Title: Flecks of Dust
Characters: Merlin, only mention of others, all Merlin’s thoughts
Summary: When Sigan endeavors to destroy Camelot, Merlin is given a choice of thorns, temptation luring him to the evilest pit, but he doesn’t fall.
Warnings: bits of dark feelings
Word Count: 963
Author's Notes: I have been dying to write this story since seeing this episode. Merlin facing off with Sigan was amazing to me. Suddenly Cedric was transformed into this powerful sorcerer and Merlin was faced with the strongest temptation. So when we got this prompt, I knew I finally had the perfect motivation to write something//A scene filler for 2.01: The Curse of Cornelius Sigan//last one for this prompt! Thanks for another great one.
Flecks of Dust
It’s there, mingled into the wonder of magic he’s been gifted by the dragon. At a time of grave peril, Merlin is permeated with it, knowledge, wonder, and such transcendental potency like he’s never known. It’s so alive!
It’s this power of execution, taking away any bits of clumsiness, pushing apart the awkwardness.
Merlin runs out into the citadel with purpose, inure conviction. One clean sweep he gets rid of the gargoyle who wants to end his master’s life. He returns it to the stone it originally came from, making it combust into the night’s air, for it never should have had life.
He runs to the fallen figure, Arthur, feeling a trickle of relief when his master makes a slight murmur. He’s hurt, but alive.
And then there’s another presence. It surrounds them, Merlin and all the fallen soldiers who were no match for the sorcerer’s terrifying magic. Merlin thinks about it for a moment, how the castle that is letting out little showers of stone, was possibly created by magic of the man who stands behind him, waiting.
Even with the populace of knowledge the dragon gave him, Merlin experiences spines of glacial fear. Even in Cedric’s unassuming body, Sigan is a force to congeal at. He is calculating, quite canny.
The past days have been hard ones. Merlin is enervated of being the clumsy unappreciated servant. If only once Arthur could see him how he truly is, understand.
If only once…
Oh how Sigan capers with that, propounding that they join forces. Coalesce and then finally Arthur will see all Merlin is.
Oh it is hellishly tempting. Merlin can just taste at the tip of his tongue, at the crests of his fingertips that kind of world where Arthur would know his secret and still trust him, still want him as his servant. Even better, in that kind of world Arthur would esteem him. Exalt in all he has done.
Oh the temptation to be that, to feel this power that the dragon gave him, and never have it relinquished, oh it is so great.
Like a serpent, it slithers into his flesh. To have Arthur know all he is. To not be some clumsy fool servant, but some magnificent warlock who Arthur counts as his best friend.
Oh the temptation is like water being given to the man dying in the desert, tipping the chalice to the man’s parched crusted lips. Drink me.
Oh Merlin wants to drink.
He wants to stop having to hide his magic and unleash it, because it is a part of his body, and closing it off sometimes hurts so badly. Being rejected by Arthur is sometimes like tiny blades finding his every irritation and poking, poking so hard.
GIVE into the temptation. It’s so simple. Join Sigan. Somehow he will keep Sigan from inflicting any further damage. Arthur will see him as the hero, the courageous warlock, with powers that astound.
Oh then Arthur would never doubt him again. Never. Ever.
But then Sigan makes such a vital mistake.
Temptation is blown to bits.
He talks of Arthur kneeling, of Arthur trembling and Merlin holds no more doubt, no sliver of temptation. Merlin has never wanted to make his master tremble, to frighten him, to make him so scared that Arthur may even start hating him in all his fear.
Oh Sigan, without even meaning to, has opened up Merlin’s eyes more than ever. Arthur is the other side of this force of destiny Merlin has been placed upon. Arthur is the east to his west. Arthur is his protector and Merlin is his. Arthur is a clotpole and a supercilious prat, but he is also that man who defied his father and ran out into the citadel to save his people, to bring back one survivor if that is all it is. Arthur had to know that the creatures were too strong for him to fight, to know that his wounds had yet to heal and still Arthur rushed out.
Because Arthur is noble and good, and one day Merlin knows now with most definite certainty Arthur will be the King that Camelot will forever remember, that perhaps the world will. And one day, Merlin can feel it, his secret faculty that he must hide now, one day, Arthur will know. Will embrace. And the east and west will be consummate. The coin will shine like gold and silver.
One day, after having cups and plates thrown at him, after being dismissed so easily, after hearing the familiar complaints of his clumsiness, after feeling that rare yet friendly bump to his shoulder, he and Arthur will stand together. Friends. Allies.
Servant to each other.
And so Merlin negates Sigan’s offer with no shred of incertitude. He stands beside his fallen prince who will live, who is only resting. He feels Sigan’s vile magic fill him for too many seconds that chill Merlin’s soul to glacier floes of perdition.
But he takes it.
He sustains it and then with the transcendence that the dragon breathed upon him and with the magic that Merlin has always had so deep inside him, he finds the way to thrust it out, to lock it back into that heart’s stone.
To save Camelot.
When his master wakes he will not understand what he has done, but that’s alright. Merlin is okay with that now. For one day…some time he cannot even yet fathom, Arthur will know.
And then the gold and silver will blaze so fiercely that Sigan’s eminent malevolence of sorcery will seem like merely…
Flecks of dust.