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Wild Winter Stars (6/?)

Title: Wild Winter Stars
Fandom: Merlin
Characters: Merlin, Arthur, Gaius, Gwen, Morgana, Gwaine, Percival, Mordred, OMC
Rated: PG-13
Word Count: 719
Summary: “That Arthur has not always existed seems odd to me. Like the wind on the moors and the wild winter stars, surely he has always lived . . . and always will.” ― Stephen R. Lawhead, Arthur A man tortured by Morgana is left outside Camelot to taunt Arthur. Merlin, Gwaine and Percival along with the recovered man go to spy on Morgana.
Author's Note: This is a sequel to A Word for Forgotten Songs. The original character is from one of my series and I kinda place him in lots of fandoms. His original series starts here. The story is set in series 5, somewhat early on. It's unbeta'd so all mistakes are my own.

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Merlin leaned back against the wall and watched as Arthur took out his frustration against the knights. Aside from the council meetings – which were enough to make anyone crazy – the topic of the laws against magic had come up again. Merlin had heard from Arthur, Gwen, Gaius and Alan how she had asked Alan to stay and advise. It made absolute sense to Merlin that a man such as Alan should help. To Merlin it seemed that Arthur was more upset that Gwen asked Alan herself without discussing it. Or it could be that Arthur was mad that he didn’t ask first. Merlin grinned. Yeah, that was more like it.

“What are you smiling for?” Gwaine asked as he poured water over his head.

Merlin turned to the knight. “I was just coming up with reasons Arthur is treating this as anything but friendly.”

“Let me guess. This has something to do with your mystery friend.”

“Alan? Really, there’s nothing mysterious about him.”

“Then why does no one talk about him? Percival, Elyan and me practically had to corner Leon to get him to tell us what he knew. Hell, even Mordred got involved.” He leaned against the wall next to Merlin. “He saved Arthur’s life and defied Uther? Sounds like quite the guy.”

“He is.”

“And yet you and Princess haven’t told us the stories? Something like that must’ve made an impression.”

“There were other circumstances that made it hard to talk about.”

“You can come up with a better reason than that.”

Percival, Elyan and Mordred chose that moment to join them. “Reason for what?” asked Elyan.

“Merlin here is trying to explain why he and Arthur haven’t mentioned Master Alan Kelly.”

“Because it happened five years ago,” stated Arthur as he and Leon approached. “The story was old before you arrived. I’d forgotten all about it.”

Merlin knew that wasn’t exactly true. There had been times over the years when Arthur had broached the topic of Alan Kelly, wondering where he was, if he was still alive and if he would return. Merlin had wondered this as well, but with his additional knowledge of that Alan was from the future and knew of them only as legends. Instead of stopping the questions from the knights, Arthur’s statement only fuelled more.

“Did he really best you at swords?” Percival.

“He actually took a blast of magic meant for you?” Mordred.

“You pretended to be common?” Elyan.

“He defied Uther?”

“Twice,” Merlin answered Gwaine with a grin.

“And he got the bloody seal while I was banished? There’s something not right there.”

“It could just be that Uther didn’t like you,” said Elyan.

“Oh, that must be it,” agreed Arthur. “I could barely tolerate you then.”

“When can we meet him?” asked Mordred.

“He’s still recovering right now and has no voice so he’s really not up to visitors.”

Gwaine put an arm over Merlin’s shoulders. “In payment for our patience, you and Princess tell us the story.”

Percival, Elyan and Mordred nodded in agreement. Merlin knew that Gwaine would not give up until he got the full story – the one without the magic. He looked at Arthur who nodded.

“Fine, but let’s not do it here,” Merlin answered.

“Tavern, then.”

“If it were up to you, Gwaine, we’d do everything in the tavern,” teased Elyan.

“Why not? Everything’s better with a little alcohol.”

“Too bad with you there’s no such thing as a little alcohol,” commented Merlin.

“You’re one to talk!” declared Arthur. “You always seem to be in the tavern when I need you.”

Merlin was about to argue when he remembered that was the excuse Gaius always seemed to give while he was away using magic to save Camelot.

“Be fair, Arthur. When it comes to Merlin, a little alcohol is all he can handle,” Gwaine said as he patted Merlin on the back.

Leon suggested the battlements and the group headed inside and to the stairs. Merlin and Arthur stayed to the back. “You know we’re going to have to come up with an explanation for how we got around so quickly with no one seeing us,” Arthur told him.

“I’ll think of something.”

“Something believable, Merlin.”

Merlin watched his king and friend walk away. “You believe my explanations,” he said softly before following.

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