Pairing: None (but you're welcome to see it with Merthur specs)
Characters: Merlin, Morgana
Summary: Canon. Season 4 AU. They would do just about anything to make Merlin talk.
Warnings: Physical torture, Whump
Word Count: 391
Prompt: #108 ~ Exquisite
Author's Note: Was feeling quite angsty this evening, so I thought I'd take it out on poor Merlin.
“Where is the king?”
Merlin’s labored breath whistled between his teeth as he sucked in air against the pain. He didn’t answer.
The henchman braced another finger between his hands, putting enough pressure on it to hurt, but not enough to break…yet. “Where is he?”
Merlin actually laughed at that. As if a few broken bones would force him to give up Arthur.
Involuntary tears prickled at Merlin’s eyes but he refused to even flinch, contemptuously staring up at his tormentor.
“You’re wasting your time,” Merlin gritted out, his voice gravelly. “I won’t tell you.”
The burly man grasped the next finger, ready to add it to the collection of broken bones and contusions littering Merlin’s body. “Why you little…”
But just before the bone could give under the strain, a cold, sneering voice commanded, “Stop.”
A shiver of foreboding went down Merlin’s back. Morgana.
“He’s right,” she went on, walking into Merlin’s line of sight. “He won’t tell you no matter how many bones you break. He’s infuriatingly loyal to Arthur.” She patted his battered cheek condescendingly. “Isn’t that right, Merlin?”
Merlin just glared at Morgana and said nothing.
“No, he’s not very talkative,” Morgana tutted, “But I can fix that.” She picked up a small wooden box, her fingers lingering on the hinged lid. “Tell me Merlin, do you know what a Nathair is?”
Merlin swallowed hard against the tang of blood in his mouth.
He’d read about them, studied them in one of Gaius’ books after she’d used one on Elyan. The pain caused by its bite was beyond imagining, well beyond any physical torture; exquisitely brutal agony that ate one alive from the inside out. It was powerful enough to make a person go mad, and—if exposed to the effects long enough—could even kill them.
A cruel smirk curled Morgana’s mouth up on one side. “I can see by the fear in your eyes that you do. Now, normally, I would give my prisoner a chance to tell me what I want to know of his or her own accord. But you?”
She opened the box slowly, almost lovingly. The head of a tiny snake slithered its way above the mouth of the container, hissing and flicking its tongue, tasting its next victim on the air.
“I’m going to enjoy causing you pain.”