Story [Merlin] His Father's Son - Arthur, Merlin - complete

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by dianethx, Nov 26, 2011.

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  1. dianethx Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2002
    star 6
    Title: His Father's Son
    Summary: The law is the law but will King Arthur let a boy burn just because he has magic? Will he take out his grief on innocents?
    Rating: G
    Word Count: 10K
    Time frame: A few days after S04.03, The Wicked Day.
    Characters: Arthur, Merlin, Gaius, mention of Agravaine, OCs
    Note: I can't believe that no one has written about this yet or had the show address this serious issue.
    Disclaimer: I do not own the BBC version of Merlin; They and Shine do. I am very respectfully borrowing them with no intent to profit. No credits have changed hands. No copyright infringement is intended.

    "Arthur, no!" Merlin was already struggling against hands too strong to resist, knights' hands trained to sword and lance, hands he knew, hands of friends trying to keep him from making perhaps the biggest mistake of his life. But he didn't care. He couldn't let Arthur do this, not and live with himself afterwards.

    "You are better than this. Don't let your fear of magic make you into a murderer." But the king's glare was cold, staring at him with furious eyes, his mouth as hard as Uther's had ever been. "Arthur, you can't!"

    "Sir Leon, remove him from my court." If Merlin were not so frantic, he might have noticed how no one was looking at Arthur, how his friends, especially Gwaine, were as unhappy about the situation as he was but no one was objecting, no one was saying what needed to be said. "Take him to the dungeons and leave him there until I have time to deal with him."

    Leon, good soldier that he was, only nodded. His hand gripped Merlin's arm and he was being pulled backwards, dragging his feet and objecting all the way. "Arthur, no, this isn't right. You can't?."

    Before the doors closed, he looked back to see the boy, kneeling before Arthur, crying and his parents beside him, the woman wailing out her anguish and the man white and silent. Beside Arthur, Lord Agravaine stood, his smile triumphant and full of malice.

    The dungeons were always the same, stale straw and mice rustling in the corners, the dank smell of despair and mould clogging his throat. Leon had been gentle enough, not quite tossing him into the cell but insistent all the same. When the iron bars clanged shut, he said, "Sorry, Merlin, but you'll have to stay here until things calm down."

    "Can you at least get him to see reason? Maybe postpone the execution?" He could understand Leon's position. After all, he'd seen Uther's court and had his thinking and duty shaped by it but still the man had a good heart. If Arthur would listen to anyone, it would be Leon.
    The knight nodded. "I will try but I can't promise anything."

    They both knew it would do no good. Once Arthur determined a course of action, he'd not back down. It would show weakness and with Uther dead not a week past, the king had to prove that he was just as strong as his father had been. That it was this test appalled Merlin.
    By the time he looked up again, Leon was already gone.

    He had to do something. He couldn't let a boy die just because the people of Camelot were so blind to magic's true nature that even a child's silence would condemn him. It was insane.

    But more importantly, he couldn't believe that Arthur would do this. His compassion for those not born of nobility had only grown and he was a fair man, listening with an open mind about most things. Yet when it came to magic, he was just as hard-hearted as his father had been. And that was all Merlin's fault.

    Had he not tried to show Arthur how magic could heal, if he had not tried to save Uther's life, his friend, his king might now be more accepting of magic's gifts and a boy might not be condemned to death.

    What a fool he'd been.

    Now, he didn't know what to do. He couldn't let the boy die but aside from persuading Arthur otherwise, he had few options. Smuggling the child out of Camelot had its own dangers. Since Merlin was now the king's personal servant, more people seemed to pay attention to him, even petitioning him for favours and sneaking out wit/>/>
  2. dianethx Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2002
    star 6
    That Gaius was waiting for him wasn't a surprise nor was the shouting that followed. As soon as he closed the door, the old man was yelling at him, telling him that he'd been a fool to confront Arthur like that and he needed to think before he opened his mouth and what could he possibly accomplish by talking back to the king.

    "Think, boy, think!" Gaius's words seemed to echo off the walls, a familiar litany of Merlin's faults and missteps and he might have listened more closely if he didn't have other more pressing things to worry about.

    He didn't have time for it; he was already planning what to do next, how to get the boy out and not get caught. He'd need something to get past the guards, a sleeping draught in their drink perhaps. His fingers were reaching for the ingredients when Gaius pulled a bottle out of his grasp.

    Startled, as he glanced up, he could see that the old man was looking both exasperated and smug. "I believe this will suit you better." Thrusting a different vial of some dark liquid into his hand, Gaius said, "One drop into a flagon of ale or water will be enough for an hour or two of sleep."

    For a moment, Merlin stood there, gaping at him. For all his shouting, with all the talk of caution and dire warnings, Gaius had just given him proof that he was on Merlin's side in this. Still, he wanted to be sure. "I thought you said that it was too dangerous, that I was an idiot."

