Disclaimer: I do not own Merlin, which is a shame because I would make sure there was another several series still.
A/N: Okay, so here is my first Merlin fanfic. I began writing it while I had writers block on my Doctor Who stories. Please be nice, I can take criticism, as long as it doesn't make me want to cry.
A few gold coins and the clothes she was wearing were all that she owned now. Everything else had been burned along with her home and every other building in her once peaceful and wondrous town. Raiders had come during the night and she was lucky to have escaped. Her parents had not been as lucky, neither had many of the other people who lived there. Somehow, she had managed to escape by heading into the forest.
The raiders seemed too busy grabbing what treasures they could and destroying everything else. She watched as the flames grew and the thick black smoke filled the night air. There was little she could do now, all she could do was hope and pray that other people managed to escape the wrath of the raiders. She took one last look at the town that had once been her home and turned away, tears streaming down her rosy cheeks, and headed into the dark depths of the treacherous, unwelcoming forest on the boarder of her home.
The forest floor was alive with the dancing beams of sunlight that was breaking through the lush, green trees. The songs of the birds were filling the late afternoon air and the creatures of the forest were awake, scurrying about doing their daily business. A young woman with long, golden brown curls and a rich silk dress came out from the trees and into the clearing. Her dress that would once have been glorious and a vibrant purple in colour was now torn and dirty. There were cuts on her soft, smooth, pale skin, most likely caused by branches and such in the forest. She looked exhausted, her vivid green eyes dull and full of sadness.
She sat herself down on a large, smooth boulder and placed her head in her hands. She knew she had to move on, but where was she to go? There was one place she could go, a place where she knew people, where she had been born and spent some of her childhood. A place where she would feel safe, safe within the city walls. It was also the most dangerous place she could go but what other choice did she have. The forest was a dangerous place as well, soon it would be night and it would take her some time to reach her destination on foot but she would have to try.
Suddenly she sensed movement, twigs snapping under the weight of something, something that could not possibly be of an animal living in the forest. She craned her neck and looked around the clearing. The leaves on the trees were rustling in the slight breeze but there was nothing else to see. Maybe it was a small critter, heading home for the night. She heard it again, louder, closer, more twigs were breaking and she rose to her feet. Her heart was racing, her mouth dry, small beads of sweat formed on her forehead and she was suddenly aware of everything around her. The slight swaying of the trees, the mossy growth beneath her feet and the carving on the tree made by couple in love.
It reminded her of summer days long ago when she would venture out into the forests and enjoy climbing trees with her best friend. It was not something that her parents had approved of, a young girl of her status climbing trees. They had tried to make her more of a lady and she would start the day in such a clean and pretty dress but always return dirty and on many occasions with several cuts and bruises. Her parents would not get angry with her, her only friend, her best friend, had been a young boy. He was a noble young man and always had good intentions, they were to be friends for life. One day that had all changed.
Something moved behind her, behind one of the trees. She had been so distracted by all of those memories flooding back to her, her mind was in a world of its own. Now she was remembering the sounds that had occurred before her mind had wandered. Maybe she was being paranoid. She was very tired and hungry so it was possible she had imagined anything she believes to have heard. She went to turn around but the young woman was not fast enough.
Four dirty and tough men closed in around the young woman, each man holding a sharp blade. One of them was heading straight towards her, his dark hair scruffy and a gash under his eye crusted with dried blood. She had given him that cut, she remembered hitting him with something back in the town. They were raiders, her luck was out now, and they had caught her. She didn't struggle, just stood there with a blade held to her throat.
They were taunting her, laughing at her. They had spotted her running towards the forest and their leader had sent them to find her, to kill her. She wondered why she ever thought that she could get away, no one lives after the raiders have arrived.
They described all the details of how they burned the town, the screams from the men, woman and children lingered in their homes after the flames engulfed buildings. People had begged for their lives, the raiders took no mercy and killed them all, the livestock had been slaughtered as well. She tried her best not to listen to them but she found it difficult when the cold, sharp metal was pressing against the skin of her neck.
The taunting continued, they were trying to upset her, and so they started to talk about her parents. They claimed that she abandoned them, that they wasted their last breaths calling out for their beloved daughter. It was that which struck a chord, her face was no longer emotionless. She clenched her fists and her whole body tensed up, her mind replaying what had just been said over and over.
Her parents had forced her to run, as they did not want to see her facing the same fate as them. The raider holding her tightly moved his head closer to her and whispered into her ear, his breath foul and his teeth rotten.
