November 27th, 2012

black squid

Drabble: Your Secret is Safe

Author: jelazakazone
Title: Your Secret is Safe
Rating: PG
Character/s: Mordred, Merlin
Summary: Mordred makes a mistake.
Warnings: Major character death hinted at
Word Count: 100
Prompt: #34: Devotion
Author's Notes: I hadn’t intended to write more than one piece this week, but this thought came to me as I was falling asleep and I dashed it out. Probably everything I write could fit this prompt.

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For Arthur...

Author: rocknvaughn
Title: For Arthur...
Rating: PG
Pairing/s: None
Character/s: Arthur, Gaius, Merlin
Summary: An AU tidbit from 4X06 "Servant of Two Masters".
Warnings: None
Word Count:1,321 (I just don't know how to write a short story, I guess!)
Prompt: #34 ~ Devotion
Author's Notes: You'd think this prompt would have been a piece of cake! Nope, I actually found this one really difficult. I also had to try hard not to write ANOTHER Camlann fic...because the BBC/Shine/Js are really ruining my mojo! (As evidenced by my lovely new icon!)

Thanks to k_nightfox for another brilliant beta job! 

This piece is an excerpt from a story I'm writing called "No Better Assassin". A quick overview to bring you up to where this story starts: During the time Morgana holds Merlin hostage, she discovers he has magic, although, because he was dying, she doesn't realize he's actually very powerful. When she places the Fomorroh in Merlin's neck, she specifically tells him she wants him to kill Arthur with magic. The Fomorroh doesn't control Merlin completely, and he fights back until he regains control...barely. That leads us to what happens here.

[For Arthur...]
For Arthur...

Merlin could feel the Fomorroh squirming in his neck, trying its best to retake control of its host. Yet by the tiniest of margins, he held it off… by sheer willpower, it seemed. Knowing this might be his only chance to save Arthur, he bolted for the door of Gaius’ rooms. He flung it open so hard it rattled the hinges, and darted past the guards stationed on either side.

“Hey! Wait!”

Merlin heard the startled shout, knowing they were starting to give chase, but he didn’t stop. In fact, he ran faster, as if his life depended on it. No, as if Arthur’s life depended on it...which it did.

The route Merlin took twisted and turned, taking dark hallways and servant passages, finally losing his pursuers somewhere near the kitchens. Moments later, he emerged in the royal hallway and burst unceremoniously into Arthur’s room, startling Arthur and Gaius.

“Merlin!” Gaius gasped in shock as his ward doubled over with both hands upon his knees, gulping in great lungfuls of air.

“What’s going on, Merlin?” Arthur asked, walking over to put a comforting hand on his shoulder. “Are you all right?”

Merlin shook his head no, his wide and fearful eyes meeting Arthur’s before he turned his head to stare at Gaius.

“Fomorroh…” he gasped, his chest heaving from the both the mad dash he’d just run and the effort of holding off the horrible, terrible impulses to kill Arthur pounding on his brain. “It’s a Fomorroh…and Morgana…put it there.”

Merlin, still hunched over, pointed to the back of his neck, where the creature still noticeably squirmed under his skin.

Arthur and Gaius shared a horrified look over Merlin’s back. “Morgana! She had you?” Arthur asked.

Merlin nodded wordlessly.

“Is she the one that healed you, too?” Arthur continued.

Clenching his hands into white-knuckled fists in an effort to maintain control of himself, Merlin nodded again.

“A Fomorroh?” Arthur questioned, his eyes resting on the wiggling mass in Merlin’s neck. “What is it? What does it do?”

“It is a creature of magic,” Gaius answered woodenly, “often used by High Priestesses to enslave the minds of their victims.”

Merlin nodded vehemently at this statement, taking another deep breath before stubbornly giving his Fomorroh-self a shove backward in his mind.

“Actually…” Gaius paused as he placed a bracing hand on Merlin’s other shoulder. “Merlin? How are you doing that?”

Merlin glanced at Gaius for a moment before grimacing and staring back down at the tips of his boots, trying like hell to stay focused. “Don’t…know…” he ground out at last.

Gaius squeezed Merlin’s collarbone with his hand to gain his ward’s attention once more. “What did Morgana want you to do, Merlin?”

