It, the sacking of Camelot by the Great Dragon, was finally over. Merlin could breath a sigh of relief, though the guilt of having been the one to release Kilgharrah was still beating at him. And that combined with the conflagration of emotions over the past few days... had taken it out of him.
Finding his father, loosing his father, becoming the last Dragonlord, being the one to tame Kilgharrah, letting the kingdom believe it was Arthur that delivered the killing blow, having more secrets to keep hidden. It was all so exhausting.
But there was work to be done. Always was there work to be done. With tray in hand the young servant knocked on the door to the prince's chambers, announcing his arrival before pushing open the door.
"Arthur, I've bought your breakfast." The kingdom, the people, was still reeling from the dragon attack but they had to press on.
Relief did not even begin to cover how Arthur felt in the knowledge that the dragon would no longer be a threat. He feared that there would be no one left in Camelot if the dragon continued to unleash it's wrath upon them. Yet . . . Arthur's mind could not rest. The threat was over, but there was something else that had been bothering him. Last night should have been one of rest, yet he had very little. If any at all. His mind still processing what he had over heard. He thought it all to be a dream. A strange, bizarre and completely irrational dream. But no. The more he thought about it, the more it made sense. And . . . that was exactly what Arthur feared. So this morning, he was dressed and ready, but unsure he was fully prepared to face the day.
He had all night to think about it and . . . it still made it no easier to accept. He had once told Merlin he should not have kept Will's secret from him . . . but it had been Merlin this entire time. And now with the threat of the dragon gone, and peace -- for the time being -- restored in Camelot, he knew he could not keep his knowledge of this hidden forever. He stood by his windowsill, a common place for the Prince to be when deep in contemplation. A knock at the door followed by an all too familiar voice alerted Arthur to Merlin's presence, though he made no move to turn around and look at him. Why did Merlin continue to serve him? If he was a sorcerer, why do this?
Arthur kept his face stoic, quiet, trying to figure out how to best broach this subject. "I still don't understand it," he finally said. "For so many nights, our weapons were useless against it." The dragon, he slowly turned, yet found it nearly impossible to look at the man who had become a brother of heart. The man who had been lying to him this whole time. The man who was . . . a sorcerer. "Tell me again how it happened," he asked, wanting every detail. Perhaps holding on to some hope that he was wrong. That Merlin, surely not Merlin the man he emphatically trusted, had this grand secret.
Teeth gnashed violently at the lower lip when he'd noticed Arthur's expression, how deep in thought he had been and the words that had done nothing to quell the unease twisting his stomach into knots. Merlin swallowed hard, worked to keep his expression neutral as he served the breakfast, letting it take take his focus.
"I... uh... didn't see exactly how it happened." He lied, his voice cracking ever so slightly as he continued to avoid the prince's stare. Merlin was a good liar... in some instances but right now his palms were clammy, his eyes betraying him. "I was running toward you when the dragon knocked you away, knocked you unconscious."
Each word was a bold faced lie and it hurt Merlin to tell them. There was a part of him that was tired of always being in the shadows, of always giving the glory to someone else. But it was safer this way. At least that's what he kept telling himself to make it sting less.
"By the time I reached you the dragon had the spear embedded in its chest, your spear. It was flying away, bleeding heavily, keening in pain."
Arthur watched Merlin as he busied himself and . . . well, he just watched him. Carefully. Closely. How did Merlin manage to do it? To lie so effortlessly. Had Arthur not overheard, he would have easily believed Merlin. The conviction, the composure in his false words. Perhaps it was the hurt . . . that it was truly so easy to lie to him. That Merlin, a man that Arthur trusted emphatically, spoke such words of untruth. He remained silent, as if trying to find the words to say. How he wished that was true. That the dragon had been wounded and sent away.
But . . . it wasn't. Not in the slightest. And Arthur couldn't help but wonder how many other times this had happened. How many other times the seemingly impossible had occurred, and Merlin's explanation had answered all his questions. Arthur's mind was still processing a few other instances . . . and he imagined there were even more. He could not do it though. He could not lie to Merlin and so, he needed to speak what he had uncovered. Turning fully to face his manservant, Arthur spoke. "And here I thought it was due to the words you said to it that had sent it away." Alive. Uninjured. And by no action of Arthur's.
The metal tray clattered as it hit the stone floor, slipping from Merlin's hands and spilling food and drink when Arthur spoke, his words confronting and shocking. Blue hues looked at Arthur; wide, light an animal caught in a spotlight, uncertainty clear in his stare. His mouth opened and closed once, twice, as he tried to find words to dismiss his claim.
Arthur had been unconscious, hadn't he? He couldn't have heard the words his manservant had spoken with the dragon. "What?" He said, breathing coming out in a force laugh as he tried to dismiss his claim. "You must have hit your head harder than we thought... I didn't say anything..."
He was looking away again, cleaning up the mess he'd made in his moment of surprise. He avoided looking at Arthur, silently hoped the ground would open and swallow him whole so they didn't have to have this conversation.
My name is Catherine by the way; Call me Kate. *Smiles* You're lucky to have your mother, I ... wish I had at least someone I can talk to, You know? At least i have Arthur. *sits by the window and looks out*
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