Title: Mission Accomplished
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
Author's Notes: This is a little late. Written quickly - I thought I would get to it earlier. I hope it works!
Merlin watched with well-hidden satisfaction as Leon’s body floated away, quickly engulfed by flames. Arthur and Gwen’s faces were downcast and the knights were solemn, everyone grieving a best friend, a true brother-in-arms. Merlin made sure to mirror their expressions. Unknown to those around him, he’d finally triumphed over one of Camelot’s foremost enemies.
Over the years, it had been increasingly obvious to Merlin that Leon was not all he appeared to be. Everyone thought he was the most loyal of Arthur’s knights, a paragon of manhood. But Merlin, ever vigilant in protection of his king, discovered otherwise. It was the little things no one else noticed. First, there was the intensity of Leon’s attendance on Arthur, almost too much, even for Camelot’s first knight. One might think it was hero worship, but Merlin could see that Leon had breeched the fine line between idolisation and obsession. There was a dark edge to it that perhaps only Merlin, his senses honed by magic, could detect.
Then there was Leon’s attitude toward Gwen, almost slavish in his devotion. Again, keen observation revealed a more sinister cast to Leon’s attentions to the queen. Merlin had heard many a conversation between the two behind closed doors when they thought no one was about. Naturally, it seemed innocent, but Merlin could see Leon was up to something. It was hard to put a finger on what exactly it was, but Merlin somehow knew.
Lastly, there was Leon’s burgeoning friendship with Mordred. Now, everyone liked Mordred, you could hardly fault him for that. Arthur had certainly paved the way with his favouritism of the newest knight, and Leon had taken Mordred under his wing, showing him the ropes, giving him special attention during training. Merlin didn’t trust Mordred, but he tried not to show it. However, when he repeatedly saw Leon and Mordred talking quietly, their heads close together, his blood heated. There could only be one explanation: they were plotting Arthur’s demise. Mordred had recruited Leon to his secret cause.
So Merlin began carefully watching Leon whenever the knights rode out on missions, when he was on patrol, or when he went to the lower town to visit the market. Finding nothing out of the ordinary, Merlin took to following him at night as well, down to the tavern, or when Leon visited his favourite chambermaid. He even checked his dirty laundry for clues. The more he watched, the more certain he became. Leon was a very talented deceiver.
Despite the lack of evidence, he was sure that Leon was merely biding his time, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. And precisely because everyone held Leon in such high regard, Merlin could tell no one. No, this was a problem Merlin had to take care of on his own. His mission in life was to protect Arthur, especially from hidden threats such as this. His resolve could not waver at this crucial moment. Only Merlin could save him.
It was on a mission to the northern border that Merlin found the ideal opportunity. The knights were spread around the kingdom, dealing with various emergencies, so Arthur had taken the unusual step of dispatching only Leon and Merlin to investigate a possible sorcerer in a village at the edge of Camelot. Merlin managed to act his normal buffoonish self, all the while waiting for the right moment and watching Leon for suspicious behavior.
It was noon and they were looking for a spot to stop and eat. They were almost to the village, but far enough out that Merlin and Leon were alone on the road. Merlin let Leon get ahead of him a bit, then cast a spell that summoned a large, black bird from the forest. It flew right at Leon’s horse. The horse reared, the bird attacked again, and Leon fell to the ground. The bird flew round and round the horse’s head, preventing it from running away, and it trampled Leon with its powerful feet.
Leon lay bloodied and still. With a thrill of victory, Merlin allowed the bird to disappear. Gradually the horse calmed down, and Merlin continued to the village to get help with Leon’s body.
With grim satisfaction, he led Leon’s horse back into Camelot, Leon’s lifeless body hanging over it. He told everyone a made-up tale about Leon’s death and took comfort in knowing he’d again saved Arthur from certain death. The truth about Leon was yet another secret he would have to keep, just one of many he’d accumulated over the years. There would undoubtedly be many more as he continued to protect Arthur for the sake of the glorious destiny to come. It was his sole purpose in life and he would always do his utmost to fulfill that mission.