This is an AU. We (PurpleWombat14481 and I) do not own Merlin. This is our first coauthored story, so bear with us until we figure it out...


"Come on then! What are you waiting for? Finish me off!" I yelled at the glowing blue light floating above me. I'd assumed it was that witch that had abandoned me, leaving me hanging on a cliff face. Of course she would want to watch me die, she had set it up after all. The giant spiders were closing in as the orb stayed above my head. I could see the Mortaeus flower near the light. I needed to at least try to get to it, to save my idiot of a manservant. That was the whole reason I was there, I couldn't just save myself without trying to save Merlin.

"Leave them, Arthur." A voice came from the orb. Not the feminine voice of the witch, but the obnoxious voice of Merlin. Great, I'm hearing things. That's nots what Merlin would say though. He'd call me something stupid. I ignored the voice and continued in the direction of the flower. I came this far, and now that I could see it was possible for me to survive. "Go. Save yourself. Follow the light."

I kept making my way to the plant. Climbing higher, I managed to grab a single flower and put it in the pouch on my belt. Now, time to get out of here. The spiders followed me as I made my way up the stone wall. Merlin's voice kept urging me to move. "Faster. Go faster. Follow the light! Move. Climb." The words came again, almost pleading. Without dwelling on it too much, I did as instructed and kept climbing. Soon enough, I reached the top of the wall and came out into the forest. The spiders gave up and dispersed once I was out of their reach.

As I started on my way back to Camelot, I thought about what had happened. I couldn't have been making up the voice, as I was perfectly sane. There was no way it was the witch, because she would not have helped. She had wanted me to die. The only possible explanation was that someway, somehow, Merlin had been communicating with me. Which would mean magic. Extremely powerful too, if it happened while he was lying in a coma, on his deathbed.

It makes sense now. The confidence he had when challenging me on the first day we met. He hinted at another power then. "You have no idea what I can do." And how he managed to save me when everyone was put to sleep by the witch's spell.

I briefly considered throwing away the flower and allowing him to die. Magic was, after all, forbidden in Camelot. Even though he was unconscious, he was still breaking the laws of the kingdom. the very ones that kept us all safe. But he'd been willing to lay down his life for me, even though I had done nothing but bully him for the few months he'd been in my service. I couldn't let that go. As long as my father never found out I would be okay. He's put his life on the line to save mine, several times. Even dying he did what he could to save me. I won't let him die. Not if I can save him. No innocent man is going to die because of me. I continued my way back to Camelot, all the while debating Merlin and magic in my head. It was unbelievable, yet at the same time made an incredible amount of sense.

I kept checking that the flower was still in my belt pouch. It would not have helped anybody if I had gotten it only to lose it on the way back. If it was the right one. Intellectually I knew it was, I wasn't an idiot, but there was no power coming from the it. A flower that contained deadly poison seemed like it should be abnormal in some way. The plain yellow flower was inconspicuous. Some part of me kept worrying that it was the wrong plant.

My thoughts were loud and unyielding the entire journey home. How am I going to bring this up to him? Should I? Theres no way a discussion will end well. He's a stubborn idiot. He'd sooner run away than trust me to go against the law to protect his secret. Maybe we'll be able to discuss it one day, but for now I'd better not mention it. I'll pretend to not know. My decision was made.

As I rode my horse up to the drawbridge, I saw the guards standing at the gate. They did not move as I reached them.

"What are you doing? Let me pass." I ordered. The men did not listen. I'd been around them all of my life, and they knew I had authority over them. One guard, Gregory, looked slightly regretful.

"I'm sorry, Sire. You're under arrest, by order of the King."

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