The agony of holding onto himself and his sanity was almost more than Merlin could bear. But bear it he would...for Arthur. Tears leaked from Merlin’s eyes and dribbled down his cheeks as he rasped in little more than a whisper, “To…kill Arthur.”

“Gods…” Arthur breathed, stunned. It was a brilliantly simple plan; to use the one person Arthur trusted implicitly against him. And then Merlin would be killed for the treason he’d been forced to commit against his will, leaving Morgana’s path to the throne clear.

“Well, we can fix that easily enough, Merlin,” Gaius said, placing a hand at his ward’s elbow to steer him toward Arthur’s dining table. “Come over here and sit down. I’ll get my scalpel and we’ll get that thing out of you.”

“No!” Merlin yanked his arm away from Gaius and scurried behind the table, putting the wooden surface between him and them. His face was a picture of abject terror. “You can’t, Gaius!”

Gaius’ eyebrows scrunched together in confusion. “Why ever not? It’s really a simple procedure, Merlin.”

Panic laced every agonized word. “It’ll grow back! I saw it! When she cut off the head of it…another one grew right back!” Merlin’s breath hitched painfully. “It’s taken me days to get to where I am now—days of being held hostage in my own body—to be able to fight it off at all! I don’t know if I can do it again! Even now…I can barely hold it back…” Sobs wracked Merlin’s body and he shook like a leaf. He grabbed onto the back of one of Arthur’s chairs like it was a lifeline.

“Merlin,” Arthur said softly, as if speaking to a skittish horse instead of his best friend, “It’ll be all right. We’ll figure this out.”

“I don’t know how much longer I can do this…” Merlin croaked, breathing heavily, holding his head tightly with both hands, shutting his eyes against the sight of Arthur because it only made the longing to kill him stronger. Even now, he could feel the incantations pressing against his lips from the inside, desperate to get out.  

“Now, that I know…things will be just fine,” Arthur continued in that same overly-calm tone. “I mean…no offense intended, Merlin…” Arthur gestured between them, “…but I’m pretty sure I could take you if it came down to it.”

Merlin’s voice was bitter as his face twisted into a grimace. “Really? All the time? Because last night, I came to and found myself standing over your bedside while you were asleep. The Fomorroh was controlling me; there was nothing I could have done. If it had decided to attack you then…”

Arthur’s eyes widened at this revelation, but he refused to give up hope. “So then…we could lock you up until we figure this thing out,” he suggested.

Merlin’s brows contracted into one thin line. “There isn’t a dungeon in Camelot that could hold me, Arthur,” he proclaimed ominously. “You’d be dead by morning.”

Arthur was at a loss for words. What Merlin was saying made no sense…and yet, he believed that Merlin believed them wholeheartedly. That’s what worried him.

Slowly, Merlin walked toward Arthur, and with shaky hands, retrieved his master’s sword from where it lay on the table. Kneeling before his king, Merlin proffered the blade he cradled in both hands.

“There is only one way to stop me from killing you, Arthur. You must kill me first… Now, while I can still let you.”

“No!” Gaius gasped, throwing a staying hand out toward them.

Merlin turned his head and met his mentor’s eyes with sorrow in his heart. “It’s the only way, Gaius.” Then he shoved the hilt of Arthur’s sword into the king’s hand. “Do it.”

“I won’t,” Arthur declared defiantly. “I almost lost you once this week, Merlin; I will not lose you again…and certainly not by my own hand!”

“Please!” Merlin begged, touching his forehead to the floor as he grasped at the ankles of Arthur’s boots desperately. “I don’t want to kill you…”

“And I don’t want to kill you,” Arthur replied, turning and tossing his sword onto the bed behind him.

“No!” Merlin panicked. He could feel his tenuous hold on his body and mind slipping; he might only have moments left to convince him. As he jumped to his feet, he yelled, “You don’t understand!”

Merlin swallowed over the lump in his throat, hating what he was about to do. He’d always wanted to tell Arthur his secret…but not like this. He’d wanted to be able to explain how magic could be a force for good, make him see that Merlin had only ever wanted to help Arthur…

But it was too late for that. He knew instinctively that this was the only thing that would work…the only thing that would make Arthur despise him enough to kill him. It was the only thing left that Merlin could do to save his friend from himself.