"Don't you worry you will be back with mummy and daddy soon."
His grip on her tightened and an evil grin swept across his dirty and bloody face. His blackened teeth, or what was left of them, on full show. His fellow men laughed and closed in around her, this was it, her time had come. She closed her eyes and waited for the end, her last thought being that of the place she wanted to be even if it was dangerous for her to be there.
The city was in shock, there had been an explosion from the forest outside of the city that no one could explain. The city was full of fear and confusion. The king summoned his son and bestowed upon him the task of investigating.
Immediately a group of men on horseback, in full battle armour, were heading into the forest. The only noise that could be heard was that of the chain mail and the horses they were riding upon. There was no bird songs filling the air and that in itself was a worry. The kings army moved deeper into the forest with caution, they did not know what might face them further on ahead.
It was not hard to find the area from which the explosion came from. The tress were blackened and burnt, still smouldering with smoke rising up. The bodies of five men spread out around the area, their skin charred and the smell of burning flesh rose from each one. The leader of the soldiers dismounted and went to take a closer look. He ordered his knights to check to see if any of the men were still alive even though he was sure they were dead.
Amongst the men in their clean, shining armour was a young man wearing old, cloth clothing. It was clear he was not a soldier, but he was staying close to the man giving the orders. He seemed more cautious than the others did, looking around at all the details, the position of the dead men. Something did not add up, none of this made any sense. What had caused the scorch marks on the trees and what had caused the explosion.
He slowly made his way around the trees, then something drew his attention, something brightly coloured. He edged his way towards what had caught his eye, his eyes widened and he called out. "Sire, over here!"
At once, the leader rushed over to where the young man was, crouching on the sodden ground. There before them both lay a young woman, her dress in tatters and blood over her face. The man who had been referred to as sire knelt down beside the woman and placed his arm under her head. He gently raised it and the expression on his face was pure shock.
"Lily", he whispered.
He looked at her, rage filling up inside of him. He knew the woman and he knew her well. They had grown up together, such great friends, until her parents decided it was time to leave the city. They had not seen each other since that day, so many years ago, and this was not the way he had imagined that they would next meet. He could only imagine what had happened to her, and was now glad the other men were dead.
The knights helped to get her onto his horse, and for a moment, she opened her eyes, and mumbled a single word, "Arthur."
He gave the order to move out and return to the city, but he was reminded that they had not found the cause of the explosion. The young man who had found the woman was speaking up, they had been sent there by the king to find the source and yet nothing had been found that could have caused the chaos around them. The man had his own ideas of what may have happened, he feared magic was involved.
There was silence the entire trip back to the city. The woman had not regained consciousness since that very brief moment before when she muttered Arthur's name. He couldn't help but wonder if she had recognised him or if she had just called the first name she could think of. Either way, his concern for her was growing.
"Merlin, fetch Gaius. I will take her to the chamber next to mine." Arthur told the man who had found the woman as they reached the castle.
Merlin nodded at him while the knights helped the get the woman off the horse. Arthur then wasted no time in charging through the castle and to the chamber next to his own. He gently placed her down on the soft bed, brushing her matted hair away from her dirt covered face. He could see that she had been crying, there were streaks down her face from the tears.
Soon enough the door flew open, the court physician entering the room with Merlin trailing behind him. He's eyes widened and a look of panic set upon his face when he saw the woman lying on the bed. "Lady Lillian." He exclaimed, before rushing to the bedside to examine her.
Gaius took his time in examining her, much to the prince's annoyance. "I can see no serious injuries. There are minor cuts and bruises on her skin. I suspect she may have concussion as well, but we shall have to wait for her to awake to be able to determine that." He concluded.
"Will she be alright, Gaius?" Arthur asked him, the concern in his voice was evident, which was raising a lot of questions for Merlin.
Merlin had been in Camelot for some time now, and had been working as Prince Arthur's manservant for most of that time. During that short time he had learned much about his master, and his destiny.
Gaius hesitated for a moment. "I cannot be sure until she is awake, sire. I will attend to her wounds but I am afraid that is all I shall be able to do for now" Arthur nodded at him and allowed the physician get on with his work.
He did not leave her side the entire time, his eyes constantly locked on her pale face. There were so many questions he wanted to ask her, his mind was in turmoil. He was pulled from his thoughts when the door opened again and his father entered the room.
