Title: The Secret in the Basement, part 10
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, Benny
Summary: A death leads to a the discovery of a secret in the basement
Word Count: 636
Prompt: 340, Noisy
Author's Notes: Part One ; Part Two ; Part Three ; Part Four ; Part Five ; Part Six ; Part Seven ; Part Eight ; Part Nine
Arthur stood up and turned to Merlin extending his hand. “Come on.”
Merlin looked at the bird cautiously. “What about him?”
“Benny?” Arthur cast a glance at the bird. “He’s mostly harmless.” Just to prove that Arthur might be wrong, Benny spread his wings out and screeched. He then croaked, “Benny good boy.”
“Mostly?” Merlin questioned as he looked at the bird with trepidation.
Arthur chuckled, “He won’t attack you.”
“Are you sure?” Merlin took his hand and stood up putting Arthur between himself and the large screeching bird.
“Well, he said he was a good boy,” Arthur smirked at first but then pulled a more serious face as Merlin stared at him. “But we don’t have time for this. We have to get moving.”
Merlin picked up the stick Arthur had found. “Agreed. Let’s just get away from him. He’s too noisy.” He used the stick to walk but was prepared to swing it at the bird as they moved away.
They made their way through the woods for a bit not speaking. The sun had moved to sit low in the sky creating an orangy glow. The sounds of snapping twigs and crunching leaves were accompanied by a chorus of bugs that was soon punctuated by the sound of an engine. “So where is this old fort?” Merlin asked.
“A bit up ahead.” Arthur suddenly felt a need to talk. “My friends and I found it when we were about 12. We weren’t the first though cause we found a lot of old porno mags, bottles and fags.”
Merlin hesitated before responding. He hated when he had to pretend he liked girls, but he didn’t know Arthur. He might just ditch him or worse if he knew his preference. He had faked it before and would do it again. “Sounds like your standard fort in the woods.”
“This place is better than the standard,” Arthur bragged.
Merlin was about to say something but the sound of one of the quads coming close cut him off. Arthur grabbed his arm and pulled him down. Merlin felt his heart beat hard in his leg as they held still. “Do you think they will come in here?”
“Yeah,” Arthur admitted after a moment. “My father….” He looked away as a feeling of shame about his father swept over him.
Merlin put a hand on his arm. “I know this isn’t your fault.”
Arthur gave him a sharp look. “How do you know I’m not tricking you? We could have staged all this.”
Merlin furrowed his brows. “Because that doesn’t make any sense. It’s not like I’ve seen anything or know anything. They had me right where they wanted in that basement.”
Arthur didn’t want to think any more about what an ass his father was. “How’s your leg?”
“It hurts,” Merlin admitted. “But it’s fine,” he said as he slapped at Arthur’s hand reaching for his pant leg. Sensing a change in the mood, Merlin decided to get them moving again. “Is this magic fort easy to find?”
“No. See those weird rocks ahead?” Arthur pointed.
Merlin poked his head up in the direction Arthur was pointing, “Yeah?”
“It’s in there.”
“Ok then. Let’s go,” Merlin went to push him forward when they caught sight of a beam of light far behind them. The screeching that followed set them on edge. He had to believe they wouldn’t hurt the bird as they used the distraction to run toward the rocks.
Arthur had pulled far ahead and was at the rocks clearly waiting. It was hard to ignore the pain in his leg but Merlin did his best. As soon as he got there Arthur was shoving him between two bushes. He put out his hands to stop himself from hitting the rock face but instead stumbled forward.