Title: The Secret in the Basement, part 9
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin, Valiant, Helios, Hengroen
Summary: A death leads to a the discovery of a secret in the basement
Word Count: 856
Author's Notes: Part One ; Part Two ; Part Three ; Part Four ; Part Five ; Part Six ; Part Seven ; Part Eight
Sorry this is late. The internet crashed and burned last night.
Arthur dragged Merlin behind him through the darkening woods. He was trying his best not to hurt him. “We really have to keep moving.”
Merlin pulled his hand from Arthur’s and stopped. “I know but my leg really hurts. I can’t keep up like this.”
Arthur looked around for a moment like something was going to pop out of the mid-air to solve this problem. “Ok, I’ll carry you.”
Merlin gave him a horrified look. “I’m not a girl.”
“Not like that, “ he said arrogantly. He turned his back to Merlin and crouched down a bit. “Climb on.”
“I don’t know,” Merlin said hesitantly. “How do I know you won’t drop me?”
“Coach makes us do this up and down the field at footie practice,” Arthur replied.
“Ok.” Merlin leaned over Arthur’s back, grabbed his shoulders and climbed on. Arthur wrapped his hands around Merlin’s thighs and started forward when Merlin dug his feet in sharply.
Arthur stopped. “Did you just kick me?”
"Now who's wasting time?" Merlin dug in again smirking to himself as Arthur got moving again.
Hengroen ran through the underbrush with the memory of the sharp sting on his flank. He ignored the way some bushes and tree branches caught at his flesh and on the saddle on his back. As soon as he was free of the trees he took off full steam for the nearest fence. Helios raced toward the horse in an attempt to stop it, but the large stallion was determined to get away and easily made it over the fence and was some ways across the pasture before Helios could come to a stop. He glared at the animal as he waited for Valiant to catch up.
Valiant, despite his best efforts, hadn’t been able to catch Helios. He pulled in hard beside him. “You let em get away,” he said angrily.
Helios lifted the visor of his helmet and turned to glare at Valiant. “In case you hadn’t noticed, they weren’t on the horse.”
Valiant looked all about them. “So then where are they?”
Helios nodded in the direction of the trees. “In the woods, probably hiding.”
Valiant gave him a hesitant look, “So go look for em.”
“I don’t take orders from you, ” Helios spat. He revved the engine of the quad.
“Well I’m not going, “ Valiant whined.
Helios was clearly irritated. “Just drive back over to the other side and see if you can see them.”
“Fine.” Valiant jerked the quad into gear and drove off as fast as he could.
Arthur grunted with effort as he stepped over a log. “For someone so skinny you sure do weigh a lot.”
Merlin flicked his hair, “I’m not skinny. I’m lean.”
“Sure,” Arthur rolled his eyes.
“I can understand your confusion seeing as you are fat,” Merlin supplied.
“I am not fat!” Arthur declared indignantly. “I am muscular but I can see how you would be confused seeing as you have no muscles.”
Merlin shifted himself on Arthur’s back. “ I will have you know…”
Arthur cut him off, “Did you hear that?” He came to a stop.
Merlin started up again, “You are just trying to change the subject.”
“Hush,” Arthur said sharply. They were both quiet for a moment.
“Just as I said…,” Merlin hadn’t quite finished when they heard it. An inhumane scream in the distance.
Arthur stood there staring ahead trying to see exactly what the hell that was. His heart was beating hard in his chest and his breath caught in his throat. He probably would have stood there a lot longer except he could hear the sound of a quad in the distance. He pushed at Merlin’s legs to get him down.
Merlin grudgingly got down off Arthur’s back. He had felt incredibly safe there. He wasn’t sure how or why, but he trusted Arthur despite knowing him for just a few short hours. Whatever happened now he was determined to stick close to him. “What now?”
“I don’t know,” Arthur said nervously as they heard the scream again. “We can’t go back.” He reached back to take Merlin’s hand.
Merlin squeezed Arthur’s hand. He was scared, his heart skittering about his chest. “Ok then. We go forward.”
Arthur swallowed hard. “Ok.” They took a few steps forward when they heard the scream again.
Merlin stopped. “It’s getting closer.”
Arthur picked up a big stick. The scream came again, closer. Suddenly something was flying through the air at them. Merlin screamed and dived to the ground as Arthur swung the stick and missed. He thought his heart was going to come out his throat when he spotted a large white bird.
He plopped down on the ground next to Merlin. “Are you ok?”
Merlin sat up cautiously. “Did you get it?”
“No.” Arthur said unhappily but I don’t think we need to worry. He pointed where the large white bird sat on a branch.
Merlin laughed in relief. “I guess someone’s pet got loose.”
“It belongs to the St. Johns.” Arthur picked up a stone and tossed it in the bird’s direction. “His name is Benny and he’s a menace.”