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A Word for Forgotten Songs (3/20)

Title: A Word for Forgotten Songs
Fandom: Merlin
Characters: Merlin, Arthur, Uther, Gaius, Gwen, Morgana, Leon, OMC
Rated: PG-13
Word Count: 923 (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 starts here. The story is set in series 2, somewhat early on. It's unbeta'd so all mistakes are my own.

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Alan drifted in and out of consciousness, catching snippets of conversations and names. Underneath it all was that same force he felt in the woods. Something powerful wanted to speak with him. The one thing he caught that made sense to his delusional mind was “When you are well, you will find me.”

He came to and immediately began coughing as noxious fumes assaulted his nasal passages. An older man with shoulder-length white hair turned to face him. “Oh, good, you’re awake. I was beginning to worry if you would.” He noticed Alan’s difficulty breathing and removed the smelly cloth from the wound. “You don’t need this poultice any longer as it’s done its job.”

“Which was?”

“To draw the magic from your body.”

“Magic?” Well, one man’s science…

“The blade they attacked you with had been dipped in a potion.”

Alan could tell the man was holding something back. “What aren’t you telling me?”

“The potion only affects those with…abilities.”

“And you think I have these abilities?”

“That’s the only reason the potion exists.”

“I’m sorry, Gaius, but there has to be another explanation.”

Gaius looked at him. “How do you know my name?”

“Merlin spoke of you on the way here.” Alan tried to prop himself up into a sitting position. “Where is he?”

“Working for Arthur.”

“How did that happen? They don’t seem to have the typical master-servant relationship.”

“Merlin saved Arthur’s life and that was his reward.”

“So what do I have to look forward to? Personal chef? Taste tester?”

“No, that’s Merlin.” Gaius held a bowl of broth in front of him. “Can you manage?”

“If you don’t mind poor manners, I’ll sip directly from the bowl. There’s less chance of spillage that way.” Alan slowly sipped the liquid. It was the perfect temperature with just enough flavor. “Oh, that hit the spot.” He handed the bowl back to Gaius and settled down against the pillow.

“You just rest now, and, when you wake, we can test your strength.”

“I just woke up. Why would I be--” he yawned, “sleepy?” He realized that Gaius had slipped a draught into his broth. “You little--”

****


Merlin was brushing the last of Arthur’s boots, finishing them in what was probably record time as he wanted to check on Alan. Gaius believed today was the day he’d wake up.

Arthur strode in and sat at the edge of the bed. Normally after an audience with his father, he was angry or frustrated in some way. To see him in a contemplative mood was a little unnerving.

Merlin finished putting away the boots and then waited for the prince to give him another task. He certainly looked like he wanted to say something. “Sire?”

“Have you heard anything today about Alan?”

“No, I’ve been doing chores for you all morning.”

Arthur flopped back on the bed. “My father wants to see him as soon as he’s awake.” He sighed. “He wants to reward him for saving my life.”

“Like he rewarded me?”

“Well, he couldn’t be worse than you,” Arthur commented with a crooked smile. “I don’t think anyone could be,” He sat up. “Are you still here?”

“Just going.”

Merlin hurried through the corridors and soon arrived at his destination. Gaius was peering into a book while Alan still slept. “How is he?”

“He woke briefly and had some broth before going back to sleep.”

“Uther wants to see him when he wakes.” Merlin sat down in the other chair. “How did he react when you told him of the poison, that he has magic?”

“Disbelief.”

Merlin looked at the man on the bed. “It must be hard to go through your whole life not knowing until you almost die saving a stranger.”

“That’s not what I meant. It was more like he didn’t believe in magic at all.”

“But it’s everywhere. How could he not see it?”

“There are a few remote provinces where there hasn’t been any magic for centuries. Perhaps he was raised there.”

“But he told Arthur he traveled. He would have surely come across it.” Merlin just couldn’t understand why a man so inquisitive and smart didn’t believe.

“Whatever he meant by it, we have to make sure he says nothing of it in front of anyone else.”



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