    "You are an idiot." Letting out a long, slow breath, Gaius reached over, clasped one hand on Merlin's shoulder and shook him a bit. "Only an idiot would stand up to the king and then plan to break the boy out of the dungeons. Better to have held your tongue and waited for the right moment to act. He will be highly suspicious of you if young Rob escapes now." Letting go, he stepped back, looked down and away, looking as pale and old as Merlin had ever seen him. "But I've stood by too many times, and to my deep shame, let Uther murder innocents. I won't allow it to happen again."

    Letting his fingers graze the old man's arm, hoping to show understanding and acceptance in a simple touch, he smiled when Gaius looked up at him. A moment of connection between two men willing to do what was right. Then Merlin got back to the urgent business of escape. "I'll need a horse. The Druids are in the Forest of Ascetir. I'm sure they will take in the boy if I can get there without Arthur knowing."

    "If you don't return by first light, he will know for certain. He may suspect you anyway, once Rob is gone." Gaius paused, gazing at him with sombre determination and not a little worry. "Are you willing to accept the consequences if you are caught?"

    Merlin just shrugged. There was no choice after all; he'd accepted that long ago. "I can't let him kill a child, not this way. It would make him no better than his father. And I think the guilt would eat at him once he sees reason again."

    "Grief can be a powerful force. Uther's war on sorcery was proof of that. But I don't think Arthur will react the same way if he's given a chance to heal first."

    "And I'm going to give him that chance."

    He tried to sound certain but Arthur had disappointed him before, sometimes badly. He tried not to think about the child in the cave when they'd gone to get the Cup of Life and how Arthur had held a sword to the young boy's throat, how he'd ordered the guards to take no prisoners when Camelot's forces had descended on the peaceful Druid encampment, how driven he'd been to obey his father's commands in seeking out sorcerers and those who kept to the Old Religion. That he'd followed his father in more ways than Merlin was happy with.

    He could only hope that Arthur would make the right choice this time. If he didn't? well, Merlin would do what he had to do. A child's life was at stake.

    Gaius sent him a worn smile. "Then you best be gone. I will bring a horse to the postern by the south gate."

    As Merlin turned away, knowing that he'd need to disguise himself, he grabbed a cloak he'd been attempting to mend for Arthur when all this happened, threw it over hi
  3. dianethx Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2002
    star 6
    The postern gate wasn't hard to find, even in the maze of underground tunnels. Over the years, Merlin had been curious and a bit far-sighted, thinking that he might have to use the passageways for escape if he'd ever been caught doing magic and Arthur reacted badly, horrifying as that thought might seem. Now, he finally got the chance to use his knowledge to help someone else.

    Key fitting into the lock, it was easy enough to open it - he's worried that Gaius had given him the wrong one but nothing had gone amiss. Even the horse was there by the gate, waiting for them both.

    It wasn't until they'd ridden away from the citadel, a good mile or so, before the warning bell started to ring. Too loud in the night, the sounds seemed to follow them, urging them away. At that, Merlin pushed the horse into a gallop, dangerous as that might be in the darkness. He knew they needed to put more distance between Arthur's injustice and Rob's freedom.

    As the horse huffed in his effort, Merlin was already whispering a spell to hide their tracks. "Hile pæþ, come on, faster, hile pæþ, faster." He hoped that the boy wouldn't hear him but there was nothing to be done about it. He had to keep the knights from finding them both; they were too good at tracking otherwise.

    So he pushed on, occasionally muttering under his breath, turning his head to see the trees whipping in the wind, the leaves dancing on the ground over their hoof-prints, the path obscured and their escape untraceable.

    The sky was already lightening when he let the horse slow to a walk, let himself take in their bearings. Rob was asleep, obviously exhausted from his fears for his life and their reckless ride.

    He hoped that they weren't far from the Druid encampment. Merlin had only vague rumours about their last known location and if they weren't there, if it took too long to find them, he knew when he returned to Camelot, there would be hell to pay.

    That he would return was not even a question. Arthur needed him whether he knew it or not and a small thing like the stocks or time in the dungeon would not be enough to keep Merlin away.

    But that was for another time. Right now he had to find the Druids and deliver Rob into their safe hands. "Abeþece druwids," he whispered, hoping that magic would lead him to them but the golden trail he conjured up quickly dissipated.

    No luck then. Apparently, he'd used it all up. Either that, or the Druids were hiding somehow.

    With a long, frustrated sigh, he nudged the horse further into the woods. Under the chatter of dawn's birdsong, a stream's faint sound beckoned. If nothing else, the horse would need to rest and drink; perhaps there would be grass for it, too, to give strength in the hours of riding ahead.

    He certainly wasn't going to go back until Rob was out of Arthur's reach. And if that meant wandering around until he found the Druids, then so be it.

