archaeologist_d (archaeologist_d) wrote in camelot_drabble,

Mischief - part 15 - Selfish

Author: archaeologist_d
Title: Mischief Part 15 – Selfish
Rating: R for language
Pairing/s: none
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, Morgana
Summary: Arthur is a terrible person, according to Morgana and Merlin, too. And selfish as hell.
Word Count: 1467 (sorry!)
Camelot_drabble Prompt 483: Secret meeting
Author's Notes: unbetaed,
Disclaimer: Merlin characters are the property of Shine and BBC. No profit is being made, and no copyright infringement is intended.
Excited at first, when there was no word from Morgana of a breakthrough in the next few days, Merlin grew increasingly stressed, often hiding under the bed, and when he did come out, he would drag his tail behind him or only chase his toys for a moment or two before he gave up. Arthur couldn’t even tempt him with the finest tuna he could find—from someplace called Catcophany where high-end foods for the ever-finicky cat were for sale. A lot of pounds wasted on the little idiot.

Instead, when not hiding, Merlin was on Arthur’s lap or falling asleep against Arthur’s chest while Arthur petted him, smoothing down his fur and giving him little scritches under his chin or behind his ears. Talking to him, too, reassuring his demon kitten that he loved him just as he was and always would. Reminding Merlin that Morgana was on the case, and she never gave up. Ever.

Arthur wasn’t sure Merlin understood or if he did, if he believed Arthur. But it made Arthur unhappy to see Merlin so worried and growing more so every day.

Arthur was just giving Merlin a little kiss on his furry head—not that he’d call it a kiss because it wasn’t something a Pendragon would admit to— when Morgana came waltzing in.

Looking like she’d just won the golden ticket to everything she’d ever wanted, as Merlin ran to her, she picked him up and started dancing around.

Merlin looked thrilled, his yowling a mangle of sounds while she chanted something, a melody Arthur had never heard before. But apparently, Merlin had because his singing approximated the notes. Sort of. As much as any cat could carry a tune.

For a second or two, Arthur just stood there, watching them, his heart sinking. He knew he should be happy for Merlin, but he’d never felt such a connection before, not with another person and certainly not with the few pets he’d owned. He was being selfish, and he knew it, and above it all, he knew he should try everything in his power to help Merlin regain his true form.

But damn it, he didn’t want to lose his cat.

Still, when they calmed down, Arthur put on a fake smile and said, “So when is the big day?”

“The best time for the spell to work is during a full moon, specifically near Samhain. Then, the veil between the worlds is thinnest and magic flows more easily then. I’ve talked with the others in my coven, and we’ve arranged to meet at a place known to the Druids of old, a place where the air is thick with magic and the whole world seems to vibrate. Iselda has the herbs we need and is making the potion as we speak. We believe our combined strength will be enough.” Morgana put Merlin down, then.

As Merlin wound his way around Arthur’s feet, curling his back and pushing his head into Arthur’s leg, Morgana seemed to hesitate, “We have the power and the ingredients, but we need a living vessel, someone through whom the power will gather and then remain until the right moment, and only then will the magic drive itself into Merlin.”

“Umm, sounds painful. I assume you have one of your witch friends volunteering or you? Someone with magic?” Arthur didn’t like the idea of Morgana being used like that, but he was sure she knew what she was doing. At least, he hoped she did.

“Magical ability is not needed but it has to be someone who loves Merlin,” Morgana said, looking at Arthur as if begging him to understand just what she was implying. “It may not work otherwise. They have to have a strong connection. Ordinarily, it would be lovers or a married couple or family, but as far as I know, Merlin doesn’t have anyone like that.”

As Arthur looked down, Merlin gave out a little meow, sounding as worried as any human, then began to crawl up Arthur’s trousers, his claws sharp, grumbling as he did. Arthur finally picked him up and cradled him in his arms.

