"Gaius?" The court physician glanced upward for a second to see Arthur standing awkwardly in the doorway, shuffling his feet.
"Come in, sire. Come in." Arthur took a few hesitant steps inside, making his way over to the bed in the center of the room. Gaius tore his eyes away from Arthur and returned his focus to Merlin, who was sleeping restlessly. He tossed and turned, moaning as his fever grew hotter and his bandages grew redder.
"What's wrong with him?" Arthur said rather gruffly. Two ancient shoulders rose in a shrug.
"Well, we know WHAT is wrong with him. I don't know how it happened, though." Gaius looked at his ward sullenly. "Merlin usually figured that out..."
Arthur cocked an eyebrow."Hmm? Merlin what?"
"Nothing sire." Merlin let out a small moan. Gaius dipped a fresh cloth in icy water and placed it on Merlin's burning forehead. Unintelligible dazed murmurings rose from his lips. Gaius lowered his head to try and hear his ward better, but to no avail.
"I...I don't understand how this could happen. He was... I SWEAR he was alright that morning. It's not like he was DOING anything that could cause and injury like that. I mean, all he was doing was-"
"Sire, you had nothing to do with Merlin's injury." Gaius assured.
"Well...do you have a theory? On what...or who could have done this?" Arthur's eyes lit up slightly, hoping, wishing, PRAYING for Gaius to have an answer. The physician contemplated whether sharing his idea with the King of Camelot was wise. Sighing, he decided keeping his thoughts to himself could have more...unwanted consequences. He left Merlin's side for a moment to retrieve a book from one of his shelves. He carried it back to Arthur, opened the book to a dog eared page, and pointed to a passage.
"I believe that what has happened to Merlin is the work of sorcery."
Arthur rolled his eyes, sitting down in the seat vacated by Gaius. "Why is it ALWAYS sorcery?"
Gaius chose to ignore him, and continued on. "I have read of a rare incantation that could possibly be at work here; the enchantment of a voodoo doll. This enchanted doll is charmed by using a lock of the targets hair, and binding then together. Then, whatever the doll endures physically must be duplicated by the target. In this particular case, I believe the target was Merlin. Someone must have created such a doll and physically cut it, thus doing the same to Merlin."
Arthur stared helplessly at his servant. Merlin's face was ghost-white, and his face hollow and full of shadows. Small beads of sweat dripped down his face, and each breath appeared more laborious than the last. "How do I stop it?" Arthur asked bluntly.
Gaius flipped a few pages in his book. "In order to stop the spell, one must burn the doll and a lock of hair from the target with..." Gaius paused. "...Dragon fire."
Arthur stood suddenly and approached Gaius's desk, He began rummaging through the man's things until he finally found what he wanted; a pair of shears. Gaius began shaking his head. "Sire, you aren't actually thinking of-"
"I have to Gaius." Arthur interrupted. "Merlin would- no, HAS risked his life for me on multiple occasions. If he were in my position, he would do whatever necessary to save me. And that is what I must do." He snipped a lock of ebony hair from Merlin's head and made his way to the door, returning the shears to their spot.
"But Sire!" Gaius called out. "How will you fond dragon's fire?"
"Um...I'lllll think of something," Arthur said, not looking back as he left the physician's chambers.
A/N: I AM ALIVE! Hey guys, I'm sorry I haven't updated in, literally, months. School has been a pain in the ass, with hours of homework every night AFTER two and a half hours of play practice (which is EXHAUSTING) and stupid friend drama that goes on CONSTANTLY.
ANYWAY, thank you to all the people who have stayed with this story, bombarding me with reviews asking why I haven't updated in forever. I will try my best to update soon, but I don't know. My life is PRETTY hectic right now. Hopefully I'll update at least one more time over break. But, maybe not. I'm experimenting with other shows to write about, so I might be taking a little break from Merlin. Once I finish watching season 4(which I haven't, FYI. If any of the details are different from what they should be, sorry. Just...assume that this takes place after episode 6 and before episode 7. Like a lost episode!) I'll get back into the swing of things. I hope :)
Stay awesome, my awesome readers and fans who have stayed loyal to my story :) 3 Mastah