Title: Sweet Victory.
Character/s: Merlin, Arthur,
Summary: He had taken the kingdom. Now he just needed the prince.
Word Count: 999
Author's Notes: I don't really know what this is...
Camelot had fallen.
Although it was what Merlin had been leading his people towards for years now, he wasn’t sure how he felt as his boots echoed off the stone floor. Half the knights had been killed in the struggle and the rest were in the dungeons. Merlin had heard stories about those dungeons and had sent some of his strongest spell-casters down there to make sure they were reinforced. The last thing he wanted was for the legendary knights to escape.
The king and his prince, however, were waiting for Merlin. In the throne room, on their knees as he had ordered. He wasn’t sure what to do with them and decided that talking to them was the best thing he could try. He knew the king was a lost cause; it was because of Uther’s actions war had been forced to happen in the first place.
But the prince…
Merlin had heard stories about Arthur Pendragon: he had been secretly helping the resistance, aiding sorcerers out of the dungeons. Maybe he was the reason why so many people had escaped rather than faulty locks and dodgy guards?
Even so, Merlin knew the man was hardly going to submit and allow his kingdom to be taken.
Sighing, Merlin ran a hand through his hair as he reached the throne room, the doors opening with a flash of his eyes and crashing loudly into the walls behind him.
“How dare you? How dare you violate this place with your filthy magic? I’ll see you hung! I’ll see you all burn! I’ll…”
Before the king could continue his no doubt impressive tirade, Merlin let his eyes flash again and the man was muted. His mouth was opening, his face going purple with rage as he realised that he had no words left to say, no abuse to hurl. Merlin jerked his head at the two Druids that had been watching the prisoners and they nodded in understanding.
Seizing the king by the upper arms, they hauled him to his feet and began marching him out of the room. The man struggled, although whether he wanted to defend his kingdom or his son, Merlin didn’t know. Instead, he ignored the doors closing behind them and instead stared at the young warrior.
Although he was on his knees and his hands were bound behind his back, Arthur didn’t look defeated. His eyes were narrowed and calculating as he watched Merlin come closer, but he didn’t make his father’s mistake of shouting abuse. He was calm and collected – behaving as a royal should unlike the king.
“Arthur,” Merlin eventually said, his voice giving nothing away as he deliberately walked over to the throne. Making sure he caught Arthur’s eye, Merlin made a show of sitting down on the throne. He had never anticipated just how uncomfortable it was, but he was hardly going to get back up again. There was a curl to Arthur’s lips, however, almost as if he knew what the warlock was thinking.
“Emrys,” Arthur responded, his voice just as controlled as Merlin’s. Merlin lifted an eyebrow.
“You know who I am?”
“I’ve heard stories. Not many of your men can use magic like that, it makes sense for you to have led them to victory.”
“So you admit you have been defeated?”
“I admit no such thing.” Arthur’s voice was stubborn and defiant and Merlin found himself smirking. He had been right in thinking that Arhtur was far from defeated right now. “Just that you have momentarily taken the castle. And the knights. And the king.”
“And you,” Merlin finished when he realised Arthur wasn’t including himself in that. The man’s eyes flashed.
“You’ll never take me,” he snarled angrily. “I don’t care what sorcery you bewitch the others by. I’m stronger than my father, you’ll never silence me. Camelot will never fall to you.”
Merlin didn’t want to silence him, he was intrigued by his prisoner. But he did find himself climbing off the throne (any excuse to get off it!) and stalking towards Arthur. Arthur didn’t so much as flinch but stared at him stonily.
“I’ve heard stories about you too, Arthur Pendragon. You’re not as loyal to your beloved kingdom as you would like everyone to believe, are you?”
Merlin had to give him credit, Arthur only coloured a touch before he controlled it. It was all Merlin needed though; he knew the rumours were true. Arthur had been helping free sorcerers.
“I will never submit to you.”
“We will see,” Merlin said coyly, running the pad of his thumb along Arthur’s lips. The prince tried to jerk his head away but Merlin had seen enough. His blush had deepened. Something told him that Arthur had more than just heard stories about him; he had lapped up everything that he could get. For a reason he couldn’t explain, Merlin was certain that Arthur – his enemy – had been trying to find out as much about him as he could and not because he wanted to defeat him.
“But until then, my men wish me to join them to celebrate their victory. I don’t trust you in the cells, you’ve broken too many people out of it.” Merlin clicked his fingers and the Druids returned. Arthur didn’t need to know he had called for them with his mind – the less the prince knew about his magic, the better.
“I think I will take your rooms. Your father gives me the chills, I don’t want to be there. But I do need a room fit for royalty. You two, take the prince to his chambers and lock him in. If he resists, chain him up.”
The men hauled Arthur to his feet, who was still glaring impressively. Merlin didn’t break the gaze even as Arthur was pulled along and out of the door. Only then did he allow himself a laugh. Camelot might have fallen, but it would be a greater victory indeed when Arthur knelt willingly before him.