Merlin’s eyes were bright gold in the evening light, with hints of blue lurking there. For the briefest of moments, Arthur wondered if the human Merlin had gold eyes or blue, and then realised that like it or not, he would find out soon enough.

Squirming a little, Merlin seemed to want to stare up into Arthur’s eyes, gazing at him unblinking, until finally Arthur said, “I can’t read your mind, you little idiot. Although I can always tell when you want dinner.”

Merlin nodded, then butted his head into Arthur’s shirt for a moment. Wiggling enough so that his hind legs were standing on Arthur’s arm, his front paws stretched up onto Arthur’s chest, his whiskers were close enough to tickle. But he continued to look at Arthur, his eyes getting brighter and brighter. It was almost as if he wanted to say something but couldn’t.

Finally, when Arthur still didn’t understand what Merlin was trying to tell him, Merlin leapt down and grumbled at Morgana.
She sighed, a long annoyed sound, as if Arthur were the idiot and not Merlin. “You have the closest connection to Merlin that we know of. We need you to be the vessel.”

Somewhere, deep down inside, Arthur knew it. The day he’d been afraid of ever since Morgana told him that Merlin wasn’t merely a cat but a human transformed.

But that didn’t mean he was going to go along with it. It was bad enough that he was starting to think magic was real—magic!—, but that didn’t mean he was going to be centre stage in some ritual, them making him drink some horrible potion and chanting some voodoo gibberish or other. It could all go horribly wrong. And it would take Merlin from him.
It was too much.

“Find someone else,” Arthur said, then gritted his teeth when Merlin began to yowl, and Morgana stared at him like he’d just cut out her heart. “I don’t really believe in all this nonsense. Vessels? Magic? Yes, Merlin is an unusual cat with abilities I can’t explain but this is too much. I can’t even… sorry, I can’t.”

Morgana looked like she was going to murder him. “I can’t believe you’d be so selfish, you prick.”

“I am not being selfish but practical. From what I can tell, for magic to work, you have to believe in it and deep down, I just don’t. I would be a flawed vessel and it could only make things worse. And I… I don’t… I don’t want Merlin to get hurt just because I’m not the one he needs.”

It was an excuse, and he knew it, but he couldn’t admit, even to himself, that he didn’t want Merlin to change back. That he wanted to keep his little troublemaker just as he was. It was horrible of him and wrong and it didn’t make things any easier knowing that he was being awful. But the remembered loneliness of his barren flat before Merlin came into his life just made his chest hurt.

“Of course, you are the one he needs. For fuck’s sake, just look at him and tell him you won’t help him.” As Arthur looked down at his feet, ashamed of what he was feeling, Morgana spat out, “Because it’s not because you don’t believe in it, it’s because you’d rather keep your cat than do what needs to be done.”

Shit, she was more perceptive than Arthur gave her credit for. “Morgana….” He didn’t know what else to say but Morgana wasn’t having it.

“If you won’t help, then fuck you. Come on, Merlin, you’re staying with me until tomorrow.” She gathered her purse, then scooped up Merlin into her arms.

Looking at Arthur as if he couldn’t believe Arthur wouldn’t help, Merlin thrashed about, then settling closer to Morgana, he let out a long cry, half noise, half despair.

Arthur didn’t want Merlin to go. He reached out for him, thinking to take him back and keep him safe, but Morgana jerked away from him, Merlin still in her arms. “No, it’s too late for that. He’ll be human tomorrow and damn you to hell for being such a selfish bastard. We’ll find a way even if you won’t help.”

Starting to argue with her, it suddenly hit Arthur. “Tomorrow? Shit, Samhain is tomorrow? And a full moon?”

“Does it matter? Just know that you won’t be seeing Merlin again.” Glaring at him, she spat out, “You’ve lost your cat and any hope of being a decent human being.”

And with that, she slammed the door and left Arthur alone in his now-empty flat.
Tags: *c:archaeologist_d, c:arthur, c:merlin, c:morgana, pt 483:secret meeting, rating:r, type:drabble

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