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Fic: Guiding Light

January 26th, 2009 (11:15 am)

Title: Guiding Light
Author: hils
Rating: PG
Fandom: Merlin
Pairing: Merlin/Arthur
Words: 1341
Summary: Inspired by this piece of wonderful art by lizardspots
Thanks to alinoradesancto for the beta

The cave is dark and smells of death. Merlin is fairly certain that whatever’s crunching beneath his feet isn’t stones and tries not to think about it any further. He can hear the sound of fighting up ahead and curses Arthur for being so foolishly brave.

The prince has done what he always does in these situations and charged ahead to do battle with the Manticore that has been plaguing the land. Naturally, he insisted Merlin wait at the mouth of the cave where it’s safe.

It’s lucky for both of them that Merlin rarely does as he’s told. He follows Arthur as soon as he’s out of sight.

He’s close now and he can hear the sound of Arthur’s sword striking the creature, can hear the sounds of Arthur grunting in exertion and finally he hears a scream. He charges forward, a spell already on his lips and he almost trips over Arthur’s foot.

“I thought I told you to wait outside.”

Arthur’s voice is heavily laced with pain and exhaustion. The cave is so dark that Merlin has to feel around to find him. He’s upright at least, and leaning heavily against the cave wall.

Merlin sags in relief.

“Well, I wasn’t going to miss your glorious victory, now was I?”

“It’s dead then?” Arthur asks. “I heard it scream but I can’t see anything.”

Merlin can’t see anything either. They must be miles inside the cave now and there’s no natural light at all.

“I think so,” he says. There’s no sound of movement at any rate and he’s certainly not going to say anything that will lead to Arthur charging off again. “Come on. Let’s get out of here.”

He hears Arthur grunt as he pushes himself away from the wall and gasps as Arthur all but falls into his arms.

“Arthur!” He just about manages to catch him and keep him on his feet. “Are you hurt?”

Arthur is now leaning on him heavily and it’s all he can do not to collapse under the weight.

“I don’t know,” Arthur replies in a slurred voice. “I still can’t see.”

“Well, where does it hurt?” Merlin asks, worry seeping into his voice.

“Nowhere, really,” Arthur replies in a voice that is definitely getting fainter. “I’m just…cold.”

Cold is not good.

Merlin squeezes his eyes shut and clenches his jaw. He needs to see how badly hurt Arthur is and right now there is only one way that can happen. It’s also the only way he’s going to be able to find his way out of the cave again.

He mumbles the incantation under his breath and the cave is filled with a soft blue light. He glances over at Arthur, alarmed at his appearance but grateful that he seems to be too out of it to notice the glowing orb.

There is blood all over Arthur. It’s in his hair, down his arm and all over his right leg. There’s also a considerable amount on his sword which is still hanging from his limp hand. It gives Merlin hope that at least some of the blood on Arthur isn’t actually his own.

The blood on his leg is definitely his, though. Merlin can see the wound and it looks bad. He curses under his breath and tightens his hold on Arthur, whispering to the orb to lead them to safety.

They’ve barely taken two steps when Arthur raises his head and peers blearily at him. Then his eyes move over to the orb where he stares at it with a frown. Merlin can almost see the comprehension trying to work its way through his mind. When Arthur looks back at him some of the fog seems to have lifted from his eyes and has been replaced with recognition and realisation. Merlin feels his heart sink as he realises he can’t hide what he is any more.


He is prevented from finishing his sentence by a low groan from Arthur as his eyes roll back and his legs give way. It’s too much for Merlin and he is forced to lower the now unconscious prince to the ground. He ties his neckerchief around Arthur’s leg and hopes it will stem the bleeding long enough for them to get back to Camelot. He’d rather be executed for sorcery than see Arthur die.

* * *

When Arthur finally wakes up in his bed back at Camelot, it is an agonisingly slow process. Merlin sits there, heart in his throat, as the prince twitches, sighs, groans and then finally opens his eyes. Even then it takes a few minutes for his gaze to fall on Merlin, who hasn’t left his bedside since they got back.

Arthur frowns, clearly trying to recall what happened. Merlin waits.

Recognition comes sooner than he expects.

“You saved my life.”