    The trickle of water was mist-shrouded but thick with grass, a jumble of rock and tiny fish glimmering in the shallows. He let the horse plod over to it and bow its head to drink. He didn't slide off, much as he wanted to, just sat there, stretching a bit to ease the pain of riding for too long and too hard. He'd be paying for it once he got back to Camelot but he didn't want to wake the boy just yet.

    But the change in motion jostled the boy awake anyway. Rob started, wiggled himself around a bit, looked back at Merlin with worried eyes. "Where? where are we? Are we there?"

    "No, not yet." Merlin climbed down, his back spasming in protest but he ignored his own pain, and reaching up, pulled Rob off and onto the ground. "We need to let the horse rest a bit and then we'll try and find the Druids, okay?"

    The boy just nodded, bowing his head, hunching in as if cold. Merlin shrugged off his cloak, settled it onto Rob's shoulders; he meant to give him a gentle squeeze, a pat on the back for comfort but Rob shied away, hiding his face against the horse's neck.

    "I want my mum." Merlin almost didn't hear him; it was a bare whisper on the wind, a choke
  4. dianethx Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2002
    star 6
    Merlin was hours late. He knew that Arthur would be furious, likely accuse him of helping the boy to escape, perhaps send him to the dungeons or even worse. Uther would have flogged him in the courtyard and then hanged him or chopped his head off but Arthur wasn't his father.

    Still, he'd grown up under Uther's tutelage and Merlin wasn't sure what he'd do.

    On his way back, he gathered a bunch of herbs, just in case Arthur would be willing to listen to his lies - he hated lying to him, hated it, but there wasn't much else to be done. Hopefully, Arthur would see the bumbling idiot, the fool rather than someone defiant enough to risk his own life for a child.

    But apparently, Arthur was more insightful than he'd realized. The guards met him at the gate, pulled him from his horse and marched him, almost dragging him, into Arthur's chambers. As they shoved him forward, he stumbled, sprawling at the king's feet.

    Arthur was silent when the guards shut the door, silent when Merlin pushed himself to his feet, silent when he fidgeted under the stony gaze.

    Turning away, Arthur began looking through papers, picking up his quill and ignoring him. One signed document after another, quill to ink, a few scratches on paper and a shake of the drying sand and then another and another and it would seem that the king didn't even realize that he was in the room, just kept working at his desk. But Merlin knew him better than that. He could see Arthur's jaw clenching hard, fingers holding the quill were white sinew and bone and the tense set of his shoulders spoke louder than any words.

    Merlin was in trouble.

    He probably should have let Arthur work through his anger, let him intimidate Merlin until he felt better about the situation. But his muscles hurt from all the riding, he hadn't eaten and he was exhausted, and after what seemed like hours, Arthur was showing no sign of letting up.

    "I?."

    Arthur's hand slammed down onto the table, a sharp crack that seemed to echo endlessly across the stone walls. "Silence, you damn fool. I won't have you lying to me again."

    Merlin was so startled that, his voice rising in protest, he snapped back, "I haven't said anything yet."

    Usually at this point, their natural give-and-take would show up, banter and insults and forgiveness but Arthur was having none of it. He stood up, leaning forward on the papers he'd been signing, staring straight at Merlin. Warrior-furious, he spat out one word at a time, "Where? is? the? boy?"

    "What boy?" He tried to look confused, innocent, entirely free of any guilt but Arthur knew him far too well.

    Rocking back as if struck, parchment catching on his tunic as he pulled around the table, the ink already spilling onto the floor with the movement, Arthur ignored everything, focused solely on Merlin. "Don't even think about playing games with me. Where is he?"

    "I don't know." At least that was not a lie.

    "I told you that I won't have you lying to me again. Where is he?"

    Of course, Arthur wouldn't believe him. Why should he? Sometimes Merlin was so weighed down by the lies that he felt that he couldn't breathe, that he was drowning in them.

    "Arthur, I don't know! I really don't."

    Arthur must have heard the truth in it, however surrounded by lies it might be. He folded his arms across his chest, still glaring at him but willing at last to listen. "Where have you been then? And don't tell me the tavern because I had my guards look for you there."

    "I couldn't stand the thought of having to watch you kill a child so I left. Gaius needed some rare herbs so I volunteered to get them for him. He's getting old, you know, and I thought?."

    "That's just it, Merlin, you don't think." Face cut with frowns and accusations, Arthur stared at him as if trying to discern just how much he could be believed. Apparently, not at all. "How could you possibly understand that your disappearance and the escape of the boy from the dungeons is too much of a coincidence for me to overlook?"

    "He escaped?"

    He had waited a moment too long and Arthur, already suspicious, pressed him
  5. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    Just read the first two chapters. Love it! Very intense. I love Merlin (and the little boy is so cute!). I hope Arthur can be made to see reason before it's too late.
  6. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    Finally had time to finish this. It's great! I'm glad Merlin was able to get Rob to the Druids. Merlin and Arthur were so cute. I'm glad they understand each other :)
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