Title: Stranded (Part 1)
Character/s: Merlin, Balinor, Hunith, nameless knights of Camelot
Summary: Balinor went back for Hunith. He learned about his child, and Merlin was born soon after while the young couple was on the run from Uther’s purge. Uther never stopped hunting Balinor, and the three of them were forced to flee from place after place for many years. Because of this, Merlin gains the ability to hide in plain sight, only sometimes assisted by his magic, and eventually gains a plethora of wilderness survival skills.
One day, the past catches up with them.
Warnings: canon-typical violence, minor character death
Word Count: 618
Prompt: #209 "stranded"
Author's Notes: forgot how to do lj cuts lol
They’re in the north for a while to hide out and think of what to do next.
They have stayed too long. Uther’s men surround them and block their exit from the cave, their temporary home. The men threaten his father. They sneak around and grab his mother before his father can stop them, and his father falls to a sword in the chest when he rushes to help her. From in the shadows in the cave, he can hear his father say, “run, run.” The men think his father means his mother. He knows his father means him, but he will not leave his mother while she is still held captive and while his father’s blood still flows out around him into the half-frozen dirt.
“Leave me!” his mother cries as if it’s a plea to her captors to let her be with her dying husband. He knows, again, that it is a command meant for him.
He knows nothing else in his life but running; fear – of a place he has never been and men who follow a king he has never met – is all he knows when there are other people involved. The happiness of his private world with his father and mother does not extend to anyone else. Still, he stays motionless in his hidden spot. His fear and desire to obey orders to fly are at war with his knowledge that he will be leaving both of his parents to their deaths if he does nothing to help them.
His mother starts to sing his favorite lullaby. She is looking at his father. She is crying, but she makes her way through several stanzas.
“Of all the trees and all the seasons,
All the walkers and the flyers,
It’s the skies that draw my eyes:
They’re watching for my Merlin to fly by.
They’re waiting for a blur across the sky.
In all the woods in every country,
In all the smiles in every face,
It’s only you that I watch for:
I know you’ve flown so far away from here.
I’ll wait for you. I’ll wait for you my dear.
In the flicker of the fire,
In the patterns on the wall,
I’ll see my love dancing wildly;
Your boldness and your beauty make me proud.
Come back to me whether young or bowed.”
She stops. The song has never seemed quite as sad as it does at this moment. He makes his decision. He will see her again someday. They will all see each other again someday.
The men, who stopped talking to listen, perhaps out of respect for a wife’s grief, are regaining their rough authority over the situation.
His mother is still crying. His father’s lifeless eyes stare into the canopy. That is the image he will take with him. With a shout of anger over his father’s murder mixed with anguish over stranding his magicless mother in this hostile situation, he gives away his position. At the same time, he vanishes.
The next sight he sees is the equally-as-rustic den of the mercenary camp he has accidentally transported himself into. They do not see him yet, and he quickly hides behind a pile of smelly sacks. To get out of the den without being spotted will be difficult.
He waits hours until there is nobody left awake in the room. Then, he magically cloaks himself in a way that he has used many times in markets and small towns. He sneaks out of the camp without waking anybody or tripping over any weaponry.
He thinks he is safe once he can no longer see the edge of the camp, so he lets himself relax.
His mistake was de-cloaking.