Arthur’s voice is soft and he’s staring at Merlin with a look of awe on his face. Merlin knows he’s far beyond denying anything now and simply nods.

“It’s not the first time, either,” Arthur continues. “When I went to get the flower to save you from the poison, there was a light that guided me to safety. That was you too.”

He nods again and watches cautiously as Arthur struggles to prop himself up on his elbows. He wants to help him but isn’t sure whether the help will be accepted, so he sits and watches as Arthur checks that the room is empty.

“You’re a sorcerer,” he finally says quietly.

Merlin hesitates for a moment and then nods for a third time.

“You know the penalty for using magic…and yet you’re still here.”

He shrugs. “I had to make sure that you’re all right. You lost a lot of blood.”

Arthur blinks at him in wonder. “You stayed even though I’m the king’s son and I saw you use magic.”

“I stayed because I’m your friend and I care about you.”

Arthur considers this for a moment, his expression not giving anything away. It makes Merlin nervous.

“It’s not too late,” Arthur finally says. “You could go now.”

He feels his heart sink as disappointment floods through him. “Do you want me to leave?”

“No,” Arthur replies after a moment’s consideration. “But it’s not safe for you here. If anyone else finds out what you can do…”

Now Merlin is just confused. “You’re not angry that I’ve been lying to you all this time?”

“Of course not,” Arthur replied as though it was a stupid question. “I’d have been angry if you’d told me about it sooner. The fewer people who know about this the safer you’ll be.”

He has to admit that this is not going at all as he’d expected. He thought there would be a lot more shouting followed by guards and executions.

“Aren’t you worried that I might be dangerous?”

Arthur snorts. “Really, Merlin, even if I hadn’t seen you save my life twice I’ve known you long enough to know that you are far from dangerous.”

“Oh.” He’s not sure whether to be insulted by that or not. “So you’re not going to tell your father about me?”

“Of course not.”

Arthur sounds indignant at the mere suggestion that he would do such a thing.

“I’m not leaving, by the way,” Merlin says firmly. “Not unless you tell me you don’t need me here anymore.”

Arthur is looking at him curiously now, almost as though he’s been expecting this conversation and is surprised that it’s taken this long to come.

“Would you go if I asked you to?” He finally asks.

“Probably not.” Merlin replies.

That causes Arthur to smile at least. “I’m not sure whether that’s reassuring or just annoying.”

Merlin shrugs and grins. “So are you saying that you need me?”

Their eyes lock and suddenly Merlin feels like all the air has been sucked from the room.

“I have a feeling that I’m always going to need you, Merlin.”

He smiles and slips his hand into Arthur’s.

“Then I’ll always be here.”

The End.


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Posted by: birggitt (birggitt)
Posted at: January 26th, 2009 11:31 am (UTC)
Merthur footsie

That's a great story to wake up to =D
I love how matter-of-fact is Arthr about all the magic issue and the end? Wonderful!
Thanks a lot for this!

Posted by: Fandom Corner (fandomcorner)
Posted at: January 26th, 2009 11:34 am (UTC)

Hee! Thanks! It's really hard writing 'Arthur finds out' fics without making them all samey. I like to have him react in different ways in different fics

Glad you liked it!

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Fandom Corner (fandomcorner)
Posted at: January 26th, 2009 12:21 pm (UTC)

Oh, yay! Thank you! Yeah, I tried to do something a little different. I'm glad it worked for you :)

Posted by: Cris (duskwillow)
Posted at: January 26th, 2009 12:09 pm (UTC)
Merlin - don't leave me

Aww lovely!

Posted by: Fandom Corner (fandomcorner)
Posted at: January 26th, 2009 12:21 pm (UTC)


Posted by: justmyteacup (justmyteacup)
Posted at: January 26th, 2009 12:15 pm (UTC)
merlin_i want U

*happy sigh*

Posted by: Fandom Corner (fandomcorner)
Posted at: January 26th, 2009 12:21 pm (UTC)

Glad you liked it :)

Posted by: when I'm really just a reclusive wanker (robot_sky)
Posted at: January 26th, 2009 12:20 pm (UTC)

Awww. That is so cute!