Merlin squared his shoulders, forced himself to make eye contact with Arthur, and declared boldly, “I’m a sorcerer. I have been since the day I set foot in Camelot. I was the one who set the Great Dragon free…and I killed your father.”

Anime Arthur

Honey, Care and Little Hawks

Author: k_nightfox
Title: Honey, Care and Little Hawks
Rating: G
Pairing/s: Arthur/Merlin-friendship
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin, Hunith
Summary: Four-year old Arthur learns that taking care of his favourite things isn't as easy as it looks...
Warnings: none
Word Count: 890
Prompt: #34 Devotion
Author's Notes: Thanks to rocknvaughn for the awesome last minute beta. All remaining mistakes are mine.

This ficlet belongs to my Honey 'Verse, following Of Honey and Lizards. It's not necessary to read that first but this will probably make more sense if you do.

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Black Sails Flint back ponytail
  • alba17

Mission Accomplished

Author: alba17
Title: Mission Accomplished
Rating: G
Pairing/s: none
Character/s: Merlin, Leon (mentions of knights, Arthur, Gwen)
Summary: Merlin is convinced that an enemy lies at the heart of Camelot
Warnings: character death
Word Count: 798
Prompt: Devotion
Author's Notes: This is a little late. Written quickly - I thought I would get to it earlier. I hope it works!

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Reversal of Fortune

Author: rocknvaughn
Title: Reversal of Fortune
Rating: PG-13
Pairing/s: None
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin, Mordred
Summary: If Emrys could not fulfill his destiny to free magic, then Mordred will do it for him...
Warnings: Major Character Death
Word Count: 1,217
Prompt: #34 ~ Devotion
Author's Notes: Okay, I know I said I wasn't going to write another Camlann fic... but I lied! I can't help it...the plot bunny just bit me and made me write this! This is another MCD that isn't what you would necessarily suspect. Hope you'll still give it a try. Thanks!

[Reversal of Fortune]

Reversal of Fortune

Mordred, his jaw set, his muscles tight, hunted for Arthur in the sea of bodies like a cat might stalk its prey.

Emrys was wrong. The prophecies were wrong…it was all wrong, Mordred seethed. King Arthur was never going to accept magic…and people like him, people like Morgana…were never going to be free under his rule.

Even Emrys, who had stood faithfully by the King’s side for ten years, would not be free while Arthur lived. Honestly, rather than being angry with Emrys…Mordred pitied the fabled warlock. He truly believed that Emrys meant well, but after hiding his gifts from the world for so long, he had lost sight of the world he was meant to create. He had stopped believing in his own destiny, and in so doing, let down all his brothers and sisters that had been counting on him to lead them to a new day, a Golden Age.

Well, if Emrys could not affect the change that needed to happen, then Mordred would.

~ ~ ~

It was not long before Mordred, cresting a small hill, found the object of his quest. He was kneeling about thirty yards away, checking the pulse of a fallen Camelot knight on the ground before him. He watched in silence as the golden mane of the king’s hair flowed in the summer breeze as he shook his head sadly and pushed himself to a weary stand.

Mordred took a sure-footed step, and then another, as if pulled by a magnet…and then a disturbance in the magic of the Old Religion caused him to stumble to one knee, gasping for breath.

And just like that, he knew: Morgana was dead. Emrys had killed her, as had been foretold. Rage unlike any he had known before flooded Mordred’s bloodstream. How dare he? How dare Emrys kill the only other person who understood his quest, who loved him like a sister, like a mother?

Emrys had taken the person most precious to him in the world…and now, he would return the favor.

Staring down at his quarry, Mordred saw the king had noticed him, was watching him…waiting for him, almost as if he were expecting him. Well, who was he to keep his liege waiting?

As Mordred approached, Arthur said nothing. Instead, he twirled Excalibur in his hand once before taking his familiar battle stance.

Mordred walked faster, just kept coming, right into Arthur’s space and swinging his sword around his head as if he might lop the king’s head right off. Of course, Arthur parried and shoved him forcibly backward.

