Title: Should have seen your face.
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur, Morgana
Summary: "For a moment, Arthur thought he saw Merlin wink, but then Merlin pulled the trigger and everything disappeared in darkness and pain."
Warnings: Character Death (non-graphic)
Word Count: 863
Prompt: #121: Shocked
Author's Notes: I returned :) I enjoyed writing this.
The warehouse was silent as Arthur darted through the shadows, his footsteps equally as quiet. Moonlight shafted through cracks in the ceiling but aside form that, the space was mostly in darkness. Arthur came to a halt, crouched behind a column, blood thrumming in his veins, gun trained on the entrance. They'd been building towards this point for months. Tracking every lead, every slip of information from the enemy, building their plan, their attack, all leading towards this moment.
He stilled his breathing, his emotions getting the better of him, but the excitement was hard to quell. Finally they were going to get a result, after all this time.
A voice in his head, sounding strangely like Merlin, told him to calm down. A smile crossed Arthur's lips only to vanish a moment later. They hadn't seen Merlin in weeks.
Arthur had barreled through, worry, anger, resentment until eventually crashing into a void where he couldn't feel anything because without Merlin, life was nothing to Arthur.
Jumping head-long into his work he'd dedicated himself to the case. There was no room for emotion in Arthur's line of work and he'd told himself that was better.
Then, this. A stray, decoded message leading to this place at this time, a meeting between their highest target and the mole in their company. So much rested on Arthur's shoulder's in this moment but he found he could easily shrug the responsibility off. If he caught them, he would achieve every goal he'd been working towards in his career. If he didn't, he'd most likely wind up dead and so wouldn't be around to feel the shame.
Shut up, Merlin.
Arthur clenched his eyes shut, Merlin's presence in his mind, not uncommon as of late, coming at an entirely inconvenient time.
Lights flashed into being and Arthur snapped his eyes open, glancing round intently, checking to make sure he was still covered. A figure had appeared in the centre of the warehouse, their back turned away and the hood of their jacket covering their face. Arthur's stomach jumped. This must be the mole, their height and build not right to be Morgana. This was the person who'd been feeding information, selling them out at every corner. When Arthur got his hands around their throat …
Minutes passed, the figure didn't move and Arthur remained still also. Morgana must be on her way and then all he had to do was fire two clean shots. Shoot first, ask questions later.
More time passed. Arthur began to grow impatient, a sense of foreboding creeping up on him. If Morgana didn't turn up soon the person might leave, taking with them probably any hope of solving this case.
After a full half hour, the person moved, heading for the exit. Arthur had to act.
He slipped from his hiding place and moved silently along the edge of the room, back to the wall. He never took his eyes of the person as he ran. They neared the exit at the same time and just as the figure was about to leave, Arthur leaped into their path.
He nearly fell over in shock.
Merlin blinked at him once, raising his chin and regarding Arthur cooly.
It was then that Arthur sensed the person behind him.
“Very good, Merlin,” Morgana laughed. “I didn't actually think he'd show.”
A small whine escaped Arthur, still processing what was right in front of him.
“Give your gun to Merlin, Arthur,” Morgana said, just as Arthur felt the cold metal of Morgana's gun digging into the back of his skull. “We both know you're not about to shoot him and your life might last a little longer if you listen to me.”
“How kind of you,” Arthur responded dryly.
Morgana gave a small chuckle.
Arthur handed his gun over to Merlin who took it, his face still impassive.
“As we agreed, Merlin,” Morgana said calmly.
Merlin raised the gun, leveling it at Arthur's head – right between the eyes.
For a moment, Arthur thought he saw Merlin wink, but then Merlin pulled the trigger and everything disappeared in darkness and pain.
He awoke some time later, the bleeping of machines bringing him back to consciousness. He moaned slightly, a throbbing pain in the middle of his forehead not going away.
“Yeah, sorry about that.” Merlin's voice was soft and a moment later, Arthur felt a hand on his own.
Arthur forced his eyes open, confusion clouding his thoughts. Hospital. Bed. Pain. Merlin ...
“You shot me,” he forced out.
Merlin gave a sheepish grin. “Not completely,” he said. "The bullet hit you but … I drew it back into the gun with magic before it caused any damage. Enough to knock you out, but not kill you.”
Arthur snorted. “Show off.”
“Hey, you would be dead otherwise,” Merlin protested.
Arthur sobered a little. “Morgana?”
“Dead,” Merlin said shortly.
They were quiet for a moment before Arthur dragged Merlin's hand up to his mouth, kissing it lightly.
“You gave me a bit of a shock there,” he said.
Merlin laughed. “You should have seen your face.”