Arthur acknowledged his father, looking at him and nodding slightly. The King looked at his son, his face was also filled with concern. "I heard that you had returned and wondered why you had not come to inform me yourself. Now I understand why." King Uther said softly, looking at his son.
"Lady Lillian was found amongst a group of bodies, I believe they were raiders. I am afraid to inform you that we did not find the source of the explosion." Arthur held his head high, trying not to show his father how ashamed he was.
Uther just smiled at his son. "Your main concern was the safety of the Lady Lillian. I well send a patrol out to investigate further." Arthur could see that his father was not angry, nor disappointed with him, which had been somewhat of a relief. "How is she?"
"Gaius believes there are no serious injuries, but we will not know any more until she has regained consciousness." He tore his eyes away from his father for a moment to look back at the woman on the bed.
The King nodded at his son. "I do not expect to see you at any training sessions today or tomorrow. I am sure they will be able to survive without their Price." Uther then left the room, leaving Arthur there with his manservant Merlin. Gaius had left some time ago, having finished doing all he could.
"Are you okay, sire?" Merlin asked cautiously. He did not want his master to feel that he was prying
Arthur let out a sigh before looking at him. "Lady Lillian is a childhood friend of mine. We were best friends growing up. Then her family moved way from Camelot and we haven't seen each other since. This was not how I had imagined we would see each other again."
His master had answered some of his questions for him, without him even having to ask them. "Is there anything you would like me to do?" Merlin asked him, seeing that the Prince was too worried to thinking about anything but Lady Lillian.
"Yes. Fetch me some water and a cloth. I cannot bear to see her face covered with so much dirt any longer." Arthur ordered. Merlin couldn't help but smile a little as he left the room to fulfil his master's request.
When he returned he was surprised the moment Arthur took the cloth from him and started to gently clean her face himself. He was being so gentle with her, and did not say as word as done his best to wash away the grime. Merlin had never seen Arthur act that way around anyone before, and it was also odd as Arthur was very reluctant to even wash himself at times. He was the Prince, and he liked to make Merlin's life miserable.
Once he was satisfied with the job he had done he turned to Merlin again. "She cannot stay in these clothes. Fetch Guinevere, and ask her to find some clothes for her." Merlin nodded at him and headed out of the door again, still in shock at the way he was acting, it was very out of character for him.
Arthur just sat in the chair beside her bed, gazing at her with such a sad look upon his face. They had been so young when he had last seen her, and looking at her now, she was even more beautiful to him than she was before.
As children their parents had always teased them, telling them how they were the perfect match for each other. They knew how to annoy each other, but they also knew how to calm the other down or comfort them. Of course they were only children and they were both disgusted at the idea. They were the best of friends and were not afraid to tell the other exactly what they thought of them. Obviously that resulted in Lillian calling Arthur quite a few unpleasant names when he had upset her, but he always managed to win her back on to his side.
The only time he left the room was when Guinevere arrived with another of the maids to assist in dressing Lady Lillian into something more suitable. When he was allowed back in the room she was peacefully tucked up in the bed.
Prince Arthur must have fallen asleep at some point, as he woke up to find his father standing beside him, gently shaking his shoulder. "Arthur, you are tired. Go and get some sleep. I will watch over her while you are gone." The King insisted.
"No, father, I will not leave her." He replied firmly.
All Uther could so was smile at his son. "Still as protective of her now as you were when you were a child. I see much has not changed. You must at least eat. I will get one of the servants to bring some food to you."
"Thank you, father." Arthur replied, before watching him leave the room again.
He let his eyes wander over to the window, it was dark outside now, so he must have slept in the chair for longer than he had thought. When he looked back at Lillian, he noticed that her cheeks looked wet. He gently brushed one with the back of his hand and confirmed that they were. On closer inspection he could see that she had been crying in her sleep, and that made him worry even more.
There was a knock on the door before Merlin entered with food and drink for the prince. He placed it at the table and Arthur reluctantly move to go and eat, although he didn't not feel at all hungry.
Merlin could clearly see his master was still worried, and it pained him to see Arthur like that. "I'm sure Lady Lillian with be fine, Arthur. I mean, if she survived having you as a best friend, then I'm sure she can pull through this." Merlin knew exactly what he was doing. Insulting the prince, trying to distract him.
Arthur looked at him. "And what exactly do you mean by that?" He asked.
"Well," Merlin started, a smile stretching across his face, "you're arrogant, self-centred, rude, and most of the time just mean." He knew what was coming next and he managed to dodge the apple that Arthur had thrown at him. "Oh, and you have a very bad temper." Another apple headed in his direction and yet again missed him.