Posted by: Fandom Corner (fandomcorner)
Posted at: January 26th, 2009 12:22 pm (UTC)

Thank you!

Posted by: Yavanna (yavannauk)
Posted at: January 26th, 2009 12:59 pm (UTC)
Merlin/Arthur - I would die for you

You're really not doing anything to change your reputation for writing "d'awwwww..." fics!! Not that this is necessarily a bad thing. *g*

Posted by: Fandom Corner (fandomcorner)
Posted at: January 26th, 2009 01:02 pm (UTC)

Hee! I know! I don't seem to be able to stop with teh cute. LOL!

Even when I write angst I have to give it a happy ending. LOL

Maybe this is just my writing niche

Posted by: lou_angel (lou_angel)
Posted at: January 26th, 2009 01:20 pm (UTC)
Icon of Love

Yay! Manticores!
Lovely and angsty and yet sweet!

Posted by: Fandom Corner (fandomcorner)
Posted at: January 26th, 2009 01:22 pm (UTC)

Hee! I can't believe the amount of time I spent researching mytholoical creatures for a fic where we don't even see the beast in question. LOL!



Posted by: Teh Sodsta (son_of_darkness)
Posted at: January 26th, 2009 01:25 pm (UTC)
Merlin Huzzah

YESSSSSSS!!!! Perfect accompaniment to the art. I may have melted a little bit at the end, there. :D Love this. ♥

Posted by: Fandom Corner (fandomcorner)
Posted at: January 26th, 2009 01:29 pm (UTC)

WHEE! Thank you so much!!! I do love that art and I just had to write this as soon as I saw it

Posted by: archaeologist_d (archaeologist_d)
Posted at: January 26th, 2009 01:32 pm (UTC)
Evil Qui-Gon

That was sweet that Arthur was so levelheaded about the magic. Great job.

Posted by: Fandom Corner (fandomcorner)
Posted at: January 26th, 2009 01:45 pm (UTC)

Thank you :)

Posted by: E McGee (melusinahp)
Posted at: January 26th, 2009 01:51 pm (UTC)
Arthur/Merlin by ambiguous_opal

This is wonderful. A perfect compliment to the art.

Posted by: Fandom Corner (fandomcorner)
Posted at: January 26th, 2009 01:52 pm (UTC)

Thank you so much :)

Posted by: renki_chan (renki_chan)
Posted at: January 26th, 2009 01:57 pm (UTC)

I like this one very much. This is precisely how I think Arthur would react find out about Merlin's magic.
Great job! *__*

Posted by: Fandom Corner (fandomcorner)
Posted at: January 26th, 2009 01:58 pm (UTC)

Thank you so much! So glad you liked it :)

Posted by: yanyann (yanyann)
Posted at: January 26th, 2009 02:20 pm (UTC)
merlin - light

Great work! Love Arthur's reaction to finding out about Merlin's magic(so different from the usual cliche XD ).

Hope to see more from you.

Posted by: Fandom Corner (fandomcorner)
Posted at: January 26th, 2009 02:25 pm (UTC)


You can read all my previous Merlin fics here if you're interested

Posted by: Rohaa (rohaa)
Posted at: January 26th, 2009 03:07 pm (UTC)

N'AWW. This is so adorable, and such a nice break from the whole "OMG ARTHUR IS SO SO HURT AT FINDING OUT OMG OMG ANGST!" I like this other side of him. And the ending was totally meltworthy of course.

Posted by: Fandom Corner (fandomcorner)
Posted at: January 26th, 2009 03:09 pm (UTC)



Yeah, I like to try different things with my fics :)

Posted by: Siobhan (siobhan_w)
Posted at: January 26th, 2009 03:27 pm (UTC)
Arthur smolders at you

Yay! Arthur finds out and they both realize how much they need the other around at the same time!

Posted by: Fandom Corner (fandomcorner)
Posted at: January 26th, 2009 04:31 pm (UTC)

WHEE! Thanks!

Posted by: Annabelle (hergunfight)
Posted at: January 26th, 2009 03:46 pm (UTC)

Lovely, lovely stuff :)

Posted by: Fandom Corner (fandomcorner)
Posted at: January 26th, 2009 04:32 pm (UTC)

Thank you!

73 Read Comments
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