Pairing/s: Arthur/Gwen, Leon, Merlin, Morgana, Mordred
Summary: A different take on the battle of Camlann.
Word Count: 1998
Author's Notes: I think this is the way we all would have preferred it to come to an end. Thanks for this prompt it made me feel better about the end of it all.
Disclaimer:Merlin is owned by the BBC and Shine. No copyright infringement is intended and no profit is being made. Don't send us to the dungeons. We'll just escape anyway.
Wicked Is The Day
Arthur looked at the mound of paperwork on his desk and sighed. He hated paperwork and Guinevere was too busy with her duties to push it off on her. He didn’t look up when Sir Leon entered the room.
“My Lord, there have been reports of Saxon activity on the northern border.” Sir Leon said.
“That is very far from their homeland.” Arthur said as he looked up from his desk. “Is it a raiding party?”
“No My Lord. The reports say that there is an army of Saxons that have landed. They are making their way to Camelot. They are burning and plundering everything in their wake.”
“Why Camelot?” Arthur frowned and leaned back in his chair.
“Morgana is said to have summoned them.” Sir Leon looked at the floor. He knew that even the mention of her name makes the King angry.
Arthur slammed his fist down on the desk making the water pitcher and goblet rattle on their tray. “Morgana! I should have known. Gather the men and make ready for battle, Leon. We will make our stand at Camlann.”
“Sire, there are thousands of men on the way.” Sir Leon said.
“Camelot’s knights and men are well trained. We should be more than a match for them.” Arthur said confidently. “Tell them we will make our stand at Camlann.”
Sir Leon bowed and took his leave.
“Sire?” Merlin came in from the other side of the chambers.
“I suppose you heard Leon?” Arthur ran his hand through his hair in frustration.
“Yeah. Do you really think it wise to go meet them in the open like that? Wouldn’t it be more prudent to prepare the Castle for siege instead?”
“Are you questioning my lifetime of military experience?” Arthur glared at him.
“Why would I ever do that?” Merlin grinned.
Arthur huffed and stood up. “Find the Queen and prepare my armor. Guinevere isn’t going to be happy about this.”
“Then why do it? A siege would be more prudent.”
“There are too many innocent people between here and there. Just go find Guinevere.” Arthur looked at the pile on his desk again. It will just have to wait.
“Arthur you can’t go.” Guinevere said as Merlin was helping him with his armor.
“I have to go. I am king.” Arthur gave her a soft slow kiss. “Don’t worry.”
“I can’t help it. Every time you face Morgana, I worry.” Guinevere rung her hands and bit her lip.
“She’s right, Arthur. You should stay.” Merlin said as he pulled the strap on Arthur’s armor so tightly it made the King wince.
Sir Leon came in. “We are ready sire. There is one problem however.”
“What?” Arthur snapped as Merlin handed him his sword.
“Sir Mordred is missing. He cannot be found anywhere in the Citadel.” Sir Leon looked uncomfortable. “No one has seen him since patrol yesterday.”
“He may be in league with Morgana. She nursed him when he was a child.” Guinevere reminded Arthur. “He is a druid.”
“He has shown loyalty to me. I cannot believe that he would betray me now. Let’s get going. We need to be ready to strike by sunrise.” Arthur said as he walked out the door.
Merlin and Guinevere exchanged worried looks.
“I will take care of him, Gwen, like I always do.” Merlin said as he picked up the travel gear to follow Arthur.
“Take even better care of him than you usually do. Camelot needs its king and I need my husband. I have a bad feeling about this.”
“I know so do I, but I promise to do my best.” Merlin smiled as he headed out the door.
Guinevere stood for a moment then grabbed her cloak. She was going to see them off even though she couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong.
Camelot’s forces camped in the valley near Camlann waiting for first light. The sounds of the Saxon battle drums beating echoed through the night air.
“You should stay here and let the knights fight, Arthur.” Merlin said as he put stew on a plate and handed it to Arthur.
“I will fight with my men.” Arthur took the plate and sniffed it. “What is it?”
“Rabbit.” Merlin dished himself a plate and sat down. “What good will it be if you are killed? Morgana has powerful magic. There isn’t much that can defend against that.”
“Too bad I don’t have a sorcerer of my own.” Arthur chuckled.
“Arthur, I think I should tell you something.” Merlin leaned forward with a serious look on his face.
“Sire! The Saxons are on the move!” Sir Leon said as he came running into tent. “They will be here within the hour.”
“In the dark?” Arthur frowned. “Let’s get ready for battle. He looked at the plate in his hand and wolfed down his supper and put the plate down next to Merlin. He hurried out to get the men ready for battle.
Merlin took a little more time but ate quickly as well. His opportunity was gone to tell Arthur about his powers. He hoped he would be able to have that conversation after the battle. That is if he can keep Arthur alive until then.
The Saxons marched toward Camlann at a steady pace.
Morgana sat astride her horse in the front. Mordred rode alongside her. The Saxon warlord was shouting to his men to fire them up.
“This isn’t right Morgana. He is your brother.” Mordred said. He knew it was useless to try to talk her out of this but he had to try.
