Title: Calling Them Out
Character/s: Gaius, George, Elyan, Lancelot, Merlin, Sir Bors*, Braden Anduston*
Summary: Gwen is concerned that Merlin isn’t well protected on his journey. Merlin shares a secret with Lancelot.
Word Count: 1238
Prompt:213. Eye contact
Author's Notes: Sir Bors is from Arthurian Legends, Braden Anduston is an original character used for this community.
Magick, Destiny and Doom #4
Calling Them Out
“Gaius!” Gwen called out as she opened the door to Gaius’ chambers.
“I’m here, Gwen.” Gaius descended the stairs with a book in hand. “Are you unwell?”
“No but Arthur may be soon.” Gwen gave Gaius a piercing look. “What is this I hear about Merlin going off to the western border with just Lancelot as an escort?”
“Merlin went to assist a fellow physician with a diagnosis.” Gaius put the book down on the workbench. “I’m sure he will be fine.”
“You sent Merlin?” Gwen put her hands on her hips. “Merlin. The King’s manservant.”
“Merlin is a trained physician.” Gaius shook his head. “I don’t understand why no one believes that. He’s patched up almost every Knight at one time or another.”
Gwen thought for a minute. “But why send him? I would expect you to go yourself. You have more experience.”
“I’m too old for a journey like that. Merlin can handle whatever it is.” Gaius opened the book and started to put ingredients into the bowl in front of him. He avoided eye contact with her. He was sure that Gwen would see through the ruse.
“I see.” Gwen wasn’t getting the answers she wanted. She squinted at Gaius. She could tell by the way he was avoiding her gaze that something was going on. Gwen knew she wouldn’t get any more out of him so she left to talk to Arthur.
Gaius looked up at the closing door. He breathed a sigh of relief. Arthur didn’t know the truth so he wouldn’t be lying to Gwen about the real purpose of Merlin’s trip.
Gwen walked into Arthur’s chambers without knocking. “Arthur, we need to talk!”
George looked at Arthur and waited to be dismissed. He didn’t want to be a witness to a quarrel between the King and his betrothed.
Arthur looked up and swallowed nervously. He wracked his brain to come up with what he had done to cause her to be so angry. Guinevere, how lovely to see you. I wasn’t expecting you until supper.
Gwen looked at George fidgeting with the sock he was holding. “Get out!”
George threw the sock in the laundry basket and nearly ran for the door. On the way out, he considered calling for the guards but decided to find Sir Elyan instead.
Arthur looked into her eyes. Whatever I have done to cause you distress, I am truly sorry.
Gwen glared at him. “That’s what you say when you can’t think of a stupid thing you’ve done. Well let me tell you what you’ve done.”
Arthur took a deep breath and braced himself.
“You sent your manservant to the western border without proper escort.” Gwen waited for him to deny it.
“Lancelot went with him.” Arthur shrugged.
“One knight against a forest full of bandits? What were you thinking?” Gwen put her hands on her hips and gave him the head tilt. Well?
“Guinevere, two men can move more quickly than a half dozen. Besides, Lancelot volunteered to escort Merlin.” Arthur stood up and walked around the desk to stand in front of her. “He will protect Merlin with his life. They are close friends.”
“If anything happens to either one of them….” Gwen started.
“It won’t. Lancelot is skilled. He will defeat any bandit they come across.” Arthur thought it best not to mention that Merlin was still rubbish with a sword even after years at Camelot. “There is no need to worry.”
Gwen grabbed Arthur by his shirt. “You better not be lying to me.” She searched his eyes for any sign he was lying. She saw none so she pulled him down and kissed him.
Elyan walked in just at that moment and cleared his throat.
Gwen let go of Arthur and glared at her brother.
“George said there was a problem.” Elyan shifted on his feet.
Gwen groaned. She walked to the door and shoved Elyan out of the way.
Elyan looked at Arthur. “What did you do now?”
“I sent Merlin off with only Lancelot as an escort. She’s afraid they won’t come back.” Arthur straightened her shirt. “I don’t think she believed me when I told her they’ll be fine.”
“Will they be fine?” Elyam asked. “Leon just got a report of two men dead near the western border. Their throats were cut in their sleep. Maybe you should have sent a few more men.”
Arthur ran his hand through his hair. “I’m beginning to think I should have.”
George stepped into the room and looked around.
“My sister is gone.” Elyan grinned at the skittish servant. "Don't worry she won’t run you through with Arthur’s sword.”
“No. She has one of her own.” Arthur smirked. “She’s quite good with it too. She disarmed Sir Bors with ease just last week.”
George looked like he was about to faint.
“George, you need to relax.” Arthur grinned. “Polish my armor.”
“Thank you Sire. George smiled and headed straight for the pile of dirty metal.
Arthur and Elyan made eye contact and chuckled.
“Are you going to send more men after them?” Elyan asked.
Arthur shook his head. “No but tell Leon I want to double the patrols for the western border. At least until they come back.”
Elyan bowed and headed out to deliver the message as Arthur went back to work.
In the forest near the western border, Lancelot and Merlin were tying the two bandits to a tree when the patrol rode up.
“Sir Lancelot! Merlin. What have we here?” Sir Bors asked as he got down from his horse.
“Two bandits that attacked us last night.” Lancelot pulled the rope tighter. “We were leaving them here for you to find.”
“Thank you for the gift. These may be the two we are looking for. We found two men, dead, a few leagues back.” Sir Bors looked behind him. “Braden, put them in the wagon. We will take them with us to Camelot.”
A young knight in training came up and grabbed the men by the arm to escort them to the wagon.
“My lord, the little one used magick on us.” One of the bandits whispered to Braden.
“You must have hit your head. He is the King Arthur’s servant. He has no magick.” Braden locked eyes with Merlin. He knew the man was telling the truth.
Merlin nodded in thanks to the young man.
Braden knew Merlin was Emrys because he was a druid and Merlin knew his secret as well. Merlin had seen the druid tattoo on Braden’s arm while tending a wound during training.
“We’ll let you get on.” Sir Bors got back on his horse. “Safe journey.”
“Safe journey to you, Bors.” Lancelot grinned. “See you at the Rising Sun when we get back.”
When the patrol was out of sight Lancelot turned to Merlin. “Who is that boy and what do you know of him? Will he expose you?”
“He can’t expose me without exposing himself. His name is Braden and he is a new knight recruit.” Merlin started to walk back the horses.
“What do you mean, Merlin? Lancelot grabbed his arm and turned Merlin to face him.
“Braden is a druid from Essetir. He will not be a problem.” Merlin pulled away. “We need to get moving.”
“I hope your right, Merlin.” Lancelot wasn’t as confident as Merlin that the young man would keep quiet.