"Shut up, Merlin." Arthur called at him. "Stop standing around. My armour needs polishing, my boots need cleaning, the stables need mucking out and my sword needs sharpening." He heard Merlin let out a groan. "Well, off you go."
Merlin sighed as he left the room, he should have known that he would be punished like that for his comments to the prince. He was now likely to get no sleep at all due to the chores he had been given.
Arthur had only eaten a little of the food before he returned to Lillian's side and it didn't take long for him to fall asleep again. No matter how tired he was, he was not going to let her out of his sight, from fear that she may disappear from his life again. He would not let that happen.
The next day passed quickly, and still he did not leave her. His father was become more and more concerned as she had shown no signs of waking up and Arthur showed no sign of resting or eating properly.
By the third day, Arthur was getting restless as well as panicked. He was constantly pacing the room, throwing anything he could at Merlin whenever he saw him. Merlin did not take any of it to heart, he knew that there were reasons for why Arthur was acting the way he was.
That night Merlin was exhausted. As with what usually happened when Arthur was in a bad mood, he had been given more chores than he could handle. It also did not help that Arthur took all his frustration out on his bed chambers, turning the room into a complete mess. He was glad the day was finally over and that he was at last able to get some well deserved rest.
Only it seemed the world around him had other ideas. A woman screaming echoed through his head, making him clutch it in pain. He knew instantly that there was something wrong somewhere, but he wasn't sure he full understood it. He sat there on his bed, wondering what to do as the screaming continued.
Unlike Merlin, Arthur had actually fallen asleep, although it was in the same chair that had been his bed for the past few days . He was getting more worried as the hours passed, but Gaius had assured him that she was not on the brink of death. This only seemed to calm him a little, he was desperate for her to wake up.
Arthur woke up sharply to the sound of someone screaming. He blinked rapidly to get his eyes to focus and looked around the room before setting his eyes on Lillian. He was out of the chair in an instant and was leaning over the bed, grabbing hold of her arms. "Lily! Lily, calm down." He cried over her screams. He could see the tears forcing their way through her closed eyes.
"Lily, wake up. It's me, Arthur. Please, wake up." There was so much emotion in his voice. He was scared, and he didn't know what else to do but try and wake her.
Slowly her screams turned into sobs and she seemed to calm down. Arthur was still gently grasping her arms, waiting for the moment when she would finally open her eyes. He didn't have to wait long as she slowly started to force her eyes open.
Arthur was overjoyed when he saw those green eyes of hers again, he had missed them so much. He watched a Lillian blinked a few times, much like he had when he had woken up. When she caught sight of him looming by her, her eyes widened.
"Arthur?" She whispered, unable to believe who she was seeing there. He simply smiled and nodded to her, which resulted in her sitting bolt upright and throwing her arms around his neck. Arthur did not waste any time in move his arms around her, holding her tightly.
She let a few more tears fall, Arthur was not sure if they were tears of joy or for some other reason, he was only glad that she had finally woken. Arthur was about to speak when the door was thrown open, two guards standing there looking out of breath.
"We heard screams, sire. Is everything alright?" One of them asked.
"Inform Gaius that Lady Lillian is awake. I want him here immediately to make sure she is fine. And inform the King as well." Arthur told them, before they nodded at him and left the room again. He turned his attention back to Lillian.
"You're safe now, Lily. You're in Camelot." Arthur was keeping his voice soft, it was a way he never spoke to anyone. Only his father had ever heard him speak in that way before, and that was always to Lillian.
"They're dead, Arthur. The whole town. Everyone's dead." She whispered to him in between her sobs. "I thought they were going to kill me as well."
Arthur didn't know what to say to her. No one had ventured as far as the town she had been living in, he had never even known where she was living. The moment they had found her they headed straight back to Camelot, it hadn't even occurred to him to check the nearest town.
The minutes passed and there was eventually a gentle knocking at the door. Arthur wiped the tears away from Lillian's face and called for them to enter. He was not surprised to see Gaius enter the room with a grumpy Merlin dragging himself behind.
"Lady Lillian. I am glad to see that you have finally woken up." Gaius said as he approached the bed.
A small smile crept across her face. "Gaius. It is good to see you again, although I am not so happy about the circumstances."
"Indeed." Gaius said, smiling at her a little sadly. "How are you feeling?"