“He is my enemy and yours too. He will never allow magic in Camelot. That is why he must die. When I am on the throne, we can be free. We will not have to hide anymore. If you don’t believe as I do then why are you here?”
“I am beginning to wonder that myself.” Mordred took a deep breath. He knew she was right that Arthur will never allow magic. What Morgana didn’t know was that the most powerful sorcerer ever known has been at Arthur’s side for years. He hadn’t told Morgana that Merlin was the great Emrys.
They continued on in silence as they approached the ridge. Camelot’s forces were already there and ready as the first light of dawn began to break.
The armies came together in a clash of steel and spray of blood. The fighting was loud and soon the smell of death hung in the air.
Morgana hung back until she could find Arthur in the fray. When she spotted him she dismounted and rushed to where she saw him. Mordred was on her heels within a minute. Morgana cleared a path with her magic to Arthur who stood there waiting for her.
Arthur eyes landed on Mordred. He felt a chill.
“Arthur!” Merlin called out from somewhere behind the king.
Morgana looked away for a moment as she tried to find Merlin in the battle.
There was a rush of magic and Morgana and Mordred were knocked down. Arthur turned to see Merlin with his hand outstretched and his eyes fading from gold to blue.
Mordred scrabbled up and drew his sword. “I really don’t want to do this.”
“Then don’t.” Arthur says as he blocks Mordred’s sword with Excalibur. “Why are you with her?”
“She wants those with magic to be free. So do I.” Mordred’s sword sliced the air as Arthur jumped back.
“Why is it so important to you?” Arthur asked as he blocked another of Mordred’s attempts.
“I have magic.” Mordred admits. “I’m not the only one in Camelot with magic, my lord. Merlin has it to.” Mordred blocks Arthur with his sword as they come close together.
Arthur pushes Mordred back. “So it would seem.”
Merlin went over to Morgana who was still knocked out and said a sleeping spell to keep her that way. He looked back to Mordred and Arthur just as Mordred hit the ground from being shoved. He holds out his hand and a fire ball appears.
“Merlin! This is my battle.” Arthur said as he walked over and stepped on Mordred’s sword putting his own against Mordred’s heart. “If I lift the ban on magic, will I have your loyalty once again?”
“Yes Sire! That is my only reason for this betrayal. I wish to be free I wish not to have to hide who I really am. Please Sire, that is all I ask.”
Arthur looked at Merlin still with a fire ball in his hand and then back at Mordred. “You have my word. The ban will be lifted as soon as I return to Camelot.” He looked around. “If I return to Camelot.”
“You will Sire!” Merlin said as he threw the fire ball at an approaching enemy.
Arthur took his sword off Mordred’s chest and helped him up. “I could use your magic now.”
Mordred nodded. He turned to the Saxons and slammed two together and threw a fire ball at a third.
Merlin and Mordred formed a shield around Arthur and continue to throw fireballs at the enemy.
“Merlin, let me out of this.” Arthur called out when he realized that the enemy couldn’t get to him at all.
“I promised Gwen I would keep you safe, so no!”
“Merlin! I am your King! Now do as I say!”
“Sorry. I’m more afraid of her than you.” Merlin said as he threw back two Saxons against the lance of a third.
“Nicely done.” Mordred was impressed.
“Thank you.” Merlin chuckled.
Several hours later the battle was over. The dead were great in number. Among the dead was Sir Percival. He was found with five dead Saxons around him. Sir Gwaine had a deep wound but he would survive. Sir Leon a gash to his head and a small cut on his shoulder.
Morgana was taken to the King’s tent and bound in magical chains
Arthur looked around at his men and was proud of them. He was also saddened by the losses. He looked at his sister with pity. “How long will she be out?”
“A day, two if I strengthen the spell.” Merlin said.
“Why didn’t you tell me, you had magic?”
“I tried but Uther would have killed me and you didn’t lift the ban even after making peace with the druids. I had no choice.”
“Who else knows?” Arthur asked but he really didn’t want to know
“Just Gaius. Lancelot knew.” Merlin told him. “So did Mordred but I knew of his magic and said nothing.”
Arthur sighed. “I will keep my word, Merlin. As soon as we return to Camelot I will lift the ban.”
“And what of Morgana?”
“Her crimes are more than just having magic. She has committed treason and murder in her attempts to gain my throne. I have no choice but to execute her. It pains me. She is my sister. She is all I have left of Father.”
“Sire?” Mordred came into the tent. “I want to apologize for my actions. I betrayed you and I am deeply sorry.”
“I think I understand.” Arthur said. “Just never do it again.”
Two days later, Camelot’s finest came back to the Palace with the wounded and dead. A worried Queen met them on the steps.
Arthur laughed and swept her up in his arms. “I told you there was nothing to worry about. Now I have something I must take care of.”
“What is that?” Guinevere was curious as she hugged her husband tightly.
“I’m lifting the ban on magic.” Arthur smiled at Merlin and Mordred over her dark curls.
“Why now?” Gwen looked up at him.
“I owe a debt to two sorcerers. I made them a promise.” Arthur told her. “They kept me alive and unharmed so I could come back to you.”
“I owe them a debt, too. Who?”
“Mordred and Merlin.”
Gwen gasped in surprise.