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A Word for Forgotten Songs (1/20)

Title: A Word for Forgotten Songs
Fandom: Merlin
Characters: Merlin, Arthur, Uther, Gaius, Gwen, Morgana, Leon, OMC
Rated: PG-13
Word Count: 798 (this chapter)
Summary: A strange warrior arrives in time to save Arthur and Merlin from bandits. He is wounded and falls ill. As Gaius cares for the wound, he knows the blade was dipped in a potion that only affects those with magic. After he heals, Merlin talks with him of magic and Arthur spars with him. They then learn that the bandit attack was not random.
Author's Note: This has been sitting on my computer for over 3 years! It's still not done but I couldn't put off the posting any longer. The original character is from one of my series and I kinda place him in lots of fandoms. His original series can be found here. The story is set in series 2, somewhat early on. It's unbeta'd so all mistakes are my own.

“I am nothing, yes; I am air and darkness, a word, a promise. I watch in the crystal and I wait in the hollow hills. But out there in the light I have a young king and a bright sword to do my work for me, and build what will stand when my name is only a word for forgotten songs and outworn wisdom, and when your name, Morgause, is only a hissing in the dark.”
― Mary Stewart, The Hollow Hills

Col. Alan Kelly, “Darling of the Alliance”, and one of the most-decorated soldiers of his time, found himself standing in water up to his shins. He looked around to see woods. “This isn’t 18th century Saint Petersburg.” He glared at the device strapped to his wrist. “Damn thing needs another overhaul.” This was not where he wanted to be and odds were the “when” wasn’t right either. Thankfully, his clothes were nondescript enough to cover a number of time periods

He strode to the bank of the creek and slipped off his boots to empty the water. As he was wringing out his socks, he heard shouting and the clash of steel-on-steel—the sound of a fight. He rushed towards the battle, barefoot and unarmed.

He stopped on a bluff overlooking a dirt road, not much more that a path, and saw two teenage boys trying to fight off a group of older men, most likely robbers. Judging by what they were wearing, he guessed he was in the early middle ages. The blond had unsheathed his sword and was fighting the attackers off like an experienced fighter. A trained knight, Alan acknowledged. The other is probably his servant.

He stood there, hesitating about joining the fight, wondering if he could hold back the killing blow. It was then that he felt a strange presence in his mind. It wasn’t a voice, but something compelling him to defend the two boys. He grabbed a stout branch and brandished it like a staff as he rushed into the fray. The servant had somehow managed to keep from being hurt despite being a skinny piece of nothing.

Alan came up behind one of the men and whacked him on the back of the knees, forcing him to the ground. He then knocked him out with a blow to the head. “You okay?” he asked the kid.

“Yeah. Thanks.”

Alan picked up the bandit’s sword and tossed the staff to the servant. “You should be able to keep them at a safe distance with that.”

Now that they all had weapons, Alan turned his attention to the remaining robbers. There weren’t that many and the other youth had put quite a few of them out of action. He knocked some out himself before ending up back-to-back with the knight.

“You fight well,” he said between breaths. “Where did you train?”

“Here and there,” Alan said evasively before blocking a sword aimed for his head.

Alan spared a look at the servant and almost missed blocking a blow aimed at the knight. As it was, the sword sliced his arm. It wasn’t deep, but it was enough to infuriate him to the point where he drove his attacker back.

The man gathered his injured allies and they ran back into the woods.

“Well, that was exhilarating,” Alan commented, a little out of breath.

The blond looked at him in amazement. “Really, where did you learn to fight?” he asked breathing heavily.

“I travel a lot. You were doing well without me…” He waited for the youth to give his name.



“Well, Alan, you’ll need to show me some of those moves.” Arthur clamped him on the shoulder and Alan winced. “We need to get that wound taken care of.” He looked at the lanky boy. “Merlin, bring the bandages.”

Alan took another look at his companions. Could they really be the Arthur and Merlin of legend? He didn’t know any versions when Merlin was Arthur’s servant.

“That should hold you until we get you to Camelot where the court physician can look at you,” said Arthur as Merlin wrapped a bandage around his arm.

“You want me to go back to Camelot with you?” Alan couldn’t believe his luck.

“You were wounded defending me. Of course, you’re coming to get proper treatment. You will have to ride double with Merlin.”

“If Merlin doesn’t mind.” Never thought I’d ever say that.

“He’s a servant. Why does it matter if he minds? He either shares with you or walks.”

Alan didn’t know what made him think it, but somehow Arthur was acting the arrogant prince in front of a stranger. The way he had defended Merlin earlier was more than a knight defending the helpless. The two were friends—or as much as they could be coming from different social strata.

“It’s all right,” Merlin said as he brought the horses over. “It happens all the time.”

“As long as you’re not put out by sharing. My pack and boots are over by the stream. I’ll be right back.”

“Merlin can get them for you,” Arthur said as he mounted his horse.

“I can get them just as well myself.” Alan strode off before he cursed out the once and future king.



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