do it and save your life?”
“No.” Merrilea stood defiant. “Did you ever wonder why Uther never executed Gaius for sorcery?”
“Gaius made a vow to stop using his magick.” Merlin wasn’t sure where she was going with this topic.
“He spared Gaius because Gaius was his friend.” Merrilea walked to the door. “It’s the same way with you and Arthur, I think. Arthur would have to be a complete idiot to not know you have magick.”
“What is your point, Merrilea?” Merlin asked.
“He doesn’t have to kill me but he will so that I can no longer influence my son against him.” Merrliea put her hands on the door. “You can plead my case.”
“No. You were doomed the moment you started to go on about your son being the true king. Uther named Arthur as his heir and that is the way it is. Morgana never wanted the throne either but it was Morgause that had that idea. At least Morgause didn’t hide her agenda like you did when we first met." Merlin paused then he realized something. “You planned it all. I’m beginning to wonder how Alice contracted her disease. Did you use magick to infect her?”
Merrilea laughed. “You think I caused my only friend to die just so my son could take his rightful place as king. Is that what you really think, Merlin?”
“Yes.” Merlin eyed her. “I think you, like Morgause, would do anything to put your son on the throne even if that means killing someone you care about.”
“Well, you have a low opinion of me, don’t you?” Merrilea sighed. “Go and let me spend my last hours in peace. I will be dead soon and not a threat to anyone.”
“No. Only to yourself.” Merlin walked away from the cell to go tell Arthur the news.