“Why? Why are you doing this, Mordred?” Arthur asked in a voice that sounded weary, more mentally than physically.

“You know why!” Mordred declared, taking another swing, this time at the Arthur’s midriff. It was also blocked. Mordred grunted in frustration. “Magic users have the right to be free, and you will never give them that freedom!”

“Why? So that sorcerers like Morgana can use it to destroy and corrupt? What right do people like that have to be free?” Arthur did not attack; instead he waited for Mordred’s next blow.

“Not all magic users are like Morgana…but she has only become what you and your father made her! She was once good and kind…and you destroyed her with your hatred and your judgment!” Mordred thrust forward and then turned on his heel, the pommel of his sword connecting with the side of Arthur’s head, making the man stumble sideways.

Arthur shook his head as if to shake away water from his hair. “She never told me! She never confided in me! She could have trusted me…I would have helped her, if I could.”

“What kind of hypocrisy is that? You would protect your sister but not change the laws governing those like her? You would allow sorcery only when it suits you?” Mordred’s voice was little more than a growl and his blade whirled and twisted, singing in the breeze as it whistled just past Arthur’s arm, clanging off his chainmail as it went.

“I have only ever seen sorcery used for evil purposes,” Arthur countered, panting a bit now. “How can I trust such a thing to be good if I have never seen it be such?”

Mordred’s face turned red with fury and his anger made his eyes glow a steady gold. “Never seen it used for good? You have been surrounded by it and protected with it for the past ten years! If you cannot see that, then you did not deserve the honor; you are not worthy of the title ‘The Once and Future King’!” Mordred darted his leg out and swept Arthur’s legs from under him, dropping the king to his knees.

Mordred he raised his sword and went in for the kill. “And now I end this farce, Arthur Pendragon… I end the ‘Golden Age of Camelot’…I end you!” Mordred put both hands on the pommel of his sword and pierced the king’s armor, spearing the man through the stomach with mortal force.

The young knight gasped as he felt an electric jolt vibrating his sword, even as it remained pierced through Arthur’s side. Raising his head, Mordred’s astounded eyes met not the cobalt blue eyes of Arthur Pendragon, but eyes that were so gold that they burned brighter than the sun.

Emrys! Mordred thought, stunned, as he watched the glamour of King Arthur fall away from the warlock impaled upon his sword…and the real King appeared at Mordred’s side, safe, albeit a bit dumbfounded himself.

However, it took only a hairsbreath of time before Arthur realized what Mordred had done and buried Excalibur into the young man’s gut to the hilt and then roughly shoved the traitor backward onto the ground to die.

As Mordred’s hand slipped off the pommel of his sword, Merlin slowly slid backward, but Arthur had his arms around him before he could fall.

“Merlin!” Arthur gasped with tears in his eyes. “What happened? Gods…what did you do?”

Merlin’s breathing sounded unnaturally thick, but he wheezed with a hint of a grim smile, “I saved you, Arthur. I saved you.”

Lying his old friend gently on the ground, Arthur swept back the ebony hair that was plastered to Merlin’s clammy forehead. “Dammit, Merlin, you’re not allowed to die!”

Merlin coughed…a hacking, squelchy noise. “You know I never do what I’m told…”

Tears blurred the king’s vision as he snorted a half-laugh, half-sob.

“Don’t leave me, Merlin…” Arthur begged. “Please…”

“Can’t help it,” the warlock wheezed, “but you’ll be all right now. I fixed it.”

“Fixed what?” Arthur demanded, but already Merlin’s face grew pale…he was fading fast.

“Destiny,” Merlin murmured.

Arthur gasped as Merlin’s eyes glowed gold; and in front of the king an achingly familiar blue orb appeared, floating and twisting just as it did long ago in a faraway cave.

“Oh, Merlin…” Arthur gasped, understanding at last what he had never seen, had never even dreamt of before that moment.

“Magic can be used for good, Arthur…” Merlin whispered, his eyes closing for the last time. “Others can—and will—just like I did…if you let them.”

Tears spilled fast and unashamed onto Arthur Pendragon’s cheeks as he watched the beautiful blue orb flicker for a moment before vanishing softly into the mist.