A/N: Sorry to give false hope to those who have subscribed to this story, but I made the decision some time back that it will, in fact, remain a one-shot. However, the idea behind this character-based portrayal of the scene kept coming back to me. I even saw somebody else's fic, clearly inspired from the concept of this one and posted a few days later, portraying another scene. The imitation was flattering, even though my understanding of the scene was different. I took it to mean that other people also enjoy taking a deeper look into the scenes and characters, peeking below the surface of a story that is deceptively shallow on first glance, but clearly has more potential and insight on deeper reflection. But how to write it?

I usually don't like AU as much as canon-based stories; I hadn't thought I could do a good one of the movie as-is, in this style. That was the biggest reason for my decision to leave this story as a one-shot. But over time, thoughts of how to change the story while still staying true to the spirit of the movie kept coming to me, and I thought of some of my favorite AU stories. After all, I have read and relished in some extremely well-written, creative, insightful AU stories, stories that keep the spirit and personalities of the characters intact, adapting the main concepts and principles of the plot and characters to a new setting. I have really enjoyed them and appreciated the talent of their authors! So, after a lot of thought and a long time of being haunted with the desire to finish more of what I had started...I decided that I would try, despite my hangups about how to make it work and whether I was up to the challenge.

So, for those of you who are interested, I have started a "remaking" of the movie plot in this sort of style, expanding the timeline and the characters, in an attempt to make it geared toward a slightly older audience and a deeper psychological/emotional portrayal of the story and characters. There will be differences, but it should still generally line up with the movie plot, and I am trying to keep it in-line with the spirit of the original film. For the sake of fairness, I warn you that updates have been, and will almost certainly continue to be, slow. I am a medical student, and my free time is limited. I write for my own enjoyment, and put it up in hopes to share this hobby that I love with other people. If you think you might enjoy it, feel free to read it; the title is "Through Their Eyes." Any feedback is welcome; your opinions and insights can only help me improve!

Now...the promised preview! The first segment of the first chapter of the larger story. I hope you enjoy it! Many thanks to Honest Beauty, who noted the problem with this note before! Much appreciated!




Chapter 1: Prologue


It was a dark afternoon. Even just an hour past midday, the skies were already near black. The rain was falling, not hard and heavy, but persistent enough to soak anyone to the bone. And for two miserable travelers, this was exactly the case.

The unpaved roads were muddy, and the tired horses flicked their ears uncomfortably in the wet and snorted unhappily. It was one of their long days of riding, which they had tried to alternate to give the horses some rest on the long journey they had undertaken. The younger of the two companions patted his horse's neck with compassion.

"There, now, boy...we've almost arrived."

"Right you are, Arthur. Very close, now...are you ready to face your destiny?" The old man asked gravely, making the young boy shift uncomfortably in the saddle. When he answered, he didn't look up at his companion.

"Of course. Soon, we'll know, one way or another."

"I already know."

"How you can be so certain baffles me entirely."

"Have faith in an old man, Arthur. There is much to be said for life experience, and you should know to respect your elders." He sounded serious, but Arthur knew it was said as an affectionate tease, and smiled wryly down at his saddle.

"And a little magic?" Arthur asked, innocence obviously feigned.

"Perhaps. But not even magic can give me this answer. Some things, old men just know in their bones." Lightning struck in the distance, and Arthur's horse whinnied, starting slightly and skittering a few steps.

"Whoa, there!" Arthur pulled at the reins with a strong and practiced hand, patting the horse's neck, half to comfort the beast and half to be ready to grip in case of the worst.

Merlin just watched on, grave as ever. Not for the first time, Arthur suspected the old wizard had some arcane connection to or power over animals. Even just on this journey, Arthur had learned and noticed things that he had never seen before, where the old man was concerned. No matter how long he knew the wizard, there was always something new to take him just as much by surprise each and every day...