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20 January 2010 @ 05:35 pm
Fic: ‘An old but familiar enemy.’  
Title: An old but familiar enemy.
Fandom: Merlin (BBC).
Rating: (G)
Time Period: During episode 13, season 1 (Le Morte d’Arthur) after Arthur’s injury.
Summary: An old, but familiar, enemy comes to visit.

Author's Note: This is quick ‘n’ dirty (for definition see the F. A. Q. or check this post for the definition).

This has been in the back of my mind for a while; it just finally got written. I cannot promise it to be true to any characters of the show.

All characters contained herein are the intellectual property of Julian Murphy and Johnny Caps; I am not affiliated with nor endorsed by them.


His son could not die.

That was simply what was going to happen: Arthur would not die. If by will alone he could do it, he would.

As he sat by his fevered son’s bedside, with no eyes upon him and no ears listening, he looked upon his son. He held his son’s hand, wiped the sweat from his brow.

He cried. Not long or hard but tears came, silently upon his cheeks.

His son would not die.

If he lived, Arthur would be all that was left of him, Uther. If he was to be remembered, Uther would have it be for the golden son who was suffering the effects of this wound. However, if Arthur died, so would all that was left of Ygraine.

Ygraine …

His gaze wandered to the window by the bed and his memory walked down the pleasanter paths of memory although ever present was the … fear.

For the second time in his life, Uther felt fear, an enemy he never thought would persist once beaten but he should have known better than to believe that.

It was pervasive; it crept under his thoughts and memories. It lay in wait in the shadows; it watched, patiently, for him to stumble in his resolve for Arthur to live. It was a familiar presence but he had not felt it for twenty years; not since Arthur’s birth and the loss of his beloved Ygraine. He had banished it then and he would do so now. He had defeated it once and he would so it again. There could be no surrender.

He reached for the cloth in the bowl beside the bed and wrung it before dabbing at Arthur’s forehead to cool the skin. He was not cooling; Uther dropped the cloth in the bowl and held Arthur’s hands tightly between his own.

“Fight,” he fiercely whispered to the young man who further tangled himself in the sheets. Servants would soon come to take the sheet, to replace it with something cleaner, drier. “I cannot lose you too.”

I cannot lose you too. Words that had haunted him since the Black Knight’s appearance in Camelot. He had felt the fear then, too, but he had not acknowledged its presence.

“You will not die Arthur,” he muttered, gripping his son’s hands more tightly. “You are the best warrior in the land. You cannot die.”

I cannot lose you as I lost your mother.

The servant comes then to change the sweat-dampened sheet and Uther stands, standing by the window until the task is done. Unlike Merlin, they take only a few moments: the old sheet taken away and replaced by the new. Uther doesn’t hear the servant’s departure, too consumed with his silent prayers.

Do not take him. I cannot lose him as I lost his mother.
Armchair DM: Matt's Cats: New Toy!armchairdm on January 22nd, 2010 09:33 am (UTC)
Now you've got me all sniffly.
F. J.: Lantern & Candles: Warmmorethanacandle on January 22nd, 2010 10:44 am (UTC)
If I may ask: how so?
Armchair DM: Carson: No no no AIEEE!!armchairdm on January 22nd, 2010 12:00 pm (UTC)
It's how perfectly you seem to be capturing Uther's concern.
F. J.: Lantern & Candles: Warmmorethanacandle on January 22nd, 2010 12:24 pm (UTC)
Anthony Head gave a solid performance in that scene which made it feel easy to be able to give a voice to what Uther must've been thinking and saying during the time he was alone with Arthur at that time.