"Like Arthur has been using my head as the target again." Gaius grinned at her while Arthur looked at her in shock that she had mentioned that. Merlin just stood there, completely confused.
"I think you will find that Prince Arthur has a new target these days, one that does not fight back." The physician turned from her and looked at the man standing behind him.
"This is my servant, Merlin. And in the morning, he shall be the target." Arthur confirmed, making Merlin groan.
Lillian just shook her head. "I can see you have not changed one bit, My Lord." She said to Arthur politely.
"Be quiet, Lady Lillian and let Gaius make sure that all is well." Arthur said to her, sitting on the edge of her bed, still grasping one of her hands.
She had to restrain herself from rolling her eyes at him. If there had not been a servant there, then she would have done, but that would not have reflected well on her. She just threw him a look that told him that she was going to get him back for that.
Gaius quickly checked her over and deemed her to be perfectly fine. He recommended that she stay in bed for a while longer and that she be brought food and drink immediately. Merlin took the hint and left to collect that for her.
"Thank you for looking after me, Gaius." Lillian said, as he was about to leave.
"All I have done is tend to your wounds. It has been Arthur who has not left your side." Gaius said, before making a quick exit.
Lillian's head quickly turned to Arthur, his expression was hard for her to read. "How long have to been sitting at my bedside for then, Arthur?"
"We found you three days ago, out in the forest…"
"You've been sitting there for three days?" She asked him in shock. All he could do was nod at her, he knew what was coming next. "You've wasted three days of your life by worrying over me. That's three days of training, three days of watching over Camelot. You are such an idiot sometimes, Pendragon."
Arthur couldn't help but smile when she called him Pendragon. When they had been children she had always called him that when he was in trouble with her. "It would appear you have not changed much either, Lady Lillian."
This time she did roll her eyes at him. All he could do was smirk at her, it felt like nothing between them had changed. "Arthur, what actually happened?" She asked quietly. "The last thing I remember was being in the forest, caught by the raiders. I remember nothing after that, until I woke up here."
Arthur let out a sigh. "We do not yet know. Once you were found, my main priority was to get you back to safety."
Lillian frowned at him. "But what about the raiders?"
"They were dead before we found you. We heard an explosion and went out to investigate." Arthur told her honestly. "My father has sent a patrol out to further investigate."
Lillian nodded at him and understood that Arthur was not going to comment any further on the events that had passed. There was silence between them, but not an awkward one. Arthur was glad to have found her again and she was glad to be away from the raiders.
After Merlin had brought food for both Lillian and Arthur and they had finished, the prince demanded that she get some more rest. Of course, Lillian being Lillian protested hard against him, but eventually gave in when she realised he was just as stubborn as ever.
"If you need anything, Merlin will assist you." Arthur told her as she sulked in her bed.
"I am quite capable of looking after myself, sire. I have been doing it for some time now."
Arthur smirked at her. "Yes, and look where that got you. As long as you are in Camelot, you are my guest, and with that comes the pleasure of servants." Lillian looked at Merlin, it looked like he was ready to hit him. "If you need me, feel free to come and find me."
Lillian let out a sigh. She knew exactly what he was doing, being over protective of her. And because of that, she now knew exactly where in the castle she was. "Would I be right in saying that you have supplied me with the chamber next to yours?" There was something in her tone that Arthur knew to be annoyance.
"I bid you goodnight, Lady Lillian." Arthur said, before hastily making his exit before she could get any further annoyed with him.
She shook her head and turned to Merlin, who was clearing up from their meal. "Sorry, Merlin? Would you please inform Gaius that I shall pay him a visit tomorrow at some point? I would like to catch up with him before Prince Arthur starts to boss me around."
The young warlock couldn't help but grin at her. Arthur loved to boss everyone around, and he knew that all too well. "Of course, Lady Lillian. Will there be anything else you require?"
"No, that is all. Thank you, Merlin. Goodnight." She watched him leave the room and the door clicked shut behind him. She strained her ears, listening to his footsteps as he went.
Once she was certain that he was gone she found she was no longer able to control her emotions and began to silently cry. She was not going to be resting much for the rest of the night, unless that rest came from exhaustion.
A/N: So, let me know what you guys think. This chapter was pretty much introducing Lillian, and giving some of her background. I am very likely to re-write certain episodes along the way. As well as have my own story lines pop in.
Thank you for reading, tell me what you liked, if you like anything. If there are spelling or grammatical errors, let me know that as well.