Title: This is the Tempest We're Fighting For: Prologue.
Pairing/s: Arthur/Merlin (eventually)
Summary: The sea stretches from north to south, a vast blue surrounding him with no way out, and with every step Arthur takes he feels more lost.
Warnings: Anachronisms, free adaptation of history
Word Count: 478
Prompt: #209: Stranded
Author's Notes: Because of my love of starting chaptered fics/series and also of pirates.
The sun is a high point on the sky, Arthur has to shield away his eyes from the burning rays, his skin already feels like it's been rubbed raw, and his entire body aches in ways and places he never thought possible. He's lost track of time, can't remember if it was two days ago when he opened his eyes only to realize his crew was nowhere to be found and he was completely alone. Far away from the course he initially set for. Their voyage to Port Royal cut short by the fates of the troubled sea waters and the force of the inclement wind, its howling like a bad augury. The last thing he remembers is Leon's voice calling out to him, a choked sound quickly drowned by the storm hitting them head on.
What he does remember is the cold water freezing him from inside out, sticking to him like prickly needles, not enough air entering his lungs, and then black. Emptiness. Everything disappeared, faded away. The noise, the voices, the thunder and lightning a mere dream. The melody of waves crashing against the shore returned him to his senses, his eyes opened slowly, stinging from the sudden burst of light. By then he was already alone. Lost in an island fit for a king with no land to rule. Arthur only wants his men by his side, even Gwaine's insistent talking would be a heaven sent in a place where even his own breathing is too loud.
He closes his eyes, thinking bitterly about their loot, how they fought for it and it's probably lost to the bottom of the ocean. However this time Spanish gold is less important than the lives of the men under his command. Where are they? Why is he alone? They couldn't be...no, he shakes his head, drives away dark thoughts. His men know what they should do under these circumstances. They're quick on their feet, know how to swim, how to hold a sword, they've found their way out of more dangerous situations with only the clothes on their backs. They're seafarers. Bucaneers. One with the sea.
Arthur stops his trek around the island, realizes he's been walking in circles. Again. The same palm trees and too hot sand everywhere he looks. It's endless. And if he were to keep his gaze up then he'd meet the sea, calm, serene, less ferocious than the wild animal guilty of the wreckage Arthur and his men suffered. He's parched, needs water, a drop would suffice. His lips are chapped, when he licks them he can taste the sea salt on them. He isn't sure how much longer will he be able to keep going before he gives into hopelessness. Into the madness of the ocean.
But for as long as the sun rises tomorrow he vows he'll keep on walking.